While looking at terms "Nalbandian" and "Wozniacki" trending high on Twitter and wondering why tennis can't do a better job selling itself ...
• Hey, that's a fellow Garden Stater you're criticizing. For the love of Route 1, show some loyalty! I don't think your analogy holds. First, a humiliating loss in a team sport -- where the blame can be spread around -- is different from a humiliating loss in an individual sport. Second, there's a question of context. You don't feel guilty about serving up a double bagel against some snot-nosed wild card. When it's a former No. 1 who's notoriously frail mentally, lost her last her match 6-0, 6-1 and is a longtime colleague, the emotions are different. Plus, we DO see coaches in other sports express regret for having run up the score and kept the starters in too long.
But Jan does raise an interesting point. I remember watching Martina Hingis once trounce a clearly-injured Monica Seles, 6-0, 6-0. Again given the context, I thought Hingis could have gifted her one game. When I asked Hingis about it, she looked at me as though I had three eyes. I paraphrase: "You can't do that. It's sports. You give away one game and it could turn the match!" She had a good point. What's more, I doubt many self-respecting opponents would want a charity game they didn't earn.
• OK, a few of gave me grief for touting the Young-Cilic match. Young came in having blazed through the qualies. Cilic's game has been in the commode for months. Thought this one could be interesting. Cilic won in about as long as it takes you to read this sentence.
If Young is no longer young -- pun unintended -- it's still too early to write him off altogether. He doesn't turn 22 until July. Nevertheless, this has been a sad story far. Some of the disappointment stems from irrational exuberance, no question. Yet we're talking about a junior Wimbledon champ here; it's not as though the hype came out of whole cloth. But some of the disappointment comes from the results. There were expectations that as he matured in age, he'd mature in disposition, working harder and more consistently, hiring an experienced coach and gently explaining to his attentive parents that he needed them to reduce their presence. Sadly, that hasn't much happened.
Pat McEnroe who -- perhaps you have inferred -- isn't Young's biggest champion, spoke candidly the other night. He was dead-on when he said, it's way too early to dismiss Young. But he's wasted a lot of valuable time.
• At Wimbledon, the defending champ christens Centre Court. Otherwise, as a rule of thumb, TV calls the shots.
• I have. But thanks, it's still worth a read.
• Costa also represents Nalbandian.
• I agree with Michael. You're only setting the kid up for disappointment when you tag him "Baby Fed." (A shout out to "Baby Jordan" Harold Miner.) But it's also insulting to Federer. OK, the kid has talent. But he's a future 16-time Grand Slam champ? Really? Besides, he's already proven himself to be something other than Federerian in the comportment department.
• So if I'm reading you right, it would be an inopportune time to link
• How about a moratorium on the word moratorium? Long as we're here, anyone else starting to think that boxing exists solely as metaphor? I bet 99 percent of the population -- at least in the U.S. -- can't name the reigning heavyweight champ. Yet we love references to "answering the bell," "getting off the canvas," "retreating to a neutral corner" and putting someone "on the ropes."
• The International Tennis Hall of Fame to announce a Class of 2011 inductee live at Agassi Preparatory Academy. We'll give you three guesses as to the identity.
• Chris of St. John's, NL: "Well after you published my trivia question, I thought I should dig a little harder. My mistake. Turns out the last time Nadal and Murray were not in the same half in a Grand Slam (other than the French) was at the 2007 U.S. Open (Murray was ranked 17). Of course, Rafa pulled out of '09 Wimbledon AFTER the draw was made (again, he drew Murray). So the streak is only 10 having a probability of 1 in 1024 or less than 0.1% chance of "random" occurrence. (Aside: look for Rafa to draw Djokovic at the 2011 French!)."
• Jason Shaw of Seattle, Wash.: "While your response to the obnoxious 'reverse racial bias' suggestion was sufficient to discard the writer's theory, I wish you'd have taken his underlying premise head-on: that the Victorian floods and Haiti earthquake are somehow equivalent misfortunes. I am aware that Australia, a relatively affluent nation, is experiencing severe flooding that is causing thousands of families to lose homes and sentimental possessions. In Haiti, there was unimaginable horror: more than 300,000 people were killed, and in one of the poorest countries in the world, over 1,000,000 are homeless with nowhere to turn for help. If the only difference the writer can see between these is the skin color of those affected, there's really no basis for conversation."
• Terry House of Palm Springs, Calif.: "Okay, so coal in ESPN's stockings for driving Mary Carillo away. I would boycott them if I could, though I know it was her choice ultimately. I hope to see more of her on CBS, NBC and when will Tennis Channel step up? But ... I have to thank ESPN2 for ditching the bottom-screen crawl for large segments of match coverage. I know this means nothing to you (I read your fiction vs non-fiction rationale), but there are millions like me who love the clean screen. Keep it up ESPN!"
• Anonymous writes: "Journalists should concentrate more on
• David Williams of Dunbar, W.Va.: "Every time I see