A Best of Five after Nadal and Djokovic played as fine a best of three as you'll ever see ...
We'll say it again: Only a fool would bury a player who's achieved so much and, for all his struggling, is still THIRD in the world. Even Federer, normally mild-mannered, is clearly peeved by the talk of his demise.
"I know that I can do many more things in the game," he said. "I don't feel like I'm 35 like you guys make me sound I am. I'm still only 29, and I have many more years left."
Still, it's clear that with Federer looking increasingly un-Federian, the most compelling ATP rivalry now pits Nadal against Djokovic.
• Overall, this was a fine tournament for the good folks at Key Biscayne. There were some unfortunate rain delays. The outer courts could use Hawk-Eye. There were some curious scheduling decisions. But the tennis was first-rate. The crowds were rewarded, especially with Sunday's brilliant finale. And after the FSN debacle, congrats on radically upgraded television coverage.
• Nice to see (hear) Mary Carillo back in action.
• Talk about two tours at radically different places. In the women's event, the eighth seed played the 16th seed in the final and it seemed totally reasonable. On the men's side it was one versus two; and has their ever been a longer staircase dividing the top three from the rest of the pack? Not meant to condemn, just to underscore the difference.
• Nikolay Davydenko socred a win over Nadal in January. (OK, Nadal was sick, but still.) Since then, Daydenko has disappeared.
• Nice tournament for South African (via Illinois) Kevin Anderson, a hard server who reached the quarterfinals.
• Go ahead and lament the state of U.S. tennis (more on this in Wednesday's Mailbag), but let's pause to acknowledge that Mardy Fish is up to No. 11 and took down both Juan Martin del Potro and David Ferrer last week.
• Speaking of Ferrer, his "baby bashing" went viral. Was it the height of good taste? No. Did he rifle a ball at a toddler? No. (
• Let the record reflect: Alexandra Stevenson qualified for the Family Circle main draw in Charleston, S.C. Credit the tenacity.
• In each game of the second set of her match against Sharapova, Petkovic had game points. She lost 0-6.
• Congrats to Andrew Walker of the WTA, who was named to
• Good celebrity sightings: LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Andy Garcia and Sergio Garcia. Dara Torres. Anna Wintour. Camila Belle. Reggie Bush.
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