Listen closely to Roddick's words, even before Fowler's interview
Some of the savvier viewers noted that after Roddick hit balls into the crowd after beating Russell, courtside audio picked up his voice muttering, "If's he's there, I'm walking out." (Fire up the TiVo if you're inclined.) Multiple sources tell me that the "he" in question is John McEnroe who, you'll notice, was not present with Fowler in the ESPN booth a few moments later. Bear that in mind as you listen to Roddick excoriate tennis analysts.
• It's not obscenely hot, either. You know what I really think? A) It's a physical sport, now more than ever. B) It's the final slam of the year -- after six weeks of taxing hardcourt tennis -- so everyone's a bit beat up. C) Don't ignore the $19,000 awarded to a first-round loser. For a lot of players this is serious dough, a serious inducement to go out there and give it a go, even when (significantly) less than 100 percent. Many times Lleyton Hewitt has said, "If this weren't a slam I wouldn't be playing." That sentiment is not unique to him.
• Here's the dirty secret about the men's game: Shhh. Lean in. Think about the concentration of points and how many the Big Three have hoarded. There's so little available after that it doesn't take all that much to be a top-20 player. I like Simon for the reason you state: there is an elegant minimalism to his game. But in terms of artillery, he is a pacifist.
• I'm not sure it's an either/or since we're likely talking about a retractable roof. But, yes, while the tennis can seem a bit remote, you get a tremendous view when sitting in the FAA seats. (Incidentally, same holds from Citi Field.)
• Agree. Think we need to put this issue in the deep freeze for a while. Or at least until she wins a major or give up her ranking top spot.
• When he hurdles the net and clears it by 8 feet, you'll have your answer. (Yes, his father was the track and field legend.)
• Re: Venus Williams' condition, my friend Nancy Howard chipped in with this:
"After tedious and long battles with why my dry mouth and OK, yes, fatigue, I was diagnosed with Sjogren's when I was in my 40s. I would be playing my (amateur) tennis and ("pro") paddle (Platform) tennis which often require three matches in a day. ... I would be nearly crippled by the last match. A doubles sport, my partners struggled to comprehend my physical state as I'd start out full of usual vigor and deteriorate as the day went on. It took several years for my diagnosis back then ... nearly 30 years ago. I managed to continue to play and compete until back surgery five years ago. I'm 73. I always had great support from family and partners, but the immune deficiency is an enigma in the medical world today regarding cures and, worse, cause. Needs research. For years I carried a Diet Pepsi with me everywhere, slurping in the car with stick shift ... the drink-and-drive mother. I cannot talk for many sentences w/o a sip. And well, the teeth, without much or any natural saliva, they don't keep pace. (By the way, I gave up the diet sodas long ago, and now, of course, am into good ole Adirondack spring water ... great accompaniment for paddling, hiking, gardening and snowshoeing.) Doctors have a dilemma. Venus could do a lot for the syndrome, but best of all, she needs to know she can carry on, even playing at a pace, with grace and empathy on her side.
• "Strong is Beautiful," the new global advertising campaign from the WTA, featuring a mix of 40 champions and the next generation of stars, was
• The USTA announced that Pancho Gonzalez, a tennis pioneer and two-time U.S. National Champion, has been named the 2011 inductee into the U.S. Open Court of Champions, a U.S. Open and USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center attraction honoring the greatest singles champions in the history of the 130 years of the U.S. Championships/U.S. Open. Gonzalez will be inducted during a ceremony in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday evening.
• Apropos of nothing, came across this quote from Cincinnati. This should be a clip-and-paste for all athletes, no?
• RZ of Los Angeles:
Hi Jon, I'm passing along
• Tony Richey of Albuquerque, N.M.:
Long lost siblings: