Murray vs. Wozniacki, fussing about the roof, plus more Mailbag
A quick 'bag heading into the weekend:
• That's a bit simplistic but, overall, not a bad comparison. I tweeted this Thursday but I sat a few feet back of Court 13 for Wozniacki's match against Andrea Petkovic and was astonished by two things:
1. Her absence of power. There were floating mid-rally balls that landed inside the service line -- begging to consigned to the "winners" ledger � that she simply batted back. Her serve isn't much of a weapon. She positions herself deeply on the court to dictate many rallies.
2. Her fitness and her fight. In part by necessity, she moves and anticipates beautifully, she's barely winded after the longest of points, she wins more "big points" than she's given credit for.
As for Murray, he plays bigger -- and, at almost 6-4, IS bigger -- than he's given credit for. I see his defense and retrieving less as a style than as a stylistic lapse, a lazy fallback. As I write this, he's taking care of big, bad Isner and is controlling the majority of the points off the ground. In tennis, as in most sports, it's truly offense that wins championships. Backboards don't win majors.
• Tennis got by for decades without roofs? True but the landscape has changed since then:
1. TV. became a force, paying tens of millions for rights -- and expecting to be accommodated in exchange.
2. The sport has become immeasurably more demanding physically, so rain delays had serious effects.
3. Climate change has occurred.
Let's put a tarp on the weather discussion for now and agree on this: The USTA needs to address a lot of issues during the "offseason."
• I have no problem with a fifth-set tiebreaker. I have no problem with the majors having slightly different twists. Some of the best moments of this tournament thus been tiebreakers (Stosur-Kirilenko; Djokovic-Dolgopolov). Why not extend that the decisive set?
• Yeah, a few of you thought I should have been tougher on that forum member. As I see it, when you have no guaranteed contracts and you "eat what you kill" you're pretty much immune from "entitled" charges.
• We're going to play NFL games four days in a row. No, scrap that idea. We're going to increase your season from 16 to 18 games. You tough guys shouldn't have a problem with that, right? Stop whining. Don't like it? Go play in the Canadian league
• I thought we'd discussed this the other day. Maybe not. I have no problem giving Grand Slam winners automatic passes to the yea-rend soiree, ranking be damned. But let's let history be our guide. I'm buying Raki shots for the house if Serena is crossing an ocean in November to play this event in Istanbul.
• This clip went viral pretty quickly. I can't figure Roddick out. He's smart, he's well-spoken, he's loyal, he was raised well, he knows right from wrong. Why he can't suppress his worst instincts and make his points more courteously -- and not alienate so many fans in the process -- is an enduring mystery. We can talk about Roddick at greater length some other time, but this mystifies me to know end. I've seen way too many acts of his kindness and empathy and decency, to dismiss him as a jerk. But I've also seen way too many acts of indefensible discourtesy, to dismiss this as "inner fire."
• That shoe nearly hit me when he threw it into the stands. I'm no sponsor, but I'm not sure I like the idea of my celebrity endorser complaining about "broken" product.
• The best pratfall of the event?
• The Empire State Building will shine yellow Friday and Saturday nights in honor of U.S. Open.
• For LLS, Dame Edna thinks Chris Fowler looks like Rick Perry.