• Yes and no.
It's a Grand Slam, which means it's open season on Wozniacki. One of you claimed she is "the Mitt Romney of the WTA." I took this to mean she is the leading candidate no one wants, a figure who has the top spot only because more qualified and popular candidates aren't committed to the race. I gather Pat McEnroe was latest to spray shrapnel. According
I can't take
We all know about her deficiencies. How are about a nod to her assets? On a day when Mardy Fish lost prematurely at still another Grand Slam -- an angry loss to journeyman Alejandro Falla, a match Fish simply
There is something undeniably uncomfortable about having the top-ranked player fail to do so much as reach a Grand Slam final during her reign at No. 1. No one disputes that. And giving Wozniacki a pass on this scrutiny because she is a "nice girl" is insulting. There are other observers -- self included -- who admire her movement and fight but are skeptical she has the weapons to win a Grand Slam title. So be it.
But as Keith notes, the anger and frustration is misplaced. Give Wozniacki her due for taking a solid but unremarkable game, adding fitness and fight, and alchemizing it all into a top ranking for more than a year now. If you must express anger and frustration, save it for the more talented players who have allowed this happen.
• Thanks, Phil. I've had some private exchanges with a number of you about this issue and I guess here's where I stand: there are some issues that invite debate and civil discourse. There are some views that fail to meet that standard and are, well, "just plain wrong" and should be treated as such. Giving rights to some and denying them to others based solely on their sexual orientation is not ripe for debate in my eyes. It's just prejudice -- deeply hurtful and offensive to so many within and out of tennis.
I do you think you raise an interesting point, both generically and specific to this issue: is there an appropriate way to disagree here? I struggle with that. We analogize at our peril here, but imagine if Margaret Court had said: "I love black people and pray for them. I just don't think they should have the same rights I do." Do we respect opinion and subjectivity? Or do we refute and attack? (While I respect the bible and religion, both, of course, are open to interpretation. The same value system that might condemn homosexuality also encourages tolerance and compassion and social justice.)
Inasmuch as there's any discussion to be had here, you could start by showing some empathy, acknowledging your view/policy is causing great pain -- and that this hurt is asymmetrical. When Margaret Court uses the word "abomination," she has surrendered her boarding pass.
You could also stick to the facts. When Margaret Court speaks of converting gay congregants -- "I help them to overcome. We have people who have been homosexual who are now married." -- measured discussion seems pointless.
I know some of you feel this issue hasn't gotten sufficient attention, while others feel it's gotten too much attention. Why don't we enjoy the tennis and, barring a new development, throw this on the back-burner for a while?
• Um, the aforementioned crack staff tells me it happened... At the 2011 U.S. Open.
• The small tournaments will tell you that they're taking a beating. Compared to the Slams and the Masters Series events, not only do they devote more of their revenues to prize money, but they need to pay appearance fees to induce the top players. Unless you have a Sugar Daddy sponsor, you're right, it's usually not a sound investment. The problem: the tournaments need the top players more than the top players need the tournaments. Federer, Nadal, Djokovic? Those guys would do just fine only sticking to the biggest events.
Obviously there are complications. The Djokovic family owns a smaller event (only in tennis). The Big Three can pad their bank accounts playing in Doha and Rotterdam and Basel et al. Players feel loyalties to events that kickstarted their careers (Roddick in Delray and Memphis and San Jose.) But the fact remains: the small tournaments don't have much leverage these days.
• Good call, though we
• He was a famed cricketer.
• And Bernard Tomic, Donald Young and Grigor Dimitrov each won in five sets. Sam Stosur was sent packing by Sorana Cirstea. Ryan Harrison took a set off of Andy Murray. John Isner and David Nalbandian went 10-8 in the fifth. The Saints-Niners was the most gripping NFL game I've seen in years; the Broncos-Patriots 45-10 stinker was among the worst. Sports, they call it.
I do think you're right about this: with 32 seeds (and if you believe the conspiracy theorists,
• You're absolutely right. (And Coria
• Fair question. But the rules are the rules and this has always been the case, well before replay. If you miss your first serve and a ball from an adjacent court rolls across the court during the point, you "play two" and replay the point starting with a first serve.
One explanation: it's just the gentlemanly move, enabling the server to start from scratch and replay the point in its entirety. Another explanation: the server's rhythm has been upset by this interruption. It's unfair to ask him to redo the second serve when he's already done so successfully. Let the server "take it from the top."
• While Fish went down to Falla and Sam Querrey lost to Tomic, insufficient attention was cast on two other Americans. John Isner -- he of the new Lacoste deal -- added to his rep as the most underrated fighter in tennis, outlasting surly David Nalbandian, 10-8 in fifth. Another player imbued with fight, Christina McHale, beat Marina Erakovic to move into the third round.
• Tennis Channel and Fios have
Now on to the next front, a trivia answer from
• Glenn Stein of Nashville, Tenn.: "Seems like the Hong Kong tennis player is Paulette Moreno. I can't confirm her place of birth, but she did play mixed at Wimbledon with Woodbridge in 1987."
• Nathaniel Boni Aserios of Malaybalay, Bukidnon, Philippines: "Hi! I believe Carlos Acosta was referring to Paulette Moreno. Here's
• Look for Kay Clark's forthcoming tennis-themed book "
• Brent Jackson of Atlanta, Ga.: "I appreciated your response to the anti-American tennis player sentiment expressed in
• Apparently looking to expand their big and tall line, Lacoste hires John Isner as an endorsee.
• Good to hear Bud Collins is on the mend.
• Cam Bennett of Geelong, Australia: Not sure if you've already shared this one, but