I'm sure you've all seen the Men's Draw for the Australian Open so I guess you can laugh along with me at this article found on the Oz Open's official site.
Federer Faces Rocky Road
It's always nice to start your day with a smile.
As for the Women's Draw Jelena Jankovic's section is one step above playing the under 12's at a Junior Tournament. I guess the ITF can't have it's Player of the Year face real competition right off the bat. Meanwhile Serena Williams, Venus Williams, and Elena Dementieva are all in the bottom half of the draw. True Caroline Wozniacki and Ana Ivanovic are in the top half of the draw but they're both in the bottom section of that part of the draw. Just sayin' people.
Idle Chit Chat
Jarkko Nieminen defeated Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-6(3) to reach the men's final in Sydney. He will face David Nalbandian in the final.
The ITF announced this morning that Filippo Volandri has been suspended for three months beginning January 15 for a doping offence. A lucky loser will take his place in the Australian Open men's draw.
American Sam Querrey will face Juan Martin del Potro in the final of the Heineken Open in Auckland.
The Winners Circle
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic won the women's event at Hobart. She defeated Iveta Benesova 7-5, 6-1.
She did it again. Elena Dementieva totally demoralized Dinara Safina 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 to claim the women's trophy at Sydney. Two weeks, two trophies for Ms Dementieva. Guess that earned her that placement in the bottom half of the draw.
Thanks to ESPN360 I was able to watch both draws as they took place last evening in Melbourne. James Blake and Amelie Mauresmo were the designated pro's and they did what pro's do in these situations, stand by, smile and offer comments when asked to.
The highlight of the event was when a Tennis Australia official asked Amelie to comment on Jelena being number one. I'm paraphrasing here but Amelie said that Jelena is consistent and that she guesses there's something to say about consistency. I almost bust a gut laughing.
As regular readers know I'm always going on about "fixed" draws. If you watched last evening (depending on your time zone) everything looked random and on the up and up with no chance whatsoever of any hanky-panky from tournament directors or over reaching agents. I still say that if you look at the draws you can't say that something isn't right.
Tennisheads have to look past the dog and pony show's put on by the majors when it comes to the draws and think about what the computer was asked to do by the powers that be.
In this day and time everyone is familiar with the phrase "garbage in, garbage out" when it comes to setting up computer programs. Does a major agency have a stake in making sure Player A makes history at a Slam or a major? Does said agency wine and dine any and everyone who can influence how things turn out for Player A? More than likely no? Does the tennis establishment want a certain thing to happen and something else not to?
In other words it's important not only to follow the sport but to have a rudimentary knowledge of the politics of the sport, especially a sport like tennis.
So what is the computer told? What assumptions are made when it's programmed to create a draw? Who tells the programmers what they're to do?
Let's be clear here I'm not accusing anyone of malfeasance. I'm just an average person with no first hand knowledge of what's going on in the back rooms but I consider myself fairly intelligent and when I see the same kind of "soft" draws doled out to the same players over and over I have to wonder just what the hell is going on.
I don't care who they trot out on stage at these things to plug in the seeds for public consumption. I do care that TPTB think everyone is asleep at the wheel. We're not.