Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tennis Talk

by Savannah

As of April 20, 2009 Dinara Safina will become the top ranked player in the WTA continuing what has become a tradition of Slamless Number One's on the women's tour. There is no doubt in anyone's mind who the real number one is - winner of the last two Grand Slams and semi finalist at Sydney, the Paris Indoors and Dubai. The right knee problem that surfaced in Paris came back to haunt Serena as she lost in Miami to Victoria Azarenka, and today to Klara Zakopalova at Marbella in Spain.

I have nothing against Dinara, I like her game, but right now she has no business sitting on top of the WTA as it's top player. Staunch fans of women's tennis decry all the what's wrong with the WTA talk in the tennis world but as long as it's best players are shunted aside by lesser lights due to the number of tournaments they've played and not the quality of their wins the talk will continue.
Bring back Quality Points? Make more events mandatory? I'm against mandatory events so I guess I fall in the Quality Point camp. Think back to what was going on in women's tennis when they were suddenly deemed a liability and look at what is going on now.

So congratulations to Dinara Safina. She is number one because that is the way things are set up in the WTA. She did nothing wrong. Let's see how long she holds onto her crown.

As I tweeted yesterday an inflamed shoulder has caused Victoria Azarenka to pull out of Charleston.

The woes continue for American tennis. James Blake, the top seed, was defeated by Guillermo Canas who has had a rough start to 2009. Bjorn Phau of Germany defeated the second seed Mardy Fish and Sam Querrey pulled out with a hamstring problem.

Fourteen year old Madison Keys will play tonight against veteran Nadia Petrova at Ponte Vedra Beach. What does it tell you about the state of tennis in the United States when the entire tennis establishment is looking to a fourteen year old as it's future? Then again the British are putting the same pressure on Laura Robson so I we're not unique. I guess it's a good thing there is a bright light on the women's side. I see no one on the men's side.

I came across an old article about the LTA getting tough with it's players. Then phenom Alex Bogdanovic had his stipend of 80,000 pounds per year cut off. As a result of this he agreed to see a sports psychologist. Anyone heard from him lately? Think I'm kidding? Here is Stephen Bierley's 2004 article. I wonder if this is still going on?

End Note
Think that Sports Business Journal piece declaring to one and all that Maria Sharapova is still relevant, and poised to be a super model wasn't serious? Take a look at these pictures taken last night at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont with the guy who is supposed to be her boyfriend.

I wonder whose jacket she has on her shoulders. It's going to take some time to do something about her athletic build isn't it? If these pictures scream athlete to you I've got some great property down in Florida you might be interested in.


sG said...

Admittedly Maria looks gorgeous. I'm not usually a fan of how she styles her hair but it's good. That aside, yeah, athlete. I don't think so. She won't fare so well if they are trying to make her over into the sports equivalent of Paris Hilton. We've been there and the history is ugly.

I'm right there with you on the Quality Points. When I got into tennis that's the system under which the WTA was operating. I thought it was fairly awesome. Now? I can even say with a straight face that the girls in the top 10 are actually top tenners. Do some have talent? Yes, but talent is not a talent alone game. Drive and mental tenacity is just as important or else you end up with cupcakes-for-brains.

As for Madison Keys, with a good strong family environment she could remain quite mentally strong. A lot of those tennis prodigies have more than their youth in common, they also had a poor family structure (uber-controlling parent(s), etc.). If she can avoid at least that trap she'll have a fighting chance. Plus I'm just happy we have a glimmer of something good on our tennis horizon. Let's see how it lasts.

Helen W said...

I just gotta ask: Will she shriek as she walks the ramp???

Anyway, I won't mind if she leaves tennis forever, and since I don't follow the fashion world at all, she will be gone right out of my life.

Savannah said...

Madison won five games. I hope we don't hear from her for a while now. And I mean that in a good way.

Savannah said...

Helen you are so bad.

oddman said...

HA HA HA HA!! Helen, you are a riot! I can picture it in my head, and hear the shrieks already! :D