Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tennis Talk

by Savannah

The Importance of Links
I'm a fan like everyone else. I read fan sites and appreciate that tennisheads are very often the ones who make sure news of interest gets out to the rest of us.
I'm also a stickler for links. If someone has done their work and puts out an interview or makes a blog post it's nice for them to get the satisfaction of seeing people read and hopefully comment on their work.
Yesterday I had a problem with one of the interviews I posted. A fan site posted an interview with Mashona Washington that I wanted to share. The problem was that there was no link to the source. It was obvious the fan who posted the article was not the author but there was no link or acknowledgement of where the interview came from.
I ended up linking to the fan site that posted the interview hoping that the author would find out about my post and contact me. She did. Shelia, who runs blacktennispros.blogspot.com sent me a message asking for acknowledgement. I posted her request, and my response, with yesterday's post. I had already, via other sources, found out that it was her interview and changed the link prior to her contacting me.
It's not up to the webmaster/s to make sure their members provide links. It's up to the fans who post work that is not theirs to make sure the author gets his or her props. This is a pet peeve of mine and I knew posting the interview the way I did wasn't the right thing to do.
If you click on the link now you will end up at Shelia's site and a very nice site it is.

Gorilla Ball

Franklin L Johnson posted the following comments in response to Victor Lamm's blog from last week that was commented on here.

...While there's little doubt the play on various surfaces has become more standardized, this result can't be completely blamed on surface similarity.

A cynical reader of the facts could say the homogenization of surfaces has returned. Mr. Lamm himself duly noted our sport, at one time, was largely played on grass and only occasionally on slow clay. This clear lack of variety benefited the English, Aussies and Americans. So, is it any wonder most of the winners of the majors, pre-Open Era, were from these three nations? The very fact tennis is played on so many different surfaces today, both in and outdoor, seems to require a different kind of athlete than the grass grazers of yesteryear.

...surface standardization alone isn't responsible for much of the boring play on tour. Explosive power, produced by state-of-the-art training, diets and gear, place a greater emphasis on defensive skills and less on point production brilliance. Roger Federer is brutally beaten into submission by the younger, stronger Rafa Nadal. His exquisite game is never allowed to blossom on court. When Roger is forced by the sheer ferocity of Nadal's shots to abandon his skills for a defensive shell, it seems we should all be very alarmed. When a supreme dirt-baller starts winning Wimbledon, it's clear something isn't right in our sport.

Again, the problem isn't only the equalizing of surface speed.(...)However, it can be successfully argued there's little subtleness in pro tennis today because the players aren't taught how to use it.
Unfortunately, it seems the Roger Federer era was more accident than evolution. While the facts bear this out with the return to gorilla-ball, an optimistic perspective envisions a more glorious than infamous future.

Gorilla ball?! Don't get me started. I'm simply tired of biased thought being presented as deep thinking. Johnson's points about the need to instruct juniors on how to play the game is valid. The rest of his remarks fall into the category of cant and not analysis. Maybe Mr. Johnson should read Steve Tignor's blog post about Barcelona. Gorilla ball indeed.

Fed Cup Update

The pressure is on Venus Williams and Serena Williams to say definitely, right now, that one or both of them will play the Fed Cup final in November. If they don't they're just proving themselves to be selfish and unconcerned with the fate of the United States in international team play. Isn't it ironic that the Williams sisters are vilified in the tennis press for not living up to what reporters think should be their priorities but when the chips are down everyone beats a path to their door pleading for their assistance.

I'm sorry but it's the end of April/beginning of May. November is light years away in tennis terms. I don't think that Venus and Serena will be stampeded into a decision.

The Weather
It's raining cats and dogs in Rome. Forecasts vary as to whether the weather will allow the tournament to be played. I wonder what would happen if a M1000 event is rained out? There are three ATP 250 events next week. When could they reschedule? Would they?

End Note

In a legal battle over the handling of his finances, the court heard Hewitt has complained his then-management team, Octagon, failed to make enough money for him – including not investing in Lehman Brothers, a U.S. firm which spectacularly collapsed last year.
Octagon is suing Hewitt for undisclosed millions for loss of merchandising and management fees.

It claims Hewitt breached his exclusive representation contract with them.

In response, Hewitt claims Octagon botched his financial plans and owes him up to $300,000 in lost investment opportunities.

Uh, okay Lleyton.

1 comment:

oddman said...

My own take on the article by Franklin L. Johnson (re: gorilla-ball) is that he seems a frustrated Fed fan. He's produced a few previous articles, one of which is 'How Roger Can Beat Rafa'.


Really - 'if a supreme dirtballer can win Wimbledon, there's something wrong with our sport' - ???? IMO, that smacks of pissiness.