The chatter in tennis circles over the Wimbledon seeding allotments continues. Not only Mary Carillo but her broadcast peer Brad Gilbert has asked how Dinara Safina can be seeded Number 1 with an abysmal record on grass while the five time Wimbledon Champion Venus Williams is seeded Number 3, especially since Sharapova was given a late birthday present by being seeded at 24. This allows her to avoid a top seed until the second week in case you were wondering what all the shouting is about. As Craig mentioned yesterday Ms Sharapova has not done much at SW 19 for the last few years. As Gilbert asks in his blog post why didn't they simply move her into the top ten if she's that good?
Not to be outdone the men's side made a little news today. As expected Gael Monfils withdrew due to his wrist injury. A lucky loser will replace him in the draw. As for seeding previously unseeded Tommy Haas is now the 24th seed. I hope Tommy sends Gael a nice Christmas present. With Marcos Baghdatis expected to withdraw as well and Ivan Ljubicic suffering what looked like a severe ankle sprain there are more opportunities for creative seeding by the LTA. Have fun boys and girls.
Yes Maria Sharapova is on the cover of ESPN. Isn't she the bestest and hottest female tennis player on the planet? Anyway the geniuses at ESPN magazine asked the Golden Girl how she would reform her sport. Some of these responses are laugh out loud hilarious and show her PR people think tennis fans are babbling idiots with short memories.
Sharapova on fixing the sport of tennis
Send in the clowns
When I go to sporting events, I enjoy the entertainment that surrounds the game. Tennis fans never get that experience. Tournament organizers need to play music or invite dancers and clowns onto the court during side changes. It's too quiet during those breaks.
Don't let the dogs in
Everyone knows I love dogs (I have a Pomeranian named Dolce), but the players' lounge is not a vet's office. Players carry around their dogs in little bags and let them run all over the place. They put bowls of water on the floor, and it spills everywhere. It's a tournament -- leave the pooch at home.
Get rid of the riffraff
And while I'm on the subject: The players' lounge isn't a nightclub, either. It's hard to get ready for a match when there's a bleached-out blonde in six-inch stilettos and a denim miniskirt hanging out. Who is this person, and why is she here?
Quit while we're ahead
The WTA schedule is too long. We start in January and go full speed all the way through to the U.S. Open in September. Then we have to keep going until the Sony Ericsson Championships at the end of October. I'd end the season with the Open.
Plug in and plug us
I would use the Internet, Facebook and Twitter more effectively to market our sport, and I would make all the athletes participate. Raising the popularity of individual players raises the popularity of tennis.
Give on-court coaches the boot
I would ban all contact with coaches between sets. I'm sure when the male players see coaches walk onto the court during our matches they laugh.
Accept a good challenge
Now a player is allowed three unsuccessful challenges per set. Obviously, a player shouldn't be allowed to challenge every call, but if she is out of challenges and the umpire appears unsure, why shouldn't she be allowed to ask for a replay?
Don't hide the game face
While I was sidelined with my shoulder injury, I watched a lot of tennis on TV. Sometimes I thought, Why do these girls wear so much makeup? I can't even figure out how they keep their eyeliner from running. Athletes should play au naturel.
Ignore the pain
Limit on-court injury timeouts to two per season. I've asked for a trainer twice in my career, but I've played against girls who call for an injury timeout in every match. They're just buying time; it's laughable.
Once every two or three years, Wimbledon should let us wear something besides white. It would add a spark of fun to a very traditional place. Of course, style has its limits, so I would also…
…Recruit fashion police
In my tennis, a board would approve all outfits before players could wear them on the court. There are some tacky outfits out there!
Throw a surprise party
I'd create a tournament in which you wouldn't know whom you were playing or on what surface until the start of each round. You might get the first round on grass, the second on clay and the third on hard court. This is unrealistic, but it would be interesting.
My dear the on court coaching business was done so that you and your father didn't have to go through elaborate pantomimes boarding on farce when he wanted you to do something. And as for blondes in six inch stilettos creating a distraction we are talking the Women's Lounge no?
Four American men qualified for the Main Draw at Wimbledon. Taylor Dent, Jessie Levine, Rajeev Ram and the until now unheard of Michael Yani deserve some props.