The green manicured lawns of England. Once play starts their beauty lasts about two days. After that they look as if a herd of elephants had taken a stroll over them (minus the droppings of course). The beauty of the terre battue is renewed over and over again. Too bad there wasn't much clay court tennis played on the crushed brick this year. But the tennis world has moved on and it's now the season many traditionalists hold dear. After all tennis was originally played on lawns by allegedly genteel people dressed in the style of the court(s) at that time. I'd love to see a Nike swoosh on one of Suzanne Lenglen's outfits.
At any rate the road to tennis greatness has always gone through Wimbledon and that's not going to change any time soon. Don't get me wrong, there is something to be said in defense of tradition. When the center courts at majors look like graffiti marred walls Wimbledon's ad free walls are a welcome relief. The Middle Sunday tradition? With the roof over Centre Court does it need to be maintained? Not that Middle Sunday was ever about tennis but I digress. The all white attire required of both men and women has gone the way of T-Rex with the modern generation sneaking in bits of color to relieve the monotony. I'm sure the men and women who run the AELTC will not let their traditions go. Doesn't stop me from commenting on them though.
We're now well into the first week of the grass court run ups to Wimbledon. I'm trying to adjust to points being over after three shots. Or in the case of my nomination for the worst match of the grass court season so far, a match being played where essentially two guys stood next to each other, dropped trou, and tried to see who was bigger. I'm talking about the "match" between Andy Roddick and Ivo Karlovic. If you like all serving all the time this was your match. Rallies? Look elsewhere. This is the second match I've seen Andy play like this. The first one was at last years US Open when he faced Fabrice Santoro. The cure for insomnia I tell you. The action at Halle has been much more interesting if equally fast moving. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga looked like a bull on ice during his match. Novak Djokovic did a few splits I'm sure he hadn't practiced making but that is to be expected on the slippery green grass. What amazed me was that fans were up and cheering Andy Roddick after he outserved the man called Dr. Ivo. I wonder what match they were watching?
There's not much I can say about women's play since I've only seen one match. That was between Maria Sharapova and Yanina Wickmayer today. There were actually returns in that match. Yanina took a set from Sharapova. But in the end Maria pulled it out. Of course a bathroom break was taken by Ms Sharapova before she buckled down and won the third set going away. There is one thing I need to ask her fans to tell me though. What is the difference between the "changed" serve motion she was doing before her surgery and the one she's using now? I don't see much difference but it could just be me.
As for coverage of women's tennis it will start next week on June 17th. TennisTV will be covering Eastbourne. It'll be nice to get some visual verification that there are other women on the tour besides Maria Sharapova. I'm just sayin'.
Idle Chit Chat
I guess James Blake knew he had to represent after his comments dismissing the European Clay Court season. Unsurprisingly his comments got very little coverage by tennis media here in the States so they can provide very little background as to why he's playing his ass off in the Queens tournament.
Swedish player Thomas Johannson has announced his retirement. He won the Australian Open in 2002 and was ranked as high as seventh in the world.
Serena Williams has been spotted out and about shopping in Los Angeles.
Photographer Bernard Pacalin posted these great pictures of Venus Williams, and others, on his Facebook page.
Damir Dokic was sentenced to fifteen months in prison after he threatened the Australian Ambassador to Serbia. For those of you who watched "Oz" who do you think should be his cellmate, Adebisi or Schillinger? Yes this is an informal poll. I'm leaning to Schillinger because he'll never see it coming so to speak...
Boris Becker has wed Sharlely Kerssenberg in St. Moritz. Both of his sons attended. I didn't see his daughter Anna though. Here is a link to the PHOTOALBUM. I think that brown belt is precious don't you?