Kia, in her response to the previous post touched on some things I wanted to mention.
The Dust Up in the Desert Part Deux
Last night while watching TC a "Court Review" clip came on hosted by Cari Campion of TC. It was a review of the "Hit for Haiti" exhibition from the night before. I wondered if they would show some of the fantastic shots and assumed they would skip over the unpleasantries between Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. Boy was I wrong.
Instead of just pretending it didn't happen TC decided to make it look as if the two men were just joking around and having a good time. If that's what a good time is I spent most of my youth doing the wrong things. Later in the evening they showed a second clip on "Hit for Haiti" again hosted by Ms Campion and it didn't mention all the fun Sampras and Agassi had. Maybe they remembered that a lot of people saw the event and that neither man went to the presser held afterwards. There are also rumors that indicate the two men stepped to each other in the tunnel after the cameras and mics were gone. Sounds like a good time was had by all right?
A New American Prospect
One of the matches I looked forward to seeing last night was the one between rising young American Sloane Stephens and Vera Zvonereva. Sloane is only 16 and this would be her first time playing in a big stadium. I didn't expect her to win - when she's calm Bepa plays quite well - but I hoped she'd make a good showing.
Sloane did just that. Bepa can be excused for thinking she had an opening match one level short of a walk over but by the end she knew she had to kick it up a whole lot to make sure she won without dropping a set. Sloane gave the veteran a hard time on almost every service game and showed that when it comes to rallying she can hang tough. If she is managed with an eye towards her getting WC's into big events and gradually acclimating herself to the main tour American tennis fans may have the player they've been waiting for.
Sloane, seen here with coach Roger Smith, has a rudimentary pro level game. She's got all the shots and is working on point construction and strategy. I liked that she was angry at herself for not playing better. She really thought she could and should be winning.
Right now she's flying under the media radar. She's gotten a lot of folks attention after last night. Let's hope the slow and steady approach continues for her.
Fun, Fun, Fun
Evoking the spirit of California surfer culture Edina Gallovits, Andreas Seppi, Andy Ram, Agnieszka Radwanska, Agnes Szavay and Sorana Cristea did some modeling. They look as if they're having a grand old time.
I want to wait until all of the players have played their opening matches before commenting on the tournament so far. Yes there have been some surprises, some major, some not so much. I'm going to be out and about tomorrow early and I'm hoping to be back in time to see the day's coverage.
I must take a moment though and say that Robbie Koenig and Doug Adler did a tremendous job. Instead of yapping all through the matches they commentated they assume that viewers, new or tennisheads, have enough intelligence to follow what they're watching. Once a point was finished they made quick comments and when play resumed they shut up. I kept wondering what was different about the broadcast and then I realized it was the blessed silence. Keep up the good work guys.
I spend a lot of time bashing the coverage we get here in the States but aside from starting late (coverage started Saturday while play started Wednesday) I'm impressed with what Tennis Channel did yesterday. They showed every match they could and didn't go off the air until the last match of the day was played. Coupled with TennisTV I had wall to wall coverage since TTV showed some matches in full that Tennis Channel only showed highlights from. Great work by all involved.