Sunday, March 14, 2010

After The Storm

by Savannah

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.

End Notes

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.


Karen said...

Savannah very happy for you. Unfortunately for people like me in the Caribbean, people in Canada and some in Europe coverage was little or not available at all. I got 4 hours of men's coverage on ESPNI. No coverage of women's tennis matches except for the two that Eurosport showed during the day session and today is just more of the same. The coverage of IW for the men I have to agree has been nothing if not exceptional. Pity because the event is a combined event and the women are left out in the cold as usual. On the same note I just checked the Miami tournament event scheduled and I see that TC is not listed as covering that event. I shudder to think what kind of coverage I will get because my local cable company does not carry any of the Fox affiliates that cover this particular event. In short I am left holding the bag.
As to the whole Hit for Haiti stuff: all I can say is that we are lucky to have Nadal and Federer at the top of the sport at this time. I do not know if things will change as both players get older but for some reason I just do not see that happening. These guys love the sport too much and they both speak of it in total awe and admiration. Andre and Pete have never loved tennis in the way that Roger and Rafa do. For them it has always been a means to an end. For Roger it is a passion for Rafa a hobby that he is quite happy to use to make a living. These guys are sad if they are injured or ill and have to pull out of tournaments. They donate their time and money to continue to promote the sport. All Andre and Pete are doing are showing the world just how classless they can be and why for years when they were at the top of the sport nobody bothered to tune in to watch.

lynney62 said...

I agree! TC and Robbie/Jason are doing a great job and providing lots of good match coverage! It's such a lovely change from Pmac's running chit. I'm thoroughly enjoying it all, and being a huge "Rafa fan", I'm hoping he does well too!

Karen said...

Savannah, an observation: have you ever in all the time that Sharapova has been on tour ever seen her this out and about with a man? I just get the feeling that this whole dating thing is being done as more a publicity stunt rather than a young girl finally having a serious relationship. He is at IW this week with her carrying bags, he is on facebook, he is everywhere except on a basketball court. Could it be that the sponsors are no longer knocking down the door so she is no longer a marketable commodity? Just wondering, especially for someone who has always been so private and coy about her private life

Kia said...

This is the first year that TC has covered IW so it's such a relief for me. Fox had here in the Southeastern US & it was all kinds of awful. Choppy & unreliable it would stop midway thru a match and go to NCAA baseball.

Funny that TC dropped their fun was had by all spot for Hit for Haiti. I would like to think that's their concession that anyone bothering to watch IW knows what the deal was...

Though I'm not Savannah, I'll speak on the Sharapova romance : ) I hope for her sake its genuine. I'vbe never had any love for Maria but the idea of being separated from your mother for a couple of years, in a strange land at such a formative age makes me sad for both of them. If she's found a loving relationship I'd be happy for her. I don't know how much she's flaunting it so much as the two of them are hard to miss. Dick Ebersol's son could fade into the background in a way that 6'7" Sasha isn't going to.

And he might be carrying her bags home soon, if Zheng keeps it up & Masha's serve disappears.

Karen said...

I hear that Tracy Austin is making some really bizarre comments regarding Sharapova. I also understand that TC have reminded us of Sharapova's list of sponsors. I wonder why they felt the need to remind us. I have the Eurosport commies and boy are they drinking from the same cup as TC

Savannah said...

I just remember Flavia Pennetta listing people she would not have sex with and including Sharapova.

The rumors are still out there but if they're lies and this is real I wish her all the best.

Karen said...

Does she feel if she comes out she may be dropped by her sponsors? It could very well happen. It just seems strange to me that all of a sudden she is just out and about with this guy, being all lovey dovey, being photographed having breakfast. If you are a celebrity and you want people to know that you are actually doing it, just get someone to photograph you leaving a hotel room early in the morning, having breakfast or some such thing. She is on her way out. I guess she has given an excuse this time. Not the shoulder but the elbow.

Savannah said...

Karen I LMAO when you mentioned hotel pics. Did you ever see the ones of Ana Ivanovic looking worse for wear in a hotel lobby when she was with Verdasco?

Karen said...

LOL - oh yes. She looked like she had been completely and utterly ravaged by Fernando. she seemed worn out after a night of passion. The look on her face just said it all. No wonder they broke up afterwards. I think she was trying to shed her good girl image but got a little bit more than she bargained for. No wonder she is with Adam Scott now because he looks like what her sponsors would like her to be with. Nice, soft white guy who could not possibly hurt her and make her look like how a woman should look after a night of passion. I so want to say other stuff but this is a public forum = LOL

Savannah said...

Karen that is the post of the week! LOL

Karen said...

Savannah, we are black women. We know what time it is with men and passion. LOL

Savannah said...

You got that right! And so did Ana until "they" started whispering in her ear...;)

love40 said...

It was fun watching Sloane's match. She's a competitor, definitely one to watch.