Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Heard Around

by Savannah

Thanks to "Karen" for bringing this article to my attention. It's a transcript of a conference call featuring Martina Navratilova posted by GVGirl on her blog. Martina, as usual, is being real.

When asked about whether or not Serena and Venus at one and two in the world is a good thing or a bad thing, Navratilova remarked: “You would not be asking that if Federer-Nadal were one and two. You wouldn't be saying oh, does that mean that the men's field are not so strong because they are number one and number two again. Uh... no. I think those guys are two great champions and Serena and Venus are two great champions. They will be two of the greatest champions that the game has had. It just so happens that they are from the same family. ..but ... I think you would not be asking that if they weren't sisters as much. And, maybe be asking that question if it were guys rather than women. But, no, of course, they are fantastic athletes. They play the game on another level. They have so much power and so much speed. You think the point is over and somehow the ball comes back again. Not only do they get there, but what they do with it when they get there because again, they are so strong. Venus with her wingspan and Serena with her raw power. Yeah, they are two phenomenal athletes. But ... you should just be fortunate that they are still playing the game.”

She could have taken it one step further and said the question would not have been asked if Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters were ranked one and two in the world. It is vexing that after all this time and all they've contributed to women's tennis the Williams are still seen as interlopers by so many.

German/Jamaican player Dustin Brown has made it to the top 100 debuting at #99. If you remember I wrote about him a little while ago. He's one of the players I'm keeping my eye on.

Nishikori Kei is also back on the tour. He was out almost a year with injury and is making a good showing so far on the Challenger circuit.

The AP reports that eleven cities in the United States have shown interest in hosting the Fed Cup this November. The cities are Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Pacific Palisades, San Diego, Cleveland; the island of Hawaii; Jacksonville, Fla.; Portland, Ore.; St. Louis; and Surprise, Ariz. With many sports events pulling out of Arizona due to it's controversial immigration law I wonder if tennis will buck the trend. Final bids are due on June 4 with the announcement of the winner to be made on June 14.

Wimbledon has announced that Queen Elizabeth will attend the tournament on Thursday June 24. She last attended in 1977. Spain's Queen Sofia attended the men's final in Madrid on Sunday.

Here's Lookin' Atcha

Carlos Bernardes smiles for the camera

Bob Bryan cleans the court in Dusseldorf, Germany


lynney62 said...

I love Carlos! He and Mohammed Lahyani (Molay) are my 2 favorites in the chair! Thanx for the pic, Savannah!

Karen said...

Thank you for writing about my guy Dustin Brown. I missed his match this morning as I was on a conference call. I have been writing about him a lot to the media here in Jamaica and I am glad to say that there have been many more reports about him in the press and his rise in the rankings. He just won his first title recently on the Challenger circuit and of course as a Jamaican myself I am quite proud of him.

As to the Martina interview she hit the nail right on the head with that one. I think it is time that fans of tennis start calling out the powers that be in relation this perception that men's tennis is a better product than women's tennis. Taking absolutely nothing away from Federer and Nadal, but come on, 18 of the last 20 majors have been won by both of them. I will not even bother to mention the Masters prizes. In the WTA you had 3 unseeded players winning the major clay tournaments this year while on the men's side, only one player won all of them. The list of contenders going into the FO for the women is jam packed with possibilities, just as it was in Australia. For the men it is all about 2 guys. The rest in my view are just suicide pool picks until the big dance. There is no depth in men's tennis and for people to continue to say so is a lie.

Karen said...

Forgot to say that I could take Carlos home with me any day of the week. Yum!!!!

Savannah said...

MoLay and Carlos are my fave chair umps as well.

I think the reason the ATP is perceived as having more depth is because they've done a better job marketing the mens tour. I've been whining for a couple of years now that the WTA, instead of marketing the tour focused on marketing one player. When that player faltered due to injury the general public is left to ask "Who the hell are these broads?" and to wonder why they should care. There was never an attempt to market either of the Williams as the face of the tour. Advertisers saw their value but the tour seemed to almost intervene and say no, not them, her.
Now the push is on to promote The Belgians as if they're the "salvation" of women's tennis. Without the cupcake draws she used to get Clijsters would never have been a major contender. Her big win at last years US Open came after all the other women were battered and bruised after a brutal season. As for Henin let's see how cleanly she plays.

The WTA has tried to promote other women as the face of the tour - Victoria Azarenka, Melanie Oudin and even Dinara Safina. To me that shows they still don't get it. Until they promote women's tennis the mens tour will always be seen as superior. Meanwhile players like Rezai, MJMS, Zheng Jie and others will continue to "surprise".