Saturday, April 30, 2011

This & That

by Savannah

First tennis Tweet of the morning for me:

just counted 64 people in the stands watching women's final in #estoril..not healthy...

Next time you hear the WTA touting the amazing numbers of people watching their product keep this in mind. Yes the weather is bad and all in Estoril right now but 64 people?

The Donald Young Incident

Donald Young has apologized to the hand that feeds him known to others as the USTA. He singled out the coaches who have worked tirelessly with him in his apology as well as the head of player developement Patrick McEnroe. So where do we go from here?

Nowhere. Donald has to make a decision regarding his parents and what he wants from tennis. It's been reported that Donald Young Sr sent the email that ended up putting his son between a rock and a hard place. I don't know anyone in Young's family so anything I write about them is pure speculation on my part but it seems it's time Donald's parents step out of their son's tennis career. Donald Junior is now twenty one years old. He has been playing very well so far this year and as we all know managed to get a win over Andy Murray as well as win a Challenger at Tallahassee, Florida. Somehow I don't think his parents were the ones who coached him to those victories. I do know that they seem to think this spate of success entitles their son to the same treatment someone ranked in the top five would be afforded.

It's time the Young's realize that they are not Richard Williams and Oracene Price and that for their son to have the success they crave he will need coaching from other people, something he seems to thrive under. Then they will be able to sit in the stands on a Sunday and show stoic resolve for the camera's. Holding Donald's career hostage to his love of family is not good for him, or them.

Bepa Bids Sergei Goodbye

In a move that sent legions of his fans into paroxyms of despair Vera Zvonareva sent Sergei Demekhin packing. Someone named Karen Krotov (below) will now be her full time coach.
The Russian press has been all over this story and there have been reports from Sergei saying that Bepa wanted a situation where he would share coaching duties with someone else. Bepa has been quoted as saying it was Sergei's lapse of judgement regarding Fed Cup preparation that forced her hand. She says that she wanted him to come with her during her Fed Cup training so that he could see Shamil Tarpishev in action. Sergei apparently had other plans and Vera felt that she had no choice but to make a coaching change. For Vera's statement (in Russian) please go HERE. If you use Google's translator you'll see her name translated as "faith" or "The Faith", the meaning of her name in Russian.

If you ask my opinion (no one has but I'm giving it anyway) you don't change a good thing. Bepa has been playing very well since the debacle of the 2010 US Open final. You don't kick someone to the curb who has gotten you ranked in the top five and no one debates your right to be there. Let's hope Vera continues to play top level women's tennis.

Arantxa Explains It All

Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario made a statement this week that seems to have sent apologists for the state of the women's game over the edge.

In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais Sanchez Vicario said the following(emphasis mine):

We had eight or 10 players who always had an extreme rivalry," she said. "And to be number one, or winning a Grand Slam or two, that just didn't come. Now everything is much more open. You can be number one without being a great champion. There is a lot more power in the game, but it lacks variety. If you ask people, they know names of the Williams sisters or Clijsters and Henin, but don't ask them to tell you the name of the number one." Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki is the current No. 1.

Sanchez Vicario also said that she enjoyed 1990s tennis than she does today's version. "There was more variety, players with different games, stronger minds, more character,” she said." I played with three generations and they evolved. I had to adapt. It's the same now. If you want to compete in today's game you have to play a much more physical and more power than before.”

For the entire article, in Spanish, please go HERE.

Ironic isn't it that the original article seems to focus more on the fact that today no one knows who the current WTA #1 is outside of tennis professionals and die hard fans not the 1990's thing. That is part of Arantxa's argument not the entire scope of it.

What did she say that isn't true? She does give a backhand complement to the current game at the end there but it's damning with faint praise. You can debate who had the most intense rivalries in the 90's but the bottom line is that the tennis was better then. The women knew how to think on court, how to construct a point and did not have someone barreling out of the stands to tell them what to do the minute their opponent showed signs of figuring out their strategy. Ah, the good old days.

My apologies to the old children's show "Clarissa Explains It All".


Juan Carlos Ferrero has returned to the men's tour.
Fernando Gonzalez has returned as well.

I'm totally pissed off at tennis coverage in the States again. TennisTV is not showing any of the events this week in the United States. I would've let it go except that I got an email from them giving me a price increase. What the hell am I paying for when as a subscriber I don't get to see anything different from what non subscribers get to see? During the spring hard court swing if the cameras were off they were off for TennisTV too. When televised coverage began so did TennisTV coverage. The whole point of paying for a subscription is to see tennis not available anywhere else. This week I've been attached to live streams. They're free.

A rare picture surfaced showing Maria Sharapova with her mother.
Fernando Verdasco and Elena Vesnina visited a restaurant in Estoril for a photo op.
Sisters Venus Williams and Serena Williams appeared at a charity event in Florida. Sigh.

1 comment:

TennisAce said...

Savannah, I am one of those who took great exception to ASV's comments. ASV is the TD of a women's event in Spain. Rather than belittle the quality of tennis being played by today's women, how about being part of the solution and not part of the problem? As Pete Bodo wrote in his article about ASV's comments, when you break down the rivalries in the 90s there was not much competition against Graf and Seles. There were others who could win a few majors and big tournies but truly it was between 2 women.

As to Nick Lester's comment, it would have been nice if he had also counted the number of people in the stands during the Sod/DelPo semis. After numerous rain delays there were not many people there at all.

I for one would like it if ppl would stop ragging on the quality of the WTA's product, especially the No. 1 player. I agree that the top 10 as it stands is quite unremarkable, but I am a fan regardless. It annoys me when women such as ASV make blanket statements like this as they should know btr.