A lot of idle chit chat today.
It's just after 6a on a Sunday morning in NYC and if you're not a lunatic like me and are waking up at a more normal time you missed a very interesting discussion between Mary Carillo, Martina Navratilova and Justin Gimelstob about Sunday play and the Babolat balls which are being used at Roland Garros for the first time.
First about Sunday play. Gimelstob talked about how the top ATP players were adamantly against playing on opening day because it would disrupt their preparation and the rhythm of playing a tournament where to win you play seven matches. Gimelstob talked about his idol Roger Federer putting his foot down and saying "no" but I get the feeling the top men all had the same thing to say. Most of the French players will be showcased today the commentators said.
Leave it to Martina to throw fuel on the fire by saying the women were not given an option and had not been part of the conversation at all.
The other conversation was about the Babolat balls. The first thing I noticed when I put the television on was that the ball was flying through the air. The commentators said that the Babolat balls are lighter and Gimelstob said that this will favor the big servers. The complaint about the French has always been the terre battue itself and how the balls would get so heavy favoring a slower paced game. The implication is that with these new balls hard court specialists will have a chance.
Gimelstob said that the damp conditions in Rome aggravated Andy Roddick's shoulder. He also said that Roddick is very aware of his ranking and wants the US #1 ranking back. Right now Mardy Fish sits in that position by virtue of his top ten ranking.
So He's Been Operating Under Alies...
New York Times sportswriter Christopher Clarey wrote what I thought was a fluff piece on Caroline Wozniacki and I was quickly skimming through it when all of a sudden things got a little deep.
Ask Wozniacki why she made it when so many others in Denmark and elsewhere have not, and she points to her family first and to the work ethic they emphasized. Her coach and father, born Piotr Wozniacki, had a traumatic childhood in Poland. In an emotional interview, he said he was sent to live with his grandparents as an infant and did not realize that until he was 8, when his parents came to retrieve him and he discovered that he also had a younger sister.
“Very big shock,” he said.
He said he left home at 15 to go to a sports-focused high school. He eventually became a professional soccer player, moving to Denmark at 23 in 1985. In Denmark in the early 2000s, he said, he changed his name legally to Victor Krason to honor his grandparents.
“It might have been a mistake; it made confusion,” Krason said of the name change, which has generated speculation in Denmark. “I may need to make it Krason Wozniacki.”
The Wozniackis’ oldest child, Patrik, plays soccer professionally in the Danish second division as his father did. But tennis is the sport that occupies the bulk of the family’s time.
Krason travels with his daughter, describing himself as a coordinator even though he is officially her coach. Like many a tennis parent, he learned about the game as his child developed her talent and felt confident enough when she was 11 to change the extreme grip on her forehand shortly before the Danish championships. He said he knows that some view him as hard-nosed and overprotective but views his role as that of a “shock absorber” for his daughter.
He said his childhood experiences had made him all the more determined to preserve his family’s unity, but he focused on empowering Wozniacki as well as developing her talent. Wozniacki said that when she was as young as 11, he would sometimes require her to make the travel arrangements for the family. (He said it was partly because her English was better than his.) He also made her contact sponsors like Adidas in search of support.
Three things. What name is on Caroline's birth certificate? If her father legally changed his name to Victor Krason shouldn't her birth certificate reflect that fact? You know how sensitive we Americans are to birth records. (Joking people). She was born in 1990 so I guess that is why she is Wozniacki but with a legal name change don't all legal documents get changed?
Two, until or unless he legally changes his name back to his birth name instead of saying "Piotr is charging down from the stands" we should be saying "Victor" is the man charging down to his daughter's side no?
Lastly, what is the controversy in Denmark?
Things That Make You Go Hmmm...
Why are the American commentators still so bent out of shape about the French Open starting on a Sunday? They're still carrying on about it late in the afternoon. Is the USTA afraid it might be pressured to do the same thing or something? I mean get over it.
Upset of the day has to be Varvara Lepchenko defeating (18) Flavia Pennetta 6-3,2-6,6-3.
Prior to that Bethanie Mattek-Sands defeated Arantxa Parra Santonja 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-3. I'd say those are pretty big wins by Americans on European clay but if you were looking to see the matches on ESPN2 you were shit out of luck. After delaying tennis to show a football(soccer) award ceremony ESPN2 spent a good half an hour on intros no one wanted to see because there was LIVE TENNIS being played ESPN2 started from square one with the Stosur vs Benesova match. Someone needs to tell the suits over there that this is the 21st century and that tennis fans, after years of neglect, have found other ways to see the sport we love. We don't have to take your shit. I'm just saying. Once again Craig Hickman gets it right. These two women don't fit the narrative. Whose narrative? Have you been paying attention to women's tennis lately?