Being American and all I suppose I'm required to start this post with a picture of Miss Melanie Oudin, a Southern girl who said that she really didn't want to come up North because, well, she's a Southern girl. It brought to mind Blanche Devereaux's comments about her going against social barriers in the south by dating a northerner and scandalizing her class.
But I digress.
What is kind of interesting is that Blanche, uh, Melanie, defeated Jelena Jankovic, a former WTA #1. Do I have to mention she was one of the Slamless number ones? I guess I should because there are some who may be new to tennis who are trying to learn as much as possible about the sport. JJ played every tournament known to God and man in order to achieve the top ranking, a path followed by several other of her peers who made it to the top without winning a Slam along the way.
Anyway I think it's time to acknowledge that JJ is in a serious decline. She's never been the same since that idjut Ricardo Sanchez had her bulk up to improve her stamina. Does JJ need to take some time off and assess where she wants to go in tennis? Then again who am I? I sit on my couch or at the dining table watching television and knowing every move a player should make on court. Still a brief vacation may do JJ some good.
Then there's Alize Cornet looking like she stepped out of a Renoir painting in her trophy picture. Alize showed great promise as a young teen and was being touted as the next best among the French women. Alize then proceeded to fall off the face of the earth tennis wise. She's been making a comeback, this is her second title in four years, and I'm glad to see her continuing to play and try to get her ranking up. I'm not sure if she's ready for the big babes of the WTA yet but she's trying to live up to her potential more or less out of the limelight.
There is this grass warm up tournament held in Germany right after the French Open in a place called Halle. The tournament pays big bucks to big names to have them show up with clay court hang over's and bring the fans out. The players do their thing and then go off for some rest and relaxation before the next big dance held in fabled London SW19.
When the dust settled this year the Halle Final was played between two men who are both in their thirties. Tommy Haas, seen above, is 34. He played this guy named Roger Federer who found himself in another final.
Federer is not used to his opponents fighting back. He loves the adulation and resignation many who take the court against him exhibit and uses it to push him towards his goal sure of a win and building up more adulation from the prostrate tennis media.
Haas had nothing to lose and played aggressive, fearless, non adulatory tennis. He treated Federer as just another guy across the net and came away with a win.
MV did send me another email by the way. Something about her Captain being locked in the man wing of the house - you didn't think a mere man cave would suffice did you - and not coming out for food or practice.
Anywho Haas earned himself a Wild Card into Wimbledon based on his play. I don't think there are too many players who want to see his name in their quarter.
Then there's Marin Cilic, the tall, dark and some would say handsome player from Croatia (Is there any other kind?). He found himself playing another man who seemed to have decided that he was sick of waiting for the indoor season to get some silverware to put in his trophy chest, David Nalbandian. It was very windy and I wondered if Mr. Indoor Tennis would have trouble against Cilic who played well this tournament. David - not Fat Dave at the moment - is Nalbandian fit. That is all I'm going to say about that.
But it wasn't stamina or the elements that cost David the trophy. David, in a fit of blind anger, kicked one of the ad boxes the lines people stand in during play and sit in during a break. I've always thought those boxes were silly since they restrict the movement of the line judges.
I'm going to take a minute and describe "blind anger" for those who seem not to understand what that term means. There are people who get so angry, with
themselves, others, or circumstance, that they are literally blind. It's why murderers sometimes say they don't remember committing the act. They're blind not only emotionally but in a way physically since they grab the first thing they can and wail away. In David's case he kicked the thing that was in front of him, the ad box. I don't think he even saw that there was someone sitting inside the box. The line judge had no way to get away.
Yes it's a cut. Cut's bleed. David did not run away, he stayed there talking to the man until the medics arrived. If you read some of the shit the "professional journalists" tweeted yesterday you'd think David picked up a piece of the splintered wood and bashed the man's head in. Not only was the physical act of kicking the ad box raised to the level of a capital crime but some of the comments revealed a deep seated animus against David Nalbandian, coming from where I don't know and don't want to speculate lest I come down to their level, a place I don't want to be.
The rule book states there are penalties that have to be assessed in a case like this and David has been penalized by the powers that be. All of which makes me wonder where these outraged "journalists" were when current favorite Grigor Dimitrov chased after an official after a match and assaulted him not only verbally but physically? What about Victoria Azarenka's outbursts a mere two or three years ago that are never discussed by the "tennis media"? And of course there's Yanina Wickmayer who threw a racquet and hit a lines woman in the head? That woman went to the hospital. I guess because none of these people follow tennis that's played away from glamourous resorts or stadium complexes think no one else does either. Then they wonder why certain of their favorites are not popular with the average tennis fanatic and think good p.r. and nice pictures will win fans over.
There were some who said Nalbandian's punishment didn't go far enough, that he should be forced to pay at least what Serena Williams was fined. Do. Not. Get.Me. Started.
There was no blood shed during that US Open incident. There was a verbal threat but no blood was spilled anywhere. The fear of the anger of an African American woman is what fueled that storm, nothing more, nothing less. Has Andy Roddick done more verbal abuse on court? Yes. Did Andre Agassi do physical damage to officials? Yes. But hey, it's just Andy in the heat of battle. And Andre is SUCH a competitor isn't he?
Nalbandian committed an infraction and he's paying for it. That is what the rule book calls for. He is not up for capital murder. Let's let this furor die.
The USTA Does Absolutely Nothing...
Except figure out how to spend a lot of money so that they can cram more people into the US Open in a couple of years. Are they putting a roof on Ashe? No. Armstrong? No.
They're moving some of the outer courts around and taking away the best court for watching tennis, The Grandstand court. If you've been there you know that the Grandstand court is linked to Louis (pronounced Lewis as was clearly stated in Louis Armstrong's cover of "Hello Dolly") Armstrong stadium and provides fans a way to go back and forth without having to exit one to get to the other or vice versa. There was a lot of whining about the long lines that form for Grandstand entry and the logjam that sometimes follows.
It should be mentioned that admittance to Armstrong and/or The Grandstand requires the mere purchase of a Grounds Pass. There is no need to pay an exorbitant amount of money to get a decent seat in Ashe, or to pay a somewhat more reasonable amount to sit in the blue seats and watch the jumbotrons.
With this announcement the US Open will remain the only Slam without at least one of it's main venues having a roof. I've heard all about the swamp land and it's boring now. I mean they're moving the Grandstand off of the soft ground and onto a portion of the property that is not swamp. All I see them doing is shifting deck chairs. The longer they wait the more expensive it'll become. I'm just saying.