Monday, September 10, 2007

The US Open - A Postscript

by Savannah



A look back at some of the sights and words of the 2007 US Open

Don't Ask Her Unless You Want An Answer...


Jelena Jankovic commented on the women's draw during her post match presser after losing to Venus Williams.

Q. Do you feel like you lost to the best player in the tournament?

JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. But I think it was unfortunate that the upper draw was very, very strong and we had to play each other. Venus, Serena, Justine, we were all up in the draw. Whoever wins from that top will win the whole tournament, from my opinion. Unfortunately, we were all stuck in that side. It was a very open draw in the bottom. So this is how it is. This is the luck. It happened actually in the last three Grand Slams. It has been kind of similar that Serena played Justine in the quarters and then I would play in the semis Justine. It's like they copy the draws (smiling). But you have to accept it, and I think it will be a great semifinal. Venus and Justine will be a great match, and I think one of them will win the whole tournament.



Most Classless Moment of Tennis

Michael Barkham asking him, and Novak Djokovic doing his impersonations of Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal on national television. The original images have been on YouTube and some message boards for quite some time now. They weren't funny there either. I wonder how Novak would feel if someone did impersonations of him faking injury? I guess it would go something like this:

Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce.

"I'm getting pretty tired... I think I'll call for the trainer... A back rub would be nice."

Thanks "cheerioko" over at ESPN



Talent vs Practice...

Those of us upset about the lackluster quarters, semis and final on the women's side should read this quote from Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post:

Practice beats talent when talent doesn't practice.

In view of Venus anemia this may seem a little harsh but there is some truth to it.

Roger on Novak's Injuries

Back in September of 2006 Roger Federer said this about Novak Djokovic after a Davis Cup match:


ROGER: You know, I don't trust his injuries...[general laughter] It's not funny, yeah? I'm serious.

INTERVIEWER: He was running around pretty well....

ROGER: Well, that's what I'm saying. I think he's a joke when it comes down to his injuries. I mean, the rules are there to be used but not abused. He was doing it many times, that's why I was not happy to see him doing that and then running around like a rabbit again, so... more laughter] Yeah, it was a good handshake for me. I was happy to beat him.

Djokovic Injuries

Sounds a lot like what Juan Monaco said after playing Djokovic doesn't it? What's weird is that the Davis Cup site edited out Roger's comments. I wonder who requested that be done?



For those of you who wonder why anyone who has heard both prefers the BBC coverage of ANY tennis match as opposed to their American counterparts here's an example of exchanges betweeen American commentators DURING a match.

ted robinson: now i notice rafa has the white colored shoes on, and he's bending down to tie them, john. that's just not something you see every day. what about the game has changed where players have to tie their shoes so much on court?

p or j-mac: with the new technology, players have to make more adjustments. it's just part of the game today.

robinson: and that shirt color -- you have to go back to 1993 to see a similar color and pattern in the men's game.

mac: i remember in my match against lendl he had a similar pattern, though the results weren't as good for me.

robinson: i just don't recall seeing it before in quite that level of detail or panache. he's had 37 unforced errors compared to 50 winners since he's been wearing that shirt, just amazing.

mac: he needs to start cutting down those unforced errors more if he's going to have any chance at all to get back in this.

robinson: now, would you say that pattern would tend to have more of an effect on grass, or on hardcourts? or would it make the most difference on clay? because we've all seen his proficiency there. how much exactly does his success at roland garros...

enberg: the terre battue!

robinson: ...have to do with the shirt pattern, and how much with the unique colors?

mac: well let's not forget, ted, that he's got the shoe tying to worry about too, nadal does. that's definitely going to have an effect, especially on his opponent.

robinson: speaking of which, and we saw this last week at cincinatti, there have been 134 consecutive serves to start a match that *didn't* involve either a shoe tying, or a colored shirt. And that's not counting the endorsements sewn into the fabric. We haven't seen that since 1987.

mac: you can't be serious!

enberg: 40-30, break point. correction: deuce at 4-4 in the tiebreak, oh my!

robinson: now if rafa went up against pancho gonzalez, assuming both were wearing the same color and they had velcro shoe fasteners, who would have the bigger serve?

mac: it would depend on how fair the linespeople were that day.

robinson: because you'd have to think, if only there were some way to have that matchup -- well, i don't know. who would fare better considering the line judges were on their game?

mac: if they weren't, we'd have to reconcile with them, like in my latest amex commercial - you're not evil!

robinson: how much impact would you say evil is having on the game today? when we see a federer going up against a nadal, or a justine going up against a venus or serena, you just have to wonder what level of evil is playing a part, especially in the serving.

mac: well it's the return game that's really affected. and up at net too, don't forget. players have to get much lower to hit those volleys than they have been.

robinson: but back on this question of evil -- does it have more to do with the shirt color, or more to do with tying the shoes? we haven't seen any player asked this question on court since 1952.

The above exchange was posted on the ESPN board and was obviously between JMac or PMac and Ted Robinson.

What do Rafa, Venus and Serena have to do with evil in the game of tennis, Ted? Is this part of your campaign against the predominance of Eastern Europeans in tennis now or a separate part of your world view? I'm offended. [Editor's Note: The above exchange is a satire, of course, but much of the actual commentary is about as insipid as this.]



Winning Ain't Easy...

A little perspective is needed when talking about Rafael Nadal and his so called failures at the US Open. "Reyes" posted the following on Vamos Brigade about Federer's road to success at Flushing Meadows.
2000: 3rd Round
2001: 4th Round
2002: 4th Round
2003: 4th Round
From 2004 to 2006: Winner
Of course now 2007 has to be added but you get the picture. He didn't descend from the clouds and begin winning the US Open. It took him time to figure out how. Thanks for the information, and perspective "Reyes".



Till Next Year...

The US Open is over. It will be another year before New York City is host to the best tennis players on the planet. Men and women will have played a long hard road beginning with the warm up events in Australia rejoining the summer they left behind on the asphalt of the city known as the concrete jungle.

There will of course be tennis. The focus moves to Asia where the top players are set to perform in Beijing, Mumbai and Bangkok. There will be an exhibition match between Federer and Pete Sampras. Lindsay Davenport will return to the main tour in Bali. There is also an event in Bucharest, Romania on that most maligned surface, clay.

There is the European indoor season and at season's end, the women play their Year End Championship in Madrid while the men will play the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai.

So even as we tennisheads take a deep breath and for a few hours turn our minds away from tennis we are looking at the draws for upcoming events and will begin to follow our favorite players' treks towards the end of the official season. It's already September. January is just around the corner.



Related Article
Ups/Downs Post US Open

3 comments:

Nina said...

You should listen to some Eastern European tennis coverage. They play good tennis but their commentators are dreadful. I remember one of the commentators at Wimbledon yelling "Bravoooooooooooooooooooooooo" every time there was a good point. Needless to say that she got muted by my TV remote:-)

Craig Hickman said...

LOL, Nina. That's too funny.

oddman said...

Great post, Savannah. Very nice recap. Love Jelena's comments, not afraid to say what she thinks, that one. Memorable stuff for me:

* Andy played Fed tougher than anyone else. Fed had to play his best tennis of the tourney in that quarterfinal.

* Andre is a fantastic commentator. Great insight into the game, shot selection, etc. (Andy, go listen to his commentary!)

* There's an awful lot of hype around Novak - I'm not on that bandwagon yet. He has to back up his results next year.

* Rafa v Ferrer was a great match, despite Rafa losing that one.

* Nice to see Feli Lopez playing well. I hope he can keep it up.

* Spain is a huge force in men's tennis - they should be very proud of their men.

* Michael Beercan is a pain in the butt. Mary-Jo does so much better with those interviews.

* JMac needs to tone it down over Novak, and get some objectivity when match-calling. He was worse than usual this tourney. He's yakking away about how fit Novak is whilst he's calling for the trainer after one set against Ferrer? Ugh.

* Rafa tried his best with an injured body, and fought bravely. He may be the No. 2, but he's No. 1 in my book. Thanks for the perspective, Savannah - Rafa's actually accomplished more for his age than Fed did back then. And in no way am I slighting Fed's huge accomplishments. Which makes that winning H2H over Fed all the more awesome.

* Fed admitting he was nervous? How's he going to feel if/when he's playing for that 15th slam title?

* Nice to see young guns like Isner, Young, Tsonga, and Dancevic playing well and in the mix.

I gotta believe Jimmy C. will be sticking around the Andy camp after what Andy showed this week. (I never thought differently regardless) I also hope Rafa's camp can figure out a schedule and training regimen that will reduce his injuries.

Well, I'm tennis'd out. Whew. Thanks Craig and Savannah for all your hard work and insights into this game we love!