Saturday, January 27, 2007

Final Thoughts

The last two weeks - the Aussie kicker for the year - were hopefully a display of what the 2007 season has in store for us.

First, there was Serena Williams. No one expected her to do what she did, yet everyone knew - deep down - that she could. Even with four months away from the game, lingering injuries and an extreme lack of match play, Williams is still one of (if not the) best women's tennis player in the world. I hope we see more of Serena this year. She's a gift whose presence is always welcomed at any WTA event.

As for the men, there's been no cracking Roger Federer since June of last year. The man is brilliant, and his cool, calm destruction of the field this year is a testament to his talent. He ran over his biggest challenger, Andy Roddick, in the semifinals and proved too efficient for big-hitting Fernando Gonzalez in the finals. I'd say that Fed is the biggest story in men's tennis this year: the quest for the Grand Slam. He's certainly capable, we'll just have to see if one of those once-in-awhile Fed hiccups comes at a major.

Just last week I was in one of my journalism classes and a local city planner spoke to us about developing stories around the town. One thing that is happening in Seattle is a certain elimination of public tennis courts around town. "This isn't the 70s," the speaker said. "No one is playing tennis anymore." I'd tend to disagree, but I don't have the numbers, and our nine-month-a-year cloudy skies sure don't help the tennis cause any here either. Yet I'd argue that it's stars like Serena and Roger (and Andy and Venus and James and Rafael)that must continue to prosper in order for the game to get the much-needed lift it deserves. Because I for one know that tennis is a game I want to gift to my children, but I certainly can't do that on private-only courts with a writer's salary to speak of.

An optimist's POV: 2007 is the year of the revolution.

End notes:
Even though Roddick was crushed in the semis, you have to love him in the press conferences, classic!

The Bryan Brothers were entertaining in their AO win. Maybe doubles really does have a place in the game?

This is the story that appears when you click on the Jan-Michael Gambill link on the ATP website. I didn't know JMG turned into a furry teddy while away on injury!

The women are in Tokyo this week. Though I love this tourney, their English website is certainly difficult to navigate.

American Madison Brengle, the 16th seed in the juniors, had quite a trip to Melbourne. She lost in the finals to the top seed, but didn't drop a set on her way there and also gave Patty Schnyder all she could handle in the opening round of the main draw. Is there something Capriati-esque about this girl? I think so:

Happy almost-February all. To the obscure indoor slash random hardcourt tournaments we go :)

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