Sunday, September 23, 2007

And Then the Picks Got Tough...

Sometimes being a blogger is painful. You'll sit there staring at the screen hoping and wishing that something your readers would eat up would just pop into your head. I think that's what the problem is with a lot of literature out there today - none of it is worth our time. And sure, I may write some stuff that is useless to many every now and then, but I promise you that there's always a thought process behind what shows up on the page, or screen for that matter.

This weekend has been a rather blessed one in the world of tennis content. Over the past two weeks I felt like I was dragging my heals along with the rest of the tennis kingdom. The US Open was done and over, and though Lindsay Davenport was making her inspired return in Bali, I felt more like throwing mud on the screen and calling it a post than actually putting up stuff people might enjoy.

With the Davis Cup weekend done and over, I find myself extremely thankful for this Cup that many have come to forget. Perhaps it's because the Americans are in the title match for the first time since 2004, or maybe it's just because good tennis was happening all over the world, not just in one place. Roger Federer was being proved human in Prague while Tim Henman had a true champions farewell at Wimbledon.

While those were just two of many Davis Cup stories, the flurry of news surrounding the weekend gives me the same feeling I had when reading Jon McEnroe's "You Cannot Be Serious" when he spoke about playing for your country and the swelling of pride and competitive drive players felt. And if players are getting this pumped up about doubles, I'm all about making the ATP schedule more conducive for top players to represent their home countries.

Andy Roddick has repeatedly said how important winning a Davis Cup title is to him, and though for a while I thought that was Roddick copping out of talk of him winning another Major, I do understand how much he wants such an honor, especially after he (and the Bryan Bros.) carried the American team on their shoulders this past weekend.

While the global reach of tennis was being flexed by the men, a few new faces popped up on the women's scene this weekend, giving us more evidence that this game can be played people other than the white and the privileged.

Agnes Szavay continued her incredible late-summer/early-fall run on the WTA Tour. Following her appearance in the Pilot Pen final prior to the US Open, Szavay marched her way to the quarterfinals of the final Major of the year before many tennis fans took notice of Hungarian. This week her raw talent was on full display as she marched through the Beijing field, including a set-and-1-5-down comeback against Jelena Jankovic in the final.

Joining Szavay in the win column this week were Maria Kirilenko and Tatiana Golovin, two mid-major youngsters who have proven themselves capable of - but not consistent in - beating Top 20 players. Another virtual unknown, Mariya Koryttseva was Kirilenko's challenger in the finals of Kolkata.

If the entire fall is this interesting, I might turn into a proponent for keeping a year-long schedule...


mueja said...


Erwin said...


Similar thoughts crossed my mind right after the men's final at the U.S. Open... I figured I could take some time off because everything would slow down.

As it turns out, it's been a week of great women's matches in Calcutta and Beijing, plus the men played out amazing storylines all over the world.

I'm not going to second your hope for a year-round schedule, though, if only because these kids need a break. And unless the tours will make it so only certain parts of a full year sched mandatory (and possibly REQUIRING that players take time off), I say there still needs to be a longer off-season.

Nick McCarvel said...

I'm glad you've been enjoying the fall as much as me, Erwin.

I was mostly kidding about that year-round schedule...but it's nice to see some fun post-USO tennis, right?