Friday, July 4, 2008

Cordless in (Almost) Canada

Well, I'm just a few miles from the Canada border this weekend spending time with family celebrating the 4th. Meanwhile, I was all excited to get out of the hot weather and do a video for you guys in some AC this afternoon when I realized the cord I use to hook up my camera to my laptop somehow didn't make the trip to Northeastern Montana. Therefore, no video post tonight.

But, I would like to write a bit on what an inspiring weekend this promises to be for tennis. Seeing champions like Venus, Serena, Roger and Rafa come through upset-laden draws was really impressive, and it'll be fun to see them on tennis' biggest stage no matter how they play. Sure, it would be great if the tennis was competitive, but we have four future Hall of Famers playing for the greatest title in tennis - that has to make a lot of people pretty happy.

One tournament that always comes to mind when the domino effect starts rolling through a draw is the 2004 women's French Open. Mauresmo, Davenport and the Williams sisters all crashed out in the quarterfinals, leaving a resurgent Jennifer Capriati to hold up the trophy. But alas, Jenny came out flat, and that soon-forgotten (and now mother?!?) Anastasia Myskina was crowned champion.

To many of you, that may seem like an obscure recollection, but my point is that Slams can become Slums in just a matter of a couple of days. Day three of this Championships we lost Roddick, Sharapova and Djokovic; soon thereafter Jankovic and Ivanovic were out, too. However, these four champions that have maintained their grit and game through it all deserve to be rewarded this weekend whether they produce the top of their games or not.

Too much the big names in tennis are celebrated, making it hard for new stars to breakthrough. For the next 48 hours, however, I see it entirely appropriate to celebrate these big names and to make sure that they stay engaged in the game that we love watching them play. They certainly owe it to the sport, and in a lot of ways, the sport owes it to them.

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