Offseason Newsreel: Crime and Punishment
The competition may have stopped, but the news certainly haven’t.
Here I was thinking that I can just sit back with a stack of trashy romance novels and enjoy my summer, apparently, relaxation isn’t in my dictionary. And I much prefer lowbrow tennis writing to Mills & Boon. Who knew?
So let’s cut the crap shall we?
# Serena Williams has more or less gotten off for her US Open outburst with a hefty $US175,000 ($A190,284) fine. It will be reduced to $US82,500 if she does not infringe again over the next two years.
Yayness. Let’s not kid ourselves here, women’s tennis cannot afford to lose Williams given its current field of mental midgets.
# The other fall-out from the Williams affair is that the WTA has absolutely no plans to utilize technology to detect foot-faults in the future.
A spokeswoman for the ITF agreed while it is possible to use the current camera technology to determine foot faults, but that it might interrupt the flow of a match for too long.
Oh-gimme-a-break. Like hawkeye challenges and electronic let-calls don’t interrupt the flow of matches at all.
Sure, foot-faults are rare, but as we have seen from the US Open semifinal, they can be extremely contentious. To refuse to use readily available technology to avoid such future troubles is just … well there is no other word for it – dumb.
# Talking about getting off, less lucky are the Belgians duo Wicky and Malisse. Not only have they been banned for a year, to add insult to injury, WADA is now looking at possibly appealing to extend the ban to two years. (clickey)
I appreciate their efforts to ensure strict adherence to anti-doping rules, but at some point, they need to remember that players’ careers are at stake here. This sort of legalism-on-steroids is just draconian.
How about they spend more efforts on trying to catch actual cheaters than making scapegoats out of two players who – while breaching the “whereabouts rule” – have certainly not been accused of failing any tests.
# Tennis was found to be the most popular sport in Australia and you’d never know it living here. A search on Google Trends yields the same result, with Australia as the country with the most searches of tennis, and Melbourne and Sydney the top cities (clickey).
Given the ‘latent’ popularity of tennis in this country, what on earth is Tennis Australia doing about it? Australia has just two players in the men’s top 100 – Lleyton Hewitt (No 22) and Peter Luczak (No 77). Has the brilliance of Rod Laver simply exhausted the national talent for the next fifty years? Or is there something we should be doing about player development in this country?
It’s a good thing then that Pat Rafter is set to present Tennis Australia with a 10-year blueprint to rejuvenate men’s tennis in this country during the Australian Open next month. (clickey)
“There’s a group of us that all think the same way and we think that Tennis Australia could make those changes and implement them a little better than what they are right now.”
“They’re things that we’ll put together and give to them in formal writing.
“They don’t have to follow us … but we all seem to come to the same sort of conclusion amongst the group of ex-professionals as well.
“We’ve been there, we know what it takes, so we think we know a little bit about what we’re talking about.”
On the topic of Rafter, he’ll play Goran Ivanisevic for the first time since their epic 2001 Wimbledon final in Saturday. Recalling that match Pat joked,
“Every now and then it comes back to me in a nightmare and a cold sweat goes on.”
“There’s so many ifs and buts in this world in anything we do, so I try not to think about that too much,” added Rafter, who was runner-up to Pete Sampras at Wimbledon the previous year.
“I’ve got a couple of plates there that I’ve put to use, Wimbledon plates to serve dinner up on, so it’s all good.”
I dare you not to love him.
# Le sad. :( After a career spanning 2 decades, is Amelie Mauresmo ready to say goodbye? We’ll find out at her press conference today (‘tomorrow’ for those in less civilized time zones).
Hope for the best, expect the worst, and brace yourselves for a comeback in 18 months’ time.
# Equally le sad – Tennis Week is now a zombie. (clickey)
# Doots is going soft, folks. That is if you were ever under the impression that she was not a softy in the first place.
I’m sure there’s a word for what I’m feeling for Andy Murray right now and it starts with the letter “S”….sym..symp…sympat –
Cannot. Do. This.
But seriously, dude missed out on a WTF semifinal spot by ONE game. He ended his relationship with long-term girlfriend Kim Sears. He is no longer the player du jour in the media after posting fourth rounds at the hard court slams, a semifinal at Wimbledon and a quarterfinal at Roland Garros.
And now? Not only has he ended the year at exactly where he started, he is 245 points away from being bumped out of the Big 4 altogether.
In fact, he may drop to the No 5 before the Australian Open, since the Scott has decided not to defend his Qatar ATP250 title.
The 4th seed for the Australian Open will come down to whether del Potro chooses to defend his Auckland title. If he does, Murray will drop to No 5 as for January 11.
So … who wants Toothface in their quarter?
# A mini picspam for the Sharpie-fans. She looked good enough to stop traffic at her Santiago exho against Gisela Dulko.
Enjoy your Thursdays tout le monde! It comes before Friday, which is always a good day.
If you know what I mean.