Picket Fence Newsreel: the star to every wandering bark.
Shakespeare once said that it is love that guides lost ships home. Personally, I call it GPS.
But what of the lost ships of the ATP and WTA tours? What keeps them playing instead of disappearing into the Moor of Lost Souls? What stands in between a bad month, a bad year and permanent retirement?
Perhaps Willy the Bard was onto something.
Attempting to fight their way out of the Moor of Lost Souls this week, Nicole Vaidisova and Michaella Krajicek both scored their first WTA wins since last June, with Vaidisova defeating Laura Granville 6-4, 6-2 and Krajicek battling past Julia Schruff 2-6, 6-1, 6-2.
I don’t like to talk about Nicole Vaidisova. She depresses me.
Something about her fall from grace makes Dinara Safina’s slam struggles look like a tea party. At this point, the only good thing I can say about Nikki Vee is that … she’s only 20. There is still time.
Also with a first tour win since getting injured last July, Anne Keothavong defeated Kristina Barrois 6-1, 6-3 in Memphis.
Meanwhile injury comebacks are all the rage on the ATP, Carlos Moya downed Filippo Volandri 6-2, 7-5 in the opening round of Buenos Aires, while David Nalbandian sailed past Potato Star Ace 62 76.
“It was a good comeback. I hesitated very little, hardly at all. I’ll take things day by day. I’ll need four, five, six tournaments to [get back] the rhythm of the circuit.” – Nalbandian
We may scoff at the residents of the Moor of Lost Souls – those players struggling with injuries and their own marbles – but sometimes I wonder, what is it that keeps them playing, day after day, when things aren’t working out?
Perhaps they have unfinished business left. Perhaps it’s that perennial question, “what else am I going to do?”
Perhaps it goes back to the very reason why they picked up a racket in the first place.
Roger Federer is no wandering bark. He’s parked safely in the Bay of Love after dominating the ATP Awards for 2009.
The Fed got the nod for 3 categories – Player of the Year (based on rankings), Fans’ Favourite (online poll) and the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award (selected by fellow players).
I remember hearing a story years ago about James Blake receiving only one “get well” card during his spinal injury. It was from Roger.
It’s hardly a surprise then, that Fed’s 6th consecutive Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award is a record. But oh – never mind the judgement of his peers.
ROGER FEDERER IS STILL A DOUCHEBAG.
Doubles Team of the Year (rankings selected): Bob and Mike Bryan (5th win in 7 years)
Most Improved Player of the Year: John Isner
Newcomer of the Year: Horacio Zeballos
Comeback Player of the Year: Marco Chuidinelli
Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year (ATP selected): MalVai Washington
Masters 1000 Tournament of the Year: Shanghai
Masters 500 Tournament of the Year: Dubai (5th win in 6 years)
Masters 250 Tournament of the Year: Bastad (8th win in a row)
ATPWorldTour.com Fans’ Doubles Favourite (online voting): Bob and Mike Bryan
In other news, top seeds Elena Dementieva, Flavia Pennetta, Caroline Wozniacki and Svetlana Kuznetsova were all upset in Dubai. In Memphis, there’ll no rematch between Roddick and Verdasco, as Nando was ousted by Jeremy Chardy in straight sets.
I doubt that it was what he had in mind when he entered the tournament, but somehow, I don’t think Nando’s too bummed about having that extra week to prepare for the Davis Cup.