Well…I’m back from my last vacation of the year, or at least the last of the summer, and it’s catch-up time in the tennis world. Fortunately I had a cable TV handy, unfortunately I had to endure that fill-in Sean guy on ESPN.
As it was a vacation, I saw several other people vacationing also. Namely WTA stars like Justin Henin, Amelie Mauresmo, Venus Williams, etc. Okay, I didn’t see them but I get the feeling that they along with a few others are enjoying their rest based on all the pulls from Montreal the past few days.
Boy, think you are having a bad day imagine the tournament director for Montreal. Geez. You have the biggest hard court women’s event of the summer and only Kim, a bunch of Russians, Nicole and Martina show up. No Maria, no Venus, no Serena, no Amelie, no Justine. That’s tough. What’s the point in putting up all that dough – 1.34 million of it – and getting that tier 1 status when for half that you can get Maria and Serena like they did in Los Angeles this past week.
Yeah, I get the argument they are all really injured, blah, blah. But really, if my event is paying twice the prize money as a competing event and we are on the same continent I should get the players? Right? Wrong. Not in the screwed up tennis world where Maria can pass on Montreal because the nice folks in L.A. dumped a few extra “K” in her pocket in addition to her take home prize. And since there’s no penalty – outside of a cosmetic ranking one and maybe a minor fine – there’s no real incentive for Maria to go play Montreal.
I guess props to the top gals who’ve figured out that they really only need to play the Slams and a few other events. Or maybe they really are injured, or they didn’t want to deal with the on-court coaching crap that ESPN and the WTA cooked up for Montreal. Who knows, guess no Yuri on court.
Back to reality.
Roger Federer looked a bit human this week in Toronto in needing back-to-back-to-back-to-back three setters to win the title, the 40th of his career in his 17th straight final. Strange when you think about it but 25 of Roger’s last 28 matches have gone at least three sets. There’s a catch, but it’s true!Anyone remember the last time Sir Roger lost a straight set match? How about Gustavo Kuerten at the French in 2004. That’s a long time.
The win was also Fed 54th straight in North America, and bumped his career earnings over the $25 million dollar mark, which put him just a mil shy of what the New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez made last year alone. (Sorry to bring that up Roger, if you are reading this. You da man!)
Richard Gasquet showed his goods and talent, and will parlay this effort this week into a seeding at the Open, which one day could be a title of his. (not this year, one day)
Hard to believe when you look at the rankings guys like Ivan Ljubicic, Tommy Robredo, James Blake, Radek Stepanek and Nikolay Davydenko are solidly in the Top 10.
Brad Gilbert deserves some love. BG is an incredible three-for-three in leading his pupil to the final in the first event of their partnerships. Really quite amazing. Granted it’s not like he coaching Leos Friedl but still to get Andre to the Key Biscayne final, Roddick to the Queen’s title and then Murray to the D.C. championship match in their first collaboration is pretty impressive. Now let’s see if he can get Murray to the World No. 1 ranking like he did the other A’s. Doubt that’s happening…
The ATP has a new pick-a-winner tournament game. It’s about time someone did this. Basically you win a mill if you get correctly pick all 63 matches in the Cincy draw which begins Monday. Good luck. I think I have a better chance of winning the US Open without losing a set than that happening, and I think according to the odds I do. The winner – which will be no one I guarantee it –would get a whopping 25K paid to him or her each year for the next 40 years. That doesn’t exactly elevate you to millionaire status. Now here in the U.S. after taxes that would probably be around 15K or so, depending on your tax bracket. Let’s be honest an extra 15K in my pocket is great and by all means I would take it, but I’m not buying a new house or a fancy car!
The odds are something – and correct me all you match geeks if I’m wrong – like 2 to the 63rd (2^63) or 9,223,372,036,854,776,000 or 9 billion billion. That’s a lot. Something tells me the ATP and Penn knew that number when they put the jack down. Anyway, hope one of ya can win it. If not, maybe me.
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