Some mid-week quick hits:
NEEDY RODDICK: After his US Open success failed to translate to Europe, Andy Roddick showed up this week in Madrid with part-time coach Jimmy Connors in tow. The Roddick-Connors camp previously said Jimbo wouldn’t join Andy again in 2006 unless he qualified for the Masters Cup, but you have to assume A-Rod picked up the red emergency phone after losing both singles against Russia in Davis Cup, then last week losing to the lower-ranked Fernando Gonzalez in the Vienna semis. The ice-quick Madrid courts are perfect for Roddick’s game — now can Connors revive his confidence? Andy is 0-4 versus Top 10 players in 2006, not stats that will get you a lot of wins at the Masters Cup.
BLOGGING THE ATP: Some of the weekly ATP player blogs (Dmitry Tursunov, Marat Safin) have been very entertaining — but are they “blogs”? Is pouring over well- (and not-so-well)-thought-out topics over your keyboard the same as dictating your thoughts on your day to an ATP employee with an audio recorder who then types them up to be posted on the ATP website? Instead of blogging couldn’t it be called ‘dicta-blogging’ or something equally stupid? How about just “an interview”? Now bring back Marat.
SHOULD TENNIS AND GOLF EVEN BE IN THE SAME “SPORTS” SENTENCE? After the Roger Federer-Tiger Woods love-in at the US Open, a number of similarities were drawn between the dominant champions. Tony Kornheiser of the Washington Post and ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” fame went on to state that Woods’ achievements are greater. “In the majors, where all the great players compete, Federer only has to win seven matches and only has to beat the person in front of him. In golf, you have to beat everybody to win.” Then again, tennis requires some of the highest levels of fitness in world sport, while golf is a game where guys with giant guts never achieve a heart rate over sitting. And during practice rounds you can walk down the fairways with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Monopoly must be another game tougher than tennis — since you have to beat everyone sitting around the board. Wasn’t it John McEnroe who said something to the effect, ‘If you don’t run, it’s not a sport’?
ROLL TAPE: Ever recall seeing a Grand Slam semifinal or final on tape only? How about the Super Bowl on tape? The World Series? The World Cup final? Bummer to see both the ATP Masters Cup and the WTA Tour Championships’ semifinals and finals will be shown on tape only in the U.S. The Masters Cup is in the wasteland time zone of Asia, but at least there will be live tennis on ESPN2 Monday through Friday — at that coveted sports time slot of 6-8 a.m. EST. The Versus network (formerly the Outdoor Life Network) will show an impressive six hours of live women’s tennis Monday through Friday throughout each day before going to the taped semis and final.
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