TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
SERENA GETTING THE SHAFT? – From Orville Lloyd Douglas writing for The Guardian on the general media ‘disparagement’ of Serena Williams: “But in certain circles of the US tennis establishment, [Caroline] Wozniacki’s emergence is seen as a positive development, precisely because it puts Williams “in her place.” Chris Chase, a tennis correspondent for Yahoo Sports, for example, has a history of writing hostile commentary about Serena Williams. Recently, he accused Williams of “hyping” her foot injury — despite the fact that a torn tendon had forced her to pull out of all the season’s remaining events. And, he writes, Williams’ fans should simply “deal with it” if Wozniacki is the new No 1. ESPN writer Peter Bodo is another long-time critic of the Williams sisters. Earlier this year, Bodo called the Williams sisters’ patriotism “false and self-serving” because they had failed, as he saw it, to make a firm commitment to play for the US squad in the Federation Cup (the WTA tour version of the Davis Cup). And when the sisters again chose not to play the Indian Wells tournament this year, where Venus and her father Richard had been booed and allegedly racially abused following her withdrawal with injury from a match against Serena back in 2001, Tom Gainey of Tennis X said they should get over it.” — OK…we’ll say it again…Serena should get over it and play Indian Wells. And — “Recently, Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena, told the New York Times he believes the USTA discourages African American youth from pursuing the sport because they don’t want blacks dominating tennis, which is still, culturally, a white sport. That is a view that chimes with the fact that Maria Sharapova is the highest-paid female athlete in the world, despite the fact she’s only won three grand slam singles titles — ten less than Serena Williams has.” — Wow, that is a huge leap. The U.S. Tennis Association to Russian Maria Sharapova being highly paid? There are tons of black kids sponsored under the USTA’s high-performance programs across the U.S. Good job Guardian, keep the crazy British guest writers coming. As one commenter on the Guardian website put it, “Yes, let’s ignore the fact that the USTA spent more money trying to develop Donald Young into the next Tiger Woods than they’ve spent on any other player in recent history. Your claims of prejudice ring hollow and false. The constant race-baiting from the media gets tiresome.”
TAKE A PHOTO, BECAUSE WE’RE GONE – Don’t look for Olympus to hang around much longer as a USTA/US Open sponsor, according to the Courthouse News Service. The reports says the USTA is suing its current sponsor for trying to back out of their deal that runs through 2011. Olympus would reportedly save about $12 million if the courts let it back out of next year’s deal over what Olympus says is a contract breach in the USTA letting Panasonic film at the 2010 US Open in HD. The report notes that Olympus has been hit hard by the recession and wants to save cash by pulling out early. “Olympus has repudiated its own reciprocal promises to the USTA, USOS LLC and USTA NTC and has sought to contrive an illusory pretense on which to avoid significant continuing financial commitment Olympus (and its subsidiary Olympus Imaging) are obligated to pay to the USTA, USOS LLC and USTA NTC,” according to the complaint.
MO’ OFF-SEASON EQUALS MO’ MONEY – Now that the ATP has announced an extended off-season to seven week beginning in 2012, that leaves more time for Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to add to their ever-expanding exhibition tours. This December the pair will play two matches against each other, one is Zurich where Federer’s foundation will receive all the proceeds, and one in Madrid where the money will benefit Nadal’s charitable foundation. Both matches will be televised on ESPN. ESPN recruited their commentator Patrick McEnroe to hype the matches. “Federer and Nadal have rarely played each other on a hard court surface — and never at the US Open — so it will be fun to see their styles in this environment,” McEnroe said. “These are called exhibitions, (but) whenever these two guys square off, the competitive juices start flowing and the crowds and spectacle will be terrific as each plays in his own country.” Nadal needed to skip ATP events he had committed to prior to this week’s year-end Masters due to injuries, but the Spaniard continues to add multiple exhibitions, charitable and not-so-charitable (e.g. ‘I brought this truck. You fill it with cash, no?’) exhibitions. The two will also play the oil-rich Abu Dhabi exhibition in January. “We can’t kid ourselves,” said Jean-Francois Caujolle, tournament director of the Paris-indoor, in the NYT. “The players have to play along. This longer off-season has to be a real period of rest.”
Mark Philippoussis received a bankruptcy mortgage notice on his million dollar house in Australia…Former No. 1 Carlos Moya of Spain announces his retirement, helped along by a slow-healing foot injury. “That day has come,” the 34-year-old said at a press conference. “I don’t want to picture that moment when I play my last match. It is true that I’m young for life, but for sport I am a little bit old.” Moya lost in the 1997 Australian Open final to Pete Sampras, the next year won the French, then a year later achieved the No. 1 rank after finishing runner-up at the Indian Wells. “It’s not how I dreamt of ending my career.”..Slovakia’s 32-year-old former French Open semifinalist Dominik “The Dominator” Hrbaty announced his retirement, with his wife due to give birth in December…Tennis Channel has extended its TV rights with the ATP World Tour through 2015, which includes 19 tournaments (all 9 Masters 100 events) and the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London…Jelena Jankovic had what she described as a minor eye surgery earlier this month…The environmental group Greenpeace hung banners at the Paris-indoor protesting the involvement of sponsor BNP Paribas in funding a nuclear project in Brazil. What AFP described as “militants” hung 118-square-foot banners from the Palais Omnisport de Bercy, calling on the bank not to fund the reactor. “Most of the equipment that would be used to finish the reactor predates Chernobyl and has languished on the site for the last quarter of a century,” Greenpeace said…Former No. 1 and current senior tour player Mats Wilander on Roger Federer: “He is obviously not as confident in winning tennis matches. It’s changed. In the locker room, they know they can beat him. In the locker room, the guys know they can beat [Rafael] Nadal, too. But guys enjoy playing against Federer much more than Nadal. It’s easier to beat Federer than Nadal.”…Tommy Haas became a father when his fiancee Sara Foster gave birth to a baby girl this past week.
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