Thursday, July 12, 2007

Time for a teacher conference?

I generally enjoy reading Steve Tignor's "The Wrap" on, but one of his Wimbledon report card grades puzzles me:

Marion Bartoli: B+
It was nice to meet a new player and see a new face, and her Pierce Brosnan comments were classics. She was also entertainingly quirky on court. But it isn't a great advertisement for the women’s game when the Wimbledon finalist has such a fundamentally funky forehand. Not that it isn’t effective; it just isn’t ready for prime time (or breakfast time).

It's news to me that Bartoli is a new player; I've been keeping up with her for a long time. I suppose the phrase means "new to television viewers," but almost anyone who isn't Maria Sharapova or a Williams sister is new to television viewers. And as for the forehand--if it was good enough for Monica Seles, it's good enough for me, though I acknowledge that Bartoli's grip is as eccentric as some of the rest of her game. I readily concede that Tignor is an expert on tennis, and I am not, but come on--that forehand was lethal. If Venus Williams had been knocked out in either of those two excruciatingly close early rounds she had (perhaps not a good advertisement for women's tennis?), I have little doubt that we would now be saying "2007 Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli," as I'm pretty sure she would have taken out either Sharapova or Ivanovic the same way she dismissed Jankovic and Henin.

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