Tuesday, August 28, 2007

In honor of the Open...

From the poshest tennis ghettos
to the swimming pools of Serbia,
they come to Flushing Meadows,
New York's own twist on suburbia.

From Florida and Russia
and the red clay courts of Spain,
Svetlana, Nicole and Masha
seek the glory and the fame.

Sharapova's in red glitter
as the current title-holder.
Will she show up looking fitter,
or be hampered by her shoulder?

Henin's looking good to win it;
she may leave New York quite rich;
or will she try to slice and spin it,
but be distracted by an "itch"?

This season Serena had to miss
because she hurt her thumb,
but whoever counts her out of this
is, in a word, just dumb.

Ivanovic has a forehand shot
that startles, rips and dazzles.
Again and again, she finds the spot,
and leaves opponents frazzled.

Though Venus has won it all in Queens,
some say her day has past.
But she's as hungry as she was in her teens,
and as strong, as sharp, as fast.

Last year at the Open,
JJ lost because of nerves.
This year, her fans are hopin'
she can ratchet up her serves;

she's got the speed, the brain, the will,
the backhand down the line.
but she needs a first serve that can kill,
and a second with some spine.

Anna Chakvetadze plays
with guile and style and rhythm;
when the winners arrive in the final days,
is she fit enough to stay with 'em?

We know that Patty Schnyder
probably won't emerge the winner,
yet her fans still really need her--
we adore our lefty spinner!

Can Bartoli burn a third degree
with those two-handed missiles?
When she's in that zone and swinging free,
her racquet almost sizzles.

Amelie can't be there this year,
Martina's body aches.
It makes me want to shed a tear,
and to hope, for both their sakes,

that soon they will feel good again,
and reach another peak,
then settle among the highest ten
and stay there every week.

So many more to watch and cheer--
Safina, Kuznetsova,
the Bondarenkos and Peer,
Srebotnik and Petrova,

Medina Garrigues and Safarova,
Zvonareva and Paszek,
Bammer, Mirza, Hantuchova,
Dementieva and Krajicek.

Maria will have to step it up
or she'll see her title gone;
but she may still be the one to lift the cup--
we hope the lid stays on!

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