Saturday, March 20, 2010

10 questions to ponder

1. In an imaginary draw, who--if anyone--would take Justine Henin out of the French Open?

2. If Alisa Kleybanova got fitter and calmed down (i.e., stopped playing high-risk tennis almost every moment), how dangerous would she be?

3. Will Maria Sharapova ever win Wimbledon again?

4. If Zheng Jie can hire a service coach and get a significantly improved serve in just two months, why on Earth don't other players on the tour hire service coaches?

5. Can Caroline Wozniacki take over the number 1 position this year?

6. Will Victoria Azarenka win a major, and--if so--about how long will it take her to do so?

7. Will real photos of the top players ever appear on the tour website and in tour ads again, or are we stuck forever with faux-pinup cut-and-paste Stepford champions?

8. Remember Anna Chakvetadze?

9. Does the ranking system need to be revised yet again?

10. Why don't we, as fans and bloggers, get organized and campaign for a stop to on-court coaching?

6 comments:

Karen said...

Oh Diane, I was just passing through today and not planning on posting for awhile but your questions raise some very intriguing answers:-
1 - I think a big hitter playing very well could take her out a la Nadal last year;
2. I frankly do not see Alisa winning a major, but she could do so me serious damage at the AO. Her game is too erratic and it mostly hit and miss;
3. No - she did not do it when she had a serve, doubt if it will happen when her serve has been MIA for the past 3-4 seasons;
4. The difference with Jheng is that her serve issues were more about getting as much out of it as was possible, i.e. a physical as well as size problem, for others it is mental;
5. yes and it will be a pity because she will not win a major this year
6. yes - AO if she can avoid Serena Williams in the draw at all times
7. Not as long as the powers that be feel that it is better to promote the women as women you wish to take to bed rather than as professional athletes
8. yes and such a pity - I think more than just robbery happened at that home invasion - no way does a home invasion (as serious as it is) make a once top 10 player completely lose her whole game. AnnaC's game was not built around power but was more Hingis-like, very tactical. She was on a roll for about 2 years and it is such a pity that it is all now going to waste
9. yes - but not to give more points to winners of majors, but instead of players defending points, how about rewarding them for defending their points. When you have a player who not only plays 2 weeks or 1 week and win a title, why punish that player for performing creditably in the next season at the same event. Makes absolutely no sense. In this regard, because of injury Serena will not be able to defend her final points from Miami last year so she will lose those points. IMV she should still keep her points just as how players get protected rankings regarding injury they should keep their points earned due to injury, at least for 6 months. Dinara would have benefitted from this as well.
10. I have been lobbying for something similar on most of the boards that I frequent. Master Ace over at Tennis World posed the question to Stacey Allaster during a Q&A on TW and she said that fans like it. I do not know which fans she has spoken to but the majority of people on message boards who are the real fans of tennis do not like it and thinks it makes the women look weak, plus it provides absolutely no entertainment value to the fans on the ground or at home as most of the time those of us who speak English cannot understand a word of what is being said by the coaches as they usually speak in the native tongue of the players. Ridiculous concept and it should be banished. Start the petition and email it to me and I will sign it.

Diane said...

Thanks for the thoughtful answers, Karen. Regarding number 2: My "what if?" includes a condition that she would stop that wild "anything goes" type of play. She's young, and I think she can be trained to bring it all down a notch. Her coach needs to jump on that right away, however.

I especially like your answer to number 9.

U said...

1. Maybe Safina. She has excellent clay court game, if she's healthy. But menthal strength...

2. I can't imagine that.

3. No

4. No answer on that!

5. She can if Serena looses points because of injury.

6. I think she can. But, when start thinking "when", I go far in the future. :)

7. No. Stuck forever.

8. Yes, of course. Every time I see her name on ranking list, or somewhere in draw, I get sad, and start thinking on Vaidishova too, and get sadder...

9. I don' know. But I would like to know Your arguments, Diane.

10. Because Stacey said "fans like it". :) Respect!

Diane said...

I have mixed feelings about the ranking system because I remember a time when the majors weren't so "major." At this point, I believe that some of the importance placed on them is random attribution. Is a player who performs consistently well throughout the season really that inferior to a player whose performance is inconsistent, but who wins a major?

That's why I like Karen's idea--rewarding players who defend points. And while I haven't had a lot of time to think about it, the concept of "protected points" because of injury is worth investigating.

Anonymous said...

1) Sveta maybe? If she has her head screwed on and her body intact.

Dani

BS said...

I don't know if there is anyone who can take Justine out at Roland Garros, the only two I can think of would be Clijsters or Serena. Last year Kuznetsova or Safina possibly could have, but I don't see either of them doing too well there this year. Come the claycourt season, Henin is going to be very tough to beat.