Sunday, April 11, 2010

Family Circle Cup--what's happening around the grounds

Vera Zvonareva returned to the stadium today to do some hitting. She and her coach also did some running around one of the outer courts. Nadia Petrova came back to hit in the stadium, too, as did Jelena Jankovic. Even when she is practicing, Petrova is often cracking herself up, and--even when she is practicing, Jankovic is conducting a running commentary.

Hitting together in the stadium today were Patty Schnyder and Julia Goerges, and Daniela Hantuchova had a practice hit this morning on an outer court.

I learned this morning that Alina Jidkova was injured yesterday in her qualifying match, and had to be taken off the court on a stretcher. I don't know the nature of the injury.

I happened to sit near Heather Watson's mother and Chip Brooks during Watson's second qualifying match. Brooks reported that Jelena Jankovic is hitting the ball really well right now (it certainly looked that way during her practice session). We talked a bit about on-court coaching, and I said I hoped it would come to an end. Brooks said he thought it was good for the fans, but--as I told him--the fans I know think it makes the tour players look weak. We hear so much about fans liking it, though, that I suppose there must be some out there who want it to continue.

Patty Schnyder knows her Thai curry. Based on her recommendation, we met friends tonight at Basil in Charleston. Delicious.


Karen said...

Hey Diane. First of all been loving your write ups of Charleston. Seems like a wonderful tourney and I have to say from what I have seen of matches in previous years it looks like it is very well attended. As to the whole "fans love on-court coaching" frankly speaking I think all those in favour of on-court coaching are the ones who are in favour of it, i.e. the coaches, the players who rely on it and the Tour which makes it possible. I cannot understand how the fans can enjoy it when everywhere you go on the web every fan is opposed to its use. I think the WTA should do a poll on its website to really test whether fans enjoy this or not. How can a fan enjoy something that they do not understand. Tennis is such a multi-cultural/multi-country sport that it is hard for me to understand how a coach speaking Polish can be understood by fans like me who do not speak the language. In addition when you see players like Wozniacki, the No.2 player in the world and Safina the former No.1 in the world being berated on court by their respective coaches it really does diminish the quality of the women's game. Away with it.

Diane said...

Thanks, Karen.

I think you're right. I think perhaps the more serious fans are the ones who oppose on-court coaching.

Sunny said...

It doesn't help to have commentators extolling the "virtues" of on-court coaching. I have heard ESPN and TennisTV (I can't get Tennis Channel)talk about how great it is for the fans and themselves because it gives one a glimpse of the inside of tennis. BUT, as Karen said, most of the time another language is involved. But as I have said before on this blog and others-it makes women look WEAK. I am sorry if it is not right in some people's mind to compare the tours, but the beauty of tennis has always been when the player figures out what to do in mid-match. When players have have men (mostly) come out on the court and berate them or lecture them AND the player is whining about what to do, it belittles them as athletes.

Beatka said...

I am rather indiferent to on court coaching(it will be OK if it's taken away, or stays), but I think you get this a little wrong. I understand Polish, English and some Russian. A lot of the times what you think is berating the player on the court by their coach/father in another language is simple another culture way of saying things. It is rather exciting/emotional way, but not that insulting, but it may seems that way to someone, who doesn't understand the language. In polish language we have to use a lot more words to say something, that's just the gramar, the way to structure sentences. For me, when I see Italian speaking, it always seems to me they are shouting, accusing and insulting each other, but I am sure, I am totally wrong, because I only know few italian words. It sometimes funny to me to listen to Wozniacki, Radwanska, or some Russian players conversation on the court (or mostly their coaches talking to them) because it just shows how different our cultures are in approach to competition. Also, very often they are using this opportunity as training, to show players how to react in certain situation, because very often they are just meeting certain player first or second time and are figuring out how to play this person. It was way different back in the era, when only a handful of countries were involved in tennis and players played with each other constantly, knowing exactly, what type of game they are facing.
So as I mentioned in the beginning, if it stops, fine with me.Just try to understand, it is not always what you are guessing,just because you don't understand the language!

Karen said...

Beatka, thanks for the explanation on the cultural differences with languages etc. However, one of the wonderful things about tennis is the one on one situation between players. I love to watch a tennis match where each player tries to figure out their opponent's game as the match progresses. For me watching a match and seeing an opponent down and own and just holding firm and able to figure things out is just wonderful. In addition having coaches come on court to help these players try and figure out an opponent just seems like cheating to me and takes away that little edge that those players who use the on-court coaching as against those who do not use it. It is significant that the players who do not use on-court coaching are much more successful than those who do. In addition at the pinnacle of the sport, the Grand Slams it is not permitted, which is one of the reasons why when some of these women get to a major final they self destruct because they have no idea how to problem solve. Plus as many others have said here and a point on which I agree, it makes the women look weak and ineffectual. The women crave equality but at the end of the day all they are saying is that we are equal insofar as money is concerned but in every other aspect of our existence we need someone, usually a man to hold our hand.

Diane said...

Beatka, thanks for bringing that up. I've heard coaches criticized for "yelling" at players when they were just being appropriately demonstrative in their own languages.