Friday, February 25, 2011

Passing shots

Serena Williams has withdrawn from the March 8 Nike Clash of Champions exhibition. Williams has been replaced by Victoria Azarenka. (It should be noted, however, that Williams is now walking without her boot.)

Rebecca Marino has withdrawn from the Monterrey tournament because of the abdominal injury that forced her to retire in the Memphis final.

Note to Tennis Channel and Fox Sports: The USSR does not exist; it was dismantled a couple of decades ago, and Ukraine is a country, not "the Ukraine."

Could the commentary of the Doha semifinal between Vera Zvonareva and Jelena Jankovic have been more sexist? Kevin Cusick and his fellow commentator continually referred to the players as "girls" and "young ladies." Cusick also delivered a speech about how important it is for the "young ladies" to receive support, and not be pushed by their coaches, when they do not play well. Any reasonable person will acknowledge that an athlete needs to get both support and to be pushed hard by a coach, but Skinner's implication--he went on and on about it--was that the "girls" really need that paternal care. Well, what they need is to be treated like adult athletes. (This post corrected to reflect correct Kevin; it was Cusick talking down the tour, and Skinner talking down Ukraine.)

WTA live scores are now available free on Android mobile devices.

You can get to know Greta Arn, who blogged this week from Acapulco.


Anonymous said...

Kevin Skinner is NOT commentating at Doha 2011. While Skinner is most often heard calling WTA matches, he is in Acapulco calling the ATP event there. I believe the commentator is Kevin Cusick in Qatar. Even though you are entitled to your opinion, make sure you have your facts right and don't smear someone with inaccuracies. That is just plain wrong to paint a commentator as sexiest when he's not even in the same region of the world. He's in "the Mexico," not the Middle East. I hope people don't label you as sexiest for assuming all men (and Kevin's) sound alike.

Diane said...

My mistake regarding the second part of that post (I heard Skinner take away Ukraine's country status in Acapulco, for sure) but--for the record--I'm not keen on how Skinner talks about WTA players, either. It was indeed Cusick, though, in Doha.

I certainly don't believe all men sound alike. I do, however, think the Kevins sound somewhat alike.

And no, I would never accuse either of them as being "sexiest," but if people wish to label me as "sexiest," I suppose they will.

Marija said...

Diane, we're both interested in language and I'd like to check this with you. As I understand, you said that Ukraine should be called "Ukraine" and not "the Ukraine". I graduated in the English Language and Literature and during my education, in courses dedicated to articles, we learned that names of countries are not preceded by articles, but there are exceptions, and Ukraine is one of them. Therefore, "the Ukraine" - I memorized it very well, because it was strange. :)

Diane said...

When that area was part of the Soviet Union, it was considered a country "territory" of the USSR, and therefore called "The Ukraine." When the USSR fell apart, a lot of changes occurred, as you know. one of them was to acknowledge the area as a country in its own right, so it became "Ukraine."

Marija said...

Oh thanks, Diane, it's a very valuable explanation. Nobody ever explained us the reasoning behind it.

One of the books I learned from was published in 1999, and I studied 1999-2003, well after Ukraine became independent. Maybe nobody acknowledged the reason Ukraine had "the" in the first place and they were just repeating the rules for articles in grammar books.

Diane said...

You're welcome, Marija.

There have been so many changes in the names--and very existences--of countries in the last few decades. There's a book I'd like to read called Whatever Happened to Tanganyika?, but I haven't gotten around to reading it.

Marija said...

Hehe, and I thought articles were complicated only to Serbs (our language doesn't have articles at all, so mastering English articles is a tough process).

I like the name of the book, I have a few very good friends from Burundi, which is on the Tanganyika lake :) It's off-topic, but I had to mention them. :)