Thursday, August 18, 2011

Passing shots

Martina Muller has retired. The German player, who was once ranked as high as 33 in the world, has played very little tennis since she hurt her neck in 2009. Muller, who won the Budapest tournament in 2002, also was married over the weekend. She and new husband Florian Skibbe have a one-year-old son.

This week marks the first time that Jelena Jankovic has won back-to-back matches since the French Open. JJ says her serve is better than it was when she was number 1 in the world (agreed), but that her movement isn't quite as good. Jankovic, who says she has made a fresh commitment to her career, has accepted a wild card to New Haven.

Venus Williams has turned down a wild card into New Haven.

WTA leader Stacey Allaster recently pointed out that ATP players grunt, too, she also agreed to "look into" complaints about WTA players' "grunting." Allaster was inducted into the Rogers Cup Hall of Fame last week. Here is a recent New York Times interview with the WTA Chairwoman (WTA, take  note: the NYT doesn't refer to her as a man just because you do). Allaster appears to be sympathetic toward the sound-making players who are being criticized; this would be an excellent time for the tour to confront sexism within the culture and the sports  media. The issue isn't grunting, after all--the issue is the narrow and arbitrary expectations we have of women and girls. But I would be a fool to get my hopes up about the tour powers addressing that.

Meanwhile, Venus Williams sums it up best: "I kind of stay away from all of that stuff, especially topics like grunting which aren’t really relevant to real tennis."

Li Na, Petra Kvitova and Jarmila Gajdasova have all made commitments to participate in the 2012 Hopman Cup event. They will be teamed with Wu Di, Tomas Berdych and Lleyton Hewitt, respectively.

A fan writes to Jon Wertheim that "ESPN commentators Pam Shriver and Mary Joe Fernandez are obsessed with fist pumps." I was thinking that, too. In fact, according to their standards for tennis "emotion," Chris Evert would have lost every match she played.


Wayne said...

Well.... a 3-set epic against Francesca on Grandstand: the tennis is still far from convincing. But the body language is a LOT better. I am glad Ricardo Sanchez is back in the camp.

Diane said...

I am, too! said...

Quite effective material, lots of thanks for the article.