Friday, July 25, 2008

Road trip!

It can't be easy, coming up with something fresh every year to promote the U.S. Open Series. In fact, the presenters have, for the most part, given up producing something fresh, and--for the last couple of years--have gone with the same theme: A group of WTA and ATP players are on a bus, or outside a bus, talking about the "greatest road trip in sports." One of the promotional spots always includes some outtakes--you can't go wrong using outtakes. And this year's outtake version is one of my very favorites since the series began five years ago.

The spot begins with a flub by Maria Sharapova, and that is amusing, but the reason I watch it as much as I can is to see Anna Chakvetadze. This is Chakvetadze's only appearance in any of the ads, and it is hardly a conventional outtake. She is standing in front of the bus, looking deadly serious, and in that wonderful gutteral voice that belongs in a Josef von Sternberg film, she tells us, "I am on the grreat...rroad...trips..." It cracks me up every time I see it.

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