Sunday, September 10, 2006

Some (mostly trivial) reflections on the US Open

I missed the men's final this afternoon because I was being a good faculty wife at a function. But from what I have read it was pretty standard Federer Grand Slam final fare.
Federer though had a new friend in his player's box: Tiger Woods and his wife were in attendance. Apparently they just recently met. I was surprised at Woods's very casual attire considering he must have known he would be shown on television: backwards cap, nike shirt, and jeans. He actually--when I first caught a glimpse looked like a teenager.
Controversy continued to emanate from Maria Sharapova's box last night as she was making her way to the 2006 title. "Hitting partner" Michael Joyce held up not only a banana and also mimicked taking a drink but held up 4 fingers--a code no one has yet to break. Sharapova attempted to address the signals today while showing off her trophy by saying that she gets so wrapped up while playing she needs reminders about when to drink, eat, etc.
Last night Mary Carillo said it was coaching and thus not allowed. But I find that hard to believe given 1) how blatant it is and 2) no warning from the USTA given all the publicity around "bananagate."
Given all the hype around Agassi's retirement, I was happy to see that the second week of the tournament was focused on the people that still remained. Nothing against Agassi and all due credit to his career but the montage was getting old pretty fast. You would think the networks would have made more than one given the magnitude of the event but no.
Was I the only one who thought Agassi's post-match on-court remarks were incredibly schmaltzy? I guess I wasn't that surprised given the speech he gave at Steffi Graf's induction into the Hall of Fame a few years ago. At least this one was shorter.
I discovered this Open that I am not a fan of Vera Zvonerava. I was largely ambivalent about her before but after seeing her play in person (against Dementieva) and in the doubles final today I have decided that she is kind of bratty. All her huffing and pouting is getting old--especially as Zvonerava gets older. And she looked pissed off today when Srebotnik and Safina actually were discussing strategy between points. I was surprised at her impatience.
Despite the very disappointing score in the semis, I think Mauresmo has had an amazing year. If she turns in a semi-decent fall hard court season I think she will be the indisputable number one female player of the year. But if I were her I wouldn't even feel the need to play this fall. Everyone knows tennis needs an off-season, anyway. Take it off, Amelie. Drink some fine wine. Tool around Europe on your motorcycle. You deserve it.

1 comment:

Diane said...

The men's final was pretty good, but I was expecting five sets.

Zvonareva has actually come a long way. The behavior you saw at the Open is really a big improvement; at least she didn't cry! Though known for her forehand, I think Vera's backhand is outstanding, too, and hope she can continue improving her emotional stability. She has a great game.

Ken, I cringe every time Andre Agassi opens his mouth. The worst, to me, was not the final speech (I respect his overflowing emotions, despite the words), but after the Baghdatis match, when he said the people in the stands made him "understand the power of the human spirit." Please.

I wish Amelie well--she's my favorite player--but I am stunned by her U.S. Open performance. She doesn't like the Open, but has to go to defend her points. Getting bageled three times as world number one is bizarre. And all credit to Sharapova, who set about devising a strategy to beat both of her nemeses. In the case of Amelie, she had a lot of help.