Thursday, November 1, 2007

What a crazy day!

If memory serves me correctly, this has been the craziest day ever in pro tennis (at least in my 20 years following it.)

To recap:

• The Hingis retirement and drug scandal: Whoa! Where did all this come from? I mean, I figured her body was giving out on her and she wasn't much longer for the game, but to throw in some positive drug test news in your speech? Whoa (again!) I'm really willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, particularly after she laid out everything that happened. I think she's safe from any major controversy dogging her into retirement--or at least I hope.

• Speaking of controversy: Nikolay Davydenko should make that his middle name. At this point, I don't know what to think. Maybe a little Elena Dementieva-Anna Kournikova action is snaking its way into his service motion. I'm still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, too, because I don't think anyone could be so blatant as to tank matches like the way he's been losing them. I wonder if the umpires have a target on him. I think the best thing for him to do, if he's innocent, is to skip Shanghai, sit down with the ATP and say, "Hey, whatever you want to know, I'll tell you."

• And down goes Roger: David Nalbandian took out R-Fed again! Is it a return to the old days in the rivalry? It looks like there are two guys that are in Roger's head again. I've seen matches Roger's lost to these baseliners like Nalbandian, Canas and Nadal, and I can see him losing to Nadal because that kid's a monster, but the other two, I just don't get. Federer's still the baddest man on the planet, but I think after watching how this year went, the next couple can get kind of dicey. That's just my guess.

• A slammed door on Shanghai: Not as big as the other three, but a few guys got eliminated from going to Shanghai: James Blake, Tommy Haas and Tomas Berdych, three in my opinion, who definitely did not deserve to go the way they haven't stepped up. I think Andy Murray will get that final spot, but it seems like Tommy Robredo's been playing OK, so who knows?

What a day indeed!


Anonymous said...

I agree, a crazy day! I also agree with you on Hingis. Although her game was admirable, I was never a huge fan mainly because of her off-the-court behavior. That said, I don't believe the drug test. I just can't imagine her doing that or risking her legacy. It is disappointing for the game. I always felt that tennis had built a strong reputation against doping because of the frequency of tests and the tough penalties. But if the tests itself are unreliable, maybe there is a problem.

As for Davydenko, the situation is baffling. I think his schedule has caught up with him and taken a toll on his mental/emotional fitness. His thinking and his game show huge swings. One minute he is playing Davis Cup for Russia, the next he is shopping around for new citizenship. Six weeks ago he was in the semis against Federer at the U.S. Open, now he is losing 1-6 to qualifiers in St. Petersburg. He needs a break and time to regroup.