Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Don't call it a comeback (please)!

I promise you: I'm not as curmudgeonly as it may sometimes seem on this blog!

Sometimes, I can be a Donnie Downer, I'll admit, but it's all in the spirit of what blogs are about: expressing your opinion.

Take, for instance, the news today about Kim Clijsters being close to making a comeback. There's even news that she asked for a U.S. Open wildcard. It's definitely buzzworthy since she appeared to be in the prime of her career when she quit to get married and have a family.

But … (I thought I'd switch it up from my usual "However"!)

Do you remember what she was like the year or so before she retired? The constant complaining about the travel? The grind of the tour? The desire to quit early and start a family? And it wasn't just her: Lindsay Davenport was the same, too, before she "quit."

Now I've been following the pro game a long time and I swear, I've never heard two players gripe as much about being professional players and making millions: male or female.

Clijsters got a lot out of the game: dozens of titles, a number-one ranking in singles and doubles, some Slams in both. Why come back? You have the family and you're a surefire lock for the Hall of Fame. If you hated it so much before, why go back?

Clijsters, and Davenport, too, remind me of boxers: Those guys are always making comebacks. But for what? Pride? Money? There's a whole world out there. The sport you seemed to hate so much at the end gave you the opportunity to explore other options.

If Justine Henin were to announce a comeback, or even (going old-school here) Jennifer Capriati were to make a comeback then I'd be fine with it. Henin clearly had to step away and injury has slowed Capriati. But with Clijsters, dissing the game and lifestyle so many people wish they could have and then returning to it just seems bogus to me.

That's it. I promise, I'm really a nice guy!

(Photo: AFP)


Naf said...

You're not a nice guy, Van. Not at all! :)
Seriously, sometimes quitting your job makes you realize how much you miss it. I'd say cut her a break. The women's tour needs a comeback like this -- especially a successful one. Heck, it needs something!

Anonymous said...

Desire for a normal life does not equal hating tennis. And frankly, the poor state of WTA tennis can do with any help now. It's funny you'd prefer a Capriati comeback to a Clijsters comeback when Capriati obviously cannot compete on the top level anymore

You think you're just jealous of the millions Kim and Lindsay can make while you sit behind a computer whining

RiCH said...

I can't wait for Kimmie to return. So she and Linds complained about their job - I've done it plenty but went to work the next day just the same. The money probably made the decision to leave the Tour somewhat easier but they earned what they earned.

I'm curious Van why you say Justine "clearly had to step away"? She made a choice just as they did. It wasn't even for being pregnant or injury - just because she wanted to.

hcfoo said...

Hey Van. I actually don't mind Kimmie coming back for good.

She walked away when she was very young, at her early 20s due to a series of injuries.

I guess her life now is a lot more stable and with her baby girl already 1 year old now, I guess she's more than ready to make a comeback.

Sometimes I wish players like Paradorn will make a comeback too. But at this moment I don't think so as he's quite content with his new interest in motorsport and not forgetting his beauty queen wifey.

Anyway I hope my fav pro tennis players don't simply announce their retirement and comeback whenever they feel like it.

van said...

• Hey Naf, I guess I can cut her a break, but let me ask you this: Is it wrong to the other players to say the tour NEEDS her? And what will she do when she's back?

• Ouch, Anonymous! Anyway, I know Capriati wouldn't be able to do much anymore: I was looking at it from a karmic justice standpoint. And who doesn't wish they had millions? : )

• Hey Rich, what's up? it was just the sheer magnitude of how much they were complaining: To me, it seemed like every time they had a press conference, it was a platform to complain.

As for Henin, I said that because that string of mediocre performances she had before she called it quits indicated something was up: maybe a case of burnout? Some other distraction? It's not like the game passed her by or anything.

Vava said...

Kim who?

KickServer said...

Don't you miss the splits?

freakyfrites said...

Hey Van! I totally agree with you. Kimmie was SOOOOO annoying at the end and was an embarrassment to women's tennis, actually with all her complaining. And I think you make a good point regarding Justine and Jennifer (or Monica for that matter) - it's funny that the complainers like Lindsey and Kim are the ones to come back (although in fairness, Kimmie did have her injuries, too.)

But I do think it's good to have someone, anyone buzz-worthy back on the WTA tour. Desperate times require it.

van said...

Hey Vava, my thoughts exactly! And don't we have Jankovic to do the splits, KickServer? : )

Hey FF, you know who the game could really use? Sharapova. When she comes back, hopefully it'll be a different ballgame.

KickServer said...

The more players doing the splits the better - I'd like to see Nadal trying it - and if you could persuade Sharapova to drop the publicity shoots and get back on court we'd all be thankful. Otherwise women's tennis will disappear way beneath men's whatever Kimmie does.