Friday, May 21, 2010

To qualify is job 1

As we all know, the French is just a few days away, but before that all gets going, I thought I'd take a little look at the qualifying rounds for the tournament.

I'm always fascinated by the qualies at Majors because there's such an interesting and varied look at the dynamics of sports all wrapped up in one package. You have the young up-and-comers looking to make a breakthrough and the veterans looking for that one last shot at the big time. There's also the guys that are in their prime age-wise, but it hasn't happened for them yet, and possibly never will. Then you have the ones trying to rebound from injury.

It's kind of like watching "Bull Durham," but for tennis!

Anyway, here's a few players I'd like to see get to the big dance:

On the men's side, which is in its final round:

• Jose Acasuso: Anyone that's watched his Davis Cup struggles has to be pulling for that guy!

• Ryler Deheart: That TENNIS magazine article a couple of years ago said he was making burritos at a Chipotle restaurant recently. How could you not hope he makes it in?

• Alex Bogomolov Jr.: Ashley Harkleroad's ex-husband and Anna Kournikova's cousin needs that big break.

And for the women:

• Michaella Krajicek: She never did make it to the big time, and actually barely made it to the medium time. She's still kind of young, so who knows?

• Bethanie Mattek-Sands: Sure, she dresses wacky, but to me, she seems kinda cool, like someone you'd want to hang out with.

• Kaia Kanepi: From French quarterfinals to French qualifying hopeful in the span of two years: Good luck getting back to the big time!

(Photo: Getty Images)

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