You ever find yourself thinking, "Wow, a lot sure happened on the pro tours this weekend, and there wasn't even a Slam final being played"? That's where I am right now, and there was a lot that went down to provoke the old thoughts. For example:
* It was Davis Cup quarterfinal time, and tons went down in the team competition: Spain got knocked out by France (as I mentioned on my Twitter page, I think Fernando Verdasco and David Ferrer are worn down); Serbia won over Croatia in the Battle of the Balkans; David Nalbandian put on an amazing performance to lead Argentina over Russia; and the Czech Republic beat Chile (Nicolas Massu and Paul Capdeville put up horrendous performances). Each tie had those moments of intrigue I mentioned that make Davis Cup a must-see in my opinion.
* Mardy Fish won his first grass-court title in Newport this weekend, taking out Olivier Rochus. And this is something else I mentioned on my Twitter page (I guess I was a Tweeting fool this weekend!), the only U.S. men to make more grass-court finals than Fish over the past 20 years are a couple of guys named Pete Sampras and Andy Roddick. Not bad company! (By the way, that little nugget of info is a TTA? exclusive!)
* Speaking of Newport, it was Hall of Fame time as "the Woodies"--Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge--and Gigi Fernandez and Natalia Zvereva made it in. Of course they're all more than deserving, but here's the real question for you out there tennis fans: What does the Hall do about top doubles teams and players in the future? I'm sure the Bryan brothers will get in, but will Rick Leach and Jim Pugh? Ken Flach and Robert Seguso? Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez? Jacco Eltingh and Paul Haarhuis? Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor? Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic? Larissa Neiland? Helena Sukova? All are multiple Slam winners and many have held the top spot in the rankings.
Here's my solution: Create a doubles wing. Slams and top rankings are generally the criteria to mark a great player. Recognize them for their achievements, too.
* Aravene Rezai won the Swedish Open, beating Gisela Dulko. It's another clay-court title for the hard-hitting Rezai. She hits the ball HARD: Can that translate to success at a Major and a big jump in the rankings? Or does she still have a year or two left of top-15 seasoning to be done before making her move. Agnes Szavay won in Budapest over Patty Schnyder for the second year in a row. I was more intrigued there by the Alize Cornet sighting as the young Frenchwoman made the quarterfinals. I tabbed her to make a comeback at the beginning of the year--I still don't know what happened to her to slow her progress. It makes you wonder ...
An old friend of mine and I used to talk tennis for hours, whether it was our own games or what was happening in the pros. I've started Tennis Talk, Anyone? to, well, talk tennis with an even broader crowd! My name is Van Sias and I've been playing for 20 years now, and not only am I player, I'm a huge fan of the game as well: pro, amateur, you name it. I'll post links to news items related to the sport, and offer my own personal opinion, predictions and hopefully get some of yours as well.