Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Road trip(pin')!

I've been a little bit behind the pro tennis, but I see the "Greatest Road Trip in Sports", the U.S. Open Series, has begun. I am so excited. Can you feel my excitement. Woo-hoo.
I've registered my complaint about this "road trip" in the past. It's like winning a hot date with Rafa Nadal, and a week before the the date, he cancels. Exhaustion. (Plus, he gives you the "It's not you, it's me speech.) On top of that, you've still made plans, and the main attraction is now Radek Stepanek.
It's hard to blame the players for pulling out of these events, or never entering them. The calendar's too full as it is. And whoever dreamed up this campaign must have known that fans would buy tickets for the Countrywide Classic (so, they can still sponsor a tournament, huh?) because Andy Roddick said he'd be there in May. Well, now's a different story. Always is.
Usually, the top women seeds are scarce during the road trip to end all sporting events, but right now, Serena Williams is set to play in two, including the Bank o' the West this week. And at the East-West Bank Classic (oh-kay ...), she'll join Jelena Jankovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova, the other Williams sister, and allegedly LIndsay Davenport.
Maria Sharapova has a stop planned in Montreal for the Rogers Cup, along with Venus, Ana Ivanovic and Kuznetsova. Sounds good to me, but one of these players is bound to lose their luggage en route.
Most curious about how this series will shake out when you throw the Olympics (which start Aug. 8) into the mix. Roddick's already said he's staying home for Beijing. Which made the Legg Mason tournament people very happy, because he and Marat Safin, Olympic castaway (sniff) will be able to make that particular road trip. And the Pilot Pen, held the week before the U.S. Open? Well, let's just say James Blake won't be making his annual stop to New Haven. Neither will anyone else in the top 20.
I love the promotion of tennis, but why not just put Daniela Hantuchova and Mardy Fish in the commercials instead? (Anyone else those two were separated at birth?) That's who's going to be there. (I'm going to pass on Stepanek. Just ate and all.)

5 comments:

Jodi said...

Everything you said about Stepanek? Word. Same goes for the Hantuchova/Fish clone theory.

van said...

Hey Naf. You're totally on the money about the "Road Trip." I was kind of shocked Indy had such a weak field going in. Where was Roddick? It's not like he's swimming in titles this year where he could've sat one out.

UTP said...

Blake should be someone to watch out for at the US Open...hard courts are by far his best type of surface...

I would also be watching Andy Roddick...his big serves are good on the Hard courts as well...

PLus both would have the crowd support...

Naf said...

I'm watching Stepanek v. Lopez right now. Talk about Beauty and the Beast. Lord.

Naf said...

Hi, Van! I think Roddick's got some injury going on. I just read yesterday that he finally feels healthy enough to compete again. I guess he had to make sure the clay season was completely over. ... :)
Welcome, utp! I agree, Blake's got the game, but I wonder if he has the head for major success. He's like Safin to me, in the way he loses matches he should win easily. As far as Roddick's game, his serve's an undeniable weapon, but his backhand and net game is a liability. He should be able to follow at least one of serves into the net per service game. Now that he's tip-top, we'll see how he does this summer.