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.)