Wednesday, December 17, 2008

As if on cue ...

So, last week, Lindsay Davenport was gearing up for the Aussie Open, and some of her fans (Vicki, Van and myself) were wondering what the eff she was thinking.
Today, nature intervened, and Davenport announced she was pulling out of the major with the ol' nine-month virus.
Whew! Talk about dodging a bullet. Look, the Australian Open wasn't going to turn out well for Davenport anyway, but 'lil Ringo will, in all likelihood, be just fine. Although he probably won't be lucky enough to get that name.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What, does she get senior parking rates?

I'm at odds with myself over whether Lindsay Davenport's decision to enter the Aussie Open is good news. Here's the good, the great part: Davenport is still looking to pursue a professional and competitive tennis career at the ripe old age of 32 -- and as the mother of a toddler. Her intentions are inspiring, and if you've ever thought to yourself that it's too late -- for anything -- it certainly shouldn't have anything to do with your age. (As though 32 is old. But I'm sure it feels old for Davenport when she walks onto the court to play some 14-year-old hotshot.)
How-EVAH. Let's just be unflinchingly honest here. Lindsay Davenport would need to have gotten a speed transplant in the offseason to have a sniff at the Aussie Open third round. Or those Maria Sharapova-type draws. You can't play competitive tennis these days by hoping you hit enough winners that you don't have to rally. Even in the wading pool of women's tennis these days, Davenport hasn't made any major waves. Losing to Marion "Candy" Bartoli at the U.S. Open? Yikes.
Which begs the question: Is it enough (especially for a great champ like Lindsay) to just go out and give it the old university try? If you can't win, is it worth hitting the gym? It's one thing when you're coming up and getting better. When you're obviously on the downslope of your career, and you can't even stay in tournaments long enough to face the big players, it's another thing.
Seriously, I'm conflicted. Lindsay Davenport's return: Thumbs up or thumbs down?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Sneak peak

Roger Federer's 2009 schedule (which starts about six weeks after his 2008 season wrapped) includes two fewer clay court tournaments.
I know, I know ... what does it all mean? His agent says Fed's trying to cut down on all tournaments and peak for the important ones -- the majors. It stands to reason, too, that because he can't seal the deal at the French, he should be playing more clay matches. However, Fed's been to three straight French Open finals. He's lost to the same dominant clay-courter every time. (Although the 2008 whomping had to be demoralizing.)
The other way to look at this: Maybe he's put too much pressure on himself to win at Roland Garros. He is still playing the Masters clay tournaments, so he will get quality opponents -- just not as many matches.
So, does Federer need more clay court play to win the French? And another twist: If he loses it again this year, will he stop trying? I open the floor.