OK, I haven't been blogging, but I have been playing lots o' tennis! Which is better, right? (More on that coming up in "League Watch."
Oh, and watching a lot of tennis. So much tennis that I've been averaging about 45 minutes later to work trying to watch this. Moving on:
1. Ever seen a 347-pound woman wearing stretch pants? You wonder, "Why would you do that to yourself? You look like a (insert wildly hilarious comparison here)!" Consider, friends, the case of Nadia Petrova. What the EFF was she wearing to Wimbledon?? Here's the thing I'm sure she's not picked up on yet -- not everyone can wear everything. It's a matter of body type. There is a tennis outfit that looks good on her. There has to be, just because of the sheer volume of tennis clothes out there. Is it a burlap sack? Maybe. You don't just discount those options, Nadia. What you especially don't do is walk out of the house wearing something that looks like you're wearing feathers on your ass and that is randomly spewing ruffles. It doesn't matter how well you play, either. Everyone's just busy wondering why. Why, Nadia?
This is why Wimbledon might consider an adjustment to its clothing policy for players. Just because it's white doesn't mean you should wear it.
2. And then there's Dinara Safina. Two-parter: First, if you are losing the battle between tennis and chocolate, then you're gonna need a top that covers the battleground. Listen, girl, no one wants to see the flab. Cover it up, son! Second, until her match today with Venus, I was very impressed with Safina's play through the tournament. In that Lisicki match, as in countless recent others, I could see a glimpse of a Safina who had overcome and played through the jitters. You know, raising the level of her tennis when her back was against the wall, only to come out on top. And you begin to feel as though she could do it -- she could step up her game and get that Slam! And then she rolls over in big matches like my lab who just wants to be petted. It's a matter of time for sure, but it's sort of painful to watch sometimes.
3. Biggest surprise so far? Not Novak Djokovic getting handled by Tommy Haas (have I mentioned before how unfortunate it is that Haas never got his Slam?) or Jelena Jankovic losing to a 17-year-old American (OK, stop sentence! We all know how much of a drama queen Jankovic is -- mostly, it even offers a bit of amusement. But when you blame a loss on your "woman troubles"? That's not crossing the line. It's just pretending there was never one. Gross! No one wants to hear that! Even if it's true!! Yikes. Pop a Midol and call me in August.). It's Elena Dementieva taking Serena Williams to three tight sets using ... drumroll ... her serve! Not even the sneaky underhand serves! Real, well-placed, hard serves! First and second!! It's nice to see that finally, Dementieva is really developing a serve to go with the rest of her great game. To do it on grass should be a huge boon to her. Maybe she can get that major one day. She should be able to now. After all, she doesn't have to play against the likes of Anastasia Myskina.
4. Venus v. Serena: Venus. Easy.
5. And then there's Andy Roddick. Can he beat Andy Murray? Yes. Will he beat Andy Murray? Doubt it. I think the reason is simple. Murray is a well-rounded player who can absorb power, dole some out and has unbelievable touch. He also moves like a freakin' deer. Roddick is trying to become a well-rounded player who still can't volley. (Here at TWA, you have to earn your title of "Andy the Butcher.") Yes, it's Wimbledon and he can always Ivo-Karlovic his way through a draw, but not against a returner like Murray. And then there's this talk of pressure for Murray. And maybe it played a role against Stan Wawrinka. But it sure seems to me that he's embracing that pressure. Why else would you show up to Wimbledon wearing Fred Perry gear? So, I'm going with Murray and I think he's looking good. I would even give him an edge in the final, where he'd face ...
6. Roger Federer. Probably. OK, yes, for sure. In my heart, though, I want Haas to win. Is that really so wrong? Haas has been all over the place in his career, including near the very top of the game. He's always had such a beautiful game, and it's too bad injuries had to derail that. At the French, and here, he's shown he can still compete with the big boys. Here's hoping it lasts a while.
7. Is Djokovic becoming a head case? Vote in the poll.
8. Oh, and I almost forgot. James Blake out in the first round? Of one of Slams the Americans focus on instead of the French? Because it's more important? Sigh. Would it be wrong to suggest Blake needs another coach?