Friday, November 14, 2014

State of the Fed Cup

The Fed Cup, once again, came and went with nary a murmur on ESPN or most anywhere else. Well, except for this one small detail that the court it was played on was illegal.
New York Times tennis writer Ben Rothenberg tweeted over the weekend that the ITF ruled the courts was just over the measured limit for speed, but that it was too late to do anything about it, so they would just play the FED CUP FINAL ON AN ILLEGAL COURT.
I know, I know. You've sold the tickets. The people are there, the players are there, the show must go on. But I guess the main question is: Why is checking the court the last thing you do? It's only the stage for the event. And what's the backup plan if something were to go wrong -- if the court were actually unsafe? All good questions, but no one cares too much about this small detail. The main takeaway from this weekend, according to most media, is that the home Czech team dominated Germany. I wonder why.
(Just unrelated FYI: Did you know that Petra Kvitova has her best results on fast courts with low bounces? The two majors she has won? Both Wimbledon. Lucie Safarova has never won a Slam, but she's come closest at Wimbledon this year with a semifinal showing. She has never gone past the fourth round at the French Open, which is, shall we say, a slower court.)
And why would the German team not even complain? At last check, they haven't even filed a grievance. Granted, the court surface speed (CSR) should be 50 at the maximum, This court was at 52. If it didn't make a difference, why measure it?
It's enough of a problem that penalties are apparently forthcoming. I am sure the winning team will have learned its lesson.

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