Just wanted to say congrats to both of you on a great U.S. Open! Roger, your form was incredible throughout the tournament. If you think that tennis is waning in viewership and popularity, you should know that at least four people I've played against this week have tried the SABR return approach. No, none of them have done it with a 90 square inch racquet or against a serve over 50 mph. And Serena, coming into this tournament, you held all four majors at one time. Actually, of all the majors this year, your form looked the best here.
Alas, neither of you won the tournament, and that's led to you being a victim of your own success. The second the match was over, you both faced some tough questions that you shouldn't face because you are basically legendary. But you know how they say 'Love means nothing in tennis?'
Anyway, I thought I'd offer you a few stock responses to commonly heard comments after your losses. Free of charge. Don't worry, it's no trouble at all. We'll start with Serena, because she's losing patience:
Question: "You don't seem happy." No, that's not a question. Variations of this theme: "Why did you leave so quickly after losing in the semifinals?" or "You're not saying much," or "Let's discuss how bad you feel about losing." This is unlikely, but in the event that someone actually gets to the root of these questions and finally says straight out: "Women aren't allowed to brood. How about you buck up and do a twirl for us?"
Your answer, should you choose to accept it: "I know you guys watch tennis for fun, but it's my career. I work at it, 40 plus hours a week, even when I don't want to. When you work that hard, you expect to be successful, and if you're not, it's not a great feeling. Maybe you take it better than I do when you fail at something. Sorry I'm not smiling. It doesn't mean I don't respect my opponent. I'm kinda pissed is all."
Question for Roger? Sadly, yes.
Question: So you lost again. Are you going to retire?
Your answer: Sure. I'm thinking about it. Let's face it -- I'm old. I made the final of the U.S. Open, and am one of the best players of my generation -- and of the game. I just beat the world no. 1 in a tournament a few weeks back, but what does that really mean? I'm not gonna lie -- I miss winning the titles, and clearly that's never going to happen for me again. I mean, I just don't have what it takes anymore. I was thinking of playing the Old Man Tennis Tour that Jim Courier's got going on. Why grind it out with Djokovic and Andy Murray when I can whup up on Pat Cash? It's working for Andy Roddick and Mark Phillippoussis. That doesn't look lopsided at all. So it's decided then? Let me just knock out this Davis Cup obligation, and I'll see you guys next year in Salt Lake City in the first PowerShares tournament!