Friday, August 18, 2017

But Are We, Though?

Here's how I found out Maria Sharapova was getting a wild card into this year's U.S. Open:

Blessed by none other.
Sure, she gets butts into seats. Sure, she's pretty and is actually good at tennis. Guess what else is true? The reason her ranking is so low is because she just had to serve a drug ban! Not only that, but for someone who sure looks like she tried to hide that she was taking meldonium for 10 years, she has been awfully unrepentant about her time in the penalty box! I mean, a wild card at a major?!
Ugh. That's all I have to say about that.
No, it's not. One of my favorite all-time tennis writers, Jon Wertheim, pointed out that, "Wild cards fly in the face of fairness." He noted that Vicky Duval, the young chipmunk-looking (meant in the nicest way) American who had been fighting lymphoma, has to qualify. That stinks. She's an American and it's the U.S. Open!
Yeah, right, I know. She wasn't likely to win the U.S. Open and maybe Sharapova is more likely to do that. If Maria Sharapova wins the U.S. Open off a wild card because her ranking was too low to get in on her own merits because she had to stay off the court for a year and a half because of a drug ban, then I think I am missing how that's good for tennis.

In other news, Rafael Nadal is going to be the world No. 1 next week. It's 2017.

In even more other news, Caroline Wozniacki lost in another tournament final. 0-6 now, and zero sets won. Zero tiebreakers played. I watched this one -- against Elina Svitolina in Montreal and two things:
1. Svitolina's game is effective and super boring to watch. I don't know how that's possible, but here we are.
2. Wozniacki looked fine throughout the tournament until the final. She's down 1-5 and calls her dad down? (Also she appears to have poached Victoria Azarenka's old hitting partner, who was Serena's old hitting partner -- the ever-mobile Sascha Bajin) Her dad's talking, gesturing wildly. Caroline's nodding. Caroline goes out and loses the next game in about five minutes. This on-court coaching is VERY BENEFICIAL.

Oh, and I almost forgot about Azarenka. Listen, this nonsense her ex is pulling is ... not cool, to say the least. Anyone who didn't want to be a petulant jerk would let his ex and her (presumably) very responsible team go to work out-of-state without making it a court issue.
This sucks for Azarenka. I really thought she was in the relationship clear once she got rid of RedFootBlueFoot Foo. Dang.

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