Mornin', everyone. Well, the time machine effect kicked in this weekend, with Nikolay Davydenko and Robbie Ginepri winning titles. They may seem like minor titles, but remember that while Indianapolis has seen better days - and better draws - Hamburg [won by Davydenko] is, historically, a blue-chip title. And it may eventually rebound from the upheavals that led to Hamburg's demotion from the Masters Series and change of date. Hey, Hamburg is the German Open - surely that counts for something (in fact, it counts for a lot, but I'll delve a little more deeply into that in the near future).
Hamburg had a pretty good draw this year, or at any rate a better one than Indianapolis. But forget about that for now, and embrace and savor the simple, beautiful power of winning, and what it can do for a man or woman's confidence going forward. Don't ever forget that players of the kind who won yesterday are competition and victory junkies; I guarantee that if you got a Davydenko or Ginepri out on that cracked-asphalt court behind Lex Luthor High School in the sweltering heat tomorrow afternoon, either man would come at you with hunger in his eyes and malice in his heart. You don't want to see what you would look like when it was all over.
So while nobody is going to confuse Hamburg or Indianapolis with Wimbledon, each of these struggling men is walking with a lighter step today, and will be feeling a little more sharp and eager when he picks up a racquet to practice again. Winning has an afterglow that can linger and open the gateway to greater glory.
Winning. It's a beautiful thing. And it has more therapeutic value than ground-up rhino horn, or anger management-counseling.
Ed McGrogan is on vacation this week, so this is the faux Monday Net Post, and if you like to collect your McGrogan's Heroes bubble-gum cards, add Ginepri (gotta love the towel fluff in the scraggly beard look above) and Andrea Petkovic (who won her first WTA main tour title at Bad Gastein on Sunday) to your collection. Call them Bodo's McGrogan's Heroes. I'll also be doing a post on Dinara Safina and her dilemma later today (her brother Marat made some interesting remarks about her the other day in a telephone interview), so make sure to check back.
Happy Monday. As if there were such a thing.