Wimbledon Crisis Center, Day 10
Mornin'. First, I have a few housekeeping notes regarding my last post(Snakebit Tommy). A number of readers complained that I was wrong to write that Tommy Haas hasn't won a Masters Shield - he bagged on at Stuttgart, 2001. I did check that stat while writing: the ATP media guide has a grid-graph clearly charting each player's performance in majors and Masters. Stuttgart does not appear on Haas's chart.
I re-checked after repeated complaints, and found some fine print below the chart, which credits him with a Stuttgart victory (and a 7-4 record, which I assume is a career tally there), but leaves it at that. His overall Stuttgart stats (round achieved, year-by-year), and that pleasing, bold-faced W appear nowhere on his graph Upon double-checking with other sources, I see that Stuttgart was indeed an AMS (the former shorthand for ATP Masters Series, now Masters 1000 events), Tommy did indeed win it in 2001, so I stand corrected. Thanks for pointing out the oversight. And to whoever was in high dugeon that a "professional" tennis write could make such a towering error I can only say, I'm glad I gave you an opportunity to fling out your chest and crow a bit.
I assume that the ATP is ignoring results from defunct Masters tournaments, and that's a mistake. What if Miami or Paris disappeared tomorrow - do Agassi or Federer's accomplishments there get excised from history? Well, at least there's that fine print, but for someone like me that's an invitation to error.
And also on Haas: some readers found it weak that Haas would be "happy" that Roger Federer made that inside-out forehand that foretold Haas's doom at the French Open. This was one of those cases where context really mattered, yet I felt it would have been too awkward to clutter up the post with an explanation. The bottom line is that Haas was by no means obsequious about Federer; in fact, his analysis was Teutonically realistic and cold.
Basically, Tommy said: I blew it, Roger's my friend and the GOAT, and I've moved on. Let's talk about something else. If anything there was a note of impatience with the issue, and while his tone wasn't exactly sarcastic, it wasn't unctuous, either. And his attitude was consistent with Haas's impatience with, and aversion to, dwelling on the past - sentiments to which he's given voice many times.
So there you have it.
Meanwhile, I'm sitting here wondering what on earth I can write about Venus or Serena as a follow-up to my latest post on them (Williams Family Woodshed, below). That's doubly true if these two semifinals are a blowout. I'm tempted to go out and watch Alexander Domijan and Devin Britton, who play their quarterfinal soon on Court 18, which may be the best court of all for watching a match here.
Court 18 is notionally a "show court", with a breathtaking, tall spectator gallery at the north end. But at heart it's a field court, which means that the modest six or seven rows of seats parallel with the sidelines are very close to the court, and the press seating section - at the southwest corner of the court, is as close as you can come to being right on the court with the players.
El Jon Wertheim and I went out to catch a little of defending junior champ Laura Robson's match on Court 18 yesterday (suffering with a back injury, Robson was upset by Quirine Lemoine of the Nederlands). Robson battled gamely, sweeping away three match points midway through the third set. A little later, with the match in the balance, Robson's mother called out, "Come on Laura, stay positive!"
At that moment, Robson stood about six feet from us, pressing a towel to her forehead, looking pained. She partially covered her mouth with the towel and shouted into it, "What do you think I'm doing?"
Only on Court 18, folks.
Enjoy the tennis!
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