Tennis Night at the Garden: Videos of the dancing and romancing
Well, it was Tennis Night in America! And then ... it wasn't. Here's a visual rundown of the night's events, which veered from Maria Sharapova's 6-3, 6-4 missile deployment against Caroline Wozniacki to Andy Roddick's similarly ball-bashing 7-5, 7-6 victory over Roger Federer, all at Madison Square Garden. All involving hijinks.
Roddick likely didn't borrow Jeremy Lin's locker for the night, but he had a fun little exchange via Twitter with the New York Knicks upstart turned star.
Elsewhere, Sharapova danced with an older man, and Wozniacki, left solo at that dance, requested a partner to call her own. Cue newly minted men's golf No. 1, Rory McIlroy, her real-life boyfriend, who came on court and played an effective if not gorgeous point against Sharapova, seen here:
What was more awkward, Maria's dancing or Rory's obviously-not-having-it response to his girlfriend's initial coaxing? Word is that McIlroy wasn't too pleased about making his tennis debut before 18,000-plus fans in the not-so-secret Garden.
Roddick impersonated Rafael Nadal for the tenth time, too:
Off camera, he also nearly nailed a ballgirl with his not-really-angry thrown racquet. Sharapova fielded a marriage proposal from the crowd. And other amuse-bouches.
At the foursome's press conference earlier on Monday, We Are Tennis played a word-association game with Wozniacki. Watch her match "blue" with "sky" here ... and know that it gets better. Somehow it's very funny to hear Caroline say the word "butt":
Now, how do you solve a problem like Maria? We Are Tennis' interviewer, Craig Gabriel, then went all "these are a few of [your] favorite things" in his questioning of Sharapova:
Great answers in music (Adele, Florence and the Machine) and literature (Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist) from Sharapova. Very telling answers on the whole, really. The evening's most/only catty moment came when Sharapova was asked about playing McIlroy for all of one point. "He won more points than Caroline did," Maria quipped, to which Wozniacki, visibly taken aback, said, "That comment was not very nice."
But what is "nice"? And what did "nice" ever garner someone, really? And who was the last WTA No. 1 who won tournaments of great consequence and was freely termed "nice" by fans or peers? Monica Seles maybe? A cutthroat on court.
My high school journalism teacher had everyone in class write the word "nice" on a slip of paper on the school year's first day. She then said, "Rip that up. We are not going to use that word."
It doesn't seem to be in her nature, but maybe Wozniacki should do the same.
Coming up for air now, enjoy this refresher of what Tennis Night in America truly never stands for, courtesy of the always-funny Jane Krakowski on 30 Rock.
—Jonathan Scott (Follow me on Twitter @jonscott9.)