On the most recent tennis podcast, Jamie and I talked shopping.
Next: American Jenson Brooksby, who has been trashing the Challenger circuit.
• As the humble braggarts say on social media: “Some personal news.”
• Regarding last week’s question about the Monte Carlo winner who will win the French Open, here is Sharko:
Hello and since 2000, Nadal and Tsitsipas are the only players since 2000 to win Monte Carlo without losing a set. Nadal won Roland Garros each of the previous five times that he did not lose a set in Monte Carlo:
Lost player sets
2007 – Nadal 0
2008 – Nadal 0
2010 – Nadal 0
2012 – Nadal 0
2018 – Nadal 0
2021 – Tsitsipas 0
• Stay until the end to hear a great reader’s spiel based on statistics from Ahmik Paul (the precocious Jannik Sinner of tennis statistics).
I need to be at Wimbledon this summer for the last manic Monday of my life!
• Sure, let’s start here. I was amazed at how many comments this ad generated. And I approach this with the Super League debacle in my head. The moral: inconvenience / ignore sports fans at your own risk.
For context, Wimbledon’s long tradition of not playing on Sundays was always one of those lovely anachronisms that made little sense. Financially, it was insane. Other sporting events, including the French Open, strove to cover as many weekends as possible. Here Wimbledon “self-directed” the middle Sunday and sacrificed this privileged day. (The reasoning offered: we want to respect the neighbors and their day of worship, it was endearing but it also fell apart when you realized that the following Sunday marked the men’s final. Where was the respect for the neighbors then?)
Do you know who loved the Middle Sunday? The trainers. The employees. The media. You have a day off to play in London or go to the country or just sleep. Do you know who did not benefit? The fans. If you are trying to build an audience and serve your followers, in what crazy world would you leave on a Sunday? Doing so had a hint of elitism. Hardcore fans love Manic Monday, the consequence of a vacant Sunday, the remaining 32 singles playing during the same session. But for most of the world, Monday is a business day.
So all in all, I’m not sure this is a tragedy. Wimbledon will play non-stop non-stop, joining… every other sporting event, from the Big Three to the Olympics. Wimbledon’s nod to tradition about trade is: present tense; not was“What makes Wimbledon so special.” (Think of all the revenue lost from refusing to sell naming rights to Center Court. Or plastering logos on the grounds. Don’t you think BA or Barclays or RBS or Range Rover would pay millions for signage behind the baseline?) But if he plays Sunday it means more money for the players, more audience for television and, above all, more tennis for the fans, so be it.
Would you ever keep track of Envy of venus?
• The real question: would the market support you? In the moment of Envy of venus, over 20 (drink) years ago, you had the Williams sisters coming up, Kournikova, Capriati, Martina Hingis, Mary Pierce, Lindsay (voice of reason) Davenport. Steffi Graf tiptoed off the stage. Monica Seles was the tragic figure trying to star in a comeback. Martina Navratilova was also considering a comeback. The wave of women’s sports was at its peak. It was the dawn of the Internet. As a writer, and hopefully as readers, you had this shame of riches. If you were designing a proposal today, I suspect it would emphasize the new cast, the new context, and the new set of issues: globalization, social media, the transition from a Williams-centric product. You’d toast the Williams sisters, greet Osaka and the new guard. Happily, there would be less about authoritarian parents and lustful coaches and more about the dangers of social media and mental health. I’d be curious how the market would respond.
Say this: I would be happy to read this book. Someone might want to pressure Courtney Nguyen to transpose her excellent coverage in book form.
And one of the great humiliations of writing is self-promotion. But for the record, I have this book (a lot of tennis) will be out in a few weeks.
A reader recently commented on pickleball: The perfect sport for the summer of 2021.
A counterpoint: No. Pickleball is ruining the municipal tennis courts. Since players generally stand in a fixed position and do not move frequently (probably an advantage for older players that the sport attracts), there are numerous ‘dead zones’ on the court where a tennis ball will land and bounce off the court. unpredictable.
Pickleballers have also resorted (in my town) to permanently marking tennis courts with their own multi-colored lines. Playing tennis along these lines is puzzling. In the middle of a point, I’m not sure if I’m on the baseline or the service line. Double alleys look like an Excel spreadsheet. Then there’s the noise of the ball hitting pickleball’s “racket” …
I’m venturing into “man yell at the cloud” territory here, but pickleballers should fund their own courts. Considering the average age and infinite amount of free time the average pickleballer I come across seems to possess, this shouldn’t be difficult.
–Steve, Napa, California
• All valid concerns, although I think some compromise and policies would solve this. I keep saying tennis is Amazon and pickleball is Whole Foods. Tennis should see it as an acquisition and take it under the tent; I do not consider him a rival that must be turned off.
I enjoyed his podcast interview with ATP President Andre Gaudenzi. However, I was wondering why he didn’t ask about the PTPA or his meeting with Pospisil in Miami that attracted so much media attention. Did the ATP impose restrictions on the interview?
–Terry from Long Island
• Not at all. I specifically asked Gaudenzi: “When you were a player, would you have joined the PTPA?” Your answer is here. More generally, I don’t think I would have done this interview if there had been restrictions. But there were none.
Someone else asked why Pospisil wasn’t showing up. The Truth Serum Answer: It was a viral moment, but it’s a red herring in the big picture. Gaudenzi chose a few words for Pospisil at a players meeting. Pospisil felt humiliated, which, Amanda Ripley tells us, in a new favorite book“It is the great accelerator of the conflict.” And a discussion about work and splitting a revenue pie turned into catnip on social media, a gamer losing his mind and yelling about his boss.
There have been a lot of responses and consequences to the article I wrote a few weeks ago. I learned that Jeffrey Kessler, the incomparable sports attorney on the labor side, was hired by the tournaments for a little work, creating a conflict whereby he may not be able to work with the players now. There are some internal fights at IMG over a board member who works for the company and reliably voted to remove the prize money and financial documents from the tournament.
And, more than ever, I stand by my claim that players need a real leader. Djokovic has been admirable in his commitment but is trying to win majors. Lower-ranking players lack political force. Former players with damaged reputations are not the answer either. The PTPA, or better yet, a reconsidered association of WTA and ATP players, needs a Marvin Miller or Michele Roberts, a charismatic, aggressive and up-front leader.
What do you think future HOF inductions will be like in about 10 years? I ask because three men have managed to capture 84% of all races since 2004. That doesn’t leave many future candidates for a while. Will they lean on the addition of players from yesteryear that they may have overlooked?
–Jon B., Seattle, WA
• My version of the same problem: what the additions will be like when you have these towering champions – Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Serena – and then pair up with decidedly less skilled colleagues. Uncomfortable weekend everywhere. Is it, say, Svetlana Kuznetsova, a member of the Hall of Fame? Probably, at least given the current criteria. Can you imagine honoring her the same weekend that you add Federer or Serena? “Two actresses are getting Hollywood stars this year: Drop it for Meryl Streep … and Linda Cardallini!”
I think this is one more reason why the HoF forgot to reduce the category of “Taxpayers”. The way I see it, you need more of the Bud Collins, Paul Annacone, Oracene Williams, Gladys Heldman guys. Not less.
• Here’s a great piece by Tumaini Carayol on the tyranny of the jokers.
• Do you remember Brittany Collens who was on the podcast to talk about the NCAA? Here is a column that she wrote.
• The University of Alabama captured its fifth consecutive title, and sixth overall, at last week’s USTA College Wheelchair Tennis Championship at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida. Led by coaches Evan Enquist and Shelby Baron, herself a Paralympian from Rio who helped Alabama win. Four of their all-time titles, the quartet of Jeremy Boyd, Avery Downing, Lauren Haneke-Hopps and Thomas Venos defeated tournament debutants Michigan in the team final, 3-0. The event celebrated its 20th anniversary this year with the largest field in tournament history with 27 athletes representing nine different schools.
• Ahmik Paul, get us out… ..
I am writing to you because I wrote an article on the service strategy in professional men’s tennis that you might be interested in; I created a probability model to determine the effectiveness of different serve strategies for a particular player using their serve statistics.
I found that for most of the top players, the effectiveness of the conventional hard serve / soft serve strategy is very similar to that of the two strong serve strategy (two serves style first serve), however the conventional strategy wins. almost all services. time, by a very small margin.
However, interestingly, in the case of Gael Monfils, it would actually be statistically advantageous for him to use an unconventional serving strategy, in which he performs two first-serve style hard services instead of the conventional strategy.
Also, the wow factor of using this unconventional strategy is not mathematically included in my calculations. The surprise of using this would make it even more effective. I think the first two serves strategy can be a viable and advantageous alternative for some players.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.