Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Oh right, that old racquet: "Hey, the tennis season is once more upon us! Yes...really. No...in Australia...yes...Down Under."

"No, Serena Williams won't be there, sorry. No, neither will Capriati. Mary Peirce? Non, mon ami. Yes, it's a Grand Slam. Uh-huh, I'm sure. Well, you can watch it around 1 in the morning...probably on ESPN 6 or some such. Right."

Anyway, the Aussie Open is upon us and the seedings are slowly being leaked...er, announced (hint: don't look for Greg Rusedski). And yes, the women are already pissed off.

Many are looking for tennis to getting around to defining itself like has traditionally done at the beginning of every decade (see '80s with Johnny Mac, Bjorg, Connors and Lendl -- Martina and Chrissy; see 90's with Sampras, Agassi, Courier -- Graf and some Spaniards). Certainly the Williams sisters are the undeniable force in the game right now, but they're also flaky and torn between acting, modeling, designing and that tennis thing. The men's side has shown nothing if not extreme parity with different champions for every tournie.

Let's face it, Agassi is about out of gas, even though he's been remarkable. Tennis needs Roddick and Hewitt to start banging out 5-setters every couple of months so we can get some good nationalistic chants going on. The women need someone, anyone, to mount an effective challenge to the Sisters. Some like Davenport to do it, but I think that's wishful thinking, and well, see Agassi, supra.

Thoughts, Eno?

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