Monday, February 02, 2004

Aussie Open Wrap: Justine further cemented her reputation as a world-class player and perhaps the one to watch for the decade, if only because the Williamses have decided not to take the sport terribly seriously. Not to take anything away from Justine, who has beaten Serena and Venus on the merits before. At this point, though, Serena and Venus are more like competing amateurs than professionals. I hope Justine signals that finesse and skill are drawing even with power in the women's game.

That certainly seems to be the case on the men's side. I'm delighted with Federer's victory. He's certainly the best tennis player out there now, even if Roddick has the meatiest serve. The first-service arms race became a bit of a joke in the past few years, a guys who brought nothing else to the table could, at least occasionally, knock off a big name by serve alone. Besides, it was boring. Watching Federer reminds me of watching McEnroe and Borg, way back when. Those games were all about angles, passing, and strategy. (Granted, Roger can hustle the ball past you, but who can't with an oversize graphite racquet? Ever play with one of the heavy, wooden, squash-racquet-sized things Borg carried to five Wimbys?)

Anyhow, I've spent the last few years bitching about the dominance of "basher" players. Right now, I'm well pleased.

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