US Open Tennis Update: Djokovic Bounces, Nadal Wipes, Screams Take Center Court
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In the world of modern tennis, the ladies still have it over the men. Screams after hitting the ball remain the oddity in a sport where screams every time a woman hits the ball prevails. The mere fourteen bounces of the ball and now hand, face and leg wipes have taken center stage when we have this match between the top ranked players in men's tennis when interminable bouncer number 1 Novak Djokovic meets inveterate wiper Rafael Nadal.
It took great fortitude for Djokovic to be called for a delay of game during this US Open. But that was nothing compared to Serena Williams being called for player interference for her scream just before her opponent Australian Samantha Stosur hit her shot, giving Stosur the game.
The US Open Tennis Championship faces some things old and some things new today.
First, and taking some of the limelight from the Men's Final, Serena Williams faces a decision that should be easy for those in charge. Having been placed under probation for her threats to a lines person during the 2009 US Open, will Williams be forced to endure even more hardship for telling the chair umpire that she cannot look at her when she sees Williams?
The answer should be clear. While not as threatening, the result of Williams' latest assault should be a no-brainer. She deserves a suspension in addition to another fine. The Williams clan sat and refused to clap for one of the greater performances by a woman in some time when Stosur won in straight sets to the astonishment of the crowd and commentators alike.
When faced with the boorish behavior of their prime player, there is little left to the Williams entourage than to claim racism and other slights.
But for those of us who saw the point, there is no question but that the chair was correct, and that the only thing that can be done is to fine Serena Williams and remove her from the next major and some other matches.
Tennis today is punctuated by noise and delay. Neither helps the game, and both are tactically unfair and have jeopardized the sport.
Rather than questioning the noise issue in the women's game when it occurs at the time the opposing player strikes the ball, screaming should be banned entirely including during services, rallies and volleys. It is enough to see statuesque blonds come to play dressed to kill. It is yet another thing entirely to have them screaming as they hit every ball.
This is tennis?
The best thing that happened on the women's side of this US Open was the loss of the loudest blonde of all. Maria Sharapova's loss was women's tennis' gain. How can she be permitted to make that horrible noise thoughout her games?
For the men, the delays that have become the stuff of legends will seek dominance at this men's final match.
By the way, why did this become the match anyway? Why did number two meet number four, and number one meet number three? Should not Nadal have met Roger Federer and Djokovic have met Andy Murray? Sure, you can point to a variety of seeding points. But the bottom line is that the Federer Nadal match should have happened.
Now we have to endure the two most delaying systems in men's tennis, with Nadal taking center stage for toweling down with Djokovic's incessant bouncing balls seeming the less obnoxious of the two.
Nadal has redoubled his toweling efforts in this last major of the year. This major has seen the towel stroking more legs than at any time in tennis history. First, face and hands, then legs. One, then the next.
What in the world?
Until delays are called consistently against the top players, we will have use of the clock for advantage.
Should noise and delays be better monitored by tennis authorities?
Can there be any doubt but that Djokovic is dominant now because he can delay as well as Nadal delays the games and matches?
Yet screams are now more common among the men, and we have screams punctuated by long delays between points as if this is tennis.
It is not.
The best of women's tennis prevailed on Sunday. Unfortunately, the worst of men's tennis will be on display this afternoon.
Let the least obnoxious delays prevail.
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