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A former reporter for Sports Illustrated, Merlisa Lawrence Corbett began her career as a journalist while a student at the University of South Florida. While most of her friends spent the weekends partying, Merlisa covered sports for the St. Petersburg Times and Lakeland Ledger. After graduating from college she covered high school and college sports for the Tampa Tribune and Staten Island (NY) Advance. She left the Advance to become the youngest member of the Pittsburgh Press sports staff, where she covered college football and basketball. She was also an assistant sports editor at America Online.
She wrote the foreword for Arthur R. Ashe, Jr.'s A Hard Road to Glory: Track and Field.
An avid tennis fan, Merlisa plays tennis three to four times a week. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, National Association of Black Journalists and the United States Tennis Association. She splits her time between Central Florida and the Washington D.C. area.
Follow her on Twitter: @merlisa
Don't write anything on the Bucs...you obviously need to keep your opinions to your self. Freeman showed his ass and now plays 3rd string for the Vikes. Stick to knitting.
This is in response to your previous article "Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal Showcase Greatness in a Sea of Good Players"
Pool of Great players Correct, but Not Complete
When separating great players from good players, many factors come into play. There are numerous ways one can measure greatness in a player, but the list of players you consider great does not include one player that deserves the right to earn the title of great: Andy Murray. You say that a great player “must distinguish him or herself above the masses with extraordinary feats(Corbett)”. These extraordinary feats you address must include Grand Slam titles, match wins, and other tennis accolades; all of which Andy Murray possesses. Andy Murray has shown significant success in his recent career that gives him the correct identity of a great player.
Andy Murray, currently ranked number 3 on the ATP(Association of Tennis Professionals) tour, has an olympic gold medal and a grand slam title on his resume. Is this not considered an ‘extraordinary feat’? Not to mention that he beat Roger Federer, who has never won an Olympic gold medal for Men’s Singles, in the Olympic finals. Roger Federer is also arguably, the best tennis player to ever live. Federer is not the only person who lacks a men’s singles Olympic gold medal to his resume. Novak Djokovic, who is currently ranked Number 1 on the ATP tour, also lacks this title. Andy Murray also beat Novak Djokovic in the US Open, who is currently ranked Number 1 on the ATP tour. This win was a sign to the world that Andy Murray has arrived and can overcome the strength of any player that he plays. He is a player that has gained respect from this win by being apart of a select group of players who have won an ATP grand slam.
The most common way people measure greatness in tennis is by counting the number of grand slam titles won. This is because grand slam titles are known to test mental strength during pressure and mental and physical stamina throughout the tournament more than normal tournaments. This is because the matches in the tournament are longer. Only the most accomplished players possess the ability to win a Grand Slam. Roger Federer has won 17 grand slams, Novak Djokovic has won 6, and Andy Murray has won 1. The difference between the number of grand slams between Djokovic and Federer is 11 compared to the difference between Djokovic and Murray’s 5. The fact that Andy Murray is closer to Djokovic compared to Djokovic to Federer, shows that Murray definitely should be included in this pool of great players. Along with grand slam titles, the number of matches won is a good way of measuring a tennis player’s skill level. The number of matches won is measured by points. The difference in points between Novak Djokovic(No. 1) and Roger Federer(No. 2) is 4230 points as of May 9, 2013, whereas the difference in points between Federer and Murray(No. 3) is only 100 points. This also shows that Murray is very close to both Federer and Djokovic in level of greatness if greatness is measured by grand slam wins and/or matches won.
“His embarrassing 6-1, 6-2 loss to Stanislas Wawrinka, demonstrates why Murray, one of the better good players, has not achieved greatness.(Corbett)” You state that this is an example of why he has not achieved greatness. Does this one bad match exclude him from the pool of great players? Even though players on the ATP tour are the best tennis players in the world, they are no where near close to perfect because they are human, just like us. Because it is an individual sport, one bad day can ruin a whole match because a tennis player has no one else to rely on except himself. One embarrassing, upset, match cannot exclude him from a pool of great players. Roger Federer just recently lost to Number 16 player, Kei Nishikori on May 8, 2013. Novak Djokovic also lost in an upset to Number 28 player, Grigor Dimitrov on May 7, 2013. These similar examples have occurred just as recently as Murray’s loss, but Djokovic and Federer are still considered great. All great players have bad days, therefore one bad match cannot exclude Andy Murray from being apart of the sea of great players.
As an ITF(International Tennis Federation) tennis player myself, I see greatness in a player when I see a player reaching the top 4 of a tournament, or semi-finals of a tournament, consistently. This shows that this player can easily make his way past the good players and play against those great players that also reach the semi-finals consistently. Andy Murray is a prime example of this. In every grand slam tournament he has participated in the past two years, he has reached the semi-finals every time. When other players play against him in the earlier rounds, he gives off an intimidating presence because his opponents know that he is usually known to be the favor to reach the semi-finals because of his rank as the number 3 player on the ATP tour.
Andy Murray should most definitely be included in this sea of great players. He has all of the accomplishments that a great tennis player needs on his resume to be considered great. The accomplishments that he has are definitely considered extraordinary. Your list of great players is correct except Andy Murray is missing from this pool. A pool he is more then qualified to be included in.
Merlissa, as you know Sloane Stephens has been ousted in Rome by Maria Sharapova. You guys in the media really led her to the slaughter by proclaiming her to be the "next" Serena after that bogus win in Australia. She hasn't done much since. The kid has a long way to go. Everyone needs to give her time and let her develop at her own pace. She may not win 14 majors, but she'll at least win one.
I would like to know why you and other so-called journalists have not covered the issue of blatant racism in professional tennis? Especially inside the United States. There are no black tournament owners, chair umpire, tennis coaches (Gilbert/etc) on tour, Tennis Sportwriters, and ect. The USTA has no black presidents of any of their sections. DInkins, Rubin, and Adams are tokens they have done little or nothing to hold the USTA accountable. Case in point. The Pro-circuit women in the States show blatant racism by always giving black women players the number one seed in the first round or they play one another first round. This is a fact but where is the outcry and exposing of this injustice. Enough of puff pieces. Sloane is just another example of blacks feeling they have to act white to compete. You see her results now. She can only fail from here. When you are to busy trying to forget you culture and act like something else is a recipe for failure. When Venus and Serena came on the scene Richard called the sport out on their racism and did everything possible to see his daughters were grounded in their culture. He made them understand it was a hostile work environment and continues to be. It is truly disconcerning to read article by blacks commenting on tennis but no article addressing this important issue.Oh! thats right you have a white or Latin editor who feels it is not news worthy.
Happy to become your fan, Melissa! Your writing is terrific, especially your recent piece on Sloane Stephens. Golf is a sport that requires patience, but there can be a ton of fun had alongside that patience. Personally, I'm more of a visual learner, so I always found watching player's swings who I liked helped me form my own swing and 'swing thoughts.' Tiger's obviously one of those swings, but also guys like Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel or even certain moves, like Rickie Fowler's downswing.
Sorry to be a golf nerd there! haha If you have any questions about B/R or any ideas for how to improve a certain aspect of the site I'd be happy to chat with you!