SPIN’S AO DAY 4 PICKS

It is already Day 4 and time for Spin’s Picks.  I don’t know about anyone else, but the top half of the draw seems to have more matches that I would love to see, moreso than the bottom half.  Early days yet though so anything can happen. 


Day 4’s matches features some questions that are high on everyone’s list, namely:-

  1. how is Serena Williams’ ankle; 
  2. is Petra Kvitova really on her way back; 
  3. is Laura Robson the real deal; 
  4. is Svetlana Kuznetsova really working her way back to the top of women’s tennis; 
  5. has Caroline Wozniacki sufficiently recovered from that early round scare in the first round; and 
  6. is Yanina Wickmayer finally beginning to show us what she is really made of?
Below are Spin’s picks for Day 4. 

PLAYER A
PLAYER B
SPIN’S PICKS
RESULTS
Victoria Azarenka
Eleni Daniilidou
Azarenka – while the top seed had some trouble with Nicolescu in her opening match, she should sail through this one with no problems
Luksika Kumkhum
Jamie Hampton
Hampton – the feisty young American should have some trouble but should get through in 3 
Varvara Lepchenko
Elena Vesnina
This is a pick em but I am going out on a limb and picking Vesnina for the win. That title in Hobart seems to be working wonders on her psyche
Akgul Amanmuradova
Roberta Vinci
I would pick the big serving Akgul but Vinci will expose her movement with her slice backhand –  Vinci
Caroline Wozniacki
Donna Vekic
A battle of young guns.  Vekic is young and hungry. Wozniacki is young and tired.  This could be long with Wozniacki winning or short with Vekic winning.  I am going with Wozniacki
Daria Gavrilova
Lesia Tsurenko
Tsurenko has played a lot of tennis this season.  Taking out a seed in her last round, look for her to have a let down here – Gavrilova
Su-Wei Hsieh
Svetlana Kuznetsova
This depends on which Sveta shows up.  If she decides to play behind the baseline, she will lose.  Hsieh can run all day.  Sveta should use her arsenal of shots to win this – Kuznetsova
Yulia Putintseva
Carla Suarez Navarro
Another battle of the tiny tots.  The world got to see Putintseva in her last match against McHale. Look for the steady Navarro to outlast the Russian – Navarro
Serena Williams
Garbine Muguruza
How is the ankle doing?  That is the question the tennis world is waiting on when Serena takes the court for her second round match. Serena in straights
Ayumi Morita
Annika Beck
I have not see either of these women play since the tournament started but I am going with Beck, if only because of her big win in the previous round.
Yanina Wickmayer
Jana Cepelova
Wickmayer to continue her 2013 run of form against the youngster
Shuai Peng
Maria Kirilenko
This one will be a long drawn out affair.  If Peng serves well, she should take it, but I am going with Kirilenko
Kimiko Date-Krumm
Shahar Peer
Peer had to battle hard just to get here while Krumm sent Petrova packing with a bagel.  Look for Krumm to discombolate Peer here.
Bojana Jovanovski
Lucie Safarova
Depends on which Lucie shows up.  Bojana can be steady as well as erratic.  I am going with Jovanovski
Sloane Stephens
Kristina Mladenovic
Battle of the young guns.  Stephens dispatched her last opponent with 2 breadsticks.  Look for her to continue her great run of form here.
Laura Robson
Petra Kvitova
This is the match of the day.  Is 2011 Petra back or will Robson get another top 10 scalp at a Major.  I am going with Petra because of her experience, plus she has to get it right at some point

WHAT WAS SHE THINKING?

Every Grand Slam brings out new outfits for players to wear.  From time to time we have some classic pieces that are never worn again and which fans the world over rave about in social media.  One of these was Serena’s dress at the 2012 French Open.  Beautiful green colour and it fit very well.  Unfortunately, fans only got to see it for one round as for the first time, Serena was ousted in the first round of a Major.
However, there are the outfits that defy description.  During the next 2 weeks Overhead Spin will choose one outfit that is based on how many comments it garners on social media and post the outfit with the caption … What were you thinking?
The outfit that garnered the  most comments on Twitter last night was that worn by Olga Puchkova, a Russian who was playing fellow Russian, Sharapova.  Pouchkova, not only had everything go wrong with her game last night, but her outfit was described by many as a cross between sleepwear and as one fashonista tweeted “is this a onesie?”
Here for your viewing pleasure is Puchkova in her definition of tennis gear. While this picture does not make the outfit look too bad, it is when Puchkova is in full flight, or indeed is stationary that the real disaster of the outfit comes into full recognition.
Do you think this outfit was the worst of Day 1?  Sound off

Mutua Madrid Open – Another Nail in Women’s Tennis

The  screen up top is what greeted millions of fans of women’s tennis the world over today when Caroline Wozniacki took the court against rising German star Mona Barthel and Serena Williams started her match against Anastasia Pavlychenkova.

Fans were eager to see how Wozniacki, who injured her ankle on the first day of play would do against the big hitting German star. Pavlychenkova, even though she was currently in a slump, having only won 3 matches this season, pushed Serena hard at the 2011 US Open, so fans were understandably eager to see how these 2 matches would fare. Unfortunately, there was absolutely no coverage to be found of either of these matches.

 Prior to today’s debacle, yesterday, Venus Williams, she of the Sjorgen’s Syndrome, who is trying to raise her ranking to compete at this year’s Olympics at her favoured tennis site, Wimbledon, played another up and coming young German in Angelique Kerber. In addition to that match, 2011 US Open champion Sam Stosur was pushed to 3 sets by promising young American Christina McHale. Again, fans the world over were denied access to either of these matches. To compound the situation, I understand from veteran journalist, Matt Cronin that none of the journalists on site in Madrid chose to request an interview with Venus after her loss (but more on that in another post).

 I started this blog in 2009. Since I began writing, the majority of my posts have  been about the fact that the women’s matches at these combined events are usually sidelined in favour of some of the more mediocre men’s matches. It pains me to say this, but there are only 4 men in men’s tennis. The storylines are the same tournament in and out. It gets even worse  during clay season as apart from the anomaly that was Novak Djokovic in beating Nadal on clay last season, the story lines have remained the same. There are 9 Masters events, and no one outside of the top 4 have won any of them dating back to Soderling’s win in Paris, Bercy in 2010. Despite this, at every combined event, from here to eternity, the women are constantly pushed into the background or, even when their matches are scheduled for the tv viewing audience, it is early in the morning to empty stadiums.

 Many fans forget the heady days of the early 2000s when the men’s tour was headed  by a No. 1 who decided that the best way to go about the Tour’s business was to sue a body that was virtually his employer. In those days when Venus, Serena, Martina, Lindsay, Jennifer, Justine and Kim ruled women’s tennis, when ratings for the early rounds of the women’s matches were drawing big numbers, the ATP approached the women’s tour to try and ride on the coat-tails. Today, it is the WTA, who while not riding on the coat-tails of the ATP, seem to not understand that they have an audience of millions who are dying to spend money to watch the women of the Tour play.

 At last year’s Wimbledon, unless you were an ardent fan of women’s tennis, you had no idea who Petra Kvitova was. Commentators were at pains to try and find information about her to relay to viewers. Apart from her semifinal match against Azarenka, Kvitova never made it to ESPN2/NBC’s broadcasts of the early rounds of Wimbledon. Fans knew who she was and of what she is capable. Fast forward to this year’s Australian Open and the commentary that accompanied Azarenka’s her triumph  Melbourne Park had more to do with her emotional and injury meltdowns of the past and not with her maturity and the strength of her game and how she commanded the court in her first Grand Slam final.

 As a result of the negative commentary on women’s tennis, the shrieking, the fist pumping, the so-called WTA Rules as opined by Juan Ignacio Chela (more on that at another time), fans of the women’s game are not being given equal measure. We have been informed that the 4 top men of the ATP met with the organizers of the 4 Grand Slams to discuss prize money increases. They suggested and this was later adopted by all 4 Grand slams that any increase in prize money should be given to the lower ranked players. 

When Venus Williams met with the All England Club in 2007 she spoke eloquently to them in relation to her case for equal prize money. She would later go on to win the whole thing. I would really love if Venus, Serena, Sharapova and the many other women of the WTA who have millions of fans worldwide and who dominate social media with their presence could find a way to approach Tennis Channel, ESPN, Eurosport and any other media entity to have some form of partnership with the WTA in terms of media coverage for matches. Perhaps, like the ATP, the top women, whose matches already receive lots of media attention, could perhaps allow fans to see lower ranked players or even to have some kind of partnership where fans would pay to see the women at these combined events.

 Fans of the women’s game are disgruntled. There were many tweets from journalists, coaches and many others complaining about the lack of coverage of the women at this year’s Madrid tournament. As I said on twitter, it makes no sense for the Darren Cahills of this world to tweet their displeasure at the likes of me. Cahill and others are  in a position to bring their views to the powers that be. I am sure that he, and many others like him were inundated with tweets from many fans today expressing their displeasure at the fact that only 2 matches for the women were shown.

 As to Tennis Channel, why I continue to spend  money to have this channel is beyond me. On some level it is the only way that I get to watch tennis, especially where I am located. As I subscribe via Dish Network, and as I had to install an extra satellite dish just to get the damned thing, I am stuck like chuck.

 I, as an ardent fan of the women’s game am sick and tired of not being able to watch the matches that I know can be shown. It is time for fans of the women’s game to stand up. Perhaps a twition to the players on twitter as well as the media houses on twitter to let them know just how unhappy we are with the lack of coverage of the women’s events at these combined events. Lest anyone forget, women’s tennis is the largest global sport for women. It is time that the women of the WTA recognize their power and start wielding it. In another 2 weeks we will head to Rome, another combined event. Something tells me that if we stand up and fight, maybe, just maybe, things will change. Until then …

LI, NA, WTA PLAYER OF THE YEAR

I have tried on several occasions to write the second in our series on contenders for the WTA: Player of the Year. You would think with 4 different Slam winners, 3 of them first time winners, that it would be easy to write the narrative for these awesome women of the WTA, and especially the narrative for Li Na, but this has been without a doubt the most difficult post I have ever written.

I think one of the reasons why I am finding it so difficult to write about Li is that I am intrigued and confused about Li. I have always been unimpressed with her style of play. There does not seem to be much imagination to her game, and her attitude on court leaves a lot to be desired. However, her press conferences and the paths that she has taken to winning her first Grand Slam title and being the first player from China to win a Grand Slam title has left me being intrigued and admiring of that aspect of her persona.

However some of her recent utterances have left me shaking my head in disgust as for a woman to basically imply that the women of the WTA are not as mentally tough as the men leaves a really bad taste in my mouth. I understand that there is a level of sexism that permeates the narrative about women’s tennis. It is either they are all lesbians; they are on steroids; or as some would say they are so muscular as to not even look feminine, the commentary about the women of the WTA has not always been, to put it politely, very tennis friendly.

However, when a champion such as Li, a champion who has overcome so many personal obstacles in her own life, to now be ranked as one of the biggest stars of the WTA, a signal of hope for a country’s women and a player who will now find herself in the conversation every time she enters a tournament, her recent utterances leave a lot to be desired and really sets back the progress that have been made by Billie Jean and the Gang of Nine in seeking equality and recognition for female professional tennis players.

In reviewing Li’s year, one could be asked how in the name of all that is holy did she manage to win a Grand Slam, beating the likes of Sharapova, the allegedly toughest player on the WTA mentally, or indeed beat defending champion Francesca Schiavone in straight sets. Li’s path to the final was filled with intrigue and drama. She played some tough matches but in the final, just as Schiavone did before, she played absolutely flawless tennis. She served well, returned even better, did not get down on herself, and took the opportunities when they were presented to her.
Li has won one other title this year, at Sydney, beating Australian Open champion Clijsters in what was a very good match.

There have been much written about Li’s slump since winning the French Open, but a quick check of her year in review on the WTA’s website shows an observer exactly what you usually get with Li. There is a reason why she has such a small number of titles since joining the Tour. In her first 5 tournaments, apart from reaching the final of Sydney and the final of the Australian Open, Li’s record at regular Tour events have been a series of 1st rounds, 2nd round etc. Her best performance at regular Tour events prior to the French Open were at Rome where she fell in the semifinals to Stosur and her win at Sydney.

By winning a Grand Slam, Li has put herself in the conversation for Player of the Year. She has qualified for the Year End Championships and one can only hope that despite her recent utterances of not being able to find her game, she will embrace the challenge of being a Year End Champion and play like the champion we know she can be.

Give us your thoughts on Li as WTA Player of the Year

Next up: Petra Kvitova

DOUBLE STANDARDS IN TENNIS



Remember when Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic posed in their skimpy swimsuits?

Recently, Serena Williams did this (via onthegotennis.com)
http://tinyurl.com/6yc5qxk

When I checked my Blackberry today and saw my timeline blow up about Serena, I was wondering what was the problem. Lo and behold I finally got a chance to see what was causing all the journalists to come out in high dudgeon against Ms. Williams. Lo and behold, it was because she chose to change her twitter Avatar with the picture cited above.

I have to say that I am a bit stunned at the reaction of tennis journos, and especially that paragon of tennis journalism, Greg Couch. Mr. Couch states that “Still, Anna Kournikova, Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic photos are never quite as gritty as Serena’s”. Hum, maybe they are not as gritty as Serena, simply because despite what advertisers and others would have us think you are either born with it, or you have it bestowed upon you. In Ms. Williams’ case, put her in sack cloth and ashes and she would still make Sharapova, Ivanovic and Kournikova look ordinary.

However, that is not the reason for this post. This post is about the hypocrisy that pervades throughout tennis journalism, and no where is it more evident but in the way how women’s tennis is covered and the way in which the women’s game is portrayed by journalists.

Separate and apart from the righteous indignation of Couch who would have us think that he is only defending Serena’s honour in thinking that for someone who has been the victim of a stalker (and he had the gall to cite Erin Andrews, but more anon), but how dare she post a picture that conjures up so much meaning and putting it out there for another stalker, or the same one, to think that he was invited to do it once again. How dare Serena Williams actually try and be a woman. A person. An individual. How dare she?

If I was 10% convinced that Mr. Couch’s heart was in the right place, I would ask him to get into high dudgeon at the way the media has chosen to deal with women’s tennis since this 2011 tennis season has commenced:-

1. There have been 4 Premier Mandatory tournaments played since the tennis season began. Of these 4 Premier Mandatory tournaments, the women’s portion of those events have only been airing since the quarter-finals. Tennis Channel, ESPN and the other networks that broadcast tennis do not believe that women’s tennis is worthy of being watched by millions of viewers and so the women are hardly shown and when they are shown, we are given highlights or interrupted play. I do not recall Couch and many other journalists bemoaning that fact.
2. When Todd Woodbridge chose to comment to Rennae Stubbs via text message that the possible reason for Kim Clijsters looking so grumpy and her breasts looking full must mean that she is once again pregnant. Correct me if I am wrong folks, but I do not recall anyone defending the invasion of Clijsters’ privacy with such a disgusting remark. I think most women would agree with me that if you had to get up and look at Mr. Couch’s face every day, and indeed listen to some of the male commentators on tv, you would perhaps be grumpy as well.
3. How about the constant belittling of professional women by referring to them as girls? If there is anything more demeaning to listen to is having grown ass men referring to women who could buy them 10 times over as girls. I will keel over and die the next time I hear commentators refer to the likes of Federer and Nadal as boys.
The cries of indignation by people like Couch infers and/or implies that because Serena was the victim of a stalker she should not have posted such a suggestive picture of herself. I guess that means that women who get raped while on dates should never ever go out on another date. Or how about women who get attacked viciously while going about their normal business? According to Mr. Couch, they must be asking for it, or indeed, they should change their lifestyle to minimize the chance of them being attacked. Are you serious Mr. Couch? He seems to think that Serena posting a picture of herself is an invitation to the lunatics, like the one who stalked her, and therefore, Serena, a free adult should be bound by fear, according to Mr. Couch, and not post pictures of herself, no matter that this is a free society, because the likes of the stalker who was recently hauled before the Florida Courts could be tempted to do this again.

As someone who has been a victim of personal crime, I find it insensitive and downright obnoxious that someone like Mr. Couch could ever deem to hold himself out as a moral authority as to women’s rights. Mr. Couch has used his position as a journalist to besmirch and downright call down fire and brimstone on the head of the Williams family, and Serena Williams in particular. Mr. Couch has absolutely no moral authority, imagined or otherwise, to even call Serena Williams to account.

It would have been good if Mr. Couch was sincere in his chastising of Ms. Williams, but his previous rants against Ms. Williams and indeed her whole family, the most recent of which was his abominable rants that Ms. Williams, knowing that she could not play an exhibition event for Nike, implied, inferred and colluded with Nike to have her name on a billboard promoting said Nike event. The fact that Ms. Williams was then diagnosed as suffering a pulmonary embolism, had to be rushed to the hospital for a subsequent hematoma, as a result of a cut on her foot, which to this day, Mr. Couch, and others of his like thinks is a figment of Ms. Williams’ imagination, notwithstanding his stance and others like him that Ms. Williams was not in fact injured, but was saving herself for the majors. I am yet to hear any apology from any of those members of the media who called into question, Serena’s continued absence from the Tour.

Therefore, it strikes me as a bit rich, that Mr. Couch of all people should be coming out and purportedly chastising Ms. Williams for putting herself in danger, seeing as she had been the victim of a stalker. You cannot have it both ways. It is either Ms. Williams is a lying, cheating hypocritical heifer who makes up injuries in order that tournaments can sell tickets, or she is injured, or she is the victim of a stalker, or is it that Ms. Williams, like most women, needs a man to look after their interest, because she is incapable of doing so herself.

Mr. Couch is of the view that Serena’s personality and character are big for women’s tennis. He believes that people like Schiavone (a very talented player and a Grand Slam champion) do not draw crowds to tennis matches or fans are not drawn to her. Clearly, he did not watch today’s match with Schiavone and Hantuchova, when Schiavone showed us just why she is a Grand Slam champion. She had the crowd in Centre Court in her home country on their feet with her performance today. Perhaps Mr. Couch should have been watching that match, rather than trolling the internet looking at Serena’s twitter picture (or maybe he did not get to see it seeing as it was not on Tennis Channel).

Mr. Couch and his cohorts in the media, and those who continue to use their positions to deride the women’s game need to be called to account. For too long they have used their positions to belittle the women’s game.

The constant criticism of the grunting in women’s tennis, never mind that the current No. 1 player in the world, grunts like he is climbing Mount Everest and having a hard time of it. The current No.2, Novak Djokovic (grunts), Verdasco (grunts), Federer (grunts), almost every single Spanish player (grunts), some of them so loud that you cannot even hear the commentary in the booth at times. The only comment is this “what an effort from [insert name here]. When the women do it, they are not exerting effort. Oh no. They are just doing it because they are cheating. It annoys me that former players such as Carillo and Navratilova have joined the bandwagon in criticizing the women’s game in relation to this but I guess if you want to be considered one of the boys, what better way than to join up against the women.

Of course the women grunt, but they also play tennis. How about commenting on the tennis and leave the grunting out of it. Is it distracting to fans? Sometimes, it is. Is it turning fans away? Only because the media continues to put emphasis on the issue. During every single broadcast of a tennis match featuring Azarenka, Sharapova or Venus, the first thing that you hear is the hue and cry about grunting.

I, like many fans of women’s tennis are waiting for the day when Serena Williams returns to the tennis court. As it is she is not playing the French Open. Rather than the media speculating about a picture that Serena Williams posted, how about letting fans know who the early round contenders are? How about doing some homework before the start of play so that fans can be properly advised about the current crop of players.

I will not be holding my breath for that to happen.

Future of the WTA



This blog is predominantly about women’s tennis. It is usually about the lack of respect shown to women’s tennis by the media in terms of how women’s tennis is covered. However, today, I am going to talk about the diversity of women’s tennis.

A few weeks ago the WTA took time out to celebrate the commencement of the WTA. Players from all over the world paid their respect to the 9 women who sacrificed their careers and their future in establishing the Women’s Tennis Association by signing a contract for $1.00 and starting what would become one of the most successful and viable franchises in sports history.

Since that time, we have seen the growth of women’s tennis on a par with most sports that are more focused on men. Why then does the growth of women’s tennis is not tied to the performance of the athletes but rather tied to how they look. Even worse, why is that it is only a certain demographic of women’s tennis is represented by advertisers.

We are constantly being told that Hispanics and African Americans are the biggest growing markets in North America. We are told that Asia is the fastest growing region for the sport of tennis. Yet, when we look at the players who are getting the multi-million dollar contract, there is hardly a Na Li or a Serena Williams out there raking in the big bucks.

Even worse, a look at the top 100 rankings of women’s tennis and the paucity of minorities who are embracing this sport leaves people like me, who are a minority, and who were drawn to the sport by two of the biggest stars to ever play the game, Venus and Serena, feeling quite disconsolate.

I listen and I watch lots of women’s tennis. The feedback I get from commentators is that tennis needs people like Ivanovic, Wozniacki, Sharapova, Clijsters, Azarenka and the list goes on and on, not because they are great players, but because of their looks and personality and what they bring to women’s tennis. In the same breath, the strength of character, the will to fight, the competitiveness and drive of a Serena Williams, the longevity of a Venus Williams, the artistry of a Justine Henin are laid by the wayside.

These veterans of the Tour may not have the looks that the Ivanovic’s and Wozniacki’s of the tennis world, but they are 3 of the most accomplished players in this generation of tennis players.

What really galls me more than anything else is that the 9 women who were recently celebrated for having the initiative and drive to buck the system are not what we would call celebrated beauties. In their own way they are beautiful women, but would Madison Avenue consider them women who could sell phones or tennis clothes, handbags, shoes etc. I don’t think so.

Sania Mirza is one of the few women of ethnic origin who has garnered a great deal of sponsorships based on her looks. If you have never seen Sania Mirza, here is a picture of her.

This is a call for minority women from all over the world to go out there and let your face be seen. Let your racquets start doing the talking. Give us the next Serena and Venus Williams. Let us see the next Na Li. The next Sania Mirza.

US Open Series

Hello fans of tennis. It is that time of year again when the women of the WTA begin competing in the US Open Series, culminating in the last major of the year, the US Open.

To those who do not know, the USO Series is a series of events during the US hard court season which traverses the United States. There are usually 4 events, Stanford, Los Angeles, Cincinatti and Toronto/Montreal. The winner of the USO Series gets US$1M and if said winner wins both the USO Series and the US Open, they are guaranteed to double their prize money. Financially it is an incentive to players to play these events. The problem though is that these events happen at the tough end of the tennis season and it usually finds the top players all banged up and bruised. Withdrawals are a part of this time of the season.

In checking the preliminary tv schedules for both Tennis Channel and ESPN, we find that most of the events that feature the women will start airing at the quarter final stage. I believe the same will obtain for the men, save and except for their Masters Series events in Montreal and Cincinatti.

I am aware that there is not a lot of sponsorship going on right now in tennis, and usually when tennis gets to the States for some reason that is when all live streams on the internet go dark. Someone needs to tell tournament directors that whether they live stream their events or not, if people want to come to these events they will come regardless. Nobody likes sitting in front of a computer screen watching tennis, but for those of us who do not reside in the US, would it kill these people to provide live streams for those of us outside the US?

This week, (16 July) I have been fortunate to watch some matches in places like Portoroz (Slovenia Open) and Bad Gastein. Bad Gastein is a clay court event and while I was quite happy to watch the live stream, my experience was not pleasant as the camera angles were set in such a way that it made for poor viewing. Portoroz was a very good event and I now have a new fave in Polono Hercog.

One thing that I noticed from those 2 events that I have been watching this week is the lack of grunting/screaming. However, would it kill the announcers to stop referring to these grown women as girls. I cannot recall hearing the men being described as boys. It kind of galls me to hear them talking about married women who are currently on Tour and playing as girls.

There are some intriguing story lines coming up during this summer hard court season and I will have a post about that showing my list contenders and floaters.

Lack of tennis coverage

OK, I know that there are hundreds of tennis blogs around, but this one is going to be very different. This one is about waking up the powers that be to the fact that there is absolutely no tennis on tv.
I am an avid tennis watcher. I play the game. I log on to message boards and post my opinions. I pose questions to question and answer forums and a lot of people know me because of my writing on other people’s blogs. However, one thing that struck me recently was how many fans in the United States and other parts of North America (Canada) as well as those of us in the Caribbean (where I am from) who rely on North American networks for our daily tennis fix, are unable to watch matches. Separate and apart from calling out the powers that be for their lack of coverage, I will be offering suggestions as to how we can get tennis to the fans.

First of all, we are now in the season called the USO Series. That is the US Open Series. This is supposed to be a slew of tournaments which starts the North American hardcourt swing and ends at the US Open. The Series starts with a women’ s event at Stanford called the Bank of the West Classic, then went to LA and then onwards to Cincinnatti, then Toronto, New Haven and finally New York. The men’s events started in LA, moved on to Washington, D.C., then to Montreal, Cincinnatti, New Haven and finally ends in New York.

Now you would think that with all these tournaments all over North America folks would finally get to see some tennis. That would be too easy. The only tennis we saw were selected matches from the quarter finals onwards of all tournaments played to date. In addition, unless the players were American, or Sharapova, then you never got a chance to see other players. Anyway, for tennis fans, they will watch 2 dogs playing tennis to no tennis at all.

Today, 10 August is the start of a Masters Series event for the men in Montreal and a Mandatory event in Cincinnatti for the women. Lo and behold, the only tennis you get to see is via live streams, a phenomenom that I will address later in this post.

It is absolutely ridiculous that we have Tennis Channel, ESPN (along with every variation thereof) and we still cannot get tennis on tvs in North America. The Tennis Channel was recently inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame for its contribution to the growth of tennis. I am not sure that that induction was worthy as recently all we have seen are repeats of Murphy’s Guide and Mika jetting around on Destination Tennis. These days Tennis Channel advertises itself as the Grand Slam network, but the only grand slams you see are Grand Slams from the 70s. Prior to whatever contractual considerations between Tennis Channel and their broadcast partners, the coverage of the Grand Slams was second to none. These days, for those of us who actually have jobs and who look forward to seeing repeats of matches played in the day, you will be out of luck these days, as it would seem that if the match was not shown on Tennis Channel, then they apparently cannot show a repeat.

Live Streams – I visit many blogs on the internet. One of the requests that you hear on every single blog devoted to tennis, and this is coming from folks in North America, the Caribbean and many other countries is this “anyone have a link?”. Now I am a Dish Network subscriber in the Caribbean. I installed a second dish just to be able to get 1 single channel, the Tennis Channel. Imagine my dismay now when I hardly get to see any tennis on my HDTV or really enjoy tennis as hardly any tennis is on the tv.

Now, I am not about laying blame without making suggestions. Is it possible that CBS, NBC, ESPN and Tennis Channel could come together and have a highlight show during tournament play. Clearly, there is some form of financial consideration which prevents Tennis Channel from providing round the clock coverage of events that are being played. In this time of cut backs, I can understand that. However, what I cannot understand is why is it that there are countries in Europe who are able to see the current Masters Series event in Montreal on their tv, as well as coverage of Cincinnatti and people in the United States are unable to see it. This is after all the USO Series. We are told that every single time that the powers that be decide to show a match. If only we fans could see it then we would not think it is a figment of our imaginations.