With tennis life not solely concentrated on Melbourne – just mostly – here’s some stuff going on worth putting to the record.
Two more men’s waded into the male v female tennis debate, perhaps not to their advantage. Canada’s Peter Polanksy (ranked 183) said: “One entertaining match on the women’s side of the Australian Open in the entire tournament (Sloane/Serena). How many guys matches?”
And up and coming American Denis Kudla wasn’t impressed with Maria Sharapova’s semi-final loss to Li Na: “2 and 2 is not acceptable at all if your ranked 2 in the world. Li Na didn’t play that good!”
Karma didn’t do either too much favours. Polansky promptly went out and lost his 2nd Round Challenger match to Alex Bogomolov Jr in Maui, while Kudla then had to watch David Ferrer take five games in three sets from Novak Djokovic and receive the consequent Twitter barrage.
The more relevant question is – assuming men really aren’t taking seriously the hackneyed 3 and 5 set argument – is what encourages the sniping between the men’s and women’s circuits?
Michael Russell marked his ongoing dominance over Alex Kuznestov by beating him for the 11th time in a row in the Maui Challenger in Hawaii – and he did it in style. Going into the match with a 10-0 record against him, Russell gave Kuznetsov a 10-game head start, trailing 0-6 0-4 before coming through 0-6 7-5 6-3.
Just in case you thought Victoria Azarenka’s medical time out was the only MTO related furore this week, there was a bizarre finish to Paul Capdeville’s quarter-final with Marcelo Demoliner in the Bucaramanga Challenger. The Chilean was leading 3-2 in the final set and took a medical time out. Demoliner’s response was to throw in a terrible next game, lose the next one as well to go 5-2 down and then get a game penalty from the unimpressed umpire to lose the match.
Anyone doubting Capdeville’s health should note he retired 5-1 down in the opening set of his semi-final with Federico Del Bonis.
Paul-Henri Mathieu’s first encounter with the abolition of the let serve didn’t go to well. He lost in the semi-finals of the Heilbronn Challenger in Germany. He tweeted “A little decency for our sport the ATP … thank you! Quit this trial period quickly!”.
Finally, there seems to be the odd whisper going round that Sky TV in Britain may not keep their rights to the US Open tennis, the only one of the four Slams they show live. Sky do currently broadcast all the Masters series events on the ATP Tour, but how much longer would they keep their interest if there are no crown jewels at the end of it?