The Williams soap opera (pt. 4)
Posted: Wednesday April 9, 2008 11:34AM; Updated: Wednesday April 9, 2008 12:06PM
Shouldn't Mikhail Youzhny have received a warning or point penalty for racquet abuse for hitting himself with the racquet hard enough to draw blood from his head? His self-inflicted wound allowed him to take an injury timeout and sit. This was not an injury from play and I'm questioning whether the injury timeout should be allowed. Granted, he needed to be treated. It was a stupid injury and he should have had some consequence.
I think, technically, it's hard to argue that he deserved some sort of punishment. Not sure there's a clause for "forehead abuse" but it is problematic that a totally self-inflicted injury -- and one that had nothing to do with athletic exertion -- can trigger an injury timeout.
Still, this seems to me to be a case of the chair using good discretionary judgment. It's deep in the third set. It's a nice match. It's getting late at night. Nicolás Almagro, the opponent, was more bemused than angry. (I love the snippet of him walking over to Youzhny with a "WTF" look on his face.) Given the context, the official was right to "swallow his whistle." Plus, it would have screwed up the YouTube footage.
I think Youzhny should think about lowering the string tension on his racket. How about a contest to think of endorsements his self-attack could get him?
Game on, as they say in the marketing department. I have some swag from Miami, so start firing away.
Uh-oh. Signed, Membership Chair of Federer Fan Club.
You say, Uh-oh. I say, Mono. Signed, Reserving Judgment Until Mid-July Before Declaring A Demise Club.
A Page Six-style blind item: Which Grand Slam champion has apparently seduced a prominent New York billionaire?
Kent Smith of Leesburg, Ga., writes: "Have you seen this statistic from a first-round match at Amelia Island? It appears that there was only one second serve during the two-set match and it resulted in a double fault for Tamarine Tanasugarn."
How about this quote from the AP: "Roddick improved to 1-0 against Federer since his recent engagement to swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker, who watched from the stands."
Helen of Seattle writes: "Here's a reason to love Davis Cup."
Kent Anderson of New York City: "I know how you like tennis meeting song, how about this one I found?"
Here's one of our periodic reminders to check out Ubaldo Scanagatta's omni-lingual tennis blog.
This has nothing to do with tennis so feel free to skip ahead to the next item. But here's a parable: Several weeks ago, I linked to a heartbreaking New York Times story about a kid in Arkansas who is relentlessly bullied. This was a big "water-cooler story" that struck an emotional chord with many, self included.
In a total knee-jerk reaction after reading the piece, I sent the link to FOM Mark Cuban, figuring as the owner of the closest pro sports team to Arkansas, he might want do something nice for the poor kid. Cuban wrote back right away: He, too, had already read the piece and was affected by it. A few of you wrote to me with your reactions -- and echoed my concern that someone ought to get this kid some help before he shoots up the school.
So a week later I get an e-mail from a Mailbag reader in Fayetteville, Ark., suggesting that if the story wasn't a complete hoax, there was certainly more nuance than the Times suggested. Then he sent me this link.
Um, wow. A pretty stunning "alternative perspective" offered up here. As much as I resist the attacks on the "drive-by mainstream media," as Rush Limbaugh calls it, one wonders why this inconvenient follow-up hasn't gotten a fraction of the coverage the original story generated.
David Berman from Honolulu notes: "Did you ever notice that actor Justin Long's name is an oxymoron? Because in tennis, a ball can be Just in, or it can be Long. But it can't be both at once!"
Kathleen Sullivan, Arlington, Va.: "Regarding what to do with old tennis balls, my mother (a fourth-grade teacher) got some old practice balls from the local high school, cut holes in them (ŕ la the walker suggestion), and put them over the feet of her student's chairs to lessen the scraping noise the chairs made on the classroom's tile floor. Apparently they were such a success that the other teachers in her school quickly followed suit.
Mo of Hayward, Calif., submits this week's winning long-lost siblings submission: Ivo Minar and Chucky from the Child's Play movies.
Have a good week, everyone!
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