Discussing protocol, five-setters for women, and Roddick vs. Serena
Protocol, rather than a rule, prevents players from drinking water between points
The WTA does not have an interest in having five-set matches in majors
Serena's behavior last year was more offensive than Andy Roddick's this year
I don't think you properly answered the question about players bringing water on to the court. The reader was asking why they don't drink water in between points (in the same way that they towel off), not at the changeovers. I've never seen players try to do this, so it's actually quite a good question. I can't imagine that it's against the rules, and if they simply place it on the ground at the back of the court they'd have the time to take a quick sip during the 20 seconds. Why don't they?
-- Richard, Miami
Ah, got it. Good question. Play is supposed to be continuous until the changeovers. But if a player brought a water bottle to the baseline and snuck a sip while they were toweling off, I'm not sure they'd be penalized or warned. I suspect it's the breach of protocol -- rather than an outright rule violation -- that's stopping them.
No dude, if women had to play best of five at Slams, they'd stop playing long points. They're not wild animals with low brain power. Also, we'd finally get exciting women's matches that we can remember -- kinda like the Fed-Nadal or the Fed-Roddick Wimbledon showdowns. That would actually boost TV rankings too as fans flock to women's tennis. As things stand, I've been watching tennis for years but I can't recall a single women's match in detail because they're over so quickly. I know many tennis fans who don't bother tuning into women's tennis because they know that a women's match won't be as exciting as a long, thrilling five-setter that men's tennis potentially promises.
-- Hoshiyar Thind, San Francisco
Low brain power? Wild animals? Whoa. My point: at a time when injuries are ravaging the tour -- and, less important, television schedules -- I question whether "more tennis" is a wise idea. The players certainly don't seem to want it, nor does the WTA as an institution. (To my surprise, several of you wrote in expressing a desire to see the women go best-of-five.) If, however, they passed a rule tomorrow mandating the women play best-of-five, I have no doubt the players would adjust their games accordingly.
Please explain how a woman (Serena) intimidates a woman more than a man (Roddick). Can you explain the difference? Where are the fines etc ...
-- Kelvin, Charlotte
We're all on the big Easter Egg hunt for double standards and hypocrisy. But come on, Kelvin. Threatening to asphyxiate a lineswoman via tennis ball -- all the while dropping more f-bombs than Ari Gold -- is slightly more offensive than haranguing a lineswoman for confusing a left foot with a right foot.
My wife and I are heading to the Open on Friday for the 15th consecutive year ... can't wait ... but we really missed having the RCA's here this year. Any chance of Indy getting this tournament back if a title sponsor can be secured?
-- Tim Davis, Indianapolis
Sadly, that train has left Union Station. They paved paradise and -- literally -- put up a parking lot.
Hey Jon, thank you for printing my comment about Kurt Nielsen. A little typo, only mentionable for Google and others, I'm actually Erik Seifert -- with a 't' at the end (like George of 49'er fame).
-- Erik Seifert, Norcross, Georgia
Sorry, dude. Nothing more annoying than getting a name wrong.
If I was Serena, I'd be sending Andy Roddick a box of dead roses or something for letting everyone relive the Foot Fault Controversy! On the other hand, maybe now we will get a Foot cam care of Serena, just like she did for hawkeye.
-- Matt, Toronto
Right on. Though as far as catalysts go, I'm more hoping that another weekend storm will lead to a covered court.
Teymuraz Gabashvili -- Aim, Bash It, Vulgarize ... not an anagram. The "Y" is missing and one too many "I"s.
-- Shayne, Louisville
It's the alternate British spelling "Teimuraz."
With Ryan Harrison going thru qualies and winning his first round, in hindsight, do you think this is what Donald Young should have done instead of getting in thru wild-cards? It looked like it prepared Ryan for the big matches better.
-- A. Cruz, West Chester, PA
I suspect Young has gotten his last wild card.
More on Azarenka's incident:
And the portions are so small ... the great Sam Sifton panning U.S. Open food.