The Europeans, whom one might expect to be hardened to the realities of terror, were not. Second-seeded Sandrine Testud of France reported that airports were on alert in Rome and Paris and that it felt like a "new stage" of war. "We had our Basque separatist terrorists in Spain, but they've kind of stopped," said S�nchez Vicario. "But here, the innocents and, oh, the numbers."
The top-seeded Henin of Belgium, a fierce 19, said, "This wasn't unleashed just on the U.S. It was against all of us.
"I'm a sportswoman," continued Henin, who was trailing Testud 6-3, 2-0 when she retired with cramps in her left hamstring in Sunday's final. "I'll do anything to improve, but we have hearts. You want to do your best for...them."
Rededication. Sanchez Vicario likened it to competing only a few days after her father had had a serious heart attack in 1994: "The best I could do for him, he said, was to play and win. I used the pain of that to motivate me."
On Friday night, after the day's last match, Eric and Jeff Kutner, Hodgson and Porter carried boxes filled with the leis that had been blessed in the stadium ceremony past a stone Buddha and onto a black lava point. There they cut the garlands' strings to avert any danger to marine life and cast them softly, one by one, into the calm Pacific. Then they sat in silence, shoulder to shoulder, under the Milky Way, reflecting.
Their prayers and a gentle offshore breeze spread the leis over the sea, save for a few representing those unlucky souls who always seem to get hung up on the rocks. As they floated there, it was easy to see them as a bridge, or at least an undulant orchid archipelago. A prayerful end. A respectful beginning.