?The Americans' ghastly performance at the French Open applied to television networks as well. ESPN's "coverage" in Paris was a comedy of unforced errors. A match was truncated to accommodate the National Spelling Bee, and the network relied too heavily on tape-delayed matches—sometimes as the on-screen crawl revealed the outcome. But the biggest sin was a near-pathological aversion to featuring non-Americans. Time and again, top players were ignored in favor of reheated coverage of a Yankee Doodle Dandy such as Serena Williams, whose encounter with Maria Kirilenko was aired four times. (If there were Geneva accords for sports broadcasting, ESPN would have hell to pay.) The network says that the ratings support the decisions; but that's less an explanation than a self-fulfilling prophecy. When foreign players are consigned to oblivion for days, naturally ratings will drag when they make it on air. One can only hope that by Wimbledon, the self-proclaimed "worldwide leader" in sports refines its definition of "world."