The tennis calendar is the longest in sports. From January to November players traipse across the world accumulating points and hopefully titles while they avoid injury and fatigue. So much gets lost among the countless tournaments. Every week I’ll list the top five tennis moments. This is the first Top Five posting so I am addressing events from the last two weeks.
5. Sloane Stephens captures her first title at the Citi Open in Washington, DC. Her game looked good with more consistency, good court sense and point development. She lost in the third round of the Cinncinati Open to Ivanovic.
4. Belinda Bencic won the Roger’s Cup 2015 and announced her arrival on the tour as the youngest and most promising player. She defeated Bouchard, Wozniacki, Lisicki, Ivanovic, Serena, and Halep. The Swiss teen is Coached by her dad and Melina Molitor, Hingis’ mother. She then went on to defeat Kerber and Penneta before retiring with a muscular ailment in the second set to Safarova.
3. RealzTenisFanz Podcasts are sugar and spice and everything nice in tennis. On podcast #19, “The Juxtaposition and the Intersectionality of it All” they welcomed Ben Rothenberg to discuss his recent NY Times article, “Tennis’ Top Women Balance Body Image with Ambition” among other things. This podcast is NPR meets Comedy Central or as I fondly coined them ‘the Jon Stewart Tennis’.
2. Serena Williams has once again pushed tennis into pop-culture not only with her NY Magazine spread, but with her career grand slam run. And she may have broken the internet with this gravity defying pose.
The author, Kelly Howley, nicely captures the complexity of Serena Williams’ public person; whether Howley connected better with Williams or Williams allowed her more insight, the piece benefits though it is still clear that Williams holds the reigns though her grip has loosened.
“Serena and Venus can never simply be Serena and Venus. They are inevitably spectacle, fodder for abstractions both crude and lyrical. They have inspired not just racist commentary but also celebrated works of poetry… One can only speculate about whether the Williamses would have been better received had they been more willing to conform, to pretend to care about tennis tradition, to hop on Nick Bollettieri’s tennis-star assembly line… Serena answers most questions with mischievous half-statements, eyebrows raised over a good-natured ironic side-eye… On the way she has changed the game: ‘My dad taught us to have early preparation. I notice the other girls have similar preparations to mine, and I’m like, ‘Hmmm … well, you don’t want to admit where you got that from, right?’ ”
1. The reverberations of the Kyrigos sledge continues. Tennis is still investigating and considering suspension after the near $10, 000 fine already levied. Kyrigos has disputed Wawrinka’s claims that he did not apologize to all involved. Check out my post, “Will Kyrigos’ Sledge Push The Tennis Culture Forward?”
What was your top tennis moment this week?