From bathroom breaks to new rankings checkout this week in tennis…
5. Johanna Konta‘s near fifteen minute medical time in the second set was followed by a bathroom break and clothes change. By the time she returned, almost half-an-hour had gone by. She ultimately defeated Pironkova 6-2, 5-7, 6-2. This highlights the sport’s need for a general manager who can work with both tours to update its archaic and hole filled rules. As can be expected, Pironkova was disappointed in how the rules were used. In her post match press Konta shared that this has happened to her before and that she was embarrassed by what she defined as a panic attack. Interestingly, European headlines push the narrative that this was a heat stroke Konta survived. Maybe this and the other bathroom breaks will push the authorities to revise this often abused rule.
4. ITF President David Haggerty said, “The Davis and Fed Cup competition – tennis’ annual team event – must reinvent itself. And soon.” We have heard this refrain often. However, tennis’ integrity has been knocked about much this year, so it is not surprising that its governing body is making changes even if they are insignificant and cosmetic. Will it take a Lance Armstrong fault line to awaken this sport?
3. In her latest for The New Yorker, Louisa Thomas dissects Kerber’s game. Thomas is one of my favorite tennis writers, knowledgeable of the game and uniquely talented as a writer. However, given the doping cloud tennis is under, this piece, “The Mysterious Transformation of Angelique Kerber” will be interpreted as a question of the athlete’s doping status. No where in the piece does Thomas question the athlete’s integrity but her willingness to question Kerber’s transformation will speak volumes. Thomas highlights the mental lapses in Kerber’s game which have cost her titles, then she turns the microphone to the athlete. If Kerber were at the end of her career, she would have been more likely to share how she made the mental shift that is at the core of her 2016 transformation. For now, we have tennis’ best writer simply putting a player’s game under the microscope and leaving the question in the reader’s hand. Or maybe Thomas is toying with the importance of one’s mental game.
2. Andy Roddick and Kim Clisters have been nominated for induction into the Tennis Hall of Fame.
1. We all know this oft-repeated fact by now. If Serena lost this grand slam, Kerber would secure the #1 ranking. Well it has come to past. In the semifinals, Serena lost to Pliskova 6-2, 7-6(5) and Kerber defeated Wozniacki 6-4, 6-3. Kerber has now secured the number one ranking.