This week in the longest sports calendar…
5. Congratulations to Angelique Kerber and Stan Wawrinka who won their first US Open defeating Pliskova and Djokovic. Kerber has had an exceptional year, winning two slams (Us Open and Australian Open) and playing in a third final at Wimbledon, though she lost to Serena. With this win, Wawrinka closes in on the Career Grand Slam. His eyes should be focused on Wimbeldon next year. Jamie Murray is also quietly developing a rather stellar doubles career; he and Bruno Soares won Doubles along with doubles specialist Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova. Laura Siegmund and Mate Pavic won Mixed Doubles. This was a great slam and now the tours are off to the Asian Swing (WTA) and the Davis Cup (ATP).
4. It did not take long at all for the Serena narratives to be sharpened. For many, losing in the semifinals to Pliskova required a reassessment of the women’s tour. Where are the articles on the men’s tour given Federer’s abscense and Djokovic’s lost?
In, “The US Open Has Proven That Women’s Tennis Can Shine Without Serena Williams” Adam Addicott surmises that the calibre of the players and their performances in the final silences critics who believe that the women’s game could not survive without one of their biggest ambassadors, Serena Williams. His argument isn’t false, the WTA tour is wide and deep with talent. However, the piece is incomplete without a comparison of TV ratings and ads for this final vs. those Serena has played. Furthermore, to note that Serena has only won one slam this year is to negate the difficulty of winning a slam as well as her record this year. Was she not in every slam final, including the fifth slam (Indian Wells) with the exception of the US Open? So yes, women’s tennis has a bright future, but it must be said, Serena has lifted the women’s game and thus when she retires she will leave the game with a gleam it never had.
3. WADA has confirmed a cyber attack by Russia. This is likely in retaliation for Ms. Stepanova whistleblowing for WADA’s Independent Pound Commission that exposed widespread doping by Russian athletics. This resulted in Russia’s track and field team ban from the Rio Olympics. Surprisingly, only prominent the American athletes’ records have been shared. They are female, black and leaders in their fields: Simon Biles’, Serena and Venus Williams.
On a related note, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has further postponed their decision on Maria Sharapova‘s two-year doping ban. Previously set for September 18, news will not be made until the first week of October. I wonder if Donald Trump still believes that Putin is a great leader? Are we ready for a New Cold War led by Trump?
2. McEnroe vs. Borg starring Shia LeBeouf as John McEnroe in 2017 maybe the most anticipated tennis movie!
1. In a lengthy tennis season when fans are as fatigued as Americans during the Presidential Campaign, Argentinian Juan Del Potro breath a little excitement into our hearts. At the Davis Cup Semi-final he defeated Andy Murray in five sets in a five-hour and seven minutes match 6-4 5-7 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4. Guido Pella also defeated Kyle Edmund 7-6(5), 4-6, 3-6, 2-6. Argentia is now 2-0 against Great Britain. The winner of this best of five tie will face France or Croatia in the final of the Davis Cup.