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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old Sep 6th, 2004, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Wertheim's Midterm US Open Grades

Midterm gradesJon Wertheim, SI.com


Spell checker doesn't recognize the word formful but, through seven days of play, it's a pretty good adjective to describe the 2004 U.S. Open. Genuine upsets have been few and far between, and the brightest stars are still shining. With a full dose of Princeton Grade Inflation, here are my midterm marks:

A:

Star power: Organizers, networks, sponsors and -- oh, yeah -- the fans, have to be pretty happy with the slate of names that remain in the draw.

USTA hospitality: By placing Roger Federer front and center on the marketing drive, toasting Olympic gold medalists from Belgium and Chile and putting Amelie Mauresmo and Lleyton Hewitt back-to-back for a night session, it's a vast improvement from the all-Americans, all-the-time m.o. of the past.

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Oli Rochus: The little big man upset No. 3 seed Carlos Moya in a terrific five-setter in third round on Saturday. In between flicking winners and running down every ball, Rochus conceded a point in the fourth set. Put simply: It's Rochus time, baby.

Shikha Uberoi: If only everyone would lose with such grace.

Male qualifiers: Ten of the 16 won their first match.

Sargis Sargsian: The Armenian vet has played 13 sets in three rounds already, but he's still around.

Todd Martin: The ATP's dignity quotient went down with his retirement announcement.

Wayne Ferreira: After playing in his 56th straight Slam, the South African veteran called it a career

USA Network: Now that's how you broadcast a tennis tournament. A week of judicious coverage choices and entertaining commentating may have peaked when Michael Barkann brandished Nicolas Massu's smashed racket during his sideline coverage.

Jarrell Benavidez: The Federer of ballkids.

B:

Daniela Hantuchova: She lost a third-round heartbreaker to Patty Schnyder, but, thankfully, the elevator appears headed in the right direction.

Tatiana Golovin: The 16-year-old came up short against Serena Williams, but is there any doubt she's destined for the top 10?

Mike Youzhny and Paul-Henri Mathieu: Twinned forever after their 2002 Davis Cup match, both were eliminated over the weekend, but not before turning in encouraging results that were long overdue.

Nicolas Massu: The Olympic gold medalist lost a classic five-setter to Sargsian, but after his marathon in Athens, it's amazing he was even in the match.

German tennis: Tommy Haas and Nicolas Kiefer both have a real shot at the semifinals. Now about Boris Becker's stint in USA's broadcast booth ...

Maria Sharapova: Her post-Wimbledon swoon continues but she handled herself with real dignity and maturity after losing to Mary Pierce.

C:

Mardy Fish: We're impressed that he went yard while taking batting practice with the Mets, but te could have used more big cuts the following day, losing to 149th-ranked qualifer Michal Tabara in the second round.

Olympic medalists: Justine Henin-Hardenne (women's gold) and Mauresmo (silver) are still alive, but Alicia Molik (bronze), Massu (men's gold), Fish (silver), and Fernando Gonzalez (bronze) failed to survive the second round.

Wild cards: Only one of 16 (Amer Delic) won their first-round match.

Marat Safin: "Head case" doesn't begin to describe it.

Concessions: Whatever incremental revenue you get charging $7.50 for a substandard hamburger is vastly outstripped by the bad publicity and bad feelings it engenders. The grade would be lower were it not the Indian joint abutting Court 7.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old Sep 6th, 2004, 07:00 PM
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go marat....should of got an F
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old Sep 6th, 2004, 07:01 PM
blurring the lines between the real and the fake
 
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is that Jarrell Benavidez he refers to the ball kid with the mad afro who is always on Arthur Ashe court I wonder?

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