Three good deeds (and three bad ones)
By Kristin Green Morse, tennis producer for SI.com
• Olivier Rochus
: The 5-foot-5 Belgian, who has been mistaken for a ballboy, was winless in four U.S. Open attempts until this year when Rochus scrambled to the Round of 16, eventually succumbing to cramps and Dominik Hrbaty in five sets. But before losing, the vertically challenged competitor upset third-seeded Carlos Moya in a gripping five-set third-round match. Down a game point in the third, Rochus and Moya engaged in a long rally. The 6-foot-3 Moya eventually hit a shot that was called out by the linesman. Rochus smiled, walked up to the chair umpire and conceded the point. Not a small gesture.
• Andy Roddick
: Although a bit cantankerous at the U.S. Open, Roddick’s behavior a couple of weeks earlier at the Olympics was anything but. Upset in the Round of 16 by Chile's Fernando Gonzalez, Roddick would have been excused if he’d immediately departed Athens to prepare for the Open. Instead, the world's second-ranked player continued to stay in the Olympic Village and encourage his U.S. teammates. Notably, Roddick lived and died with each point Mardy Fish played in the gold medal round against Nicolas Massu of Chile. The roller-coaster five-set match ended in Massu's favor.
• Venus Williams
: After her 7-6, 7-6 loss to Karolina Sprem in the second round of Wimbledon, Williams was well within her rights to complain about the officiating. Chair umpire Ted Watts granted Sprem an extra point in the second set tiebreaker, which the Croatian teenager went on to win 8-6. Instead of pointing fingers, Williams was complimentary toward her opponent's play and never publicly chided the umpire. "I don't think one call makes a match," said Williams at the post-match press conference.
• Although the The (Charleston) Post and Courier
's headline Petty Patty
irritated Martina Navratilova ("They would not say that about men …"), petty seemed an apt description for Patty Schnyder’s behavior during her semifinal bout with Conchita Martinez at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C., in April. Schnyder was annoyed with her opponent's slow, deliberate pace between points, charging that Martinez was engaging in gamesmanship. (Players have 20 seconds between points, but the chair umpire never asked Martinez to speed up.) Schnyder mocked Martinez during the match, and after Martinez won 6-4, 6-3, the two met at the net for the customary hand shake. Both reached out, but Schnyder pulled her hand away. From there, the dispute spiraled to a war of words: Martinez said Schnyder was "childish" and Schnyder retorted that Martinez was "nasty." All in all, it wasn't pretty.
• 2004 may best be remembered as the Year of the Umpire. Enter: Ted Watts and Mariana Alves. Watts, who sat in the chair for the controversial Venus Williams-Karolina Sprem match at Wimbledon, inexplicably lost track of the score in the second set tiebreaker, granting an extra point to the teenager from Croatia. One point does not make or break a match, but when the final score is 7-6, 7-6, every point counts. Then, as though not to be outdone, Alves -- the chair umpire for the Serena Williams-Jennifer Capriati U.S. Open quarterfinal -- overruled a linesperson's call early in the third set that went against Serena. Replays showed that the ball was well within the line. Serena summed it up best at her press conference: "I just feel robbed."
• It wasn’t Jennifer Capriati’s fault that one of this year’s most infamous overrules (see item No. 2) occurred during her U.S. Open quarterfinal thriller with Serena Williams, but she didn’t win any fans when, in the next round, against Elena Dementieva she tried to steal a point. In the third game of the final set, chair umpire Luann White erroneously called the score 30-30 when it should have been 40-15 for Dementieva. White quickly corrected her mistake to which Capriati yelled, "You can't change it now!" White explained she could indeed change the score, prompting Capriati to utter an expletive and White to issue a warning. Dementieva went on to win the match 7-6 in the third.
Hope it's not been posted yet!
with regards to Jen Cap!!!