February 22, 2007
Well what do you know - women are now going to make the same amount of money at Wimbledon. Equal prize money is here at last. Which now leaves the French Open as the only Grand Slam event that does not offer equal money to the women. The French will announce their prize money structure in a few weeks and the pressure will definitely be on to follow in the All England Lawn Tennis Club footsteps. Otherwise Christian Bimes will look pretty desperate trying to explain why his tournament is the only one still trying to hang on to some bad 20th century logic. If and when all the slams will offer equal money to everyone we can start talking about the real issue here - why is the prize money so low compared to the profits made in all the slams.
Tennis has fallen so far behind in prize money compared to what the golfers are making - it is sad. And the Grand Slams, I believe, play a big part in this. By not increasing the money enough to keep up with the net profits, the game's profile suffers. (One must keep in mind the prize money in a slam is over a two-week period, so in effect the season ending championships pay twice as much as a slam). So let's see what happens when the French announce their payout and we'll go from there.
For now - kudos to Wimbledon for doing the right thing, even if it did a few more decades that it should have taken. Here is to equality for women around the world and this is a very small step in that direction!
January 30, 2007
Well,the Australian Open is over and surprise,surprise-Federer won!
Roger has no peer at the moment and is only playing against tennis history and for his place within it. What mastery. The only way players can compete against him now is 2 out of 3 sets as that puts a little bit more pressure on him. 3 out of 5 Roger just knows he has the upper hand as someone would have to play pretty flawless tennis over 5 sets. And no one has been able to do that other than Nadal on clay. The French open will be very interesting.
And now on to Serena Wiliiams winning-wow. She certainly had her game face on during the tournament-the finals particularly-and her game got better as the tournament went on. Nadia Petrova could have and should have beaten Serena in straight sets, but got a little careful. Williams served her way out of trouble repeatedly and won that match as well as against Peer and Vaidisova. How well she could move with that frame of hers is amazing. Because she is carrying a little extra weight she is not as quick as she used to be, but once Serena gets moving, she is still very fast and man oh man, her serve is a thing of effortless beauty. I am surprised at her how she dismantled Sharapova in the finals. Like I said-the French will be very interesting.
Speaking of which-Juro Kralik and I are doing an exhibition of Art Grand Slam in Paris later this year-details to come later-and this week-the first week in February-Juro and I will be making more creations in Sarasota.
On the political side-just how much more power is president Bush planning on giving himself? We don't have a lame duck president, but we just might have a lame-duck Congress if he keeps going in this direction....
What do you guys think?
November 1, 2006
Well, a lot has happened since my last post. When I was asked during the US Open what my goal was for the tournament, I said to have fun and play well, but most of all come away with a title. And I did all of that - had fun, played some great ball and won the mixed - thanks to a great partner, Bob Bryan, and a little luck - both first and second round matches could have gone either way. Even though we dominated on the stat sheets - service breaks and break points, we split sets both times and had to pull it out in that ridiculous flip of a coin - the match tie-break.
It turned the final against Damm-Peschke was our most straightforward match of the tournament. Nadia and I played a good tournament as well, but unfortunately for us, Raymind and Stosur played a really great match against us in the quarters, only to lose the next day while not playing quite as well. That is how it goes sometimes. All in all I was happy with my performance, had great partners who worked their butts off and ended my career on a win.
Since my "retirement" - and this one is FINAL - I have been back and forth between Sarasota, NY, Los Angeles-twice-and Czech Republic. That was visiting mom, who is home and better. Mom cooked a killer mushroom soup-the best she ever made-as well as an apple strudel that I will try to duplicate soon-fantastic as well. Staying with her is a challenge so as not to put on weight. While there Juro Kralik and I had an exhibition of Art Grand Slam in Prague-it will be there through November. The opening was a big hit and while some newspapers there tried to suggest I started painting since I retired because I had nothing else to do, most gave us good reviews. Incidentally, this collaboration was a 6 year project!!!! Juro and I made over 200 paintings together - check the website.
I have also become a member of AARP, thanks to my turning 50 in october. Now it is on to South Africa for the Laureus Academy Forum. I have never been there and am looking forward to going to the home country of many of my good friends-like Liezel Huber, Mariaan DeSwardt, Michael DeJongh and of course Roger Anderson. Unfortunately I am only going for three!!! days as I have a corporate "gig" in the Bahamas.
The rest of the year I will be doing a few more appearances promoting my book as well as the Rainbow card. Like I said-what retirement? I just don't have to practice anymore...
September 3, 2006
Well, time for an update. It has been a great summer - one tournament, one win (montreal 2 weeks ago). And now it is my last week playing, period.
So far so good, 2 doubles wins, 1 mixed and feeling better and better as the tournament goes on. Knee is not even an issue at all, thanks to some rehab and great work by Richard Sutton, an awesome physio from S.Africa. I wish I had him 20 years ago. Or at least 15...but better late than never. Had a great mixed with Bob against his brother Mike and Corina Morariu. Mixed doubles is always a matter of a couple of points here and there and it is especially true here with that ridiculous super tie-break instead of a proper 3rd set. We dominated play and enough break points to have won 2 and 2 and we also could have lost in 2 sets. But thanks to some great play by Bob, we got through, 10-4 in the breaker.
So now it is the last few matches. I just need to keep my feet on the ground as I am so excited to be playing here and excited about my life after this. So stay tuned, I feel some great tennis coming up. And I will hit a 110mph serve - at least once - I did a 108, so it is in the grasp...as you know I am all about setting goals - and here I want to hit a 110+mph serve AND win a title!!!!
July 11, 2006
It was a bittersweet Wimbledon for me.
First the bitter part - it was on the same day when Liezel Huber and I lost our quarterfinal match against Yan and Zheng and Mark Knowles and I lost the mixed in the round of 16 to Zvonareva-Ram. It all happened so quickly, same day - Thursday, same court - court 2. Strange how it is - you prepare for so long to get ready for this event in particular, the tournament goes on forever and then poof, in a matter of a few hours it's all over. And it used to be for me, well, next year then. But of course, it is not next year. This was the last one and the end was very anticlimactic. But that is the way it goes.
Now the sweet part - well, semisweet part - both of the teams we lost to went on and won the whole thing. Whoopee...
The sweet part was that I did everything I could to win. Prepared the best I could, played some great tennis and laid it all on the line. Came up short, but had a great trip along the way. And that's what it's all about in the end. So long Wimbledon and now it's on to the U.S. Open. See you there.
May 30, 2006
Ok - Time for an update. First of all, my mother is doing better, getting treatment in a German hospital at the moment and there is a very good possibility she will recover and go home again. Thank you all for your support and encouragement.
As for the tennis, it has been quite a month here in Europe. First week Liezel Huber and I lost in Warsaw. The court there was really soft and even though we lost, we were happy to not have to play on that court again. Even in just one match, Liezel hurt her foot, which is still sore three weeks later and I hurt my foot, which is ok and hyperextended my right (the good) knee, which is still giving me trouble. But I should be good enough as it is slowly getting better while playing.
After Warsaw I played in Prague for the first time since I played an exhibition there in 1995. Needless to say it was very emotional, walking onto the center court with my partner, Barbora Strycova. We won the first round and lost in the next. I spent the whole week doing press stuff, visiting relatives and having dinner with old friends.
Then it was Rome and Liezel and I lost a heartbreaker 7-6 in the 3rd to Vinci and Safina, after being up 5-3. So we decided we were in need of match play and hopefully winning. Off to Strasbourg we went and won the whole thing, got three matches under our belt and got a lot of practice of playing in heavy wind. So I am ready to go here in Paris, playing mixed with Bob Bryan. Leander said he thought on clay I would be better off with Bob Bryan. How is that? How unselfish can you get? Leander is a prince among men-what a guy!!!