View Full Version : Werthiem: The Year in Tennis

Dec 24th, 2002, 01:59 PM
I put Wertheim's name on the thread so all the people who dislike his stuff can skip the thread. So we needn't hear all the usual 'I hate Wertheim' nonsense.

His Top 5 Performers
1. Serena Williams
2. Lleyton Hewitt
3. Venus Williams
4. Andre Agassi
5. Pete Sampras (if only by dint of one heroic tournament)


Overrated - The notion that men's tennis is on life support

Lleyton Hewitt, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Marat Safin, Tommy Haas, Roger Federer and their ilk have committed a cardinal sin: They have funny, foreign-sounding names and (horrors of horrors!) speak accented English. If Americans -- the media included -- could get beyond that, they might realize that the top players have plenty of charisma and, more important, are playing the sport at an unsurpassed level.

Underrated Oracene Williams

Unlike Venus and Serena's father, Oracene doesn't scrawl bizarro messages on a greaseboard, tell tall tales about business ventures or trash the rest of the field. (In fact, she alone among tennis parents has been known to applaud when her daughters' opponents hit winners.) She sits in the stands with poise, dignity and class, and doesn't seek out the cameras. And it's easy to forget that Oracene turned in the best coaching year in the history of women's tennis.

Annoying Jennifer Capriati

Can one of J. Cap's myrmidons please impress upon her that her reservoir of goodwill has evaporated into a puddle? Never mind that after valiantly defending her title in Australia, Capriati failed to win a tournament all year. The erstwhile "comeback kid" was booted from the Fed Cup for undermining captain Billie Jean King, took ungracious swipes at the Williams juggernaut, brayed about the WTA ranking system, and generally gave the impression that her existence on the tour was an extended trip to the dentist.

Breakthrough Performance of 2002 Daniela Hantuchova

Capriati, Martina Hingis and Lindsay Davenport went on the downswing as soon as the Williams sisters hit their stride, so women's tennis is eager to add a new talent to the mix. Enter Hantuchova, the 19-year-old Slovak who has both the game and the will to be a future champion. In two years, she's gone from No. 108 to No. 8. Look for her to take up tenancy in the top five before long.

Uplifting Pete Sampras

His game in the commode, his confidence level somewhere south of Patagonia and whispers growing louder that he ought to retire, Sampras blocked it all out for two weeks at the end of the summer. He stepped into a phone booth in Flushing Meadow and emerged to win the U.S. Open, the 14th -- and perhaps most meaningful -- Grand Slam title of his gilded career. If Sampras is serious about "going out on top," it would have been hard to script a better ending. Runner-up A: Corina Morariu's triumphant return from leukemia. Runner-up B: The doubles team of Israel's Amir Hadad and Pakistan's Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi struck a grace note for international brotherhood.

MVP Serena Williams

A no-brainer. If she had decided to play through some pain in Australia, tennis may well have had its first Grand Slam winner since Steffi Graf in 1988.

Storyline to Follow in 2003 Will the sisters' reign continue?

Can any female player mount a credible challenge to the House of Williams?

Will Pete Sampras try to build on his sensational U.S. Open performance or retire on top and repair to a life of golf, the Los Angeles Lakers and reading Goodnight Moon?

Can Andy Roddick recover from a sophomore season that didn't meet his standards?

Will Pat Rafter delight most of the female population and return to the fold?

Can Martina Hingis regain her mojo before she goes from catty to caddy?

Can incoming president Alan Schwartz reverse the comical profligacy and bloated salaries at the USTA and actually grow a sport that, at least in the U.S., now ranks behind darts in popularity?

original on cnnsi.com

Dec 24th, 2002, 02:01 PM
Lmao at "from catty to caddy". Is Tennis ACTUALLY less popular then DARTS? :eek:

Dec 24th, 2002, 02:04 PM
Hey, I like Wertheim. :)

He did a very good assessment of the tour, top ATP player, the WILLIAMS family and the skinny on Jenny.
Boy will Cap's mislead fans rip Wertheim for his piece on her butt! :)

Good post.

Dec 24th, 2002, 02:20 PM
That was entertaining. I agree with everything he says.

Dec 24th, 2002, 02:21 PM
Not behind darts, but compared to where it rated inthe 70's, tennis is definitely a third tier sport in the USA. And yet, the country supports a GS, three Tier I's, four Tier II's plus a few II"s and IV's. But I certainly have noticed that sometimes Eurosport shows matches in US tournaments that we don't get to see here. Which means Eurosport sponsors are willing to pay for something that ESPN and/or Turner is not.

Dec 24th, 2002, 02:23 PM
I like Wertheim, I read him every Monday. I don't find any fault with what he said about JCap, she isn't perfect never has been, never will be. Thats why I'm a fan.

For your information TeeRexx, there are two types of fans in this world, Fair-Weathered Fans, and Die-Hard Fans, neither one is ever mislead.

Dec 24th, 2002, 02:24 PM
I put Wertheim's name on the thread so all the people who dislike his stuff can skip the thread. So we needn't hear all the usual 'I hate Wertheim' nonsense.

Good job, Volcana!

Dec 24th, 2002, 02:26 PM
Originally posted by TeeRexx
Hey, I like Wertheim. :)

He did a very good assessment of the tour, top ATP player, the WILLIAMS family and the skinny on Jenny.
Boy will Cap's mislead fans rip Wertheim for his piece on her butt! :)

Good post.


Dec 24th, 2002, 02:28 PM
Gourownway - So what type are you anyway, fair weather or die hard?
Hmm, now let me guess? :)

Other types:
1. Blase fans
2. Bandwagon fans
3. Chic fans
4. Wanna-be-seen fans

See? There are more than two types, my friend. :p

Dec 24th, 2002, 02:34 PM
I would catogorize all those as fair-whethered fans. I won't lie every person and every team I cheer for it's because I'm a die-hard, even during the crappy seasons. Christ, I'm a White Sox fan, the last time they went to the World Series was in 59!!

As a comment about the tennis being a tier 3 sport in the USA, it's a shame that it is. I think the difference between here and Europe is that we have to deal with the NFL, and MLB. They get time over tennis. I don't think thats going to change for a long time, or maybe until the next strike.

Dec 24th, 2002, 02:41 PM
Gour - Don't forget the NBA, NHL, NCAA Final Four, college bowl games Kentucky Derby & the PGA.

Also the making of the SI Swimsuit calendars and Hugh Heffners Halloween bash.

Dec 24th, 2002, 02:45 PM
I love his comment about the USTA. They are the only non-profit I know that has such high salaries. All of their top executives make over 200, 000. No wonder we can't help any juniors succeed, because we are spending the resources in the wrong place.

Dec 24th, 2002, 02:47 PM
Yeah, why is it that freakin' horse race gets air time over tennis??? I guess tradition. I will say that I think the NHL up until recently had a tough time getting air time, and there are still a lot of tennis players out there making more than the hockey players, but oh well.

I'm not into the college bowl games and the only time I enjoy the March Madness is if I'm drunk in Vegas.

How many more days until tennis comes back?.......Damn I hope it goes by quick.

Dec 24th, 2002, 02:48 PM
TeeRexx...totally agree with your last post. All the USTA cares about is the slam. They don't put anything towards helping to further the game, even though that is suppose to be their mission.

Just like they fight for TV time during the Open, they can fight for it year round.

Dec 24th, 2002, 06:35 PM
BK - The USTA owns the US Open and not the other events and that is why so much attention is given to and not the other events.

Those execs make way more that 200 grand a year also.
The main mission of the USTA is to make money, not promote tennis.