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Mrs. Peel said:
Please cut and paste the article! I only get a login prompt...
here it is:

A Happening, No Matter What
By GEORGE VECSEY


ALL me slow, but I have just figured out that the United States Open is coming in five days - without its charismatic, powerful, homegrown, put-the-bodies-in-the-seats defending champion.

And not only is Serena Williams out of it, but Pete Sampras is not playing, either.

Tennis and television officials are probably dying a slow and agonizing death over the potentially dismal ratings without the injured Serena and the absent Pete.

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The Open may even have to do without Venus Williams, who is still having trouble with what she called, at Wimbledon, her "abominable muscle."

Venus was more right than she realized. She is iffy for the Open, and now Barclay Tagg is saying that Venus probably won't run in the Travers.

We tennis buffs will miss the 4 o'clock buzz when Serena and Venus ventured forth together to play doubles in the Satch, the venerable Armstrong Stadium, now the secondary court, which contains more energy than the unfortunately designed Ashe Stadium.

Tout New York used to rush out to watch the sisters play doubles. It was a happening, a fashion event, on the court and in the stands. But now there is a huge void in the American star quality of the Open.

Tough, I say. The Open starts Monday. The tickets have been sold, and tennis fans will flock to the far corners of Flushing Meadows to gape at muscular Thais, effervescent Moroccans, scrawny Czechs and noisy Russians.

The Open is all about watching the highest level of tennis up close. In that way, the Open is just as good as it was half a century ago when players glided around the lawns at Forest Hills for a few illicit bucks under the table.

It was always about the international players who provided the depth, the mystery, the color. The general American public is something else. As current events prove, we tend to be an isolationist people, with not much feel for the rest of the world. Ratings may very well plummet without Serena and Pete. So be it.

On the other hand, Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Lindsay Davenport and Jennifer Capriati were United States citizens the last time anybody checked their passports. If you want to get jingoistic, all those Yanks have a better chance of winning with Serena and Pete not in attendance.

Sampras has not taken a significant swat at a ball since he polished off Andre Agassi in the New York dusk last September for his 14th Grand Slam championship.

He is said to be mulling an official retirement announcement any hour now, to which we all will say, "Duh, Pete, did you hear about the Beatles' disbanding?" He is well down his own personal long and winding road.

Come to think of it, Pete never filled the yawning Ashe Stadium anyway, until he played Agassi, or got into the semifinals. The Open is about many things: conspicuous consumption, fashion and being seen in public. (Donald Trump never, ever turns his head toward the court when he or his body double stands up in the front row of his private box.)

We haven't had time to mourn Pete properly because of his coy de facto retirement. In time, we will become worked up over his strength and his grace and his deceptive desire to win, maybe even the inner wit and wisdom of Pete. We will miss him. It just hasn't sunk in yet.

On the other hand, no matter what he does about retirement, Pete just turned 32. He could change his mind in a heartbeat, come back to play Davis Cup, come back for a cameo Wimbledon.

Or, get this, Pete could decide to play in the Summer Games next year in Athens (if any of the courts in Athens are built, you are about to say, which is not kind but perhaps prophetic).

Roger Clemens has said he will retire from the Yankees after this season. Now Clemens admits he may pitch for the United States next August. (Then, as long as he is in shape, why not join the Yankees before the Sept. 1 roster deadline? Good question.)

It is likely that we have not seen the last of Pete Sampras. He has no way of knowing. Martina Navratilova picked a clump of Wimbledon grass on her alleged last moment at Center Court in 1995, but last month she was back at Center Court picking up yet another mixed doubles title. Wimbledon authorities did not make her give back the original clump of grass.

You never know. That's what Martina says.

In the meantime, there is tennis to be watched. The tennis fans who have paid their money will know something about gritty little Justine Henin-Hardenne, even if she is from Belgium. The regulars who flock to the steamy confines in Queens will be curious to see the classic strokes and style of Roger Federer, even if he is from Switzerland.

There will be so much tennis, we will tell ourselves we won't miss Pete or Serena. The Williams wardrobe? Might miss that.
 

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The media is speculating on Venus' injury the way they did when she played the French Open and Wimbeldon. They said she wouldn't play either and she did. Like I said, unless she cannot lift her racquet without pain, she will be at the Open.
 

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lizchris said:
The media is speculating on Venus' injury the way they did when she played the French Open and Wimbeldon. They said she wouldn't play either and she did. Like I said, unless she cannot lift her racquet without pain, she will be at the Open.
I understand GS's are more important than regular tourneys but why can't Venus show the same type (even half of it for that matter) of commitment for other tournaments where she is known to "NO -SHOW" most of the time ? I think some people would respect her more if she did that ....
 

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Diya said:
I understand GS's are more important than regular tourneys but why can't Venus show the same type (even half of it for that matter) of commitment for other tournaments where she is known to "NO -SHOW" most of the time ? I think some people would respect her more if she did that ....
Because her parents told her, do not play if you are in pain. She admitted that she would have pulled out of last year's AO if it weren't a Grand Slam. BTW, if she has 29 titles, she must have shown up somewhere since only four of those titles are Grand Slams.
 

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Diya said:
I understand GS's are more important than regular tourneys but why can't Venus show the same type (even half of it for that matter) of commitment for other tournaments where she is known to "NO -SHOW" most of the time ? I think some people would respect her more if she did that ....
People would respect her more? :rolleyes:
Yeah I dont respect Venus because she pulled out of tournaments because of injury...i dunno what it is with your fascination with the Williams Sisters, but you really should consider posting about your own favorites rather than spending time posting about Venus and Serena.
 

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iLuVenuSerena said:
People would respect her more? :rolleyes:
Yeah I dont respect Venus because she pulled out of tournaments because of injury...i dunno what it is with your fascination with the Williams Sisters, but you really should consider posting about your own favorites rather than spending time posting about Venus and Serena.
AMEN!!! :worship:
 

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Some of you should be more liberal while using the facilities that wtaworld provides you with.....like in this case .....the IGNORE button ;)

I find it questionable that Venus has missed sooooooo many tournaments (consecutively) due to purported injuries but then come out the next week to play a GS. But thats just my opinion :rolleyes:
 
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Diya said:
Some of you should be more liberal while using the facilities that wtaworld provides you with.....like in this case .....the IGNORE button ;)

I find it questionable that Venus has missed sooooooo many tournaments (consecutively) due to purported injuries but then come out the next week to play a GS. But thats just my opinion :rolleyes:
:yawn: mercilessly. Meanwhile
 

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Diya said:
Some of you should be more liberal while using the facilities that wtaworld provides you with.....like in this case .....the IGNORE button ;)

I find it questionable that Venus has missed sooooooo many tournaments (consecutively) due to purported injuries but then come out the next week to play a GS. But thats just my opinion :rolleyes:
Then why don't you call the WTA and have them launch an investigation?
 

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Diya said:
Some of you should be more liberal while using the facilities that wtaworld provides you with.....like in this case .....the IGNORE button ;)

I find it questionable that Venus has missed sooooooo many tournaments (consecutively) due to purported injuries but then come out the next week to play a GS. But thats just my opinion :rolleyes:



You're so right, Sweetie, about it being your opinion and all...!!! But, hey, you know what I say about opinions...They're like azzholes, everybody's got one...!!!

And, oh yeah, I think Venus is losing alot of sleep at night; Thinking about all those people who have expressed hateful concerns about her pulling out of tourneys with injuries...!!! :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
 

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Diya said:
Some of you should be more liberal while using the facilities that wtaworld provides you with.....like in this case .....the IGNORE button ;)

:rolleyes:

:) Me, I sort of like reading all the "stupid shite" alot of you "jackasses" post concerning the Williamses...!!! Reinforces to me how "important" a factor they are in Women's Tennis...!!!
 

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Diya

Why are you so concerned about Venus NOT playing. Since she's not your fave you should be happy? Why are you so concerned that the public will show little interest in the Open if the Williams sisters are not there? Why you so ed? I don't get it.

It's like if the "Bells of the Balls" don't show up it's not a complete ball. Actually you are correct. But you need to back up and concern yourself with your flagging favorite.
 
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