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Just so we're clear, I believe Sharapova is all hype. Well, not ALL, but she's certainly had more ink expended on her than she's accomplished. So if she wins tomorrow, I'm gonna be one of the people eatin' crow. I refuse to back off now, and start singing her praises. SOMEBODY has to be available to feel humiliated if she wins, so why not me?:)

Sometimes though, the hype gets it right.

Venus Williams was on TV at seven years old. We got to watch her grow up, literally, into a multi-GS champ, despite quite a few detractors. The people who hyped HER (including me) turned out to be right. NIke dropped 40 mil on her and earned back every penny, plus interest. Jennifer Capriati got hyped, hyped, hyped. And after many a detour, that hype was justified. The jury is still out on Kim Clijsters, but four GS finals IS notable, in a Mary Jo Fernandez kind of way. OTHO, the media didn't feel obligated to bring the noise on Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport or Justine Henin-Hardenne, until they actually started accomplishing something.

So let's not be TOO fast to condemn the Lords of Hype for 'eating at the Y' where Our Lady of Hype is concerned. We all recall how they missed on Kournikova. But how often do we give them credit for hitting on Venus Williams?

What will Sharapova be? Well, if she gets blown away tomorrow, she'll have followed a path layed out by Venus Williams before her. Not too shabby. If she wins, then it's a Martina Hingis type road, at least.

How bad ARE the alternatives, all things considered? If I wasn't committed to the position that she got lucky and all the matches were fixed to get her into the final, I'd say she's displayed a hell of a game. However, I can't say that. So instead, I'll say she's all hype, the rain delay saved her because lindsay stiffened up , and her draw was full of clay court specialists.

I COULD make a reasoned, well thought out post, but why? Venus lost inthe second round. My life is over. So I have no need to be fair, reasonable or sane.
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