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That's what Jack Kramer recommends ;-)

Mystery of Peng's real name added spice to depleted event

By Jerry Magee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER


August 9, 2005

Ah, the mystery. It was there in the air at the Acura Classic, along with the tennis balls. It was this:

Should the Chinese woman be addressed as Shuai Peng or Peng Shuai?

All week, the controversy raged. Finally, the player settled the matter. She said her first name is Shuai (pronounced "Shay"), her last name Peng. The difference of opinion had come up because in China, persons introducing themselves lead with their last names.

Gina Capulong, a WTA Tour publicist, was asked how she addresses Peng.

"As 'Bebe,' " she said. It's Peng's nickname. According to Capulong, she also is known as "Ping-pong."

However Peng is identified, her arrival was the most positive development at the La Costa Resort and Spa, compensating in part (but only in part) for the absence of Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams and Lindsay Davenport, who had withdrawn with injuries.

The tournament was hurt without them. Raquel Giscafre, a vice president of Promotion Sports Inc., which operates the Acura, said the event finished down from the previous year in all its phases. Giscafre said tennis fans showed up, but persons more interested in celebrities than in what goes on on the court did not.

Sharapova certainly is a celebrity. Perhaps one should view her more charitably. Mark Benerofe of Atlanta, who represents WTA Tour players on the tour's eight-member board of directors, said Sharapova has played in more events this year than any top 10 player.

But the reason the Russian woman advanced for withdrawing from the Acura, a back strain, makes one wonder. She is one of the most supple young women one could imagine. Older women (such as Davenport) suffer back strains. For an 18-year-old who is as supple as a reed to cite a back strain in pulling out of a tournament raises questions. She is playing this week, isn't she?

Jack Kramer has a recommendation: that players who pull out of tournaments not be permitted to compete again for at least two weeks. Bully.

Anyhow, summing up the Acura:

Most disappointing: Svetlana Kuznetsova. She hardly played a lick, not well, that is, and she is the U.S. Open champion.

Most engaging new figure: Peng aside, she was Sania Mirza of India, strong on the court, articulate in the interview room. Put her down as a comer.

Best outfit: Seeing her in something other than hip-hugger shorts likely disappointed some, but that green frock Tatiana Golovin wore while losing to Anna Chakvetadze was striking.

Best game plan: Nathalie Dechy's. Rather than go up the freeway to this week's event at Carson, she planned to stick around San Diego County and practice here for a tournament in Toronto.

Most frank: No excuses from Kim Clijsters. After losing to Peng, she said, simply, that she had been outhit. Mary, Mary, extraordinary: Which Mary Pierce was. She was tested just once, by Dechy in her second match, which she won 7-5, 6-3.
 

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For anyone who doesn't know Jack Kramer is...

http://www.eurosport.co.uk/home/pages/v4/l2/s57/e6214/sport_lng2_spo57_evt6214_sto637917.shtml

US Open induct new batch of champions

Prior to the men's final on Sunday, Jack Kramer, arguably the most influential man in tennis history, and Margaret Smith Court, the Australian winner of a record 24 Grand Slam singles titles, were inducted Sunday into the U.S. Open Court of Champions along with John McEnroe and Steffi Graf.

Kramer was an early of professional tennis, the winner of the U.S. singles in 1946 and 1947, appeared sound and sharp-witted as ever at 83-years, reminding the Arthur Ashe stadium court crowd, that when he played on the grass at Forest Hills, the players had to pay $2.50 a day for their hotel in Manhattan and ride the subway to the stadium.

"Now the kids here have 280 cars ready to pick them up," said Kramer, who pushed to created the open era and served as the first director of the Association of Tournament Professionals. "Things have changed. Boy, wouldn't it be wonderful to play for all this loot!"

Kramer, whose signature wooden racket was used by generations of players, said he keeps up with the game on television and has been impressed by the depth of talent.

"I've come to the opinion that anybody that is good enough to make the draw in both the ladies' and the men's singles, they're one hell of a great tennis player, and they're not being overpaid at all."

At the ceremony in Arthur Ashe Stadium, Kramer said his grandson, Cody, once asked him, "Grandpa, are you a legend?"

He didn't know how to answer that, but now Kramer said he feels he can go back to California and say, "Yes, Cody, I think I made it. I think I'm a legend."

Court, 62, also was impressed with modern players but thought she and others of her time would be able to compete with them given the same rackets.

"I was probably the first woman to lift weights and do circuit training and to run the sand hills," said Court, who won 18 U.S. titles in singles, doubles and mixed doubles. She won a total of 62 Grand Slam singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles.

"Jack and I were saying earlier how beautiful the equipment is today. You just get such wonderful touch with it. I think if you'd like to put them out on a court with the rackets that we used, I think many of us would have fit into this time very well."

McEnroe paid tribute to Kramer and Court, saying he also used Kramer's racket.

The 2004 inductees joined last year's inaugural class, which included Jimmy Connors, Chris Evert, Billie Jean King, Rod Laver, Bill Tilden and Helen Wills .
 

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Hmmm...interesting.
 

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Yeah! So next tournaments will be even more empty of stars! :lol:
And next one even more and so on!
 

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Maria said she could have played, but she wanted to wait. She said she practiced and did strength training.

No matter what the WTA does, the marketable players are going to do what they feel like.
 

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The tournament directors will never agree to that. No tournament the week before anything important would any of the top players in it. Sydney, Eastbourne, New Haven, Philadelphia and Dubai all get the bomb dropped on them, because any player who scheduled them couldn't pull out, legitemately or otherwise, without losing a major, Indian Wells or the YEC.

Why would any player with a real chance at the YEC schedule Advanta? Youcan just ask for a wildcard late if you need it.

Why risk not playing the US Open, or OZ or Wimbledon? Better to skip Eastbourne, Sydney or New Haven, and make sure you're healthy.

I can't see the tournament directors shooting themselves in the head that way.
 

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More time for the top players to work on their extracurricular activities.I don't think the they would mind the time off.It's like cutting off your nose to spite your face.
 
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