Wednesday, April 04, 2007


I'm a Finalist

The Tennis Channel is searching for young talent to cover the French Open in June. I submitted this piece in their contest and now I'm finalist. More later...

(It should be plain to see that the tennis bureaucracy has become so muddled than no "commissioner," at least as other sports might envision him or her, can fix it. It would take someone with the ambition of Napoleon, the ruthlessness of Pinochet and the ends-justify-the-means philosophy of Park Chung-hee to fix it. Were I granted such a position of absolute power, this is what I would do :)

"I, the newly and divinely endowed Supreme Commissioner-for-Life of Tennis do declare the following:

"Verily, the tennis season shall be streamlined to prevent the further watering down of its sacred product!

"Verily, a three-month off-season shalt commence, rather than the shameful six-week mockery that doth afflict its players now!

"Verily, the Australian Open shall begin sometime in March! Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and the US Open shall abide in their current schedules, leaving each major tournament one month to six weeks apart, establishing momentum from event to event!

"Verily, the Mercedes-Benz Master's Series events shalt be trimmed from nine events to five, all of which shalt be co-ed! Each of the four major tournaments shalt be preceded by one Master's Series event on the same surface and on the same continent! Moreover, the year-end Master's Cup shalt be preceded by an indoor Master's Series event in Asia!

"Verily, the end of the year Master's Cup shalt also be co-ed, taking place at the end of October in Asia and on an indoor court!

"Verily, the month of November shalt be reserved for Davis Cup events, though the commissioner shalt delegate the planning particulars to someone in the ITF!

"Verily, the months of December-February shalt be designated for Davis Cup qualification rounds, Challenger Series events and exhibitions!

"Verily, this schedule shalt cut down on injuries and tournament no-shows, and shalt give each event greater gravitas! Who doth deem three European clay court and four American hard court Master's Series events necessary, anyway?

"Verily, promoters and tournament heads shalt surely complain of lost opportunities and lost revenue, but the new and superior product shalt more than make up for such grievances in the future!

"Verily, Nikolay Davydenko, he of 65 match wins in more than 30 events in 2006 hath complained about this schedule's affect on his livelihood! For his insolence, Davydenko shalt henceforth be banished from the main draw of the next grand slam event! However, if he should beg mercy, prostrate himself before the commissioner and kiss his ring bearing the likeness of the Pete Sampras leaping overhead, he might well be granted a wildcard (AM I NOT MERCIFUL?)!

"Verily, the commissioner of tennis hath spoken, and it shall be done! Quiet, please!

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