Can't be thankful for everything
November, 24, 2010
By Stephen Tignor, TENNIS.com | ESPN.com
We can't be thankful for everything, right? So sailing fully against the spirit of the holiday, here are five things I didn't appreciate from the soon-to-be-concluded tennis season.
1. Serena Williams' foot: As strange as the story of her injury was, I have no concrete reason not to believe it. Therefore I have no good reason to blame her for playing only six tournaments in 2010. But it was still weird and depressing to see her disappear after such a mighty performance at Wimbledon.
2. Nikolay Davydenko: He started the year as an Australian Open contender and ended it a forgotten man. I don't care that he failed again at the majors, but he couldn't even get it together for the big-money, low-prestige fall season, which is usually his time to shine.
3. WTA Injuries: This story reminds me of the Williams sisters' perpetual absence from Indian Wells. When the WTA made the tournament mandatory in 2009 and they still skipped it, there was nothing much left to say. Now that the tour has shortened the season and lightened the workload of its top players, and still watched helplessly as they fell to injury and illness and exhaustion, there doesn't seem to be a lot more to say. Nothing is going to help. Not that that makes it any better.
4. The Goat Debate: I used to enjoy a good round of nonsensical, hypothetical, cross-era, legend comparing. But this year we jumped the ... Goat. It used to be a Sampras versus Federer argument, which made a kind of sense. Now it's Federer versus Nadal, which, as Nadal himself has said, makes no kind of sense whatsoever. At 16 Slams to nine, and 29 years old to 24, it's just too early to bring it up. Let the Goat get some well-deserved rest for a few years.
5. Complaints from Federer fans that the media is writing him off: I've heard this lament many more times than I've heard a tennis journalist or commentator actually declare that Federer is done. Yes, you might get a talking head saying something along these lines, but he's not a tennis guy. From what I can tell, most people involved in the sport have noted that Federer was not as dominant this season without predicting his immediate demise. How could anyone make that claim anyway, considering the way he has ended the season?