In the past week, I have actually watched a little bit of the US Open. When I was younger, I used to follow tennis much more closely, and I'm sure it says something about me that I always preferred the less charismatic players--Borg, Lendl, Sampras--to the showboats--McEnroe, Agassi. Now I rarely watch, but I did find the Agassi farewell tour in general and the first two matches in particular quite exciting. Two comments:
1. Agassi was a great showman and, as we heard over and over, he seriously matured over his 17 or so years of tennis fame. He deserved much of the praise he received and put on quite a show last week at Flushing Meadow. There is still something particularly special about the matches that go past 1am. (I remember, as many do, Connors' final run in 1991 with those amazing matches, but was at the semifinal that year where he got smoked by Courier.) That being said, let's not overstate things. Agassi was at least a notch below Sampras (who went out with a victory over Agassi in the Open final). Pete, for his lack of color, should not be overshadowed. But I wish Agassi well.
2. Instant replay in tennis. When I heard they were doing it, I was aghast. I still don't like it in football--it makes refs unwilling to make calls, creates situations where they claim the reply was indipsutable and yet I dispute it, and slows the game terribly (plus sometimes a coach can't even get the refs attention (ask Nick Saban)--and thought this would be a disaster. But I was wrong. Each player gets two challenges a set (plus one in a tie break) and the result take at most 2 seconds and it is obvious whether the ball was in or out. A great addition. (Now if only I keep watching . . . )
So will I be watching the Open this weekend. Let's see--we have the Yanks in Baltimore, the Nats on MASN (finally!), the Tigers and the Twins, and, oh yeah, football with the much hyped Manning battle on Sunday night. Guess not. Just tell me on Monday whom Federer beat.