Sunday, July 06, 2008

My apologies to the ladies

This morning and afternoon, as I watched the Wimbledon men's final and napped through the rain delays (shut up! I'm on Pacific time and this sucker started at 6am), I noticed that my last post may have unintentionally slighted women, specifically those on the WTA tour:

"My generation has never seen a clay court specialist that was as good on grass as Nadal, nor a grass phenomenon that's as good on clay as Federer."

Well, that's not exactly true, is it? All that McEnroe/NBC coverage of Bjorn Borg circa 1980, while deserving, is still misleading: Borg was NOT the last tennis player to win both the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year. The following players have done it since then:

1982, 1984: Martina Navratilova
1988, 1995, 1996: Steffi Graf
2002: Serena Williams

I'm not trying to compare the strengths of, say, Federer vs. Graf. There's no way to know anything about that. But it's folly to say that this "double" of winning on clay and grass within that 6-week time frame is so elusive just because a man had not won it for 28 years. I realize that men's and women's tennis has traditionally been treated differently, but come on. The surfaces are the same regardless of gender.

Congratulations to Rafael Nadal for being the first in 6 years to join the real list.

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