Fashion Face-off: Best Dressed Woman at the US Open (2019)

Right now I’m settling in to watch the women’s finals. What better time to nominate the three women who will vie for our coveted best-dressed award?

Sadly, neither Serena Williams nor Bianca Andreescu will receive a nomination. On the other hand, they’ll each walk away from today’s match with at least $1.9 million. That should help soften the blow.

Nominee #1: Nicole Gibbs

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The winsome American returned to the tour only recently after undergoing surgery for salivary gland cancer. It’s easy to get behind her, both for her perseverance and her lovely New Balance dress. It’s simple, sporty and figure-flattering. What more could you want from athletic wear?

Nominee #2: Qiang Wang

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Serena blew Wang off the court in 44 minutes, during which time Wang hit zero winners. Zero. Has that ever happened before? I feel like I’d hit at least one winner, as Serena’s bullet serve ricocheted wildly off my racquet frame in some highlight reel-worthy freak accident.

It must have been a nightmare for the Chinese player, but this is a serious blog and we don’t award pity nominations. Wang earned her place here with this edgy, eye-catching Adidas ensemble. Would I wear it? Nope. That sheer top is not for the olds. But when you’re young and getting humiliated by the GOAT of women’s tennis, you might as well look good.

Nominee #3: Kristie Ahn

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Like Gibbs and Wang, the 141st-ranked player isn’t well known, even among regular tennis watchers. She had an improbable run to the 4th round, winning praise for her spirit and style.

Daniil Medvedev, who plays in the men’s final tomorrow, has been wearing the shirt from this Lacoste line. I thought the pattern was hideous until I saw it on this dress. Here it’s fresh and summery with the thin black slash adding panache. I don’t love the red sneakers with it, but overall it’s a winning look.

When I started writing this face-off, Serena and Bianca were still warming up. By now, we know who won the women’s final. (It takes longer than you’d think to throw together these posts!) But the real prize is still up for grabs—who takes home the best-dressed title???

Serving After the Tiebreak

The other day, one of my tennis buddies said to me, “Let me ask you this question because you know more about tennis than I do…”

I’ve lived long enough to know that nothing good ever comes from that set-up. My face-saving instinct kicked in right away.

“What?! No, I don’t know a lot. I just write about it and pretend I do.”

We had a chuckle and then she asked her question. Naturally, I didn’t know the answer. I’m not sure I even got the question–something about the difference between clay court and regular tennis shoes.

This is why you never set yourself up as the expert. You will be humiliated. Continue reading “Serving After the Tiebreak”

Andy Murray Is on Tennis Channel Right Now

Any Andy Murray fans out there? After hip surgery and fearing he’d never be able to compete again, he’s back playing doubles on grass at Queens Club in England, a warm-up tournament to Wimbledon. I just happened to turn on the Tennis Channel–and there he is!

They’re still in the first set, so go turn it on!!!

Powerball Tennis

Have you bought your Powerball ticket yet? If not, don’t bother because I’m going to win.

The grand prize for tonight’s drawing is expected to be worth $750 million, but I’m going to take the lump sum of $465.5 million. I have big plans for that money.

Of course, while my accountant’s quite good, even he isn’t going to be able to save me from a hefty tax bill. $465.5 million minus 37% to Uncle Sam leaves me with a paltry $293 million.

I’ll set aside a sensible $20 million for my retirement needs: healthcare, food and boring crap like that. And I’ll also set aside $100 million for my daughter. (That seems like enough, right?)

So I’ll have $173 million left to play with. Here’s how I plan to divide it up for the ultimate tennis life: Continue reading “Powerball Tennis”

Do You Remember Algebra?

If a > b and b > c, then a > c.

Remember that nugget? That’s the transitive property of inequalities. (I’ll confess I had to look up the name of that one.)

It’s common sense, right? 10 is greater than 9, and 9 is greater than 8, so 10 must also be greater than 8.

It’s always and forever true in math. In tennis, not so much. Continue reading “Do You Remember Algebra?”

A Round Robin Kerfuffle

I had an interesting interaction at a round robin today. I’ll give you the general scenario followed by my perspective and that of my RR partner. Then you get to sound off in the comment section!

Here’s the scenario: This RR has a fairly wide range of abilities. I’m a 3.5 player, but there are some players, particularly among the men, who are way better than I am. The woman who organizes the RR does her best to pair partners and opponents to make for competitive rounds. Everyone gets a new partner and new opponents every 25 minutes or so.

In the third round, I was partnered with a player we’ll call Sidney. I recognized Sidney and may have played with him in the past, but we’re basically strangers. He’s far better than I am, as was the man playing across the net. The female opponent was also better than I am, but the men were the strongest.

So I was the weakest player on the court. But that’s all right. I come to this RR to get the experience of facing more challenging opponents than those I normally see.

When it was Sidney’s turn to serve, he tried to get me to stand closer to the net. I was inside the service line, but not as close as he’d like. I replied, “No, I’m good where I am.” He brought it up a couple of other times, but I declined to move. At one point, I tried to laugh off his suggestions by patting his arm and saying, “Okay, you play your side of the court and I’ll play mine.”

Another time, I believe he didn’t like where I hit the ball but I’m actually not sure what he was commenting on at that point. I was beginning to get a little irritated.

When the round (which we won 4-2) was over and we were waiting for our new court and partner assignments, he said to me, “Do you remember geometry?” I told him to drop it, that being corrected by my RR partner only makes me play worse, which doesn’t help either of us. At that point, we went to our separate courts. Continue reading “A Round Robin Kerfuffle”

March Challenge: A Focus on Strokes

I planned to write a glib monthly tennis challenge, but I can’t muster my usual enthusiasm for glibness. Luke Perry died this morning from a massive stroke. He was 52.

It’s always a bit unnerving to hear someone exactly your age has passed away. After five decades of living, I’m still secretly convinced of my own immortality. Like a child, I can’t conceive of a world without me in it.

But Luke Perry’s relative youth aside, stroke has a unique way of grabbing my attention. My father suffered a massive stroke in 2011. It happened right in front of me, over lunch at California Pizza. Continue reading “March Challenge: A Focus on Strokes”

Correcting the Call

It kills me to admit this, but…I’m not perfect.

Tennis offers me so many opportunities to be humbled by my fallibility. There are all those unforced errors. All the times I can’t remember the score.

And of course, there’s the line calls.

On the face of it, calling a ball in or out really shouldn’t be too hard. You look at the line. You see the ball bounce. A kindergartner ought to be able to get this right. Continue reading “Correcting the Call”

Loopy Tennis

True story (at least I think it’s true):

One of my tennis buds told me about a match she played many years ago. The night before, she’d been at a party and sampled a hash brownie. When the effects didn’t kick in right away, she decided to try a second, and then a third. Continue reading “Loopy Tennis”

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