So, what did we have this weekend? Nadal won his 7th title in Monte-Carlo, but that's routine ;) Although I do have something to say about Rafa, too, but I'll save it for a later post.
But for the ladies, it was Fed Cup time. There were some expected results (Russia beat Italy), some unexpected results (Ukraine beat Australia), and some reactions from journalists, which is what I want to talk about.
The USA team, missing both Williams sisters and Bethanie Mattek-Sands, lost to Germany in Stuttgart, and for the first time ever (*Gasp*) will not be a part of the World Group in 2012. They will have to contend in the World Group II competitions, along with teams such as France, Slovakia, and Australia. Those are hardly second-rate teams, and yet - look at Peter Bodo's reaction to that loss:
And some more:
Alright, I get it. It's an attempt at an humorous outlook on what must be a disappointment for US tennis. But to me, it all just sounds extremely condescending. It's not as if the US team was relegated to Zone group II. It's World Group II. And it has some good teams, with great tennis players, and I'm sure that whoever USA will get in the first round draw will give us an interesting tie, with its share of Fed Cup surprises. But right now, without its best rackets, the team is exactly where it should be, and saying "Oh no, we'll have to play against some lowly teams", along with the usual "Fed Cup is boring" nonsense is simply aggravating.
Moving on to what was probably the most interesting tie of the weekend, and certainly the most dramatic one - Slovak republic vs. Serbia. I won't attempt to describe the weekend's events, as it's been done better before, but I do want to talk about the reaction of one, Matt Cronin, to Serbia's (awesome) win. It started with this:
... and after all the fury of tennis fans on twitter was unleashed on him, he proceeded with some more comments about them never being friends, and him knowing this from personal talks with both.
What I wanted to say it this: Without even getting into the personal likes or dislikes of both Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic, Cronin's original comment was simply not true.
First of all, I'm pretty sure that most of Ana's fans wanted Serbia to win, regardless of their feelings for JJ. So no, it wasn't a nightmare for them. I'm not even talking about Serbian tennis fans, who surely were thrilled to see the team winning, no matter which player was their favorite.
Secondly, Cronin makes it sound as though JJ won the tie all by herself. Obviously, she gave it all yesterday, and won the matches that (eventually) mattered. But she didn't do it all by herself. Aleksandra Krunic had a great part in that final rubber, and, regarding Cronin's comment - it was Ana who won the first point for Serbia, giving the team its chances to even get to a deciding rubber. So, to sum it up - it really was a team effort, even if the team members aren't BFFs.
What pisses me off, mostly, is the attempt (intentional or not, I don't know) to take a great win and to turn it into over-dramatized discussion of who's friends with whom. It was unnecessary, and in my opinion - completely missed the point of what Fed Cup is all about.
As this post already became much longer than I intended, I'll add just one more thing that annoyed me:
The same Matt Cronin later delivered the news that Francesca Schiavone has pulled out of the Stuttgart tournament, due to exhaustion. Which turned out to be completely untrue. So I don't know what that was about, but my respect for some tennis journalists probably just hit an all time low...
End of rant.
(Photos: Srdjan Stevanovic, via Fed Cup site)