Boy, these guys sounds like a lot of egotistical sore losers. Some 200 children died at the hands of terrorists in Russia today, guys, get a grip on how lucky you all are and shut the #($*%& up.
Whole lotta Grand Slam gripin' goin' on
- HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Tennis Writer
Friday, September 3, 2004
(09-03) 16:48 PDT NEW YORK (AP) --
Jennifer Capriati lobbied for instant replay Friday at the U.S. Open. And that was after a victory.
Juan Carlos Ferrero was angry about getting docked a point while losing in the second round just one year after reaching the Open final.
There's a whole lotta Grand Slam gripin' goin' on at Flushing Meadows.
Chair umpires "do not treat all players the same," Ferrero said after a 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-7 (6), 6-2, 6-3 defeat against Stefan Koubek.
"Maybe it's easy to say code violation (to me), and maybe to other big players, it's not the same, here in the United States. So I'm not happy with the chair umpire."
Perhaps the complaining is a function of so many surprising results and tight matches, including Capriati's tougher-than-expected 6-0, 6-7 (4), 6-3 win against 17-year-old Russian Vera Douchevina to get to the fourth round.
Having finally moved ahead in the third set, Capriati thought she earned a match point when a shot by Douchevina appeared long. But the chair umpire disagreed. Capriati dropped her racket, put hands on hips, looked at the scoreboard, and walked over to discuss the call.
She wonders how accurate on-court rulings are, generally.
"Even from watching other matches, they haven't been too good," the eighth-seeded Capriati said. "This level of the game, when it's so close, and one or two shots can make a difference, I don't think it's fair."
With instant replay of some sort now used in the NBA, NHL and NFL, Capriati thinks it's time for tennis to catch up.
"I'd like to know what we're waiting for. I don't see why they don't start at least trying it," she said. "Money, maybe. I don't know. I don't see this tournament being short on money, you know."
Actually, a form of instant replay could be closer than she realizes. Last week, the U.S. Tennis Association, ATP and WTA tried out a system that uses six to eight cameras and GPS.
While Capriati got by Friday, thanks in part to 33 winners and Douchevina's shaky third-set serving, No. 7 Ferrero and No. 12 Sebastien Grosjean joined the roster of seeded players making early exits. No. 23 Vince Spadea lost, too, leaving Andy Roddick -- playing Friday night -- and Andre Agassi as the only two of 17 U.S. men left. Never before had fewer than three Americans reached the Open's third round.
Ferrero slammed the door loudly on the way out. Normally reserved on and off the court, Ferrero got in trouble for slamming a ball out of the arena and for yelling at an official.
Of course, that was nothing compared to No. 10 Nicolas Massu's display Thursday night, when he smashed three rackets, forfeited a pivotal game, and lost a 5-hour, 9-minute heartbreaker to Sargis Sargsian. Massu was fined $1,000 Friday, then joined Fernando Gonzalez -- his partner for Olympic gold -- to win a doubles match.
Hicham Arazi was called for a code violation during his 7-6 (7), 6-1, 6-2 loss to 2001 Open champ Lleyton Hewitt on Friday. In women's doubles, 10th-seeded Emilie Loit and Nicole Pratt got to match point when opponent Mervana Jugic-Salkic was penalized a point for racket abuse. Earlier, she was warned for unsportsmanlike conduct.
"Yesterday is yesterday, and today is today," Massu said. "I have to separate the two things."
Ferrero was less charitable, saying he thought he and Massu were held to a different standard than other players.
"We stand behind the impartiality and consistency of our officiating, and wholeheartedly disagree with Mr. Ferrero's statement to the contrary," tournament referee Brian Earley said.
It's been a frustrating year for Ferrero, quite a change from 2003, when he won the French Open, was runner-up to Andy Roddick at the U.S. Open, and briefly reached No. 1. He's battled everything from chicken pox to bruised ribs, and Friday he was hampered by a strained right hamstring.
"I couldn't play almost any tournament 100 percent fit," he said. "I want to forget this year."
Capriati also used to be ranked No. 1 and has won three titles at majors; Douchevina is ranked 88th and has won three matches at majors.
But a pattern is developing: No. 4 Anastasia Myskina, the French Open champion, lost to a Russian teen Thursday; Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova was extended to three sets in both her matches at the Open; defending champ Justine Henin-Hardenne dropped a set against a qualifier; and No. 2 Amelie Mauresmo had to overcome a set deficit in the second round.
Showing little of the rust or fatigue she displayed in that match, Mauresmo easily beat No. 31 Maria Vento-Kabchi of Venezuela 6-2, 6-0 to reach the fourth round.
"It was much better than the match I had to play two days ago," Mauresmo said. "I felt much more comfortable on the court. My serves, my groundstrokes -- everything was coming together."
Also into the fourth round: No. 6 Elena Dementieva, who advanced when No. 26 Nathalie Dechy couldn't play because of a strained left thigh; No. 10 Vera Zvonareva, who beat Australian Open semifinalist Fabiola Zuluaga; No. 15 Patty Schnyder, who saved three match points and eliminated Daniela Hantuchova 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (6); and No. 16 Francesca Schiavone, who ended wild card Angela Haynes' run 6-3, 7-6 (3).
Grosjean was beaten 6-4, 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 by Tommy Haas, once ranked No. 2 but out all of 2003 because of two right shoulder operations.
"If I can play good tennis and focus, then I think I'm tough to beat," Haas said. "So just keep on going."
With nary a complaint.