Wertheim's Midterm Grades

Tennis Fool
09-07-2004, 01:28 AM
By Jon Wertheim

Midterm grades
After a relatively upset-free first week, USTA, USA Network earn top kudos
Posted: Monday September 6, 2004 12:56PM; Updated: Monday September 6, 2004 4:02PM

Standing all of 5-foot-5, little Oliver Rochus has pulled off the biggest upset of the U.S. Open so far.

Spell checker doesn't recognize the word formful but, through seven days of play, it's a pretty good adjective to describe the 2004 U.S. Open. Genuine upsets have been few and far between, and the brightest stars are still shining. With a full dose of Princeton Grade Inflation, here are my midterm marks:

Star power: Organizers, networks, sponsors and -- oh, yeah -- the fans, have to be pretty happy with the slate of names that remain in the draw.

USTA hospitality: By placing Roger Federer front and center on the marketing drive, toasting Olympic gold medalists from Belgium and Chile and putting Amelie Mauresmo and Lleyton Hewitt back-to-back for a night session, it's a vast improvement from the all-Americans, all-the-time m.o. of the past.

Andy Roddick: He's been untouchable (if atrociously attired) through three rounds.

Oli Rochus: The little big man upset No. 3 seed Carlos Moya in a terrific five-setter in third round on Saturday. In between flicking winners and running down every ball, Rochus conceded a point in the fourth set. Put simply: It's Rochus time, baby.

Shikha Uberoi: If only everyone would lose with such grace.

Male qualifiers: Ten of the 16 won their first match.

Sargis Sargsian: The Armenian vet has played 13 sets in three rounds already, but he's still around.

Todd Martin: The ATP's dignity quotient went down with his retirement announcement.

Wayne Ferreira: After playing in his 56th straight Slam, the South African veteran called it a career

USA Network: Now that's how you broadcast a tennis tournament. A week of judicious coverage choices and entertaining commentating may have peaked when Michael Barkann brandished Nicolas Massu's smashed racket during his sideline coverage.

Jarrell Benavidez: The Federer of ballkids.

Daniela Hantuchova: She lost a third-round heartbreaker to Patty Schnyder, but, thankfully, the elevator appears headed in the right direction.

Tatiana Golovin: The 16-year-old came up short against Serena Williams, but is there any doubt she's destined for the top 10?

Mike Youzhny and Paul-Henri Mathieu: Twinned forever after their 2002 Davis Cup match, both were eliminated over the weekend, but not before turning in encouraging results that were long overdue.

Nicolas Massu: The Olympic gold medalist lost a classic five-setter to Sargsian, but after his marathon in Athens, it's amazing he was even in the match.

German tennis:Tommy Haas and Nicolas Kiefer both have a real shot at the semifinals. Now about Boris Becker's stint in USA's broadcast booth ...

Maria Sharapova: Her post-Wimbledon swoon continues but she handled herself with real dignity and maturity after losing to Mary Pierce.

Mardy Fish: We're impressed that he went yard while taking batting practice with the Mets, but te could have used more big cuts the following day, losing to 149th-ranked qualifer Michal Tabara in the second round.

Olympic medalists:Justine Henin-Hardenne (women's gold) and Mauresmo (silver) are still alive, but Alicia Molik (bronze), Massu (men's gold), Fish (silver), and Fernando Gonzalez (bronze) failed to survive the second round.

Wild cards: Only one of 16 (Amer Delic) won their first-round match.

Marat Safin: "Head case" doesn't begin to describe it.

Concessions: Whatever incremental revenue you get charging $7.50 for a substandard hamburger is vastly outstripped by the bad publicity and bad feelings it engenders. The grade would be lower were it not for the Indian joint abutting Court 7.

Sports Illustrated senior writer Jon Wertheim covers tennis for the magazine and is a regular contributor to SI.com.

09-07-2004, 01:48 AM
piss off Wertheim :banghead: ...the good grade for Kiefer doesn't use him anymore :o

09-07-2004, 01:54 AM
Nearly anything would be better than last year's US Open.

09-07-2004, 02:20 AM
Wild cards: Only one of 16 (Amer Delic) won their first-round match.

Actually, Angela Haynes won her first two rounds!

09-07-2004, 02:57 AM
How to you pass up Mary Pierce, who beat Sharapova in the 3rd round?:retard:

09-07-2004, 03:13 AM
i dont really trust that dude, he almost always turns out to be wrong anyways....

09-07-2004, 03:16 AM
This hadn't happened yet but I think Asagoe deserves an "A" after her fourth round win.

09-07-2004, 03:33 AM
She deserves like a "B" or something. She didn't beat anyone special and took advantage of an easy ass draw. Still props to her for taking advantage of it, unlike the other girls in that section.

09-07-2004, 03:39 AM
He is too nice to Marat.
I would give marat a D and below :mad:

09-07-2004, 04:48 AM
Oh, US Open is fine now. How would it be had Roddick lost by now?

Tennis Fool
09-08-2004, 12:34 AM
He is too nice to Marat.
I would give marat a D and below :mad:

Jon grades on a curve. (Question: European posters. Do teachers there ever grade on curves?)

He doesn't give Ds and only gives Fs when a player refuses to participate in a Slam.