What I learned from the 2009 US Open

These are the lessons I learned from this year’s US Open, in no particular order:

I’m not sure who, is it IBM, the USTA, CBS?, but someone has made a concerted effort to de-lesbianize Mary Carillo.

Carillo 07

Carillo Now

WTF? Why so many blonds this year? Was there some Flushing Meadows mandate that those with vaginas must, at the very least, carry a Clairol Frost and Tip kit?

2. Male commentators make the most idiotic proclamations when faced with zany events like motherhood:


“There’s nothing harder than coming back from having a baby,” in relation to Kim Clijsters wild card run to the finals. Really? Are you retarded? How about coming back from being stabbed in the shoulder by a crazed lunatic on the court in the middle of a game? [see Seles, Monica]. How about coming back after your father and coach basically beat you up after losing matches and you had to get a restraining order? [see Pierce, Mary].

Besides the extremes, what about a torn hamstring, a blown rotator cuff, chronic tendinitis in the wrist. A woman’s body is actually supposed to have kids, to reproduce. Hell, men are made for it too. Versus activities, like say, running around trying to hit a fuzzy 2 1/2 inch ball with a round mallet made of strings while 23,000 people watch.

Next up, “I don’t think we’ll ever see this again,” said by some other brain-dead commentator about Clijster’s post-preggers comeback. Huh? I guess with all this fitness and nutrition nonsense, and science and medicine coming up with more and better ways to improve every muscle in the human body, it’s just going to get harder for poor fat mothers disabled for life by the freakish act of pregnancy to play the game of tennis.

And finally, I learned from Serena Williams’ weak and unsportsmanlike meltdown on Saturday that the women’s game really must be played to five sets. Actually, I’ve been pretty obsessed with that for at least a decade, but Serena’s freak out kind of drove it home. With or without the foot fault, the bad call, or the defaulted point, Serena was gonna lose. Kim had outplayed her. So far.

But so far is soooo small in the women’s game. In a men’s match, 6-4 in the first, 2nd set 6-5 would be just getting your opponent on the ropes. The possibilities of finish are still open. I don’t know if the two out of three set standard is from the sexist past, or because the men’s serve and volley points used to be shorter or what. But these days, it’s just not an accurate measure of which player is better.

And what of Serena’s death-by-Wilson-enema threat? Donnell and I have been going back and forth about this all afternoon. Here’s my take: It was really, rilly uncool. Made her look weak, out of control and unprofessional. But let’s step back. Serena didn’t punch the ref in the face. She hasn’t been juicing for 10 years or systematically torturing dogs, et-cetera et-cetera. She got really pissed about a call, at the moment she was about to lose. She’s got too much experience and too many wins to be that outta control. It was tres uncool. Perhaps even loser-ish.

But in my mind, she was about to lose a game with barely enough time to play it. If it were three of five she wouldn’t have pulled that shit (umm… until maybe later). Unsportsmanlike. Not befitting a champion. Uncool. Really uncool. But more than that? Nah.

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