Sunday, May 27, 2007

Day 1: Serena Shrugs

Last year on Day 1, it was the pigeons. This year, it was the rain.

Of course, the birds had nothing to do with that, so there are no new conspiracy theories to weave about the imminent overthrow of several world governments by our so-called fine-feathered "friends" this time around. I mean, it's not like they seeded the clouds or anything, right?


Come to think of it, pigeons CAN fly. So, conceivably they could get pretty high in the sky, huh? Oh. My. God.

Naaaah, those are the lunatic worries of a crazy man.

(eerie -- but telling? -- silence)

Love-Love...a year ago, it was Maria Sharapova surviving a frightful scare against Mashona Washington on Day 1. This year it was Serena Williams starting slowly, using a long rain delay that came when she was down 5-6 in the 1st set to get her head right, then proceeding to trip the light fantastic in a 5-7/6-1/6-1 1st Round win over Tsvetana Pironkova, who knocked off seeds Venus Williams and Anna-Lena Groenefeld in the 1st Round in Melbourne and Wimbledon, respectively, a season ago. Who knows what might have happened had the rain not come when it did, but one figures that Serena would have found a way to shrug off the Bulgarian over the course of the match. Serena rarely ever flames out in a big event, and NEVER does so when she's got her heart and body in it as she seems to in 2007.
15-Love...only seven men's and women's matches were completed today, with Marat Safin managing to become the only player to close out a win before the rain suspended play. Later in the day, sister Dinara advanced, too.
30-Love...Justine Henin opened her title defense by dispatching Elena Vesnina in straight sets, joining her next opponent, Tamira Paszek, in the 2nd Round.
============================= American television coverage, The Tennis Channel debuted its Roland Garros coverage with some nice work, for as long as it lasted, at least. In other words, before everyone was subjected to hour after hour of replays of last year's singles finals, it was quite fine to hear the dulcet sound of Martina Navratilova's voice as she returned to the broadcast booth. Maybe the pigeons will have some mercy on Day 2 and TTC will have more than a couple of hours of live tennis in the seven consecutive hours of coverage from 5 a.m. to 12 noon.
40-Love...of course, proving that ESPN2 can still screw over its tennis viewers even while being the SECONDARY cable provider of RG action, the rain delay brought on one of those horrid flashbacks of all the other seasons that "the worldwide leader" has desecrated, err, I mean "covered," the event. Just as TTC's coverage ended, the courts were being readied to resume action. Thus, while Serena and Henin completed and started their matches as ESPN2 was on the air, the "network" showed no live tennis. Not a surprise, of course. I mean, why would anyone think that fans who'd sat through seven hours of what was to be live tennis coverage would want to actually see live tennis once play resumed just because it was on a different channel? People who think ridiculous things like that are imbeciles, right?
MATCH, "since there really wasn't much tennis to talk about, I have a question for Dish Network"...while it's been great that Dish Network has carried The Tennis Channel for quite a while now, how smart is it to have an on-screen guide that breaks the 5 a.m.-12 noon coverage into two 5-6 a.m. and 6 a.m.-12 noon blocks, then prevents someone who tries to pre-set his DVR to tape all the coverage from doing so because the blocks are considered "duplicate recordings" and only one of the two segments of coverage can be pre-set to tape? Sorry for the tangent, but a needless headache is a needless headache is a needless headache. Damn pigeons!

All for Day 1.


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