Wednesday, March 23, 2011

♥ Ya, Kim... and Mulling Over Miami

Oh, don't you ♥ it? It didn't even take forty-eight hours for my "break-up" with Barbie to be rewarded with news that is easy to twist in a way that makes her look self-centered and uncaring of the ongoing plight of others.

Grrr, but I wish I hadn't promised to be such a gentleman the other day. In years past, I would have taken this moment to roughly bandy about Kim Clijsters after her comments yesterday regarding a post-Fukushima Dai-ichi Japan and China. You know, when rather than take a level-headed leadership role on tour, she decided to play the role of Karl Malone during the Magic Johnson HIV controversy of many years ago and come off as the mouthpiece for every possible nuclear reactor fear that, in truth, IS largely correctly being discussed now in the aftermath of Japan's earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown scare triple-whammy of a disaster that began more than a week ago. Essentially, with the story hardly finished being played out, Clijsters has already declared that she won't go to Japan or China to play because of any potential radiation contamination of the air, water, etc. in either Asian nation.

In a way, though, I guess I should admire Clijsters' strong stance, albeit a bit reactionary one, seeing that we're six months away from any WTA event even possibly being held in Japan or China. If the fall events are held at all, that is, considering the World Figure Skating Championships that were to be held there soon have been pulled out of Tokyo. Any contamination fears would be moot if the tour decides to either move or cancel those tournaments, if events warrent such a decision. Making private fears public isn't usually the best way to go, but at least KC didn't paint on the usual smile and do nothing that might upset anyone, or grandstand in a way that forces all attention to be focused on her. Oh, wait. Maybe she DID do that. Hmmm.

Her fears do have a foundation of legitimacy, as well as so-very-human honesty, considering the culprit in her own father's death and her likely nervousness about ever knowingly placing herself in danger of enduring similar circumstances. But as a supposedly leading voice in the sport, she'd been better advised to not have even a portion of the story revolve around her own personal safety concerns -- again, six months from now -- rather than the devastation and/or end of the lives of so many other hundreds of thousands and more. Now, her "infraction" here isn't nearly as egregious as some of the athletes who Twittered after everything went down that, essentially, Japan "deserved" and should have been expecting such "karmic payback" to befall the nation because of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, but her words do somewhat back up the notion that so many have about tennis players and their often me-centric take on the world. And coming just days after Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka showed solidarity with the Japanese people by taking the court with the nation's flag in Indian Wells, the contrast is interesting, though not necessarily sharp.

Anyway, I might have gone elsewhere with this a few years ago. But I promised that I wouldn't do that.

♥ ya, Kim.

MIAMI, FLORIDA USA (Premier+ $4.5m/hardcourt outdoors)
10 Final: Clijsters d. V.Williams
11 Top Seeds: Wozniacki/Clijsters
10 Doubles Champions: Dulko/Pennetta

=4th Rd.=
#1 Wozniacki d. #13 Pennetta
#6 Jankovic d. #23 Wickmayer
#18 Petrova d. #4 Stosur
#11 Kuznetsova d. #7 Li
#5 Schiavone d. #9 A.Radwanska
#3 Zvonareva d. #22 Kleybanova
#12 Kvitova d. #9 Azarenka
#14 Kanepi d. #27 Martinez-Sanchez
#1 Wozniacki d. #6 Jankovic
#11 Kuznetsova d. #18 Petrova
#3 Zvonareva d. #5 Schiavone
#12 Kvitova d. #14 Kanepi
#1 Wozniacki d. #11 Kuznetsova
#3 Zvonareva d. #12 Kvitova
#1 Wozniacki d. #3 Zvonareva

...I'll go with C-Woz on form, though if Zvonareva (who'll get the resurgent Safina/Dokic winner in her first match) is playing well enough to get to the final it'd be easy to go the other way. Hmmm, no Kim in sight... largely because I still wonder about her shoulder. Well, that and I'm wondering if she might see Kimiko Date-Krumm walking around the grounds and then quickly book a plane out of town, wrongly believing that she was somehow magically transported to Asia overnight.

Miami's another two-weeker, so next week's Backspin will consist of just a few early-round awards, and that all-time favorites "All-Backspin" team that I didn't post during Indian Wells, of course.

All for now.

Enter the Tennis Now tennis photo contest here. 1st price is $400, 2nd $250, and 3rd $100. Entries are being accepted until April 3.


Blogger Novak said...

Paranoid Barbie?

Wed Mar 23, 06:36:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Kumar said...

There's more to the interview. Check it out!

Q: When you are looking at the world
events of Japan and Libya do you think
about what is happening to the world and
Jada ’ s future?
KC: Certainly . As soon as I heard that there was
a radioactive cloud on its way to the west coast,
normally I would not have worried about that ,
because you think it ’ s so far away. But this time
I was “Let ’ s get out of here as soon as
possible, ” and also with Jada you think about it
differently . When I was younger I used to worry
about stuff , like when we had to go to Australia
or Tokyo , and the war in Kuwait ( sic) was going
on and then on your flight map you could see
that we were flying over Iraq and Iran and I
had quite a bit of fear . I want to follow world
affairs , but I do know that when Jada is walking
around I don ’t want her to see those things.
But Brian looks at it quite differently . He knows
what is happening and feels badly about it but
it does not affect him as much as it affects me.
I was like , “We need to get those pills .” I went
to all the natural food stores to look for
products with natural iodine like seaweed,
spirulina , and kelp . I bought it all . And Brian
just laughs at me. He is like , "If the government
says it will not have any influence no problem , "
but I think they are lying. Of course, they say
that because they can ’ t evacuate the whole
west coast . But I won’t be fooled. Even in
Belgium my sister and aunt called me saying ,
“You gotta leave because the cloud is coming ,
or you can just put Jada alone the plane and
we’ ll pick her up here at the airport .” What a
panic . It was a bum . Do you really think it can
get here in Indian Wells? I didn’ t even want to
imagine it .

Then there ’ s the Toray ( Pan Pacific
Open) in Tokyo in October .
KC: I won' t go . And I won' t go to Beijing either.

Thu Mar 24, 10:33:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd Spiker said...

Thing is, she didn't play in those events last year, either, going from winning the US Open to not playing until the SEC. In a normal circumstance, I really wonder how likely she was to go anyway this season, so... make of it what you will.

Hmmm, what with her sudden personal information dump there about her paranoia, I wonder if she's planning doing anything beyond December 2012, or if she'll lock herself in a well-stocked old bomb shelter somewhere and we won't see her again until sometime around 2015? :)

Fri Mar 25, 01:45:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diane said...

While I completely support Clijsters' decision to stay away from Asia, I, too, don't know why she had to make an annoucement about it.

Obviously, it's a Belgian thing. And she has a long way to go to keep up :)

Sat Mar 26, 03:17:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Zidane said...

In a week in which Clijsters makes such an announcement, her current picture on the WTA website is ironic at best, discouraging at worse.

Being surrounded by 3 Japanese players, she wears clothes in which we can read "[Red Heart in a Tennis Ball Shape] Japan". Was it too difficult to find another well-known tennis star to do the shoot? Like Wozniacki, very charismatic and showing last week that she actually cares? Or Sharapova, whose special early career moments in Asia are well-known? (This last option would also remind us that Sharapova could once line up two-week sequences, but that is another story.)

Sat Mar 26, 11:01:00 PM EDT  
Blogger NC said...

It was a FILA shirt and Kim was both contractually obligated to wear it and the only FILA representative at the event. Kim clearly empathizes with the Japanese plight - read her twitter - though her comments appeared callous.

I hope you realize, Todd, that because you didn't pick Clijsters, she's definably going to win Miami. :)

Sun Mar 27, 08:26:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd Spiker said...


Oh, I know. I know.

(shakes head)

And now with Wozniacki out, I think it'll be so, so, so... LIKE HER... to win now. Come on, Ana? Vera? Or Maria. Anyone?

Maybe I should just congratulate Kim NOW for winning the title. I MIGHT do a reverse-reverse-mojo on her. :)

Mon Mar 28, 05:50:00 PM EDT  

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