Originally published on: 26/02/10 14:34
Allow us to introduce ourselves. Were a growing tennis website that loves this great sport. We adore the girls, the guys, singles and doubles. We cheer baseliners, net-rushers, grass, hard and clay courters. We love the Next Big Things, the tour regulars and even the seniors (although Mansour Bahramis beginning to wear a bit thin).
In short, were all about celebrating tennis. Unfortunately, though, we bring shocking news. Theres a rumour doing the rounds that Jelena Jankovic has today become world No.1 without ever reaching a grand slam final. And whats more, Justine, this rumour is true.
A lot has changed since you walked away from tennis on May 14. Rafas dethroned Roger, Jamie Murrays had his hair cut and Novak Djokovic has stopped doing those crummy impersonations.
But its not all good news, Justine. Its those size 7s you left behind at the top of the world rankings we cant find the right girl to fill them.
Weve nothing against Jankovic weve got a lot of love for JJ. The garish dresses, the bizarre outbursts, the weekly injuries nothing could stop us from liking the girl, nothing But is she really world No.1 material? Well is she, Justine? I think we both know the answer to that.
If it was all about grand slam semi-finals wed have no problem with her rise to pole position. If its major semi-finals you want, shes your girl Flushing Meadows, Roland Garros, Melbourne Park. But we both know it isnt. Is it Justine?
For such a wee thing, you left a big hole.
First there was MaSha. She was the first to rise to the top of the heap once youd said your goodbyes, but the shoulders not so good and her results have suffered.
She slipped up in Paris and fell early at Wimbledon and they say the shoulder might never properly clear up. The future looks bleak. Shes out of the Olympics and the Open too. Still, theres always the swimsuit shoots, the fragrance and the phone accessory collection to help make ends meet. (Have you seen the Courtside Case, the compact Exercise Case, the Party Bag or the Travel Wallet? Theyre to die for.)
Then there was Ana. This is the future, we said, the womens game is in safe hands. Six-feet-one of perfectly toned muscle and a face fit to grace the pages of a fashion mag. We breathed a sigh of relief when she was crowned queen of Roland Garros and the ultimate ranking became hers, but as soon as she took over at the top she vanished. At Wimbledon and in Canada she looked a different player indeed, the real Ivanovic hasnt been seen since Paris (unless youre an FHM reader) and now its the thumb. What next?
The Williams, you say? Dont get us started Justine. They come, they see, they conquer (unless theyre on clay) and then they disappear. Theyre the real deal, dont get us wrong. Superwomen who squash all before them. They bring tournaments alive. The bling, the blogs, the boyfriends… but they thrill and then vanish, leaving us begging for more, desperate for a leader.
And thats what the womens tour needs, Justine, a leader. It needs a committed No.1. A girl whose backhand is more engaging than her backside. We need a No.1 that can deliver, someone we can rely on, someone wholl be there for us week in week out in Melbourne, Paris, London and New York.
We know youre thinking of us, Justine. Weve seen the signs. In July you said you hate to say never. Then dont say it.