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Miami musings – Wednesday March 25


 

Originally published on: 26/02/10 15:43

All quiet in the media centre
Crandon Park was as welcoming as ever, and I even tripped over the ebullient Richard Williams on the way in. It was a bit quiet in the media centre and it will be interesting to see if more journalists arrive as the week unfolds. Noticeably there are only three journalists from the British national press here, usually theres quite a throng. At previous events tennishead has attended, the Spanish press, who have plenty of players to follow, think its really amusing that so many journos follow just Andy Murray (and sometimes one woman and one junior!).

Anne goes down fighting
We had a very intimate press conference with Anne Keothavong following her tight first round defeat to Czech player Lucie Safarova, which she lost 6-4, 7-5 on Wednesday. As always, she was charming, despite being disappointed not to progress to the second round. Shes going to stick around here tomorrow when, schedule permitting, tennishead hopes to catch up with her for a one-on-one. I just hope that, unlike today, we dont have to sit in the small interview room with no windows its certainly not the most creative of environments!

Larry Steps down but stirs it up
It was the comments of Larry Scott, the CEO of the WTA, who yesterday announced he will be stepping down from the position in the summer that made tennisheads ears prick up. He highlighted the change the Sony Ericcson WTA Tour has been through and how his vision for tennis on the bigger scale involves significant change.

Now if youve discovered tennishead I guess that means you like your tennis served up in a slightly different way. Weve always felt this great sport needs a bit of a shake up if its going to bring in new people. We are also commercially aware and understand there is much politics and many many commercial contracts and sponsorships that would have to be unravelled if the sport was really to change, but heck, the world has changed so much of late, anything is possible and many things seem probable.

So, what was Larry saying that struck such a chord? I had a deep belief and vision that the mens and womens tours should merge to fully unlock the value of professional tennis and really allow tennis to compete at a higher level, by which he was referring to the fact that having been approached around the time of the 2008 US Open to become chairman and president of the ATP he proposed such a merger to the ATP. For various reasons, and we all know that means politics, the proposal was not accepted. In my mind both the mens and the womens tour would be stronger and tennis would be stronger and compete better with other sports if the tours merged.

To be fair he also said there were personal reasons that influenced his decision to step down, like wanting to see more of his children and travel less. But if one of the benefits was that you knew when to watch TV because the mens and the womens tour were on the same TV channel, wouldnt you find the tour much simpler? Well, thats one of the reasons were in favour of more change. Theres much much more to the idea of the tours coming together than the TV rights, but its not hard to see what a more potent sport tennis could be.

Bombay Sapphire mixes it up
On the subject of potent sports, those nice people from Bombay Sapphire came to the media restaurant as the sun went down to mix us a G and T cocktail to revive those who recently touched down in Florida, five hours behind the UK in terms of time-zone. At 6pm local time, but for the adeptly mixed cocktail, it would have been tempting to have a lie down.

Serenas statement
The world number one today launched her own range of fashion accessories poignantly entitled the Serena Williams Statement Collection a range of bags and jewellery designed by Serena herself. I call it my lucky ring, she said of the ring she always wears when she takes to court herself. Now we ladies (and men if thats your wont) can wear her collection. Each item is under $100. At a press conference where Serena was seated behind her new range she talked of price points and quality like quite the marketeer. You may recall she did attend fashion school two-and-a-half years at the Fort Lauderdale Art Institute. Serena, always so confident on court admitted that fashion for me is way harder and said she was nervous about the collection. Guess the proof of the pudding will be in the sales and with a TV show going out on April 30 and May 1 and 2, maybe the US retail sector will be revived.

Federer on diapers
Although Roger Federer was asked at his press conference if he had ever changed a nappy, he managed not to answer (tennishead was secretly pleased, because were not that interested either). He did, however, reveal that Mirkas dream, especially mine too in a way, was always to have one day maybe a kid on the sideline seeing me play while I am still active. I think theres a great possibility now and Im so excited about that. Thats why even more so I want to play for a long time.

What tennishead wanted to know was if his other body parts were working OK namely his back, and if he was sounding like the next Sony Ericsson champion in waiting. He said, The back is okay. I wish it was better, but its not really handicapping me even when Im playing slightly ambiguous I thought and while he admitted he was a bit tired from travel yesterday. I thought he seemed more subdued than normal, maybe hes fed up with the baby questions. On court will be where it really matters

Have you seen the price of tickets?
Bought two tickets for friends to attend Friday evening session at $105 each I know the

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