Thursday, September 03, 2009

Farewell, Marat

It seems like only yesterday that me and everyone I know fell head over heels in love with the boyish Russian giant who made Pete Sampras look like a little old man in the final of the 2000 U.S. Open. (Has anyone ever played a more perfect final?) With that it seemed like he WAS the future of the game, but injuries and problems with his mind seemed to get in the way of what could have been a most legendary career. Still, it was never dull watching him. Never dull at all. The men's game is sorely lacking personalities these days, and Marat's retirement adds a huge void to an already gaping hole. We'll miss you, man ...


James C. said...

have to disagree about there being a lack of personalities in the men's game. That seems like a bit of a knee jerk jerk criticism that fit better in the early to mid 2000's than now.

Are there currently any guys in the upper ranks who are loud, rude and verbally abusive to fans, umpires and linesmen, or the press corps at the moment (like Connors or McEnroe)? No. But there are plenty of engaging, talented and fan friendly guys in the top tier these days. Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Roddick (who's never been more popular), Del Potro, Tsonga, Monfils, Verdasco and Querey all come to mind. Plus they're all winning titles.

Many of these names don't belong to Americans and some may have names that don't roll off the tongue (neither did Bjorn Borg when folks first heard of him), but that's no reason to dismiss them as boring. Most of them are attractive. They all speak acceptible to good English. They make time for interviews, photo shoots fan events and most importantly they can beat each other. Fed has lost to everyone in top 4 this year. So has Nadal. Roddick has beaten Djokovic three time this year. Del Potro has beaten Nadal twice this year and Roddick twice in the last month. And Murray has been routinely beating and challenging everyone in the top ten over the last year. The top six are as deep and consistent a group as you could ask for right now. They're certainly all healthy at the moment and arguably a deeper cast of players than at any time this decade. Sounds a pretty good time for the men's game to me.

Anonymous said...

Marat always reminds me of Goren Ivanisovic