Archive | November 2007

Swiss Tennis God Roger Federer Wins Fourth Masters Championship Title!!

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                Spaniard David Ferrer is a revelation the tiny man does not appear to have the “weapons” to beat the top players but he has the heart of a lion. Ferrer defeated Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal and Richard Gasquet to reach the Masters finals. However, once in the finals Swiss tennis god Roger  crushed Ferrer 6-2 6-3 6-2 in about ninty minutes. Federer simply has too much experience and firepower for Ferrer. Federer improves to an 8-0 record against the Spaniard.

Although some in the “media”  have  been salivating waiting for the “moment” when Roger loses his throne and crown he is still number one. Numerous press reports have claimed Roger Federer is more “vulnerable” this year. The truth is he is still dominating men’s tennis like no man has ever done before. Roger Federer is more dominant then Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Williams Sisters, or Martina Navratilova ever was on the WTA tour. Women’s tennis is used to periods of dominance when one or two women are running the show. Although the media claim Rafael Nadal is Roger’s main rival the truth is the ATP tour is a one man show. Roger Federer has crushed all his competition and dominated the ATP tour with an iron fist for the past four years. He continues to shatter the record books in men’s tennis because the men’s game is simply so deep in talent yet Federer proves he’s a class above everyone else.

  According to the statistics yes, Roger did lose four more matches this year it simply is difficult to be “perfect” all the time. Its simply amazing the length of Roger’s dominance over all the other men. Its also obvious Roger Federer is human he loses matches but still he only lost nine matches in total this year. The bottom line is Roger doesn’t lose when it “matters” the most and that’s the statistic the media consistently ignores. Some tennis fans are upset about the supreme domination Roger has had over men’s tennis for the past four years but he’s a living legend. People need to accept the fact that this gentle Swiss is making history every single time he steps on the tennis court. Roger also has twelve grand slam singles titles two away from being equal to American Pete Sampras.

 Roger won three out of the four grand slams for the third time in his career this year and he also once again reached the French Open finals. He won the Australian, Wimbledon, and US OPEN tennis championships, he also won two Masters series titles, and the year end championships for the fourth time in his career. Roger is the first man since Borg to win five consecutive Wimbledon titles. He also was the first man this year to win a grand slam without dropping a set at the Australian Open. Roger is also the first man in the Open era since 1968 to have won three grand slams at least three times. Roger also won the US OPEN for the fourth year in a row and that’s the first time any man has achieved this since Bill Tilden in the 1920s.  Roger now has fifty three ATP tour titles. The scary part is that Roger Federer is only twenty six years old he still has time to improve and become French Open champion.

Another important statistic is in the beginning of the rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal the Spaniard won six of the seven matches leading Federer 6-1. However, Roger has turned the series around he has won  five  of the last seven meetings against Nadal. Nadal still has an edge 8-6. However, Roger destroyed Rafael Nadal 6-4 6-1 in less then an hour in the Masters cup semifinals.  He no longer has doubts or questions if he can defeat Nadal he now has the  self confidence and belief he can beat Rafael Nadal.

Another point to consider is Roger finally defeated Rafael Nadal on clay at the Hamburg Masters snapping the Spaniard’s eighty one match clay winning streak. Rafael Nadal should of won Wimbledon this year he had many chances to finally breakthrough and claim the title. Nadal could of became the first Spaniard since Manuel Santana to win Wimbledon but for the second year in a row he failed and crumbled under the pressure. It was a shock that Nadal captitulated under the pressure. Nadal was distraught after the Wimbledon loss and he has not recovered. Nadal once again faded into oblivion as usual in the second half of the year.

The cynics and critics  will say the clay in Germany favors Federer’s game because the clay is slower, more heavy, and damp unlike the more faster, humid weather in Rome or Paris. However, the win is significant because he knows he can beat Nadal on clay.  The final step in Roger Federer’s quest for ultimate domination of the tennis universe is to win the elusive French Open title. Roger wants to become French Open champion and he is adding another clay court event to his schedule next year electing to play the Estoril Open in Portugal.

I have an idea that some may think is bizarre. I don’t agree with the ATP tour to schedule two Masters events the Indian Wells and Miami events back to back in March. In my mind tennis should revolve around the grand slams. The American spring Masters events are not important in the grand scheme of things.  I think Roger should skip the Miami Masters event next year and concentrate preparing for the French Open. Roger needs more time to train on the clay surface. After the Miami event the ATP tour players only have two weeks to prepare for the Monte Carlo Masters. I notice there is a formula to winning the French Open the previous winners tend too win either Monte Carlo, Barcelona, or Rome. Roger Federer has never won the Monte Carlo or Rome Masters events. It appears to me that this is the key. How can Roger have the “confidence” to believe he can win the French Open if he doesn’t win the most important clay court events? Yes, Roger has won the Hamburg masters in Germany on clay four times but the clay in Germany is not the same clay surface that is used in Paris.

The critics and the cynics proclaimed the year 2007 Roger was on his way down because he did lose a few more matches. Roger did lose at the French Open against Nadal but an important statistic is the fact Roger had fifteen break point opportunities in the match. If Roger had converted his break point chances he could of won the French Open. In March 2007 Roger lost to Argentine Guillermo Canas twice. Its important to point out Canas did snap Roger’s forty one match winning streak at the Indian Wells event. However, the second meeting in Miami was very close Canas edging Federer 7-6 in the third set tiebreaker. Roger made sure he crushed Canas at the Madrid Masters  with a 6-0 6-3 victory over the Argentine last month.

David Nalbandian once criticized for being overweight and out of shape transformed himself into a new man at the end of the year. Nalbandian is the first player to ever defeat both Federer and Nadal in Masters finals this year. He beat Roger in Madrid and Rafael in Paris. Nalbandian has lost a ton of weight and he’s improved his serve. Nalbandian is clearly one of the few players that can seriously challenge Federer and Nadal. The problem for Nalbandian is his consistency. Can Nalbandian win a grand slam only time will tell? It is not a question of whether Nalbandian has the talent because he does its whether he can win seven best of five set matches and be a winner.

Andy Roddick well he’s still a top ten player but his futility is suspect. Roddick is no longer a part of the ATP tour elite. American journalists will state otherwise but the facts are in the results. Roddick lost all four meetings against Federer and Nadal in 2007 he also lost to David Ferrer twice this year. Roddick is a top ten player but he refuses to improve his game. Roddick’s problems are more “internal” then “external” he is fighting a war within himself and he’s losing. James Blake proved he was never a “real contender” and that is just lazy journalism to compare him to the elite players. Blake is a top twenty player and he finished 2007 at number fourteen he’s good, he’s solid, but he’s not great. Blake is hyped by the American media because he’s a black man in a white dominated sport. The media have made illogical comparrisons to the legendary Arthur Ashe and James Blake. Blake is shrewd he realizes he is not a champion and he is profiting off of “being different” by publishing a best selling book this year. Blake is making money but he is not even close to Arthur Ashe’s league as a tennis player. Ashe was a winner Blake is not.

 Roddick was humiliated by Roger Federer which is no surprise. However, Spaniard David Ferrer destroyed Roddick 6-1 6-3 in the Masters Cup semifinals beating the American for the second time this year. Ferrer will have to prove 2007 was not a fluke. It is also interesting to point out Ferrer reached the US OPEN semifinals this year. The stereotype is that Spaniards love the clay only but Ferrer has proven he can play on hard courts. Ferrer is one of the few players I believe can challenge Nadal on the clay. Despite the lost to Roger Federer David Ferrer should have a lot of confidence now that despite his small size he can beat the bigger men. Ferrer is also a solid clay court player he may be a threat to Nadal’s French Open crown next year.

Does Patrick McEnroe Have “Homoerotic” Feelings For Andy Roddick and James Blake?

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            Unfortunately, since I’m Canadian TSN Canada’s “premier” sports channel broadcasts tape delay matches of the ATP Masters championships in Shanghai China. The shameless comments by American tennis commentator Patrick McEnroe makes my ears bleed.

In Patrick McEnroe’s bizarre and twisted universe Andy Roddick is still a “top player” and a ”contender” in men’s tennis. McEnroe has been talking about how “great” Andy Roddick is and every single year Roddick drops in the ATP tour rankings. The truth is Roddick has been passed by Novak Djokovic and David Nalbandian as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s chief rivals. Federer and Nadal have a combined 4-0 record against Roddick this year and all the victories were in straight sets.

However, listening to Patrick McEnroe basically being perfidious to the tennis audience is irritating because he is so truculent. It doesn’t make any sense. Roddick has fallen back he’s a top ten player he can beat most of the players but he cannot beat the best players. Roddick is no longer a part of the real ”elite group” of the ATP tour.

Until Andy Roddick can prove he can beat Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal consistently in a major event he is not a contender. When Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal see Andy Roddick’s name on their side of the draw they know they have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Its also painfully obvious that Patrick McEnroe should not be an ESPN tennis commentator. McEnroe has a conflict of interest he’s the United States Davis Cup captain. How can he be objective when he is also too “emotionally involved” with Andy Roddick? Its obvious that when McEnroe is commentating Roddick’s matches he’s “openly” rooting for Roddick. For example, at the 2006 US OPEN men’s final Roddick was in a tense four set battle with Roger Federer. Roddick sees Patrick McEnroe and makes the comment “I’m having so much fun” and he ultimately loses his concentration and the match. McEnroe has proven he cannot be neutral with Andy Roddick he is not professional. The bias Patrick McEnroe has towards Andy Roddick is beyond pathetic its completely unprofessional and disgraceful.

Everyone knows that Patrick McEnroe is ”in love” with Andy Roddick he can do no wrong. At the 2007 Australian Open this year Roddick was using scatological language against his  black French opponent Jo Wilfred Tsonga. Patrick McEnroe had the audacity to actually ”cheer” Roddick on for his obnoxious behavior. However, once the topic shifts to the Williams Sisters and Patrick McEnroe’s attitude is not only mean spirited its downright racist. Venus and Serena are the only American women winning grand slams. The state of American women’s tennis is also in a moment of flux. Yes Lindsay Davenport has returned but at the moment its the Williams Sisters delivering the hardware they won two out of the four slams this year. Yet Patrick McEnroe’s criticisms of the Williams Sisters is not only ludicrous it also demonstrates his lack of class. Where is McEnroe’s criticism of Andy Roddick? Why is there this double standard? The American men have failed at the grand slams for years where is McEnroe’s objectivity?

Patrick McEnroe’s “total devotion”to Andy Roddick is “very creepy” to listen to its as though he has “intense emotional feelings” for Andy Roddick. McEnroe is essentially a professional groupie he is paid by ESPN and CBS to hype Andy Roddick up despite the fact for the past four years he has failed to deliver the grand slam results. McEnroe hardly ever is “critical” of Roddick his love for Roddick is too strong. After Roddick loses one big match after another McEnroe’s attitude on the air is very somber as though he is crushed and distraught. Patrick McEnroe may be married to a woman but its clear his heart belongs to tennis star Andy Roddick.

The sports arena is one of the few places in society that allows men the opportunities to be “passionate” about other males. The sports world is one of the few places in society where “homosocial” relationships can occur without judgement. The word “homosocial” does not mean “homosexual”. The term “homosocial” is referring to social constructs and social spheres.  Men want to engage in “homosocial” relationships with each other by “gathering” at sports bars, or somebody’s apartment or house this is a ”homosocial” setting. Sports is generally a space where ”men” want to “only” be around “other men” its a form of “male bonding”.

Sports is also one of the places where the “passionate feelings” men have for male athletes is palatable. Heterosexual men pay lots of money to attend sport events to express their “adoration” and ”love” for male athletes. The NBA, NFL, CFL, baseball, tennis, golf, hockey, soccer, are all sports where the power of homoeroticism not only exists it thrives with a strong pulse.

Male athletes are also a symbol of “masculinity” they are viewed as “desirable”. I am not suggesting just because male sports fans “like” a particular sport or sports means they are gay. I am suggesting that there is “more” to men just “loving” a sport or sports. Sports is an arena where ordinary men can “feel” an “electric connection” to the powerful, strong, muscular, and physically fit men they secretly desire to be.

 However, the issue of homoeroticism is the fuel that allows male sports stars to transform into cultural heroes. Men don’t just “like” the athletic skill of the male athlete they also admire the “physique” and the “looks” of the male athletes. Why can’t men be honest? Men don’t just admire the fact that Tiger Woods is a great golfer.  Men do “look” at the bodies of “other men” yet most men won’t “admit” this for the fear of being called “gay”.  It is not “gay” to admire the male form the biceps, the abs, the strength it is to be human. We all want to “look” better and male athletes are the perfect “specimens” of male beauty. Men also admire Tiger Woods strong muscular body and his strength since most male golfers are overweight and out of shape. Tiger Woods stands out because he takes his physical fitness seriously and men admire the dedication, drive, and ambition he has to maximize his potential. It also doesn’t hurt that Woods is attractive, young, and intelligent as well.

 It may not be a sexual attraction but the “attraction” the “allure” the ‘intense” interest is there it lingers and it grows and its real. Homoeroticism is one of the reasons male sports is so popular. Male fans don’t just appreciate “male athletes” surreptitiously some male fans not only “want to be” the “male sports star” they are also “in love” with the male sports star. Its one of sports worst kept secrets.

Patrick McEnroe appears to be living ”vicariously” through Andy Roddick. McEnroe comes across as though there is an unrequited love affair between himself and Andy Roddick’s tennis career. McEnroe is so desperate for Roddick to live up to his “dreams”, “expectations”, and “goals”. The way Patrick McEnroe boasts about Roddick’s so called “contender status” for the past four years yet he consistently has failed to produce the results proves McEnroe’s  devotion to Roddick. 

Patrick McEnroe’s homoerotic feelings for Roddick moves beyond just wanting him to “succeed” on the tennis court. Patrick McEnroe “wants to be” Andy Roddick. McEnroe’s tennis identity was of a “loser” and not “winner” like his older brother John. Andy Roddick is the tennis star that Patrick McEnroe believes can help him “lose” his “loser” status. When John McEnroe was holding various Wimbledon and US OPEN trophies and being number one in the world Patrick was in the background. Patrick was never blessed with the natural tennis gifts of his older brother John he simply was not talented enough to be a tennis champion. Its obvious Patrick McEnroe is desperate to no longer be a “loser” he wants to hold his own tennis trophy to become a “winner”. If the United States wins the Davis Cup Patrick McEnroe can finally become a “winner” and hold the Davis Cup trophy.

Cliff Drysdale the other ESPN American commentator he’s pretty honest and fair. Drysdale knows Roddick is no contender and he won’t lie to the audience about this fact. The bottom line is Andy Roddick is not one of the elite male tennis players anymore.

Its been over four long years since an American male has won a grand slam singles title. The American media is restless due to the European domination of men’s tennis. The Americans have been spoiled because for most of the 1990s it was all Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, and Andre Agassi. Its obvious the current American male tennis generation is simply not as talented as Sampras, Courier, and Agassi. I am not suggesting that Andy Roddick cannot win another grand slam because I think he can. Roddick can win another major or majors but he would need a complete change in his attitude and his game to become a serious male tennis champion.

One of the major hypocrisies I’ve noticed about the USA media is their intense hatred for the Williams Sisters yet Andy Roddick gets a free pass. I wonder why does this occur? At the US OPEN this year the venom by the mainstream American media was not surprising but typically racist and predictable. The mainstream American media will criticize Serena Williams and call her “classless” for not giving praise to Justine Henin yet ignore Andy Roddick’s deleterious attitude. Last time I checked Serena won a grand slam this year the Australian Open. Andy Roddick hasn’t won a grand slam since the year 2003. I don’t read any articles taking Roddick to task about his party lifestyle or about his lack of commitment to tennis. Roddick is also known for changing coaches the way people change shoes. Whenever Roddick is losing he always gets himself a new coach yet his problems remain the same. Its obvious Andy Roddick has a major attitude problem. Roddick’s problems are more “internal” then “external” he clearly has a conflict within himself. Roddick charges the net even though he cannot volley very well. Roddick does not know how to hit solid low volleys. Perhaps Roddick needs a sports psychologist?

Roddick is immature to the extreme he claims to be cognizant of his incendiary emotional outbursts. However, it is not even a joke anymore its to be expected and its time for the ATP tour to crack down on Andy Roddick. Roddick should be fined for his abusive behavior towards the chair umpires and fellow tennis players he acts like a mad man on the court. Its really scary how obnoxious Roddick is on the court. Where are the articles criticizing Roddick about his immaturity? Or does Roddick get a free pass because he’s a white American male? Yet the mainstream USA media ignores his unprofessionalism on the tennis court. Whenever Andy Roddick is losing he’s a ticking time bomb he will whine and complain to the chair umpire about anything, he will even shout at his opponents.

Roddick is also not popular with other male tennis players. Ivan Ljubicic and various other players have lashed out at Roddick for his unprofessionalism on the tennis court. Roddick’s lack of emotional maturity costs him to lose matches. John McEnroe also had a temper but he also was more intelligent then Roddick. Yes, John was known for being explosive on the court he would eventually get over his anger and focus on trying to win the tennis match. Andy Roddick is the opposite his anger manifests itself and festers into a cancer. Roddick’s anger boils over into the rest of his game he telegraphs poor body language by hanging his head down, slumping his shoulders, and you know he’s going to lose the match. If Roddick would just grow up and act like a real man on the tennis court maybe he would win more matches. Why make a big deal about nothing?

Another problem for Roddick is the fact he’s not getting any younger he’s in mid career now at the age of twenty five. Roddick is now a veteran he’s not a new kid on the block. Now there is a new younger generation of players that are targeting him.The younger European players such as Novak Djokovic have already passed Roddick in the rankings. Djokovic also defeated Roddick in straight sets at the Masters event in Montreal this year.

Also, McEnroe is also the Davis Cup captain for the United States. McEnroe basically got his job as a tennis commentator due to nepotism. Let’s be real here Patrick McEnroe wasn’t a champion he wasn’t even a top ten player. Patrick McEnroe was not a tennis champion he’s just John McEnroe’s less talented less obnoxious brother.

Although I find John McEnroe belligerent at times at least he was a champion and he is always honest about Andy Roddick’s limited tennis abilities. Earlier this year John McEnroe said rising Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic is clearly ahead of Andy Roddick and of course he is correct. However, Patrick’s “devotion” to Andy Roddick is bordering on “homoeroticism”. Its just bizarre the way how Patrick continues to make excuses for the futility in Andy Roddick’s game. Patrick is blinded by his “ love” for Andy Roddick. Is Patrick McEnroe in love with Andy Roddick? I mean you got to wonder?

One result tennis fans don’t have to worry about is world number one Roger Federer defeating Andy Roddick. Federer now has a 15-1 record against Roddick he hasn’t lost to him since the 2003 Canadian Open.I continue to be amazed at Andy Roddick’s incredible immaturity on the tennis court. Now plenty of tennis players smash their rackets I understand that Marat Safin does that all the time. However, Safin does not attempt to intimidate his opponents as Roddick does when he’s losing. Yesterday against world number one Roger Federer I was disgusted with the lack of sportsmanship of Andy Roddick. Roddick utters the phrase “I’m getting better Roger” as Roger is thrashing him on the court. What was the point for Roddick to make such a stupid comment during the match? Roger was actually laughing at Andy Roddick because when Roddick makes outbursts like this he knows he’s already lost.

The mainstream American media created this artificial rivalry when its obvious none exists between Roger Federer and the American men. One topic the mainstream press ignores is the obvious intense animosity between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick. Although Rafael Nadal has a winning record against Roger Federer these two guys actually respect one another and even defend each other in the media. Roger Federer allowed Rafael Nadal to travel with him from the Masters event in Montreal this year to Cincinnati on his private jet.

My perspective is Roger doesn’t appreciate Andy’s lack of class on the tennis court and he gives 110% every single time he plays Roddick because he wants to humiliate him. Roger enjoys destroying Andy Roddick’s self confidence and he relishes in watching Roddick self destruct on the court becoming upset and agitated. Its basically a broken record. Roger let’s his racket do the talking. In press conferences Roger will say all the politically correct statements but its obvious he has a fire in his eyes when he plays Andy Roddick. Roger doesn’t respect Andy Roddick because he doesn’t approve of Roddick’s immaturity on the tennis court. Andy is obviously distraught whenever he plays Roger he will say in press conferences that he’s “ready” for the challenge but the truth is he has absolutely no confidence when he plays Roger. Andy is ”frightened” and “terrified” even though he claims otherwise. Andy Roddick is also clearly very confused and doesn’t know what to do when he plays Roger.

Roddick is also “obsessed” with Roger Federer to the extreme. Roddick changed his game in “hope” of beating Roger but he has failed every single time. The quandary for Roddick is since he’s so “obsessed” with Roger Federer and he “constantly” thinks about Roger “all the time” he let the rest of his game slip. Roddick never should of left Brad Gilbert he was the right kind of coach he could deal with Roddick.

Roger has a quiet intensity and maturity he focuses on the task at hand and he doesn’t let his emotions overwhelm him. Roger definitely picks up his game to another gear whenever he plays Roddick. Last year at the Masters Cup Roddick had three match points against Roger Federer and he could of closed the drought but he capitulated. At the end of last year’s Masters Cup Roddick continued to utter the line “I’m closing the gap.” At the 2007 Australian Open Roger blasted Roddick off the court only allowing him to win six games. Roger made sure he sent the message to Roddick the gap is not closing its as wide as the Grand Canyon!

At the 2007 US OPEN John McEnroe and a special guest Andre Agassi were honest they didn’t give Roddick much of a chance to beat Roger and of course they were correct. The tone during the USA network telecast it appeared to me that John and Andre were demoralized and felt “pity” for Roddick. During the match Andre said it was “unfortunate” that Andy Roddick was born in the “Federer era” because he said great champions need to have two great weapons but he said Roger had five.

At the Masters Cup Roger did lose his first match in a shock loss to Fernando Gonzalez so I thought that perhaps Roger could be vulnerable but once again he rolls over Roddick.Roddick even admitted that the players that give Roger trouble tend to be “quick” and he says its not one of his “strengths.” Since Roddick is “cognizant” that he isn’t “quick” maybe he needs to lay off the “beer” and spend more time in the gym. Its obvious Andy Roddick isn’t improving his game. Roddick appears clumsy, extremely slow, and uncoordinated on the court. Roddick also appears to get tired during matches he’s not physically fit enough to challenge the real top contenders.Roddick clearly is not working on foot drills his footwork is atrocious. Roddick also stands too far behind the baseline when he is returning serve its just not a very intelligent thing to do.

Another problem for Roddick although he has a big serve his serve is simply too predictable. Roger Federer and the rest of the ATP Tour have figured out all they have to do is block Andy Roddick’s serve and they most likely will win the point. Another quandary for Roddick is his backhand it simply is not a well produced groundstroke. Andy Roddick does not hit through his backhand he doesn’t produce enough pace. David Nalbandian’s game bothers Roger Federer because he not only serves well he also moves well and he has an excellent two handed backhand down the line.

I am not suggesting that Roddick is overweight because he’s not but he clearly appears “bulky” he just doesn’t look fit. Roddick is not giving 110% to his fitness. At the Indianapolis event this year during his loss to Canadian tennis star Frank Dancevic Roddick created the excuse that he wasn’t feeling well. Its obvious Roddick doesn’t train hard enough. Roddick should be trying to improve his speed through sprint drills. Tennis is not just about power its also about placement and movement. Yes, Andy Roddick is six foot two but Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are also over six feet and they are very fast. Federer and Nadal take their fitness seriously and are cognizant of the fact speed is so crucial on the tennis court. Roddick is not blessed with the natural talent and gifts of Federer and Nadal but he can lose a bit of weight make himself lighter on the court and perhaps have more energy as well.

Roddick’s compatriot James Blake is actually more naturally talented then Roddick he’s a better athlete, he’s much faster then Roddick, he has a superior forehand, return of serve, and a better backhand. However, Blake is just not not as mentally strong as Roddick is. Blake has slipped in the ATP tour rankings down to number thirteen in the world. Perhaps this is where Blake belongs  anyway? Blake has not had any results in the grand slams to suggest he deserves a place in the top ten. Roddick does give his all in his matches and he never gives up.  James Blake is known to slump his shoulders if he’s losing and mentally give up he doesn’t try hard enough he doesn’t give 110% all the time. Blake also makes numerous excuses when he loses big matches.

James Blake is known for capitulating matches or simply choking matches due to his nerves. Blake could be challenging Federer he already has a 3-0 record against Nadal. The problem with Blake is his mind, one handed backhand, and his serve. Blake serves with a locked wrist he’s not getting enough acceleration on the ball. Blake has the talent to be a contender but he doesn’t believe he can. Another obvious flaw in Blake’s game is his backhand he can hit a solid one handed top spin backhand. However, Blake has no variety on his backhand he has not improved a solid one handed slice. Blake’s one handed slice has no side spin, no edge, and no power, as Roger Federer’s one handed slice backhand.

 Interestingly, Patrick McEnroe is very critical of James Blake when he is on ESPN or other TV networks that it borderlines on the offensive. Its just surprising that Patrick McEnroe can “pretend” to be so “clueless” when he is commentating Andy Roddick’s matches about Roddick’s weaknesses yet he doesn’t have a problem pointing out James Blake’s faults.

The Davis Cup finals is next month and the question a lot of people are asking is will Patrick McEnroe allow a chronic choker such as James Blake to play singles? A lot is on the line not only for the USA Davis Cup team but also for Patrick McEnroe. McEnroe wants some kind of “legacy” some kind of “stamp of approval” that he did indeed contribute to American men’s tennis. McEnroe was an adequate tennis player but he was not a winner and capturing the Davis Cup could change that. The Russians are so deep in talent they don’t need Marat Safin to win and they have proven that this year. However, for the finals the Russians most likely will need Safin. The problem for the Russians is that Safin is so unpredictable. If Safin is playing his best tennis he can beat Andy Roddick and James Blake. The other Russians have a better shot at beating Blake. Mikhail Youzhny has beaten Blake before, Dimitri Tursunov can definitely beat Blake. Nikoklay Davydenko is a top five player he has the ability to beat Blake as well. The Russians have the chance to shock the Americans on their own soil. The Davis Cup finals is definitely in the Americans hands because they have the Bryan twins a solid doubles team and they do have Andy Roddick. James Blake has proven that he is the weakest link.

Its well known that Blake simply cannot win the important matches in Davis Cup or at the grand slams. Blake always folds under pressure. Perhaps Blake could “rise” and actually pull through for the USA? The question remains when the pressure is on in the fifth set can Blake win it? After all Blake has a 1-10 record in five set matches. Will McEnroe replace James Blake with the young Americans Donald Young or even John Isner? Isner has a monster serve but he also had a solid summer and he’s good on hard courts. However, Isner and Young are also very inexperienced. McEnroe could use Marty Fish but he’s also a choker and Robby Ginepri is a talented player that simply has not lived up to his potential. Some may gripe and say McEnroe would be out of line to do this but the bottom line is Patrick McEnroe desperately wants to win the Davis Cup. Will McEnroe give Blake a chance to redeem himself or risk losing all including his job as Davis Cup captain? Andy Roddick and James Blake also have their own incentives to win the Davis Cup they want to “prove” they can win a big event on the world stage.

The Davis Cup many not be a grand slam but is a very prestigious event. Patrick McEnroe during his professional tennis career was never a winner he wasn’t even a solid player. McEnroe, Blake, and Roddick have all have the badge of being “consistent losers”. If the USA can win the Davis Cup this could “elevate” Roddick, Blake, and McEnroe from being “consistent losers” to becoming champions. The Bryan Twins consistently win grand slam double events they are winners. If the USA Davis Cup team did not have the Bryan Twins they wouldn’t be in the finals.

Perhaps the Davis Cup can provide Blake and Roddick with the ammunition and motivation to work harder on their games and rise back into the elite? Roddick, Blake, and McEnroe are desperate for redemption their “pride” is at stake. It would be considered a very embarrassing result if the Americans lost to Russia on home soil in the Davis Cup finals. The knives and blades would be unearthed and the mainstream USA media would start carving at the last ounce of self esteem they have left. Let’s face it if the USA does not win the Davis Cup this year McEnroe should quit as Davis Cup captain.

Senator Clinton Still Playing Gender Card At Democratic Party Debate In Las Vegas

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             I usually ignore American elections for a variety of reasons. The first obvious reason is I’m not American so American politics is usually not something I focus my attention on. Another reason is the apathy I generally have with American politics. In the past American elections were boring due to the fact it was just a bunch of rich white heterosexual males trying to become the United States President. Since the United States is the world’s only superpower and the neighbour of Canada I realize I should pay closer attention to this election.

 Finally, in the year 2007 I am interested in the American Presidential election race because of Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Its very interesting to me to see a white woman and a black man have a real serious chance of becoming America’s first female or black president.  Society is so often rooted in the status quo that we just accept the fact that white males rule the Western world. Earlier this year Senator John Edwards was on the cover of Esquire Magazine with the dystopian headline “Can A White Man Be Elected President?”. The headline for Esquire magazine was meant to be “shocking” but I found it be so offensive on so many levels. White men have been running America for centuries and finally in the year 2007 when a woman and a man of colour  finally emerges and wants  to crack the glass ceiling the fear sets in of some white men. Will the Democratic party nominate either Senators Clinton or Obama? Only time will tell. 

The Democratic party debate in Las Vegas yesterday was much more interesting then previous debates. I think CNN should of just had the three front runners in the debate. I just don’t see the purpose for  Senators Bill Richardson,  John Biden, Chris Dodd, and Dennis Kucinich to be at the debate.  Nobody cares what they have to say why are these guys even there? Everyone is paying attention to the “real” Democratic party race it seems like a waste of time to have excess waste the debate?

Senators Barack Obama and John Edwards came out firing at Senator Hillary Clinton on the issues such as allowing drivers licenses  to illegal immigrants and universal health care. Yet once again Senator Clinton claims that Obama and Edwards are making the debate “personal.” Its obvious that Senator Clinton is a very shrewd politiican she’s playing the sympathy card to female voters.  Senator Clinton is playing the “victim card” very well.

Even the crowd at the debate in Las Vegas booed Senators Obama and Edwards when they asked Senator Clinton tough questions. I see a bias and a total double standard. Senator Clinton is in the Democratic party race to become the United States President this is politics.  Senators Obama and Edwards have a delicate balance to play they cannot appear to be “too harsh” on Senator Clinton because the feminists will scream “misogyny”, “sexism”, “all boys club”. Yet both Edwards and Obama  have to do their jobs and ask Senator Clinton the tough questions.

Earlier this year the French President Nicolas Sarkozy in the French elections  also had to be calm yet firm with Madame Segolene Royal. Sarkozy could appear to be “too hard” on Madame Royal or the feminists would scream he was “attacking” her because she was a woman. Senator Clinton is a strong woman she is not a wallflower she can handle the tough questions. Madame Royal made a major mistake during the only French debate on television when she did appear “agitated” and “emotional” when Sarkozy asked her tough questions. Madame Royal  lost a lot of support in France because of that. Senator Clinton has to be careful that she does not come across as Madame Royal did earlier this year. So far Senator Clinton has kept her emotions in check.

The word “sexism” should not be  linked to one specific gender yet in North America it appears this is the case. In North America, it seems that only “men” can be sexist as if women cannot also be sexist.  Women can indeed be sexist against men and misandrist as well. Yet society always ignores the sexism of women. It seems like  a double standard to me. If Hillary Clinton wants to be treated as an equal on the political stage then she better expect Obama and Edwards to take her to task. I believe Senator Clinton is definitely playing the “gender card” well she continues to make statements such as ” I’ve just been personally attacked again” or  “I don’t mind taking hits on my record on issues, but when somebody starts throwing mud at least we can hope it’s accurate and not right out of the Republican playbook.”  Once again Senator Clinton is flip flopping she needs to decide are Senators Obama and Edwards allowed to ask her important questions about her views about political issues or not?

 Not once did Senators Obama and Edwards bring up the fact that Hillary Clinton is still married to a legendary womanizer former President Bill Clinton.   If Obama and Edwards had attacked Senator Clinton about her personal life that would be considered a personal attack. Senator Clinton is the front-runner in the Democratic party Presidential race of course Obama, and Edwards are going to place more attention on her.  Obama and Edwards have to also appear as though they are not “weak men” that they are not letting Senator Clinton off easy and not asking her the important questions.

I watched the debate and Obama and Edwards were attacking Senator Clinton on her constant flip flopping on important political issues. Its only fair game its politics. Senator Clinton is known for providing evasive answers and not giving a concrete answer. Senator Clinton claims she’s not playing the “gender card” but she obviously is she because of the statements she makes. Senator Clinton cannot have it both ways. If Senator Barack Obama said  “don’t ask me tough questions because I’m a  black man” the mainstream American media would have a field day and rip him to shreds. Senator Clinton ripped Senator Obama about his views on universal health care. 

 Obama and Edwards sense the urgency that they have to demonstrate to the American public that their viewpoints about a variety of issues because the  primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire are coming up very shortly in January 2008. Also, although Senator Clinton is the front-runner overall in the state of Iowa Clinton, Obama, and Edwards are basically tied.  Its going to be interesting to see who the Democratic Party picks I just hope its not John Edwards because I cannot see this man defeating the Republicans.

Do you ever question your own decisions and have doubts?

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Should I enter a journalism program? I keep on thinking about that. I wonder would it give me an edge? I feel like I’m getting too old to return back to school. I have  been having this ongoing conversation with myself inside my mind. It is this  constant tug of war. Part of me feels like maybe it would “help” and another part of me feels like I should be spending more time actually acquiring more “experience.” I don’t know what to do? I’m getting old I’m not getting any younger.

Next, I say to myself school isn’t everything experience also counts. Now this year I have been “gaining” more experience but not the payoff. Toronto is an extremely competitive media market. I did finally get my first professional radio credit this year when  my documentary “The Good Son” was broadcast on CBC radio in May. I’m very interested in radio and I’ve thought about expanding my experience in this area. 

 I’m interested in so many things. I’ve thought about taking a screenwriting course next year, I’ve thought about that a  lot. I thought about completing that novel that I have procrastinated about finishing. Well actually the rough draft is complete its all about finding the right “editor” to edit it. I want to get another volume of poetry published. I am so sick of being a one book writer!

 I already have a BA degree but I have been wondering lately if that’s enough? I secretly think to myself how the hell do some people get published in the LA Times or the NY Times? I really want to know? I’ve been to media journalism websites such as the webiste http://www.mediabistro.com  and asked for advice.

The Black Entertainment Blogs Need To Leave Gabrielle Union Alone!

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Every single black entertainment blog I visit always has the same misogynst crazy stories about the actress Gabrielle Union. I surf the web for various black celebrity blogs because the mainstream blogs ignore black entertainers unless they are “mainstream”.

The interesting thing about black entertainment blogs, is most of these blogs, are run by black women. Gabrielle points out, in the December 2007 issue of Essence magazine, she was really hurt and insulted that black women are writing cruel articles about her.

Could it just be jealousy? Look at Gabrielle she is a stunning woman she is so sexy, gorgeous, young, talented, intelligent, she has a lot going on. The men are crazy about her and desire her and women want to be her.

Yes, it is true Gabrielle is a celebrity, and its part of the “game” of Hollywood to be talked about in the media and on blogs. However, people need to realize that celebrities are humans too. Gabrielle also has a point that the white media aren’t paying attention to her or Sanaa Lathan and Nia Long. The white media aren’t sifting through the garbage at Gabrielle’s house looking for “news”.

Unfortunately, it is the black media and some black bloggers that are writing malicious comments about Gabrielle on the internet. It has got to really hurt Gabrielle when she reads such vile and negative things that have written by other black people. Also, some of these celebrity blogs also want publicity, more hits, and of course make money.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to say anything about this but I feel I have to. It is simply not right the sexist treatment taking place here against Gabrielle Union. Gabrielle Union should be a bigger star she’s starring in a movie coming out soon called “The Perfect Holiday” next month. I think some people are just jealous of Gabrielle because she so gorgeous.

I may be gay, but I am not blind! I can see why so many men in this world desire Gabrielle Union she is a stunning beauty, intelligent, and modest she is the kind of woman men just love. I would go straight for Gabrielle Union! I am not going to lie I have a major crush on her!!!

Gabrielle comes across as a very modest young woman too she isn’t superficial she works hard for her success and she believes in herself. I guess its true it can be hard being so beautiful and basically haters are bashing Gabrielle because they cannot handle a young woman that is accomplished so much already in her young life.

Also, in the December 2007 issue of Essence Magazine, Gabrielle, Sanaa Lathan, and Nia Long discusses the frustrations they have with their acting careers. Often Gabrielle, Sanaa, and Nia, are actually not working due to the fact Hollywood still has a myopic view of black women. The paucity of quality film roles is a serious issue.

If you have wondered why does Gabrielle, Sanaa, or Nia, continue to get “typecast” in films such as the “hot girlfriend” in movies is due to the fact screenwriters have very myopic views about black actresses. The fact remains that Hollywood still segregates black actors. Hollywood believes black audiences only want to see black actors in the “romantic comedy genre.”

It’s up to the black public to speak out and demand that we want to see more dramatic and complex roles for black women. The black actresses cannot do it alone. The public has a voice and its with our wallets. There are so few black actresses in Hollywood that even are leading ladies. Gabrielle is one of the few that does get the lead role in films. So why do we as a race tear down our own?

Its surprising though that at the black celebrity blogs the same negative stories exist. The so called “articles” are all basically saying the exact same negative things about Gabrielle Union. Its just plain wrong and it appears to me perhaps some of these bloggers are just jealous of Gabrielle’s success.

The world has changed for the better that women now have more choices in terms of romantic partners and options. Gabrielle is a young, independent, confident, attractive, black woman she doesn’t need to be “tied” down to any man. I have read various stories that say Gabrielle is playing the field with various athletes, rappers, and actors.

My question is so what if these stories are true? I doubt the articles are true though because I sense something more sinister taking place. It appears to me society still has a problem with young women maintaining total control over their own lives. A woman should not be thought of as a “spinster” or a “lonely” woman if she doesn’t have a man. A man isn’t everything you know.

Its also interesting that the mainstream media that generally ignores black actresses is suddenly writing articles about Gabrielle Union and Sanaa Lathan. The reason the mainstream press have picked up on these “gossip stories” is because of the black celebrity blogs. Even the mainstream media outlets such as the Eonline, NY POST, and NY Daily news are suddenly paying attention to black Hollywood.

I think the reason for these negative articles is the fact Gabrielle is very private about her personal life. It appears the media is trying to “force” Gabrielle into a relationship. Isn’t that bizarre? So if a woman is not in a “committed relationship” that means she’s less of a person? It doesn’t make sense this kind of sexism. Society doesn’t put down men that are “bachelors” so why is it a problem if a woman going through a divorce wants to enjoy life?

Just because Gabrielle Union is divorced and she’s single doesn’t give the black celebrity blogs the right to degrade her reputation. First off, Gabrielle Union is a talented actress. Second, Gabrielle is no longer married she’s a single, young, beautiful black woman. Third, why is it in the 21st century a woman’s sexuality still has to conform to Victorian standards?

The black celebrity blogs like Mediaktakeout, Bossip.com, and various others are always talking crap about Gabrielle. Gabrielle has a B.A. degree in sociology from UCLA she is an educated hard working black woman. She is free she has no children and she’s doing well. So why the hate? I notice when black male celebrities sleep around nobody calls them negative names.

So why are black women treated differently even within the community? Misogyny is a serious problem in the black community its one we simply cannot ignore. I just hope Gabrielle doesn’t bother reading some of these black celebrity blogs because the hate against her is just not right.

I also notice the black celebrity blogs seem to have an intense hatred against darker skinned black women. I also notice the black celebrity blogs love to hype up lighter skinned or mixed race females such as Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Halle Berry, or Vanessa L Williams. However, if a black woman is darker skinned such as Gabrielle Union, Nia Long, or Sanaa Lathan, the articles and stories tend to be more negative and sinister. I also notice on black blogs there is a lot of negativity about the Williams Sisters .

I don’t know Gabrielle Union but I just think its so wrong the negative press she’s getting in the black media lately. So what if Gabrielle likes to party? Again, Gabrielle is no longer married, she has no children, she has her own money, so what’s the problem?

Link to December 2007 Essence Magazine Article Gabrielle Union, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long http://www.essence.com/essence/themix/entertainment/0,16109,1682605,00.html

Should Black Focus Schools Exist In The Province Of Ontario?

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There was a town hall meeting in the city of Toronto yesterday between educators and the public about black focused schools. The educators think it would be a good idea because they say a disproportionate amount of black students are dropping out of school. I can admit that I used to have negative thoughts about “black” focused schools. I still have visions of the African American feminist writer Zora Neale Hurston denouncing the “Brown Vs Board of Education” decision from the Supreme Court in the year 1955. I don’t know anymore? I can honestly say maybe a black focused school should be opened. What harm could one school really do?

I remember a book that was published a few years ago by a black York University professor Joseph Mensah called “Black Canadians”. Every single black Canadian should read professor Mensah’s groundbreaking book its available at the public libraries or at the book stores. You have no excuse to not read professor Mensah’s book. Professor Mensah’s book was a real eye opener it was depressing at times but also Mensah comes out with some hard hitting facts. Yet notice, Professor’s Mensah’s book wasn’t a blockbuster best seller he also wasn’t on CBC, or in the Globe and Mail, and his wonderful book wasn’t discussed much in the Canadian media. Its just typical of the Canadian media to ignore the issue of race as though ignoring it the issue will go away.

Although Professor Mensah’s book was talked about in the ivory towers of Canadian universities and Academia it didn’t reach the masses. Go read Professor Mensah’s book “Black Canadians” it will change your life and it will open you eyes to the truth about Canadian racism against black people.

In the book “Black Canadians” professor Mensah provided evidence through statistics that black Canadians encountered racism in terms of finding employment despite having university and college degrees. The racist stereotype is that black Canadians are not graduating from post secondary education at decent levels and that’s a lie. All you got to do is read professor Mensah’s book and the truth is there. I went to York University during my undergraduate days and York has a very large black student population. I didn’t like the University of Toronto because there simply wasn’t enough courses about black Canadian history and culture compared to York.

When I was younger during my middle school and high school days history class was extremely Eurocentric. We learned about Europe, and the English and French Canadians. I don’t think I learned anything about black Canadian history until grade seven or grade eight. Most of the discussions were about white Canadians and occasionally Asian Canadians and First Nations people were explored in history class. However, the contributions of people of colour wasn’t a focal point of the Canadian history curriculum. The contributions of black Canadians was definitely at the bottom of the list in my history classes. Usually, black people we were only discussed the topic of slavery, the war in 1812, and the underground railroad and that was it. What about the domestic workers scheme of the 1970s? Is that all there is? Why wasn’t that included in Canadian history classes? However, blacks have been living in Canada for over the past four hundred years since the 1600s.

It wasn’t until I reached university that I was able to take courses in black history and truly learn about the incredible contributions blacks made in Canada. The truth is black Canadians we are not considered a real “part” of the “fabric” or “members” of Canada. Why deny the honest truth? In Canada, black people we are still considered “immigrants” or children of “immigrants” and “outsiders” looking in. Black Canadians we are “framed” with the “lens” of being the “other”.

There are more Asian Canadians in Canada then blacks. The social hierachies in the province of Ontario dictate that Asian Canadians are considered less of a “threat” to the white Canadian majority. If you’ve noticed the media in Ontario doesn’t really “attack” Asian Canadians in Ontario with the same venom they do to blacks. However, in the Western provinces the racism in the Canadian media is a different story. In Vancouver British Columbia the incredible racism against South Asians is very real and its disgusting. Next, in the Western provinces and in central Canada First Nations people are attacked by the Canadian media.

In the United States despite the racial discrimination African Americans encounter they view themselves as “Americans”. I admire the African American people because they fought so hard for their rights and for social change. In Canada there is this utopia attitude that “racism” doesn’t “exist”. The Canadian media acts as though “race” is not a social construct and that its all a mirage or an illusion. At least African Americans are a “part” of American history and culture. There are also forty million blacks that live in the United States they make up 12% of the American population. Canada only has about 600,000 blacks we make up less then 1% of the total Canadian population. America has a lot of social problems but in America if you’re black you can still make it you can be a somebody. Sometimes I wonder if this is possible here? I mean pay attention to Canadian culture, Canadian politics, and Canadian society its all white. Do you think a Canadian Barack Obama could exist? America has black mayors, black governors, and black politicians. The city of Toronto always has a white mayor we don’t even question it? Why is the police chief of the city always white? Why are all the editor in chiefs of Toronto or national newspapers or broadcast media always white? We all become numb to this collective thinking that whiteness must always not only be exclusive but the “only” way to think about society.

We always have white male Prime Ministers in Canada. Do you think a black Canadian could ever be Prime Minister in this country? When hell freezes over! The status quo is very hard to change here because the Canadian society is afraid of change. The anger about the black focused schools and the sensationalism by the mainstream media I think “centers” on this “irrational” fear. I think that’s the real fear here is “change” to admit the public school system is failing some children.

Next, the Canadian media will say that black Canadians “complain” too much. The attitude here is that black Canadians we should just “ignore” the “obvious” racial prejudices and biases against us we should just “go with the flow”. Whenever overt or covert racism takes place here the Canadian media will say blacks play the “race card”. Next, the Canadian newspapers or radio stations will find the “resident Oreo” or “House Negroes” that “agrees” with the “status quo” and they use these blacks as though they speak for “all black Canadians”. The white Canadian media also plays the “race card” very well. The white card attempts to circumvent the power of racism.

Black Canadians we are constantly “framed” and ” attacked” by racist Canadian editors, television producers, radio editors, story producers, managing editors, in the mainstream Canadian media. Yet you will never read about the hypocritical racist bigots that work “behind” the scenes in the Canadian media. The social constructions of race, class, gender, come into play when discussing black Canadians. African Americans have so much more social, economic, and political weight and power in the United States. There are also racist radio and television talk show hosts in Canada that sit and “wait” for the latest controversy and then they bash black Canadians or any other “marginalized group”.

I have conflicting thoughts about Canada. Sometimes I think the opportunities such as education, low crime, living in a prosperous nation, are solid reasons why black people should live in Canada. I would rather live here then say Switzerland, Austria, or Germany that’s for sure. There are other times when I absolutely hate living here there are not a lot of writing opportunities here in Canada. The Canadian press is drenched with supremacy, racism, and lies. The Canadian press will sensationalize the whole black focus school subject because it spikes up television ratings, radio show ratings, because the incredible racism against black Canadians is so strong. And its not just whites that have anti black prejudices in Canada. Some Asian Canadians also believe black people we are inferior. I have noticed that at major Canadian news, print, or broadcast media they will hire Asians before they will hire blacks. The Canadian media in Ontario definitely has a racial bias against black Canadians and that’s a fact. I keep on wondering sometimes why did my parents choose this country to live and start a life instead of the United States? Most of my relatives live in America.

I recall when the former Prime Minster Paul Martin asked CBC journalist Michaelle Jean to become the new Governor General in Canada there was discontent in the Canadian media. Suddenly, editorials and opinion articles sprouted up like a wild fire across various Canadian newspapers denouncing Paul Martin’s decision. The Canadian media complained that Ms. Jean must give up her French citizenship and that her white husband was a separatist. The bottom line is the Canadian media didn’t want a black Canadian woman to have such a high profile role as a symbol of Canada.

Paul Martin got it right if Canada is truly a “multicultural” nation as the Canadian media claims then black Canadians we should be allowed the opportunities to be able to reach our “dreams” and break the glass ceiling. Of course the racism in the various opinion articles about Ms. Jean were “covert” no N word was used no racial slurs. However, beneath the surface the ugliness of Canadian racism was easy for the eye to see. The editorials and articles by various white Canadian writers did not want to just be “real” and “honest” for five seconds.

Another problem I have with the Canadian school system is the “kinds” of books black children are forced to read. White literature is forced on black children all the time and this has got to change. Why can’t there be more diversity in the classroom? Why can’t children of colour read books by Canadian writers of colour more often? Where are the books that are required reading by Canadian writers of colour such as Nalo Hopkinson, Wayson Choy, or Evelyn Lau, or by Rohan Mistry?

I also remember when I was in grade ten I was forced to read Harper Lee’s racist garbage book “To Kill A Mockingbird”. I absolutely hate that book! Lee may be praised by the North America media but Harper Lee’s novel is a racist piece of filth. Lee uses the N word to the extreme in the novel it makes me want to vomit. I can understand the use of the N word to make a point but Lee uses the N word about a million times in the book.

I also have a problem with the paternalistic racist approach to the novel. The Atticus Finch character is a classic example of white supremacy and patriarchy. Mr. Finch he is the classic the white male lawyer he is the “voice of reason” to defend the “savage” black man accused of raping a white woman. I find this subjective kind of reasoning to explain racial apartheid abhorrent and derivative. Black male sexuality once again is presented as violent and deleterious.

Also, notice in “To Kill A Mockingbird” Lee also made sure the two young white characters in the book Scout and her brother Jem have a black mammy maid Calpurina. Calpurnia is the stereotypical “mystical”, “loving”, “nurturing”, mammy. Lee frames black women in a racist, sexist, and very stereotypical light. Yes all black women are good for according to Harper Lee is to be the resident black mammy dispenses “advice”, “cook”, “clean” make pancakes and be the universal mother figure to the rich white Southern children. Calpurnia has no thought no purpose in the novel other then the be the loving mammy and inferior and obedient to white people.

Notice that the Atticus Finch character in “To Kill A Mockingbird” is the classic noble “white male liberal”. The white man is still viewed as the real ” white hero” of the book. The racist stereotype of black male sexuality as “savage”, “pernicious”, and “dangerous” permeates through this abhorrent book.

I want to take a bottle of gasoline and set “To Kill A Mockingbird” on fire! It angers me that I had to read this book when I was just a kid. Lee fails in her pathetic attempt to “bridge” the racial divide. Lee still stereotypes black people as “dumb”, “poor”, “stupid” that we have no “reason” no “thought” that blacks still need the “white male savior” to “save us” from ourselves. The political, social, and economic systems in the American south kept many blacks poor it wasn’t because blacks didn’t want to achieve. Blacks were denied access to higher education in America despite being taxpayers in various cities and towns. It is also the reason historical black colleges and universities such as Howard University were created to give blacks a chance to advance in society.

It makes me cringe how racist Lee’s book really is! I remember being disgusted when I was in grade ten I was forced to read this racist piece of crap! In order to graduate high school I had to read “To Kill A Mockingbird” a book that is false. “To Kill A Mockingbird” is not about fighting racism in fact the book reinforces racist and sexist stereotypes about black people. Black kids still have to read this racist shit book “To Kill A Mockingbird” if they want to graduate high school.

I remember being so upset with the racist language, the plot, and also the storyline. No one questions the psychological effects racist literature such as Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird” still has on black children?

I also recall when I was in grade twelve I was forced to read Shakespeare for my English class. I did like the play Hamlet. I hated the play Othello though and the obvious racist language Shakespeare uses in that play against black men. However, I never had the chance to read black Canadian writers such as George Elliot Clarke, Dionne Brand, Makeda Silvera, and Austin Clarke when I was in high school.

The curriculum needs to change ASAP its too whitewashed. No wonder some black kids are “bored” with school when white history and white literature is slammed down the throats of black children. We are just told to “accept” this kind of racism. Why shouldn’t black kids and all children in general be allowed to have a range of diversity of books to read? Why does Harper Lee gets so much praise for her racist novel? Why isn’t Richard Wright’s book “Native Son” on the book list for high school English classes in Canada or Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God” or Langston Hughes work such as “The Big Sea” or “I Wonder As I Wander”?

The discussion was passionate on both sides about the issue of “black” focus schools. In a previous blog entry I said that I didn’t agree with black only or black focused schools. Now I am not so sure about that. I can admit that I may be wrong. I do remember when I was a kid I did not have a black teacher until I reached grade eight. I recall how shocked I was that my grade eight science teacher was a black man. I remember I did feel a sense of “comfort” and a sense of “pride” having a black teacher.

The bottom line is the Toronto district school board isn’t hiring enough teachers of colour. Now of course, black parents have a responsibility they have to be involved with their children’s education and that’s a fact. When I was a kid my parents always went to the parent teacher meetings because they wanted to know how I was doing in school. Now when I think about it I see both sides of the argument. On the one hand black children need to “learn” to get along and study besides children of other races there should be no “segregation” based on race. However, I also see the other side that states due to the statistics some black kids simply aren’t performing well in school and are dropping out. I think there should be a compromise. I think a program should be created to help the most at risk black children that do need more assistance with their school work. The truth is the Canadian media of course ignores the issue of the lack of black teachers in the class room. Also, why do black children and children of other races always have to learn about white Canadian history all the time? I think the course work should not alienate black kids and other children of colour. The Toronto District School Board needs to realize the issue is much larger then just “creating” a black focused school.

The issue here also pertains to the deleterious attitude Canadian society has for black kids. Let’s face it when teachers talk “privately” everyone knows what they are saying. Who decides what kids have to read in school? There needs to be more public forums taking place for everyone to see what’s really going on. Some educators and teachers are racist they think black kids and black people are “dumb”, “lazy”,” not willing” to “work hard” and are “slow to pick up” the material. Now think about it? How can some black kids achieve when racist bigots are grading black students assignments? I remember when I was in high school there was a controversy over a teacher that was a part of the KKK. Nobody wants to admit in Canada these racist stereotypes exist. Recently a white Nobel Prize winner insulted black people and said black people were stupid. So how are some black kids going to do well in school when they have white or Asian teachers that also believe these racist stereotypes?

Nobody wants to be real nobody wants to be honest. Whites and Asian Canadians will say “in private” that white kids and Asian kids “do well” under the current education system in Ontario so why can’t some black kids also achieve? Maybe the framework is all wrong?

I remember when I was a child I had white teachers that made me feel “stupid” and “dumb” and didn’t encourage me or give me the assistance with my school work that I needed help with. I’m not going to mention the names of these teachers but I definitely felt that some of these white teachers have covert racist beliefs about black people. I think anyone that wants to be a teacher should be forced to take anti racism and anti oppression training. I also believe that the attitude of the Toronto District School Board needs to change. Maybe black children wouldn’t feel so “left” out if the school board actually did their job and hired more black teachers.

The Toronto District School Board needs to be held accountable because a complete overhaul of the education school must take place in the province of Ontario. One black focused school isn’t going to solve the problem that is just a band aid solution. No the Ontario government needs to admit racism against black kids in the Ontario school system is a serious problem. Education is so important its crucial to advancing up the social ladder. No wonder some black children children are apathetic about the educational system when the racist framework exists? How can black kids in high school truly be interested in English class when they have to read books such as Harper Lee’s racist novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” ? The issue here is clearly larger then just black focused schools racism needs to come out of the closet in Canada. Canada needs to “change” and address the fact that the hiring standards of the Toronto District School Board, the curriculum, and even the Ontario government needs to wake up and get with the program.

Links to articles about black focused schools: http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20071109/balck_focused_schools_071109/20071109?hub=TorontoHome

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2007/11/09/black-schools.html

http://680news.com/news/local/article.jsp?content=20071109_075759_5704

Anne Sexton Was An Amazing Poet

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          I remember when I was in high school  a good friend of mine introduced me to the singer Vanessa Daou. Daou’s first album “Zipless” incorproates  Erica Jong’s poetry with music. The hit song off of “Zipless” is Sunday Afternoons. I love this song I recall playing the song  over, and over, and over, and over, again. Vanessa went on to explore other musical sounds such as smooth jazz, trip hop, electronica on other albums.

 The first time I was introduced to “Anne Sexton” was a song on “Zipless”  called “Dear Anne Sexton”. “Dear Anne Sexton” is actually a poem Erica Jong wrote about her friend.  I kept on wondering as I listened to “Dear Anne Sexton” over and over again who was Anne Sexton? Why did Erica Jong decide to write a poem about her? I think the poem is a tribute to her. I remember visiting the public library and researching Anne Sexton because I wanted to know more about her. I began reading  the volume of poetry by Sexton called “To Bedlam And Part Way Back” immersing myself into Sexton’s world. I also read another volume of poetry by Sexton called “Love Poems”.  Anne Sexton was born in the year 1928 in Newton Massachusetts. Sexton had a history of depression for most of her life but she found solace through writing.

I definitely find internal peace when I have something interesting to write about. Perhaps this is one of the reasons I identify with Sexton? I only tend to write my poetry when I am depressed. Isn’t that strange? Anyhow, when I write poems I tend to be confessional. I cannot write about a flower, or a bug, or a plant. I cannot just “write” a poem. Something in my life has to push me or even force me to write poetry. I have to have conviction when I write poetry there is no other way for me to write poems. Now of course, I know I can improve my poetry I will definitely admit that. Perhaps I am afraid to write poetry? I get insecure and I wonder is my poetry any good? I don’t know these thoughts race through my mind.  I know other poets can just “write” a poem at any moment with free will but I cannot. I never write my poetry that way. I usually grab a piece of paper sit down and I think about what I want to write about.

I usually just write a quick first rough draft. After that I will rewrite the poem over and over.  I usually get my good friend to listen to my poems and he will tell me if he likes it or not.  Its so funny because my friend will be silent and then he will say “oh Orville this is really good or oh this can be improved to or oh this sucks”. I really value his opinion so much because he’s honest with me about my work. I can pretty brutal and extremely critical about myself its one of my major flaws.

 Most of the poetry I write is autobiographical I’m not going to lie about that. I hate when writers say “oh my work isn’t autobiographical or it doesn’t have any autobiographical elements.” Its like give me a break.  Perhaps this is true but I think with poetry the poet is “closer” to the “material” then say when a writer writes a novel. I think poetry is one of the most “real” forms of writing because the poet is trying to “send” a message to the “reader” and its up to the reader to discern what the poet is trying to say.  In some ways I feel poetry is one of the most honest forms of writing even more honest then the autobiography or the memoir.  A poem is like a picture at first it is a blank canvas that needs to painted in, coloured with the essence of the poet’s life experiences. I think that’s one of the fun parts about poetry there are so many interpretations to a poem. 

 I think when when I write I take my life experiences and in some way it can become a sentence, a phrase, or paragraph in a poem. Of course, I also write poems that are pure fiction but in my first poetry collection  “You Don’t Know Me” most of the poems were mostly autobiographical. I mean why should I lie to readers about that? Its pretty obvious to anyone that bothers to read “You Don’t Know Me” that this volume deals with a lot of painful experiences I had in my life when I was younger. Even though “You Don’t Know Me” is out of print now I wonder if people still read it? Well that’s another blog entry isn’t it?

I gained a lot of appreciation for Anne Sexton because of her fearlessness. Sexton challenged the American literary industry in the sense she brought the issues of gender to the masses. Sexton was indeed very popular in her lifetime in North America and in the United Kingdom.   I really feel a connection to Erica Jong’s poem about the poet “Anne Sexton”. I don’t think Anne Sexton gets the credit she deserves.

Everyone talks about Sylvia Plath she definitely is considered more “famous” then Anne Sexton. I wonder why Plath was more “famous”? I don’t get it?  I never felt a connection to Plath although she definitely was a solid poet. I remember when I was a kid I loved reading Emily Dickinson’s poetry a lot.  I always felt I had a connection to Anne Sexton’s poetry I just loved the way Sexton used language. Sexton’s poetry in my mind had much more “urgency” and power. 

Erica Jong even uses the line “Live or Die” in her poem “Dear Anne Sexton”. Anyone that has read Anne Sexton’s poetry knows that Sexton won the Pulitzer Prize in 1967 for her powerful confessional poetry collection “Live or Die”.  If you ever get the chance read “Live or Die” its such a great read. Sexton is a confessional poet the emotion, passion, frustration, and anger, from her poetry moves me. Its sad that Anne Sexton is not respected as a “premier” American female poet as Plath. Sexton was more controversial she wrote about abortion, depression, suicide, death, menstruation, and other topics in the 1950s and 1960s.

Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath were actually “friends” there have been rumors about the “nature” of their friendship may have had an undercurrent of lesbianism but perhaps that’s just mythology? There is no “proof” of a “lesbian relationship” between Plath and Sexton even though the rumour still exists after all these years.The truth is though Sexton and Plath did meet at a poetry workshop in Boston in the 1950s and became friends. After Plath died Anne Sexton even wrote a poem about Plath. 

     Another poetry collection by Anne Sexton that I love is called “Transformations” in this volume Sexton takes classic fairy tales and puts her own “twist” on them. “Transformations” is a very interesting read. Sexton committed suicide in the year 1974 but she will never be forgotten. If you ever get a chance go to the library and read Anne Sexton’s poetry you will shocked by the incredible power, imagery, sadness, and honesty of her poems.

Are The United States And Pakistan the enemies of the Western World?

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  Is Pervez Musharraf a sinister dictator, or a deleterious manipulator,  or both? And if Musharraf is a dictator why is the international community not holding his feet to the fire? The North American media haven’t been critical enough of the Bush administration and the American government’s “friendship” with Musharraf. The United States foreign aid to Pakistan is $1 billion per year and most of the money goes directly to the military to “fight” against terrorism.  

Why does the North American media continue to provide the myopic perspective that Pakistan is one of the “few” places in the world where potentially terrorism exists?  There are terrorist organizations in  Africa, Western Europe, and in other parts of Asia. Why hasn’t the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper spoken out about the crisis in Pakistan?  I doubt Harper would ever criticize President Bush about his blatant hypocrisy in relation to human rights in Pakistan. It doesn’t appear likely that Mr. Harper will do anything expect be the puppy dog that follows America as the United States terrorizes the rest of the world.

What about the concerns of the Pakistani people? Does anyone care about them? Musharraf has ordered a “state of emergency” which is basically his attempt to hold on to power for as long as possible. Thousands of journalists and lawyers have been detained and arrested.

I wonder if the former Prime Minister of Pakistan Ms. Benazir Bhutto is in over her head?  What can Ms. Bhutto really do right now when there are constant threats of violence against her own life? Will Musharraf honestly “protect” Ms. Bhutto from her enemies  given the assassination attempt against her a few weeks back in Karachi?  Musharraf may be a dictator but the United States needs him to on their side in the war against “terror”. 

The United States wants Pakistan to return to “democracy” but maybe “democracy” cannot work in Pakistan? Perhaps another form of justice can work in Pakistan? The western ideology is that the “western way” is the “only way” but maybe that’s the quandary?  Can the United States really be trusted either? After all, although the United States government is an imperial power and the American government seems selective in its role as universial super police force. Why doesn’t the USA tend to the concerns of Nigeria or the Congo? Oops, Africa is not a focus of the Bush administration at the moment African countries are outside of the USA sphere of influence. The Bush administration claims in the media they are not pleased with Musharraf  but this so called “tension” between the two countries is all “smokes” and “mirrors”.

The American government is apathetic to the concerns of the proletariat in Pakistan.  Over forty million people in Pakistan live below the poverty line the majority of the poor live in the rural areas. What about women’s rights in Pakistan?

Pakistan is still a nation that has rigid gender roles where male domination is palatable. Pakistani women have less access to education and opportunities to improve their social status and standard of living in Pakistan. Shouldn’t the Western media be focusing on the disparity of the amount of the USA aid that directly towards the military and the lack of revenue reaching the citizens of Pakistan? Why is the Western media only focusing on the potential “threat” of terror to USA interests? The money isn’t been distributed fairly to the Pakistani people.The American government isn’t focused on the Pakistani people that are hungry, suffering, living in fear, poverty, and despair. The USA is only providing funding to Pakistan  because the South Asian nation fits into the  American “sphere of influence”. Musharraf doesn’t want “democracy” and he certainly has curtailed the power of the Supreme Court judges in Pakistan. He wants to maintain absolute power for as long as possible. Its interesting that the USA media refuses to attack President Bush and Condoleezza Rice for their blatant hypocrisy.

The human rights and freedoms of the educated “elite” in Pakistan is important because it is this segment of the population that Musharraf is most fearful of. Musharraf is also fearful of the Islamic militants within the country and the potential threat of terrorism. Musharraf has stated that the elections will be “delayed” but he is only playing a game with the United States and he is winning. Musharraf knows that the American government is in a precarious position. The Bush administration doesn’t want to alienate Musharraf but they also cannot appear as though they “agree” with his aggressive tactics in the public sphere. The facade is even if Pakistan did have democratic elections its almost certain that Musharraf would remain in power. I am not sure Benazir Bhutto can do anything at all she appears powerless right now? Ms. Bhutto is a courageous woman she is risking her life because she believes she can help “change” Pakistan. The question is will Musharraf allow Ms. Bhutto to continue to speaking out against him in the world media? Can Ms. Bhutto and her supporters be effective given their limited voice within the country? 

TSN Women’s Tennis Coverage Is Sexist

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         Once again I will not be able to watch the WTA championships this year because TSN the Canadian sports channel refuses to broadcast  the event from Madrid Spain. Eurosport understands women’s tennis is the premier female sport in the world. And of course in Europe they will get to see all of the matches. I won’t get to see the dramatic matches between Serena Williams and Justine Henin. Its so unfair! Yet TSN will be showing the ATP Championships from Shanghai China next week. Since when are the male tennis players more popular then the Williams Sisters and Justine Henin? I think more people know  the Williams Sisters and Justine Henin then male tennis players such as Nikolay Davydenko, David Ferrer, and  Fernando Gonzalez. Why is women’s sports always disrespected in Canada? Tennis isn’t considered a “big” draw in Canada but what is the excuse? Madrid is a six hour time zone difference between the Eastern time zone in Canada. The matches could of been broadcast on Canadian TV in the daytime.

 Now I don’t have a chance to see the Princess of women’s tennis Serena Williams play! I won’t be able to see the new Queen of the WTA Justine Henin play either! Women’s tennis is so important because it demonstrates that women sports is popular.  In Europe women’s tennis is very popular. Once again TSN fails WTA tennis fans. I am really pissed because Serena is now ranked number five in the world and she can continue to climb up the rankings. Maria Sharapova is lucky that Venus pulled out of the WTA championships due to not feeling well. I find it strange though that Venus will not be playing. Its such a shame that Sharapova gets to play taking Venus spot. Its sad that Venus is not playing. Its times like this I wished I lived in America and had the Tennis Channel.

Martina Hingis and Lindsay Davenport A Contrast In Comeback Attempts

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Martina Hingis is clearly in a downward spiral. Hingis abruptly ended her career last week with a question mark. What will Martina Hingis legacy be? Will Hingis be remembered as a great tennis champion or a former teen prodigy that was pushed too hard too soon? I am actually concerned about Martina Hingis because I believe she is in denial. Former world number one Martina Hingis urine sample tested positive with traces of cocaine at Wimbledon. Hingis denies drug use, even though the second urine sample provided the exact same result. Now cocaine is not considered a performance enhancing drug even though it is a banned substance.

Hingis must be going through some kind of personal crisis in her life to be experimenting with cocaine. Hingis knows the rules, it was disconcerting that she used cocaine.Martina knows the grand slam events always test the top players routinely for all kinds of banned substances. Mats Wilander back in the 1990s he also tested positive for cocaine.

I am not a fan of Hingis, but I do admire her talent she definitely had a lot of skills. Hingis had a complete game but she wasn’t strong enough physically or psychologically. Its amazing ten years ago Martina Hingis was on the top of the world, she won three out of the four grand slams at the age of sixteen.

Now a decade later, Martina Hingis appears lost and confused. The problem for Hingis was she was so stubborn, she never changed her game. Every single tennis expert said Hingis needed a bigger first serve but she never listened to the advice. Hingis was simply overpowered by the power players such as the Williams Sisters, Davenport, and Jennifer Capriati. She lost her confidence when the American women started to beat her consistently.

Hingis did not adapt, she paid the price with mediocore tennis results. Sure, Martina won a few WTA tour events but she didn’t return to the WTA to win Tokyo or Rome she returned because she wanted grand slam glory.

The media has been “fair” not to bash Hingis when she’s down and it demonstrates that even reporters have enough “class” to understand Hingis is going through a rough time right now. Could you imagine if it was the reverse though? I don’t appreciate the mainstream media discussing the Williams Sisters in this Hingis “controversy” when the focus here should be on Hingis.

Where is the respect for the Williams Sisters though? The mainstream American media always had a mixture of intrigue but also jealousy with Venus and Serena Williams.

I always felt that the Williams Sisters were so much more mature and well adjusted then their peers. The Williams family have proven their way was the “right way” all along.

The cynics and the critics said Venus and Serena needed to focus on tennis to return to grand slam glory but once again in the year 2007 Venus and Serena proved the haters wrong.

I admire the Williams Sisters because they just don’t care for the American tennis establishment they do things their own way and it works. Venus and Serena proved once again in 2007 regardless of where they are ranked they can still win grand slams.

Venus and Serena also realized there was a “bigger picture” beyond tennis. For instance, Venus and Serena  are  high school graduates and Hingis left school early to focus on tennis. Hingis was forced to play tennis at a young age and for most of her life all she knew was tennis.

Hingis never came across as a very mature person like Venus, Serena, or Justine Henin. The Williams Sisters are cognizant that they needed outside interests to balance the pressure cooker that is professional tennis.

The American female tennis critics such as the termagants Mary Carillo, Tracy Austin, Pam Shriver, Chris Evert, and Martina Navratilova consistently bashed the Williams Sisters for having “real lives” beyond tennis.

Let’s be honest here, Carillo, Austin, Shriver, Evert, and Navratilova do not care about the well being of Venus or Serena. The venom, negativity, and spite of the American female tennis critics was obvious for anyone that can discern beneath the surface.

The American female tennis critics always favored Hingis, Capriati, and Davenport over the Williams Sisters and we all know the reason why its not rocket science. The United States is still a very racially stratified country.

The USTA waited four years after the great Althea Gibson’s death to have a disgraceful inhumane posthumous tribute at the US OPEN this year.

Gibson died bitter, I cannot say I blame her for the resentment she had for the USTA, she was right.

The USTA has no respect for black tennis players and that’s a fact.

The constant negative bias the American female tennis critics have for the Williams Sisters is abhorrent.

It’s hard to take the American female tennis critics seriously because their words are laced with a mixture of racism, sexism, and immaturity. The intense hatred Carillo, Austin, Shriver, Evert, and Navratilova have for the Williams Sisters is beyond disgraceful its absolutely pathetic.

Venus and Serena changed tennis forever from being a white country club sport to a sport where millions of people pay attention and respect women’s tennis.

Martina Hingis also deserves some praise for bringing women’s tennis to the “masses.” The rivalry between the Williams Sisters and Hingis was great for the game.

It is such a shame that Martina Hingis refused to improve her game get stronger, more fitter, and take the game more seriously. Hingis eventually was passed by the Williams Sisters and Justine Henin.

The Williams Sisters have proven once again that a “strong family” can overcome anything in this world from racism, sexism, and even jealousy.

Its also surprising that Tracy Austin criticizes the Williams Sisters because she was a classic blueprint example of a former teen tennis prodigy that “burned out”.

Austin was the first modern tennis player that had too much success too soon. Austin was a solid player but she wasn’t an incredible talent she only won two grand slams. There was nothing interesting or remarkable about Tracy Austin’s game she was so boring to watch.

Austin was never as talented or in the same league as Martina Hingis, Justine Henin or the Williams Sisters. Next, Jennifer Capriati burned out and after that Martina Hingis and then Kim Clijsters couldn’t handle the pressure of fame and success at a young age. The Williams Sisters and Justine Henin proved to be the best players of their era but also the smartest as well.

Its interesting that the American tennis critics always slammed the Williams Sisters, yet always praised Hingis even though she was a foreigner. Well look at Martina Hingis now she obviously never grew up and had outside interests.

Jennifer Capriati is another former tennis player she also had a very hard time adjusting to life off of the WTA tour. The Williams family clearly had the right strategy. Venus and Serena understand that although they love tennis they needed outside interests to balance life. Martina Hingis appears as though she’s still trying to find herself she needs help hopefully she can find it.

The new world number one Justine Henin should of been an inspiration to Hingis.

Justine Henin is only five foot five ,she’s two inches shorter then Hingis, yet her game is so much more powerful. Henin maximized her potential making sure her serve was big enough and that she had the variety mixed with the power.

Henin continued to improve her serve and her game. Its amazing that Henin is only five foot five yet she can beat the bigger and stronger women on the WTA. Justine Henin loves tennis so much she wants to be the best she can be. Some people say that Justine comes across as aloof perhaps its all lost in translation? Henin’s first language is French and not English.

Martina Hingis has the personality that Henin lacks, she will speak her mind about anyone and everyone on the WTA. Although Hingis returned to the WTA last year and reached the top ten.

I wasn’t convinced that her second comeback was so remarkable as the media claimed. For instance, Hingis never got past the quarterfinals of any of the slams she played in 2006 and 2007.

She always lost to one of the top five players. Hingis has the pride of a champion she clearly was not satisfied with her satisfactory grand slam results.

Martina realized she no longer was one of the elite players but now just a shadow of her former self.

In professional tennis, you cannot just spin a serve in you cannot serve slow the way Hingis did and expect to be top five in the world. Hingis shots just didn’t have the sting and power that was necessary to compete with the best players.

Lindsay Davenport also had a comeback this year and I believe she will be more successful in 2008. One of the reasons I believe Davenport is coming back is she may be a bit envious of the Williams Sisters success at the grand slams this year.

Once again just like 2005 Serena and Venus proved they can still win the major titles. The American tennis critics are silent because they really can’t say anything “negative” about the Williams Sisters.

Davenport just had a child this year and yet she enters an event in Bali defeats world number three Jelena Jankovic of Serbia and wins the title. Davenport also just won a tier III event in Quebec City on Sunday. Davenport now has fifty three WTA tour titles she’s tied with Monica Seles for the eight best all time record title victories on the WTA tour.

I believe Davenport can compete with the best players despite being thirty one years old because she has the serve and power Martina Hingis lacks. Lindsay’s serve is so huge and powerful she also has an incredible amount of power.

I feel Lindsay hits the ball harder then any other woman on the WTA tour. I think Lindsay hits the ball as hard as some of the men.

Davenport has three problems her mind, fitness, and age.

Although later on in Lindsay’s career she did address the fitness issue, she is also almost six foot three. Since Lindsay is so tall its harder for her to change positions and move. Lindsay was never blessed with the natural fluid movement and speed of the Williams Sisters, Amelie Mauresmo, and Justine Henin. Davenport was never an athletic player. Davenport appeared slow at times when playing the faster more fitter players.

Everyone knows the way to beat Lindsay is simply to redirect the ball and keep her off balance. The best players know how to move Lindsay consistently around the court she usually gets tired and makes a lot of unforced errors and loses. The top players are relentless in exposing Lindsay’s lack of mobility. Davenport also lacked variety in her game.

Lindsay is almost six foot three inches tall so why does she hang on the baseline? Davenport has long arms and long legs she should be at the net a lot more often. Lindsay also hardly drop shots, uses lobs, or a one handed slice backhand she just isn’t as naturally talented as the Williams Sisters, Justine Henin, or Amelie Mauresmo.

The key for Davenport will be her fitness if she’s not 110% fit she will be beaten by the top players on a consistent basis and experience the same wall of resistance that Hingis experienced.

Davenport tends to be consistent in the regular WTA tour events but she always choked in the grand slam semifinals or finals. At times Davenport lacked the confidence to believe she could win more grand slams she simply crumbled under the pressure.

In the year 2005, at the Australian Open and Wimbledon finals Davenport had leads against Serena and Venus yet she folded mentally losing both matches in spectacular fashion.

Davenport also capitulated in 2004, Wimbledon and US OPEN events losing to Russians Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Davenport has another problem and that’s her age. Davenport is older, so she will have to choose her events very wisely next year. The young Serbs Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic are only going to get better and better.

The younger players are hungry it will be interesting to see how Davenport competes against the young and the older players on the WTA. Davenport’s lack of mobility also hurt her against the speed, consistency, and power of the Williams Sisters and Justine Henin.

However, I feel that Davenport can win another slam she has more game then Hingis. She obviously is coming back because she is determined to win some more grand slams. Lindsay believes there are really only three or four players she has to worry about the Williams Sisters, Maria Sharapova, and Justine Henin.

Lindsay feels she can compete with the very best players on the WTA and still win at the highest level. Davenport won two of the three events she played this fall and that’s incredible given the fact she was gone for over a year. Lindsay can beat most of the players fairly easily that’s obvious.

Davenport’s win over Jankovic in Bail will give her a lot of confidence. However, the win over Jankovic is just one win it wasn’t in a pressure cooker situation such as a grand slam event.

Davenport has returned to women’s tennis because she believes she can beat the best players. It will be an uphill battle for Lindsay but it is not impossible. For instance, if some of the top players lose early at a grand slam then this could be the easiest way for Davenport to slip through and win another major.

Justine Henin is at another level though and Davenport hasn’t beaten her in years. It will be interesting to see Davenport’s results at the 2008 grand slam events. I think it will be a mixture of luck and also drive that could help Davenport win another slam.

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