Tennis and the Art of Losing

As great as Hingis was, she was 5-7 in Slam finals.

By Richard Osborn

Baseball is a game of failure. Always has been, always will be. Ted Williams, The Splendid Splinter, the last man to hit .400, once confessed, “Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of 10 and be considered a good performer.”

Fellow slugger Mickey Mantle concurred, asserting, “During my 18 years, I came to bat almost 10,000 times. I struck out about 1,700 times and walked maybe 1,800 times. You figure a ballplayer will average about 500 at bats a season. That means I played seven years without ever hitting the ball.”

Tennis has its failures, too. After all, there are 127 losers in every Grand Slam draw. Only one player can be crowned the champion. But I

Levels of Premiership

Ivanovic going deep would help ticket sales

FROM THE MERCURY INSURANCE OPEN – Despite the reduction in the calendar, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that we will ever see a player such as Lindsay Davenport in 1998 win the three straight Premier level events and the US Open again. It is becoming increasingly rare for top players to even compete three consecutive weeks, which was not the case with Davenport, Kim Clijsters and Venus Williams earlier in her career.

Now, when star players such as Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova make their schedules, if they choose to play Stanford, which is played three weeks after Wimbledon, there is almost no way that they are going to play the Mercury Insurance Open in San Diego and then Canada and Cincinnati. They do not have to play both Premier 5 level events in Canada and Cincinnati, but they have to play four of the five and since they would rather play those events in North America, they are going to make sure to get it down during the summer.

So consequently, San Diego, which is Premier level event the size of Stanford (neither of which are Premier 5s) is struggling to attract the cream of the top and was crushed when the super popular Kim Clijsters, young Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and defending champion pulled out. It