The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Saturday, July 03, 2004  

Collins, Carillo, Austin, Barker, Summerall, and I

What a shocker. What a match. In the just-completed ladies’ singles final at the Championships, Wimbledon, newcomer and youngster Maria Sharapova defeated defending champion Serena Williams, 6-1, 6-4.

And yes, the match was that lopsided. Floor was wiped.

And no, in the post-match interviews Williams didn’t serve up her customary bevy of excuses. Instead, she was incredibly gracious. (Somebody must have talked to the Williams sisters about their reputations as great athletes but sore losers.)

Speaking of interviews, a few quick observations:

What is Bud Collins, like 90? Unfortunately NBC didn’t treat viewers to even a glimpse of what I have no doubt were an outrageous set of slacks.

So if you want a job providing commentary on women’s tennis you have to what, sound like a man? On this see, or hear, Mary Carillo and, surprisingly, Tracy Austin. Yes, they’re smart and intelligent and they put Pat Summerall to shame, but it’s kind of weird to hear Carillo and Austin chatting three registers below John McEnroe.

Nice to see Sue Barker getting work. Barker has been providing commentary on Wimbledon to the BBC and interviewed Sharapova and Williams on Center [sic] Court after the match, an exchange broadcast by NBC. Who she? Go way back here with me, folks: Barker ranked in the world’s top ten in the mid- and late 1970s, aided by one helluva forehand.

Tomorrow’s the big day here at Rittenhouse: The men’s final, pitting my buddy Andy Roddick against Roger Federer.

By the way, when did Wimbledon switch to yellow tennis balls? I’m sure it was long ago, but I can’t figure out why I just noticed this year.

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