Thursday, 30 July 2009

Arthouse Braggarteer...

I promised I'd not bore you all with another one of those pointless posts on the meritocracy of the rankings system.

But this week saw all and sundry get involved.

And you can hardly expect me to hold back when JJ somehow manages to elevate her usual levels of no-good, 'braggarteering' trash-talk to something approaching arthouse material.

"I think I'm the best player and I should always think like that but if I had to pick someone after me, I'd pick Serena," said Jankovic, who was the 2008 year-end number one and is now sixth. "Serena moves well, is strong and more complete.

"To be number one, you should be complete and if you are number one you have to be beating the Williams sisters," Jankovic said.

"I'm one of the rare players who has a positive record against the Williams sisters. Safina has beaten them twice. If you want to be number one, you have to be up there with them."

You don't sully material as good as that by analysing it. You simply experience it by letting it wash over you and flow through your senses; in the way you might perhaps luxuriate in a Rothko, by standing no more than two feet away, and taking it in.

And then you go talk to Venus.

(Photo: AP)

"Both players have their results and know their results and we shouldn't put one player down and one player up," she said. "They both did their best."

What, if anything did you expect from her, if not the quiet and dignified voice of reason? Ennobling the debate with a much needed dose of old-fashioned foolproof 'kool'.

Not to be outdone, Elena waded in too.

Elena Dementieva spoke up for her fellow Russian. "We were working a lot on our ranking system during the past years and it's better," the world number four said.

"The ranking system has improved and I think you get a lot of points by winning a grand slam, so it's really weird to see a number one without winning a grand slam. It's very unique but give Dinara credit; she was winning so many (other) tournaments. She deserved to get this number one position, but I'm sure if Serena continues to play like that she will get that position very soon."

If only things could always be this nice. Let's all hold hands.

Even Serena seems to be on board.

"I guess I needed to win Rome and Madrid and I could have done better at the French. But I can't complain."

Until Dinara learns to follow through and deal with those big moments, and Serena picks up some Premier level silverware, I suspect both healthy and toxic discussion will continue unabated.

And until and unless Jelena comes out with something equally as outrageous again, I'll not be drawn into any of it.

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