Saturday, July 03, 2004


I love summertime in Europe. Granted, I'm not there right now, but I love the idea of it. I also love the great sporting events that take place in Europe during the summer. Really, it starts in late May with the French Open. But, right now, it's in full swing. Today, 17 year-old Maria Sharapova upset Serena Williams to win Wimbledon, her first Grand Slam title.

Maria beat Serena at her own game, using her powerful backhand and serve in combination with great confidence and superior control of emotion. It's hard not to like the young, lanky Russian who left her mother at age 7 to train in Florida. She's pretty, she's powerful, she seems nice, and nobody expected her to win this tournament so early in her career, let alone dethrone the two-time defending champion and best player in the women's game. Her win, coupled with Russian Anastasia Myskina's victory in the French Open, signals the arrival of some serious competition for the formerly-dominating Williams sisters and the Belgians Justin Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters.

And on the men's side... the dream final. #1 Roger Federer vs. #2 Andy Roddick.

Hope it's one for the ages, because these guys are clearly the best two grass-court players in the world, as well as the best two players period in the men's game. Can't wait to watch the Roddick power and the Federer finesse collide.

Oh, and don't think for a second I would neglect to mention that the Tour de France began today.

Lance Armstrong, in his quest to become the first rider ever to win six Tours, sent a message in the Prologue, with a lightning fast run in the time trial. Armstrong, the American, finished second (just two seconds back) to Swiss newcomer Fabian Cancellara, but immediately put some distance between himself and his main competition. I'm sure all the other riders got the message that Lance looks strong and somebody's going to have to been damn good to deny him his sixth Tour.

Tomorrow, the American and the Swiss will do battle again, but this time for the Wimbledon championship.