I won’t comment much on Henman-Hewitt except to say… whoops. How wrong was I? 6-1 6-3. Ouch. I know Tim was tired after a late match, but that is just depressing. Lleyton was very gracious afterwards, although at 8-0 in head to heads he can well afford to be.<br /><br />Some brilliant clashes for the quarters in Cincy:<br />Safin/Hewitt, Agassi/Moya, Roddick/Haas.<br /><br />On the German Olympic story, there are some stubborn people out there. Tennis administrator Larry Scott is trying his best to stop 30 women players boycotting the games, and by all accounts isn’t doing too badly. But the Germans are hardly trying to find a diplomatic solution. According to a PA newswire:<br /><br />German Olympic Committee president Klaus Steinbach told www.sport.de: “We announced our squad of 453 sportsmen and women on 21 July and there won’t be any additions. We expect the ITF and WTA to recognise this.”<br /><br />The background is that the GOC is stopping Anca Barna and Marlene Weingartner from competing in the games despite qualifying under the WTA ranking rule, by their own criteria of an appearance in a slam semi or tour final. Why the GOC decided this arbitrary rule is unknown to all. It is idiotic to suggest that a decent player in the top 50 can’t go to the games just because they have not quite cracked the latter stages of a tournament yet. Where did they get the ranking points from?<br /><br />One other thought: who are the other two women on waiting on the sidelines with possibly the biggest moment in their careers in the balance? Have they booked their tickets? What the hell do their Olympic Committee think about all this? Do they support the WTA? Whoever might take the Germans place must want to go, but not in such circumstances.<br /><br />My solution (for what it is worth): the Olympics should allow athletes special dispensation to compete under the Olympic flag. This could be used in cases such as when an athlete misses out on qualification through illness, but is the defending champion or should be there for the good of the sport.
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