| By Ricky Becker

Maybe I should follow pro tennis more.  I was sitting in the doctor's office today when I picked up Newsday. (What has happened to Newsday anyway?  That used to be a good paper.)  Anyways, I'm going through the sports section and see the results of the U.S/Germany relegation match.  I vaguely remember us losing in the first round but didn't realize that the relegation match was this weekend.  Anyways, the United States lost 5-0.  5-0!!!!! In a relegation match?! Holy cow!  I saw the Williams sisters didn't play but still.  Kudos to Melanie Oudin and Eastern girl Christina McHale for trying but that is our "B Team?"  After looking at the WTA rankings, it kind of is.  Wow!  Everyone likes to blame each other between the USTA, local coaches, players, parents, etc.  If the USTA is going to take money that people pay for U.S Open tix and give free tennis to "up-and-comers" then I think the blame should go to them.

Can adults please stop cursing on the tennis courts when elementary school kids are playing on the court next to them?  I have noticed this the last couple of months and I think this is really uncool.  Much uncooler in fact than the pro player lobbing a ball in the vicinity of a crying baby at a pro tournament.

The publicity stunt of Chris Evert and Mike Greenberg playing in the U.S.Open playoff could have been so much better.  Congrats to Darren and Bea for beating them, by the way.  But, couldn't Chris have played with someone better and still gotten the publicity?  Mike Greenberg guaranteed an early round loss and there must have been a better male player who still could have gave the event some cache.  Evert and Greenberg met for the first time 40 minutes before the match so it was obviously set up by managers or agents or whatever.  The potential of Chris playing was great but the execution of it was poor even though they did get a very tough draw.

Ricky Becker is the Director of Tennis at Pine Hollow Country Club. He independently coaches high-performance juniors and adults of all-levels year-round at Bethpage Park Tennis Center. He has coached hundreds of ranked junior players. As a player, Becker was awarded Most Valuable Player for the 1996 NCAA Championship Stanford Tennis Team and 1989-1992 Roslyn High School Tennis Teams, and was ranked number four in the United States in the 18 & Under Division.