The Open City

What a Perfect Burg for This Racket

What about the women? Will anything stop a Williams sisters final? We never say never, but logic argues that this tournament, too, will be between the sisters. For whatever people say about Richard Williams, let's get one thing straight. He's been right about his daughters being number one and two in the world, and about Serena being even better than Venus. Richard's daughters have met in the finals of the last three Grand Slams in which they've both played—Serena skipped the Australian Open. And now that they're seeded first and second in the tournament, there's no reason to expect anything different at Flushing Meadows.

Can Jennifer Capriati break through? The good news for her is that she won the Australian Open. The bad news is that she's 0-4 career against Venus and has lost her last five against Serena.

What about Davenport and Hingis? Even before suffering injuries that cost them most of the season, Hingis was getting overpowered—remember the way Serena pummeled her in last year's semis?—and Davenport has always lacked the speed to keep up with Venus and Serena. They've got about as much chance as Anna Kournikova.

So whatever happened to Anna? After a serious foot injury, she's slipped to 37th, and she got bageled in the first round by Angelique Widjaja. But Kournikova once had some game. She made the semis at Wimbledon and beat every top player at least once. As for the Anna wannabes, first-round loser Ashley Harkelroad and Dominique Viele are well on their way to becoming never-wases. But ESPN mag pinup girl Daniela Hantuchova is really a high-quality player, and she's one of the few with a real chance against the Williams sisters. And while she's marketing herself as the next Kournikova, 16-year-old Danira Safina, Marat's sister, has already done something that her idol couldn't—she won her first pro tournament.

And why do they have to reroute the planes from LaGuardia? Because tennis players are like bats, using the tone and pitch of the thwock of the ball to determine its speed and trajectory. What about those Mets outfielders who are supposed to be off with the crack of the bat? Maybe that explains Roger Cedeño.

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