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Weekly Slice: No win, so Haas whines

Busted Racquet

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First serve

Tommy Haas has barely put a foot wrong for the past few months, revitalizing his career at the age of 31 and providing one of the feel-good stories of the tennis summer.

However, the German was way out of line with his sneering comments about the behavior of Sam Querrey's rowdy support crew - the SAMurai.

Querrey's run to the L.A. Open title last week, which included a semifinal victory over Haas, came at full volume - as detailed by this excellent piece from Yahoo! Sports' Josh Peter.

Haas' criticism smacked of sour grapes and was deeply disappointing for a player of his experience and stature.

For starters, Haas has been around long enough to know that outside of the Grand Slam and Masters Series tournaments, tennis fights a constant battle to drum up interest and support.

For a posse of young fans to generate a carnival atmosphere at a fourth-tier event such as the one in Los Angeles should be taken as a huge positive for the sport, and needs to be encouraged.

Querrey's supporters were occasionally lacking in the finer points of tennis etiquette but they did not step out of line, adding color and interest to the event. Certainly the atmosphere was nowhere near as hostile as Haas has faced on the occasions he has represented Germany with distinction in the Davis Cup.

Let's hope we see more costumes, headbands and atmosphere filtering into the Tour - and backward-thinking skepticism and antiquated perceptions of how the game should be played filtering out.

Drop shot

The Williams sisters do as they please, and it is impossible to fault the approach that has brought them a decade of success. But it is still disappointing that the products of Compton, Calif., were unable to squeeze the L.A. Championships into their schedule this week.

Clean winner

Dinara Safina continues to handle the furor over her No. 1 ranking with dignity, hitting back at criticism from Serena Williams and Jelena Jankovic this week. The WTA system is deeply flawed and needs to be altered to give more weight to Grand Slam tournaments - but that is the fault of Tour management, not Safina.

Use your frequent-flyer miles

The nation's capital is the place to be this week as Andy Roddick suits up for his first tournament since losing the Wimbledon final. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray are keeping themselves under wraps for another week, but Roddick faces a tough field at the Legg Mason Classic which includes world No. 6 Juan Martin del Potro.

Last week's winners

L.A. Tennis Open: Sam Querrey
Allianz Swiss Open, Gstaad: Thomaz Bellucci
ATP Studena Croatia Open, Umag: Nikolay Davydenko
Bank of the West Classic, Stanford: Marion Bartoli
Istanbul Cup: Vera Dushevina

This week's predictions

Legg Mason Tennis Classic, Washington D.C.: Juan Martin del Potro
L.A. Championships: Victoria Azarenka

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