Tennis turns into reality television

Lindsay_1Andre Agassi is “The Legend.” Tommy Haas is “The Stud.” Andy Roddick is “Rocket Man.” Maria Sharapova is “The ‘It’ Girl.” Kim Clijsters is “Miss Congeniality.” Apparently giving up on selling tennis on its own terms, the United States Tennis Association is promoting the 2005 U.S. Open Series—eight weeks of tournaments culminating with the U.S. Open—as “the summer’s hottest reality series.” The campaign includes TV, radio and print ads. The Web site invites you to watch “world-class athletes, who also happen to be world-renowned celebrities, relentlessly pursuing each other from town to town, hoping that each stop will provide them a stage upon which to shine.” It’s unclear if anyone will get to vote anyone else off the tour, or give them a rose. But let’s hope Marat Safin, “Mr. Unpredictable,” doesn’t run into Alicia Molik, “The Girl Next Door,” in one of the food tents.

—Posted by Tim Nudd