Amelie Mauresmo is one of the few top women players who’s not injured or recovering from an injury going into the US Open. Maria Sharapova is recovering from a strained pectoral muscle. Mary Pierce strained her right thigh winning the title at the Acura Classic and hasn’t played since. Last year’s champion, Svetlana Kuznetsova, strained her back and is already out of the Open having lost in the first round, the first time that has ever happened. Venus Williams has had the flu and Serena, well, who knows what the problem is this time.

Lindsay Davenport also had a sore back but she won last week at the Pilot Pen so her back must be okay. Davenport does not seem to have the steam to finish the championship match at a slam, though. She ran out of gas in the final at the Australian and lost to Venus in a brilliant final at Wimbledon after winning the first set. Katrina the mighty storm could make it’s way up to New York and dump some rain on this event causing delays which might force players to finish one match and play another on the same day. Not a good scenario for Davenport.

Davenport doesn’t meet anyone tough in her Open draw until Mauresmo in the semifinals but first Mauresmo has to get past Justine Henin-Hardenne and even if she does, she’s not likely to beat Davenport. Mauresmo was the loser in the Pilot Pen final and a look at that match goes a long way in explaining why Mauresmo is part of that unfortunate group of players who get asked the same question in every interview, “You’re a very good player who’s never won a slam. Could this be your year to win one?”

Davenport pushed Mauresmo all over the court. She hit a winner on the very first point of the match. Mauresmo couldn’t serve and volley all the time because the court is slow enough for Davenport to run balls down but she should have gone for winners whenever possible, snuck in to the net and approached off the return of serve if she wanted to beat Davenport for the first time in five years. She finally approached off the return in the sixth game but she kept looping shots and hitting backhand slices instead of going for winners. She had a chance to win the first set but by the second set, Davenport was on a roll. She ended up with 40 winners versus 17 for Mauresmo and she also came to the net more often winning 85% of her points there.

It’s tough enough to have broad shoulders and a muscly body even without Martina Hingis calling you “half a man.” If you are also a lesbian, we have an additional set of roles for you to fill. You are no doubt butch and you probably like to be on top.

Mauresmo is an interesting case. She has all the talent in the world, she’s big and strong, she can run balls down and she hits every stroke in the book, but she may suffer from our expectations of her.

Competitive sports values a strong physical build combined with an aggressive manner. You can have an aggressive manner without a strong physical build – look at Lleyton Hewitt – but if you have a strong physical build without the aggressive manner, we will be disappointed in you. We expect one to follow from the other.

It’s tough enough to have broad shoulders and a muscly body even without Martina Hingis calling you “half a man.” If you are also a lesbian, we have an additional set of roles for you to fill. You are no doubt butch and you probably like to be on top.

In the gay and lesbian community, we know better. When we grew up watching the man pursue the woman in a romantic movie, we might have identified with him or we might have dressed up in lace and fishnet stockings. As we sometimes say, “butch on the streets, femme in the sheets.”

Identity is a complex issue. Our goals might be at odds with our personality. Mauresmo clearly wants to win a slam but she might not have enough aggressiveness to beat the top one or two players in the game. So be it. She probably has a hard enough time with her own expectations without us adding additional expectations to the mix.

Kim Clijsters is another of the players in the Open who is injury free and also a member of “top player who doesn’t have a slam victory yet” club. This might be her year.

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