Yes, The Tennis Channel really has done itself proud with the Las Vegas ATP tourney. February! Do they really think U.S. fans are into tennis in February (winter in the Northern Hemisphere) at a tournament that most of the world’s elite ignore? All this does is siphon players away from Dubai, a tournament going on simultaneously that matters – that’s where Federer and Nadal and Davydenko and Haas et. al. are this week. Blake (defending Vegas champion) and Korolev played in front of 100 people wearing coats in gale force winds in 55 degrees. On another court, Benjamin Becker played in front of 10 fans. Yes, 10 people. This is a complete embarrassment – an advertisement that the sport is kaput. As for their so-called “doubles revolution,” the match they televised on Monday showed had about 25 fans in the stands. Yes, this is freakish weather in LV; however the points are still valid Note: Last year they staged a women’s pro event there. There were more ushers in the stands than fans. Yesterday, Hewitt played Spadea in 40 mile per hour winds that had trees bent at a 40-degree angle. Spadea obviously just went through the motions, wishing to simply get the hell off the court. A travesty if there ever was one. It as though they are trying to put the worst foot forward. TTC also showed their “Tennispalooza” in action: a handful of kids in a pretty much deserted area in a tent playing air hockey, a ping pong variant etc. This was supposed to highlight the “carnival atmosphere” at the event. Instead it made viewers shield their eyes. Also they are experimenting with a lame modified round robin format at a dozen or so tourneys. In this way, if a star player loses, he can still progress in the tourney with a second chance J. After all, the tournament directors know that when a star loses, interest wanes. Another slap in the face of the lower ranked players for whom the tour has veiled contempt. Even #1 Federer noted that this is nonsense. So they have taken a great sport with a vast legacy and former glory and reduced it to this. As one who loves the game, I weep.