I was watching the Western & Southern Masters on the weekend and was shocked by what a couple of the commentators (one of whom was Patrick McEnroe) said.
They were commenting on the fact that the 2006 US Open is starting in a week or so, and that this would be Andre Agassiz's last tournament due to his impending retirement. Apparently unseeded Agassiz's draw is at the 'random' whim of a computer program. I can't recall their exact words, but commentator number one suggested to Patrick McEnroe-- McEnroe being somehow involved with the US Open draw at the United Nations in New York, NY--that he do his best to ensure that Agassiz doesn't get a match with someone like Roger Federer in the first round. After a brief pause, McEnroe replied that he would do his best. Props to Agassiz for an amazing career and it would be wonderful (for both Agassiz and fans) if Agassiz has a great final run like Pete Sampras had, but the idea that favouritism like that might occur shocked and dismayed me.
My whole attitude towards the US Open has been soured. I'll still watch it when I can, but I won't be able to enjoy it as much as I have in the past--especially any of Agassiz's matches.
I might be over-reacting. Patrick McEnroe's pause before replying gives me hope that they were in fact joking and not even remotely serious. It was hard for me to tell if they were serious or not because this conversation occurred during a match so I wasn't able to see the commentators' expressions. I don't know what McEnroe's exact role is with the draw--maybe he has no practical influence at all. I just sincerely hope that no one who *does* have influence with arranging the draw seriously contemplates acting on the sentiments expressed by these commentators--regardless of whether or not they were made in jest.