Our Daily Dread: ‘Women’s problems’

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Jelena Jankovic had ‘em at Wimbledon on Saturday.

“It’s not easy being a woman sometimes,” the former world No. 1 tennis player admitted.

She just lost to 17-year-old American out-of-no-where qualifyer and 124th-ranked Melane Oudin in the fourth round, 6-7 (8-10), 7-5, 6-2. But apparently Oudin wasn’t the one giving her problems.

“I had some women’s problems,” explained Jankovic. “All these things happen. What can I do? I tried my best. I’ve never had problems like that with my monthly cycle in the past. That was a first experience for me.”

In a 24/7 news cycle, this story still seems to have some legs.

We all remember our first experience with this sort of thing. It’s an embarassing moment. We’re with our friends. We don’t know how or what to do. We run to the bathroom, sobbing. Or we just gut it out.

For me, it was probably right in the middle of a Little League game. I’d just got into a fight with my girlfriend — that can be tramatic for an 11-year-old. My head wasn’t into the game when I went out to the park that day. Coach gave me the ball to pitch, but I couldn’t find the plate. I made a couple errors when I got sent to the outfield. I threw my glove under the dugout bench and almost started crying.

What’s the matter, son? Coach looked concerned, in a fatherly sorta way.

“Nuthin’,” I said. But I knew — it was women’s problems. I stayed silent. I kept the pain inside.

Janovic was on a much bigger stage. She won the first set against Oudin, but then she had to take a medical timeout. She couldn’t keep it secret.

“I was like a ghost, white in the face,” Jankovic said. “I didn’t know where I was. The physiotherapist came out and she asked me, ‘Do you know what your name is?’ I just saw blurry. I didn’t know. It was a really strange feeling. I was scared and started to cry.”

Tell us about it.

“After the first set, I felt really dizzy, and I thought I was just going to end up in hospital. I started to shake,” she added. “I was losing consciousness.”

Sounds like more than “women’s problems.”

Yet, if women only knew how much men would love to use the excuse of “women’s problems” whenever something went wrong with their game.

What Alex Rodriguez has been able to do on the field despite all his “women’s problems” is Hall of Fame stuff. How Dirk Novitski was able to perform on the basketball court this past season with all his “women’s problems” is remarkable. And that has nothing to do with Violet Palmer officiating a Dallas Mavericks’ game.

Sean Avery … we’re not even sure how he functions.

Don’t even go down the path of Manny Ramirez and his fertility drug addiction. We’re cramping up just thinking about that one.

I was late for high school basketball practice one day. My coach pulled me aside and asked what was up.

Women’s problems, I said.

“You’re afraid of getting your girlfriend pregant?” he asked.

No, but I am now. Thanks for putting that extra stress on me.

If more male athletes used the “women’s problems” explanation as to why they didn’t perform well, fans would understand.

Honestly, who hasn’t been there? You can say you’re leaving your personal life off the field, or court, or rink, to find the peace and serenity of focusing on the game or match. But then try it.

In the NFL, a women’s problem usually starts with Paris Hilton. Matt Leinart and Brian Urlacher can attest.

Around Major League Baseball, it’s Alyssa Milano. She somehow avoided Derek Lowe when he tried pitching for the Dodgers the last two seasons, but he had other women’s problems.

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Remember Anna Benson? Maybe the reason why Kris Benson , the first pick of the 1996 MLB draft, hasn’t done much in his big-league career since 2007 is because of a torn rotator cuff. The fact he’s still sitting on the Texas Rangers’ Triple-A roster these days waiting for a call-up that probably won’t happen …

We’re not ruling out women’s problems.

Especially in an IndyCar Race, when Danica Patrick cut them off coming out of the pits, and then she stormed over to scream at them afteward. What’s Marco Andretti going to say? It’s not a women’s problem?

>(Someone told us the other day that to eat in the press room at Staples Center before a WNBA Sparks’ game, the price went up from $7 to … $20. And that’s without a chef’s carving station. … Here’s women’s sports creating problems).

For at least a weekend, Jankovic’s problems made Oudin an American tennis idol. She joined Venus and Serena Williams as the only U.S. women’s players in the Round of 16.

Until today. Then Oudin had women’s problems. It was named Agnieszka Radwanska, who beat the 5-foot-6 Georgia teen in straight sets.

When Oudin gets back stateside and starts to explain what happened to her — the good and the ending, just as her parents were jetting in to see her play on late notice — she would be wise not to use the reason “women’s problems” to explain the end of her Wimbledon run.

She’s still a teenager, with plenty of teenage problems in her life ahead. Save “women’s problems” for when more believeable.

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