And so this tennis fan was reduced to scouring the outer galaxies of satellite TV: one of those little indignities you must endure for your fix; channel hopping at 2am.You know you are into the specialist interest section - after the Double Glazing Party Channel, before Gay Chubby Dating - when Eurosport isn't showing it live.Yesterday we saw her challenge, but also her opportunity.Serena Williams absolutely pulverised Dinara Safina. The weightlifting enthusiast, who increasingly resembles a young Mike Tyson, wasn't so much playing tennis as clubbing seals. Safina lost the first set in 21 minutes with Williams only dropping one point on first serve.While the men are in snorting good health, the women (Williams sisters aside) have regressed after years of enthralling progress to somewhere behind where they were before Martina Navratilova.Laura might chew jelly snakes courtside but she will now test herself regularly against the grown-ups.And there is hope, seeing as she is a) only 15 and b) Australian-born.
Heroically, the 15-year-old made it to the junior final of the Australian Open.
Will she, we wondered, be the next Jo Durie, or might she be a winner instead?