Archive for the ‘Tennis’
Tennis in 1600. Image from BibliOdyssey.
Tennis has always been – beneath the flannelled pomp – an outsiders’ sport. For all the glamour of its major stars, the A-list oligarchy of Roger-Rafa-Novak, it remains in a small but vital way a sport liked by people who don’t necessarily like sport. And not just liked, but pored over, cherished, meditated upon and generally engaged with in a way that seems distinct from the more garrulous engagements with other mass spectator sports. It isn’t hard to see why. Tennis is a strangely intimate spectacle. At times it can resemble less a display of athletic excellence than a revelation of personality, glimpsed through the familiar repartee of serve, rally, volley, drop shot, winner. Then there is that touchingly stark on-court isolation. No other sport presents its players so nakedly to the world, alone in all that space, surrounded only by ball-grabbers and towel-handlers, engaged in the most mannered of arm’s-length emotional wrestling matches. Little wonder it is so easy to identify rather too closely with a tennis player, to imagine those distant professional athletes as warriors, victims, heroes, friends and general objects of private obsession.
Read the review of Love Game by Elizabeth Wilson at The Literary Review.
This is a match we have hoped for for over a year, it starts in a few minutes, and WE’RE NOT WATCHING. Too intense, makes us nuts. However, we will follow the scores and post updates from our friends Dorski (who named her son Kevin Roger) and Mike A (who may have to sedate himself).
Join our liveblog! Post your updates and observations in Comments.
The net! Win at the net!!
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Dorski: Federer serves first, gets the first point. Nadal drinking and fastidiously aligning his bottles before getting up to serve.
Rafa is wearing the coolest red Nikes with “Rafa” on them to match his red shirt. Oh, got it wrong. Rafa’s shirt is grey in front and red in back. 1-1. Fed is wearing a blue shirt with some thin red piping on the edges, white shorts and red sneakers with a white stripe. 2-1 Federer.
Game 4. Nadal serving. 40-40!!! Advantage Nadal…does his running/sliding from one end of the court to the other and gets the point. 2-2.
Roger Federer has beaten Andy Murray in the Australian Open quarters in four sets. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
Remember when we used to take victory for granted? Bring back 2006!
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Juan is at a conference in Melbourne and his hosts took their group to the Rod Laver Arena for the Federer-Murray match. “Andy was very noisy,” he reports, “Roger so relaxed and calm. Andy was very powerful while Roger was very precise. Close fight.” He took these photos from the stands.
Not really, but tough to argue with success.
He bounces the ball a million times before he serves. His play is plasmatic. He seems to flow toward the corners of the court. He is an origami man, folding at the waist to dig up a drop shot, starfishing for a high forehand return, cocking his leg behind his head in an arabesque as he blasts a backhand down the line. He lunges, he dives, he beats his pecs. He once yelled—in Serbian—“Now you all will suck my dick!”
He is dominant, but he is not universally adored. His showy personality and subtle game are a niche taste. Haters call him Djokobitch. Jerzy Janowicz, the Polish player, said recently that he was “a fake.” But now, with the waning of the Federer-Nadal duopoly, which has fixated tennis for the past decade, the love he craves is within his reach. This week, at Flushing Meadows, where he was once booed, Novak Djokovic will attempt to assert his sovereignty.
Read a profile of the Djoker by Lauren Collins in the New Yorker.
Will Ree-shard Gasquet hold his nerve, or will Rafa Nadal crush him as usual? Will Stanislas Wawrinka ever emerge from the shadow of you-know-who? Is Juan Martin del Potro going to remain a one-slam wonder? Who is the world number one-in-waiting?
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Ooh, surprises! Not that surprising when you consider the talent behind them, but we like it when the narrative strays from the plot. We haven’t been following tennis since we released Roger Federer from his “obligations” (17 slams being an excellent return on our emotional investment), but if the US Open final is between Wawrinka and Gasquet, or Del Potro makes it to the Oz final, we’re going back to watching tennis.
The BBC presenter John Inverdale has apologised to the Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli for describing her as “not a looker” shortly before her win on Saturday, calling his remarks clumsy and ham-fisted.
Opening his coverage of Sunday’s men’s final for BBC 5 Live, He said he had written to the player to apologise “if any offence was caused”, after his comments a day earlier sparked a furious response.
The BBC was forced to apologise after Inverdale, speaking before Bartoli’s match against Sabine Lisicki, told listeners of Radio 5 Live: “Do you think Bartoli’s dad told her when she was little: ‘You’re never going to be a looker, you’ll never be a Sharapova, so you have to be scrappy and fight’?”
Tapos yung mga di kagandahan, sila pa ang malakas manlait sa anyo ng iba. (Self-loathing?) Sino nga ba ang madalas na nagmamaganda?
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From Cooper and Butler: A Wimbledon Love Story, at Vulture. Uuyyy, selfies. Below them, the President of Serbia.
Text exchange with two sportswriters
Us: And while Britain weeps for joy, Scotland declares independence and names Andy Murray president.
LeK: Wahaha! Ees about time. Sean Connery for prime minister!
Us: Dali! Sulsulan mo in exchange for a lifetime supply of single malt.
LeK: Good deal. Let’s all take the high road!
Us: Well you do have a personal stake in the fate of the Scotch, este Scots.
LeK: Of course. Noon pa, Scotland Forever. What Robert the Bruce started, Andy, Sean, Nessie and I will finish!
FireQ: Hahaha! What do you think of this small group pissed kasi hindi raw 77 years ang British drought because there are women who won during that period?
Us: Kuraz! Hindi ba Ingles si Virginia Wade?
FireQ: Yup, pero parang namimilosopo na sila hehe.
Us: Baka kasi sabi ng tatay nila hindi sila kagandahan kaya’t kailangang mamilosopo.