Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Tennis’

This is not the end. This is the Roger renaissance.

July 08, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Tennis No Comments →

In the Wall Street Journal: In Defeat, A Vintage Federer Appears

And we’re not being crazy fans. Did you see the final?* He lost the match, but the beautiful strokes are back.

Which is not to disparage Djokovic. He deserved the victory. (Obviously we will no longer depend on The Fed for our victory fix, just for the tennis.)

Where Federer always wins: The writing on Federer is far superior to the writing on any other player.

* We had decided not to watch the final because our nerves have had enough exercise. Besides, we don’t have cable in the house. We dropped by Juan’s house to get a look at the first set, but FoxSports on Destiny Cable was on some kind of loop last Sunday at 2130, and after we had seen the same report on Neymar’s injury thrice we went home.

If the real Roger Federer follows Not Roger Federer on Twitter, would it tear a hole in the fabric of space-time?

June 27, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Technology, Tennis 1 Comment →






And our favorite:

Love Game: A history of tennis

May 09, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, History, Tennis No Comments →

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.

Liveblogging Without Watching: Federer v Nadal at the Australian Open 2014

January 24, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Tennis 1 Comment →


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!!

* * * * *
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! We are temporarily un-retiring from watching tennis

January 22, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Tennis 6 Comments →

AP photo

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!

* * * * *

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.



Djokovic: How d’you like him now?

September 06, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Tennis 7 Comments →

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?

* * * * *

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.