Passing Thoughts: Wake me when you get to the part that’s “news”.
1. John McEnroe claims that Roger Federer is GOAT and just about every sports news outlet made it into a story.
Must be another slow news week.
“Roger is just the greatest player of all time. He is the most beautiful player I’ve ever seen and I don’t ever get tired of watching him. Rod Laver is my idol, Pete Sampras is the greatest grass court player ever, but Roger is just the greatest player of all. I think we can all appreciate how incredible he is even more lately, because he’s shown a bit more emotion on court and he’s become a father so he seems a bit more human, more relatable. That makes what he’s doing seem even more amazing.”
On Federer’s records and streaks:
“It’s difficult to pick out one of his achievements as the best because they’re all so incredible,” said McEnroe. “But I would probably say the 23 semis or better in a row is the best record of them all. There’s probably not another player in the top 20 who’s even played 23 straight majors (Grand Slam tournaments) in a row. Then throw in the fact that he got to 18 out of 19 finals and that he’s averaging two Grand Slam titles a year, it’s just phenomenally consistent. It’s amazing.”
Put it this way: no other player has made the last two grand slam semifinals, let alone the last 23.
“It’s unfortunate that Rafa is struggling with injury because his rivalry with Roger has become an incredible one, and rivalries are great for the sport,” said McEnroe. “I think at the moment Nadal’s injury is working to Roger’s benefit because he was able to take advantage of it at the French Open and dig deep to win that one. But at the same time I think it would be nice to think that Nadal could stick around for a couple of years and push Roger a bit because competition like that can push you that bit harder.”
“When you’ve won as much as he has you have to wonder how he will react when he starts losing regularly at major events – not reaching finals or semis. That’s not going to be easy for him. But, he seems to take great care of his body, the way he moves doesn’t put a lot of strain on the body so you would think he would be able to play at this top level a few more years. I hope so, because we are lucky to have him.”
Let’s review McEnroe’s little shpill: 1) Roger is GOAT. 2) 23 semifinals in a row is just retarded. 3) Pity about Rafa. Get well soon. 4) The Mighty Fed has more top-level tennis left in him because his movement is so easy.
JMac, please don’t feel like you need to state the obvious or anything.
2. BREAKING NEWS: Bobby Sod won his first tour match of 2010.
And he did it the hard way: taking 3 sets to overcome Flo Serra after dropping the first set 64. Le Sod conceded after the match that he’s found himself in difficult form lately:
“The first match of the week is always the most difficult for me. My game got better and better. I know I can play a lot better. I’m satisfied with the win but not really with my form.”
No shit. The Australian Open was one of Sod’s few windows of opportunity to gain points this year and the guy managed to implode spectacularly after being up 2 sets to love. Elbow injury or not, I’m banning the use of the nickname “Dimples” until further notice.
3. MORE BREAKING NEWS: Melanie Oudin actually won a match, beating Sorana Cirstea 63 60 to progress into the second round in Paris.
With her first main-draw victory since the US Open and her Fed Cup performance, Oudin is on a – collective gasp – 3 match winning streak. Her longest since Flushing Meadows.
Oudin next plays Nutty Patty, who also stopped the bleed after a recent show of poor form. She beat 7th-seeded Virginie Razzano 6-3, 7-6(3).
As for Sori, I’ve tried to warm to her. The girl’s got spunk, but she’s also got a slappy forehand, too much eye makeup and the tendency to look extremely average on an off-day. And right now, she has more off-days than on.
4. Serena Williams is out of Dubai. I don’t know why and I don’t care why.
Dinara Safina is also out of Dubai. I know why but I just don’t care.
5. Fernando Verdasco beats retiree in an exho.
Oh by the way, that retiree’s name is Pete Sampras. You might’ve heard of him.
After the straight-sets loss, Sampras took some questions from the media and the conversation inevitably turned to Agassi’s comments regarding Pete in his biography “Open”. After voicing his displeasure a few weeks ago, Pete’s downplayed his comments.
“It was fine, no ill feelings. I know Andre likes to push the envelope, with everything he does, but with me, I thought we were above all that. He chose to be open and honest about everything, and I was a little surprised he went down that road.”
“I think it freaked out Andre that I did my thing. To me, that extreme focus was no big deal. That’s how Borg, Federer, some other guys did it. That was normal to me. But Andre was amazed by it.”
On the contrast between Sampras’ autobiography and Agassi’s.
“I didn’t want to offend anyone in my book. It wasn’t about that for me. I wanted it to be something I could be proud of, something my kids could read, all about how I became a champion. It wasn’t about money, or about shocking people.”
In other words, you were interested in retelling your life, but only the proud bits. Oh how courageous you are, Pete.
Slow news is better than no news.