Passing thoughts: Dignity to be maintained.


… yes you, Lleyton Hewitt. Dignity had to be maintained, and I am at least glad you didn’t get bagelled – you got breadsticked instead. 61 63 61. Mind you, start of the second set looked okay for Lleyton, but the rest of the match … ayee … 

 

Does anyone find it incredibly saddening whenever they watch the likes of Hewitt and Ferrero against Nadal these days? It’s the same feeling I get whenever I see someone with an old-school iBook G4 next to one of those shiny, sleek, new-gen silver MacBooks. There’s an inevitable nostalgia about it all.

 

Never mind now, off to the blessed grass courts for you Rusty. I’m not so sure about winning it, but a second week is doable depending on the draw. 

 

For once I agree with Fred Stolle, whose commentary I followed last night – some things have to be stamped out at a young age, and spare me a few moments to cast a glare at Larcher de Brito, the 16 year old wunderkid who had no mercy for my eardrums last night. Having been a long time defender of Sharapova’s grunts in the past, it’s probably slightly hypocritical for me to then turn around and whinge about Larcher de Brito. But if you thought Maria Sharapova was bad, this kid makes Shazza sound like a kitty cat in comparison.

 

Imagine turning on your TV with your cuppa, ready for some relaxing Friday-night tennis, only to be left spluttering over your coffee by the bloodcurdling screech emanating from a sweet looking 16 year old girl. The worst part of it isn’t the pitch or ferocity of her screech, but the length of it.  You know you’ve gone overboard when your scream is still going as your opponent returns the ball. And really, there is no cause for a grunt when you hit a drop shot. Come on now … 

 

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Getty Images

 

 

My-oh-my, Venus Williams, what more can I say? 

 

So I know Szavay played a great match – remained calm and focused. But at the same time, Venus just simply never got into the match. Honestly, it’s been a while since I’ve seen her play this badly. The serve wasn’t digging her out of tricky situations, the groundstrokes were wild, her timing was completely off. She would’ve lost to a lesser player than Szavay playing like that. The fact that she put up such a performance at a grand slam further highlights how bizarre the whole thing was. 

 

In my pathetic attempt to remain positive: as many rightly pointed out, so what Venus Williams lost in the 3rd round at the French Open? The last 3 times this happened she went on to win Wimbledon. Yes she did. 

 

Man, I’m so sick of clay. 

 

What’s weirding me out even more is the fact that Ana Ivanovic seemed to have clicked, at least judging from what I’ve seen of her in her last two matches. The wonky ball toss has been mainly under control, the forehand is fearsome once more and the fist pumps as excessive as ever. I can go back to my not-so-quiet dislike for the girl now, can I? Not so fast, I’d like to see her score a top 10 win at some stage. 

 

Talking about the girls, Dinara Safina has lost 4 games in 6 sets. Move over, Clay Monster, meet Rafinara Nadafina. Anne Keothavong should be feeling better about her loss. 

 

The only real good news for me from last night: Maria Sharapova has progressed to the fourth round, and I’m still feeling like a proud mama about it all. Not only has she defended her points from last year to prevent herself from further slipping in the rankings, she’s gotten plenty of match play, and exceeded everyone’s expectations based on her performance at Warsaw. Still very rusty, but that will power is enough to get her through most matches against a field of neurosis. 

 

Flashback time: Maria Sharapova fourth round last year at the French Open, seeded no 1 against an underdog Safina, telling the French crowd to “allez up your f*cking @$$“. Booed off court in a stinker. This year, Sharapova outside the Top 100 (Safina now “the real” world No 1), the famously fickle French crowd back on Maria’s side as she slugs past each of her opponents as the Comeback Queen. What a difference a year makes. 

 

PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images

 

Li Na v Sharapova next round. Oh why do the Draw Gods do this to me? Sad face. Sad face for the pair of them. But that section of the draw should be interesting now that Venus has bowed out. 

 

Am now keeping my fingers crossed for Carla Suarez Navarro, whose match against Azarenka got suspended at one set each. 

 

Overall, not a good night for me as far as my tennis faves are concerned, made slightly worse by the fact that I decided to go through the Roland Garros website only to find the fans’ sections filled with rude haters. Hoping for better tennis tonight.

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3 responses to “Passing thoughts: Dignity to be maintained.”

  1. freakyfrites says :

    Rafinara Nadafina – YES!

    And by all means, don’t squelch your dislike of Ana Ivanovic – I didn’t realize you were anti-Ivanovic. i’d love to hear why! Is it the asymmetrical ruching?

    Thanks for the stat on Venus, btw. Makes me feel so much better. Maybe that’s why she lost – superstitious

  2. Blue says :

    Safina’s form is scary right now – of those 6 sets, she’s dished 3 bagels! I’m happy about Sharapova’s run too, I hope she can do well there. There’s a certain doggedness about her to be admired.

    About Hewitt, Ferrero and Safin, it is a little sad, but it makes me appreciate Federer all the more for still staying near the top and competing with players 5 years younger than him, especially with all the nonsense thrown at him from the media.

    I read that Larcher de Brito doesn’t do the excessive screeching while practising, it makes me wonder if there’s an element of gamesmanship involved or it’s just the way she plays.

  3. dootsiez says :

    Hola folks,

    Freaky, I have never found the ana love within. The players I like – the williamses, Sharapova – tend to be mental Goliaths, feisty and bold, Ana feels too “little miss sunshine”. And her vulnerability on court annoys me as much as it frustrates her.

    Blue – I think Larcher de Brito’s screams are definitely tactical and need to be dealt with. Many are accusing of NBTA of teaching this strategy to their players to intimate their opponents. All this of course is speculation, but worth reading –> http://twurl.nl/r88bfu

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