Offseason Newsreel: Blogger Existential Crisis.


Help! It’s the offseason, WHAT THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSE TO BLOG ABOUT NOW? 

Here I was, looking forward the summer vacation and this little thing called “a life”. Yer know – free from the crazies of tennis fandom and the CV-building, corporate-ladder climbing maniacs of law school. 

Well … turns out that “having a life” is as much of an urban myth as a chryogenically frozen Walt Disney, so it’s time I get my ass out of “denial”and move towards “acceptance”. I accept that I do not have a life. Never had one. Don’t know what having a life feels like. I imagine it feels wonderful and farcical, like being stuck permanently in an Oscar Wilde play. Lemme know if you have one.

Semi-newsworthy stuff this week: 

1. The ATP put out a list of the best matches in 2009 (clickey), do you agree? 

  1. Wimbledon Final – Roger Federer d Andy Roddick 57 76(6) 76(5) 36 1614
  2. Madrid Open semi-finals, Rafael Nadal d. Novak Djokovic 36 76(5) 76(9)
  3. Australian Open semi-final, Rafael Nadal d. Fernando Verdasco 67(4) 64 76(2) 67(1) 64
  4. US Open 2nd Round – Taylor Dent d. Ivan Navarro 64 57 67(1) 75 76(9)
  5. WTF semi-final – Nikolay Davydenko d. Roger Federer 62 46 75

 

 

Lists are often controversial and this one no less.

The Wimbledon final in hindsight was high quality tennis, with Roger and Andy making a combined total of 181 winners to 71 unforced errors. More impressive than the stats were the heart, resolve and cores of steel that both players showed throughout the match.

I could not celebrate Wimbledon the way I celebrated the French. It was one of those rare moments when I was more acutely aware of the emotions coming from the loser than from the winner. It’s one thing to lose a slam final, quite another to leave your heart out on court and have it spanked back for a winner.

Was it Andy Roddick’s last chance to win a second slam? I hope not, but one thing is certain: dude’s going to give it his everything. There was a time when I didn’t like Andy Roddick much, but how can I not respect him after Wimbledon this year

Given the historical significance  and the emotional roller-coaster that it took us all on, I think it’s fitting that that the Wimbledon final tops the list. But it was by no means my favourite match of the year. 

My favourite? No 2 on the list. My head still implodes a little bit from how good it was.

So good in fact that it sapped both players of their mojos for the rest of the clay/grass season. Djokovic tumbled listlessly out of the French Open in the third round. A day later, Nadal lost to Soderling, and I wondered how the world could keep on spinning when it has just ended. 

 

 

I never saw No 3 because I was on vacation. I did get a facebook message during the match, “zomg this is so good I want to die”. I’ll take my friend’s word for it. 

No 4 and 5 – Personally don’t get either of those choices.

Federer v Davydenko in London was decent tennis, but No 5? Surely you jest. And while I’m sure Dent v Navarro was a great match, who the hell watched it?

Surely Soderling v Nadal deserves to be on the list as one of the matches that shaped 2009, likewise Nadal v Federer at the Australian Open, Murray v Roddick at Wimbledon. 

And what of the US Open final? Say what you want about my biases, but it was a crap match strewn with errors. The stats, like Shakira’s hips, don’t lie.

Your 5 favourite matches this year: spill.

 

2. For some reason, Lindsay Davenport felt the need to defend Tiger Wood’s wife Elin.

 

The tennis pro has a home near Tiger’s house in Orange County, California and describes the acclaimed golfer’s spouse as “very loving, very loyal” and “level-headed.”

Lindsay tells ET, “The insinuation that [Elin] would be aggressive or attacking is just preposterous. … She always handles herself with class.”

Lindsay talks to ET about the current state of Tiger and Elin’s seemingly rocky marriage, saying, “Anyone’s wish when they get married is to make it work, and we’ll see if they can do that.”

Source: ET

 

3. In light of Tiger’s err … good driving skills, Foxsports Australia polled its users on who they’d be most surprised to see involved in an off-field indiscretion. Roger Federer won by a ridiculously commanding 61%, followed by Israel Folau (Brisbane Broncos) on 16%. (clickey)

Would Fed “do a Tiger”?

 

 

“Well, Tiger married a model after he became ‘Tiger Woods’, Fed married the girl he fell in love with when he was 19,” said a friend when I brought this up.

Bless my friends, they make a lot of sense sometimes. If Fed and Mirka can’t make it work, then the chances for the rest of us are slim.

In any case, the day this ‘Tiger Woods saga’ unravelled ranks as high on my list of disappointments as the day I found out Santa Claus didn’t exist.

 

4. The ITF is proposing mixed doubles for the 2012 Olympics. (Clickey) The IOC said it wanted guarantees that top players in singles would be able to participate in mixed doubles before allowing the event. 

I just had a mental image of Mirka coming out of retirement to play for Switzerland with Fed. 

 

5. Venus Williams was honored by the March of Dimes NY as Sportswoman of the Year. Past recipients include Billie Jean King, Andre Agassi and Arthur Ashe. Nice company, nicer bangs. 

 

 

6. In an interview with the Times, Justine Henin admits that part of the reason she lost the 2007 Wimbledon semifinal was because she feared facing Venus Williams on grass. 

 

“The French Open is the tournament of my heart; there’s been a long love story for me there. But Wimbledon is the one I never won and it’s going to be my challenge now and I’ll never give up.”

Only out of the bubble has she really stopped “to analyse why I never won it”. Her conclusions are honest: “Because I didn’t have enough confidence in myself as a grass-court player. Because I am always scared of playing the Williams sisters on grass, especially Venus.”

Henin’s fear of Venus hit its peak in 2007. “Part of the reason I lost to [Marion] Bartoli in the semi-final was because I was scared to face Venus in the final,” she says.

 

And this came during the year that she beat one or both of the Williams sisters in 3 out of 4 slams? I ain’t buying it.

As much as I hate the Hamster, Marion Bartoli won that match with her ridiculous angles and ball-striking, far more than Henin “lost it” out of fear. 

The rest of the interview describes how Federer’s Roland Garros win inspired Justine to make a comeback. (clickey)  Someone remind me of this when I write my new book: “101 Reasons Roger Federer is good for this planet and should be cloned“.

 

 

7. The USTA AO wildcard play-off winners are Coco Vandeweghe and Ryan Harrison. Err … I’m sure that means something to someone out there. 

Aussies, our own wildcard play-offs start on the 14th December at Melb Park. Lineup includes Bernard Tomic, Alicia Molik and Casey Dellacqua. Should be a good one if you’re in town. 

 

8. Here’s to hoping there won’t be a late entry by Mark the Poo, who STILL hasn’t ruled out a comeback. (clickey

 

Can he NOT?!

xx doots

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30 responses to “Offseason Newsreel: Blogger Existential Crisis.”

  1. flo says :

    >“Well, Tiger married a model after he became ‘Tiger Woods’, Fed married the girl he fell in love with when he was 19,” said a friend when I brought this up.

    Bless my friends, they make a lot of sense sometimes. If Fed and Mirka can’t make it work, then the chances for the rest of us are slim.<

    First of all, nothing will happen as long as he's still challenging for slams because he would never welcome the distraction from whatever could happen. He's got a finite window and he's not going to risk that. After his career? Well, Sampras seems to be doing alright.

    Also, it seems to me Federer credits Mirka with his maturing earlier and the boom in his career. Gawd, this may sound incestuous but it's kinda like an elder sister-younger brother relationship. The whiny young Federer needed someone to tell him to take his career seriously, stop acting like a baby, etc. while sugar-coating those things with the more enjoyable parts of dating a cute girl. Credit also to the Lundgrens and the rest of his team, too.
    Having said that, impressing girls is a huge motivation for young males, so read into that what you will.

    So he got someone who helped him grow up more quickly and also do his hotel-booking and plane tickets stuff that he hated doing; the summation of a those things make the Roger+Mirka alliance quite strong.

    Nobody would take Woods seriously if he said his wife was instrumental in his success as a golfer. But from Federer, I'd buy that.

    • dootsiez says :

      Incestuous? LOL.

      For all his refined image, Fed’s pretty boyish sometimes. I remember watching a documentary once where he talked about lying to Mirka when they first met. She thought he was too young, he told her that he was “almost 19-and-a-half”.

      I get a feeling she does look after him a bit, but they made two babies, so I doubt it was that … sisterly.

      *so not going there*

      >”Nobody would take Woods seriously if he said his wife was instrumental in his success as a golfer. But from Federer, I’d buy that.”<

      Elin didn't belong in the golfing world before she met Tiger, Mirka was a tennis pro already. I suppose that's the difference. Fed would be more inclined to discuss tennis-related things with Mirka than Tiger would to Elin.

      • flo says :

        We missed the more socially acceptable/palarable word for sisterly – nurturing. Mirka is nurturing.

      • FortuneCookie says :

        Myla and Charlene got there first😉

        I totally agree with everything that’s been said!
        As much as we’re fans of his,none of us actually know Roger personally,so for all we know he COULD ‘do a Tiger’,but equally I think it’d genuinely shock me.

        Although she didn’t have anywhere remotely close to the success that Roger has had in his career,she DOES understand what it’s like being a pro tennis player,and the pressures and difficulties that go with it.

        And the fact that when they met,she was the more eligible one (in looks at least) I think is pretty important,he doesn’t see her as just some commodity or arm candy,and he can be totally certain that she’s not with him for the fame or money,I mean HELLOOOOO REMEMBER THE HAIR!?!?!?!?!😛
        And as he always says,when he met Mirka he ‘had zero titles and now he has 60 odd!’

        As for the brother/sister relationship comparison,I get it in a sense (and understand why you described it as that flo!),and some haters have always found it weird that Rog and Mirka never show more PDA etc…But I think they’re just private people,and you can see enough in the public appearances they do make that they’re way into each other,although can’t lie,part of me would LOVE to see Roger do the whole romantic climbing up to the box thing after winning a GS😉
        After winning the AO 2010 and making Doots uber happy in the crowd RIGHT ROG?!🙂

        • judy says :

          i totally want to see rog climbing up to the player’s box after winning a GS! i have thought about this during many final moments of GS victories! i was thinking it might happen at the FO or wimby this year with all the history involved, plus the marriage and twins… but nope. cheap bastard! rog definitely looked up to his box with emotion at RG and wimby, but stayed on court. ok maybe wimby climbing would be a stretch for rog, but hell rafa was climbing over the commentators box in ’08 to greet the spanish royalty. come on rog!

          you have seen the only rog and mirka embrace post big match win on vid (that i’ve seen), right? hamburg final ’07, victory over rafa? pure mirka and rog bliss!

  2. LJ says :

    my top 5

    1. Rog vs Le Sod, FO final – that clutch serving in the 2nd set tie breaker, tears in rain on the red red clay, Agassi handing over the hefty Coupe des Mousquetaires and the reflection of the biggest nose in town heading in for the kiss. I mean poetry…absolute sublime poetry.

    2. Rog vs Andy, wimby final – I went to bed beginning of the 2nd set, tossed and turned until i couldn’t handle it any longer and started watching again. After several moments where i felt like i would die, it was a bittersweet victory as Andy’s soul shattered onto the last strands of hallowed grass.

    3. Rog vs Rafa, AO final – not for the quality of play but rather the emotions unleashed after the match. Rog started the match serving like crap and I had this ominous feeling in my stomach. And by the time the 5th set collapse was a surety I broke out the vodka and drowned my sorrows. This was my version of Wimby 2008.

    4. Le Sod vs Rafa, FO rd 4 – What’s more to say than, this was the year defining match? If I was more an impartial fan of tennis rather than a rabid Federite this would probably be No. 1.

    5. Rafa vs Verdasco, AO Semi – heart in my throat, I prayed to high hell that Verdasco would come through because I had a bad feeling about a Rafa/Rog final (I was damn right too). Brilliant shot making by both players left me screaming and yelling with astonishment at my TV.

    • dootsiez says :

      Fed v Sod as No 1?

      If I could make a more sentimental list, then definitely. You forget the drama when Jimmy Jumper ran towards Fed. Somehow he still kept his wits to get the job done. But holy shit …

  3. JFK says :

    Why is the Davydenko Fed match on the ATPs list? Especially considering how low quality the first set was (Didn’t Fed get broken 3 times)?
    The best ATP matches of the year for me: French Open Final, Wimbledon Final, Verdasco-Nadal Australia, Murray Roddick at Wimbledon, Del Potro Federer French.

  4. pban says :

    The word which comes to mind when Roger discusses Mirka is gratitude, he knows he is the lucky one here(and Iagree).Whenever he speaks about her I always get the impression that he feels incredibly blessed that she is there for him emotionally.(sitting for 4 1/2 hours in the sun watching your man hit a fuzzy yellow ball when you are 9 months pregnant with twins…..Roger if you ever cheat on her I will divorce you from my fanaticism)In fact I once read that initially she used to sit through his pressers so that he could look at her to make out whether he was making any goofups. But the best part is the fact that Mirka lets him be the person he is(an image forever entrenched in my mind is the 2004 ATPtour finals in Houston it was raining Roger was goofing around playing pool with Henman and Mirka was sitting on the floor reading totally not interfering ) ,so one can really understand why Roger is always gushing about her.

  5. Mia says :

    Bless the Aussie survey — makes a lot of sense unlike the Ad Age article (http://adage.com/article?article_id=140901), which had steam coming out of my ears. I may be wrong — although sincerely praying am not — but methinks Roger is very much in touch with his feminine side (and all the admirable things that it entails, including empathy and nurturing) to pull a Tiger.

    Unlike most self-absorbed athletes, Roger is self-possessed enough to not go and “just do it”. This bloke, who get all mushy and teary-eyed upon mention of his wife and kids, is most likely to convince me that that is “the best a man can get”.

  6. pban says :

    doots the yec2004 scene was not a photograph, methinks it was in a roundup highlight sort of documentary of the event.But the scene was so reflective of what roger and mirka are about🙂 complete normalcy

    • judy says :

      isn’t there a pic of mirka and rog at the practice court in beijing (olympics) where mirka is reading a mag, sitting on the floor, while rog practices. that’s a great example of their relationship and i love that they’ve been together for all this time, since the 2000 games. i do wish they’d show more pda, but understand why they don’t.🙂

  7. Jack says :

    My top 5 matches:

    1) Fed vs Roddick, Wimbly Final – Awesome serving from Fed (50 aces) and it amazes me how he held his nerve in that fifth set, considering the magnitude and significance of the match

    2) Nadal vs Nando, AO SF – Fantastic from both players to sustain that level over 5 sets. Ironic that Verdasco played his best match of the year, so early in the year

    3) Nadal vs Djokovic, Madrid SF – Loved Rafa grit to hold on in the third and loved that Nole wasn’t afraid of beating Rafa on Clay (even though he didn’t in the end)

    4) Federer vs Soderling, FO Final – May not have been the best match but he did play one of the best tiebreaker of his career in this match. Plus he won his first FO title🙂

    5) Federer vs DelPo, FO SF – Again, may not have been the most high quality match but it was really exciting and nerve-wrecking! Also, had to admire DelPo’s tenacity of really making Roger work for it and hanging in there, especially when probably 90% of the crowd were wanting Roger to win!

    Even though i didn’t put it on my list, i can see why the Dent match is up there because it was a pretty good match. It was like pure retro tennis. Serve and Volley constantly from both players

    Also, didn’t put AO Final or US Open Final on my list because i felt in those matches Roger wasted too many oppourtunities and the fifth sets were too one-sided

  8. Jack says :

    I think this whole Tiger Woods saga is getting ridiculous now! I mean, I think there been like eight woman who have been linked to him already and there’s probably going to be more. I understand the media being all over this story because its their job but why did Lindsay Davenport feel the need to defend his wife? I mean, i’m sure some wifes have done far worse to a cheating husband than just beat him up. I do think its too late for him to do what David Letterman did and confess to all of his wrongdoings on tv because there are too many stories circulating around now. I also think he’ll lose his gilette sponsor, and others too, because of his image being tarnished. Plus I personally don’t think his career will recover from this, unless his PR team do some miracle job with the media.

    I bet Roger is glad the tennis season is over because the media would probably be asking him about this. It does make me wonder though; What would he have to say about the whole thing??

  9. braggaditis says :

    [I could not celebrate Wimbledon the way I celebrated the French. It was one of those rare moments when I was more acutely aware of the emotions coming from the loser than from the winner. It’s one thing to lose a slam final, quite another to leave your heart out on court and have it spanked back for a winner.]

    Major props, Doots. There is a reason why I have started loving this blog substantially more than some other blogs, no?😀

    My top-5 (if I have to forget that I’m a Fed fan for a minute or so):

    1. Gonzalez-Gasquet, AO
    2. Fed-Delpo, RG
    3. Delpo-Roddick, Montreal
    4. Fed-Nadal, AO (no I dont like it. Yes I do. No way. but the 1st 4 sets produced some out_of_the_world rallies)
    5. Youzhny-Hewitt, Tokyo.

    Dent-Navarro deserves a special mention.

    PS: The order of the choices between #2 and #5 are interchangeable.😛

    Also, I came across this old Roger interview through a friend of mine. Very interesting thoughts. http://tinyurl.com/ygyh8pu

    • dootsiez says :

      Ooh yes. Youzhny v Hewitt was a good one. I liked Fed v Nadal @ AO. It was a heartbreaker, and I haven’t watched it since, but can’t say it wasn’t a fantastic match.

      Thanks for the interview! This sounds like exactly the sort of retarded thing that Fed would say:

      “You know what, I said I’ll take every serve the way it comes, rely on my strengths instead of thinking too much about the other guy’s game. To be honest, I remember that match as actually being a bit of a wake-up call and not relying on the other guy’s game a little bit, but improving my game.
      To be honest, that’s what I do now: I don’t think too much of the matches any more; I just try to go in there and try to play my best. Hopefully that will go my way. “

  10. Jack says :

    Does anybody remember that dating reality tv show Mark PhiliPooPoo did?

    • dootsiez says :

      Think it was called “the Age of Love” or something equally retarded? Urgh….

      • Jack says :

        Just looked it up and that was the title! The program couldn’t have been more retared, 40 year old woman called the “cougars” and 20 year old woman called the “kittens” trying to win Mark’s heart…………..sounds absolutely riveting!

        Anyway, that isn’t the most retarded thing he’s done! The most retarded thing he’s done is dump Delta Goodrem for PARIS HILTON!!!!

        • dootsiez says :

          ^ I actually watched it, I remember one of the Aus channels played it over Xmas one year. In my defence, there wasn’t much else on TV over Xmas.

          *le shame*

          Poor Delta. I can’t believe she fell for him n the first place. Oh well, she had cancer at the time, must’ve been extra vulnerable to sleaze.

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