Monday Musings: Miami slumbers.
1. Excuse the lack of coverage of the Miami finals. As always, the long weekend has put me into a slightly inebriated food coma. But I’m awake now and awake to a rather anti-climatic world order, it seems.
Once Roger, Rafa, Justine and Bobby Sod were out of the tournament, Miami was officially dead to me, and watching Kim and Randy wrap up the Spring hard courts in style became the final nail in the coffin.
Nothing against the winners of course. They both happen to be two players I don’t particularly care for, yet can’t bring myself to actively dislike. For all my ‘disinterest’ in Randy and Kimmy, they’re both – to borrow a rather misused Aussie slang – fair dinkum: genuine, down-to-earth and honest. Two players whose games can only be described as “solid”, as opposed to devastating, orgasmic, or beautiful.
But of course, tennis has never been about aesthetics. Even for the the snooty Federer and Henin fans out there in here.
2. When it comes to Clijsters 2.0, her implosions these days seem to be triggered mostly by the unrelenting stares of Justine Henin. There was no sign of that bewildered, error-prone semifinalist on Saturday, as Clijsters stamped out Venus’ winning streak with a 62 61 victory.
Yet as solid as Kim was, it was Venus who played in instrumental part in the outcome of the match. Key stat – of the 55 points that Clijsters on, 30 came on unforced errors by Venus. In her own words:
“It wasn’t my best day,” Williams said. “She played extremely solid, but it’s not like I was blown off the court. Unfortunately I was my own worst enemy.”
“Today wasn’t my best day physically,” she said. “To fight errors and not feel your best, it’s a mental battle.”
And in that mental battle, Venus lost comprehensively.
3. For Andy Roddick, his semifinal against Nadal was the first time I’ve seen him play “smart” tennis.
“Smart” is a problematic word to describe tennis. It seems that these days, “smart tennis” is merely a euphemism for “pusherama”. Whenever a player starts sending loopy balls and innocent-looking slices over the net, their IQs immediately surge. By that definition, the ATP just got a lot smarter over the last year and a half.
For now more than ever, we’re seeing more defensive, teasing play on all surfaces. And you know it bears the true hallmark of a trend when the likes of Roddick and Berdych find success in it.
But what Randy did against Rafa was more than excessive defense – he attacked. More precisely, he knew when to attack, took his chances, and executed his offensives with efficiency. And against Berdych on Sunday, Roddick did the exact opposite. He teased the big man with slices and loopy forehands, prodding Birdy with a stick until he flailed in frustration.
In short, it was the kind of approach to tennis we’re more used to seeing from the other Andy. But for now, because Randy’s winning, we’re calling it thoughtful, clever tennis.
And all my trashy musings aside, a well deserved win. Congratulations to Roddick, here’s to Week 2 at Roland Garros.
4. It’s a measure of the severity of this spring tennis cluster fuck that I found Roger’s pants at his lunch date with Elin more amusing than either of the Miami finals. (Although truth be told, I do take a special interest in Roger’s pants)
Equally pathetic, what does it say about our societal stereotypes that a woman experiencing marriage troubles cannot dine casually with her friends without it depicted as some marriage therapy session where she finds “solace” (clickey).
To make matters worse, the New York Post couldn’t even be bothered to fact-check when Miami started.
As serial sex addict Tiger Woods prepared to break his golf hiatus at the Masters, his scorned wife was breaking bread with another sports great yesterday.
Elin Nordegren lunched with tennis ace Roger Federer, 28, and his wife, Mirka, in Miami.
The Federers, who brought their twin girls, Myla Rose and Charlene Riva, are in the Sunshine State for the Sony Ericsson Open, which kicks off tomorrow. Nordegren brought her 1-year-old cub, Charlie.
The group dined poolside in the shade at an exclusive hotel on posh Key Biscayne.
The worst of all? The Feds had both the Mighty Babes in BROAD DAYLIGHT and NO ONE GOT A SINGLE SNAP?
5. New rankings are out for this weeks.
Movers and groovers: Rafa (+1 to 3), Randy (+1 to 7), Venus (+1 to 4), Lady Jaja (+2 to 7), Clijsters (+6 to 10), Henin (+10 to 23), Youzhny (+2 to 13), Birdy (+4 to 16), Baggy (+3 to 30).
A minute of silence for the fallen: Mandy (-1 to 4), Bobby Sod (-1 to 8), Vika (-2 to 9), Sveta (-1 to 5), Kleybs 😦 (-4 to 26), Sharapova (-2 to 14), AChak (-8 to 83!).
Mentioning rankings, no count-downs please. I could do without jinxes for a while – the lovely Mia tweets that Roger Federer is 10 weeks away from Sampras’ record, but with a slam and 3 Masters in between, nothing is certain. Start frazzling my lovelies!
Last but not least, to our Christian brethren and sisters, happy Easter.
To the rest of my fellow atheist heathens, happy Chocolate Day! Here’s to a Nestle Free weekend. 😀