1. Call it mayhem. Call it decapitation. But with Stosur, MJMS and Rezai rounding up clay season titles on the WTA world tour, and JJ, Venus and Justine in ominous form, we’re in for a more suspense-filled Roland Garros on the women’s side than on the men’s.
The ones missing from the party, however, are Dementieva, Dinara, Sveta and Sharapova. The first 3 should’ve guarded the clay season as their home turf, the latter has BYOed her hard court game to clay in previous years and made it work, as gloriously ugly as it was.
But this year, a handful of Premiers have gone by without the Gen-Y Vanguard making a mark.
Tis unfortunate, it must be said.
2. And what of Rezai?
Her burst onto the big scene has wreaked havoc. In a good way.
The girl’s powerful without being a tree, she plays with such chaotic abandon that she literally shocks her opponents into submission. She’s straight-talking, she’s feisty. She wears a gold dress and she’s an Iranian French. In other words, she’s the very antithesis of the WTA starlets we all know and love/hate.
Somehow, it makes her zingingly unforgettable.
Q: Well, that was a well deserved win today over one of the favorites for the French Open, Jelena Jankovic. Tell us more about it.
Rezai: Yeah, she is a great player, she has a cool game. But today, I was obivousely too good for her and she disliked that, and I hated her attitude at the net, she barely touched my hand during the handshake and I did not like what she said during the postmatch interviews.
Q: What was the difference between you and her today ?
Rezai: Well, I played like a top 5, just like I do since the beginning of the tournament. There is no other explanation as far as I’m concerned.
Q: You look upset by what happened with Jelena during the handshake as you’ve just said. Is it cold between you two ? Do you know each other well ?
Rezai: No, as a person she’s horrible, I mean her attitude, but as a player, she’s okay. She has great shots, but I think she should not behave like a diva on the court.
JJ v Rezai rematch at Roland Garros. MAKE IT HAPPEN, TENNIS GAWDS.
2. “The Queen to visit Wimbledon”. “Wimbledon appoints first official poet”.
Oh Wimblydondon, you attention-whore. GET IT RIGHT IT’S ROLAND GARROS TIME – NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOU … yet.
3. If the Australian Open feels like – yer know – appointing its “first official” nursery rhymer, the “CONTACT DOOTS” button is right at the top of this page. JUST SO YOU KNOW.
4. A few links in the fall-out from Fed v Nadal, which is very much still the topic of the week.
- When the KAD shows up in the writer (Tignor)
- When writer run out of new things to say (Bodo)
- When the writer wants to turn a molehill into Mount Everest and get some cheap hits (Bruce Jenkins)
Just when I thought I’ve seen it all … OH WAIT – I have. :O
5. And so it goes, the supposed “renewal” of the Federer/Nadal rivalry has brought up the dratted GOAT debate again, this time with a supposedly ‘new’ dimension of Masters v Slams.
A couple of things about the idea of ‘GOAT’ – I’ll be one of those kids in the playground who just doesn’t play make-believe games. I don’t believe in GOATs.
Or more precisely, I don’t care about GOATs. I expend energy in cheering for Roger to win on court, but off-court? In a war of words? What do I care if 60% of tennis fandom thinks he’s the best player we’ve ever seen and the rest 40% devote their lives to rebutting that hypothesis?
He’s my favourite player, I want to get in his pants. That’s enough for me to know, really.
Besides, according to some of the freaks out there in tennis fandom, a person cannot be the greatest of all time unless he or she has won 1) the most number of slams, 2) on all surfaces, 3) has a winning record against every single player, 4) is No 1 for the most number of weeks, 5) is utterly unbeatable, all the time.
If such a mythical creature existed, call me.
But for the sake of argument, I’ll put 3 caveats on this Masters > Slams idea that’s raging like a nasty bushfire through tennis fandom this week:
- It’s a bit like playing a game til the end, then finding out that the game rules have changed. Picture yourself in Federer’s pant- err – shoes: you spend your career being the “grand slam man”, building yourself up to peak for 4 tournaments a year and win as many as you can outside those 4. Suddenly, you get to the very top echelon of the game only to find out that – alas – slams aren’t worth as much as they use to. Masters 1000s are the shit to win after all. What kind of a game is that?
- How many Masters 1000s would Roger Federer be sitting on if 3 were played on grass each year? More than 16, to say the least.
- If I had to put money on it, I’d say Nadal would end his career with an obscene number of ATP 1000 titles. He’s 23, he’s guaranteed at least 2 a year, and anything else is gravy – you do the maths. But note that Federer is sitting on 16 ATP 1000s right now, 2 behind Rafa. All the clay court Masters are over. Federer’s fit. He intends to play til the age of 35. Ivan Ljubicic won Indian Wells this year. Somewhere in all those statements, I had a point, which is that we’ve watched Nadal chase Federer’s slam counts all these years, now we have a rather neat parallel of Federer chasing Rafa’s Masters count. Ultimately, I think neither will get there, but there is a sort of poetic symmetry to it. Besides, as the adidas saying goes, “IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING”.
Or as Nike would say: “JUST DO ME.”