Passing Thoughts: Saturday Five.
1. Sometimes, you see it in his eyes.
When they grow into two round saucers, you see the panic and excitement therein: “HOLY SHIT. I-CAN-DO-THIS-I-CAN-DO-THIS-CAN-I-DO-THIS-DO-I-THINK-I-CAN-DO-THIS-HOLY-SHIT-I-DON’T-THINK-I-CAN-DO-THIS?!”
And for a moment there, he had me fooled. Victor Troicki served for the match, a bad call by the umpire and a pea-brained funk later, Rafa had broken back for a tiebreak, where the playing field is level and inspiration and will prevail. I wasn’t fooled anymore, even on those two match points Troicki had.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal cracks me up sometimes he can’t even help himself. Psssssst, this ain’t a slam, darling.
Have a beer, Rafa. Just … drink it.
2. Bali wild cards have been awarded to Ana Ivanovic and Daniel Hantuchova.
Neither has won a tournament this year, so let’s call it for what it is: the WTA privileges marketability over merit and its professionalism as a peak body of female athletes. It’s not new or surprising in anyway, but it does deserve a judgmental frown from the idealist in me. There’s another side to Dootsie that desperately wants to believe that women’s tennis, or women’s sport in general, operates on merits as opposed to sex appeal.
But alas, I sounded naive even saying that.
[Personally, I would’ve liked to see Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, Jarka Groth, or Kimiko Date Krumm get a chance to play in Bali.]
3. Caroline Wozniacki is no longer just Scandinavia’s No 1…
It’s not her problem. She has no control over the rankings. She just wants to play EVERY. SECOND. FUCKING. TOURNAMENT.
But what was different this time round was that even before the fury that usually came with the dethroning of Serena Williams started, there was an outpouring of support for Carol. The fact that so many were rushing to defend her even before she ascended the top spot speaks volumes for what we’re all thinking deep down – the No 1 spot ain’t worth its weight in slams.
4. I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again: more so than Federer or Nadal, more so than anyone on the ATP tour, the person who is most defined by his single-minded pursuit of slams is Andy Murray.
That was what I thought about yesterday, as I watched Andy Murray put in a lackluster performance to be served off the court by Papa Ljubs. A respectable performance at the WTF aside, this year’s just about over for him, motivation-wise.
5. While the year may be over for some (read: half of the WTA), for Juan Martin Delpoopoo, 2010 has been a non-starter.
And he leaves Asia non-started, a little demoralised even. There’s not much harm in that. Ideally, Ponyboy should be satisfied with his ‘comeback 2010’ if he just gets one or two wins under his belt before calling it a season. The real comeback starts in 2011.
I wonder though, as I do with Maria Sharapova as well, just how far we’ve moved on without them.