Passing Thoughts: Weekly 5.
1. Hallelujah! I’ve emerged from the dark ages of exam and work stress into the beginnings of a beautiful Australian Spring.
Meanwhile, it seems that the spring in Roger Federer’s season has just dawned (ABOUT EFFING TIME!). We’ve come a long way since Woger McFed wrenched my gut into a million heart-shaped pieces, bleeding over the lawns of Wimbledon. He’s in a different place now, physically and mentally from the ‘16 slam burn-out’ he had back in March-July (although by “tennis burn-out” standards, two slam QFs and finals in Madrid and Halle barely register on the scale).
You sense it, as a fan. It’s amazing how well we get to know the subtleties of a player’s body language, his expression, the way he exudes a certain feeling. You notice the little changes: that extra sway in his tomcat walk; the calmness – as opposed to frantic shanks – with which he executes devastating shots; that focused nonchalance, as he slowly and calmly clenches his fist after winning a spectacular point, as if to say “oh it’s no biggie … brilliance is just me in the State of Nature, and the Leviathan is what you’re up against, BITCH.”
My point is that there has been a wind change. There is a presence of mind now that was lacking during the middle of the year. That’s not to say that he hasn’t had shanky-times in the past few weeks, or that he was playing total shitfuck tennis between the Australian Open and Wimbledon. It’s just that these days, he’s seeing the ball better. He’s executing better. There’s an extra spring in his step. Less demons. More focus.
Really, at the end of the day, this is my convoluted way of saying “OH-MAH-GAH! VAJAZZLE ME NAOOOOO!”
2. Watching Monfils play, you sometimes wonder why he needs all the acrobatics. Sure, it’s his style, he’s capable of it, but often, when you see acrobatics get in the way of a solid win, you just wonder why, WHY THE FUCK can’t you just calm down and grow up for a bit?!
The answer, I’m beginning to suspect, is that Monfils needs his little stunts the same way that other players need confidence. In fact, his showy performances are precisely confidence building. He’s a player who depends emotionally on a stroke of inspiration, which makes him entertainment and frustration all at the same time.
Or, to revert back to the wise words of Hootie and the Cookie Monster: like a cookie, Gael Monfils is a sometime food. Not substantial enough to be filling, at times sickening, but often, quite simply crunchy and deliiiish.
Monfils has a chance for the final: it’s Paris, and he’s a theatric player who needs a loving audience to thrive. If he was to ever beat Federer anywhere, surely, a best-of-3-set Bercy match is more likely to be his best chance?
Still, it’s hard to imagine that Federer, barring a temporary onset of tennis coma, would give him as many looks as Toothface gave him today.
3. Unless you’re just ideologically opposed to a particular player, it is almost impossible NOT to like someone’s A-game. At the end of the day, regardless of style or personality, good tennis is good tennis. It’s as black-and-white as that.
I’ve been catching up on some of Llodra’s matches in the last few days. One word: inspired.
How delightful and refreshing is his game? Especially on this surface, on this court.
All this is traced back, according to Dootsie’s Universal Theory of Everything-Is-About-Wogie, to that fateful pink shirt during the US Open series. The Magic Pink Shirt has been worth its weight in sweat … SWEAT OF EXCELLENCE BITCHES.
4. Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, Murray, Soderling, Berdych, Ferrer, and Roddick. These 8 men make up the field at Whu-Thu-Fuh in London. My heart aches for Melzer, who barely missed out on what would’ve been a deserving spot in London.
(Moot point, but I hazard a guess that Melzer would’ve made things far more complicated for the top 5 than, say, Ferrer or Berdych. His smashed racquet after losing the tiebreak to Federer today probably showed the extent to which he’s NOT just another happy sucker, only too pleased to lose to Rog or Raf. Dude was genuinely bummed not to have taken the set off McFed.)
Nadal will end his 2nd year as the World No 1. With today’s win, Federer will end his 8th year in a row inside the top 2.
To think that at one point during 2010, the media speculated the demise of either or both of these players. “This is the end of Fedal!” claimed Agassi at the beginning of the year, proving himself to be more foolish than the man proclaimed the end of history.
How privileged our eyeballs are. How blessed the world of tennis.
5. If you ever needed a definition of Daddy’s Little Girl:
Let’s trade places, Mighty Babe! I WOULD SINK MY SPARKLY VAMPIRE FANGS INT YOUR DUDDY’S NECK ANY TIME!
Oh Wogie! You are the Edward to my Bella. (Yes, you just barfed a little into your own mouth.)
Courtesy of l’Illusté. If there’s a more charmed life, I haven’t seen it.
Off to sharpen my fangs and extinguish the fire burning up my ovaries.