I wanted Federer v Llodra, I got Soderling v Monfils.
In the grand scheme of things, I liked both finalists, so I’m not left projectile vomiting bile in the general direction of Paree.
But really, you’re not even human if you can’t feel some degree of squidgeeeeee for a guy who – despite being portrayed so often as a jumbo-sized rodent by certain members of the tennis fandom – is really just a young man who talks the way his plays.
Uncomplicated. Unsubtle. Undaunted. Unapologetic. A bit like someone gutting a baby seal with a blunt knife … no I KID. I KID.
I do mean it when I say I’m tempted to poke my pinky into one of those dimples though.
I was extremely nervous before this match … I didn’t sleep much at all (last) night. I really wanted to do well today and I’m happy with the way I started the match.
I’m in a strange sort of place with Soderpoopies. He inflicted two losses at Roland Garros in the past two years, both of which ended with me flailing like a gutted baby seal. I find his game unsightly at times. Stylistically, he’s no different to a ‘Tomas Berdych’, of which there are too many in this world. Theoretically speaking, this shouldn’t have been my cuppa.
And yet, there is also something incredibly compelling about Soderpoopies, as a player and as a person. On the surface, he’s aloof. He acts like he doesn’t give a fuck, and – as I alluded to earlier – he plays like it too. The wonder about the Soderpoops of this world is that they make simple what Federer sometimes complicates. And just as we need intricacies in tennis, we also need aggressive, bludgeoning, cracking tennis. The kind of catharsis that, on a good day, crystalises all else around you and the only liquidity is the movement on court.
Like I said, oddly compelling.
Soderling falls just on this other side of the diverse tennis spectrum. The kind of ‘unsightly’ that can be beautiful too; the type of ‘aloof’ that is passionate deep down; and sometimes, the quiet one can be surprisingly eloquent when handed a microphone on a big stage.
No 4. Not sure how Federer or Nadal feels about this – I suspect they’d much rather have Murray at No 4 for the Aus Open. Extreme heat and wind aren’t exactly a winning combination for Swedes. But let’s not jinx ourselves.
Gael Monfils. Two Paris finals in consecutive years, semifinal, quarterfinals at Roland Garros. All this points to one thing:
In this silly, acrobatic, playful overgrown kid, there’s a serious patriot. If there was one outcome of actual significance in the broad scheme of things coming out of this week, it’s that a Serbian Davis Cup victory is no longer a matter of presumption. They still have the upper hand, but as far warning shots go, the Frenchies made some things loud and clear this week. Point taken.
Congratulations Tommy Haas, who joined Wogie, Ljubes and the other daddies of the tour with the birth of his baby daughter. I don’t even need to see a photo to know that she’s a heartbreaking little beauty.
P.S. As I screamed rather shrilly on Twitter: I GOT AUSSIE OPEN FINAL TICKETS. A prayer circle for Doots that Roger Fuckerer actually makes the final.
If he doesn’t, I’m diving into the Yarra in despair.
If he does and loses, I’m diving into the Yarra and TAKING HIM DOWN with me.
If he does and wins, I’m still diving into the Yarra. Naked.
P.P.S. I sat in front of a designer clad woman at Wimbledon this year, who haughtily turned around to her husband during Serena v Sharapova and said: “did you know Serena Williams once told an Asian woman she was going to kill her?” Suffice to say, I was outraged.
This article underscores so much of how I feel about Serena Williams and the way she is often portrayed by the tennis media and fandom. (Clickey)