Second Set Collywobbles.
Coulda seen it coming. A certain tiredness has crept into ‘Dasco’s game in the last year. An inevitable tiredness that comes with making so-many fourth rounds and quarterfinals and never finding the breakthrough. He was up in his first match of the season against a player he lost to the last time they played in Bangkok – Benjamin Becker.
At the age of 29, Becker’s lame claims to fame include being mistaken for a relative of Boris Becker, and getting stuck with the dirty job of finishing off Agassi’s career. Luckily for Becker, a few fans in Australia will remember his name today, as he took out Verdasco 61 67 63. The only thing that prevented him from winning the match in straight sets was his own insecurity – Becker tried to serve for the match at 5-4, only to commit 4 unforced errors in a row to give away the break.
As for Verdasco, when a player’s career starts to go South, speculations arise as to why this is happening (apart from the natural cycles of ‘what goes up, but eventually come down’). Everything from his movement, change of racquet to the shockingly animalistic faux-hawk he sported on court was blamed for his misfortunes. To me, it was mostly rust. Nando took a set to find his range against an opponent who was cracking some incredible forehands and defending well. By the time he looked settled in the match, it was too late. Becker may have wobbled a little in the second set, but he is too seasoned a competitor to just fade away in the third set.
As for that hair … Christ on a paella dude, Ana is never coming back, Feli would never to cheat on you with Rafa, so STOP TRYING SO HARD.
Talking about trying hard, Dinara “Twitties” Safina is now blond and sponsorless. How the minions have fallen. (Yes, I’m a monster. And possibly the only person on the interwebs who thinks Safina is simply crap. Deal with it.)
Don’t get me wrong, I think Safina is horrendously uninspiring on her best days, so on a scale of 1 to Ana Fistfuckovic, I didn’t think she was ulta-horrendous against Wickmayer in her 63 67 61 loss to the defending champion.
In fact, it was slightly unfortunate for that Safina that she should draw Wicky (surely my pick for Biggest Disappointment of 2010) on one of her better days. When she’s on, she reminds me of Maria Shazza in power and demeanour.
Can’t wait to see them play each other in Auckland.
What a difference a year makes for those too myopic to see true class. One year, it’s “the end of Fedal”, the next their rivalry is said to last FOR YEARS TO COME. One second Nadal’s knees were predicted to be a cause for his potential “early retirement”, the next Federer is suddenly “so-last-season”, over the hill, an old man headed for a good nursing home in Dubai. Meanwhile, tennis experts have been forecasting that we’ll get 4 different slam winners a year since 2007.
The latest forecast, however, was a little contrarian. Hardly surprising after the way 2010 finished:
John McEnroe says he expects the rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to last at least a few more years before a new face breaks through the top ranks of men’s tennis …
“There’s no reason to believe … that these guys aren’t going to be around for the next couple of years,” retired American tennis great McEnroe said Tuesday on the sideline of an exhibition tournament in Hong Kong …
“We have an incredible rivalry that hopefully will last another couple of years, a year or two more, and we can take advantage of that,” he said.
I’m all for MOAR FEDAL, but as a general principle, I despise all interviews with ATP Legends, who have nothing better to do with their time than to provide the tennis media with the next headline bearing zero impact or actual consequence.
Read it with a shipload of salt, and MOVE ON with tennis players not nearing mid-life crisis. Such as Venus Williams, who – thanks to Grilled Cheesus – is back in action this week in Hong Kong. Guess I’ll actually have to pay some attention to the Cashcow Invitational now.