Aus Open Days 3-5: Ewok and Other Passing Thoughts


A bit of a catch-up post, because I’ve been mindfuckedly busy this week I haven’t had time for “Fence Maintenance”.

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1. I’ve never seen a killer in Stanislas Wawrinka until this week. Maybe it was the double chin, or the neck beard that makes him slightly resemble Ewok. Or the fact that he had always been “the other Swiss”, the guy that Woger once made a campfire out of, quiet and slightly “Fat Dave”-like in his build.

And I’m not sure why I see it now either: I’d like to say that it has nothing to do with the going-ons in his personal life (his recent separation from his wife and child), but at the end of the day, it has. There is a kind of ruthlessness in Stan’s character that I hadn’t realised before, and he’s certainly playing with a sense of ruthlessness, yet to lose a match this year, or even a set this tournament.

Watching him against Dimitrov (live) and Monfils (on telly), it struck me that Stan Not-So-Man is a bit of an anti-Gasquet. Whereas Gasquet came into the game being hailed as “Baby Fed”, with the high expectations of his country riding on his young talented shoulders, Wawrinka floated under the radar for years as the shadow of Federer, “that-other-Swiss-guy-that’s-not-the-One”. Whereas Gasquet’s in his comfort zone when he rallies from a full meter behind the baseline (is Reesh the only guy who actually takes a step back when he receives serve?), Not-So-Man is more Federersque in his attitude, with perhaps even more aggressive shot-making than Federer. (Lundgren’s work?)

All this is a rather long-winded way of saying that I’m not so sure about that projected Federer v Roddick quarterfinal. And Stan is a quarterfinal opponent I’d worry about far more than Roddick.

2. Grigor Dimitrov. Is he legal? ‘Cause like … a friend wanted to know.

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3. Mentioning Dimitrov, Stan and Gasquet: we can make a pact that we NEVER call any dark-haired boy with a single-handed backhand “Baby Fed”, ever again?

Perhaps one day, a young boy will come along who can hit a forehand like this, and then it won’t matter if he has a single handed backhand, or has Lundgren as a coach. It just won’t matter. Until then, I think we can do more justice to both Federer and his baby counterparts by not comparing them falsely.

x999

4. I watched most of the completely bizarre match played by Wogie McFed on Rod Laver Arena yesterday. He was agitated for most of the second and third set, groaning at his errors, screaming “c’mons”, fist pumping a point at 15-all like his name was Ana Fistpumpovic.

There was a period where he went through a fixation with drop shots, as if to say “Imma gonna keep playin’ this until I kick yo ass wit it“. He didn’t manage to kick Malisse’s ass: X-Man’s movement was fairly spectacular. Yet despite all of Wogie’s frustrations and annoyance, he won easily 63 63 61, and kicked up the charm in his post-match on-court interview with Jim Courier.

It’s one of my favourite things about Federer in Australia. He seems so relaxed, so at ease with Jim Courier and Todd Woodbridge that a completely human side of him comes out. When asked about his mindet in the fifth set against Simon on Wednesday,  Federer drew rounds of laughter from the crowd as he half-jokingly answered: “I hope Gilles doesn’t play so well … I hope he gets tired … because then plays Sydney, then he comes here and badly prepared …”

And when Woody asked him about the 4 Swiss flags on the side of his shoes, McFed protested like a little girl, “but it’s gonna sound cocky mum, you’re making me sound cocky…” and with that, he had the crowd wrapped around his little finger. One moment, the 16 time enslammed champion, next – just a curly-haired man worried about sounding too up himself.

5. This has to be a first – Tony Godsick gives an interview about Federer to a Swiss paper (in French). Interesting last question: “Why did it take so long for Federer to impose his presence in the United States?”

Why indeed.

xx doots

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9 responses to “Aus Open Days 3-5: Ewok and Other Passing Thoughts”

  1. trublu says :

    Oh I’ve seen stealth bomber Stan before. Wimby 2009 is a perfect example. He’s explosive off both wings and his technique is sound. More than anything, it’s lack of confidence that’s kept him out of top 10.

    Maybe Stan’s making some big changes and taking his career in hand. Picking up Lundgren was a good start.
    Slightly changes the dynamic with Rajah, no? Lundy sounds as if he has a bit of an axe to grind with his former pupil.

    Ready for the fireworks with Roddick. Bring it on!

    By the by, I know Stan and his Mrs are divorcing, but he seems to be in a lot of doghouses. More to the story?

    • dootsiez says :

      Stan left his marriage of just more than one year and his 1 year old daughter, moved into a hotel and told them he wants to focus on his career. Then he announced it on Twitter.

      That is just brutal.

  2. whynotme says :

    Secret confession: since the tournament began I’ve been having nightmares of Stan being the “surprise finalist” this year….. ARGH. I know I’m going to be over-frazzled on Monday!! (well, Tuesday in Aus). Because honestly I don’t see A-Rod getting past Stan if both play like they did in their first 3 matches. I still totally trust Feddy to come through, but it’s not gonna be a walk in the park…
    Also, I didn’t get the chance/take the time to tell you earlier, but your OpenSouce article was truly awesome! I think you managed perfectly to walk the line between Fedfan perspective and ‘journalistic’ pov. Also the article has been on the front page of SI.com since you published it, which is pretty cool! I hope you’ll write more for ‘external’ media because everybody needs more of your amazing writing skills, not only us Picket Fence addicts 🙂

    • dootsiez says :

      Paulineeeeee! You’re being superduper nice 😛

      It would seem that of all the people left in the draw, the person with the most potential to be the “surprise finalist” in the AO is Stan! I’m really hoping not. I love Stan and all, but I am not watching the final with him in it!

  3. Noshali says :

    Hi guys,
    Awesome post as usual dootz.

    Can anyone tell me where I can find Federer’s interview with Courier which he did after the 3rd round match? I was watching it on TV and they switched to telecasting the Sharapova match before the interview took place :(.
    Help a girl out?

    Thanks

  4. dari says :

    way to go doots sharing your wonderful writing with the world! i see it, bam right there on the page! that’s exciting.
    ive got stan coming thru against roddick in the bracket challenge. love swiss pride, even have dreams of swiss bookends for the top ten at the end of the year, fed on one, stan on the other.
    but i do have fears if it comes to a stan/fed quarterfinal. roddick is pretty predictable, and we know that fed has had some “weird” days on court this year when he faces close friends! i of course think he would come through, but it would be absolutely close because stan is playing wild right now. wildly good, not wild as in errors, cause he is keeping those down while loading up winners. anyway, we will know all about it after tonight/tomorrow.
    ive got melbourne time DOWN.

  5. A_Gallivant says :

    I will admit I’m not looking forward to Fed possibly playing Stan, if he gets through Robredo (I TAKE NOTHING FOR GRANTED!). Stan has no desire to be a minion and chucking wife and “father-like” coach suggests something dark and sinister is afoot, and I like Stan! Isn’t it just like life though? I thought Stan was due a win against Rafa in an important major and the draw Gods give him to Fed instead. I will not be calm until Fed passes over/under that bridge.

  6. Vishal says :

    After reading this post about Stan, I am frazzling now. Go Wogie!!

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