The known-knowns.

Oh hullo, lovelies! How’s Zombie Jesus weekend treating you all?

It’s been a while since I’ve properly had time to check in on tennis and within that time, Rafa has taken his 70-billionth Monte Carlo title; Ferrer has firmly established himself as the second best clay courter of the season thus far; and Wogie has gone McDodgie on us all again, as another semifinals-or-better streak bit the dust on the terre battue.

Which leads me to my point:


WELL YOU THOUGHT WRONG! *tosses a Federbear into a clowder of feral cats*

Melzer compares jaws with Murray

Phewww! Don’t mind me. Just had to get my acidic, corrosive RAAGE out there. Now that I feel much better, please let us continue:

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know. – the eloquent wisdom of Donald Rumsfeld, Our Great Teacher of What-Not-To-Be-In-Life.

What do Volandri, Stepanek, Wawrinka, Montanes and Melzer have in common? It seems that in every clay season since 2007, Roger Federer has given us one of those unknown-unknowns of tennis losses – unpredictable, random, dispirited, and in all sense of that word – a genuine upset.

But while the opponent in these losses may be an unknown-unknown each season, the pattern of loss is known-known:

  • tightly contested sets, often featuring tiebreaks or multiple breakpoints on both sides, all of which Federer would inevitably lose with the kind of frustrating calm that makes you want to PUNCH HIM where the future of Swiss tennis is stored;
  • a spirited opponent, looking comfortable, if not confident for the majority of the match
  • B-level game, nothing to warrant total doom or direness (Montanes notwithstanding) but nonetheless, the kind of tennis Federer brings to these occasions always seems to stand in stark contrast to the energy and gusto of his opponents

The match against Melzer had all of these elements. It was disappointing because Monte Carlo would’ve been the perfect place for Federer to gather some steam, with its moderate-to-high level of competition and strange status as a “near-Masters”. But at the end of the day, it was a fair loss to a better (and very likeable) opponent, on a day where rough winds did shake the darling curls of his head.

Shall I compare thee to a cow's testicle?

Didn’t see much of the match between Murray and Nadal, but judging from the score line and post-match buzz, it was a bit of a thriller. Once again, I was reminded of how much the tennis landscape is filled with the known-unknowns. One minute, you could be the Australian Open finalist, jetsetting around the world with an unhinged jaw and 125% more teeth than the average human being. The next, you’re getting your ass whupped by Bogomolosomething and the esteemed members of the British press. Two weeks later, you’re on your worst surface, sailing through routine wins over solid opponents, and taking the ONLY set off Rafael Nadal on clay for just under a year. Things change, often with unexpected speed – that much we know we don’t know. Or something.

By the way, just how many sets do we think Nadal is going to lose on clay this year? I’m going with 4 in total.

Don’t mind my cynicism, I love Nadal. What I don’t love is the clay surface, compounded by the utter sheer lack of unknown-unknowns during this part of the season. It’s one of the reasons why I love watching Federer on clay and Nadal on a fast hard court (if they still existed). We never quite know which version of them we’ll get.

But cynicism aside, Monte Carlo was a strange kind of win for Rafa. There were moments when he looked vulnerable, error prone, off in Mirkaland Xiscaland. But the next thing you know, he’s up a double break and about to close out the set with a love service game. And all of it went by so quickly that you wonder if you’d imagined it all, simply because it’s you wanted to see, just to break up the monotony of the known-knowns.


What else is there to say? This week, over at the Rafael Nadal Open in Barcelona, Dodig became the only non-Spanish player to progress beyond the quarterfinals. He’s joined by Almagro and Ferrer, but SPOILER ALERT: someone called Rafael Nadal wins.

On the vaginal side of things, Sam Stosur scores what seems like her first solid win of the year, taking out Vera Zvoom 26 63 76(3), while Dinara looked inches away from death at some point during her 64 26 64 quarterfinal win (over Pivovarova) – two women trying to stop themselves from slipping into the Wild Moor of Lost Souls and never returning. Elsewhere, Caroline Wozniacki exacts revenge on Petko, and Maria Sharapova collects a handsome appearance fees in the Bahamas. Good times for the Weird Sisters Tennis Tour.

That’s it from me. Hopefully, this is a return to what I hope to be more regular bloggage, after a spate of virus, assignments and work took over my life. Enjoy your long weekend (5 days for us Aussies this time, hee!), I must be off to take care of some Lindt bunnies.

xx doots


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10 responses to “The known-knowns.”

  1. lo says :

    Nice post, but is it too much to aks to read about tennis without having my beliefs being mocked? 😦

    • dootsiez says :

      Ah no mockery was intended Lo, that is just the way I write (and talk) about all things. I forget that it may be unpalatable to some.

      Unfortunately I can’t sensitise my writing to please everyone. But I offer my apologies if I’ve offended you. It wasn’t intended to be a slight on your beliefs 🙂

      • gamegrrle says :

        Well here’s another KNOWN KNOWN for ya…


        It’s a magnificent melange of silly, sassy, slightly salacious, and IN YOUR FACE commentary combined with a legitimate and astute understanding of tennis to rival that of the so called professional, BOORISH BODO or any of those other PAID writers over at or anywhere else for that matter.

        Jesus…people can be soooo sensitive… (hehehe, no offense intended) 😉 It’s not like your attitude and writing style is new to us…or that it’s your job to write for the public…it’s a blog for Christ’s sake…

        Don’t change a SINGLE, SNARKY, BAD ASS word, girl…

        Your venting is sometimes the only thing that can facilitate the desperately needed catharsis following a particularly tough Feddy loss, or it’s just the thing that takes a Feddy celebration right over the top into giddy school girl glee! My girlfriends and I pass along one of your celebratory postings so that we can communally gloat and revel in the glory of our mighty Feddy!

        And most importantly…you provide an invaluable service to all Federoholics everywhere…


        I’ve personally been remiss in providing the promised porn I gathered while taking pictures, sitting 2nd row courtside, right behind his chair while attending IW this year. I couldn’t find the cord I needed to download said photos onto my computer and then after his less than stellar performances since taking those photos, I’ve been so disheartened that I’ve been too lazy to get around to it…

        Not to mention, I’ve been rehabbing a torn meniscus I got while playing WAY TOO MUCH tennis…but I digress…

        THANK THE TENNIS GODS FOR YOU DOOTS…because through everything you’ve got going on…you soldier on … and continue to bring us the best blog out there! Honestly, I have to say I was a little bummed that we didn’t get the requisite post-tournament re-cap from you that I didn’t feel I had gotten closure! So thanks for the extra effort!

        Anyway, I’m not looking to start anything here…this is all coming from a girl who BEGGED her parents to send her to Christian Bible camp during the summers and who was proudly mocked for the smudge on her forehead on Wednesdays…I just feel very protective of you and your right to be as BAD ASS as you want to be and not have to apologize for it!

        Keep up the great work!

  2. Marcoiac says :

    Good to see you back with a vengeance. This post has the usual great humor. I am glad I didn’t watch Fed’s loss with Meltzer. I would still be furious, I think. He’d better be more impressive in Madrid and ESPECIALLY ROME 🙂

  3. Deborah says :

    2009 and Hamburg 2007 excepted, I hate clay court season. Did I say, I hate clay court season? Now, it looks like there is an effort to turn the entire tennis season into some version of clay court season. If it were not for Roger, I would excuse myself from all this misery.

    • Marie says :

      This was great: “makes you want to PUNCH HIM where the future of Swiss tennis is stored” You have such a way with words Doots. Roger will be back with a vengeance in Madrid so shield your ovaries.

  4. dari says :

    I thought you had let it go!
    silly me.
    i just hope roger is practicing his cute loser tush off in suisserland and is ready to play the way we know he can in madrid!
    thanks for the post, i was kinda hungry for doots-speak and had been combing the archives. it was all still so fab, thakns for the great site!

  5. BS says :

    The clay court stretch is my least favourite part of the season too. Sharapova and Federer don’t generally do extremely well and so I can never get too excited. I know I’m getting ahead of myself, but I just can’t wait for Wimbledon. I just love grasscourt tennis 🙂

    It’s so hard to tell where Federer’s at these days. I’m very interested to see how the next couple of tournaments unfold because I don’t think Rafa will win all of the clay events this year and I think if he is to lose, it will be in Rome. He’ll probably go and prove me wrong now 😛 I don’t think Djokovic is going to be as much of a factor as the experts are predicting either.

  6. caliope says :

    all i know is that it is not as interesting when woogie isn’t playing…

  7. Katarina_YYZ says :

    it wouldn’t be Easter if doots didn’t say something sacrilegious and quote Donald Rumsfeld 😉
    I guess if Roger is to have a WTF loss every clay season, this is not a bad one. And Melzer is a more respectable opponent than people are giving him credit for. I hope Ferrer pulls of a “miracle” tomorrow 😀

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