Wimbledon: Week 1 Tidbits

1. With some players, it’s love at first sight. Some floor you with a single performance. But some players grow on you like warts and moles. They may not have been your favourites to start off with, but as they approach the autumn of their careers, you realise that even without ever actively liking them, they’ve become part of some of your best tennis memories.

Andy Roddick is a wart. Having been bored by his game and stardom for almost all of his career, I found myself feeling desperately anxious for his future as he was knocked out 76 76 64 by Deliciano, a player he has never lost to before in 7 attempts.

This is not to discount the astounding performance from Lopez, who showed some uncharacterstic shallots to win the first two tiebreaks, meticulously plating up 28 aces and 57 winners on Centre Court. A minor upset this may be, the result actually reflects Deliciano’s form of late, which has mostly been obscured by some close losses – to Roddick by the narrowest of margins in Queens, and to Federer at Roland Garros and (rather epically) in Madrid.

2. Mentioning Deliciano, he was the subject of a rather public twitter spat on masculinity with Justin Gimelstob. Gimelstob had said in passing that Delish was ‘always looking at himself in the mirror and talking about women. Very metrosexual.’

Lopez hit back on twitter: ‘Its funny when people like Gimelstob talk bullshit without knowing me at all. He did not learn what respect means as a kid.

Naturally, Gimelstob has apologized profusely since then. But this isn’t the first time Gimel has gotten into trouble with his insecure, dumb jock rants, recall the Anna Kournikova incident of 2008.

I wonder if the apology Anna received was half as heartfelt or timely, or if Gimel will ever learn not to take people at face value.

3. For a country whose only man left in the draw is Farty Dish, it’s no surprise that Ryan Harrison is drawing attention, after he lost to a 2 day marathon against Ferrer and his own temper. 6-7 (8), 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

“I think I can win this tournament. I want to win it. Grass suits my game. If I’m serving well, I’m not going to get broken.”

Harrison was fined three times at Roland Garros for his outbursts, once at the Australian Open and once during Wimbledon qualifying.

I’m intrigued, partly because the guy seems like the American incarnation of Bernard Tomic, both in temper and the kind of sheer cock that makes Roger Federer seem as modest as a mouse in comparison. He’s Sam Querrey, with a touch less dork and a lot more fire. Seems like a combination that wins – not hearts – but significant matches.

4. Mentioning Tomic, I mentioned earlier this week on Twitter that I have made peace with the boy. Not because he’s Australian. Not because he has the kind of game that is gradually gaining the requisite mobility and aggression to back up his thinking on court. But simply because the guy’s 19.

Tomic has been in the spotlight for so long as a teenager that we’ve forgotten just how young he is. And as far as teenagers go, we’ve all met a few dicks in high school who turn out to be perfectly good human beings later in life. If we gave Lleyton a second chance despite his early years, Tomic deserves one too. I have no interest hating on hormonal teenagers still looking for themselves.

5. Is there a more exciting upcoming player on the WTA than the big serving, aggressive, beautifully toothy Sabine Lisicki? Boom Boom took out Li Na in a 3 setter over the course of the week, and has not last on grass since her quarterfinal loss against Safina here at Wombly in 2009.

And behind that gorgeous smile, you know there’s a sign of an alert eagerness and hunger for success. Now we just have to hope her body keeps her in the game long enough to establish herself. All I know is that my ass is firmly glued to this bandwagon like a hipster to an indie band.


6. Best match of the week, brought to you by Kimiko Date Krumm and Venus Williams. Two veterans. Two contrasting styles and heights. Power v timing. Shotmaking galore. Fierce charges to the net on wild stallions.

But tell you didn’t secretly wish that Martina Hingis was watching and feeling a little inspired by Krummy’s fitness and the way she handled Venus’s power?

What if? … Just what if?



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6 responses to “Wimbledon: Week 1 Tidbits”

  1. steve says :

    I’ve always liked Roddick, his feistiness, classic rants against the officials (“Stay in school kids, or you might end up becoming an umpire!”), his respect for other players, and immense professionalism. And I hope he wins the cup at Wimbledon someday, though hopefully not at Federer’s expense.

    His postmatch interview after getting shellacked by Federer at AO in ’07 is absolutely hilarious. You have to watch it to understand what I mean:

  2. Joan Moore says :

    Andy is sometimes his own worst enemy, but you gotta love him for his honesty. If I didn’t have any better questions than those on this tape, I would keep my month shut

  3. Matt Zemek says :

    Great thoughts, Doots.

    (Something as regular as Federer mixing fab deuce-court down-the-T serves with an occasional spectacular miss….)

    I’m all aboard for Mean Lean Gluten-Free Sabine. A quarterfinal with Serena? Thermonuclear serving power. Gimmie dat!

  4. jbs10is says :

    in fairness – keep in m ind a certain swiss hack was incredibly er, fiesty as a youngun’. he learned to control the temper, keep it cool and he’s done ok for himself!

    i have similar hopes that ryan will control that temper on court; he’s already making improvements on it, and as with tomic; kids only 18. things to like about him? work ethic. he’s not taking wildcards any more, not even competing for the French wc available in the states. He wants to earn his way into main draws. Or at least, get in as a lucky loser…. 🙂 he’s also got a helluva game. all court, creative and fearless. doesn’t alway execute properly, but who does! :)))

    funny, I’ve always found tomic cool on court, no outbursts, to the point of tanking a match not going his way in IW (walked out of that one). getting ticked at hisself for losing would have been a better sight than the lackidaisical shuffle around the court, imo. but hail, it was me out there in the sun in front of everyone. its his off court that seems to need a makeover.

    always somethin’ with kids – isn’t there! the one thing in common with these guys? they’re both talented, and could do some damage when they grow up. So I’m cutting them both some slack for a bit!

  5. Katarina_YYZ says :

    Gimelstob deserves a d**k punch more than anyone I’ve ever seen (and I’ve never even met him). There’s something unsettling about Harrison… all sugar-and-spice nice, down-to-earth guy one minute, raging lunatic the next.

    I don’t wanna see any ‘tude from the kids till they win at least a Masters 1000.

  6. roadrunnerz says :

    I’ve always had a soft spot for Andy. Maybe his game isn’t the most exciting in the world and the umpire bashing isn’t the most endearing, but I adore him off the court. He’s as passionate for the game as Fed is, and I think for that reason he’s always been one of Fed’s biggest defenders (another reason to love him) I’ve always wanted him to win Wimbledon.
    Lately it seems like every major Andy runs into a player playing the game of his life against him and then promptly flunking out in the next round (as I write this Lopez is about to get ousted by a freaking qualifier…). Make me so bitter !! >:-/ Seriously, there should be a rule that if you oust Andy from a major you have to at least MAKE SOMETHING OF IT!!
    Of the new kids…I like Dimitrov the best. With Raonic, I like the player, the game not so much. And the reverse wwith Tomic. And, lastly, with Harrison, I’m not crazy about either.

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