We have a blockbuster Saturday coming up in Woop Woop. Wafa faces off first match against a resurgent del Potro. Normally, I would not worry, but given Rafa’s performance in his last two matches, del Potro seems to be in with a chance to win.
In a dystopian world, my anticipation of a Fedal final would be completely derailed by both delPo and Satan.
BUT IT IS OKAY.
Unlike every other tournament, this time in Woop Woop, we get a second chance to reach Dootsie’s ovarian happiness. FEDRINKA plays Dolgopolove and Xman in some kinduva alternative dream doubles final.
Either way, the firelog routine – IT HAS TO HAPPEN. I WILL DIE OF A THOUSAND SQUISHY PENGUINS IF IT HAPPENS.
OOP – STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
 R Nadal (ESP) vs J Del Potro (ARG) – ATP
 N Djokovic (SRB) vs  R Federer (SUI) – ATP
Not Before 3:00 PM
 B Mattek-Sands (USA) / M Shaughnessy (USA) vs S Mirza (IND) / E Vesnina (RUS) – WTA – DOUBLES FINAL
Not Before 4:00 PM
A Dolgopolov (UKR) / X Malisse (BEL) vs R Federer (SUI) / S Wawrinka (SUI) – ATP – DOUBLES FINAL
They were the best of the rest, and the worst of the rest. These are the outfits that have made an impression in 2010, for one reason or another.
Let’s start with the worst, shall we? There is always something sinfully fun about criticizing someone else’s outfit.
1. Caroline Wozniacki, Australian Open til Roland Garros
Oh Stella, Stella, Stella. As far as clothing’s concerned, Ms McCartney has been everyone else’s favourite punching bag for 2010. But there is a reason for that: which part of shapeless, slate-grey rags with leaf patterns suggest “fashion hit” to you? Just look at poor Carol’s indignant face of pain OH WAIT –
That’s her normal game face.
2. Caroline Wozniacki, US Open til Will-This-Ever-End?
It’s semi-sheer. There is some form of bodice/bondage with horizontal stretch marks on the fabric. It hovers over her upper thigh, leaving you wondering where “the rest of it” has gone. Is it possible to give CWoz – a young, fit, female athlete – bulges where bulges do not exist?
Why yes! As Stella would say, “Impossible is NOTHING”.
3. Victoria Azarenka, US Open Series
I geddit. I geddit! Nerd is chic. Socially awkward, borderline Aspergers folks like Mark Zuckerberg are all the rage, programming your life into “walls” and “pokes” and “relationship statuses”. It’s okay. It’s about time.
But COME THE FUCK ON. There is nothing remotedly chic about wearing the double helix.
4. Aravane Rezai, Gold Foil 2010
There is so much gold foil going on here you wonder how many Lindt Bunnies died to make this dress. Don’t go around wearing this near a microwave oven now.
5. Aravane Rezai, Life in Plastic, It’s Fantastic.
Ever seen one of those “eco-fashion” shows?
They’re a bit like the modern Emperor’s New Clothes. Everyone claps along politely and talks about the importance of sustainability, environmental protection, when all the while, they are furiously trying to figure out why there are models parading around wearing ACTUAL PLASTIC BAGS.
That was how I felt, upon sighting this horror.
6. Marin Cilic, Davis Cup Tragic
I do not fucking care! No really. I do not. Whatever your national colours; however strong your “team spirit”, there is no excuse for wearing a picnic blanket on court.
7. Marin Cilic, US Open Tragic
Own up. Which one of you menstruated over him?
(I DID NOT WANT TO SAY IT IT CALLED OUT TO ME TO BE SAID)
8. Sam Stosur, First Half of 2010
There are many things to be said about this orange-ish, peachy, shapeless mess. But I believe Jodi of Tennis From Beyond the Baseline summed it up best when I ran into her at the Australian Open earlier in 2010:
“No one needs an apricot dress.”
Those are some of the worst outfits I personally remember in 2010. Have I missed any other travesties of international proportions? Lemme know.
But until then, without further ado: the best of the rest.
1. Gael Monfils, US Open
It was his first year with K-Swiss, and already, they’ve captured Gael’s personality so much more accurately than Nike ever did.
I don’t love or hate the clothes and hair per se. If Wogie had walked out looking like that, I would be banging my head against a rock hoping I destroy enough brain cells to make me forget it all.
But on Monfools, it all fell together to look so … Monfoolish. Likey likey.
The black and neon green version was also a little be funky.
2. Sam Stosur, US Open
This reminded me of Flavia Pennetta’s US Open 2009 dress, it was crisp, it was fitted, and I don’t know about you, but I personally have no issues with female athletes actually looking like female athletes.
Want to promote positive body image for young women? Celebrities posing nude for fashion glossies don’t help in the slightest. But seeing someone like Sam Stosur exude fitness and strength does.
The dark purple version, which was also lovely.
3. Pretty In Pink
What is it about Victoria Azarenka that just looks so good in pink?
If “real men wear pink”, then ironically, girls-gals often look horrendous in pink. Sure – it’s a feminine colour, but too much feminine pinkness can make it look like you accidentally ate Hello Kitty for breakfast.
Vika, on the other hand, gets the balance right in both her Australian Open and Roland Garros outfits.
That’s another thing: happy young people looking like happy young people. A point the likes of Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic often miss in their effort to look photoshop-worthy on court.
Talking about pink, I thought Alona Bondarenko looked like a teenage dream in her Australian Open dress.
4. Vera Zvonareva, Roland Garros 2010
Like Vera herself, K-Swiss is rather underrated. The colours are fresh. The combination of the pleated skirt and the simple tank top is sporty and feminine.
She doesn’t get many fancy, seasonal outfits every year, but you can always depend on Vera Zvonareva to look professional and sleek, 100% of the time.
5. Michelle Louder de Bretter, Wimbledon 2010
My favourite dress of the year has nothing to do with fancy tulle, vibrant colours or original designs. At the end of the day, it comes down to simplicity, class, and something that I can picture myself wearing. Not to mention, I love white and navy.
Anyone know who it’s by? I thought she was with adidas?
Always loved Wimbledon fashion – the white dress code has the effect of forcing everyone to try harder to stand out, as is the case with Venus Williams.
Love it, hate it, everybody’s talking about it. For my part, I don’t mind a little cha cha cha. She has the body to pull it off, so why not?
They say imitation is the best form of flattery. I think JJ still likes you, Woger.
Nice dress though. The folks over at Anta have outdone themselves.
It’s one thing design barflike dresses, quite another to charge people $300 for it. Yes, that’s you, Stella.
A dress that actually looks like tenniswear: the mind – it boggles.
For future, reference – this is called a BOLERO, not “some-weird-jackety-thingymajigue-that-Serena’s-wearing”. And she looks prim and classy in her strawberries-and-cream inspired gear. Nice one, Nike.
Masha finds herself looking sleek and corporate in a cropped blazer.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the definition of a good fit.
This is the definition of the opposite:
Honestly, can Zheng Jie get any cuter?
Don’t mind the dress, hate the white leggings. Good thing we won’t be seeing more of it then.
What’s your favourite Wimbledon outfit this year? Do tell!
We’ve only completed 4 days of play at Roland Garros and already, drama abounds, tempers are flaring … and the crowd? Just as vocal as ever.
All these elements came to an unfortunate mix during the match between Gael Monfils and the freaktastically named Fabio Fognini.
LaMonf took the first two sets 6-2, 6-4 and seemed to be cruising his way to victory when FabFog staged a furious comeback, winning the third and fourth sets 7-5 6-4. He quickly took at a 3-0 lead, but LaMonf found his brain in time, rallying to level the final set at 4 all.
Then the clock struck 9:30pm, and all hell broke loose.
Fabfog requested that umpire Carlos Bernardes stop play because of poor lighting on Phillipe Chatrier. Monfils resisted, and Stefan Fransson – Mr Head Bitch – came onto the court to hear out both sides of the case to no avail. Players argued, fans jeered, and the elder Fognini in the stands made time-out signs, signaling to his son that it’s time to bring out the stall tactics.
Stall he did, and understandably so. Soon, FabFog found himself climbing up the umpire’s chair to plead his case. But Bernardes have having none of Fognini’s eyebrow magic and awarded the Italian a point penalty for time violation. By this stage, the small but raucous crowd was hurling abuses at Fabfog.
Dude, these people stormed the Bastille and chop off their king’s head, yer just don’t cross them.
Fognini eventually reconciled to his fate and held on to a difficult service game for 5-4. Monfils quickly got behind 15-40, giving FabFog two match points. But with both players cramping into the darkness, Monfils saved match points and play was suspended due to what was charitably termed as “poor light”.
Time on the clock? 9:56pm.
Post-match, the senior Fognini, who goes by an equally imaginative name of Fulvio, accused the tournament officials of favoritism.
Indeed, what kind of favoritism allows an umpire to be bullied into submission by a partisan crowd, yet won’t allow Free Shirt Gasquet an extra day of rest after a grueling couple of weeks, or listen to the request of their local No 1.
Q. So you didn’t want to play on Sunday? So you’re surprised, I suppose. You’re French No. 1, we’re in France, this is a French tournament and an important one. Were you surprised? Did it get on your nerves to be imposed to play on a Sunday?
JO WILFRIED TSONGA: I expected this question, to tell you what I think about this. Frankly, I was a bit disappointed because I was playing on a Sunday. I had asked not to play on a Sunday, absolutely, because I had practiced in such a way that I thought I wanted to play on a Monday or Tuesday, to be totally fit.
But they imposed it on me. I had to play on a Sunday. I have to accept the rules. This is the game and this is it.
Now, if you’re world No. 80 and you’re not that important in the hierarchy, if I can say, loads of things are imposed on you in this case. What really bothered me is that, you know, if you look at Murray, if he decides on a day or hour at Wimbledon, nobody’s going to impose anything on him.
For Federer in his country it’s the same. In the U.S. I suppose it’s the tame thing for the best American players. I think that Lleyton probably plays in the sun during the Australian Open because he loves the sun and other opponents don’t like the sun. He wants to play in the sun.
Today we’re in France. I’m French. I’m French No. 1. I would have thought it was legitimate for me to be listened to, that I would be given a choice. They should listen to me when I wanted to play or start.
But I accepted the rules, and that’s all. I’m disappointed. That’s true, because I expected a bit more from the organization and the rest, but this is the way it is. I mean, had I lost on Sunday because I was not feeling good, then many people would have been disappointed. This would have been a bit silly, I think.
But it wasn’t the case, so I’m here, and I’m fit. I’m ready to play. This story will continue, and that’s the end of the story.
Some kind of demented favouritism that is.
Not to be outdone by the controversies of the men’s tour, the women of tennis staged their favourite kinda show – cat fight. This is war bitches.
When asked about the media attention on Rezai despite Bartoli being the higher ranked player, Marion replied:
“I don’t give a damn,” she said. “I don’t need this to be motivated, frankly. I’m not jealous about anybody else’s results. I don’t envy anybody. I do my job every day.”
When asked about her ambitions, Bartoli made an apparent reference to Rezai when she said, “There is no ambition, you know. The player who had ambition is the player you mentioned before.”
Rezai zinged back.
“Marion is a difficult girl. She already attacked me two years ago when I reached the final in Istanbul,” said Rezai after reaching the French Open third round on Wednesday.
“If she has a problem with me, I don’t know, because I did nothing. That’s a bit of a shame, but that’s her education. She has attacked me many times in the press. I don’t have the same education as the one she has.
“I think I have respect for players. I get on with many people. But with Marion, it’s very difficult. She has difficulties getting included with the other girls.”
“That’s her education”? Oh Aravene, paraphrasing the Head Bitch now, are we?
Of course, all this feuding just serves to remind us all of one thing: WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF WAR BITCHES.
It’s time to stock up on popcorn, sit back and watch mayhem unfold.
1. Call it mayhem. Call it decapitation. But with Stosur, MJMS and Rezai rounding up clay season titles on the WTA world tour, and JJ, Venus and Justine in ominous form, we’re in for a more suspense-filled Roland Garros on the women’s side than on the men’s.
The ones missing from the party, however, are Dementieva, Dinara, Sveta and Sharapova. The first 3 should’ve guarded the clay season as their home turf, the latter has BYOed her hard court game to clay in previous years and made it work, as gloriously ugly as it was.
But this year, a handful of Premiers have gone by without the Gen-Y Vanguard making a mark.
Tis unfortunate, it must be said.
2. And what of Rezai?
Her burst onto the big scene has wreaked havoc. In a good way.
The girl’s powerful without being a tree, she plays with such chaotic abandon that she literally shocks her opponents into submission. She’s straight-talking, she’s feisty. She wears a gold dress and she’s an Iranian French. In other words, she’s the very antithesis of the WTA starlets we all know and love/hate.
Somehow, it makes her zingingly unforgettable.
Q: Well, that was a well deserved win today over one of the favorites for the French Open, Jelena Jankovic. Tell us more about it.
Rezai: Yeah, she is a great player, she has a cool game. But today, I was obivousely too good for her and she disliked that, and I hated her attitude at the net, she barely touched my hand during the handshake and I did not like what she said during the postmatch interviews.
Q: What was the difference between you and her today ?
Rezai: Well, I played like a top 5, just like I do since the beginning of the tournament. There is no other explanation as far as I’m concerned.
Q: You look upset by what happened with Jelena during the handshake as you’ve just said. Is it cold between you two ? Do you know each other well ?
Rezai: No, as a person she’s horrible, I mean her attitude, but as a player, she’s okay. She has great shots, but I think she should not behave like a diva on the court.
JJ v Rezai rematch at Roland Garros. MAKE IT HAPPEN, TENNIS GAWDS.
2. “The Queen to visit Wimbledon”. “Wimbledon appoints first official poet”.
Oh Wimblydondon, you attention-whore. GET IT RIGHT IT’S ROLAND GARROS TIME – NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOU … yet.
3. If the Australian Open feels like – yer know – appointing its “first official” nursery rhymer, the “CONTACT DOOTS” button is right at the top of this page. JUST SO YOU KNOW.
4. A few links in the fall-out from Fed v Nadal, which is very much still the topic of the week.
- When the KAD shows up in the writer (Tignor)
- When writer run out of new things to say (Bodo)
- When the writer wants to turn a molehill into Mount Everest and get some cheap hits (Bruce Jenkins)
Just when I thought I’ve seen it all … OH WAIT – I have. :O
5. And so it goes, the supposed “renewal” of the Federer/Nadal rivalry has brought up the dratted GOAT debate again, this time with a supposedly ‘new’ dimension of Masters v Slams.
A couple of things about the idea of ‘GOAT’ – I’ll be one of those kids in the playground who just doesn’t play make-believe games. I don’t believe in GOATs.
Or more precisely, I don’t care about GOATs. I expend energy in cheering for Roger to win on court, but off-court? In a war of words? What do I care if 60% of tennis fandom thinks he’s the best player we’ve ever seen and the rest 40% devote their lives to rebutting that hypothesis?
He’s my favourite player, I want to get in his pants. That’s enough for me to know, really.
Besides, according to some of the freaks out there in tennis fandom, a person cannot be the greatest of all time unless he or she has won 1) the most number of slams, 2) on all surfaces, 3) has a winning record against every single player, 4) is No 1 for the most number of weeks, 5) is utterly unbeatable, all the time.
If such a mythical creature existed, call me.
But for the sake of argument, I’ll put 3 caveats on this Masters > Slams idea that’s raging like a nasty bushfire through tennis fandom this week:
- It’s a bit like playing a game til the end, then finding out that the game rules have changed. Picture yourself in Federer’s pant- err – shoes: you spend your career being the “grand slam man”, building yourself up to peak for 4 tournaments a year and win as many as you can outside those 4. Suddenly, you get to the very top echelon of the game only to find out that – alas – slams aren’t worth as much as they use to. Masters 1000s are the shit to win after all. What kind of a game is that?
- How many Masters 1000s would Roger Federer be sitting on if 3 were played on grass each year? More than 16, to say the least.
- If I had to put money on it, I’d say Nadal would end his career with an obscene number of ATP 1000 titles. He’s 23, he’s guaranteed at least 2 a year, and anything else is gravy – you do the maths. But note that Federer is sitting on 16 ATP 1000s right now, 2 behind Rafa. All the clay court Masters are over. Federer’s fit. He intends to play til the age of 35. Ivan Ljubicic won Indian Wells this year. Somewhere in all those statements, I had a point, which is that we’ve watched Nadal chase Federer’s slam counts all these years, now we have a rather neat parallel of Federer chasing Rafa’s Masters count. Ultimately, I think neither will get there, but there is a sort of poetic symmetry to it. Besides, as the adidas saying goes, “IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING”.
Or as Nike would say: “JUST DO ME.”
… yes you, Lleyton Hewitt. Dignity had to be maintained, and I am at least glad you didn’t get bagelled – you got breadsticked instead. 61 63 61. Mind you, start of the second set looked okay for Lleyton, but the rest of the match … ayee …
Does anyone find it incredibly saddening whenever they watch the likes of Hewitt and Ferrero against Nadal these days? It’s the same feeling I get whenever I see someone with an old-school iBook G4 next to one of those shiny, sleek, new-gen silver MacBooks. There’s an inevitable nostalgia about it all.
Never mind now, off to the blessed grass courts for you Rusty. I’m not so sure about winning it, but a second week is doable depending on the draw.
For once I agree with Fred Stolle, whose commentary I followed last night – some things have to be stamped out at a young age, and spare me a few moments to cast a glare at Larcher de Brito, the 16 year old wunderkid who had no mercy for my eardrums last night. Having been a long time defender of Sharapova’s grunts in the past, it’s probably slightly hypocritical for me to then turn around and whinge about Larcher de Brito. But if you thought Maria Sharapova was bad, this kid makes Shazza sound like a kitty cat in comparison.
Imagine turning on your TV with your cuppa, ready for some relaxing Friday-night tennis, only to be left spluttering over your coffee by the bloodcurdling screech emanating from a sweet looking 16 year old girl. The worst part of it isn’t the pitch or ferocity of her screech, but the length of it. You know you’ve gone overboard when your scream is still going as your opponent returns the ball. And really, there is no cause for a grunt when you hit a drop shot. Come on now …
My-oh-my, Venus Williams, what more can I say?
So I know Szavay played a great match – remained calm and focused. But at the same time, Venus just simply never got into the match. Honestly, it’s been a while since I’ve seen her play this badly. The serve wasn’t digging her out of tricky situations, the groundstrokes were wild, her timing was completely off. She would’ve lost to a lesser player than Szavay playing like that. The fact that she put up such a performance at a grand slam further highlights how bizarre the whole thing was.
In my pathetic attempt to remain positive: as many rightly pointed out, so what Venus Williams lost in the 3rd round at the French Open? The last 3 times this happened she went on to win Wimbledon. Yes she did.
Man, I’m so sick of clay.
What’s weirding me out even more is the fact that Ana Ivanovic seemed to have clicked, at least judging from what I’ve seen of her in her last two matches. The wonky ball toss has been mainly under control, the forehand is fearsome once more and the fist pumps as excessive as ever. I can go back to my not-so-quiet dislike for the girl now, can I? Not so fast, I’d like to see her score a top 10 win at some stage.
Talking about the girls, Dinara Safina has lost 4 games in 6 sets. Move over, Clay Monster, meet Rafinara Nadafina. Anne Keothavong should be feeling better about her loss.
The only real good news for me from last night: Maria Sharapova has progressed to the fourth round, and I’m still feeling like a proud mama about it all. Not only has she defended her points from last year to prevent herself from further slipping in the rankings, she’s gotten plenty of match play, and exceeded everyone’s expectations based on her performance at Warsaw. Still very rusty, but that will power is enough to get her through most matches against a field of neurosis.
Flashback time: Maria Sharapova fourth round last year at the French Open, seeded no 1 against an underdog Safina, telling the French crowd to “allez up your f*cking @$$“. Booed off court in a stinker. This year, Sharapova outside the Top 100 (Safina now “the real” world No 1), the famously fickle French crowd back on Maria’s side as she slugs past each of her opponents as the Comeback Queen. What a difference a year makes.
PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images
Li Na v Sharapova next round. Oh why do the Draw Gods do this to me? Sad face. Sad face for the pair of them. But that section of the draw should be interesting now that Venus has bowed out.
Am now keeping my fingers crossed for Carla Suarez Navarro, whose match against Azarenka got suspended at one set each.
Overall, not a good night for me as far as my tennis faves are concerned, made slightly worse by the fact that I decided to go through the Roland Garros website only to find the fans’ sections filled with rude haters. Hoping for better tennis tonight.