Tag Archive | Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Aus Open Day 10: Hormonal.

1. As masochist as it sounds, there’s a certain thrill that comes with watching Federer get through a match while not playing at his best, while his opponent was redlining his game for spurts of 4 – 5 games every set, when every second serve felt like it was going to come zapping back, humiliatingly out of reach, too fast, too heavy, too hot to control; when would-be point ending forehands wouldn’t be point ending, and every prolonged rally felt like an opportunity waiting to be missed.

Federer v Tsonga Aus Open 2013

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Wimbledon Men’s Preview: A Conference of Anti-Experts.

Doots: Alright bitches. Let’s get down to business. First thoughts on Wombly draw?

PJ: Looks good for the Old Man, looks good for Rafa, whatever for Djokovic and LOLOLOLOL for Muzzface.

LJ: I’m overwhelmed by the amount of WTFckery 1st round matchups we have.
Kohli vs Haas: WHYYYYY? Both would have made good runs to 4th round.  Read More…

It Only Seems Automatic

There was this match at the French Open. You might have heard about it.

Roger Federer, frustrated to the fullest possible extent, was trying to find his game, trying to pry open an opportunity, trying to gain an escape hatch against a man he immensely respected. Down two sets to love in the high-stakes poker game known as a major-tournament tennis match, Federer once again found himself in the position that tests a professional like none other. Trailing by a substantial margin and unsettled to no end, Federer encountered his worst critic – himself – and had to deal with the human voices that are always the most unsparing: the ones that lie within. Read More…

Roland Garros Day 1: That Tricoloured Bubble.

Despite having never been a fan of Roddick at any point during his career, there is still something thoroughly depressing about watching him lose first round at a grand slam. Even if he did lose to a Frenchman … in France … on clay – by far his least relevant surface. (It may be of relevance to mention here that the Frenchman in question had a win/loss record of 1-9 at Roland Garros coming into the match, so clearly, the said Frenchman is not your typical, dreaded clay machine). Read More…

Roland Garros Preview: A Conference of Anti-Experts. Pt 1

Ahead of the French Open, your Aussie blog mistresses – Doots, PJ and LJ – convened for a cosy fireside chat of the anti-experts in place of your usual ‘draw analysis’, pointless predictions, and French Open themes. Best enjoyed with a glass of wine, a hint of sarcasm, and a dash of hope.

Read on and enjoy! 

Doots: So I posed a question on the blog yesterday about the lesser of two evils between Rafa and Novak. Obviously now that Roger has drawn Novak, this is kinda redundant but what did either of you think about which is the “easier” side?

PJ: I actually hope for Federer to land on Rafa’s side of the draw. If I have to take another 2011 redux where he plays brilliant to beat Satan and then fart to Rafa in the final…I may just jump into Yarra River.

Doots: But surely a final is better than a semifinal?

LJ: It is, but fuck – losing another French final to Rafa? Seriously every time I venture onto the Roland Garros website, I cry a little looking at the scoreline.

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How did ‘e do zaaaaat?

At some point in our lives as tennis fans, all of us have taken a look at Roger Federer, with his bouncy curls, swooshy polos and trophy-studded life, pulling off an impossible shot while skipping through fields of tulips, and wondered out loud to ourselves:

How did ‘e do zaaaaat?

These questions have come far more often in 2012 than in previous years. It has been pleasantly surprising to discover that even as time takes away some aspects of our former talents, we can still get better. This year, Roger Federer has reacquired that leech-like ability to simply cling onto his opponents for survival, no matter how hard they try to pull him off. Read More…

Tennis 2012: It Has Started…Sometime Ago (by PJ)

Well, hola to y’all, from PJ.

Belated Happy 2012 to all Fence-readers on the behalf of our beloved Fence-keeper Dootsie (who is currently lying on a Portugal beach, living out of a suitcase and living the hell of a dream life…am I jealous? HELL YES)!

The tennis season has officially begun…like 5 days ago. There’s always some sort of buzz, I feel, to these tournaments.  As a prelude to Australian Open, these tourneys – all at a modest ATP250 level – don’t seem like the biggest deal. But they represent the players’ ground to test their game and test their fitness after the holiday season of food and fun (except if you’re Murray, then you don’t have fun). They allow players to suss out their opponents/rivals, and perhaps stamp some authority going into the first Grand Slam of the year.

And so, as we reached the tail-end of the year’s first few tournaments, I just want to quickly blog and share some thoughts as the Happy Slam approaches (I will be there. Federbear ala PJ will be there. And I hope I will not be dying).

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Report from Abroad: All of the lights.

There comes a moment in every girl’s life when a teeny little voice in her head says: “hey Doots, go to friggin Paris this weekend.

It was this little voice I followed last Thursday, as I headed to the City of Lights where Bercy – the last Masters tournament of the year – just “happened” to be playing. Oh what a coincidence … right?

As a tournament, Bercy has always been considered the least of the Masters. Being the second last ATP tournament of the year, it is the one most plagued by pull outs, retirements and walkovers, populated by a partisan and often hostile crowd, and not to mention being played in quite possibly the most hideous stadium I have ever seen.

The POBP complex was built to resemble mossy molehill with grass growing out of its sides. Grass that could not be sat on, walked on or played on and thus serves no apparent purpose other than to scream “LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME!” and perpetuate Paris’s unfortunate relationship with modern architecture.

Oh man, it all went downhill fast after the Eiffel Tower …

But architecture was not what I came to Paris to see, and luckily for me, the inside of the Bercy stadium had the energy and buzz of a heavyweight boxing contest: the dimmed lights, the club-like intro to every match, the excitable crowd and MC … everything about it was perfectly primed for hardcore tennistical showdown. After months of travelling, the atmosphere had me salivating for some live tennis action – namely Federer v Gasquet.

Despite booking tickets separately, Picket Fence readers Whynotme, jfK and myself managed to beat the slim odds and be allocated seats randomly next to each other. Didn’t take long for us to whip out the Roger merchandise …

Even though he was playing a Frenchman, a sizeable contingent in the crowd stood vocally behind Roger. This was somewhat an anomaly for this part of the world – the Parisian crowd has always had notorious reputation for partisanship. Normally I would disapprove of their eagerness to boo players at every opportunity, but as a spectator in and amongst them, it was fabulous.

Every emotion you felt from the stands was shared and heightened by those around you. Matches became far more interactive than they normally are. And despite my uneasiness about some of their behaviours, I’ll say this in defence of the Bercy crowd: they either treat a player like a slug or like their prodigal son, and they are just as likely to boo someone until his neck sinks back into his torso as they are to weep tears of joy at his triumphs like a horde of proud mamas.

Woger clearly fell within the “prodigal son” and “non-slug” categories as far as the French crowd was concerned. It was evident to all his opponents that Federer more or less enjoyed a “home crowd advantage” whenever he played in Paris, even against the Frenchies.

While at the tournament, I saw 3 of McFed’s matches – against Gasquet, Monaco and Berdych, and in all three, he was simply divine.

You forget about it during the year, but every indoor season, I am reminded of the reason why some of my favourite Federer wins have come at the year-end tournaments: there is something about Federer on an indoor hard court that is simultaneously devastating and stunning. It’s almost as if he does away from much of the subtleties in his game during the indoor season, and just decides to whip out a hammer and start bludgeoning his opponents off the court with scorching aggression. Never has violence been so entertaining.

Compared to the relative ease with which Federer wrapped up his first Bercy title, the other quarterfinals and semifinal I saw were more representative of the overarching themes of the indoor season – physical struggle. They were more about stamina, service games, tiebreaks, about keeping your head above water and your body injury free:

Berdych and Murray was a marathon of see-saw momentum, long rallies, never-ending games and a crowd cheering, groaning, throwing their arms about at every point being won or lost.

Tsonga v Isner was about French nationalism on full display – flags flying, feet stomping, chants echoing through the stadium, 10,000 people inhaling in unison – before erupting with revolutionary fervour when Tsonga danced around the court in victory … I arrived everyday nervous and pumped, and left each night with my ears ringing with the sounds of live sport.

Mahuteau. JUST BECAUSE.

To top off my days of perfection spent at the tennis, there is something about being in a foreign country that makes you do things you wouldn’t normally do, or more precisely – make requests you wouldn’t normally make …

Get your barfbags ready aaaaaand cue music.

In case you were wondering, I was totally shitting myself … MULTIPLE TIMES cool about it, told him I was from Australia and wished I didn’t have toilet bowl hair wished him luck, then considered fainting into his open arms moved back to admire from afar.

Ahem. So yeah. One piece of advice – don’t look like such a complete retard if you ever meet someone you have a mild crush on.

Roger was so sweet with all his fans.

I never made it to the Bercy final. It seemed like a shame to come to Paris without seeing the city away from the grassy slopes of POPB, so on the advice of Paris local Whynotme, I headed out on finals Sunday for some serial ice-cream eating culture at the Centre Pompidou, which instantly overtook the Bercy Stadium’s status as the Greatest Showoff of a Monstrosity in Paris. Oh Pareee, why?

Urgh. 

“Modern art”. Apparently.
(Just kidding, the permanent collection was actually wonderful.)

Me: I LOVE *slurp* ICE CREAM! *slurp* IT’S MY FAVOURITE *slurp* THING IN THE WORLD. *slurp slurp slurp burp*

Whynotme: … Really?

Me: *slurp* OF COURSE!

Whynotme: You like ice cream more than you like Roger?

Me: …. okaynoidont.

This was before I had FLOWER SHAPED ICE CREAM though. Maybe I like FLOWER SHAPED ICE CREAM a little bit more than I like Roger. Just a little.

After a long day of grappling with “modern art” and ice cream, I finally got the call I was waiting for from Whynotme, who watched the final live.

Wogie won!!” she screamed over the phone.

UARRGGGHHHOMIGOSH! HE WON?!” I shrieked back in English, causing nearby French pedestrians to glare at me like I just farted into their sofa.

We met up later for food, celebration and an evening stroll along the Seine. Everything was so endlessly charming and quaint.

Perhaps it was because of Roger’s win, perhaps it was simply that Paris is so glitteringly handsome at night, but at that moment, I felt so completely sated with happiness.

xx doots

P.S. Many thanks to all those I met up with in Paris for making my trip so perfect! You know who you are.

Weekly Wrap: There’s still some tennis going on.

Hello, Picket-Fencers! Thought I’ll help upkeep the Fence with wrapping up the week’s tournaments as it happens. As you all know, Roger is skipping Shanghai, and he won’t be seen on a tennis court hitting yellow fuzzy balls until Basel, which is like 5 weeks from now…

HOW DO I LIVEEEEEE WITHOUT YOOOU?? BUT I WILL SURVIVEEEEEEEE!!!! (even my song choices reflect my schizophrenia/bi-polar/split personality disorder)

Anyway. I’ve watched next to zilch tennis so I’m just writing quick wrap-ups based on news articles/tweets/my own random observations.

Florian Mayer finally struck jackpot on his fifth try, beating Pablo Andujar (also known as The One who Farted 8 SPs against Nadal in RG) in the Bucharest clay court tournament, becoming the 9th first-time winner on the ATP tour for the year. He didn’t have to face a seeded player until the final though, with Disco Tommy Robredo and Granola Bar all bombing out early. I have to admit I paid very little attention to this tournament as I’m not a huge fan of clay and the field didn’t hold my attention…so congrats to Florian Mayer, hip-hip hooray.

Now the Moselle Open in Metz, this I paid more attention to, because Crazy Ponytail Dolgopolov was playing, as well as Jo Tsonga and Papa Ljubs. Those three managed to reach the semi-finals as per their seedings (with 2nd seed Reeshie Gasquet losing rather tamely to Gilles Muller in the quarter-finals) – and Crazy faced off against Tsonga in one semi.

I was really really REALLY hoping for Crazy to win this, because

1)      I harbour Wimbledon angst and rage against Tsonga (don’t care if I am being unreasonable, nyaaar)

2)      I actually like Crazy more than Tsonga. I thought Dolgo had a realistic chance seeing he beat Tsonga the last two times they met.

3)      How awesome would it be for Dolgo to grab another title!??! Awesome for me anyway 😛

But alas, it was not meant to be. All it took was a bit of crazy gone wrong and a bit of Tsonga brilliance at the end of both sets, and that was enough for Tsonga to seal the win 6-4, 6-4.

Boo hoo hoo.

Jo then faced-off against Papa Ljubs in the final and laboured to beat the old guy in three sets, winning his first tour title since 2009. This takes him to number 7 in the race for the WTF and he’s looking quite good to make it.

(On an off note, I cannot believe The Berd is still in the running at 8th place. Seriously?)

Over in Guangzhou, and on the more feminine side of things, Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa snatched her first WTA title, beating Magdalena Rybarikova in the final (and beating no.1 seed Maria Kirilenko en-route to the final). Previously she has never been past the quarter-fiinals of a WTA tournament (and if I can be honest, I’ve vaguely heard of Scheepers and never heard of Rybarikova…either this is really a Minnie Mouse tournament or I need to watch more women’s non-Slam/non-Masters tennis).

Hopping across to Seoul, a favourite of Fence Owner Dootsiez, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez won her first hard-court title, beating Galina Voskoboeva in straight sets and two tiebreakers. MJMS is back and making some noise on-court again, hopefully, after a period of time where she had been relatively quiet.

That’s all from me for now. See y’all in the interim if there’s any Federpants tennis news to blog about. I’ll be hoping to update more about the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur simply because it’s my home tournament – but with Headsmashy Youzhny pulling out, I’ve admittedly lost a huge chunk of interest, so we’ll see. I hope Kolya turns in a good performance and I can blog about him winning a week from now. 😉

Till next blog,
PJ

P.S. Y’all want Federporn? Go bug LJ 😀

Tsinging In The Rain (by Matt)

It was just a major quarterfinal. The opponent was just Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a prodigious talent but a man who, at the end of the day, has made only one major final (and did not win it). For the man who has everything in tennis other than an Olympic singles gold medal (and he diminished that setback by winning a gold in doubles – charmed life, indeed), why should yet another quarterfinal matter so much?

This is a commonplace event for Wogie McDodgie, after all – the graybeard (in tennis terms) (PJ: It’s Gramps and he’s getting is walker/wheelchair if according  everyone else) notched his 30th straight major quarterfinal appearance earlier this week. Once more with feeling, players of Federer’s stature play for championships, not quarterfinalist’s paychecks. We know this.

So why, then – just WHY does this 4, 3, and 3 win over the Tsupreme French Tshotmaker with the Tsizzling Tserve make us all feel… so… good?

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