[Video by the most excellent @nadalnews.]
A lot of stuff happened during the weekend. Some of it had genuine tennistastical importance. Let’s get our primary-school-reading-hour on and look at the pictures instead.
Clinch tie, hug Jesus.
The best thing about this pic is the opportunity to follow Pico’s eye-line and decide for yourself what he’s laughing at.
Have you ever seen a more meticulously coordinated cheering section? Well done, crazy Germans.
Apparently, if the win the Davis Cup this year the Serbian team is going to jump out of a plane. Here we see Janko experimenting with parachutes.
David Nalbandian. Boss.
With L-Rob still to play, it’s been a mixed bag for the English ladies and gents in the first round of the singles. By which I mean that the ladies did all the work.
Llodra d. Ward 6-3 7-6 6-3
Mayer d. Evans 7-6 7-6 3-6 6-4
Stakhovsky d. Cox 6-2 6-4 6-4
I didn’t hold out much hope for anyone but Evans (and holding out hope for Dan Evans says more about me than it does about him, I fear), but I came over all emotional watching Ward go down. I’ve never been a particular fan of his, but his performance at Queen’s created the momentary illusion that he might start doing something and I was disappointed for him that he didn’t start here. Not that there is any disgrace in losing to Llodra on grass.
Keothavong d. Broady 6-2 6-4
Zakopalova d. Webley-Smith 6-3 5-7 8-6
Date-Krumm d. O’Brien 6-0 7-5
I’m just going to focus on Annie K here, because I feel like I watch her maneuver herself into a winning position in the first round of every slam before she remembers herself and it all slips away. It was so refreshing to see a commanding win for her today, even if it did come at the expense of one of her own countrywomen. She has Kvitova next, which is an entirely different proposition but a great opportunity.
On the subject of English and British tennis: EMILIO SÁNCHEZ VICARIO’S BLOG is worth a read. Unless you’re likely to take offense at the description of Andy Murray as “the English child prodigy”. We come from a confusing nation.
Grand Slams have a special way of being unfair. They have a knack for bringing two people who have suffered set backs, disappointments, heartaches or heartbreaks and settling them uncomfortably next to each other in the draw. At Roland Garros it was Virginie Razzano and Jarmila Gajdosova. At Wimbledon, Serena Williams and Aravane Rezai.
By all accounts, Aravane has had a horrible year on a personal level, and her results reflect that. As much as it was pure joy to see Serena winning again, watching her opponent play so very well and yet walk away a first round loser was no fun.
Which is all a long way of saying: I hope she kicks on and builds on her performance today. And I hope Serena doesn’t stop winning.
Young d. Murray 7-6(4) 6-3
Is it useful to talk about what happened? Probably not. He can’t be everything we hope he’ll be and think he can be all the time.
How about some things to make us feel better? Yes? Yes.
“You’re lucky I didn’t record it, Tori.”
Did I send that video to Jamie and accidentally make him think it was me? Maybe. Oops. Nonetheless, it’s a stunning piece of film making.
Andy and Jamie are playing dubs 4th on court 7 today. Against Quisner. Who seem to have remembered how to win matches. Apparently Jamie has a foot injury that stopped him from training yesterday. So… that should go well…
The above photograph was taken last night. It raises many questions, but I think that the most important to your life and mine is that regarding his “formal ‘do”. Wet-look. It’s a persistent problem which manifests itself regardless of the company he’s in. Walk with me.
He was accompanied by his girlfriend on the evening the above photograph was taken. An implication of approval which makes her complicit in the wrong.
Even Roger is smirking at his styling. Oh, that’s just his face? Okay, but you know what I mean.
See how Andy leans back to inspect it further as he laughs like the dork that he is. As a wise man once said, “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” And when you have a Murray mocking your ‘do, it’s got to make you question your choices.
” I’m just sad that I had to play Roger this soon in the tournament. I was feeling good. I was hoping to play a very good tournament, but the draw was tough. Even with a very good match from me, it was not enough. “
The Little Chicken gave an interesting, classy press conference after having played an interesting, classy match. I’ll admit that my tennis watcher’s jet lag meant that I slept through the first two sets but when I rejoined the human race I saw some brilliant tennis. I saw plenty of Federer mistakes but the most striking thing was how fantastically Simon was committing to his own game, not letting Fed right the ship. He was the adventurer, pushing in the most positive way and it was paying off.
I had to leave at the start of the 5th set for an exam (my failure in which I will be blaming entirely on GOAT-man) and I sort of knew as I walked away who was winning that match. It was going to be the guy who always does this to us. If it hadn’t been, I’d have been elated, but really surprised. Perhaps because I didn’t have to sit through it, though, I don’t really care how Gilles lost.
It was a pleasure to watch him play and to be shown that good tennis is still as powerful a force as it ever has been, even when it seems like there are concrete blocks at the top of the game blocking out some of what we love about it. Even if Fed blasts through the rest of the tournament without losing a set, I’ll have this to look back on as I vomit. So, thanks, Adventure Chicken.