Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Idle Chit Chat AO Edition Day 3

by Savannah

My oh my what is a blogger to do? There were no drunken riots in the stands. There were no slow motion "posterior" shots of Venus Williams for
Roger Rasheed to drool over. Wonder what his wife cooked him for dinner last night? When it comes to Venus posterior no lesser being than Shamil Tarpishev was caught admiring it at one point. Since Venus posterior is now taken I guess they'll have to content themselves with Serena's.


The day was so quiet the "b" as in boring word comes to mind.
Then again there was the wailing of Andy Roddick's fans who were wondering what the hell he was doing trying to imitate a patient thoughtful player out there? I have to admit seeing Andy hit a moonball or two or three did give me pause but could it be Andy is just trying to do what tennisheads have been whining that he should do and play at a less frenetic pace, think about what he's doing on the court and to accept that hard and harder are not the only two speeds at which a ball can be hit? Not doing it for you kiddo? You say he's sick or injured or something? Coming off a bender? Whatever. Jimmy Connors didn't seem to mind. If he plays like that in his next match we'll talk.

Hype Ova
There was also the much anticipated match between Mama Lindsay and the BanSidhe. The only memorable thing about the match is that Maria's version of the dress has the pockets on the side so there is no unsightly vajayjay bulging. Shoulda known Nike would make the Golden Girl look good. The dress does look good on television where you can't see that it's made from that fabric usually reserved for inexpensive curtains. I think the folks on "Project Runway" would've given the designer an "F".

Notes on an Ego
Yahoo Tennis posted a picture of Roger Federer kicking back during a practice session reportedly attended by hundreds of fans. I hope he did more during that practice than he did during the one I observed during the US Open. Of course Rafa was practicing at the same time so I can't say my attention was fixated on Roger but when I did tear my eyes away from Mr. Nadal-Parera (And his uncle. Let's not forget his uncle) all Roger was doing is pretty much what he's doing in this picture except he was staring at Rafa. Mirka wasn't there to scurry around and pick up balls for him while wearing flip flops like it's reported she did during one practice session in Melbourne but then again she didn't need to be.
It's rare that I post a picture with the caption but this one left me speechless - well obviously not totally speechless since I'm busily writing this for you but you get the idea. I guess his opponents will soon have to enter the court prostrate in the presence of His Royal Highness. His consort will be at his side in designer flip flops.

Swiss tennis player Roger Federer (R) is watched a large crowd while taking part in a training session on an outside court at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, 16 January 2008. Federer dispelled any doubts about his fitness with a straight sets first round demolition at the Australian Open, 15 January. The incomparable Swiss was in imperious form, reeling off a 6-0, 6-3, 6-0 victory in just one hour 14 minutes in the night match on centre court. Federer is vying for his 13th Grand Slam crown, which will edge him to within one of the record held by American Pete Sampras.He pulled out of his customary lead-up Kooyong Classic exhibition last week with a virus and there had been concerns about his limited match preparation heading into the year's first Grand Slam.

Maybe they should say the imperious form that got him such a stunning victory was against a much lower ranked player? Nah. Why ruin it for a casual fan?

Fashions of the Day - Or Not

Juan Carlos Ferrero's Lotto outfit was sophisticated and fit for tennis. Great look for Juanqui.

Aravane Rezai's outfit made her look like a housewife in the burbs making a quick run to the store in her house clothes.

End Notes
Tennis is frustration. Tennis is joy.

Yuan Meng

Elena Dementieva


Craig Hickman said...

I saw that picture of Raja and laughed.

I'm one of those Andy fans who complained. My problem with that performance is that he's still got to mix in some aggression with the off pace, thoughtful stuff and approach the net on his own terms. Serve and volley isn't hit hard and harder tennis. Counterpunching is a mentality as much as a style of play. That mentality doesn't work for Roddick because he doesn't anticipate well enough. We'll see how he moves forward. Like you said, if he brings that against Kohlschreiber then...

I must say that I was bored by the day's tennis as well.

Savannah said...

The fact that Connors didn't look pissed off leads me to believe there's a method to the madness.

We'll see.

oddman said...

I agree, Savannah. Interesting about Cahill's comments too, how Andy falls away from his volleys and net play, instead of leaning forward and coming into the shot, he's leaning away, as if trying to get back to the baseline.
Not a match to store on the old videotape, for sure.

Karen said...

Savannah, usually I like your post and love your biting commentary, even when it is against Fed, but ths one about Fed at his practise session really takes the cake. As can clearly be seen from the picture, everyone including the fans seem to be looking at something and having a good laugh. Perhaps it would be good to find out what everyone seemed to be so amused about. On another note, Roger might have killed his first round opponent, from the look of things all the top seeds, except for Murray seem to be killing their opponents. As a matter of fact on the men's side a majority of the matches have been so one-sided. Not competitive at all. Roger cannot help it if he is much better than the rest of the tour, that is why he is No.1. What would have been arrogant of him, is if he was not taking his practise and training sessions seriously.

Savannah said...

But that's just it Karen. In public, by my eyewitness account, and in private - rumors about what was going on before Tony Roche got kicked to the curb - he really doesn't. Now maybe he and Mirka have a system worked out - I did give them props in my salute to the coaches post - I don't know. Maybe because there was so much talk about his lackadaisical approach to practice he's taking them more seriously in Melbourne.

As long as people come out beholden to the "name" instead of fighting like hell the way they do if they're playing either Williams sister or Rafa he doesn't really have to practice so hard does he?

I do think the commentary from Yahoo was over the top and that is what I was responding to.

Savannah said...

Oddman I got to sit down and watch part of the second and all of the third set last evening. Nice how Cahill keeps trying to do tennis commentary that revolves around the tennis being played on court isn't it? His comments about HOW Andy was playing made me pay closer attention and see that Andy was falling backwards. I was noticing a little hitch in his serve I've never seen before but maybe it's because I wasn't paying that much attention. Craig is that a new part of his service motion?

oddman said...

I'm no expert by any means, but I watch Andy alot, and it just seems like he's not playing the same as he used to. What Cahill said really seemed to ring true, his whole stature on court just wasn't assertive. Usually when Andy hits the ball you hear this solid 'crack' sound, not in this match. He's hitting it hard like usual, but it just doesn't seem to have any 'juice'. He also seems to wait just a tiny bit too long to watch his own shot before getting ready to hit the next ball, and that slow response just can kill him. Watch Rafa - as soon as he hits the ball, he's positioning himself to be ready for what comes back. I think it's right for Andy to get up in the court, but not to charge in too early like he tends to do. Frustrating. I'm hoping for some better play from him, these two opponents really didn't challenge him much.

Karen said...

Savannah, point taken. Oddman, it would seem as if a lot of the players do not have much of anything to be competing in the AO this year. From the looks of it many of them are coming out flat. I have watched Justine, Jelena, Serena, Venus, Andy and Sveta and a couple others and everyone just does not seem to be able to find a rhythm. They are winning their matches but that is because of who they are and as champions you find a way to win, even when you are not playing your best. That being said, hopefully we will see some more matches like this morning's marathon between Marat and Baghs. Very good match. Caught it at the end of the second set and watched until it was finished. Good to see Baghs overcoming fatigue to pull out the win. That fellow really neesd to get more fit

Craig Hickman said...

I agree with all that has been said about Andy especially Oddman's point about Andy watching is shots instead of preparing for the next one.

Savannah, I haven't noticed a change in his service motion, but if you did, then it's probably there.

If Jimmy is condoning a falling away from his shots style of play, then I'll just keep my mouth closed.

But Andy won't be winning anything big unless he steps it up and starts mixing in some ball bashing with all the cerebral counterpunching.

Savannah said...

I don't know if Jimmy is condoning it or if it's a bad habit he's gotten into. Cahill said it was leaving him out of position and having to scramble to get to the return. Andy is not fleet of foot and he's taking precious seconds away from himself.

As for him admiring his shots I really laughed when I read that Oddman because it's so true.

As for the "hitch" he goes through his normal routine and just before the ball toss there's this pause, it's like he jerks his body. It's not a long pause but I noticed it last night. Like I said it could be something he's been doing all along and I just never noticed.

I'm going to be paying more attention his next match.