Friday, September 5, 2008

Commentary US Open 9/04/08 Day 11

by Savannah

Once again real life decided to intrude on my tennis. With tomorrow expected to feature rain, rain and more rain I thought it might be prudent to get out and put some vittles in the freezer. I'm not the type of woman who goes out and shoots something to feed my family so I went to Whole Foods and purchased beef, lamb, chicken and seafood. It's now in the freezer. I live in New York. If I was to walk into Central Park, Van Cortlandt Park or the New York Botanical Gardens with a hunting rifle I think you all know where I'd end up. Now that the food situation is pretty much taken care of I can focus on the verbal throw down between Andy Roddick and Novak Djokovic that has pretty much been the topic of discussion since Novak decided to get back into Andy's face over the comments Andy made at his presser re Djokovic's penchant for falling ill during matches.

If you want the bare cold facts Craig has posted them including the video from last night. His entry leaves me free to speak my mind about this latest brouhaha involving Novak and/or his family.

Allow me to ramble a bit. The first reason I turned off Novak was his behavior during his match against Gael Monfils where he gave the impression he was drawing his last breath before being miraculously resurrected and going on to win that match. I'm not a Monfils uber fan but poor sportsmanship is poor sportsmanship.

Novak's next appearance on the stage, I mean court, that bothered me was his performance against Richard Gasquet in Estoril. Once again he appeared to be near death, gasping for air and unable to compete. And once again he seemed to be the recipient of a miraculous cure as he ran and leapt like a gazelle in closing out the match against Gasquet.

I guess the family got jealous because they really put on a full scale production at this years Australian Open. Mr. and Mrs. Djokovic created a distraction in the stands because some French tennis fans were being very vocal in their support of Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The Djokovic's called security and tried to have the miscreants thrown out. They weren't, but security remained nearby just in case the wild eyed French tennis fans took out their frustration on the poor innocent Djokovic family.

After that we didn't see the parents for awhile. They were of course at the Slams. Who can forget Roger Federer having to tell them to shut up? As for their offspring he had become quite selective about his performances. I mean he would pull shit against people he felt were lesser beings but you rarely if ever saw him pull it against the top players or in the top tennis venues.

I say all of this to put Andy Roddick's comments in context. During Djokovic's match against Tommy Robredo many fans were cheering for Tommy and telling him not to fall for the okey doke. I guess Novak considered Tommy worthy of seeing his full repertoire. He had problems with both ankles, breathing and I forget what else but there were at least four medical timeouts for various and sundry problems. Robredo, rightly outraged, called him on it. Naturally in Andy's post match presser the subject of how he planned to handle the Serbian thespian came up.

I've seen the video clip. When he's not behaving like a Neanderthal on the court Roddick can be pretty funny. I thought his comments in the context of the presser, were made in a joking manner. It's a long established American habit to exaggerate the number of things that happened or didn't happen to or around someone. I mean when someone says there were at least fifty million people in the street we know that there weren't literally that many people in the street but that it seemed like it. It's just like saying everyone and their brother attended an event. There were a lot of people there not literally everyone and their brother. This is what Andy was doing when he said Novak had at least sixteen injuries by now. It was a funny.
(I hope I don't offend any Neanderthal's out there. It might be better to say that sometimes on court Andy behaves like a first class jerk.)

I guess the Djokovic clan didn't get Andy's joke. With all the help the McEnroe family gives to Novak you'd think someone would have explained to them that Andy was just kidding about sixteen injuries. That Novak has now been booed in Melbourne and New York, two places where you would think he'd have a large fan base, is serious business. Not like you can plaster his face all over New York now is it? It's often been said that Novak would be ideal as the face of men's tennis especially since he speaks English well.

As someone who can speak another language I can tell you that idioms are the hardest thing to translate from one language to another. The cultural references that go into an idiom are often not learned by the non native speaker for a number of years. I think this is what happened here. At least I hope it is since I can't believe Novak seriously wants tennis fans to think that he is really all that fragile at times. I mean he did admit to the Monfils chicanery didn't he? Or does he really think his "people" will get his ass out of this current sling?

Some fans have said his parents could counsel him on how to work and play better with others. Really? The two people who were leading chants of "Nole" from their box as the crowd rightly booed their child? The ones who called security on fans in Melbourne? I don't think so. I think "Nole" has learned his behavior patterns from them and that it's too late to change them. As we say here, fruit don't fall far from the tree. I mean when Srjdan Djokovic physically challenged Serbian broadcasters for not being supportive enough of his son what do you expect his son to do? And just think, there are two more Djokovic sons coming up.

US Open Champions
On to more pleasant news. Trophies have been handed out.

Congratulations to Leander Paes of India and Cara Black of Zimbabwe Mixed Doubles Champions 2008 Us Open

In what has become a rare sight this year Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan hoist the trophy as 2008 US Open Men's Doubles Champions. Congratulations to the Bryan twins.

Junior Report

The boys semi finals will feature top seed Yang Tsung-Hua against number three seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria and two unseeded players. Devin Britton of the United States will face Filip Krajinovic of Serbia.

For the girls the number twelve seed Kristina Mladenovic of France will face unseeded Coco Vandeweghe of the United States. You will remember Coco is the girl who got a WC into the main draw and faced Jelena Jankovic under the lights for her first match. Another United States prospect, Melanie Oudin, seeded number two, will play Gabriela Paz Franco of Venezuela.

End Notes

There was a match played between Novak and Andy last night. I wouldn't utter the words "drop shot" anywhere near Andy for the foreseeable future. The match should've gone five and Andy would've won. Just sayin'.

I'm not quite sure who this pretty young woman is but according to Yahoo she's Novak Djokovic.
Yahoo Link. I wonder if they mess up all their sports galleries the way they do the tennis gallery?

The ATP and WTA have finally agreed on a live streaming platform that will begin in 2009.
The events that will be incorporated into the streaming platform include: the Medibank International in Sydney; the Open Gaz de France in Paris; the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championship, Dubai; Pacific Life Open, Indian Wells; Sony Ericsson Open, Miami; the Family Circle Cup, Charleston; Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Stuttgart; Internazioinali BNL d’Italia, Rome; Madrid Open, Madrid; Qatar Telecom German Open, Berlin; International Women’s Open, Eastbourne; Bank of the West Classic, Stanford; East West Bank Classic, Los Angeles; Western & Southern Financial Group, Women’s Open, Cincinnati; Rogers Cup, Toronto/Montreal; Pilot Pen Tennis presented by Schick, New Haven; Toray Pan Pacific Open, Tokyo; China Open, Beijing; Kremlin Cup, Moscow; Sony Ericsson Championships, Doha; Rolex Masters Monte Carlo, Western and Southern Financial Group Masters Cincinnati, Shanghai Masters, BNP Paribas Masters, Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, Rotterdam – ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament , Hamburg - Hamburg Open, Memphis – Regions Morgan Keegan Championships, Acapulco – Abierto Mexicano Telcel, Dubai – The Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, Barcelona – Open Sabadell Atlantico Barcelona, Washington – Legg Mason Classic, Toyko – AIG Japan Open Tennis Championships, Basel – Davidoff Swiss Indoors Basel, Valencia – Open De Tenis Comunidad Valenciana.

The full announcement is HERE
Now if only the suits could do what Wimbledon does for the US Open so that fans who do not have access to or have only limited access to the US Open experience can, for a fee, see matches they want to see.

Goodbye USA Network
I was surprised to hear them say they'd been doing the US Open for twenty five years. During that time tennis fans who have access to the network get to see complete day coverage from day one up to the quarterfinals. CBS comes in on that first weekend but after that it's back to the pros at USA. I've had my problems with the talking heads but when they got particularly fan-girlish or boy-ish there was the option of turning the sound down. The best thing was knowing that if it happened at the Open USA was there. I wonder if ESPN would have cut away to a fishing program instead of following USA's example and staying with Michael Barkan's on court interview of Novak? Going by past actions of that network vis a vis tennis I'd say yes. It would have been left to fans to find out that the sparks did fly and then waiting for someone, probably overseas, to posting video on YouTube.

You guys will be missed. I'm sure all of you have been picked up for duty next year and we'll see you again. ESPN has very large shoes to fill.

Thank you.


calle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
calle said...

Hello Savannah,

first of all, thanks for a great tennis blog, I found it by chance searching for something tennis related on google. I've been reading it daily during the US Open.

About Djokovic's reaction to Andy's joke, if think you are wrong. He got that it was a joke. The problem was that it was spot on.

Now back to Serena Dinara, after a wonderful match between the two best counterpunchers it's time for the big hitters. Sad that there hasn't been any exciting womens matches up to the williams-williams fin... sorry QF.

All the best from Estonia!

Savannah said...

Calle welcome! I thought your first post was incomplete and I'm glad you came back to it.

As for your comment about Djoke getting the joke, well, of course you're right. I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt.:)

Don't be a stranger.

calle said...

Thank you!

More one sided affair than I expected tonight, will be interesting to see if Serena will continue her streaks of easy win in the final. Jankovic can be a wall sometimes but I guess Serena has the fire power to break through, but if I remember correctly JJ won their QF meeting in AO.

On the subject of television coverage, in Europe Eurosport broadcasts the slams except Wimbledon. Tomorrow when the matches will be early due to risk for rain we will miss most of it because of cycling... Eurosport, your number one in tennis according to their slogan, except when summer ski-jumping interferes with Roland Garros or reruns of biathlon during Indian Wells. :)

Craig Hickman said...

I love your ramblings, Savannah.

I think calle is right. Djoke knew that Andy was calling him out, even while joking.

I'd love to have been a fly on the wall during their locker room chitchat.

Karen said...

As we say in Jamaica - the truth jook him and that is why he responded like that.