Thursday, June 30, 2011

Two Are Left Standing - I Think

by Savannah


It's hard out there for a blogger. Especially one who isn't one of the cool kids and has to scrounge around for stuff like information and pictures. I've been at this awhile now so I'm used to having to fend for myself. Until the tennis community on Twitter blew up information was hoarded and doled out by powerful gatekeepers for reasons best known to them. I mean it's not Game of Thrones where ravens are what passes for air mail. (Just an aside - I've never understood how a bird, with a piece of parchment strapped to it's leg knew the message was for Joe Blow or Susie Smith and flew right there. From my far from professional observations they've got minds of their own.) AHEM.

Why an i talking about carrier ravens instead of Petra Kvitova (Pictured above)? Well unless you hit the photo sites accessible to all including the non cool kids you had a hell of a time finding any pictures of Petra. If you weren't in on the 411 you'd be hard pressed to know there were actually two matches played today. One involved Petra Kvitova playing against someone named Victoria Azarenka.

As you know I like pictures. I think a good picture is worth a thousand or so words at least. Facial expressions tell you what a person has been through in life, or in tennis. Of course some of us feel tennis is life but that would necessitate another much longer aside.

Petra looks elated. Excited. Slightly unbelieving. That's because she made it to the 2011 Wimbledone Ladies Final. She made said final despite going on a walkabout that lasted the entire second set. As you all know walkabouts are associated with another tennis player, one who owns SW19, but her triumphal march was interrupted by a pretender to the throne so in this post nothing more will be said about her. This was Petra's moment and she thoroughly enjoyed it.

If you were looking for picture though you were shit outta luck. There were tons of pictures of this woman though.
And I mean tons. Did you want to see her pensive? There are pictures. Did you want to see her in full flight? Again, tons of pictures. Did you want to see her returning? Look anywhere. Serving? Again just log in. Maybe you want to see her significant other? Easy.

Or maybe you wanted to see her opponent? Unlike Petra's opponent who seems to have vanished into thin air - she doesn't give post match pressers I recently found out. Seems groups of reporters don't want to talk to her in a room with voice recorders and shit. Mostly they want to talk to her one on one and she can refuse those. I find that odd since when players don't make themselves available to the cool kids words like fines and arrogant are bandied about. Dag another aside.

As I was saying if you want to see Sabine Lisicki distraught, asking herself what the hell she should do, on the verge of tears, there are a lot of those too. But not nearly the amount devoted to Maria Sharapova. As I understand it the coronation is planned for Saturday.

Seriously though if Sabine Lisicki had managed to play like she had coming into the semifinal and -gasp- won the men who run sports at NBC would've been hurling themselves off the roof of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Thanks to the crack (head) marketing of the WTA no one outside of tennis nerds would tune in to see Sabine vs Petra. Hell most of them think Petra is from Czechoslovakia. Tennis nerds don't give NBC decent ratings. Someone who has been rammed down our throats, uh, well marketed the way Maria has will draw casual viewers to the match. After all isn't she the face women's tennis wants to represent it? Sure Petra is blonde but she's not MARIA, the blonde of blondes in the WTA.

All this does for me is annoy me. Maria, a veteran at 24, has been playing very good tennis. She made herself competitive on the terre battue and was one of the players I picked to be a contender. (Another aside - we won't talk about who I picked to win it all here. She's vanished into thin air and thank goodness the cool kids don't talk to her.)

But there is a reason there is so much dislike of the Siberian Bansidhe. Do I really have to use the tennis fans as cats analogy again? It's my blog so I will. But you get the point. Just because a bunch of suits were saved from certain death doesn't mean I have to treat the Savior of the WTA as the Second Coming.

What she should quietly do is send bouquets to Marion Bartoli and Tsvetana Pironkova for their role in eliminating the main competition. Sure both women were exhausted after long injury lay offs and may have gone out the next round but no one underestimates their will and maybe, just maybe, the outcome would've been different. The asides just keep on coming don't they?

Despite the beatific expression in the above picture somehow I don't think that's gonna happen.

Maria should also be glad her opponent this year had no idea what to do with the gift of 13 double faults she was given not to mention the 3-0 lead she gave herself before going on her own walkabout. A thank you card should suffice.

Maria Sharapova of Russia will play Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic for the Ladies Championship. No picks this time. May the best woman win.


lilac said...

If Sharapova wins on Saturday, her enshrining will be unbearable. I have to say though, Evert was a check on the annointing. She called a Sharapova match with Ted Robinson who practically cheers for Maria in the booth. How many times is he going to tell viewers that Sharapova won Wimbledon at 17 and she beat Serena Williams to do it? How many times? Well, I suppose Evert had had enough. He was gushing abou the the 17-year old Sharapova and how "unbelievable" it was that she won a slam at...17. Evert said, "But there were so many before her...Steffi, Hingis, Seles, Tracy. They all won slams as teenagers." He shut up. Thank you, Chris. And I agree with you Savannah. The suits constantly tout how everyone knows Sharapova's face; how she is so popular. I can remember going to the US Open and there were billboards on the highway with her face. How could you not know her the way theyr promote her. But we all know who boosts ratings -- Serena. Any perusal of Nielsen will show that tennis viewing goes up when she plays -- and Carillo has even admitted that. But, darn it, the WTA says Maria is tthe One -- so she is the One. The One certainly relaxed when Serena and Venus were eliminated.

Savannah said...

I guess we should consider ourselves lucky that Drysdale wasn't calling the match. He always sounds like he's got his raincoat over his lap when he calls a Pova match.

And good going Chris. She got off to a shaky start and appeared distracted but she's been doing things like the one you mention Lilac all week. She is not a PovaKad. She is a WTAKAD and that makes a huge difference when she's calling a match. She's done some stupid things in the past - we all have right - but she's been good this week.

When she's in studio with Horrible Hannah she always has a smile on her face but her eyes are saying "you asshole".

Karen said...

Evert's voice grates on my nerves and so I have not been able to listen to her commentary during this Wimbledon. However, I am glad that she is at least defending women's tennis which is less than what I can say for people like Corina and Lindsay when they are in the booth, esp. together.

As for the cool kids, they are all over the internet these days telling every1 who should or should not play for your life. They are there ramming it down our collective throats who is a fighter and who is not and how this era or that era of tennis is the best they have ever seen.

As far as I am concerned no one will ever get me to cheer for the cool kids or join bandwagons. You know why? When I was going to school I was never a cool kid. I was fat (still am), black (still) and I did not travel to exotic places like all my peers. Even worse I wore glasses (still do) and I loved to read (still do).

The players for whom I cheer will never be part of the cool kids crowd because they are pros. They don't need to be part of the locker room crowd. This is pro sports not high school.