I'm a tennis junkie. There is no Twelve Step Program to help people like me. We get up at ridiculous hours to watch matches played somewhere where the time difference can be twelve hours or more.
Except this year I'm not doing it. I didn't watch any of the ATP matches in Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur. I watched one match per night from Tokyo, sometimes only one set per night of a match. And I'm not apologizing for it. I understand the importance given to Asia by both tours but from what I see the people of Asia haven't exactly warmed to the sport, at least not enough to fill the huge stadiums where matches are played. The stands are sometimes embarrassingly empty.
Keep in mind that I only watched the WTA event in Tokyo. It could be that more people showed up in South Asia and I'm sure readers will let me know.
That said I have to say that Nadia Petrova played like the player that reached #3 in the rankings in Tokyo. One of the best matches lots of fans never saw was her match against Sara Errani. It went three sets and was a war from beginning to end. Errani will always have to scramble because of her height but in the end Petrova was hitting groundies that left vapor trails.
The match I'm sure most fans heard about was Nadia's match against Samantha Stosur and not because Nadia destroyed her. Stosur, mentally fried and apparently having a problem with her back left the court. The always lovable Ricardo Sanchez, the man who destroyed Jelena Jankovic's career and verbally harassed Venus Williams during a match between the two "forgot" he was mic'd and said something about waiting for this "fucking bitch" referring to Stosur.
Stosur fans are a lot like Roger Federer fans. I said a lot like not just like. No fandom is as, how can I say, fanatical as Federer fans. Still from the reaction on Twitter you would've thought Sanchez cursed her mother or something. Petrova cracked up after Sanchez made the comment. The Tennis TV comm said that the comment reflected real life tennis talk. I saw less of a reaction when it was revealed that Victor Krason counseled his daughter Caroline Wozniacki to throw a match, something that only Polish speakers would understand and that changed betting patterns in Europe among those in the know. As for Sanchez doing a Flavor Flav complete with oversized stopwatch/clock it was basically crickets except for dedicated Venus Williams fans.
But I digress. Calling someone a "fucking bitch" is normal now. It can be a term of endearment. It can be an expletive. It depends on intent. Sanchez wasn't using it as a term of endearment but really people get over it. He could've used the word that starts with "c" that I absolutely hate. Grow up people.
Anyway back to Nadia Petrova. She was the best player in Tokyo and deserved her win over Agniezska Radwanska in the final.
Richard Gasquet won Bangkok.
Juan Monaco won Kuala Lumpur.
This and That
Serena Williams withdrew from Beijing. And the bashing has begun again. How quickly some in the tennis world, fans, writers and comms alike, forget how much tennis Serena played this spring and summer. She won Wimbledon,singles and doubles, Olympic Gold, singles and doubles and the US Open. It's sad that this has to be repeated over and over isn't it? Haters you know where to line up.
Did anyone really think Roger Federer wasn't going to play in Asia to defend his ranking? If you did I've got a bridge to sell you. Or maybe you'd like that beach front property in Arizona? I also never hear any criticism of the long breaks Federer takes between events. I think it's called managing his time well. I guess Serena has no idea how to manage her time well. Or shouldn't. Victoria Azarenka has cited "general fatigue" for her withdrawal from Tokyo. Yet it's only Serena who is called a "malingerer". Go figure.