Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Rear View Mirror: Australian Open 2016

by Savannah

I've seen the question asked several times on fan forums and never get answered. I don't think I'll get an answer here either but I'll ask the question: What happened to Novak Djokovic's health issues? Remember when he was always retiring from matches due to breathing problems? Or physical problems? Or something unquantifiable? It wasn't that long ago. All of a sudden those issues disappeared and now we seem to have some kind of iron man with the same name as the one who was known as, and still is by many, Fakervic. "They" don't like to talk about it but when pressed some injury or another will still pop up and if his opponent reacts to it with concern it disappears and he's off again. He did it to Andy Murray at last years Australian Open but no one wants to talk about that. What they want to sell you on is that using a hyperbaric pod after a grueling match is not blood doping. Here's the secret: it is blood doping. They will come at you and say that the ATP/ITF/WADA hasn't said it's illegal so until they do it's not.
This year they say he used it after a particularly long match against Gilles Simon, one that lasted over four hours. Of course next round he was fresh as a daisy.

Remember that year Rafael Nadal played a five hour match against Fernando Verdasco and had to play the next day or something? No hyperbaric pod was mentioned (they would've mentioned it since the powers that be hate Rafa for some reason or another)and he won his next match. This year they're trying to tell us that many other players use it but the only ones they could name were one of the Bryan twins and Bethanie Mattek Sands.

They're also trying to tell us that Boris Becker is Djokovic's coach when it's really the man who has always been his coach, Marian Vajda. And tell me what ATP #1 has ever defended a "friend" who has been accused and suspended for using PED's and mentioned in the match fixing kerfluffle?

I've tried to avoid this subject but when articles supporting his use of a hyperbaric pod (remember when they said it wasn't, that it was a variation of some kind but not the real thing?)appear alongside pleas for fans to like him someone has to say something. Every win of his is, in my opinion, bad for tennis. I bet that as soon as he retires they're going to make hyperbaric pods illegal. Wait for it.

On to happier news.

 photo 3be5d927-6fb6-487a-a2bc-02dc265d3029_zpsaueeuir9.jpg
via Getty Images

Everyone knew Serena Williams had physical problems coming into the Australian Open. A tricky draw had many thinking that she wouldn't make the Final but she did. Angelique Kerber would be her opponent, a woman I described as boringly efficient. It was Kerber who won in three sets and for once the Australian Open, scene of many petulant losses by favorites both male and female, the loser seemed genuinely happy for the winner. There were no side eyes or eye rolls. There was just happiness for Ms Kerber from Serena. That was good for tennis and especially women's tennis especially after Garbiñe Muguruza's comment in an interview with Spanish media that all of the women really and truly hate each other. Kerber was overjoyed and Serena was happy for her, genuinely happy. Now, with the Grand Slam pressure off let's see how Serena manages her schedule up to and after Rio. It's also going to be interesting to see how Kerber handles the weight of expectations that now grace her shoulders. Congratulations to both women for giving us a competitive and entertaining Final.

The complete list of winners follows:

Men's Singles
Serbia Novak Djokovic
Women's Singles
Germany Angelique Kerber
Men's Doubles
United Kingdom Jamie Murray / Brazil Bruno Soares
Women's Doubles
Switzerland Martina Hingis / India Sania Mirza
Mixed Doubles
Russia Elena Vesnina / Brazil Bruno Soares
Boys' Singles
Australia Oliver Anderson
Girls' Singles
Belarus Vera Lapko
Boys' Doubles
Australia Alex de Minaur / Australia Blake Ellis
Girls' Doubles
Russia Anna Kalinskaya / Slovakia Tereza Mihalíková
Legends Men's Doubles
Sweden Jonas Björkman / Sweden Thomas Johansson
Women's Legends Doubles
United States Lindsay Davenport / United States Martina Navratilova
Wheelchair Men's Singles
United Kingdom Gordon Reid
Wheelchair Women's Singles
Netherlands Jiske Griffioen
Wheelchair Quad Singles
Australia Dylan Alcott
Wheelchair Men's Doubles
France Stéphane Houdet / France Nicolas Peifer
Wheelchair Women's Doubles
Japan Yui Kamiji / Netherlands Marjolein Buis
Wheelchair Quad Doubles
South Africa Lucas Sithole / United States David Wagner

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