Tuesday, 6 January 2009

The Importance of Being Ernests...

I have to admit I haven't yet fully embraced the new season.

This is partly due I suppose to the fact that the Abu Dhabi final will be a very difficult act to follow. (I doubt we'll see anything come close until the Aussie Open).

I'm still also seething however at Sky's rather selective and questionable coverage of the Hopman Cup - they omitted both Safina's opening singles match in full as well as the Russian Siblings' pairing in their much anticipated doubles encounter - something I've been looking forward to for months; and in favour of
what exactly? A fairly dull affair involving Cibulkova and Shaughnessy.

I'm not sure what to make of Marat's scuffle in Moscow - on the one hand as a fan it concerns me that his last year (and by extension his legacy) will be tarnished by the episode; but I also really liked the fact that he didn't use it as an excuse to shy away from the event and played some of his best tennis sporting a pair of shiners (one yellow one black) that by some bizarre twist of fate coordinated fully with his bee-coloured Adidas outfit. Very heart-on-your-sleeve.

I suppose I ought to comment too on Djoko's early loss in Brisbane. I didn't see the match (no coverage of Brisbane here) but although the early loss of such a top seed normally warrants the raising at the very least of a bemused eyebrow, you can often easily explain it away as a consequence of an extended lay-off, too much wine perhaps and maybe some over confidence that suggests the need for nothing more than a tiny attitudinal shift: time to maybe stop 'easing-into' the new season.

I'd be happy with this explanation except for the fact that he was playing Gulbis, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one waiting for
his particular genie to emerge from it's bottle. Of all the lauded newcomers displaying promise, Gulbis in my mind, has the most potential (I'd say Tsonga, except he's already begun to realise his promise). I don't care if he takes his time, in fact I'd prefer a slower and more enduring rise to the top.I'm not sure why he beat Djoko, but I do hope it was due in part to a less callous attitude to his shotmaking, which perhaps more than anything else, is what has held him back.

One last thing, can someone tell Giles Simon to get a haircut? His new shaggy 'look' if that's what it is, is only slightly better than Andy Murray's 'Napoleon Dynamite' episode, and he's certainly not the mad and eccentric genius that can get away with anything....

Djokovic image by tripletrouble

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