Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Call that a TV schedule? LA Edition

What's with LA?

No seriously.

For one thing, it's the most charisma-laden tier-two field of psychotic ne'er-do-wells I've seen in a while.

And before your eyes have had a chance to adjust to the luminescence of the awesomeness,
they've started winning matches.

Safin, Gulbis, and Baghdatis have all posted impressive wins in the past 48 hours and I'm sure Haas will follow suit as he takes to court opposite wildcard homeboy Jesse Levine.

Noteworthy I think, as the guys they took out (Robby Ginepri, Lu Yen-Hsun and Frank Dancevic respectively) weren't the usual breed of also-rans, you make special time and take special care to ignore.

"Robby is playing really well," the mercurial Russian said. "He is a tough player and it was a well-played match from both of us. I was able to go up a break at the beginning of the second set and that helped me to turn the match around."

(Yahoo! Sports)

Robby, in case you didn't know it, won Indianapolis last week. That may or may not have had a bearing. But in any case, such well-constructed, genteel, debonair analysis from Mr Mercury is a bit like witnessing a rainstorm of frogs and fishes. Just as rare, and maybe a little freakier.

"Now what sort of a Safin post would this be without a pic of him losing his racquet?"
(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Something in the air?

He might still be on a wave of feel-good comeliness after that reenactment of the 2000 US Open final with Sampras, the organisers thought they'd put on to tickle our senses. Safin came out on top in that one too. Frilly nonsense, but also a lot of fun.

"Pete took the loss with good humour, and took a moment to auction off some of those '14' shirts"
(Photo: AFP)

But what about Ernie's win over Lu? Remember Lu at the Olympics last year? One of only a few players able to hand Andy Murray a straight sets loss during a period that saw Murray rampaging through top ten players like they were ranked outside of the top fifty.

Is Ernie's win
also frilly nonsense, or a much anticipated start of something bigger and better? Dude's got a horde of fans worldwide relying on him, locked in a collective global seance aimed at jumpstarting his rise to the top. Don't disappoint'em Ernie.

And what of Baggy's win over Dancevic?

(Photo: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

'Baggy' as in Marcos' nickname; not Franks shorts.

That 'look' might have been at the root of Frank's problems. That's dire, that is. That's what comes of an unrestrained love affair with oversized shorts. Which are to gangly legs, what garlic-infused-belches are to witty conversation.

Not to mention the camera angle makes it looks a little like what's left, when Bjorn Borg throws up over Nadia Petrova's wardrobe.

But Dancevic is no slouch (as we all know); in fact, when he's not pratting about in skirts, I'd say he's rather talented. I had him earmarked for much success after first seeing him play in 2007. That it hasn't happened, in no way detracts from the importance of Baggy's win.

The last time I remember watching Marcos, he was being stretchered off court at the Ordina Open in Holland, his face contorted in pain. He's dropped to #146 in the rankings which is simply not on, whether you're a fan of his or not.

But more to the point Marcos, like Ernie and Marat, is that rare blend of charm and organically certified talent. With the US Open Series still in it's early stages, there's rich pickings to be had, and a chance to build up some confidence and much needed ranking points. It's "nice work if you can get it" - and with their gifts, I'd say they should almost certainly try.

Marat takes on Ernie next.

Families around the world have been issued with desensitising goggles, and have been advised to relocate their teenage daughters into one of many specially built bunkers resistant to the awesomeness radiating from LA. Worries persist however, that many may not make it in time and risk not surviving the climactic charisma overload.
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