Saturday, 29 May 2010

Roland Garros: “Ladies & Gentlemen - Light is Suspended due to Awesome Play”

Don’t ask me about the match.


I only saw the first half of it on a live stream, which switched over inexplicably, at the beginning of the third set, …to Football.

Not premier league football mind you, not even Bundesliga football – but by the looks of it, a Sunday league event that might follow a village fete held somewhere in the provincial outskirts of Hungary.

I’m told it was good tennis. Best of the week even.

Which, to be honest, the tournament needed it to be.


It’s a sorry, and somewhat sodden, state of affairs when the rains wash out nearly two days of play, and the closest you get to having your fire lit involves Muzzard outlasting Reeshie in a match ‘The Talanted One’ should have won, and a more literal take on Lights Out Tennis.

How is it possible for a match on Chatrier involving two top twenty players – one of whom is not simply a home favourite, but the hottest player on tour right now with recent wins over Henin and Venus – to not receive even a minutes worth of coverage?

Oh I’m miffed alright. And by the looks of it, I’m not the only one.

Nice to know that whatever differences may exist with those folks over the pond, our respective broadcasters remain equally clueless and out of touch with their fanbases on what exactly constitutes ‘Box Office’ Tennis.

I’ve no qualms with having to sit through Marin procrastinating over closing out another one of those five setters he’s so fond of.

I’ve long since made my peace with the tennis universe ceasing to exist for the four or five sets it seems to take Murray to close out his matches nowadays.

And you can’t fault them for electing to broadcast the defending champion’s last gasp (didn’t see it, didn’t regret not seeing it), a result that will land Kuzzie around #18 in the rankings in two weeks time. 2005, before you ask, was when she last “did time” there.

But it’s a little much, is it not, when you’re forced to sit through Dementcha taking the path of least conformance through to a blundering three set victory over Aleksandra Wozniak – knowing as you do, how you’re being actively denied the sumptuous treats on offer in Chatrier.


And let’s reserve that pose for when you’re able to elevate your play to the level it was at during Wimby last year, shall we?

I didn’t sit around, as it happened, electing to use the “down time” to stock up on bog roll and beverages.

I returned to discover that I’d missed out on the event’s greatest shindig of the week. Both women had seen three match points come and go before, at 7-7, light was suspended due to awesome play.


-- “Viewer, I bagelled him”

And if you can’t place that reference I’ll find you unwell-read (or well-unread).

Nice to know that whatever else might be happening, the Naderer age of blemish-free straight-sets wins in the early rounds of Slams is upon us once more.

Leister tried to make things happen, but seemed as much a part of the furniture as Roddick was in Oz 2007, and before he knew it had been bagelled and was watching Federer double fault at match point. Not quite blemish free then.

-- Wawa bundled out AbFab in straights in a match I’m guessing no one knew was happening and no one cared about enough to see even if they did.

AbFab seems to me to resemble the the type of provincial Italian Charlotte Bartlett might have been keen to protect Lucy Honeychurch from in ‘A Room with a View’ , or for that matter, the strawberry sucking Adonis type that did seduce Winona Ryder in ‘How to Make an American Quilt’.

In other words, exactly the kind of shallow journeyman you don’t expect to make many waves on tour.

I wanted to sock him one when he made such a song and dance of wanting to stop play that night (and it was night) against La Monf – but I seem to have come away with a new found respect for the way in which he then held serve.

Poetic justice served then on La Monf and the-powers-that-be? I think so.

Wawa to play Federer next – ideally it’ll take a little longer than it did in Madrid.

-- Albert Montanes played 9 clay court events coming into the FO.

I’ve got this image in my head of Ed Rooney (of Ferris Bueller Fame) complaining to Albert Montanes’ management team about “how he’s been seen skipping the tour in favour of lower-tier clay court events no less than nine times this season......nine times."

Someone mind doing the research and telling me which ones?

(Photos: Getty)

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