Monday, 8 November 2010

Bali: Disestablishmentarianism







Admit it.


You struggled with Bali just as much as I did.


It is hard to care very much for an event that positions itself as a wannabe-SEC for the almost-but-not-quites of the WTA – especially when Aravane, the only reason I pretended to care about it, goes out.


And yet, at a certain level, it’s difficult not to admire the way it embraces its fugly, ‘have-not’ status. Not only that, but it appears to have found its calling as a comeback vehicle for former world #1-cum-starlets.






Ana’s back in the top twenty which, amongst other things, means she’ll be seeded in Melbourne. Difficult not to be pleased by this news whatever your opinion of her – she was always too good to sink as low and be out for as long as she was.


It’s good for another reason too: since she nosedived two years ago there’s been an implicit acceptance of the idea that it would be “bad form” to call out those fist-pumps of hers – you know, on her opponent’s UFEs. Yes, I’m afraid that’s bad form too – even (or especially) when a Grand Slam Starlet does it.





I’m not holding my breath. Starlets always get a free pass for bad form and there’s no reason to suppose that’ll change any time soon.


Though this is less about Ana (whom I really believe almost does it habitually) than it is about objecting to having a relentless media-machine foist its clumsy, establishmentarianist vision of “class” upon you. I have my own ideas of what or whom I deem “classy” – indisputably the most  overused (and misused) word in tennis


Ana seems nice enough in other respects, and she’s not that different to countless other players in respect of the fist-pumps either (habitual or not). But then they’re not being lauded as “ambassadors of the sport”, are they now?

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