Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Tennis and The Tea Party



Remember that time Rafa was cartwheelin’ fistpumps all over town after beating a qualifier in round two of a 500  event? Well…










*whispers* Think we should tell him it’s not 2003?


We don’t see this sort of thing nearly so often from you now, but like I said to Rafa – don’t ever change.


Roger Federer hit for the cycle in 2010: a Slam, a Masters Series titles, a 500-level and a 250-level title. (If this were any other player it would be a banner season; because it's Federer, we keep hearing how it's least productive output since 2002.)

-- SI.com


Actually no. Well, sort of.


See, the only people that actually focus on it being his “least productive output” are the type of cavemen that probably still think he’s world #1.


This is the opinion of a hot-headed fringe group – the ‘Tea Party’ of tennis.


Anyone else with even a passing interest in the sport (including me :p) picked up on his multi-tiered title tally (tongue twister, much), as well as noting that this is now his 7th consecutive final outside of the Slams.




And if we really want to be picky, then I think you’ll find it was 2008 (USO, Estoril, Halle, Basel), rather than 2010, that was his least productive.


Not that a deliberately skewed perception is anything to be surprised by – never let nerdy facts get in the way of a chance to play contrarian.


By the way, it might interest you to know that the exact same thing’s happened to Kim Clijsters, who’s also won a title at every WTA level (a Slam, a Premier-Mandatory, a Premier-5, an International Event…and of course the SEC), yet all we keep hearing is how unwholesome it is of her to be getting so “Williams” about her scheduling.


And so it was that Fed, in this week of mediocre sequels (I hope no one seriously bought into the idea of that ARod semi as “Wimby part 2”) and trumped-up revenge narratives (Fed either “only cares about the Slams” or he uses titles like this to avenge Slam losses – which is it?), fought his way past Pete Sampras’s title count to 65 ATP singles titles – 4th overall in the Open Era.


It’s a relatively light meander up to McEnroe (77). But to meet the real nutters – tennis’s gasoline-guzzling hell’s angels – you have to work your way up to three digits. Only there do you get to meet the likes of Ivan Lendl (94) and Jimmy Connors (109). I wouldn’t get too close however – not unless you want to get pulled into a drinking game involving engine oil and an industrial solvent.




Rafael Nadal

David Ferrer

Fernando Verdasco

Nicolas Almagro

Albert Montanes

Juan Carlos Ferrero

Feliciano Lopez

Guilermo Garcia-Lopez


8 of the 14 Spanish men in the top 100 have won ATP singles titles this season.




Simply an astonishing stat: it’s one thing having such an epic presence at the top of the game – quite another to make good on it.


Granollers had a chance to join this esteemed Spanish inner circle of truth. All he had to do was go through Daveed Ferrer.




And yet, just as you don’t think of beating Fed in Basel, you don’t beat the tournament co-owner in his own house – it’s just not the done thing deary.


(images: getty)

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