1) ‘No time like the present’, as they say, to jump right back into the tennis action (seriously there’s been, like, a lot for one week).
And in this case there is ACTUALLY no time like the present…
…..there’s never been ANY time like the present
Not when the ‘present’ is comprised of Burlesque drag-queens in pink Alice-bands and BMS in punkrock leggings.
Not when there are such “Ma-hoots of merriment” to be had.
In the single most candid act of conceited independence and “ungentleman”-like behaviour ever seen on a tennis court, Nicolas Mahut out-dressed BMS and out-hammed Novak Djokovic, a feat that was previously thought to have been impossible.
You had to be there, as they say, only, the Timezone difference meant that I wasn’t.
Same story every year: The best sh*t always goes down on someone else’s tennis watch.
Behold the power of the humble hashtag. Behold the breadth and outreach of a lowly retweet.
I always found those early reports of twitter “driving the force of political change” by giving the grassroots a voice and “a real shot at influencing opinion” to be grossly exaggerated, however well intentioned.
But if ‘the powers that be’ do eventually elect to grant Nicolas Mahut a WC it will have been both comforting and humbling to know that a hashtag conceived late one night by an energetic Aussie tennis blogger might have had something to do with it.
I was a twitter-naysayer who only begrudgingly joined to “test the waters”. And now I recant.
Oh sure there’s plenty of virtual vomit out there and lets not forget that Justin Bieber still consumes 3% of Twitter traffic.
I still say don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
Jon Snow Tweets for crying out cloud (very well I might add): Case closed.
3) Rafa Fever
When I heard that Rafa was playing doubles in Doha I cringed a little. Ok a lot.
Here was the same masochistic pattern of too-much-tennis and over consumption being played out before me all over again.
We know what Rafa’s capable of, we know how pathologically inclined he is to run down every last (worthless) ball – hell, that gig is 5 seasons old.
And now to hear he’s feverish. Sick.
Sometimes pulling out has nothing to do with a misplaced sense of respect or fair play – it’s just what you must do.
To that end, I’m glad Kolya put him out when he did, not least because I want Davy to defend his points and start the season off well. The veiny-head demands it.
And, while we’re on it, I want to see if Rafa really can make four Slams (I have a lingering suspicion it might be too big an ask): maybe now he’ll actually rest up and focus on what might be the only chance he EVER has of making history (really making it, not just doing what Federer’s achieved three times over).
You’d think his team would know better.
4) LRob/Ana/Franny injured
For all the Mahoots-of-merriment it wasn’t all good news out of Hopman Cup overnight as Robson(thigh), Ivanovic (Stomach tear – ouch) and Franny (thigh) were all forced to pull out of their remaining matches.
We got Mahut-in-drag. And now Fate, it seems, will have its pound of flesh.
Not as much a fan of Ana as I am of her forehand, but seriously, the girl can never seem to catch a break.
Here’s hoping she’s healed up in time for the AO. A fully functioning Ana is no bad thing, as we saw against Justine only yesterday.
5) Masha out early in Auckland
As per the newly agreed James LaRosa rooting code of conduct there’ll be no qualifying, limiting or sullying of any form of Greta Arn’s win over Pova.
A win is a win as they say.
All the same, I did think this was a tournament Pova had a real shot of winning.
It was heartening to see her taking her Aussie Open prep more seriously than she has in years gone by – a win here would have been a real boon ahead of Melbourne and a great way to start the new season after a year that was, frankly, more than just a little disappointing.
And now she’s turned down a Sydney WC – why does that worry me so?
6) Uh…Big Rob/Berd……remember them?
No one’s saying anything about these two – a little surprising considering how heavily they rocked the boat last year. Key players, one might say.
Alright by me just so long as they can keep it up: Berd for Chennai and Sod in Brisbane. Roddick over Sod is the only exception I might entertain.
7) And Petra Kvitova for Brisbane
I like Petra; she’s young, talented, unpretentious and, in common with most of my faves, can come apart at the seams or be completely unplayable, both with equal likelihood.
A win at this level might be just the breakthrough she needs to harness her unruly talent.
I‘m not completely sold on Petko or her game…I don’t mind the dance so much(although after a 60 61 win over a sickly Dokic, really?) but the hype is, frankly, beginning to deafen me and I find much of her online presence, a little “try-hard”.
Not to say that I don’t credit her for trying.