Friday, 21 January 2011




Confession: For those that don’t know,  Sveta is my favourite player BAR NONE.


Every so often she comes out and plays a match that leaves the hair of electricity itself, standing on end.





Kuznetsova d. Henin 64 76


When this happens against a player as decorated as Henin, there’s usually scores of grumpy puritans suggesting how their player “wasn’t quite there”, “compromised by injury,” “unable to bring her best”.


I rarely take any notice.


My player came through. You can go suck poo.


It’s not that it was a high quality encounter right the way through.


But I saw the match, and also spoke to enough people that actually attended it in flesh to know that I’m not about to let anyone get away with those fungal, raspy qualifiers.


And I root for Henin too. It sucks she’ll lose so many points and I hope she wins a Slam this year – preferably Wimbledon.  But tonight she was 2nd best. Deal with it.


If I sound a little raspy myself, its because performances like this from Sveta only come round about once every 6 months – sustained form over an entire event perhaps only once a year.


Following and rooting for her is two parts masochism three parts black art – you’ve got to have (or to acquire if necessary) the levels of discipline to dial down your expectations to a absolute minimum 90%  of the time.


And still maintain the type of enduring levels of quixotic hope and belief after watching her (as she might, even after a performance like this) go down to Woz, Franny or, quite likely, a tier-three nobody.


I don’t know of any other active player with  a greater talent/results differential.


All of which means I take NO PRISONERS in seeing she gets her due when she does come through.


Be gone disclaimers, qualifiers,  doubters and foresakers.


Tonight belongs to me and legions of Sveta fans that have patiently endured the gross negligence that goes hand in hand with following her.


You will not take this away from me.


(Image: Thanks @frameyourself)

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