Friday, February 28, 2014

Things I was hoping not to have to deal with in 2014

First up, I owe you all – my remaining handful of readers by this point – a huge apology. My life got upended a couple of years ago and I found myself in a situation in which I had very little control over and access to my own office and computer. Of such sacrifices are maternity made. Now I am slowly regaining access, and have finally been able to update my blog, as promised weeks ago.

Thanks to Helen my web designer, for her wonderful work. Shoot me an email if you want her assistance with your blog. She is phenomenal. I could not recommend her more highly. Her prices are reasonable and the product, as you can see, is worth waiting for. Thanks Helen!

Now for some of the things that have been irritating me in the world of tennis since the start of the year. I need to get them out of my system so that I can go on to enjoy the rest of this year, which is already shaping up with much promise. So here we go.

Sara Errani’s grunt:
I can’t tell you how much I hate it. I hate it as much as I hate Sharapova’s scream. And Azarenka’s long wail. I am so tired of the Deci-Belles. It has to stop. Women’s tennis has become such an annoying scream-fest. I was hoping that by 2014, there would have been some kind of legislation in place to control the screaming banshees. Alas it is not to be. 2014 is going to be another year of high-pitched screaming. Ugh.

Empty stadium seats:
Every damn tournament outside of the second week of the Slams features empty stadium seats. It’s not only embarrassing, but it’s unfair to the players. I don’t understand why the television is allowed to capture the hundreds of unsold tickets at weekly events. Surely the solution is two-fold. Either drop the cost of these events so that Joe Schmoe and his family can afford to attend. Or give tickets away in advance to local tennis clubs. Are there no Brazilian school children who would have wanted to see Monaco vs. Lorenzi today? Wouldn’t young tennis lovers in Mexico have been thrilled to help fill seats at the Dolgopolov match? I know that the time-of-day may be an issue. But schools still have special outings, don’t they?

Sampras vs. Agassi matches:
Give it a rest already Tennis Channel. It’s ancient history. Nobody cares anymore – not even Mrs. Damp-Ass in the east wing of the mansion. Their formula is so old, their routine so tired, their exchanges so fricking lame. Maybe I would be singing a different song if Andre wasn’t still getting his ass kicked every single time they meet. But that is not it at all. I can’t bear the grim seriousness of Sampras who wouldn’t know how to lighten up if it jumped up and slapped him in the face. Who needs such humorless reminders of times past? Give it a rest already. Let this rivalry die in peace.

Del Potro’s wrist-y style of play:
To be fair, I could just as easily have focused on any other player with a history of the same repeat injuries. But Del Potro stands out because he keeps injuring his wrists. But just look at the way he slaps at the ball. You’d swear he was shooing away flies, not playing tennis. He always seems to be all wrist. You’d swear he was playing Ping-Pong. There seems to be little leg, hip, arm, or shoulder involvement in either his forehand or backhand shots. He just keeps slapping, hard, at the tennis ball. What kind of idiot refuses to learn from the repeated re-injuring of the same body part? What kind of a coach doesn’t figure out how to get his player to change a particular self-injuring movement? I honestly don’t get it.

Crowds hating on Serena Williams:

Yes she messed up, badly, several times. But let it go already. It’s time to get over it and start recognizing her greatness while it lasts. Serena Williams is the best player in women’s tennis. Don’t let your hate consume you so much that you lose the ability to appreciate great tennis while it lasts. And I get the distaste that dominance inevitably triggers – heck, I’ve felt it myself (cf. Sampras-Agassi above). But enough with the silent, resentful crowds. Enough with Serena having to practically stand on her head, spouting platitudes in various languages, just to get you guys to throw her a bone of appreciation. Let 2014 be the year of forgiveness. And do please allow yourself to applaud her while she is still healthy, the best, the greatest, a champ.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Agree about the empty stadia but this is not unique to tennis. It's unfortunately true of most sports.
Tom