Friday, August 12, 2011

Monfils to Petkovic: So you think you can dance?

Did you see Monfils doing the Dougie after he spanked Troicki in Montreal last night? How gangsta was that? Yes I am on a Monfils-defending rampage these days I suppose. Not to worry – I’ll get over it soon enough.

But last night against Victor Troicki, Monfils did many things right. He closed out the third set up 6-5 in the tie-breaker with a bodacious, massive serve down-the-line. After which he danced. His moves were smooth, unexpected, hilarious. I swear you could almost imagine Gael in a Paris nightclub getting his Dougie on. I wonder if a certain obsessive tennis commentator also did. I hope he choked on the visuals.

In truth Monfils can really dance. And yet I cannot remember any occasion on which his celebratory tennis victory dance ended up eclipsing his accomplishments in a match. In other words, Monfils is not known for being a dancer. And that is entirely fine with me. I can’t think of a time (other than this entry) when his dancing became the story over his tennis wins. Can you?

Contrast this with Andrea Petkovic. Like Monfils, she is a top-ten player who seems to be having a breakthrough year. And yet Petkovic is fast becoming better known for her silly dances than for her tennis. In fact, it is kind of ironic that Petkovic seems to have established herself as the dancing queen of tennis when so many tennis commentators make a point of describing her playing style as “mechanical”. How does a mechanical player suddenly become the queen of dance. Time to consult Cat Deeley!!

Some months ago I read an article that claimed that Petkovic was going to give up dancing. That she no longer wished to be associated only with wagging her ass after her tennis wins. At the time I thought it was a good idea. In the same way that Djokovic eventually gave up doing his impersonations of other tennis players, I found that I wanted Petkovic to quit it with the damn dancing.

She is after all a Top Ten tennis player. And while I will be the first to concede that this clearly no longer means what it used to, I still wanted for Petkovic that she would become known more for playing top-ten power tennis than for her silly dancing.

So it was with some disappointment that I recently observed her mechanical pop-locking after she beat Sloane Stephens in Carlsbad CA. And although Sloane took out Petkovic’ countrywoman Julie Georges – a win that truly mystified me – I had no doubt that Petkovic would beat the far more inexperienced Serena wanna-be. Really, there was no reason to dance. There was nothing amazing about this win. It really wasn’t all that. Sloane Stephens is ranked #112. (The far bigger story is why the heck Georges lost to her!)

To make matters worse, Petkovic proceeded to do a shitty kind of half-pop-lock that was embarrassing to watch. She seemed either not quite able to get the other shoulder to keep undulating, or too embarrassed to continue with the stupidity. As much as I like Petkovic, I have to admit that her dancing is indeed as mechanical as her tennis. She certainly needs to give pop-locking a rest. Wagging her ass was probably a whole lot easier, yes?

Of course poor Monfils was probably not in a dancing mood after he got his ass handed to him from Djokovic tonight. In the end I was happy that he managed to avoid getting bagled. That alone is worth a party, ent?


TennisAce said...

You and I must be the only 2 bloggers out there who find her dancing awful to begin with and for me totally unsportsmanlike. Why dance when you have beaten a player ranked 112 in the world? It was beautiful watching Radwanska dismantle her from head to toe in yesterday's 1/4 final in Toronto. She is like Bethanie Mattek-Sands, all about the off court stuff and not enough focus on the tennis. I hope one day someone will call her out for the dancing because not even the fans are enjoying watching her. She looks ridiculous

Anonymous said...

I often read your blog and I find it interesting, original and well written. I thought, although my opinion is probably irrelevant, that it should be said.

tennischick said...

Thank you both for your comments. Opinions are never irrelevant. Thanks for the positive feedback.