Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The dark side of the Eagle-Drakken rivalry

I’ve said before that some professional tennis players remind me of serial killers. They have a relentless desire to hunt, punish, and slowly destroy their prey. This does not apply to every pro of course. In fact the last time I used this comparison was to talk about Pete Sampras’ physical and mental destruction of Andre Agassi. I remember once saying that Sampras with his racket was no different from a serial killer with a knife, repeatedly stabbing at his hapless victim. I wouldn’t want to meet either one in a dark alley.

And yes the comparison is provocative. But you know what? Years later, I still stand by it. There is a ruthless killer instinct to some of these pro tennis players. Thank goodness they discovered tennis at an early age because Lord knows where that negative energy may have been channeled had they not.

And speaking of Lord, did you too catch that moment when Djokovic looked up at the heavens and seemed to implore his Maker – no, seemed to desperately beseech him – to come to his aid? Actually, he appeared almost to be chastising Him for not coming to his succor before. It must have been His fault that Sam the Eagle – tell me that you see the comparison – had not closed it out in the fourth set.

So on the penultimate point of the match, Sam the Eagle looked skyward, lapsed into his language of birth, and beseeched his Redeemer for help crushing the man standing in his way to making history. And when The Eagle got that point, he turned his head again to the heavens and implored his Messiah to help him get the next one, crossing himself frantically, kissing the cross around his neck desperately, as he begged and beseeched.

I suppose that if you were a devout Christian you would have found the moment to be deeply inspirational, especially since He seemed to grant him the two desperate wishes. But for me it was completely distasteful.

I did not see a believer re-affirming his faith. I saw a frantic man who wanted to win so ardently that he was willing to pull out any card that would help him do so. Where others may have seen Christian belief, I saw a dark, nasty delusion. 

And really, there is an ugly side to this rivalry that is increasingly getting in the way of my enjoyment of it. But I’m not sure that I am doing a good job of explaining this. In fact I’m quite sure that I am not, because I can’t become entirely cerebral about this issue. It’s about the way I feel. It’s a gut response really, a recoiling in distaste. I felt it in the same moment, alongside my excitement at watching a terrific match. ESPN dubbed it an instant classic. I agree. But they also said the same damn thing every single time Sampras destroyed Agassi.

And it would be fair to accuse me of being an Agassi-lover who couldn’t bear to see her favorite lose. But I swear it wasn’t that. Or at least not only that. It was more so that I did not enjoy the rapacious aspect of the performance. I did not enjoy the single-minded hateful destruction. There was no joy in Sampras’ spirit as he won. He never smiled, never joked, never seemed to enjoy the sport of tennis in and of itself. He was a single-minded Terminator, bent on destruction. There was no joy in that. Only killing.

And these same thoughts and feelings found their nexus in this almost six-hour finals match between the men at the 2012 Australian Open. Increasingly, as each hour passed, the match seemed to me to become less and less about tennis and more and more about murder. Of the serial kind. Never mind the implorations to the Messiah.

(Part 1 of 2)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

How the Aussie semi-finals affected the finals

For both the men and the women at the Australian Open this year, the semi-final matches seemed to play a decisive role in determining who ended up holding the trophy. Of course one can argue that this is always the case tennischick so find something else a tad more original to say. But in fact it is not always the case that a semi-final match ends up playing a critical role in the outcome of the finals.

Take for example the 2011 US Open women semi-finals. The match between Caroline Wozniacki and Serena Williams did not help prepare the latter for the finals. Serena beat Caroline so easily it was embarrassing to watch. As a result, she arrived at the finals without the match-readiness that is ideal in a huge showdown.

It’s important to get tested and challenged along the way to the final meet-up. Winning tough matches over the course of the two weeks gives you the confidence to keep going forward. Winning a challenging semi-final match can give you the resilience you need to fight for that trophy two days later.

That’s what Sam Stosur got from her three-set semi-final match against Angelique Kerber at the same US Open event. She arrived at the finals much more physically and emotionally prepared to be there than Serena. Do you get my point?

I believe that in Australia this year, for both the men and the women, the semi-final matches made a difference to the eventual outcome. And the difference was not just one of physical readiness but also of mental confidence. Let’s start with the women. 

Victoria Azarenka beat Kim Clijsters in three tough semi-final sets. It wasn’t just that Kim physically tested her. The crowd was loudly partial towards ‘Aussie Kim’ as they still fondly call her. She may have broken up with Lleyton Hewitt but Australia has never ended its love affair with Kim. And they let Azarenka know it, mocking her prolonged shriek as she hit the ball. It’s important in tennis to survive these kinds of challenges. Against a former #1 player, Azarenka surged back from a 1-6 second set loss to close out the third set 6-3. She arrived to the finals confident and prepared.

On the other side of the court also stood a winner. But the difference was that Sharapova did not so much win the match against Kvitova as that Kviotva lost it. I used to get annoyed whenever players said that they beat themselves. I found it disrespectful to their opponents. Well today I eat my words because I finally see what they meant. Kvitova beat herself in the match against Sharapova. And in the last game a half, she just stopped fighting.

The result was that Sharapova came to the finals not as confident as she should have been. In her heart she must have known that the win over Kvitova was closer than the score-line indicated, that she really should have lost. Vica was the more confident of the two, and it showed. She smiled where Maria remained grim-faced. She was loose where Maria remained tense. She pumped her fist with delight as Maria smacked herself on the calf, leaving a red line of pain and a presage of failure.

My point also holds for the men. Sure Rafa played a tough match against my Fed. But beating Federer is no longer something that gives Rafa self-confidence. A victory over Roger is something that will take some work, there will be magical moments, he will be tested, but Rafa can almost always count on the win. I don’t want to make it sound as though Federer in any way underperformed. For once this entry is not about him (ha!) but about the impact of that match on Rafa’s readiness to face his true nemesis.

I believe that Nadal would have been better off playing Andy Murray in the semi-finals. Murray may have shown him a different kind of defensive look that may have been served him better when facing Djokovic for the seventh time in a final.

Of course this is pure speculation on my part. But I’m speculating on the basis of the awesomeness of the match between Murray and Djokovic. Sure Andy had his moments of mental walkabouts. But this was by far the best tennis he has ever played. He pushed Djokovic almost to the limit. Surviving this challenge was the preparation that Novak needed to face Nadal once again. And the test was close. But did anyone ever truly doubt that Djoko would win again?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

At last…a new #1 has come along…

Must admit that this entry is intended to be as much a tribute to Etta as it is a celebration of the demotion of Caroline Wozniacki. And before y’all decide to attack the tennischick, let me make it clear that I do not blame Wozniacki for being a pathetic #1, for the same reason that I never blamed Safina and will not blame any other player who happens to benefit from the WTA’s jill-assed system of scoring.

The good news, in a way, is that we still have no idea who will take over the #1 spot in women’s tennis. The bad news is that Etta lost her life before she lost her voice, but tragically after she apparently lost her mind.

So here are the facts as they currently stand. Etta James has died after a difficult battle with leukemia and dementia. And Caroline Wozniacki is no longer the #1 woman tennis player. No comment on the latter’s cognitive faculties.

Everyone has been careful to note that it is not Caroline’s fault that she had no business being the #1 tennis player in the world. I totally agree – it was not her fault in the sense that she did not invent the rules from which she clearly benefitted. I have in the past defended both early Hingis and late Safina for both being Slam-less when they first ascended to the #1 throne.

And really, it was not their fault. They both benefitted from a system that seemed to change its rules just as the Sisters started becoming a threat. Right?

If you ask me, said system ended up producing its most embarrassing result in Wozniacki. At least Hingis ended up winning three of the Slams (except for the French) eventually. At least Safina made it several Slam finals. At least Safina could blame her injured back (or head?) for her repeated failures. But what excuse does Wozniacki have? Sure she is (was?) a fantastic competitor. But clearly that is not enuf, is it?

Hopefully Billie Jean still has enuf influence to persuade the WTA to make quality count over quantity. Hopefully the days of a Slam-less #1 are finally over. Hopefully, the next #1 player wil be a Slam winner. The good news is that the 2012 Aussie Open practically guarantees this.

Which is not intended to take anything away from Errani. As a short chick myself, I am always inspired by those petite players who decide that they too have every right being on court. I don’t know how she does it but I totally admire Errani’s indefatigability. Chick simply never gets tired. She jumped and ran like she was on something. Not saying that she was. Only that it at times it became tiring to watch her incessant movements.

And just like that I realize that I’ve forgotten all about poor Etta. Let me tell you a bit about Etta James. She was born and grew up under what today would be termed “dysfunctional” family circumstances. Two days ago she died a bitter woman. With unnaturally blonde hair. After complaining that the other black blonde (BeyoncĂ©) had stole her moment. Etta apparently felt that Obama had no business hiring BeyoncĂ© to sing her signature song (“At last…””) at his commemoration. After all, she was still alive. And could still sing. The invitation should fairly have been hers.

But Blue Ivy’s Mama (or surrogate, depending on which media source you believe) grabbed the opportunity to display her fake-blonde self, as the Obamas danced. And just like that, poor Etta got sidelined. She was no longer the top singing bitch. Right about now she and Wozniacki could be soul mates if the one hadn’t died and the other’s career possibly over. Guess which is which, I dare you.

But there was a part of Etta’s mind that was clearly still intact to the end. As there was awareness for Wozniacki of the implications of today’s loss. Which explains why in the second set she fought like a demon. She denied Clijsters who served for the match at 5-2. Wozniacki forced a tiebreak in the second set. Never let it be said that Caroline gave up before she had run out of options. Or that Etta died without believing that she was owed the privilege of singing for the first Black President.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Losing a match vs. getting your butt kicked

There are losses and then there are losses. All losses are not created equal. As a result, some losses can be psychologically devastating. They can crush the recipient’s spirit and make them wonder if they even have any business playing tennis. Other losses can ironically be emotionally freeing, particularly so when there is evidence that even though you lost the match, your game was so on, your effort so game, that really there is nothing to be ashamed of. I have seen both kinds of losses at this year’s Australian Open.

Take for instance the loss that Julia Georges suffered at the hands of Agnieszka Radwanska. Aga was in top defensive form. If she played an attack shot I must have missed the moment. If she returned a ball with any kind of power, I must have blinked. She simply played cool, intelligent tennis. And she beat Georges 6-1 6-1.

It was a shameful loss. And Georges knew it too. While Aga sat there between points calm, poised and inner-focused, Georges fretted about the heat, requested towels filled with ice, draped her neck in said towels, screwed up her face, pouted and whined. She was getting her ass kicked and she had no idea what to do to prevent it.

Georges is one of those players who has turned out to be an idiot. She will always do well at those lesser events when her coach can come down and goad her into motivation. She is a psychologically dependent player who performs best when she is told what to do. On her own, on a big stage, when she has to think for herself, chick folded like the damp towel around her neck. But I’m sure she will find a way to recover from this loss. You could practically see the excuses forming themselves in the imaginary bubble above her head. (It was the heat…the crowd was so loud…)

Serena’s loss to Makarova can potentially be more soul crushing, if only because Serena seems to be more emotionally honest than Georges seems capable of being. Serena doesn’t make excuses when she loses. Gone are the days when she would say crap like “I beat myself”. The truth is that Makarova, the gutsy and talented lefty Russian, denied Serena any opportunity to win the match. Makarova was clearly spectacularly prepared for her opponent. Serena didn’t seem to know what hit her.

Gone are the days when Serena could run off to Hollywood, party with Brett Ratner, and show back up on the court in her cat-suit and beat up on all the frail skinny white girls. Said white girls have gone off and made themselves fit and strong. They learned from Venus and Serena (and Steffi and Navratilova) the recipe for tennis success. And no part of said recipe includes partying with Kelly Rowland. Just saying.

But Serena will not be destroyed by this loss. She will either let it motivate her to remain more focused on tennis. Or she will decide that she doesn’t give a crap and will go back to twittering. Either way she’ll be fine.

I’m more worried about players like Li Na. This is the fifth match that Li Na has lost with match points on her racket. She lost four tournaments that way last year. And when she found herself with four match points against Clijsters, you could see the tension beginning to form. Li Na lost despite having the ability and the opportunity to win on her own serves.

The fear of success can be as crippling as the fear of failure. The pressure to succeed can be as paralyzing as the fear that you may never succeed after all. The ones that push through and get beyond this point are the truly brave.

Like Maria Sharapova and Sabine Lisicki. Both women put it all out there in their match. Whichever woman had lost, I would have had to give it up to both the winner and the loser because they both played so well. Lisicki never once, not for a single moment, lost her positive body language. She fought to the end. She fought to the death. And that is why this loss can be emotionally-freeing if she lets it. Because there were tons of evidence that even though she lost the match, her game was so on, her effort so game, that really there was nothing of which to be ashamed.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It’s a question of disrespect really. And narcissism.

I am getting slightly sick of the fact that professional tennis players don’t seem to realize what a privileged world they live in. They collectively seem to be an ungrateful complaining bunch. Sure there are exceptions, like Federer, and for that I am happy. But so many of them seem to be always disgruntled, unhappy, whining about their First World problems. And when Bhagdatis broke those four rackets in succession, I felt disgust not only at his churlishness but at the wastefulness of it all. It was for me the moment that defined my lack of sympathy with their constant pissing and moaning.
There are children the world over who would have given anything to be lucky enough to have those tennis rackets. As Bhagdatis just calmly, casually broke four new rackets because he was losing a match, I decided that I will never support him again. He owes an apology to his tennis fans. And he owes children the world over an apology and an explanation that this is not how adults and professionals behave.
I was reading recently a story about Nadal in the 2010 Best Sports Writing collection. It wasn’t a well-written story. The writer seemed to be too blinded by her lust for Nadal to really examine him as a phenomenon. Not that I am opposed to noticing what an incredible butt he has, but there is a place and time for lust and this story about how ripped Nadal is, just seemed wrong.
But one of the things that the writer got right was her observation of Nadal’s good manners. She interviewed Uncle Toni who explained that he would never settle for anything less in his charge as Nadal was growing up. There was to be no breaking of rackets. Nadal carried his own bags. Good manners meant that from a young age Nadal was taught to respect the sport and everything that came with it.
Which is why it was shocking to read of his criticism of Federer’s stance with regard to players’ complaints. At heart the complaints seemed to be about two things – that the season is too long, and that the players feel entitled to a larger share of the huge profits that tournaments make.
Federer’s stance has always clearly been that you cannot make decisions that only benefit the guys at the top. I completely agree with this. A long season gives a lot of players chances to make money. But the greed of the top tier is such that they seem to want to keep the big bucks but want to work less hard for it. And their utter narcissism was so perfectly captured in Bhagdatis’ selfish display of disrespect.
I know that Bhagdatis wasn’t raised by wolves but he sure looked it today. There was no breeding there, no class. His behavior was common, distasteful. And as he kept calmly reaching into his bag and breaking racket after racket, I was reminded of those children or immature teenagers who know that they have gone too far in a situation but who nevertheless just keep going – almost as if they cannot figure out a way to save face, to turn back, almost as if with each new act of outrage, they convince themselves that they are not actually out of control, that their behavior is actually justified. And to smile afterward. That was the icing on the cake that Bhagdatis shoved our faces in.
It is a privilege in tennis to have a sponsor willing to give you free rackets and shoes and clothes. (I know that there are players ranked in the 1000s who would have loved to get their hands on those rackets.) It is a privilege to have tournaments that cater to your every fricking need. It is a privilege to earn a hundred times more than the average degree-holder will ever earn in a lifetime.
Tennis players need to develop a bit more gratitude. Sure they have worked hard for these privileges. But they also have the option to manage their own schedules, to play as often or as little as they want, to skip entire tranches of the tour so that they can rest and heal – and so that the little guy gets a chance to make a buck or two.
What is never an option is to benefit handsomely from a system only to turn around and complain about it once you get to the top. It’s the same kind of narcissism and disregard shown by that unshaven jackass breaking the rackets that he did not have to pay for, because you and I already do.

Is it time to implement a “Do-Over” rule in tennis?

Let’s face it, there have been some serious injustices done to Serena Williams over the years that should have resulted in a change of certain tennis rules. But now that two white men have become embroiled in a controversial decision by an umpire, maybe the door will finally open to consideration of adding a “Do-Over” rule in tennis. An umpire’s decision cannot be held as final when said decision is so spectacularly bad and so comprehensively unjust.
The setting of course was the match between David Nalbandian and John Isner today. (Let me disclose that I am thrilled that this event did not occur at the US Open because everyone and his mother would have rushed to conclude that the Americans were cheating for one of their own.)
The tournament is at Melbourne. Isner and Nalbandian are locked in an epic struggle. Since John Isner has clearly decided that his career will be defined by long, drawn out, epic struggles, it’s no surprised that he is a participant in this yet another five-hour special. Isner serves. The ball is accurately called out by the linesman. The Chair overrules and calls the ball good.
The crowd goes crazy because everybody and his sister can see that the ball was out. Isner encourages Nalbandian to challenge the call – a lovely, sporting moment for which he should be credited. Nalbandian then tries to challenge the call. The Chair says that it’s too late and the call stands. The outcome of this match hangs on a single point. We will never know how this match would have turned out if the correct call had been made.
On the one hand I think that as experienced as he is, Nalbandian had no business finding himself in a situation in which a single bad call can make such a difference. He is a solid player and back in the day he could have whipped Isner coming and going. So in a sense he has no excuse for even being in this situation.
But on the other hand, I am getting sick and tired of the bad calls in tennis. It’s as if with every increase in tennis salaries – and these potential top-tier strikers are getting paid so heavily that I want to slap them all silly for complaining about their First World problems and for their selfishness with regard to the bottom-feeders. But I digress.
It’s almost as if with every salary increase, every piece of improvement in technology, every new tournament and surface advance, all of the positive changes seem to be accompanied by a decline in the adjudication of the sport. It makes tennis seem corrupt, almost as if there are collusions to help facilitate certain winners and certain losers at certain tournaments. Something stinks and it ain’t Nalbandian’s sneakers – although I’m pretty sure that those were probably ripe after his five-hour sweat-fest.
I believe that there can also be room in tennis for Do-Overs. Not all the time, and not at every tournament. But certainly at the Grand Slams and perhaps at Davis Cup where the stakes are huge. Perhaps tennis needs an independent adjudicator who will have the power to override a decision when the circumstances are so close and the call so unfair. And because the match was close, and because really the result could have gone either way, I say let the tennis adjudicator first do his or her own independent investigation based on the objective evidence.
Having ruled that an injustice had occurred and that the outcome of the match hung in the balance, the adjudicator could then require both Nalbandian and Isner to agree that a D-Over is in order. After all, tennis is supposed to be the sport of gentlemen and surely both gentlemen would agree that some kind of redress is appropriate? Finally, the adjudicator could suggest that the players play a special ten-point tiebreaker the following morning. The winner takes the win for the match.
It is not fair to either man to let this outcome remain without some kind of Do-Over. But it would also be unfair to have them be required to replay the entire match. Let both men get a good night’s sleep, calm to hell down, and show up next morning to play a special tiebreaker. A duel at dawn as it were. And may the better man finally win.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How much to make of a single win?

So I’m watching Milos Raonic as he kind of spanked Janko Tipsarevic over the past weekend at Chennai. I say “kind of” because truth is that the match went to three very close tiebreaks. Janko technically just as easily could have won. No one broke serve. Both men held serve until 6-6 in each set. And at first Janko was dominant. And then Milos, who won the three-setter. But just by a point or two. There was really no question of dominance.

So I’m watching this match and I’m wondering if any of it means that Raonic can be counted on to be a force to be reckoned with at the Australian Open. Yes he did win this encounter with a top-ten player. But is that enough to predict that he will be a threat Down Under?

Look, you know that I love me some Raonic. I particularly love the way he smiles when he tries something and it doesn’t quite work out. Where other players become all screamy and despondent, he remains smilingly calm and simply starts planning his next move. But is that enough to make me bank on him in Australia?

The truth is that as much as I adore this youngster, even I can admit that there’s a whole lot that is still wrong with his game. Or maybe what I mean to say is that there is still a whole lot that still needs to develop. Sure his serve is big and confident. But dude still needs to work on touch. His volleys are not reliable. If he has ever played a dropshot, I missed the moment. And his backhand can break down under pressure.

But really the above criticisms can be made about just about everyone on the tour outside of the Top Ten. So the bigger question I am examining is how much can you make of a single win? Does the fact that Raonic beat a Top Ten player in the final of an event mean that I can count on him to deliver at the upcoming Slam event?

Well actually, no. Just ask Donald Young. What exactly has he done since spanking Andy Murray at Indian Wells last year? And now that Murray has hired the formidable Lendl as his coach, how likely is it that Young will ever accomplish this again?

Sometimes a win is not exactly what it is cracked up to be. Like Monfils beating Nadal in Qatar. I knew better than to get too excited by that win. It did not signal any significant breakthrough, did it? It seemed to me that Nadal just wanted out of there. He had a Slam to prepare for. Let Monfils take the win. Besides, his countryman was waiting for him in the finals. And Tsonga dispatched him, didn’t he?

And then there was Pennetta’s loss to the unseeded Zheng Jie at Auckland. The win gave Zheng her fourth career singles title, the first since 2006. But Pennetta was clearly hurting during this match. Which makes Zheng’s win is not as significant as it initially seemed to be. Truth is that I would quicker bank on an ailing Pennetta when it comes to making a good showing at the Aussie Open. Just saying.
I suppose the converse of this is that you cannot get all carried away with a single loss. It was clear that Djokovic was having a breakthrough year in 2011 not because he beat Nadal but because he did so repeatedly. My point being that it is important not to ever make too much of a single win. Anyone can have a good day or a lucky moment. The great ones tend to be consistent. They win and then win again.
And then there are players like Serena Williams who seem to absolutely refuse to lose, if they can help it. In spite of horribly rolling her ankle in Brisbane, Serena seemed determined to win that match against Serbia’s Bojana Jovanoski – even if it meant hobbling on one leg.
A loss would have meant a win on paper for Jovanoski – never mind the fact that she was clearly not in command of this match at any point. But Serena denied her. Serena seemed to have fewer problems with giving Hantuchova the walkover in Brisbane. Hantuchova was apparently more deserving – and really, she was.
But Jovanoski was not about to be given a win against Serena, even if it was only on paper. After all, you never know who is going to try to read too damn much into a single win.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

“The best player in the world” vs. The Drama

These were my two choices for my first post of the year. I could build an article using Tsonga’s reference to Federer as  “the best player in the world I think”. Yes Tsonga said these words today after his win in Doha over Albert Ramos. This was his reply when asked by the courtside interviewer how he felt about the possibility of facing Federer in the next round. And if you’re a regular reader of this blog you know that I seize any opportunity to talk about the greatness of Roger Federer.

But then came the competing option involving the Drama. It’s clear that Serena either did not read my New Year tennis wish list, or that she decided that the Tennis Chick could just piss off.  Because there she is, the year barely started, and already creating Drama. It’s clear that Serena can’t help herself. It’s clearer that I need to amend my list of tennis wishes.

Have you heard about the whole new drama involving Drake and Serena? According to Bossip.com, Serena went off on a bitter Twitter rant after she found out that Drake has chosen to date the gorgeous Dollicia Bryan over her. And really, if Serena was maybe 17 or even 22, I would not be as fazed. But Serena is pushing 30. That is not an age for Twitter drama.

Plus she is a professional athlete.  She is the greatest female tennis player ever, IMO. She has won every damn Slam. I would have expected her to conduct herself more dignity in the aftermath of a disappointing break-up – if that is what occurred. After all, it’s not like she is a reality star or a lesser celebrity with limited reach. She is a fricking tennis pro. Her brand is serious. She has worked hard to achieve it. Which is why I still can’t believe that she would tweet the following pathetic rants:

“Even though I try I can’t let go, something in your eyes captured my soul. Every night I see you in my dreams. Your [sic] all I know I can’t let go”. And, “I’m afraid to sleep…because I keep dreaming about you”. And then there is the tweet, “You suck”, complete with a picture of herself looking either sultry or pathetic, I’m not sure. Maybe she is trying to let the dude know what he is missing.  Or maybe she wants him to know just how much he has hurt her.

I don’t mean to be ageist but Serena reminds me of Danny Glover in those Lethal Weapon movies. She is just too old for this s**t. I would expect my teenage nieces and nephews to advertise their relationship drama all over Twitter. After all, they listen to Justin Bieber. But for a 30-year-old woman, I would have expected more emotional self-control.

It’s one thing to have a booty-shaking video all over YouTube. I didn’t mind that as much. Sure it was kind of ghetto-fabulous, to use a throwback term. But I never assumed that it was she herself who leaked it, especially since the video seems to have disappeared off the Internet. Besides, in this digital era, shaking your booty may even be a way of advertising what you got in order to attract male attention.

But the tweets are childish and downright petulant. They are calling for attention. From their content it’s a foregone conclusion that whomever she is tweeting about doesn’t want her anymore. OK, I get that that hurts. Been there, felt that. But to embarrass yourself like this is just unacceptable. Serena is way too old for this shit.

I also don’t understand how either she or her brand benefits from this drama. It’s not like she’s Chris Brown who clearly attracts sympathy (and record sales) by putting his complaints out there on Twitter. There are always going to be a slew of foolish young girls who will run out and buy his CD in support. And Serena is no Kanye, trying to make a case after the embarrassing fact, for why he was qualified to put out a (failed) fashion show in Paris. She is a 30-year-old tennis pro. Just let your mind wrap itself around that fact.

Drake in turn has been all class. In the most recent issue of Complex magazine he was quoted as saying: “I really love and care for Serena Williams. She’s incredible. That’s someone I’m proud to say I know. She’s definitely in my life and I’m in her life”. Unfortunately for Serena, tonight he is effing Dollicia Bryan.

Unfortunately for Federer, it is clear that the Drama won the contest for the first post of the year. But surely he must know by now that I agree with Tsonga that he is the best player in the world? Besides, I suspect that the Drama amused him too.