Saturday, July 16, 2016

So much talent, so little hunger

I was not surprised by the news that Victoria Azarenka is pregnant.  Somehow this fit right in with my impression of a woman who was just too dickmatized for her own good, ya know?  Of which pregnancy is (or seems to be) the natural result, no?

You ask how did I arrive at my impression that Azarenka was the type of woman to end up pregnant for a rando that barely anyone knew she was dating?  Well, it might have something to do with her decision to date that over-aged and under-talented clown who still calls himself Redfoo – during which period she seemed to morph herself into looking like a cast-member of ‘Love and Hip-hop’.

And then there was her cringingly terrible decision to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her “good friend” Monfils at the 2014 US Open, even though she cannot carry a tune to save her life.  Not to mention her sad Twitter-flirting with Nick Kyrgios that seriously bordered on the desperate.  Just to name a few of the occasions when her decision-making seemed to come straight from her vagina.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Why Kyrgios may remain an enfant terrible

I remind myself that most of us were idiots at 21, without a public stage or cameras following our every move.  So there is a part of me that has serious empathy for Nick Kyrgios.  But my empathy petered out during the recent Wimbledon match against Andy Murray.  All I could see was a stunted man-child at serious risk of never growing up, never maturing into anything other than an entitled twat, an enfant terrible. 

Over time, I have of course read sundry reports of Kyrgios yelling at his box, aggrieved over their lackluster support.  In this, ironically, he reminded me of early Murray, the one whom Mauresmo labeled as “complicated”.  But that Murray has straightened up now that Dad Lendl is back in the picture. And Dad seems clearly intolerant of whingeing.

I was confident that Kyrgios would lose to Murray.  So, during their match, I made a point of examining the behavior of the members of Kyrgios’ box.  What I witnessed was a group of apparent automatons, rising en masse, on cue, clapping whenever Kyrgios won a point.  The television cameras made a point of consistently cutting away to their reactions, which seemed lifeless, compulsive, orchestrated.  There seemed to be no heart in it.  There was plenty of energy, don’t get me wrong.  But heart seemed to be lacking.

And I found myself wondering what life must be like to be a member of the players’ box of this man-child, this enfant terrible.  What must it be like to have one of the best seats in tennis and yet likely not be able to truly and spontaneously enjoy a minute of it, your every moment fixated on the idiot on court as he demands that you react this way and respond that way, his moods shifting with the wind?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Companies I will no longer support

I gotta give it up for Dominika Cibulkova.  Girlfriend has always been short on stature but big on guts.  And while just about everyone -- including Serena Williams, Sharapova's longtime nemesis -- has  been pussy-footing around Sharapova as if her shit don't stink, Cibulkova had the guts to call it like it is.  According to excerpts translated from a magazine in Bratislava, Cibulkova was quoted as expressing surprise "that most of the reactions" to the discovery of Maria's cheating "were so diplomatic, because everyone’s opinion is actually totally different".

I believe this to be true.  I believe that most professional players on the tour, including many of those who gave diplomatic responses, think that Maria Sharapova's entire tennis career has been characterized by cheating.  That her entire career has been one long multimillionaire lie.

But if one were to judge from the majority of interviews, everyone ends up sounding soooo f**king supportive.  Poor Maria, crippled with health conditions that required her to take a performance-enhancing drug. For TEN YEARS!!!!  Puh-lease.  And double steups. No, make that a fricking triple.

Monday, June 6, 2016

When is it time to let go?

Serena and Roger have been messing with my heartstrings for a minute now.  I’ve invested a lot in them emotionally over the years.  Full disclosure – I went through a brief blip of disappointment after meeting Serena in person and experiencing her as kind of dislikable.  But I promptly got over it at her next match upon realizing that my disappointment was my problem because Serena really had no reason to give a crap about me or my excess of feelings.  In other words, I had to get over myself – and I did.  And went right back to an appreciation of the amazingness that she is. 

But her recent loss to GarbiƱe Muguruza – along with other close calls – have left me wondering if it’s time for me to move on and re-invest.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Serena should retire any time soon.  I want her to keep playing for as long as she feels healthy and motivated.  I’m only wondering if, as a fan, I should continue to expend the amount of emotional energy I have in the past.  Is it time for me to hang it up, like I did with Steffi and both Martina’s before and after Steffi?  There comes a point in fandom when you need to face facts and find new passion.

In many ways tennis fandom is like a good marriage ending in a healthy divorce.  The love will last forever – that’s a given – but passion needs to be expended elsewhere.  In many respects, my silence (as a writer) over the past year plus has been a form of anticipatory grief.  My faves are getting old.  Serena and Roger seem to be on their last wind.  And really, I can’t handle it, which is why I want to run away and immerse myself in the bosom (or pants – I’m not gay) of a new tennis love.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Does tennis really need a commissioner?

It's been more than a tad annoying having to watch all of those ads featuring John McEnroe as a  self-styled Tennis Commissioner.  And I may have remained in my self-inflicted hiatus from writing if this hadn't succeeded in thoroughly annoying me enough to challenge me to write about it.  It's hard enough having to deal with it raining rope in Paris, but having also to tend with this buffoon is asking just too much of this Chick.

Somebody has clearly paid a whole lot of money to make sure that Johnny Mac has been annoyingly ever-present during TV coverage of Roland Garros 2016, acting out various scenarios in which a tennis commssioner is seen handling a number of different situations. Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to shame Johnny Mac for his shameless self-promotion. Frankly, his self-advertisement seems as American as Donald Trump.  

My only worry is that while the US seems hell bent on electing a President it so does not deserve, I do not want the same for tennis.  And nothing convinced me more that Johnny Mac is inappropriate for this role than his half-baked take-down of Maria Sharapova.  A true tennis commissioner -- male or female -- has both cojones and courage.  He or she is more than a half-assed politician seeking to find a way to suck up to sport's top-earning female while pretending to dress her down.