Posts Tagged ‘tennis’

44.1°, Tennis anyone?

Hisense Arena Panorama

Hot would be the understatement of the century. But according to the Elder’s weather site, in 1938, it went to 45.6°.  I guess the only thing that makes me feel cooler, is knowing that people are playing tennis in this heat. Yes, the big players on Rod Laver and Hisense get the closed roofs but how about all the juniors and legends who were playing this week? Defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic had to retire due to the heat as well as a few other players.

Either way, it’s shaping to be a very predictable and boring ending to the Australian Open. Men’s tennis is at such a higher standard then women’s tennis and Monday night’s game with our newly loved golden child, Dokic just proved that. Safina, supposedly the 3rd best women’s tennis player in the world made 11 double faults to Dokic’s almost as bad 8. So maybe we need to put this in perspective, the 3rd ranked men’s tennis player, Djokovic, in his match the other night with unseed Marcos Baghdatis made 3 double faults compared to Marco’s 2 and that was in 4 sets.

So, best game of the tournament probably goes to Gonzalez vs. Gasquet, for their over 4 hour, 5 set tie breaker game. Worst game could have gone to Federer vs. Del Portro in a one sided, 1 hour and 20 minute match. In not so many words in his interview with Jim Courier afterwards, Federer basically concluded that Del Potro sucked.

Speaking of Jim Courier, there’s one way to definitely not beat the heat today and that is jumping into the Yarra river. In one of the freebies, I picked up at the Open this year, there was a great article on 20 priceless open moments (yes, this was a Mastercard sponsered freebie).

“Three days before the 1992 Australian open final, American Jim Courier and his coach Brad Stine were jogging along the Yarra when Stine made Courier a proposition. Win the Open, Stine said, and I’ll ump into the Yarra. OK, Courier replied, but if you jump, so wil I. He won and they did-the very day newspapers reported the unhealthy quality of the Yarra. Courier repeated his dip when he won again the following year. He decided not to repeat the swim when he won again two years later. “I got some sort of stomach virus after swallowing some of the water,” he explained to the BBC.”

Good to see nothing has changed 17 years later. Keep cool.

Australian Open 2009

Margaret Court Arena Panorama

Last year’s Australian Open painted the story of two unseeded, not as well known players competing in the final. Tsonga was a chilling reminder of a young Mohammed Ali fighting his way through his matches as the underdog. His opponent the very funny Djokovic, was incredibly good at doing imitations of Sharapova and Nadal serving.

There doesn’t seem to be much of that this year. The seeded players are playing their expected parts as protaginists. Again we have ethnic fights with the capsicum spray replaced with plastic chairs. We had Hewitt holding our chances last year, and this year an even more controversial Dokic proving that Aussies do give everyone a fair chance.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the crappy management of Channel 7.  The Open is filmed in HD, which is broadcast to international markets but not Australia. Channel 7 decided to cut costs and is broadcasting it’s games locally in SD. Every other channel strives to broadcast sports in HD but 7 has shown it doesn’t care about its audience. 7 has the normal SD channel as well as the HD channel which it could broadcast games on but won’t air different games on the channels. Today was probably the worst moment when they cut to the news in the middle of the Federer match. In some states, they interrupted with the news and an episode of Hot Property.

Fortunately, we are living in the internet age, and there is a wonderful site called Channelsurfing.net which shows the games on Rod Laver, Hisense, Margaret Court, and some of the show courts. All live, no commentary and almost the same quality as 7.

Still nothing beats going to the Open if you are in Melbourne. A $29 ground pass gives you almost 10 hours of games. There is no better value for money in sports.

Links:

Australian Open 2009

Channelsurfing.net

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