Well, I think this speaks for itself.
No? Perhaps I should explain. This is a Tweet from Friday by Argentinean tennis player, Juan Monaco. Before I go further, allow me to free-associate for a moment. Juan Monaco was defeated in the Open this year by Peter Polansky who I then saw get beaten subsequently by James “yes, why not call it a comeback?” Blake. I was pondering this evening while watching Blake get hammered in yet the next round by Djokovic, how Ashe Stadium used to be James Blake’s house. So many times I’d leave the Open to the sight of Blake on the big screen in the evening feature. When he had his famous five-set night match against Agassi, I rooted for Agassi who didn’t really have that much time left in his own comeback. I figured Blake was young and had plenty of time. Oops. This year I saw the Blake match on Armstrong, which is where I saw him play for the first time, during the famous Lleyton Hewitt racial incident where Blake was so green, the extended length of the match caused him to throw up on court several times. Gutsy!
Anyway, enough with the memories. Juan Monaco’s Tweet says (I think!), “King David wins in three setsII! Now comes the match against Verdasco….” I’ve never heard Nalby called King David but I like it, even though the real King David was a womanizer who had Batsheva’s husband killed to hide the fact that he had knocked up another guy’s wife. On the other hand, the Psalms, which are my favorite part of the Bible, are mostly credited to him. I’m sure this was just the kind of analysis that Juan Monaco was hoping for, eh? But I was actually at the match where (the new) King David won in three, and it was delightful. I snagged a third row seat and was completely surrounded by young and fashionable Argentineans. It was just like Buenos Aires down to the fact that my money is worthless. Rimshot!
These days, I mostly tweet my photos and US Open commentary, thus saving you from endless tennis posts while simultaneously irritating my Twitter followers. It also means my pictures are taken by my BlackBerry whose zoom isn’t as good as the one on my actual camera. But then, my actual camera doesn’t have Twitter on it (if you want to see these photos, they are at http://twitpic.com/photos/magicjewball and can each be enlarged upon your click). But here’s one of Nalbandian at that match. By the way, speaking of Twitter, you can sort of tell that Juan Monaco is actually tweeting whereas Nalbandian’s account is clearly run by PR people. Which is sad but better than nothing. Nalbandian, as little as I know about him (I stay with the professional and not so much the personal) doesn’t seem at all the type to want to share his everyday thoughts on a social network.
(Surreal moment: I’m still watching the Saturday night session on delay and literally as I type this during the Kuznetsova-Kirilenko match, Martina Navratilova and Tracy Austin are discussing Twitter while calling the match for The Tennis Channel. Martina: “Every once in a while I have something interesting to say but I wouldn’t want the pressure of doing it on a daily basis. [pause] Tracy, do you Twitter?” Tracy: “I don’t.” Martina: “Are you going to?” Tracy: “Uh…. not anytime soon. I don’t think so.” So there you have it).
This next photo is from my phone and it’s my favorite, even though it’s from far away. It’s how I spent the final two hours of my last real night at the Open, high in the bleachers of Court 7 watching two Spanish guys you never heard of duke it out with incredibly motivated gusto to determine who will get decimated in the next round. It was literally the last match of the day other than the one on the main court, so everyone who was like me and left over from the day session, and who just could not bear to leave until the last point available had been played, was there. The crowd cheered the guy who was losing and I knew why: we just wanted the match to go on as long as possible – fifth set, fifth set! You can see the empty courts beyond. I was way high up in the last row, which was full because of the reason I sat there, too: it has a back. And man does your back hurt by the end of the day. And your knees. And your sunburn. On the first day, sunscreen dripped into my eyes and my vision was blurred for much of the day. It was awful. I kept flushing my eyes out with water from my water bottle and yellow stuff would come oozing out the corners. The woman next to me asked me if I was OK; she thought I had been crying. I was tempted to say, “I am – I just wanted Taylor Dent to win so much!” But I appreciated it. Strangers bond all the time at the Open, it’s one of its many charms. Except the couple behind me at the Schiavone match who answered my volunteered response to an overheard question with, “I was talking to my husband.” OK, well, do that at home, please. We’re all friends here. Bitch. But it was all worth it. I think I’d like to be buried between the Grandstand and Armstrong. Or Court 11, I’m flexible. But I just can’t bear to leave that place.
Right, so about the title question. The big match is not far away and I need you once again. You see, I have a family occasion tomorrow (well, now today – Sunday) and as per the Tweet, King David is scheduled to play Goliath, er, Verdasco on the Grandstand at 11am. So I need you to help Nalby with your MINDS. This will be a tough one. He may even need the part you usually devote to sexy thoughts and donuts. I’ll be expected to have my mind on the affair at hand, but I’m going to reserve the donut part for this too. If Nalby wins, we can all celebrate with donuts. By royal decree, donuts for all!
I read an article this week about an appearance by Agassi which you could buy tickets for, where he spoke about his life and book while being interviewed by a guy from Sports Illustrated. For some reason, it was held not immediately before the Open, but during the event. Who the hell would go to that when there’s tennis on? Well, for starters, the guy who bought a ticket for the Open because he thought the Agassi thing would be there. When he found out it wasn’t, he left and drove back to the city. He explained by saying, “For me, Andre is number one. The rest of the U.S. Open is number two.” Seriously? I simply don’t get that. When Nalbandian retires, or Fish or anyone I root for, tennis goes on, that’s where the love is. Because to me memories are great but the best part is ahora.
Title comes from:
The Smiths – How Soon Is Now?