Magic Jewball

all signs point to no



Filed under : Sports,Tennis
On January 18, 2007
At 4:35 pm
Comments : 24

That is, the tennis version of Jew&A. What did you think I meant? Actually, I didn’t come up with that at all. It was dreamed up by Alex who, in the absence of any Jew&A questions, decided to ask me a bunch of questions about the Australian Open. Normally I would have just answered them in another e-mail but at the moment I have a lot of one-time visits by people searching for tennis or tennis players because of the big Grand Slam going on. So let’s give them something to look at, shall we? And it’s not like you sent me anything better!

So, Alex asks:
Three forfeits in the first round of the Australian Open men’s singles. Is that a lot, or have I just never really paid attention to the early rounds of tournaments? Is this kind of thing any more likely to happen in the Australian Open than in the other grand slam tournaments because everybody has been lying around for six weeks drinking beer and eating Cheetos?

Do they have Cheetos in Australia? Or any of the other countries these people come from? But I digress. I don’t keep statistics on these things (or any things) but it does seem perhaps slightly greater than average. But consider the following:

  • a. It’s 111 degrees in Melbourne. Thus all the beer. But no, seriously, the conditions are quite tough. Speaking of which…
  • b. The Australian Open is played on Rebound Ace which is notorious for being soft and causing injuries. Especially when it’s hot.
  • c. As you say, it’s the first big tournament of the year and some people are perhaps not in the condition they should be. And I don’t just mean me.

Further, Alex asks:
Also, what’s up with Janko Tipsarevic, anyway? It looks as if he forfeited to Hewitt during the first week of January in the Next Generation Adelaide International Men’s Singles (1-6, 2-4), and the following week he dropped a match by a score of 6-7, 0-6. Does this guy just run out of wind?

I’m too stunned that you had that level of knowledge to answer (kidding, kidding). But I’m going to go ahead and say yes. No, really, they did manage to show eight minutes of that match on ESPN2 and he showed great form through the first three sets. That’s what separates the men from the boys and the guys who are used to playing five sets on a regular basis from those who regularly play three (at the most). This happens pretty often and if you’d seen James Blake throw up on the court in his first five-set match ever, you’d agree. You’d also be as grossed out as I was at the time.

Brother2 asks (he didn’t approve this for publication but what the hey):
I see that Nalbandian actually won a match in straight sets. What’s the matter with him? Is he feeling OK? Did he abandon his usual strategy of letting his opponent win the first two sets?

Thanks for your concern! I too was surprised. But first off, he nearly lost in the first round (thank goodness that Janko Tipsarevic ran out of wind or whatever), faced several match points, and had to go to five sets, showing that his M.O. of giving me heart attacks from all around the world is intact. (“Not the fittest guy on the tour” snarks P-Mac). But honestly, I’m inclined to believe, based on the fact that Mardy Fish has actually played up to his potential, Dudi Sela almost beat Marat Safin, and Maria Sharapova didn’t act like a petulant teenager at her press conference, that, scientifically speaking, there’s some weird juju going on over there. Or down under there. You get me.

And now, for my International readership, please allow me to highlight the match of the day in your respective countries.

USA: Roddick v. Safin

Russia: Kuznetsova v. Kirilenko

France: Gasquet v. Monfils

Czech Republic/Slovakia: Srebotnik v. Vaidisova

Israel/Fans of sexy people: Peer v. Golovin

Oh my God, I got through a whole tennis post with no Mauresmo jokes. It’s the strange juju, I just know it.


The Rolling Stones – Little T & A