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


24 Comments for this post

  1. Alex says:

    Some time after I first posed those questions, I also considered the possibility that these guys don’t play well in Australia because all the blood is rushing to their heads.

    And I believe Nalbandian even won his second round match without having his serve broken.

  2. Sarpon says:

    I watched Serena Williams play last night. I was just passing time until the Daily Show came on, but it made me feel a little connection to the Jewball Nation.

  3. Becca says:

    I can’t believe you didn’t also consider kangaroo allergies, Alex.

    And you believe correctly. Take that, P-Mac!

    Sarpon, you’re so good to me. I swear, I will write a non-tennis post soon.

    By the way, if one more person finds me by Googling “Roger Federer Jew,” I am going to rip my own head off.

  4. Sarpon says:

    Maybe they know something about Roger you don’t know, Becca.

  5. Alex says:

    Kangaroo allergies? That would be silly. On the other hand, disorientation from watching water swirl down the drain the wrong direction…that’s a hypothesis worth investigating.

    These tennis posts don’t really create a stampede to the comments page, do they? Sarpon, you must’ve been feeling a very little connection to the Jewball Nation.

  6. Jane says:

    Those people and their googles can be so annoying.


  7. Sarpon says:

    I’m just not equipped to make the kind of sophisticated analysis of the matches you and Becca are, Alex. While I was watching Serena and Petulantka bat the ball at each other, my thoughts were mostly “Don’t hit it right back AT her!” and “Yeah, do the little tappy thing again, that seemed like a good thing” and “Well I thought I understood the scoring but I guess I don’t” and “How does she keep those earrings from getting caught in the raquet when she serves?”

    I just don’t have a lot to bring to the tennis table.

  8. Alex says:

    Oh, Sarpon! I READ about those matches!

    I like tennis, and I understand tennis. When I was a kid, I used to play tennis–quite badly–but I’m in recovery now. But I don’t have time to watch tennis much, let alone to follow tennis.

    Without the Internets, I don’t think I could name more than 10 men or 10 women who are currently playing professional tennis. (Like, I think that little Chrissie Evert must’ve retired by now, which is a shame, because she was so cute.) I certainly don’t have the kind of tennis sophistication that Becca has.

  9. Becca says:

    Well, I guess I’m not going to get to post until later this weekend so I’m glad you guys have made my comment page not look as pathetic today.

    And I don’t have any tennis sophistication, really; my comments usually consist of “Don’t choke!” and “Why on earth would you do that?”

  10. Go! Away! Now! [I said NOW] says:

    did you watch Roddick v. Safin this morning? What a match, I tell you! Apparently some of the petulant teenager juju got into the wrong Russian.

  11. Becca says:

    I tried so hard to stay awake but I couldn’t.

    I think they’re repeating it at 3pm so thank you thank you thank you for not revealing the winner.

    Anyone who does will be blocked from this website forever. Plus, I’ll also think of some way to punish you.

  12. Go! Away! Now! [I said NOW] says:

    more likely than not it will be a match re-aired this afternoon!!

  13. Becca says:


    And great, because I want to see Jane’s tennis dress.

  14. Jane says:

    I wear ruffly underpants.

  15. Becca says:

    That statement would really work no matter what I said, wouldn’t it?

    PS, it’s on, I’m watching it now. The match, not Jane’s underpants.

  16. sarpon says:

    I see David Nalbandian battled back from the brink of obliteration to advance to the next round.

    Did I say that right? Did it sound as if I knew what I was talking about?

  17. KP says:

    but has anyone found you by Googling Roger Federererer?

  18. Becca says:

    Sarpon, indeed! Nalby is back to his old habits and faced a match point before coming back and winning in five sets. He also elicited these fun comments from the commentators:

    “If you saw this guy on the beach without his shirt you’d never believe he was an athlete. How does he stay out there?”


    “The match time is at three and a half hours which means Nalbandian is just getting warmed up.”

    Yes, that’s my guy.

    KP, alas no. But I did get “Is Andy Roddick circumcised?” today. Should anyone know the answer to this question from firsthand experience, please feel free to chime in!

  19. Go! Away! Now! [I said NOW] says:

    That Andy sure is one clean cut kid…

  20. Becca says:

    GA, you don’t say…

  21. Go! Away! Now! [I said NOW] says:

    ~eyebrow waggle~

  22. Kevin says:

    Ok – Sharapova has her shriek and Williams has her, well whatever it is, but what is Shahar Peer saying everytime she hits the ball?

  23. Becca says:

    Kevin, I don’t think it’s an actual word. I know Dementieva’s sound’s like “Tiheeeeee!” but no one else’s really has that unique a sound to me. Just for you, though, I went to YouTube to listen more carefully. Seriously, it just sounds like “Whuh!” to me. If you can find a video where it resembles a word in any language, I’ll be happy give it another listen.

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