Fed is out of the French and has been for multiple rounds. I’ve had the sads.

And this guy did the deed. Look, I can’t deny the dude’s got game. I have eyes. Eyes that sport specs, sure, but the specs have seen that Gulbis dispatched my main man Rog by bringing out the crazy in set five after what might have been a nicely-timed medi-break in set four. But, the bottom line is that Gulbis beat Fed fair and square. And I wrote Gulbis’ name down on my list of people I will actively root against. Except that I’m finding myself oddly unable to commit fully to the anti-Gulbis team because of this.

Gulbis

Am I mistaken or don’t you have to root for the guy flinging his arms in the air like he just doesn’t care? He looks completely ridiculous, but I’d sure hate to be on the other side of the net after he unleashes one of those forehands. And I find myself thinking of ol’ Furyk over on the golf pro tour smirking to himself as he counts his fat stacks every time someone makes a snide remark about his golf swing. Maybe it’s time we celebrate these unconventional strokes instead of roundly panning them? (Full disclosure: I mocked the hell out of that forehand up there during the entirety of the Federer/Gulbis match. Yet, it made no difference in the outcome.) And that forehand up there? Is anything but conventional. Can you imagine playing him? I’d be constantly confused thinking he was raising his hand as if to ask a question, or pointing off in the distance at something that we should all be checking out. It would be totally distracting. Point, set, match, Gulbis. Ingenious!

Good grief!! I clearly applied a jinx to my favorite tennis players with yesterday’s post!

After watching Radwanska v. Cibulkova, it’s clear that my post applied a jinx, and now I’m desperately trying to figure out how to undo it ahead of Federer v. Nadal. I didn’t know my own power when I wrote my words of admiration of Radwanska. And apparently the minute I had to do all that chattering about her brilliance, it became necessary to make me look like a big ol’ lying liar and she was unable to play her game. My apologies, Radwanska! Your loss is on me. My bad!!

In that post, I also wrote about the genius of Federer. I was just kidding about all of that. I would like to now write about the genius of Nadal. He is unbeatable. Wait, this might apply some sort of anti-jinx to Nadal to circumvent my intentions.

I am a newbie to this jinx business when it comes to undoing the whole mess. I apply jinxes all the time unknowingly and am left with the horrendous aftermath. I just mutter to myself, “Good one, Stephanie. You giant fool!” And I go about my business a little more gingerly for a few days before I become a little less diligent and apply another jinx. It’s a process I repeat often. But I can’t do this to Fed.

OK, Fed. If you’re reading this, I did some research.  I think you need to knock on wood, throw salt over your shoulder and, apparently, spit. You can spit on Nadal if that’s your preference. Wait, scratch that. You wouldn’t do that, and I shouldn’t advise that. Nadal’s a good guy. It’s not his fault I did this. So, you know, just spit on the ground. Wait! Maybe don’t do all three of those things. Bad things and threes and all that. Hmmm, I just don’t have much expertise in this field. This whole thing would be better handled by an expert. There must be an expert somewhere. Do you have an expert in your entourage? Definitely ask that guy.

Federer+Edberg=I see dead people. Sorry. F+E=I see another slam title. Better?

Obviously, I don’t want Federer to literally kill his opponents!! Come on, now! It’s trash talk, people. Last season was no bueno for this Fed fan, and I need some satisfaction. A Fed/Edberg mashup could be just the ticket. (YES, I know it’s on a trial basis. Stop trying to harsh my giddiness.) Now I’m certainly biased. After all I was a huge Edberg fan, so of course I’m going to back this pairing. But I do have some solid reasoning to fall back on.
To wit: (OK, truth? I’ve always wanted to use to wit because it’s so gloriously uptight…..settle down there, you little uptight word pairing.)

  • Edberg has a similar personality type to Federer. He’s very low-key and an all-around good guy. So there shouldn’t be a clash of personalities to get in the way of the meeting of the minds that I’m assuming Fed is going for here.
  • Edberg’s game style was exactly what I think Federer should be moving to. I’ve certainly been screaming this to my tv for a while now. Serve and volley, Fed! Or, more generally, just take the net away! It’d be nice to have it happen, so I can rest my voice. It’s just my opinion, of course. But Fed’s got magic hands and needs to be moving up to the net more. Though the courts slowed just as he came on the scene with a game more suited to the faster courts, he was able to dominate. But times have changed, and he needs to mix things up to win the slams. He’s still a step or three slower than the other biggies that he needs to vanquish to get one (or I’m sure in his mind, two) more slam title(s). So, Edberg’s serve and volley style of play is hopefully what he can sell to Fed. That plus the new racquet I’m hearing about should be helpful this year.
  • Edberg is the opposite of Becker. At least the Edberg I remember is certainly so. Becker seems awfully interested in the spotlight. He hasn’t shied away from the interviews since the announcement that he’s coming around to help the Djoker. But I can’t imagine similar behavior from Edberg. So, I’ll expect Edberg’s interests to be more aligned with Fed’s, and I expect that he might have something very valuable to offer in Federer’s quest for just one more seemingly elusive slam.

I’m certainly hoping it works out to Fed’s advantage. And, I, for one, will be delighted to see Edberg around again! You’ve been missed, Stefan!

What in the wide world of sports was Serena wearing to warm up last night?

Hey Schiavone, don’t feel bad. I’m certain you had no idea that the warm up attire for last night’s match was quite so formal. I hope that Serena’s next opponents will take note so that they won’t have to face the same embarrassment you no doubt faced as you looked across the net and witnessed Serena going through her warm-up routine while dressed in a formal jacket.

This jacket is not right, y'all.
This jacket is not right, y’all.

THANK YOU FOR THE PICTURE, USA TODAY!!

OK, I can’t even with that jacket. Nike produced that jacket for her. I have to assume that they must have some sort of plan to sell it to other people. I mean, I wasn’t a business major, so I don’t have an in-depth understanding of economies of scale. But I get the broad strokes. So, I have to guess that there is an assumption that this jacket that Serena was sporting (HA, see what I did there? What? It was funny. Funnyish?) would appeal to other tennis players and even, perhaps, other athletes. But who in the world is buying that jacket? For one thing, how comfortable could it POSSIBLY be to play any sport in? And secondly? It’s fugly as all get out. Damn straight. I believe that sartorial choice has to be the most egregious in all sport fashion. OK, I’m sure there is something I’ve missed that tops this one. It IS grey. It could have been produced in some atrocious color like seafoam green to amp up the fug that much more. So, someone has certainly worn something worse at some point in history. But this one is way up there on the scale of fashion don’t. Right? Or am I underdressed when I play sports, and no one has wanted to break my spirit by telling me I need to up my game? HA! I did it again. See? Right? It’s funny. Huh? No? FINE THEN, GRUMPSTERS!!!

I don’t get the chance to play tennis nearly as much as I’d like.

Since I don’t get the opportunity to play often, I throw everything I have into each outing. I approach each shot as if I must set a pace and placement record. I hit as if I’m still in my teens when I used to play almost daily. NOTE: I’m not in my teens anymore. Duh. My body parts begin registering their complaints at different intervals. My neck is typically the first to raise the white flag as I have (had? I’m still not sure I believe the last “healed” diagnosis I received) herniated disks in there, and this is usually when I begin taking things down a notch or five. And I promise myself I will quit playing soon. But if my neck doesn’t register another complaint, I won’t stop playing soon. Because I lack common sense when it comes to tennis. I love the sport too much to acquiesce when a few body parts have politely requested that I shut it down. I wait for them to insist that I shut it down. My back will cry “Uncle!” but the odd thing about this is that my back doesn’t register its complaint until I bend down to pick up a ball. I don’t realize it’s hurting until then. And I can retrieve the balls without bending down so as to avoid hearing from my back. HA! I don’t hear you, whiner! Now, suck it up! But eventually my neck will register another complaint, and I’m not dumb enough to ignore a second complaint from my neck. I stop playing, and I curse my lack of conditioning, my older body, and my horribly inconsistent approach to exercise. As I leave the court, I begin to tally the pain regions. It usually will appear to be centered around the neck and lower back. So, ok. We can do this. Later in the day, I might raise my arm for some reason or another and notice that it feels …. different. I don’t feel alarmed because it’s not different enough to register much. It is something that catches my attention for a moment. My neck will most likely be the constant source of noticeable pain. My back will probably continue to hurt a little, but it’s not something that I pay a lot of attention to. Then, the night comes. I go to sleep. I don’t sleep long before I wake up and think OH SWEET JESUS WHERE DID ALL THIS PAIN COME FROM?!?!? I masochistically begin cataloguing the body parts that are reporting in with pain. When this process takes too long, I give up and go to the bathroom to retrieve the Advil. Advil assures me that it’s got this. I take it, and try to go back to sleep. I wake up again an hour later. Advil is all, COME ON! That pain was way too much for me to tackle. You’ve got no one but yourself to blame. Put on your big girl panties, and deal. So, I spend the rest of the night in a sleep/wake cycle and curse myself thoroughly. The next morning I google “full body ice bath” but I don’t want to inadvertently put myself into a cryogenic sleep so I abandon that idea. I stare down a day of stupid pain and resolve not to do this to myself again.