Day of sloth! Day of sloth!

NOTE: US OPEN Spoilers Below

I love a good old fashioned sloth day. My definition reads: sit/lie around in PJs or loungewear with remote always within quick reach, if not in hand. Today’s viewing consisted mostly of US Open tennis, but I channel-surfed during commercial breaks. During the surf breaks, I watched a bit of both Sixteen Candles and Pretty in Pink in addition to other things, and I have some thoughts.

On Sixteen Candles – I didn’t have my own car in high school, and the times that I was unable to bum a ride from my more fortunate and awesome friends, I had to ride the bus. So while watching Sixteen Candles, I was forced to compare the characters on that bus with the characters I remember on mine. Unlike the movie version of a high school bus, the oddest person on my bus ride was undoubtedly me. In fact, I wish I had some characters like those in Sixteen Candles on my bus. I could have kicked back and enjoyed high school confident that I was all kinds of normal. Boys with jockstraps on their heads, the dude with the crazy eyebrow-twitching, the brass section in the back playing their instruments (no disrespect, my brother), of course, AMH all swaggering and completely oblivious, even the nerdy bus driver with his high-fiving ways and his sweatband. The people on my bus were disappointingly normal, albeit equally lacking in cool transport. With a character named Long Duk Dong highlighted in the movie, that Hughes didn’t portray a realistic view of high school bus riders isn’t really high on the list of complaints with this movie. Still, I thought I’d point it out.

On Pretty in Pink – OK, I was an Andrew McCarthy. Some girls were an Emilio. Some were a Judd Nelson. I was also a Rob Lowe despite the many reasons not to be, but that’s not really germane. Anyway, since I was an Andrew McCarthy, Pretty in Pink was right up my alley. UNTIL the prom scene. Well actually slightly before the prom scene. I have a theory. The movie muckity mucks liked McCarthy up until the scene where McCarthy is sitting on his bed in that godawful washed-out blue shirt which is when they hated him with the fire of a thousand suns. And they continued to hate him until shooting was finished. How else to explain the fact that he was crush-worthy up until that point and then turned into another character completely. If Jon Cryer is looking like the better candidate for the dance both in how he’s treating you and how he’s looking, something is up in whoville. Yo, McCarthy. Go back in time and just say no to that fugly bluish shirt and the white tux jacket. Those looks did you no favor, bro.

US Open, baby! Can you hear the music in the background? “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” Just tweak the lyrics a bit…..eh, I’m too lazy, and it’s been done for school supplies. That kind of takes the magic out of it. Anyway, the US Open is my favorite slam of the year. You’ll hear me wax poetic about Wimbledon, the French, and even the Australian, and they all have something special to offer. The US Open, however, is the best, if a bit bittersweet since I know I won’t have any more slam tennis to watch until January.

About del Potro’s loss to Hewitt last night…. I’m very sad to see del Potro out of the tournament. I really like Hewitt. I’ve always loved his grit and tenacity. He’s so much fun to watch out there. But del Potro. He’s one of my faves. (Yes, even though he beat my all-time favorite, Fed, in 2009.) So, as I was saying, I love del Potro (who in the world doesn’t?), and I think he has more left in his tank than Hewitt and that will translate into a coast for someone. So, I’m disappointed that he lost last night’s match because I think he would have given Djokovic some trouble whereas Hewitt will not.

That was a fantastic win for Riske over Kvitova. Watching Riske tear up during her interview with Mary Joe, I certainly didn’t tear up in response to all that genuine emotion. OK, I did, but I’m not made of stone. Don’t judge.

I wish McHale won over Ivanovic. Yes, I’m an Invanovic fan, but, come on, McHale is American and this is the US Open. I thought McHale had it, but it looked like she couldn’t sustain that level of play, and Ivanovic stopped making so many unforced errors.

I loved watching Cornet beating up on Azarenka during that first set. She had to play some amazing tennis to do so, but I really love her game and her fire. As far as Azarenka, I normally don’t think of her as being a great example of good sportsmanship. It could be because of that horrible noise she makes. I find her incredibly annoying to watch play unless I mute the TV, but I thought she handled the mess at the end of the second set beautifully. It had to be obvious that she was the victim of a very bad call. It was so far inside of the baseline that it was bound to be obvious from her side of the court. But she kept her calm and was able to prevail. Impressive.

I’ve never enjoyed watching Nadal play more. He’s playing flawlessly, and it’s hard to believe that clay’s his best surface after watching him play this hardcourt season.

Kohlschreiber broke my heart by beating Isner. I think Kohlschreiber is a fantastic player and always dangerous. And now he’s on my list. Isner has got to figure out a way to play and win matches that contain fewer than 5 sets. I know this was a 4 set match. And he lost. I’m just worried that he’s wearing himself out.

Wimbledon 2013 = meh

The semifinals for both women and men were very exciting, but the finals were anticlimactic. I’m ok with Murray winning, I guess, if only to give the home crowd what they’ve been waiting for patiently for so long. If we’re honest, I think we have to give a fair amount of the credit to a fantastic semifinal performance from del Potro who really weakened Djokovic for the final. I wanted desperately to see del Potro make it to the final though I’m not sure he had enough gas left for it. I certainly don’t feel meh about Bartoli’s win, but I think I’ve made that perfectly clear here in the past few days. I didn’t watch the match. I had OD’d on her and couldn’t take another second of the antics. And I knew I couldn’t bear to see her eke out the win over a tired Lisicki. If Radwanska couldn’t win, I really felt that Lisicki had earned the win for taking out arguably the biggest giant on either side of the tournament in Serena Williams. And certainly that accomplishment means she deserved it slightly more than Radwanska in sheer Wimbledon 2013 value. But no. It was not to be. And I wasn’t really surprised when I heard the outcome though I was very surprised it was in straight sets. Both finals were won in straight sets marking yet another time where the finals of a slam lack the thrill of the semis or even the quarters. I’m hoping the late rounds of the US Open make up for it.

Wimbledon Women’s Late Round Notes

So I already disliked Bartoli, probably unfairly, but after she ended Sloane’s run, you can bet I am actively rooting against her regardless of her opponent in this and all future tournaments. Come on Flipkens!! Truthfully, I just don’t like her style of play. I really liked Seles, but it wasn’t because of her two-hand forehand and backhand. I liked her style of play and her sportsmanship. I cannot say the same for Bartoli. And I have to wonder why you would ever cede so much court to your opponents by playing both forehand and backhand two-handed. It just makes no sense. Add that to all her theatrics and flailing about on the court which are so ridiculous and distracting, and I’m just not able to root for her.

I’m a huge fan of Radwanska’s type of game. She’s able to play any tennis shot you can think of and probably practices the tweener on the regular because everything else in her game is so solid she needs the challenge. Check out this vid of her pulling out a tweener on Ivanovic (another of my faves) at the French.

I love watching her play. She plays a tactical game of finesse that is refreshing in a sea of booming serves and trading power backhands and forehands from the baseline. It’s why I loved watching Hingis play, and it’s why I seriously mourned the loss of Henin when she retired at the pinnacle of her career. I hope Aga does well against Lisicki (who I like but who doesn’t have anywhere near the breadth of game that Aga does) and doesn’t fall short after so many long 3-set matches. She’s all I have left thanks to Bartoli. Boo, Bartoli.

I loathe the middle Sunday, but fortunately Manic Monday at Wimbledon is here!!

NOTE: Spoilers Below!!!

 

I love the madness of the second Monday at Wimbledon and, though this year is a little different from previous years since some of the notables are missing, my excitement level is just as high. I’ve healed from the loss of Fed, Jo Willy, Sharapova and Rafa, and I’m enjoying all of these close matches.

Of course there was a GIANT upset today. I just finished watching that match, and I must admit that I’m charmed by Lisicki with that smile of hers and that booming game. Quite a miss on Evert’s part. Unless I’m mistaken, I could swear I heard her characterize Lisicki’s game as all power and no strategy and yet she found the one tiny weakness in Serena’s game that allowed her to vanquish her. By pulling her into net, she was able to expose the one small part of the court where Serena isn’t 100% confident. My only concern with wins like this is that the letdown that follows can make it very hard to focus in subsequent matches. I hope this won’t happen in Lisicki’s case.

The other notable match for me so far was the Sloane Stephens and Monica Puig match. I’m thrilled that Sloane got through that one. I love Sloane’s game, but I think the expectations are so high for her that she’s got the weight of the world on her shoulders. I hope she’ll be able to do well for herself. I like Puig’s game, too. I’ve seen some of her other matches, and I’ve been really impressed with her. I think she’ll match her success here at the US Open and expect to see a lot more of her next year.

I’m a little disappointed at Bartoli’s easy run. I find her so distracting with her non-stop flailing about in between each point. So I really dislike watching her matches. I know it’s not kind, but I can’t help it. A few practice swings sure. But she jumps around like a kangaroo and takes numerous practice swings between each point. ENOUGH ALREADY. Give your opponent a break. She might want to serve SOME TIME TODAY, UGH!!!

I thought Aga might have her hands full with Pironkova, but I didn’t think she’d drop a set. With Serena out, I think she’s the obvious favorite to win, but this match didn’t go as I expected.

I’m excited to see what else Wimbledon has in store today.

 

Confession is good for the soul: I’m too invested in Roger Federer’s tennis career.

So Wild Wednesday at Wimbledon happened, and I needed a few days to grieve. That’s a sign that I’m way too invested in Fed’s success in the majors if I can’t watch any of the Wimbledon matches (ANY OF THEM!!) for three days (THREE DAYS!!) because I’m mourning the fact that his grand slam quarters streak ended and he won’t be featured in any more Wimbledon matches this year. I’ve followed his career from the onset, and I know he’s nearing its end. So I’ve made alternate plans for whom I’ll root for in situations when he receives an early round boot. Unfortunately, Rafa factored heavily into that plan followed by Jo Willy. So, my plans were effectively turned into a steaming pile of poo this year at the All England Club. I was also very sad to see Sharapova eliminated. Fortunately, I’ve still got two women I’d really like to see do well, so that’s where I’ll focus my attention for the rest of the tournament. Come on Sloane and Aga!

Bring on the US hard court season! US Open, please be kind to FedEx!!