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.
I am a huge Federer fan and have been cheering for him since the very beginning of his career. It’s his style of play. I’ve always preferred the players with finesse. I’ll always choose to watch the player who can execute all variety of shots and craft any number of different types of plays as the point requires over a player who stands at the baseline and hits booming ground stroke after booming ground stroke. I like power, too. My favorite players have both. Obviously, Roger has power in his game. His serve, while certainly not the fastest, has enough speed to be a major weapon. His forehand is a thing of beauty. But his backhand is a weakness, and nobody will argue that point. Yet, he is a player who will load up the intangibles column because of his artistry. The racquet is like an extension of his arm. He just moves around the court like he was born to play. Watching him finally move to the net more like I’ve been begging him to via my TV for the past year or so has been a treat because he has magic hands and great instincts. It’s starting to pay off based on the Tsonga and Murray matches. Am I worried about Nadal? Obviously. I don’t think Fed can take him. It’s mental. I think Fed has a tendency to succumb to mental lapses in all of his matches. They can be brief, or they can last as long as a set. I think with Nadal he has the added mental issue where he believes that Nadal is better. I think Nadal has him beat mentally and the minute he can undo that knot, he can win. But, it’s awfully late in the game to work on the knot. But if he is able to jump ahead early AND AVOID A MENTAL LAPSE (that’s a big if), I think he can win if he plays more aggressively like he has been doing in the past few matches. I really like the influence that Edberg appears to already be having on his aggressiveness. Aside to Edberg: Please address the mental lapses. Those are killers.
My former favorite female tennis player, Justine Henin, played similarly to Roger. I miss Henin! But that’s ok because I have had a new favorite female player for a few years. And even though my favorite female player isn’t so much with the power, you don’t want to face her in a match when she’s at the top of her game because she will dismantle yours. Just ask Azarenka. I love Radwanska, and I will drop anything I’m doing to watch her play because she is mesmerizing. I watched so many of her points in the Azarenka match giggling with happiness because she was the master of that tennis court and the player across the net. She’s such an artist, and she put on a clinic demonstrating how to construct points, games and a winning match against a top player. I think she’s got a great chance at this title if she can avoid that slump that happens so often after taking out a big player. Ivanovic broke my heart when she was unable to capitalize on her big win over Serena.
I’m so excited to see the rest of the tournament!!
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.