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.
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!
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!!
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!
OK, thankfully the Miley-Cyrus-at-the-VMAs furor has died down. The open letters to Miley, and her father, and all of Hollywood, and Congress, and ANYONE WHO WILL LISTEN OHMYGODWON’TSOMEONEPLEASETHINKOFTHECHILDREN!!!! have finally slowed or even stopped. I don’t really get the “earnest open letter to famous person” madness that seems to happen all over social media when some celeb has been targeted for a public intervention. Hey guys. No celeb is reading your open letters. Trust me. They are way too busy feeling awesome and, if you are going to negate that business, they are not trying to hear that. If you are writing open letters full of ass-kissing and unicorn love, they aren’t reading that either. If I thought this was a successful course of action, I’d be banging out an urgent electronic missive to Federer. It would go something like this:
Dear You’ve-Got-My-Vote-for-Best-Tennis-Player-Ever AKA Capt. Hottie with the sexy voice,
Please go back in time and retire from tennis after winning last year’s Wimbledon title. You will not have to listen to a year of “Dude sucks and I don’t know why in the world we discussed the possibility of his being the best tennis player ever.” You will not miss that conversation, believe me. Also, thanks for giving me years of watching you play tennis with a mastery that still amazes me.
A Steadfast Fan
I might send a note to Dave Matthews to let him know that I think he is an odd bird in the good sense, and I can dig that as I’m an odd bird myself (though maybe not in the good sense). Nah. That’s two letters, and I’m pretty lazy. So, just the one to Roger. And of course I’m not corresponding with Roger Federer or Dave Matthews or any other sports figure, or rock star, or celebrity or famous person because I was born with a working brain cell or two and know that those people haven’t the slightest interest in hearing from me. Hell, I’m not famous in any way at all, though I do play a famous person in many of my nocturnal dramas, and I don’t want to receive correspondence from random peeps. I bet you don’t either.
Anyway. Back to Miley. I saw Miley Cyrus perform at the VMAs, and my reaction went like this. Aw, that’s too bad that she’s creating an embarrassing memory right now in front of so many people. My other thought was, “WHAT IN THE WORLD IS UP WITH HER TONGUE? IS IT SUPERSIZED?” Yes, that is in all caps because I just couldn’t get past the tongue. It showed up in a dream later that night. I’m not even kidding. It was just a giant tongue sitting in a chair that I worked into one of my dreams. Very odd, but it really added some extra atmosphere to that particular dream. Had it contributed dialog, it would have turned that dream into a nightmare, but it was mercifully silent. I think it’s the new “elephant in the room” for me. But I digress again! The twerking! I’m just so glad that Miley made twerking a word familiar to us all because when Joan Rivers mentioned at the beginning of the Fashion Police ep. that they were going to be twerking, I knew I was about to witness something awesome!!!! People, behold:
No, it is NOT a stand-in! Yeah, it is TOTALLY a stand-in. But tell me that just the idea alone of Joan Rivers twerking isn’t laugh out loud funny. Go on, tell me.