Remember my TSQ discourse? The Tennis Status Quo is that manifestation of a collective consciousness that hoists and advocates for all of the obvious observations of the sport (something a child is capable of doing), but also buys into tennis advertising and marketing, that invests in narratives that apparel companies and television executives want people to buy into. So, the TSQ is riddled with stating the obvious and/or getting fat on bullshit and other half-truths that render the TSQ dopey and delusional. Some seemingly smart tennis fans/commentators are actually TSQ royalty.
I think if you charted the topics I’ve written about on this blog over the past 8-9 months, you’d see my Serena Williams antidote, my coverage of ATP, and my ruination of the myth of Rafael Nadal (sorry if you didn’t follow me on that). This is all based on my eye-sight, common sense and perhaps my gift of inference. Either way, I don’t need the future to shock me into some cheap enlightenment, for coming events to clarify my misunderstandings of some of these big pieces to this glorious tennis puzzle. If you follow me, I’m calling my shots here on Matt’s Blog and I’m going to hit that baseline, ball is in, on many occasions.
The hour is late here on the west coast of the U.S., but I wanted to fire off a quick post about Serena and Rafa. I was having a beer at a pub yesterday and happened to watch Serena play her first round AO match against a young Italian, Giorgi. Serena looked awful. Her visage accompanied by her unreal bulk were too much. I sat there A) disgusted, wishing they would cut to a Venus match and B) delighted at what I have pretty much thought of her for a long time. Tennis-wise, she looks terrible. Please, Azarenka, anyone with a decent game, move that bulk around the court and expose the horrific flaw that is her big, boring, non-athletic game.
The Rafa note is pretty obvious as his first round match with Fernando V just ended. Where are all of you who bought stock in Rafa 2016? You should be asked to turn-in your tennis allegiance and go watch a different sport. What have you been watching? Where have you found whatever evidence you needed to say he would climb back to #2 in the sport, or that he was a threat at the AO?
I have read professional tennis writers who pick him for the 2016 French Open. Tignor or someone on that TSQ hub wrote of Nadal’s ascension to #2 this season. Certain bloggers make the idiotic correlation between Nadal’s rise and Federer’s decline. What have you been watching? 2010 or 2013 when he came out of hiding to relegate common sense and natural science? Here’s what I said in my 2016 Predictions post, but I have been saying this for months now:
Nadal. I know a lot of people see him coming. I don’t. Will he be better than he was early in 2015? Probably. His form and results at the WTF were laudable, but I still think he’s a shell of who he was. I may be proven wrong. If he wins the AO or the FO, I call for an investigation. Seriously. He’s done. Having said that, he will come hard for his 10th FO. This would be a nice way to wrap-up a great career. Nole probably prevents any of those theatrics.
Look, Nadal is not as good of a tennis player as you all want to believe he is or even was. I’m sorry. Trust me on this. I have said it a million times on this young tennis blog of mine. Watching him play in 2015 was just another example of this. Yet people loved his autumn hard courts. They liked his play at the WTF. I wrote he didn’t belong on the court with Djokovic at the WTF. I later tried to declare the Doha final another clown show. He didn’t belong on the court with Djokovic there either. Nadal said Djokovic is playing better tennis than anyone ever. Maybe. But Nadal is not the arbiter of that kind of distinction, not when the spin and deflection machines are in overdrive.
Ladies and gentlemen, today’s five set loss in R1 to Verdasco is yet another piece of evidence. Please put that in your backpack; do not throw that away. I don’t want you to forget.
I wrote this in my AO draw analysis:
This is an interesting draw with Stan and Rafa leading the way (I suppose). With Stan’s inconsistency and Rafa’s post-“prime” tennis, who knows. The Bo5 format should definitely benefit the Spaniard, but the likes of Gulbis (if he’s playing well), Monfils (same) and Anderson could challenge Rafa (Verdasco might be a tough assignment, too). . . I will hold my tongue on Nadal. I will say that if he makes the SF v Murray, that would surprise me.
This is a public service announcement.