I could have thanked the couple of readers in my previous post as the subject came up about people appreciating my blog, but I thought I’d write a post thanking them and anyone else who enjoys the blog (loved the big boost in readership during the AO. . .stick around! 😀
First and foremost, cheers to all who do visit and read, and if you do enjoy the discourse, the style of commentary (of blogging), awesome; that makes me feel really good – feel free to add your “two cents” to the mix; the more the merrier!
On this idea of readers’ appreciation, I have to be honest with you: I want to write about tennis every single day, travel, watch matches and talk about the tennis. Getting compensated for this would be ideal, so I will continue to write and think about ways to climb into the cockpit of that rocket ship. First, I need to get this blog in any way positive on the bank account. I am not a businessman first and foremost – I just like to analyze the sport and other events, cultural issues, etc. But I really do want to raise the stakes with my writing and my readership. I will continue to think about that when I have the time between work and writing, because those are my priorities (along with watching the boys hit the ball, of course 🙂
Any ideas you might have toward this end ($$$), please send them along. You can contact me via this link (one of the ways, as you know, is to leave a comment on a post).
I have some damn fine readers and commenters. You all make me smile and smarter at the same time. Keep the dream alive! And keep me honest. I really do appreciate the back-and-forth. That’s a big part of this social media, the blog.
Help me blow this thing up and make the tennis coverage and insight even better! Don’t be shy.
Caligula, his majesty, has been a steady stream of sharp commentary and I indeed appreciate his latest attempt to halt a post I might write about the incredibly “controversial” court speed of the ATP that he and I both know would be a shot across the bow of a special individual who needs our help. In fact, this insane Roman tyrant of whom I write did offer a nice cliff note on the discussion: the history of court surface evolution is actually pretty vague and, more importantly, not an issue one can really investigate with much hope of uncovering much definitive conclusions.
But I will investigate, not the specific idea of court speed difference necessarily, but what the AO offered us that has some correlation, I suppose (again, nailing down whether or not an auxiliary factor had much to do with the outcome of an event is tough to determine). The exit of two prominent base-liners coupled with the success of more all-courters has to recruit a few choice words for any brains awake on the genuine history of the sport, the importance of change, and the possibility that we get a chance to witness talent, above all.
So, I’ll explore that harbor, so to speak. Nonetheless, thanks for the advice, my friend Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus. I’m heeding your counsel to a certain extent, and was certainly lazy in even making such a suggestion at the end of that previous post. You called me on it. Fremitus! or Στην υγειά σας!
Cheers to the rest of you, as well (blackspy, Incondite, RJ, et al). Thanks!
Now, before I go: I read tonight a post by a “tennis purist” claiming that Federer’s win in Melbourne was certainly a result of doping. This guy really has two premises: there are drugs in the sport and winning big after a long lay-off is a red flag for doping.
I know, incisive stuff, right?
This guy should have a little more than that. Yeah, he’s an idiot, which might surprise him given that he takes himself so seriously. I, as you know, have a decent crap detector, and this guy is a steaming double or triple helping of bullshit.
He goes into an amateur’s history of doping and the flawed testing system. Fine, it’s flawed, yeah we’ve heard the anecdote about McEnroe, the Williams sisters’ and Nadal’s
hacked files, etc., but this is all murky and stuff we’ve known about, which doesn’t tie anything to Federer, nor does it shed any light on the reality of drugs in sport. Federer is guilty by association, according to this “journalist.”
That’s garbage. Classic conspiracy theory.
The next argument comes from the Nadal model, coming off injury and reeling-off a huge win at a major. He then goes to the 2017 AO and walks us through all of the five-setters won by this ancient 35 year-old, etc. etc.
Ultimately, he argues, how can a guy who ran out of gas vs. Raonic at the 2016 WB SF after going five big ones vs Cilic in the QF then run through the likes of Nishikori (best five setter on the planet according to this guy’s statistical hemorrhoid), Stan (beast at Bo5) and then Nadal (the greatest Bo5er of them all), AFTER coming-off the extended injury time-off.
Aside from his entire agenda having the bias of a well-known fan-girl, I suggest that pointing-out the suspicion of a WB SF loss in 2016 followed by a 2017 AO is poor strategy if you want to win even some light applause from tennis intelligentsia or general readers, for that matter.
Federer was having a pretty rough 2016, for starters. He suffered a knee injury after the AO SF he lost to Novak; he had surgery. He didn’t play IW, Miami, missed some of the clay because of back injury, missed the FO (breaking a string of majors played dating back to AO 2000), and then found himself at WB after a little warm-up at Halle, where he lost to the younger Zverev. Coming into WB a little banged-up, perhaps? Strike you as relevant?
After the loss to Raonic, who was clearly relishing the service-friendly grass, mind you, Roger took the rest of the year off because of his knee, perhaps his back, etc. This wasn’t really shocking then, nor is this sequence of events shocking now, especially given some amateur’s wet dream.
Are you questioning the validity of his injuries? Good luck with that one. 2016 was injury plagued for Roger Federer. That’s the story I’m sticking to along with most of the other earthlings.
Then he opens 2017 at the Hopman Cup, and plays well, challenging some world class players like Evans, Gasquet and A. Zverev. This is followed by an historic run in Melbourne that saw a lot of pretty interesting upsets and runs from a few players. Was Roger’s run some kind of isolated “event”?
Wake-up, sporto. You can do better than that. Roger was doping, but Novak and Andy weren’t? Is that your explanation? Was Mischa Zverev jamming needles into himself, too? That guy came out of the clouds. What’s your explanation for that?
So here we are: Roger, a 35 year-old, goes on an incredible, difficult to fathom run that needs some kind of explanation, perhaps one that’s informed by WADA? You just can’t imagine Roger Federer going on such a run?
Even if in the last four majors he played, prior to AO 2017, consisted of these runs: SF WB (2016), SF AO (2016), F USO (2015) and F WB (2015)? These deep runs are a rarity from this Swiss guy? That’s your take? Who’s paying you?
It gets better. He really gets all frothy and aroused when talking about all the five-setters that Roger played. How in the world could this 35 year-old survive all of those longish matches and still overcome Nadal in a five-setter on top of that?!
He gets a little confused at this point. He assumes that the five setters are 5+ hours long. We are all impressed with Roger’s run, that he beat the likes of Berdych, Kei (5 sets), a surging Zverev and Stan (5 sets) on the way to beating Nadal (5 sets). This was nearly unheard of. Historical. Etc.
But this is what many miss: The Berdych match was 90min; Nishikori 3hr, 24; Zverev 92 min; Stan 3hr, 04; and Nadal 3hr, 37 min.
Sure that’s still a lot of tennis, but those are quick matches in the realm of five setters. That’s part of the genius of Federer’s tennis (not the genius of guys like Djokovic or Nadal). We saw this year the reminder of how tennis was and could be played by guys that want to just serve and ball all-court style. Settling at the BL and ripping/retrieving for five hours is not necessarily the only tennis (for those who are too young or slow to remember). That’s actually more drug suspicious tennis, mr. tennis media guy expert.
Is this guy (this voice) suggesting too that Kei, Stan and Co. took a fall for Federer? Give that guy some smelling salts or some O2.
He even included a quote from Andy Murray, who questioned some players’ stamina last spring in Monte Carlo, I believe. At least that’s where he was interviewed. Totally unrelated to Roger’s run at the 2017 Australian Open.
So this “journalist” has Federer on that “list.”
I have to write, folks, just to deal with this bizarro bullshit.
And I will be back to serve-up a reminder of the brilliance of all-court tennis, a little S&V and maybe throw some other picnickers under the bus.
Talk to you soon!