Ruud is a stud, no? My god the future is bright for this sport.
Obviously, I did not watch this match. What was there to see?
Stoked I have a renewed energy for this blog, for a bit.
I am going to pile on.
But let us not forget: Rafa is a great clay court tennis player!
5 thoughts on “Yaaaaawn”
Matt: been a long time since I commented here. Glad you are still at it. And given your proclaimed “renewed energy,” I thought I’d give you some … fodder. When it comes to tennis (and politics, for that matter) we don’t agree on much — but ain’t intellectual diversity grand? And since I enjoy pugilistic repartee as much as you, let’s start off with one of my own theses:
You have become a guy who hates tennis while for some reason continuing to (sporadically) write about tennis.
The Matt commandments: The sport is at its nadir. All the next gen guys stink like dead, sun-bloated fish. Federer, the virtuoso, begat the Djokodal monster, and with it came ruin. Nadal is a scampering, sweaty, indomitable rat. Everything is awful. Where have you gone Petey Sampras, tennis nation turns its lonely eyes to you, woo hoo hoo. Etc., etc.
You are the crankiest, most miserable tennis fan in history. I kind of admire that.
Some of your larger points are incontestable. Tennis, in terms of its sporting and cultural relevance — certainly in America — has diminished to a fringe endeavor. With Serena and her crossover Q-score pretty much done (I doubt she plays another meaningful match), Fed the Great also not likely to return (despite his optimistic social media posts), or, if he does for a fleeting moment, only to lose in the quarters of a few tournaments and accept fabulous retirement gifts and the praise due to arguably the greatest of all time — the sport has become Nadal, Djoker and a bunch of guys that the average man on the street cannot name. Perhaps the explosive comet which is Alcaraz will change the dynamic in the near future.
Your endlessly documented Nadal loathing is, at this point, amusing. Matt shouting at Majorcan clouds. Hey, you’re entitled to your bile, although one continues to wonder how you square your perspective with that of pretty much every player — past and present — who has competed against the Spaniard and revere him both as an athlete and as a person. Bah! Irrelevant. Matt, gimlet-eyed, discerning blogger, is the only one who hasn’t been bamboozled. Nadal’s a cheat and an aesthetically vomitous top-spin heaving scoundrel. If you say so.
The Occam’s razor explanation for the Big Three’s superhuman dominance (what is that, 62 of the last 75 Majors? Ludicrous.) is that they are simply that good, a never again to be seen confluence of greatness. Your position is that while Roger and the Monstars may be great (in your episodic moments of weakness and honesty, you even seem to concede this about Nadal, before veering back into “he’s a fake, one-dimensional, poor-sport caveman” mantra), all pretenders to the throne suck. Med. Zverev. The Greek. The missing person Thiem. All soft, linguine-spined and unworthy. I’d say that’s more about confirmation bias and cathartic venting than reasoned analysis, but Everybody Sucks, by virtue of its pith and vinegar, does provide a certain quantum of emotional satisfaction. Like screaming at other commuters who block the left lane.
You were oddly silent about Djoker’s loss in the quarters after your confident declaration that he would sweep aside the pestilential Spaniard given the match’s import. Oh well. I’m sure it had something to do with Nadal taking too much time between serves. I have no idea whether Nadal’s Mueller Weiss disease (a hoax!) will allow him to play Wimby — signs point to no — but given the ravages to that field, if he does, a Djoker/Nadal final seems imminent. That would be enjoyable, and allow you to bang that drum all the more about the desecration of the sport.
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A reader with half a brain! Brilliant and well said. I needed something like this to engage. You, the Nadal cheerleader, are on top of the world. There is no denying this. The point I will take up especially is the crap field. You say there is no reasoning to this claim. Of course, not. What logic, reasonable evidence, could possibly undermine the Spaniard’s (and Serb’s and Swiss’) dominance? I have covered much of this before (my Nadalism work is pure and utter genius), but I will engage later today/tonight. I needed this. Thank you, whoever the hell you are. You provide an ounce of credibility to the reading public though if your politics differ from mine, you must be, and this begins to manifest with your worship of the moonballer, strident intellectual trash. Oh well — I really do like the discussion, so I’ll leave it there and return later, to be continued . . .
Matt: maybe we can frame the discussion re: the “crap field” in the context of another sport.
I know that you, like myself, are an MJ fan (at least of his athletic greatness). When peak Jordan was mercilessly lording over the NBA (don’t even get me started on what Jordan would do to the current floptastic, no hard fouls, no hand checks, pillow soft league), it did not lead me to conclude that Stockton, Malone, Barkley, Ewing, Drexler et al. sucked, because they could not find a way to defeat his Airness. No, those bona fide HOFers had the cosmic misfortune — well, not their respective bank accounts given the Jordan Effect, but certainly their bare trophy cases — of playing in an era dominated by the GOAT, who prevented them from collecting rings.
I largely feel the same way about the rotating cast of players, at the top of tennis, who have been repeatedly thwarted by the Big Three for the last decade and change. In this instance, they faced not just one MJ, but essentially three of them, a hydra ruthlessly gobbling up all the hardware except for the rare Wawrinka, Murray, Delpo breakthrough.
Thus, I ask: Why is your analysis (Everybody Sucks) a more plausible and persuasive diagnosis of the ongoing state of affairs than, alternatively: The Big Three Are Transcendent?
Whence the promised pile on? I was expecting a rhetorical suplex from the top rope. Are you composing in iambic pentameter? Don’t make me claim that Nadal is a better volleyer than Sampras. 🙂
Unfortunately, Tony, Nadal’s 14th, 15th French, whatever, does zero for his legacy. People saying this is incredible, he’s won it again, etc. etc. is such fanboy, pop media bullshit. La Decima has a nice ring — but he’s beyond Borg there, he’s the clay goat, got it, so quit jerking yourself off in front of everyone. It says as much about the field at this point as it does him. You have to be kidding me.
Secondly, the injury/doping narrative is totally fucked up and this is simply par for the course. Do I think Nadal dopes? Who knows. I think his tennis is garbage, but his effort is otherworldly and those skeletons are going to follow him around forever, unfortunately. For his sake, hopefully there is no whistle-blower down the road to tell us what we already suspected. Not a good look. I’ve heard two doctors opining on this very suspicion post RG ’22. The injury is as ridiculous as the doping and they may be, as we’ve heard, related. Being on crutches late 2021 and then winning AO, from two sets down. Being really, critically injured this spring, then destroying the draw in Paris. Lol.
This does nothing positive for his legacy. Think about it.
His form against Novak was very very high. Novak had him in his sights, but Nadal raised his level. Novak didn’t appear to have “it” in him to match that quality. He’s in his own self-made mess, btw.
Have fun with your delirious Rafans; the rest of the tennis world, especially those who have a brain, knows what’s up and what’s down. This latest version of RG only raised more questions, unfortunately.