Friday, June 09, 2006

Rule of Tennis #472: You cannot quit a match because you're losing

It was practically a given that Rafael Nadal would advance to the semis at the French. Most people would not have thought that the teenager he played, Novak Djokovic, would have pulled up lame in the third set.
Apparently, he was having some back trouble, but he played two close sets. Also suspicious was his penchant for grabbing his back every time he lost a point. But the best part is his press conference. "I think I had the control of the match. I just didn't finish it on the right way when I needed to. " The Joke said. You know what's funny is what some people's definition of control is. Most people would define control as being most agressive, setting up the opponent for errors, maybe even having a lead in the set. Some people, like Djokovic, define control as being the first person to cry uncle -- before he loses in three sets. Strange, that.
Really, on the biggest stage he's ever played on, with a chance for a Grand Slam semi and he just bails? And then you make a statement that sounds a lot like: "He's lucky I bailed when I did, because I was going to destroy him." They say denial ain't just a river in Egypt. It's probably also the name of Novak's shampoo.
Friday's semis will pit the fortunate Nadal against Ivan Ljubicic, while Federer will face Nalbandian, again. Ljubicic's a very solid player, but not as patient as his opponent. Nadal should advance, but he may drop a set, or maybe two. As far as the other two, Federer has a tough time with Nalbandian, and on his worst (?) surface, those issues could be magnified. Nalbandian has a sniff, but he can also be very flaky. This is the semi to look forward to, but it's hard to see the top seed losing.
The women's final is set. Unfortunately, Henin-Hardenne is in it, and she will likely beat the daylights out of Svetlana Kuznetsova. Unless she gets a headache, or a paper cut. Seriously, I don't ever want to see Henin-Hardenne in another major final. Yes, she's a great player, and she's got a beautiful backhand, and she's the antithesis of the standard Big Babe in women's tennis today, but where do you rediscover respect for a player who just quits a Grand Slam final because she has a stomachache? Allegedly.
I shall not cheer for you, JHH.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


that's why i'm an ancic fan.