Saturday, January 31, 2009

Random Aussie Ramblings, Vol. VIII: Post Script, part one

You know, when you see Serena Williams shouting like a pissed-off lioness, pumping her fist and with her big hoop earring looped over her ear instead of hanging neatly on her lobe, it makes you realize that you wouldn't really want to run into her in a dark alley. She reminds me of the wannabe gang members girls I knew in junior high who packed a plastic container of vaseline in their bookbags just in case someone looked at them wrong.
Also quite glad I didn't stay up until 3:30 a.m. to watch the Williams v. Dinara Safina final. I'm almost upset I got up at 9 to watch it. What a stinker -- really? 6-0, 6-3?? Anyway, Safina's movement, or lack thereof, really hurt her in this match. Up until now, Safina's gotten the edge because of her solid groundstrokes, and not because she's chasing everything down. The writing was on the wall early here, but at least Safina can take a lot of positives out of this tournament.
Moving on, I will be staying up for the Roger Federer v. Rafa Nadal match tonight (this morning?). First, some props to Fernando Verdasco for pushing Nadal to the limit in the semis. It's nice to see a journeyman finally tap that potential. I've said it before, but this is what's great about men's tennis right now. Everyone in the top 20 is dangerous. Here's hoping we see some more great tennis for The Hot Truth.
Back to the battle of the titans. I wouldn't even venture to guess who's going to come out on top, but the idea that Nadal will have trouble recovering from this tournament is a little ridiculous to me, even if it's coming from Nadal's own mouth. Dude is 22 years old and I again point out that he's pretty much a cyborg. He sleepwalked through the first five rounds of this tournament. One match, and he's tired? Are you kidding me?
As for Fed, he has recovered nicely from going the distance with Tomas Berdych earlier in the tournament, and against Andy Roddick in the semifinals, he was fairly frightening. A lot is being made of this match being the first Grand Slam final against Nadal on hard courts, and Fed has a 3-2 edge on the surface. However, it has been more than a year since Fed last beat Nadal on anything. In that time, Nadal's been able to expose Federer's backhand, and Fed's been unable to settle on a match-long strategy. But it's a new year and a new major. The real question is "What can you snack on at 4 a.m. during an instant-classic match?"


TopSpin said...

Hi Naf!

Love the new look and banner BTW!!

Safina it seems is just not ready quite yet - maybe it's for the best in the short term: would hate for her to win a Slam only to go the way Ivanovic has.

Just wish it had been more competitive - it's not good for Women's tennis for a Slam final to be that one sided.

And Nadal IS a cyborg, albeit a sensitive and rather pleasant one.

Loved all the post match drama - great to see it matters so much to Federer, and the way Nadal dealt with it all.

Naf said...

Thanks, TopSpin! I've been trying to get around to the new look for some time!
Women's tennis does depress me sometimes. Last year, the ladies broke through with some nice final matches (Wimbledon, U.S. Open) but overall, it's fragile right now. But you make a nice point about Safina turning out like Ivanovic.
Nadal is, of course, an advanced cyborg, complete with feelings. He can sweat without rusting his skin, er, metal.