Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Attitudimeter: The Grass is Greener than the Clay

Well, it's the end of the clay court season. That means Roger Federer came out of his hole and did not see his shadow, so he'll be sticking around for a while. Rafael Nadal? Well, who knows really. But there were plenty of players happy to return to the grass courts. Let's check in with them now!

Who's Up

Andy Murray

He's back! Woo! I really didn't realize how much I missed his game until he played against Nick Kyrgios this week (who we will discuss). He has a real workman-like game, and it's good to have his variety back. Sure, he's still rusty, but this is plenty of preparation to win Wimbledon in a couple weeks, right? No pressure whatsoever.

Roger Federer

This might be a good time to note that back in the day, some people couldn't get away with having the schedule Federer currently enjoys, which is: "Play whenever I like!" I only say this because of Serena and Venus Williams, who took on a lighter schedule to go to school, to start a business, to do "play whenever they liked!" They were greeted with haughty looks, upturned noses, lectures about how unserious they were about tennis. Federer is doing what the sisters did a decade ago and I have heard hardly a cross word about it. And I'm not looking to pick a whataboutism fight. I'm just saying, I guess. Anyway, Federer came back out and utterly dominated to win his 18th grass court title, and 98 overall. Some pundits have pointed out that if Federer plays his schedule right, he could win his 100th title at Wimbledon. Let's hope he doesn't run into ...

Who's Down

Nick Kyrgios

First of all, to answer your question, Nick, yes. Yes, the between-the-legs shot can be overplayed. And yes, it loses its brilliance when you are doing it standing still.
Kyrgios is a strange character. You might know this already. So there he is in Stuttgart, playing the semis against Federer. They're playing their per-usual tiebreaker, and Kyrgios, for once, wins a set against Federer. And then he put his head down and focused on the task and grinded his way through a challenging second set. LOL no. Actually, what he did was treat the second set as some type of proving ground for all his trick shots, and missed nearly all of them. By the time he reconciled himself to the fact that Fed wasn't going to sabotage himself, he tried to refocus for the third set, which he did, but still lost because it was Federer he was playing against. I have advocated for giving Nick a bit of space before writing him off completely. I still am, but I also am losing a bit of patience for someone who apparently is so bored out there that he's taken to hitting trick shots just to keep himself amused. If the thrill of competition doesn't do it for him, then what will?

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