The times are definitely changing, and I think the guard is rotating as well. Except there’s only so much you can change things for Serena, probably simply because she’s Serena.
Although I am reminded now of the 2008 Australian Open, when the guard was only Roger and Rafa, and Novak Djokovic was one of the two upstarts who upended them both to make a shocking final. Now he’s one of the upset. But considering Tsonga still is still slamless and not one of the Big Four, well, definitely both men playing tomorrow will really want to win that final; what happens in that match could define both their careers.
Except it’s sad one of those two is Cilic, considering he’s only a year out from a very dodgy sequence of events. I would actually have minded him having a suspension in his history less, perhaps, if there hadn’t been the attempt to cover it up. If one of him and Nishikori must ascend to the top now, well, go Kei!
I’m sorry, but Andy Murray landing in Novak Djokovic’s quarter just isn’t right. Except that maybe it’s the tennis gods demanding a bit of payment out of Nole for his so often getting the cakewalk. But then again, given their recent records, I wouldn’t assume they both make the quarters anyway, especially with poor Mandy having to get through Tsonga first!
My first reaction on hearing about the Serena-Taylor matchup was, of course, “Poor Taylor,” but now I’m reconsidering that. Even after all else we’ve seen you can’t imagine Serena going down in the first, especially after doing so well in the US Open series, but at the same time, it doesn’t seem impossible. At the very least, I think Townsend’s got a good shot at taking her to three sets and having a match she can be proud of.
Though when it comes to which first-round match will provide the most drama, my money is on Berdych-Hewitt. Though Cilic-Baghdatis has potential too.
Storms are always pending in DC these days. Literally as well as figuratively; it seems the weather app is always saying they’ll happen later in the day, and often they don’t. This week they actually weren’t predicted for the evenings, but now isolated storms are predicted for tomorrow afternoon. When, naturally, my sister has a pair of tickets to the Citi Open first day of qualifying thanks to her job(the thing about free things is you don’t control the details). Tennis season is upon us again; this evening I had it on TV, yet another American boy winning largely because his opponent isn’t too tough a one.
Tonight it made me think back to 2009, when I was only just getting into the sport, and I watched an Indianapolis match between John Isner and Wayne Odesnik, the first I heard of either of them; it seems strange now to think it was less than a year before the former’s claim to fame and the latter’s claim to infamy. At the time I initially liked Odesnik better, simply because he looked handsomer, though their play annoyed me until by the time the second set was winding down I was hoping for Isner to win so he would quicker(naturally Odesnik took the set, than Isner won in the third)
Now suddenly on the heels of one suspension comes allegations of another, both of them shorter and less straightforward than the standard two years for an obvious attempt to cheat, but still it shakes you, especially with a Florida druggist allegedly with at least one tennis player on his books likewise in the news, even though one player could, it seems, just be Odesnik, whom we all know about already. Then there’s nothing for it but to wait to see if anyone, Troicki, Cilic, or others, say anything more than they already have, or someone else gets caught. There are storms no app predicts.
Order of play for the Citi Open isn’t out yet either. It’s always a waiting game of some sort.
This morning, around the time Rafa was 0-4 down to Bernard Tomic in the second set, I tweeted that this was officially the weirdest Australian Open ever. Then Rafa got both the breaks back and life resumed it’s normal programming, but still, it’s an odd one. I can now think of six mid-match retirements offhand, the surface of one of the stadium courts is malfunctioning, the nice Belgian girl is accused of pregnancy-related grumpiness and retaliates by embarrassing the man responsible while he was interviewing her(and ESPN initially bleeps out a reference to her boobs which made me initially think she was repeating something dirtier), and right now I can’t remember what else. And as I type this, the reason for the latest injury-related retirement has changed from a finger injury to a groin injury. Which actually makes things less odd, but still.