The first semi-final of the Ladies Linz Generali highlighted one of my favorite aspects of the women's game: these ladies are nuts. I like nutty people. Patty Shnyder vs. Bartoli represent two of the most wonderfully nut-bar ladies in the game. Schnyder once more or less quit tennis to be a part of some cult thing. OK, that's not very specific, but its true. And I'm fairly certain the man who is her husband and coach-- always a nice wierd touch when your husband is your coach-- also "saved" her from the cult. She also has sci-fi-ish, self help sort of book and accompanying website:
And as a lefty with some amazingly funky spinny shots, I love watching her play. Love it.
Then there is Bartoli who looks more like a cheese shop owner than a professional athlete. She hits two-handed on both sides. That is rare, and therefore nutty. Her father is her coach; less exciting than a husband, but still fun, especially because he is a doctor and he makes her do the wierdest drills on the tour- tie tennis balls to her shoes and use a fishing rod to practice her serve. Announcers always suggest she's a bit of an outcast on the tour because of the wierd shit her dad makes her do. There is something so soulful about her. And she can do such great damage to a short ball.
Shnyder won. Bartoli seemed out of gas and Schnyder- she's so crafty!
Then came-- as my husband so politically incorrectly said -- the battle of the concentration camp guards. Hantuchova vs. Vaidisova was definately the battle of two six foot tall, blond, Eastern Europeans. But Danny Hanny- as she is affectionately known in our house --has occasionally looked like a camp victim more than a guard (this was said to me by Matthew, and he has a point) as she has struggled with eating problems. She looks healthy now, although not in comparison to Vaidisova who my husband says "scares" him. Vaidisova is a big, fierce girl. She whomped Danny Hanny in the first set. But Danny fought hard and played well and Vaidisova, since she is still a girl, got emotional in her game and made a bunch of errors. Danny won.
Being a fan of both Danny and Schnyder is good and bad when watching them play: good because I get to be happy whoever wins; bad because I also don't give a shit. Danny won. Also, being a big fan of tennis fashion, I love seeing what the ladies are wearing. I liked Danny's outfit- she was in a skin tight black Nike ensemble that my husband liked even more than me. I also thought that Bartoli's layered pink outfit was very cute.
At four o'clock today, I turned on my television. I had been taping the men's Paris first rounds since five in the morning. The first match was Mardy Fish vs. Tursunov. I immediately felt overwhelmed with the amount of tennis ahead of me. So I did something I often do. I muted it and let it run and came upstairs and did something else; namely, helped my kids with their homework. Unfortunately my children are smart and need very little help with their homework. But it gave me a little breather from the enormous amount of tennis ahead. I like Tursunov and Fish for not disimiliar reasons that I like Danny Hanny, Bartoli, or Shnyder. I've seem them both act like crazy unstable types on the court. It's amusing. But, they are not Spanish, nor Argentine, and therefore the TV continues to run downstairs, while I am up here, making dinner.