Sometimes, while watching tennis, I fall asleep. This is not because I find tennis boring.In fact, I really like watching tennis. But tennis can also soothe me in ways that other things don't soothe me. In fact, tennis can be like a lullaby and indeed so calming and soothing that I fall asleep.
I just fell asleep for the second time trying to watch the Zurich final, which consisted of Henin vs. Golovin. The first time I fell asleep watching this taped event was last night. We'd just gotten back from Hale Eddy, where we spend our weekends. We put the kids to bed, and then turned on my new, enormous flat screen high def TV to watch the ladies final. Oh wait, it was retaping at eleven pm, so first we watched a CSI. But then, soon enough, it was eleven o'clock and tennis commenced. Around five or six games into it, I fell asleep. My husband woke me and said we should go to bed. He was right.
The second time I fell asleep watching the Zurich final was just about two and a half hours ago. This time, I managed to stay awake to watch the entire first set, where Tatiana, up a break, managed to get broken back and then broken again. Then I fell asleep. When I woke, briefly, it was the end of the match. Henin won in straights and I felt a little disappointed that Golovin couldn't keep up with her, but hey, Henin is number one for a reason. Then they both said nice things, held bouquets of flowers and little glass trophies. Meanwhile, I was irritated that I was awake! It was so much nicer to be asleep.
So, I did something I don't like to do, but I do on occasion, out of some deep inner need for the soothing sound of tennis balls being whacked, commentators commentating, crowds clapping and the bright glimmer of television light hovering in the not so far distance. I watched an old match that I still had on my DVR, but that had happened a few weeks ago.
Now, maybe others don't feel a bit sheepish when admitting to watching a tennis match that happened a while ago. I do. I feel like it's not relevant, so it makes me feel desperate. Also, I only watch old matches when I am desperate. So which came first, the desperate feeling or the tennis match? That is too hard to answer. It's as hard to answer as which came first, the chicken or the egg. It's just unanswerable.
It was the Japan final, featuring my much beloved David Ferrer vs. Gasquet. And before I nicely fell asleep again, just as I wanted to, I heard some very interesting commentary by some -- I hope -- drunk, English guy. He was talking about Ferrer, who he likes very much. But he said, "I'm from England, and Ferrer makes me think of ferret. A ferret is a little animal that gets everything, all of its prey. It'll climb into rabbit holes to get the rabbit. And Ferrer reminds me of a ferret. He just gets everything."
Now, I may not be quoting him exactly. But a ferret is not a very nice rodent. And Ferrer is a nice man! I don't know him personally, but once I saw him in a hotel lobby and I've also watched him play Nalbandian in Canada, where he lost a tight match and I was in the first row. So even thought I don't know him, I've been relatively close to him, physically speaking. And I think he wouldn't want to be compared to a long, stinky rodent.
That said, maybe I'm feeling threatened by the commentator because I thought I was the only one to compare Ferrer to a small animal. But I, in my house in front of the television, at events where I've seen him play, have commented that Ferrer looks like a turtle. Now, turtle doesn't sound like the name Ferrer, as does ferret, but Ferrer actually reminds one of a turtle. He has that very hunched over back thing that some, not many, tennis players get from always sort of leaning over to hit a tennis ball. I'm actually surprised that more tennis players don't look like turtles. But Ferrer does. Im my house, we call him The Turtle. Not the ferret! The Turtle! Not that rodents shouldn't be loved. I know rodents are loveable; as a child I owned mice, hamsters and guinea pigs. But the Spanish, Ferrer being Spanish, are very proud. And I don't think he'd liked to be called a ferret. So out of respect for the Spanish cultural tendency to be proud, I think that drunk English commentator should not have called him a ferret. In fact, I was going to keep my nickname of The Turtle a secret, because I didn't want to hurt his feelings. But I think turtles are noble creatures-- perhaps all of God's creatures are noble, OK, but some animals evoke certain feelings in us humans -- so I don't feel so badly about thinking of him as a turtle.
Anyway, Ferrer was whomping Gaasquet, who I also really like. But then I fell asleep. When I woke, the match was over. They were both sitting down and waiting to get up and receive enormous checks. There was a lot of awkward silence from the commentators. It was a very long wait. Anyway, at this point I was awake and so I came upstairs and made a cup of tea. Tennis really served me well today. I needed a nap, and it helped me to nap. First I napped thanks to the Zurich final, then I woke but wanted to nap again, and then I watched an old match and even though that alarms me about myself, it helped me nap again.