Me, Watching Tennis

Me, Watching Tennis
Me, Watching Tennis

Monday, September 7, 2009

Even Pretty Girls Sometimes Wear Ugly Dresses

I'm the first person to admit I enjoy the asthetics of tennis as I much as I enjoy the play. For example, Oudin's shoes are fabulous. I want them, but alas, I have big feet. It's a curse.

It is easy to focus more on the aesthetics during lackluster matches like Wozniacki vs. Kuznetsova. First, say that three times without tripping over your tongue.

There's not much to discuss about the first set. It was pretty sad and boring. I have always wanted to like Wozniacki. She has an odd little game... while relatively she's a solid player, she seems rather milquetoast on the court. She's very pretty but she doesn't garner the attention of say, a Kournikova. She's talented, but not as talented as many other women on tour. I generally forget she's even playing until her name appears at the bottom of the screen during a match. Kuznetsova is another interesting player. She has a lot of game but she lacks flair. She's a severe looking lady on the court which is odd, because when you see pictures of her out and about, she looks much nicer and by nicer I mean friendlier. I'd be frightened standing across the net from Kuznetsova. What's really interesting about her is when she loses mental focus, she loses it completely and struggles to get it back. For a player of her caliber, she allows herself to be derailed far too easily (as if I could even hit one ball with her). Her thighs are exceptional.

Rules violation in the second set. Coaching! Awesome! When is the WTA going to get over the sideline coaching thing? So many coaches are doing it and its an open secret and pretending it isn't going on just makes matters more awkward than they need be.

The second set was more interesting. The play was more consistent until it wasn't. Kuznetsova hit some killer winners when Wozniacki was serving at 5-4.

Do we want to talk about the fact ESPN 2 is spelling Wozniacki's name two different ways, on the screen at the same time? That is awkward too.

Seriously though. Wozniacki's dress. The color is bad. The ruffles are bad. Layers? Really? And you know she has a coach and a trainer and probably a significant other and the attendants in the locker room and all of these people saw Wozniacki don this ugly dress and said nothing about it. Shame on them.

Tie break! I love tie breaks. They stress me out because every point is critical, particularly in a second set. Kuznetsova is still killing it with winners. Wozniacki's going to have to work on her serve if she wants to play with the big girls but the sassy way Woz (I can't type that name a minute longer) walked to her chair after winning the second set, amused me greatly. She has some real spunk when she puts her mind to it.

Third set. Kuz really throws her body into her swings. That's what scares me about her. She's all go, no quit in that regard. She really understands the idea of swinging through the ball. Tangent: When I was taking tennis lessons as a kid (not my choice), I had this jackass coach who always wore these really tight gym teacher shorts and velcro sneakers and he would yell at me from the other end of the court, "SWING THROUGH THE BALL," and I had no idea what he meant by that so I would just haplessly swing my racket about, just trying to make contact and his face would get redder and redder. Therapy helped with that.

This side of the draw is confusing with all the major names out of the tournament. If Kuznetsova falls, anyone can win the bracket. And here she goes, down 0-30 on her own serve. If she didn't have that ace in her arsenal, she would be royally screwed. At 15-30, Woz hit an amazing shot that Kuznetsova could not answer. I love seeing that.

Then of course we see Kuz starting to talk to herself. When she does that, you know it is the beginning of the end. Sports psychologists, take note! A new client is a-callin'.

Now, I'm going to give major props to Woz for that baseline passing shot at Deuce when it was 4-5. Brilliant play. Then Kuz replied right back. They're starting to play well enough I might forget the first two sets.

Sometimes, I listen to the commentators, and think, "I can do that, only I won't say stupid things over and over."

The airball Woz hit at 15 30 when she was up 6 5 was awesome! Kuz tried to wail on it and missed the court completely. Awesome. Then she double faults. And now, deuce. Woz tries to come to net and it was a mess. Kuz had momentum and again she missed the court. She needs a damn sports psychologist in the worst way. Then Woz hits a weak ass second serve right into the net. Sometimes, these girls make my blood pressure rise. Time for more self talk from Kuz. She is pretty rough on herself. Kuz's unforced errors are out of control.

Third set tie-breaks I don't like so much but at least the US Open isn't like the other majors and we don't have to sit here until they get to 19-17 or some abomination like that.

Kuz is having a love affair with sinking her balls into that net. She's also very... vocal. Let's all give Kuz a minute while she takes a seat on the court. My she's flexible. Now Woz is pumped. Let's see if she can FINISH it.

See what I said about that net?

SEE WHAT I SAID ABOUT THAT NET?

Honestly.

Awesome match. I was rooting for Woz.

3 comments:

paula said...

AWESOME POST Roxane!
You are funny.
That dress is Stella McCartney- it IS hideous. But hey, her dad is Paul McCartney and so she can torture the world with her bad ideas because he had so many good ones. It's like karma or something spritually balancing in the universe or something.

Roxane Gay said...

Paula, THANKS. I didn't realize it was a Stella dress. That makes sense.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know you followed tennis. Your post is funny and very clever. Thanks for sharing!

I used to watch every grand slam. Now for some reason, I've less time to do it. Go figure! :-)

"Sometimes, I listen to the commentators, and think, "I can do that, only I won't say stupid things over and over."" I can't even tell you how many times I've been thinking this, especially when they have the old guy give a preview of this year's tournament. What's his name again? Dick Enberg? He knows as much about tennis than I do about nuclear physics! We had a French version of him a few years ago on the public french channel. He was a great source of inspiration for stand-up comedians.

As for last night's match, I kind of wanted Kuz to win — I mean, come on, do we really want to see THE dress in the next round?! Seriously, I've seen Kuz struggle mentally so many times; watching her can be soooo frustrating. In this sense, she reminds me of Novotna. Last night it almost seemed that she could only play well when she was down. Unfortunately at the end this wasn't enough. But the match was amazing; this is exactly the kind of match women's tennis needs.

--Laurence.