What an opening day! I don’t know if it was the swooping camera angles, the crowds or the intensity of the players, but the first day of play in Melbourne had a cinematic feel – and I’m not talking The Sound of Music, either. See this fantastic article from the Telegraph for a first hand account: AO Crazy Opening Day
All the big dogs – Serena, Federer, Jankovich, Baghdatis, Roddick, and Mauresmo – came out fighting – (well. . .not so much Roger who just looked pissed at having to play a first round at all.) Roddick got out the measuring tape in a you-know-what measuring contest against Tsonga, who was fearless in the first half of the match and really fun to watch, and Baghdatis kept the energy level high with his World Cup-style celebration after hitting an awesome running forehand passing shot down the line in his first set. The women weren’t quite as worked up, but all three mentioned above showed some steel – the two veterans and the rising star all looking ready to go deep into the tournament. I’m so happy to see Serena having some positive energy out there – I’ve been hating the yelping, kneeling, whining act she’s had on court “lately” (as if she’s been playing lately.)
So I guess number 3 on my “looking for” list is promising, although I need to change a few of the other items already. #8 is toast, Sprem having been ousted from the tourny by Maria “the fashion plate” Kirilenko and # 1 and #5 won’t really work because Safin is playing in Roger’s half of the draw. If I’m forced to pick a scenario where Roger doesn’t win, I’m hoping for a Safin-Nadal final with Safin winning. Or maybe Roddick-Nadal with Roddick winning. . .I like Nadal but it’s just more exciting when he loses. Oh, and #4, I’m pleased to see is coming true. It was fun to hear Darren Cahill chatting about how he thought the 13 year-old-Federer had a backhand “you could drive a bus through.” Funny how the commentators kept mentioning how Brad Gilbert had “stopped by” to chat. They all miss him, evidently.
But I’m so over my list already – this major has it’s own wild momentum and I’m just happy to be along for the ride. Here are some random comments that I want to share (since I’m not qualified for any real commentary on the actual tennis, duh.)
Roddick (Euro-American) v. Tsonga (African-French) and Mauresmo (Euro-French) v. Perry (African-American) was an interesting showcase of tennis diversity. Both the girls had one- handed backhands and the boys had two-handeds. All had different court presences and characters. Easy-going Perry, classy (and kinda openly gay) Mauresmo, frat-boy power-house Roddick and Cassius Clay look-a-like Tsonga (dressed like a bee, no less) were all fun to watch. Reminds me of the X-Men.
No shot spot in Vodafone = LAME.
Favorite dress so far = Jankovich’s.
I know Chris Fowler is trying, but without an expert like Brad to play the clown to his straightman, the guy just comes across as a poseur. When he tries to pull the “insider” tone with the players they pause and look at him before answering, like “dude, who are you, anyway?”
Hark – I hear the shriek of the Sharkanova from the living room! I must make haste to the t.v. screen. . .