I swear that I don’t live in a dingy basement furnished with only a mattress on the floor, a flat screen and a TIVO. My walls are not plastered with photos of Roger ripped out of magazines. I don’t even use him as my screen saver. Really, I do have a life that doesn’t involve logging on to rogerfederer.com. That said, my friends, I give you this study of a madwoman:
First set: I started by watching on my DVR about 30 minutes after the live start of the match. I like to fast forward through commercials. I got annoyed early by the commentator-worship of Roger, with even Darren Cahill saying Janko had no chance in the match. Guys, have you never heard the term “JINX”? Sat on my hands until about 5-5 and then I couldn’t help myself. I went to the tournament website and HORRORS, saw that Roger had just lost the first set tie break.
Second set: My heart was racing like I’d been on the court myself. It was just way too close. I willed myself to wait it out before checking the website again. Quickly, I lost the battle against my inner hysteria and checked the online scoreboard. THERE IS A GOD! Roger not only won the tiebreak but was up an early break in the third. Now I could finally settle down and enjoy the match, right?
Third set: I changed my mind. After another glance online showed Janko breaking back, I gave up all sense of decency and started watching the point-by-point LIVE online scoreboard while still nervously watching the DVR recording. I found myself believing that the real time scoring was somehow wrong, and that I might see something different on the DVR. Okay, this is unhealthy, I decided after the website showed Roger losing the third. I gave up and went to bed.
In bed: I actually had two dreams where people told me the scoreline of the match. There I’d be going to work naked or chasing after a missed train, when someone would pop out of nowhere and say “Tipsarevic beat Federer!” I woke up a couple of times during the night completely confused – how could I know the result of the match without having watched it? Early in the morning and agitated, I decided that enough was enough and threw off the covers.
But did I go back to the DVR? No way. I looked up the result online and then, relieved but somehow unconvinced, I watched the rest of the recording.
Even then, it was agonizing to watch. Go Roger!
VENUS WILLIAMS v. SANIA MIRZA
The match was entertaining, but I want to talk about how both these players conduct themselves off the court.
Venus, who has always been a classy proponent of equal pay and treatment for the XX set, stood up for the gals again before her match with Mirza last night. When tournament officials realized that Roger-Tipsarevic was turning into an epic, they asked Venus if they could move her match out of Rod Laver Arena so that Hewitt and Baggy could get started earlier. Venus refused. To paraphrase her earlier statement, she’s NO fool.
Sania Mirza is a brave woman, and that forehand of hers is just the tip of the iceberg. The amount of scrutiny she faces as a female athlete in India really is CRAZY. Off the top of my head, I can recall a number of controversies: her skirts are too shirt (love her new Adidas get-up, by the way), she disrespects a mosque, and now, she’s facing a potential 3-year jail sentence for putting her bare feet up about 10 feet away from a cheese-toothpick-sized version of the Indian flag. Oh, and she plays doubles with an Israeli, which is also some kind of blasphemy. People say that she’s an inspiration to women in her country, but I think the powers-that-be are doing everything possible to squelch any hope and empowerment women might get out of Sania’s success. I’m as culturally sensitive as the next gal, but this kind of stuff makes me want to barf.
Sania, you’re an inspiration to me, and your tennis is pretty cool, too!
Also CRAZY – the Hewitt v. Baggy match going on until sunrise, and a full stadium the enitre time.
Even CRAZIER – ESPN’s no-holds-barred, sometimes- commercial-free, nearly round-the-clock coverage of the Aussie Open. I can’t believe they didn’t ditch Baghdatis v. Hewitt in favor of some big bass fishing or texas hold-em. BRAVO, ESPN!
I LOVE THIS GAME!