Archive for the ‘Tennis’ Category

I’m currently watching the French Open on Foxtel. Andy Murray is playing Viktor Troicki, the underdog, and it is two sets all with games on serve in the final set.

Troicki has played a great point and clearly beaten Murray, but one of the ball kids has prematurely run onto the court, thus the point must be replayed. Troicki quietly disputes the ruling, but then goes back to receive the replayed Murray serve.

Andy Murray – you had the opportunity to demonstrate superior sportsmanship by throwing that point. You knew you weren’t entitled to it. You were clearly beaten when the point was played the first time. But you didn’t, did you?

You just lost me and, I am sure, a massive number of tennis-watching people around the world. I hope you lose this match and that your generally unimpressive performances continue throughout the rest of your career.

Unfortunately, you have just demonstrated one of the fundamental problems with professional tennis. It is generally played by people who are absurdly overpaid for what they do, and who, in a lot of cases, lack any sort of grace, humility or SPORTSMANSHIP.

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I sat down and watched Sam Stosur play Francesca Schiavone in the final of the French Open last night, flicking between that and the Socceroos playing the USA.

It was a fantastic effort by both ladies to reach the final, neither of them being “stars” in the women’s game. Schiavone’s tactic of rushing the net on clay was interesting, but it worked, helped largely by the depth she was getting on her drives.

What was the best part of the game? To see two sportswomen who didn’t make absurd screaming noises everytime they hit the ball, who dressed as though they were there to play sport, not to go to a cocktail party, and who played the game in an appropriate respectful spirit.

Maybe there is some hope for women’s tennis.

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I’ve had this post sitting in my drafts for a few weeks now, with just the heading and no content. For the sake of getting it out there, let me say that seeing Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin return so successfully from retirement was fantastic for the game of tennis.

The Australian Open is over and the relevance has probably dissipated now, so let’s just say it’s great to have them back, and not give the bagging to professional tennis, particularly the women’s game, that I was intending.

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