Archive for January 25th, 2008

The Djoker defeats R-Fed & other tennis-related sentiments

January 25, 2008

Breaking news: Roger Federer lost to Novak Djokovic tonight in straight sets, 7-6, 6-3, 7-6. Djokovic will play Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France in Sunday’s final. My roommie and I were on the edge of our seats while watching the match, shrieking at every unforced error Federer made. It was obvious that he was not in his element tonight. Also, Federer only won his Saturday match against 49th-ranked Janko Tipsarevic by a hairline (possibly one of the longest fifth sets in history) and it was quite uncommon and uncharacteristic to see one of the sport’s greatest geniuses not playing his usual high-level tennis. It took a long while before my roommie and I could digest the fact that THE Roger Federer did not reach the final. We stared at the TV screen in disbelief for a good few minutes and we were absolutely crestfallen.

Not too many people know that I was totally into tennis back in high school. I used to dream of becoming the next Martina Hingis and I completely adored Patrick Rafter. I pretty much knew all of the Top Twenty players in both the men’s and the women’s divisions and I closely followed tennis tournies. I still play Virtua Tennis on the PS3 and the Wii every chance I could. I guess I got hooked due to the fact that tennis is a highly intense game and it involves an immense level of strategy and skill which I don’t find in most sports. It also helps that most tennis players are pretty damn hot [my list includes Patrick Rafter, Mark Philippoussis (before he sold out and did The Age of Love), Tommy Haas, Rafael Nadal, Andre Agassi (when he was much younger)]. At the moment I don’t have the same passion for the sport like I used to, but I have always, always, always admired Roger Federer’s game. I actually rooted for Federer in last year’s Australian Open like a crazed fan (he won the tournament without dropping a single set!) and my homework had to take a backseat just so I could watch him on TV. Though he isn’t a power hitter like most of his opponents, he’s an intelligent tactical player on the court and he comes across as someone very humble, subdued and level-headed. He also behaves himself quite well and thus far I have not seen him cuss, yell or fly into a fit of rage during a match. This afternoon I spent a fair bit of time reading up on him and I was surprised to discover a couple of interesting things: 1) he is Catholic; 2) he speaks fluent Swiss German, German, French and English (multi-lingual and Swiss do go together anyway); 3) the girlfriend who regularly watches his matches is also a tennis player and they met in the Sydney Olympics and; 4) he is actively involved in charity work and is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Facts 1, 2 and 4 left me extremely impressed. Too bad he’s not very good-looking, although my roommie thinks otherwise (methinks he’s a softer version of Quentin Tarantino).

In related news, 38th-ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga demolished Rafael Nadal last night, also in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2. Again, it was also very hard to accept that Rafa was defeated by a semi-unknown. We were watching the match from a bar and I was so distracted I couldn’t bring myself to finish my steak dinner. I happen to like this Spanish señor for I find him ruggedly handsome, and his physique is to-die-for. Rafa is also a veritable powerhouse on clay, which he has very clearly made his turf. His whole sleeveless-shirts-and-capri-pants-get-up also works quite well for him.

Tomorrow Ana Ivanovic faces Maria Sharapova in the women’s final. Funny how most commentators have dubbed the match as ‘The Squeak versus The Shriek’ (alluding to Ivanovic’s squeaking shoes and Sharapova’s noisy shrieks) and as a ‘beauty contest’, as both ladies are fairly attractive. Why does tennis get all the good-looking players?