1. I played tennis today for 2.5 hours. It has been a really long time since I spent so much time on the court. I am definitely paying the price for it right now: I have tiny blisters on my toes, my feet feel like they'd walked on coals, there is a dull ache in my legs and arms, and I am so tired that I can't focus, which makes me wonder why I am writing this. But stranger things have happened.
Tennis was good. I did a couple of relatively convincing backhand slices, but I probably fluked them. I did hit some good volleys; I was particularly pleased with a one-handed backhand volley that I hit. Of course, I then followed it up by dumping the next one into the net.
I met Dr P today to discuss my paper. Initially, the plan was to spend the afternoon in the library going over his comments, but last night, while watching the US Open final, I thought, Fuck this, I want to play tennis. Ergo, I texted Chen and he said okay, so I spent my afternoon playing tennis instead.
WHAT AN AFTERNOON WELL SPENT.
2. US Open finals: I was so happy when Angelique Kerber won. I'm not a huge fan of counter-punchers, hence my forever burning dislike for Caroline Wozniacki; but Kerber seems to throw all of herself into her shots, as if she's leaving everything on the court with every ball that she hits, no matter what the score is. And of course, sometimes watching retrievers is quite incredible because they make you wonder how they manage to chase down balls that should have been winners. But what makes Kerber truly special and better than the likes of Wozniacki is that she goes for her shots. In the match against Pliskova, she hit this crazy down-the-line forehand winner when she was pulled out wide. And it's also just the fact that she beat Serena Williams for her first slam in Australia this year and took over the #1 ranking. Finally - new blood! She isn't the most elegant player (I frankly find her strokes quite un-aesthetically pleasing) but she displays much grit, much determination, and she's consistent and aggressive. I like.
I was thrilled when Stan Wawrinka beat Djokovic. More like: I was thrilled when he finally won. The whole third set felt like it'd gone on for a year. It was nothing like the French Open final from 2015; the quality of tennis was disappointing and definitely not as explosive as that final. There were so many long rallies, not all of which were interesting, but I must say that I was really impressed that Wawrinka not only hung with Djokovic from the baseline; he beat Djokovic from the baseline. He defended as well as Djokovic, putting balls back into play that should've been winners, which is what Djokovic does routinely. And he also hit some seriously beautiful backhand down-the-line winners.
Djokovic, on the other hand...it wasn't like I ever really had that much respect for him apart from acknowledging his effectiveness on the court and his consistency, but whatever little respect I had was pretty much erased by that medical time-out he took in the fourth set when Wawrinka was about to serve at 3-1. That was gamesmanship at its best. How interesting that Wawrinka nearly got broken after the medical time-out; but thankfully, Djokovic flubbed 131837547 break points a la Peak Federer and Wawrinka held on to his serve.
3. This entry is seriously not happening. One of these days, I will write a better one.
4. Lastly, I practised my conversational skills today. I went to a friend's birthday drinks and actually talked to people. I have forgotten that this is what normal people do, having done nothing but work on my paper for the past month. I ended up staying an hour more than I'd wanted. I'm glad that I dragged myself there (fuck, it was so far! 20 minutes with heels!) despite the post-tennis fatigue.