anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,

(Australian Open 2009) I love Grand Slams!

The field of 128 players competing for one trophy means I get to watch unknown, random and sometimes weird players give the top players a run for their money. I caught a bit of Novak Djokovic's match against some Italian qualifier, Andrea Stopponini or something along those lines, and it was the third set and I saw a 4-0 and automatically assumed Djoker was the one with the double break...until I took a second look and realised it was the other way round!

Sadly, Djoker eventually won in straights. But still, these potential upsets are damn exciting!

Also, I thought my eyes were kidding me when I saw 12-12 in the final set of Gilles Muller (last year's US Open fairy tale dream, but brutally crushed in the end by my darling Roger! I was quite sad for Muller then 'cause I was rooting for him, until he came up against Roger) versus Feliciano Lopez! I knew that Wimbledon doesn't have a final set tie-break, but I didn't know that the AO doesn't have either! Oh my god, eventually it ended at 16-14 to Muller!!!!!

You know, I'm pretty sure making tennis players play until one wins by two games in the last set is a form of torture, especially in a best-of-five match. It's gruesome. Muller broke Lopez's last service game at love and I'm willing to bet that Lopez couldn't take the shit anymore and just gave in. I mean, playing competitive tennis for six hours straight, with a pathetic one-minute changeover "rest" once every two games, and under the hot sun? It's pure torture. And to think tie-breaks were only introduced about a couple of decades ago!

This is one thing I simultaneously love and hate about tennis. Love because I can't think of any other sport that makes its players go through mental and physical hell to win a match, which means it's pretty much in a class of its own. A match can last for hours (especially with deuce! A single game can drag on for half an hour), there's no half-time, players get one minute break every two games, and it's an individual sport so there's no one to take over when a player is tired. Not to mention - you have to run all over the damn court and chase down balls, and you also have to hit the ball really hard which take a hell lot of energy. The physical conditioning must be top-notch, but the mental resilience is arguably even more important. Tennis is sometimes more a mental game than a physical one. In the final do-or-die set without a tie-break, the player who first caves in will be the player that loses. Can you imagine losing an epic match after six hours just because the other guy hung in there for maybe 30 seconds longer than you did? Oh my god. I love this about tennis because it's almost uniquely tennis, which makes most other sports seem wussy in comparison.

At the same time, I swear, it's a fucking bitch sitting through a bloody ass long tennis match. It's damn irritating. DAMN IRRITATING. It's also extremely tiring for the audience/viewer to watch. One huge reason I can't watch football seriously is because I have no patience and I can't sit through two hours of twenty-two men running after one ball without anything happening. Sure, there are the many goal chances, but the pay-off isn't immediate most of the time - and I don't have the patience to wait for it.

Similarly, I don't have the patience to sit through a six-hour match to see who wins. I just don't. I don't know if I'll say the same for an epic Roger match 'cause I've yet to watch one (haven't watched his five-setters of the past, precisely because they are so long), but generally, if a match doesn't end after the third set, I wouldn't feel like watching it anymore and would switch off, monitor the scores online, and catch the last few games. I also can't imagine sitting in a stadium for SIX HOURS, not daring to go and pee in case I miss something important (no half-time, remember? Who can hurry to the toilet, pee, and hurry back to his seat in one minute?), and feeling my butt fall asleep in those six hours.

It's crazy. But I love best-of-five matches anyway because they're so much more rewarding than the paltry best-of-threes. Hence, I love Grand Slams.


Carlos Moya lost to some random Russian which means Roger's playing the random Russian in the second round!

They're showing Marat Safin now and he just started. He better finish by 4.30 so that I can watch Roger, failing which, they better switch to Rod Laver Arena when Roger comes on because this is pretty much my only chance of watching him this whole week. And I must watch him. I must.

I'm absolutely confident that he'll win today - duh. Yay! The last time he crashed out of a Grand Slam in the first round was like, a decade ago? Or something.

Oh, and there's a Taiwanese player competing! He's apparently Asia #1 (though that was last year and that might have changed) and he beat Andy Murray in Beijing, AND he's Taiwanese, so obviously I support him! He's currently winning his match against some Brazilian. I don't think I'll ever get to watch him play, considering he's playing on like, Court 18 (?! Wah that is damn obscure). Oh well! I'm glad there's at least a Taiwanese. My dad said there's also some PRC dude playing but dunno who the hell he is and I don't care, and I hope Lu Yen-Hsun lasts longer than Random PRC Dude! HAHAHAHA.





Tags: #1, australian open, novak djokovic, tennis

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