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Spiraling Joys 01/18/2009 - 9:00 AM

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By Pete Bodo

Well, the bit is in, it's time to cinch the girth and get ready to ride; it's likely that by the next time I post, the optic-yellow pills will be flying and somebody will be pumping a fist and screaming, "Come on!"  I have two bits of housekeeping to take care of first off:

1 - Tennis.com's exclusive, live coverage of the Australian Open will be provided primarily by two staffers on the ground in Melbourne as I write this: Abby Lorge, our web mistress, and Tom Perrotta. Many of you remember Tomahawk's long-dormant String Theory blog from Grand Slams past. Well, it's up and running again, and it will be a good place to go for original, exclusive material from the tournament.

2 - Tennis.com will be providing an automatic daily newsletter from the AO. It's free, and you can sign up for daily delivery here.

This year, I'm going to try to catch more of the action on TV, which is an oft-broken promise I make myself because, well, I guess at heart I'm not a TV guy. I get edgy and restless when I'm just watching television; I start gnawing my fingernails (an unfortunate lifelong habit), then I jump up and suddenly, 10 minutes later, I've got my head buried in the walk-in closet and I've got the vacuum cleaner taken apart because the belt that drives the power roller snapped (something like 19 months ago) and must be replaced.

How I can spend so much time sitting around writing without experiencing similar urges or fears that I'm going to explode if I don't do something is a mystery to me. But one thing is for sure; I've been spoiled by purty near a lifetime spent watching more live tennis than is anybody's right to hope to see. But in all truth, any sports on television is something I rarely "watch." It's more like something I experience as background music, or some other ambient condition.

But this year I'm going to be more patient, attentive, and amenable to getting sucked into the electro-transmission of light waves flowing and melding in the black box to form the image of Roger Federer, or Jelena Jankovic.  BTW, did you see that item in the news the other day, about how we're getting closer to the day when concrete objects (including human beings, I presume) can be rendered invisible by bending light rays? Maybe I should paying more attention to all this Star Wars crap that has cowboy Luke so mesmerized. This breakthrough will take pay-for-view to a whole new level, I predict.

Sitting here at the farm, with a green piece of ash hissing as the wood stove boils out the moisture inside the log, I'm thinking about fans (as many of you know, I loathe what is commonly known as "bracketology") and the exquisite torture they'll be putting themselves through over these next two weeks.Two-hundred and fifty-six players will sally forth in quest of the men's and womens' singles titles, and only one man and one woman's mission will be a complete success. That gives you a rough idea of how perilous it is to be a fan.

I've often written that, to my mind, there are two kinds of fans out there: general tennis fans, for whom the game overshadows the transient individuals who play it (even though those fans have their heroes and villains), and those who sometimes seem more enamored of specific individuals than of the game in general.

I suppose that's true in all sports, but in tennis the pool of fans who attach their devotion to a single player (or players) is much greater - this is why you still find the occasional outlier who bangs his fist on the virtual table in a place like this and says something like: tennis ain't been the same since the days of McEnroe and Connors! He has a point, of course, but it's the self-evident one: nothing is ever the same as it was 10, 20 or 100 years ago. That's what happens when your interest is rooted in individuals, not the enterprise itself.

Team sports are in many ways much easier on the fan. Every day, I see guys wearing nylon New York Giants red, white and blue windbreakers, or OSHA-certified hard hats modeled on the Giants' helmet, complete with the logo. These guys are willing to sit in Giants' stadium in freezing rain in December, so you know they're committed. Yet very few of them are first and foremost Eli Manning fans - what they are is Giants fans, and if Manning happens to wreck their dreams, they're more than happy to throw him under the bus. Oh, they like some players more than others, but their allegiance is to the institution (the Giants), not to one or another of the people who, at any given time,  happen to play on the team. This is a liberating and generous mandate for the fan, because it allows him to be a fan as well as a critic. Nobody questions the Giant blue blood of a fan who boos a missed tackle by Antonio Pierce. How often does your typical Novak Djokovic fan boo when Nole blows a passing shot?

But tennis isn't a team sport (even Davis Cup in certain ways fails the smell test). Only those who are fans of the game in general are given latitude for dissent when it comes to the players, but they also are denied the heart-wrenching agony and the spiraling, concentrated joy experienced by fans of specific players. In some ways, those who resist - or keep in perspective - the siren song of personality issuing from each player are realists; those who do not, the diehard fans and KADs, are romantics.

I've often wondered, why would someone live and die by how Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal did on a given day? What's in it for them? Why make that investment?

Fans Not to get too heavy about it - okay, I'll get all heavy about it - I think having a specific, overwhelming favorite, while a narrow and in many ways unforgiving undertaking, gives the fan a way to express and perhaps experience unconditional love. And that's something most of us have spent at least portions of lives hunting. The born-again Christian will understand what I mean; the secular parent will also know -all he has to do is think about how he feels about his kid. We feel good about ourselves when we love unconditionally; we also long to be loved unconditionally, at least partly because it allows us to, well, get away with stuff. But by entering into this kind of relationship with a hero, we stake a partial claim to his or her conquests. When Ana Ivanovic wins, I win too, because I love Ana and this win is my reward for it - unconditionality be damned.

At some level, it's risky to transfer powerful emotions and loyalties to someone you don't know, or know only in his or her limited context as a tennis pro (that is, at some level, a machine. Because anyone who does anything "professionally" is just that, and the lengths to which players go - think Venus or Serena Williams - to try to demonstrate that they aren't "just" tennis players shows it.) How do you know that Janko Tipsarevic really is a "good" person -  because he has a Dostoyevsky quote tattooed on his arm?  Hey, maybe at heart he's more like Raskolnikov, an axe murderer!

We'll never really know how justified our love is, but isn't that moot, when the love we're trying to give is unconditional?  Besides, expending unconditional love on a tennis player is only risky in theory - unlike, say, expending unconditional love on a girlfriend, or spouse. It isn't like any of you guys are going to have to run out for milk because Jelena forgot to pick it up on the way home. The problem with being a uber-fan is that there's only one way to express that unconditional love (or to even show if it really exists, which really means that you have the capacity for giving it), and that's by loyalty.The fan who doesn't understand or accept that is on his or her way to becoming a stalker. And while loyalty to an institution, like a team, leaves you free to criticize anyone who appears to be an impediment to the success of that organism, you can't really do that with an individual. You're in for a penny, you're in for a dollar. Every tennis player out there is an institution unto himself, and his wins and losses are an open and shut case in which the glory or blame is undistributed.

The down-side of unconditional love is also the true test of the effort:  It's easy to give when you get something in return, but what do you do when you get nothing in return? That almost never happens in tennis, where everyone lives to fight another day, and those upon whom we're most likely to shower our unconditional love tend to be the ones who pay us back in spades. There's a reason the world is crawling with Federer and Nadal fans, while a Vince Spadea or Igor Andreev manages only a bemused "well done!"  now and then. We are, after all, human, and our urge to express and/or experience unconditional love is neatly offset by a considerably more rational desire to see a return on our investment. This explains the gallows humor and wry resignation exhibited by so many fans of Marat Safin. Being his fan is like giving money to that irascible but adorable con man, cousin Charley. It's just the toll you pay for being in his good graces.

Well, I won't go on. I want to finish the book I'm reading (A Terrible Glory, James Donovan's scrupulously researched retelling of the Battle of the Little Big Horn) before the tournament begins. In many ways, the early days of a major event are like one of these epic military battles - there's a lot of smoke and noise, the sheer chaos makes it hard to draw conclusions about anything, and even the most momentous surprise is likely to be long-forgotten by the the beginning of next week.

Feel free to treat this as a pre-Crisis Center post, and talk about whatever moves you on the even of  2009's first major. See y'all a little later.


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Posted by harini 01/18/2009 at 02:19 PM

People are visiting my roommate today...i have to make sure I can get them away from the TV at 7 so i can watch my tennis. it's been too long!

which reminds me, i forgot to warn my roommate that it's the Australian Open the next 2 weeks...

Posted by Ross 01/18/2009 at 02:19 PM

This was great thought provoking stuff, from Pete and many others. Although I’ve had my favorites, it’s mainly been about the tennis for me. I never rooted more for anyone than I did for Pancho Gonzales, as a new tennis fan. I followed Pancho’s series with Lew Hoad through the papers on a daily basis, and would have been devastated if he had lost. And yet, Hoad was my second favorite. I feel the same way about Roger and Rafa. I guess that puts me in Pete’s first category, and makes me the oldest tennis fan here.

Posted by Monica 01/18/2009 at 02:22 PM

Hello Siggy! Thanks so much. One more question if I may ask, would I have to absolutely post my picks every single day? And if I can't get to a computer every singles day, would I be disqualified or bumped off to continue in the pool? I'm just not sure whether I'll be able to get on a computer for the entire 2 weeks. And let's not forget that I am still a chicken right now but would appreciate knowing this. thanks again.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/18/2009 at 02:28 PM

Ross Hi, well maybe I cold be the second oldest hey dosent matter ist only a number right? lol!

My dad a huge Pancho fan,I remember Dad talking to me about him,dad said he thought he was the biggest nut case to pick up a racquet but one of the most brillant players he had ever seen.

Dads favourite player Rod Laver,dad told me without a doubt the greatest player ever for pure tennis ability.Dad had watched Rod play all over the world.

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 02:29 PM

siggy! how are you? Ready to frazzle over the lovely Rog?


Posted by siggy in the dark 01/18/2009 at 02:29 PM

Umm, Monica, perhaps I spoke too soon... have to confess, me explaining how things are done in the TW-cosmos would be like the blind leading the blind, ya know?

Help, regular TWibe, I (and Monica!) defer to your vast pool of knowledge! *slinks back into the cave*

Posted by ptenisnet 01/18/2009 at 02:30 PM

monica. you do have to post a pick everyday. it's a bummer.

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 02:31 PM

http://tinyurl.com/9ar7h2

Hehehe.


Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/18/2009 at 02:34 PM

May I say without a doubt this "Is The Place To Be" gosh we are all mad,passionate people abour our fav players.also we have some tennis knowledge too,good thing seeing it is about tennis!

Gee have to have passion in your life,without it you just dont succeed.

I have never thought for one moment we do not make people welcome.

Quite frankly I think we are a great bunch of people from all over the world,thats what makes it so special.

Hey everyone lets take a big bow,I think we all deserve it!

Posted by naughty T, multi award winner 01/18/2009 at 02:37 PM

Pete, love this post, unconditionally.

Posted by roadrunnerz 01/18/2009 at 02:37 PM

Hi Siggy! You're right, not every KAD is blind to their hero's faults. *gasp* Does this mean, I might be a KAD after all?.

And you're sooooo right about players words taken out of context. Happens all the time. Hate that.

But sometimes I read Fed fans defending everything he says, when I just want to say, "Why? That really was a silly thing to say." He often speaks before thinking things through. He's going to say lots of other silly things in the future, no doubt. He's human after all. But even as a huge fan, I refuse to defend them all.

I had to rank my player love based on their comments to the press, I think Roddick would win hands down. I unconditionally love his press conferences. :)

Posted by Monica 01/18/2009 at 02:38 PM

HaHa - thanks Siggy. You've helped my nervousness in asking questions at least (I don't feel so silly now not knowing anything about the Pool). Thanks for your warm replies! If anyone else can help, I'd really appreciate it! thanks

Posted by Jackie 01/18/2009 at 02:38 PM

Hey, TWibe family! :)

Have to go back and read Pete's post more carefully, but from what I skimmed, I can tell this one's going in my Bookmarks. ;)

And um, Fed's haircut? LOVES.

Posted by katada 01/18/2009 at 02:38 PM

Hey aussiemarg, good morning to you, is afternoon here for me. Lucky you that is in oyur own country. I'm 15 hours behind you so for me it will be many nights with little sleep, and work the next day. My picks for the tournament are:

Men: Rafa

Woman: Dementieva

Posted by siggy 01/18/2009 at 02:39 PM

Crazy, I second your "hehehe" or, in TW-speak, "jejeje"! ;)

Speaking of frazzzzling, wonder if becks will show up soon? Hope she's not snarled in a courtroom (not court, pity!)....

Btw, I am the proverbial couch potato today, am prone on my back, having caught a bug, though not.. murrayvitis, thank you no! (hello Hart!) So, Crazy, how do you feel about our Rogi's chances at this AO?

Posted by katada 01/18/2009 at 02:40 PM

I also hope that it will be a Rafa/Federer final.

Posted by Sherlock 01/18/2009 at 02:40 PM

Ross,

Love your story of following Pancho and Hoad. Did Pancho get the better of him by a wide margin, or was it pretty close? It seems like I've read about that before, but I can't remember.

Wouldn't it be wild if two of the top guys nowadays were able to do something like that? TW would spontaneously combust. :)

Posted by naughty T, multi award winner 01/18/2009 at 02:40 PM

C1, it must have been a rubbish party.

Posted by naughty T, multi award winner 01/18/2009 at 02:42 PM

Jackie!!!! you mean loves loves loves loves!!!!!!!!!! surely

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/18/2009 at 02:43 PM

Katada Hola to you,must really get stuck into my Spanish this year started well then went well lets say not good.

Hope you will feel better soon,maybe if Rafa win the A.O. that will make you happy.

Yes no baggy puffy eyes for me.Yeah its on my time zone.We have great tv coverage here as well with 2 channels.Also they replay matches which is great.

So Vamos Rafa I know you can do it.Win your 1st grand slam title on a h/court!

Posted by jb (Go Smiley Fed!!) 01/18/2009 at 02:45 PM

thanks to sherlock and crazyone for posting dueling links! just got back, am settled in, watching the snow and contemplating a nap before the action starts tonite!

mhm - gotta go read the roundtable, that's too good a cast of charecters to miss!

Posted by rose 01/18/2009 at 02:45 PM

i cant watch the AO on my telly so i'll have to do the live streaming which i don like @ all oh well i hope i wont miss to c rafa play en the rest ofcourse!

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 02:46 PM

siggy, he definitely got a favorable draw (bar the first round, which is one of the toughest opponents he got) so I think he'll do well, but I'm not so sure about winning the whole thing...his serve is not where I want it to be for that.

I think KADness can actually be a method by which appreciation of the sport in general increases...that is certainly true in my case. There's a direct path from my being a Fed KAD to my staying up til 3 am to watch Berdych play Del Potro in Tokyo, or savoring a Gonzalez-Tipsarevic match on the clay of Hamburg.

Posted by Jackie 01/18/2009 at 02:46 PM

naughty: Clearly. :) S'funny because I was stalking Fed clips on YouTube last night and kept thinking about the short hair - "Aw, I miss it!" - and here it is in all its wonderful glory. Fed never lets me down.

Too bad I won't get to see the Seppi match. *tear*

Posted by harini 01/18/2009 at 02:46 PM

a bit late in mentioning, but love the poem Highpockets! can't wait to see what you have after this year's AO :)

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 02:47 PM

naughty T, so you love the haircut too?

I don't like the gel he put in it for the party though.

Posted by Jackie 01/18/2009 at 02:49 PM

crazyone, party pics? Share!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/18/2009 at 02:49 PM

To Miss Highpockets Well Madam Highpockets as usual you poem sets the tone,wonderful thanks!

Posted by maedal (Vamos Rafa and the Armada!) 01/18/2009 at 02:50 PM

katada, glad you found your way to the suicide pool. i am hoping for the same men's final, with the same result. hope your headache has diminished--or disappeared entirely.

Posted by Monica 01/18/2009 at 02:50 PM

Oh, ok - thanks ptenisnet!

Posted by greenhopper 01/18/2009 at 02:51 PM

aww, sniff, great post. loved all the KAD stories too.
I don't have anything spectacular to add to the list.

But, 4 hours and 9 minutes to goooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 02:52 PM

Jacqui: http://preview.tinyurl.com/8m8tzj


Posted by VE 01/18/2009 at 02:53 PM

Pete, I think in part what you did for me with this post, was elucidate why I always seem to have a favorite near the top of the rankings.

It was Steffi, Jennifer for a while, Andre for the better part of forever; now Masha and Rafa. It's difficult to really get behind an individual player when you know they have ten years or so to give you the euphoria by proxy of a championship. Not like the Eagles, for whom I continue to wait.

Posted by Syd 01/18/2009 at 02:55 PM

Hey Siggy!

Great to see your around these parts;Well, ya know, when it comes to my man, no ad hominem attacks please; er, or is was that an ad hominem fallacy?

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/18/2009 at 02:55 PM

Greenhopper I know our boy dosent play until tomorrow,I hope the Asteriod has settled in nicely down in Melbourne and that wonderful Asteriod can cope with the hot weather make sure it has plenty of water,do not want it to de hydrate please.

Posted by Jackie 01/18/2009 at 02:57 PM

Ah, merci, folle? ;)

Yeah, I think it'll get better after about a week. But still, me likey!

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 02:58 PM

VE: Regarding the Eagles, maybe there won't be such a long wait after all!!!! Here's hoping!


Posted by VE 01/18/2009 at 03:00 PM

Let me clarify my post at 2:53...It's hard to get behind an individual mediocre player when they only have ten years or so to give you the euphoria of a title by proxy.

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 03:00 PM

BTW, the reason that they switched the order of play of the halves is that Tsonga requested a Tuesday start.


Posted by siggy 01/18/2009 at 03:01 PM

Monica, what was good enough for good old Socrates is quite good enough for little me! And so, thank you for your own warm words! ;)

roadrunnerz, you are a fella KAD, deny it or no! ;) Btw, am quite partial to Andy's press confgerences myself. He's so wickedly funny, I see a career in broadcasting post-tennis, don't you? He'd be lights-out better than those prosy, mealy-mouthed PC robots who get paid for waxing rhetorical at every turn, grrrr (hmmph, was that a bit.. harsh? must be my cold meds kicking in!)

Crazy, serves? What's up with that, has he changed his motion or something...?

Posted by adicecream 01/18/2009 at 03:02 PM

I'm on pins and needles waiting for (US) football and tennis! Go Ravens! They're not favored but you never know.

My pool says Elena and Roger.

My heart says Venus and James.

Posted by malimeda 01/18/2009 at 03:03 PM

Players' party makes your hair stand up:
http://tinyurl.com/832hax

Or stand back:
http://tinyurl.com/8hfj67

And your Scarface tee gets cooly exhibited. And your smile-with-buddies appears:
http://tinyurl.com/6w8hct

Also, your smile-with-seminaked-women appears:
http://tinyurl.com/8nypc3

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/18/2009 at 03:05 PM

I know Tsonga will play at the A.O. well we shall see how long he lasts,to me playing with Bulgind discs in ones back can only cause further damage,just to bend,slide,etc he will certainly feel it,complete madness I say.

Posted by harini 01/18/2009 at 03:09 PM

Wow Roger's new hairdo. I can't decide if it's a yea or nay.

Rafa's still got the best smile.

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 01/18/2009 at 03:10 PM

C1 and Sherlock,

Thanks for the roundtable links. (Or were you two just showing off your tinyurl skills?:) Part 1 is a "must-read" for Fed KADS.

Fed fans should also check out Neil Harman's headline on screaming. The last portion contains a great piece on our man. (I don't know how to tinyurl like C1 and Sherlock.:)

And speaking of Fed's hair, I had to laugh at the description of Murray's hair as looking like a lavatory brush after a match.

Posted by VE 01/18/2009 at 03:11 PM

Yes, crazyone, here's hoping.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/18/2009 at 03:11 PM

I like Rogers new hair style

Posted by Whitney 01/18/2009 at 03:11 PM

Rachael? Rachael? Are you there? Nice Andy story.. I'm feeling the love. Can't wait for 7:00.

Hey everyone!

Posted by Master Ace 01/18/2009 at 03:12 PM

Greenhopper,
Looked at the doubles draw? If so, what are your thoughts.

Posted by Sherlock 01/18/2009 at 03:15 PM

Um, not the start the Eagles were looking for. Yikes. :(

Posted by Whitney 01/18/2009 at 03:15 PM

Hey Sherlock! Long time, no talk....

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 01/18/2009 at 03:17 PM

greenhopper,

Who are your faves? Somehow you have deprived me of this vital information.

Jackie,

Why no Fed/Seppi match for you? I'm not sure if I'm happy that my BFed cut off those luscious curls. I will withhold my final review until I see the hair in action later.

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 01/18/2009 at 03:17 PM

Master Ace,

Did you get DC tickets?

Posted by Jackie 01/18/2009 at 03:18 PM

tangi: Since I imagine you have many a lovely link at your disposal, to tinyurl, just go to www.tinyurl.com. You put in the link you want to make tiny, click on "Make TinyURL," then VOILA! Done. :)

And thoughts on the haircut?

(Gotta say I prefer Hairgate to Carbunclegate.)

Posted by Sherlock 01/18/2009 at 03:18 PM

Hi, Tangi. :)

Wasn't that a great roundtable?? I just LOVED that. I could read those guys all day, going back and forth on different players and issues in the game.

I still chuckle on the section about Michelle Larcher De Brito.

"She will break the sound barrier - but not the top five"

He he he. :)

Posted by Jackie 01/18/2009 at 03:20 PM

tangi, you beat me to it!

No Fed/Seppi because of the time difference. No? Isn't it happening at some ungodly hour?

Posted by Sherlock 01/18/2009 at 03:20 PM

Hi, Whitney!!!!!

How are you?? What are the latest plot twists in "As Whitney's World Turns"? :)

Posted by rose 01/18/2009 at 03:21 PM

3 hrs 40 mins yaaaay!!!!

Posted by maedal (Vamos Rafa and the Armada!) 01/18/2009 at 03:22 PM

malimeda, thanks for the photos (and funny captions), as usual...

i like roger's new haircut.

Posted by Whitney 01/18/2009 at 03:23 PM

Sherlock - umm "As Whitney's World Turns" has been on hiatus since about the fifth week of last semester. Maybe it will re-air in the summer. Haha

Posted by harini 01/18/2009 at 03:24 PM

Jackie: DVR for tomorrow's taped replay? :)

i was planning on staying up all night for the matches but i'm sleepy already. not a good sign for the fortnight.

hey Whitney :) long time no see!

Posted by Melissa 01/18/2009 at 03:24 PM

My 02 cents:

Unlike other sports, most tennis fans are folks who have played the game at one point or another. The majority are kids, young adults and seniors who still have the time to play or follow the tour (just like here, ain't it ? :-)

The unconditional fans of top players are mostly kids, newbies and their compatriots (ie: Most Serbian fans who have no tennis tradition and only care for Djoko, Ana, JJ and Tipsy since about 2006. A small minority do care about others and even root for the Croats who led Yugoslavian tennis along Hungarian Monica Seles.)

Hardcore tennis fans have favorite players regardless of ranking, gender, personality or nationality. They're well informed about their stats and the history of the game (sometimes better than some journalists, he, he he) All they care is how they play and how unique they are.

I'm an American who has been playing and following tennis since the mid-70's and my favorites are:

Federer (beautiful game, consistency)
Nalbandian (erratic game, inconsistency)
Tsonga (explosive, serve and volley)
Djokovic (defense, forehand)
Ancic (unpredictable, serve and volley)
Bagdhatis (overall game, potential)
Venus Williams (serve and power)
Kuznetsova (backhand, footwork)
Mauresmo (backhand, serve and volley)

Again, my 02 cents...have a great one !

Posted by Syd 01/18/2009 at 03:24 PM

thanks for the great pix malimeda, as usual.

*mourns Fed's lost locks*

Posted by harini 01/18/2009 at 03:25 PM

um OK, never mind the DVR tomorrow's taped replay...when you can DVR the live match. it's slow time for me now.

Posted by NP 01/18/2009 at 03:25 PM

Christopher, there's a difference between "My new racket is giving me some trouble" and "I lost because I couldn't serve well with my new racket." The fact that you interpreted Nole's comment as the latter tells me less about his alleged excuse than about your own bias, I must say.

Since you're so sure that "he unquestionably makes more excuses for his bad losses than the other players at his level," I'll just ask you one simple thing: Give me just three instances where Nole has committed this "annoying" sin and I'll admit you have a legitimate grievance. I want full articles or transcripts, not your own paraphrases or quotes taken out of context. This shouldn't be too hard as you claim he makes the excuses "so regularly."

Posted by Whitney 01/18/2009 at 03:26 PM

Hey harini!! Ugh I was going to stay up tonight for Fed, but then a friend asked me to work for her tomorrow morning so she could spend time with her little sister. So of course I said yes. So now I can't stay up all night. Booo

Posted by Jackie 01/18/2009 at 03:27 PM

harini: No DVR. We still have a VCR. I think my family hasn't realized it's 2009.

And wait, when coverage starts, they'll be showing the ARod match, right? Or can I hope they'll bounce around? There are some relatively fun matchups ...

Posted by Whitney 01/18/2009 at 03:27 PM

Ugh another time when I realize I should invest in a DVR.

Posted by katada 01/18/2009 at 03:29 PM

aussiemarg, I'm praying here for him to do well. It will be really wondeful if he can win this, the beginning to another great year. And if he does win here I can imagine what a year will be, with the french next online. I will feel like you say in heaven and maybe my blood preassure will got back to normal. I just came back from my daily walk witch have help me alot. Hugs lucky girl.

Maedal, hello to you, a hugs on the distance for you. I feel better today than yesterday, thanks for your kinds words. Less hope for a Rafa win and that final with Federer.

Posted by naughty T, multi award winner 01/18/2009 at 03:29 PM

ok was just off making my suicide pool picks which was a bit of a palavar since it involved having to open a whole new email account.
but it is done. Perhaps worrying about that will stop me worrying about Feduhruh and his lovely locks

Posted by katada 01/18/2009 at 03:31 PM

maedal, this TAT it really have been a suicide for me, I'm really lost there. I don't even know if I have pick on the right site, wow not really good on this things. People most be laughing at me.

Posted by Ross 01/18/2009 at 03:31 PM

Sherlock:
Hoad got off to an alarming early lead (18-9). (Jack Kramer, the promoter, hated Pancho, and had put Hoad through a really intensive pre-series training course in the hope that Lew could replace Pancho as his main attraction.) But Pancho prevailed in the end--51-36. (Not relying on memory here; I looked it up.)

Posted by Master Ace 01/18/2009 at 03:31 PM

Tangi,
No DC tickets as my vehicle repairs took my fun away:( However, I am still going to be outside the arena on the first day to take in the atmosphere before people file in the arena.
Local media was surprised when tickets were sold in one hour. The mayor said he has no tickets but was glad that people were calling his office asking for them. The expensive seats went quicker than the cheaper ones

*******************************************************
In about 2 hrs and 30 minutes, I will leave TW until tomorrow morning from my day job as I am ready for AO to start.

Posted by Sher 01/18/2009 at 03:32 PM

Hey Whitney & Siggy, gosh so many faces!

Hey jewell :)

Posted by Sher 01/18/2009 at 03:33 PM

[Local media was surprised when tickets were sold in one hour. The mayor said he has no tickets but was glad that people were calling his office asking for them. The expensive seats went quicker than the cheaper ones]

Wow, that's a good sign for DC survival

Posted by Whitney 01/18/2009 at 03:34 PM

Hey Sher!

Ok I'm starting to get antsy.. when does this thing start!? haha

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/18/2009 at 03:36 PM

Whitney Happy New Year To You,my fellow shoe and bag devotee,I got a lovely new Chanel wallet in new summer 09 colour for Chrissy also I have my eye on a new Chanel hand bag also new season colour,hubby dosent know about it yet,will just happen to take him in to the city and walk past the Most Wonderful Shop in the World,who knows? lol!

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 03:36 PM

yikes, this does not look good for the Eagles.


Posted by Sher 01/18/2009 at 03:36 PM

only a few more hours and then we can remain sleepless for two weeks, Whitney :)

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 03:37 PM

phewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

That was close.


Posted by Sherlock 01/18/2009 at 03:38 PM

Aw, Whitney, sorry to hear that. Hope you're hanging in there. Really glad to see you here again, though. :)

Boy, did the Eagles get lucky there. Donavan, where are you throwing that??

Posted by NP 01/18/2009 at 03:38 PM

Gonzales would claim until his dying days that Hoad was the best player ever, "the only guy who, if I was playing my best tennis, could still beat me," though he also said he rates Sampras "potentially with anybody, including Lew Hoad" (heh heh).

Ross, did you ever see Pancho play? I'd be very interested to hear how you think he would fare against today's players (with modern racquets, of course).

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/18/2009 at 03:41 PM

NP Sampras would be so proud of you!

Posted by Whitney 01/18/2009 at 03:42 PM

hey aussiemarg! haha I haven't bought anything new in awhile! But good luck on getting the hubby to buy you some pretty new things! lol

Nice to be back Sherlock. :) Although my productivity level that started so high this morning has taken a nosedive. haha

Posted by siggy 01/18/2009 at 03:42 PM

Syd, am in total accord, fallacy or no, no ad hominem, no ad populism, no ad... anything on our adored rogi, please! Well, unless, of course, you want to say everybody and her neighbor loves rogi, so he must be one fabulous champion! ;)

Sher, ;) Slams bring everybody out of the cave, no? ;) GO #14!

Syd and all other fella rogiphiles, why on earth did Rogi cut his flowing locks on the very eve of #14? Shivers, is there a delilah somewhere, grrrrr? *burns incense just in case*

Posted by Sherlock 01/18/2009 at 03:43 PM

"Hoad got off to an alarming early lead (18-9). (Jack Kramer, the promoter, hated Pancho, and had put Hoad through a really intensive pre-series training course in the hope that Lew could replace Pancho as his main attraction.) But Pancho prevailed in the end--51-36. (Not relying on memory here; I looked it up.)"

That is just fantastic, Ross. Thanks! :)

Wow, from 9 down to a win by 15. Kramer must have been royally ticked. :)

Posted by NP 01/18/2009 at 03:43 PM

AM, you know Pete can always count on me as his advocate.

Posted by Sher 01/18/2009 at 03:45 PM

Yup, Siggy! It's so great to see so many familiar faces on TW. I'm almost afraid to step away lest I miss someone *grins*

Anyway, are you staying up tonight for Roger's match? Since it is likely to be around 5am TW, I have a feeling I could make it.

Posted by 01/18/2009 at 03:46 PM

..ad populum, grrrr...

Posted by harini 01/18/2009 at 03:46 PM

Yeah Jackie, it's Roddick first and Fed's got the night match so we won't get it until very late.

I do hope they bounce around to different courts, but ESPN2 will focus solely on ARod. blah.

Aw Whitney. yeah a DVR is a good idea...but i don't have one either so in the coming nights when I don't stay up is going to be a problem. I don't even have a VCR so Jackie, at least you have that!

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 03:46 PM

gah. This Eagles-Cardinals game is not going well so far.


Posted by NP 01/18/2009 at 03:47 PM

Sherlock, for the record Pancho and Jack did patch things up at the end. Unfortunate that Pancho was so difficult pretty much all his adult life.

Posted by Jackie 01/18/2009 at 03:49 PM

WHOAAAAAAAA, TD.

crazyone, cover your eyes.

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 03:49 PM

disaster.


Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 03:50 PM

it's ok Jackie. It's not like disasters like these are unusual to me as an Eagles fan.


Posted by siggy 01/18/2009 at 03:50 PM

hmmph, robespierred again!

Sher, you are ever so sweet for inquiring, as I recall, you are a fella rogiphile, and unlike the one I see in my own mirreur, a level-headed and always-gracious one! ;) I'll be doing my very best to fight off hypnus to behold our adored one in action after so many months, shorn of glorious locks or no! And you?

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/18/2009 at 03:52 PM

Crazyone please I ned your help have registered on TAT keep getting will send you a e-mail to your a.count I am still getting blocked,also sent them a e-mail regarding this,now have put another one in with hubbys e-mail got same reply what gives?

Posted by harini 01/18/2009 at 03:52 PM

time for me to get going. enjoy the football everyone and of course, the TENNIS!

'bye for now!

Posted by NP 01/18/2009 at 03:53 PM

siggy, I love how you keep using the "robespierred" shorthand.

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 03:53 PM

aussiemarg, I'm actually not participating in the suicide draw so you should probably ask someone else here.


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