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Tuesday, 14 September 2021


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I am always intrigued that when a favorite fails to achieve the story line is often about their losing rather than their opponents victory.

I didn't watch the men's final, but I did watch a few of the matches Djokovic played up to the final. He always looked flat. After a lackluster first set, which he would inevitably lose, he would realize that he was supposed to be destroying these players and so he did. But he was still playing flat, except on important points. I had a feeling that it wasn't going to go well. And then I read Kirk's post about swimming for yourself instead of watching somebody else pay tennis. That did it. I went and did my hill repeats instead.

Personally, I'm glad Djokovic lost to Medvedev. Because if he had won, he'd be even more insufferable than he is now. Once again, just as he did at the Olympics, he displayed reprehensible behavior on-court, smashing his racket to pieces.

When have you ever seen Rafael Nadal smash a racket in a professional career spanning over 16 years? Not once, not ever.

There is CLASS, and then there is Jack*ss.

Spot on. Tale would have been even better if the loser didn’t have a hissy fit when the chair umpire required a bandage for the bloodied knee (per the rule book). I realize the timing was in opportune, but you gotta adapt. I believe that tantrum may have been her undoing….

Tennis is such a fun game. People forget that. It was designed to be fun to play.

But once you monetise anything, the joy inevitably takes a hit.

Djokovic wanted to win this open, at this time, more than anything else before.

I'm guessing that he wants to go down in the history books as the greatest player ever.

With so much to lose, he choked. But the sun came up the next day. He's still the worlds no.1 player. And I'm guessing that maybe he'll have a little more fun next time he steps onto a court.

I hope so. I'm 55. And dang if he isn't the best I've ever seen. It would make me smile if it looked like he was having fun - heaven knows he doesn't need the money!

@scharlap: I found the bandage discussion very odd. Everything goes ok and I think she is going to loss anyway based on the trend. Still, she argued. And I still do not know what is the point.

[You didn't address that to me; however I'll put my oar in. Having watched tennis all my life, my guess is that it comes down to stress and strain. They're under quite a lot of pressure out there, and frustration sometimes boils over. Another factor is that tennis players reach their full skills while still quite young, so we often first see them when they are mature as players but not yet mature as people. A great many players were first thought to be boorish and ill-mannered who later turn out to be perfectly fine people once we they grow up and as we get to know them. Of course some do still suffer from occasional outbursts of temper; the point still holds however. --Mike]

Hi Mike,
I think you might have overlooked another story - Dylan Alcott.
Australian wheelchair men’s tennis player - took out the Golden Slam.
Note that I didn’t see the game, so maybe I’m just being parochial ;~)

Tennis my arse! Where's the interest in that, it's just a couple of people bashing a ball about - yawn.
Unless of course it's a couple of fit looking young girlies leaping around in which case it would be as much pleasure to watch as ballet if only it wasn't missing the music :-)

As far as my memory serves, prince Paris has killed Achilles. There is an opinion, that god Apollon helped with the direction of the arrow. Who knows…
What astounded me however, were words - especially one particular word - of Stephen Sharp Esq. I personally often understand Djokovic, and yes, I oncenearly threw my Hassy into a gorge, because it failed on me. Sports are often about emotions, but still … ts, ts …. We are no jack…ses and we have class of our own! Guess it is subjective ;-)

"No one remembers who shot the poison-tipped arrow that hit Achilles in the heel.

You're right! I had to look that up.

@Not THAT Ross Cameron
There were actually two Golden Slams won at this year's US Open! (As if there hadn't been enough of the improbable and unprecedented already.) Just before Alcott bagged his, Dutchwoman Diede de Groot won hers by defeating Yui Kamiji in the women's wheelchair singles final. Kamiji, it turns out, was her opponent in three of the four major finals this year as well as in the Olympic gold medal match. Alcott's opponent was Dutch, too--a teenager named Niels Vink.

There is actually a great body of sports literature. The areas I am familiar with are mostly non-competitive sports such as alpine climbing (Chris Bonnington, John Krakauer, Joe Simpson, and others) and fly fishing (John Gierach and others). There is also The Perfect Mile by Neal Bascomb about the quest of three runners to break the four minute barrier. Sport, like photography, does not have to be a competitive endeavor. It is best as an individual experience, be it a personal challenge or a way to connect to nature.

Many thanks @robert e,
I must confess my interest in sport has waned over the years - other pursuits, including photography. I’m just adding to Mike’s discussion from a news headline. Glad you could put it in more appropriate context.

You will like Emma Raducanu's first travel essential, a film camera. And she has the pictures printed, of course!

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