Bloody Marvellous

May 26, 2011

While the world mourns the state of American men’s tennis, John Isner goes ahead and takes Rafa Nadal to five sets. On clay. In a first round match. While they’re aflutter over the dearth of women’s aces in the sport, girls like Jill Craybas and Varvara Lepchenko  make it to the second round, teens like Sloane Stephens, Melanie Oudin and Coco Vandeweghe are playing main draw, and surprise acts like Vania King and Bethanie Mattek-Sands have chances to go deep in the tournament..

As the FFT worries over the close to 100% sure fact that there’s no way the prized Coupe des Mousquetaire will end up in the hands of any of their countrywomen, the top 20 – and even top 50 – is chock-full of Frenchies who casually led their country to a Davis Cup final last year.

While Australia mourns over Lleyton Hewitt’s absence and rumours of an impending retirement and places all their guts behind Sam Stosur for this year’s title, Jarka Gajdasova and Anastasia Rodionova, both breakout successes at last year’s event, have made it clean to the third round.

And what of the last Grand Slam nation? The one who pin their hopes on a man sometimes deemed to be British, sometimes Scottish, but always with exceptionally bad hair, an emo attitude and an uncanny habit of taking the best players to the limit only to fold when the stakes get high? Despite the constant whingeing over  how Andy Murray will/won’t/must/can’t/should win a Slam, turns out the Brits have more of a legitimate reason to whinge than any other ‘slumping’ nation over the state of Women’s tennis. Didja know, for example, that no British woman had made it past the first round of Roland Garros since, oh, let’s say, 1992?

Until yesterday, that is, when the lovely teenage Heather Watson and her experienced compatriot Elena Baltacha swept aside their opponents to dance into the second round, creating British history and also reminding the world that some women in tennis are just ‘brilliant’. Bally’s been around for a while and happy to be passing on the torch, but keeping it competitive at the same time as the British women dance around the edges of the top 100 (along with the gorgeous Annie K, or Anne Keothavong).

Pic: Getty.

Bally’s got Vania King next, another surprise win from the first round, which could make Americans very happy. So either way we have jubilating media and casual fans sitting up to take interest. Joy!

“Hev”‘s become a familiar face to tennis fans of late with her excellent featuring  on the WTA Experia Hotshots channel, and the girl looks, sounds, acts, and plays as lovely as any future hope of the nation should be. Pair her up with Laura Robson and it’s not looking too bad, innit?

Pic: Getty.

She plays Kanepi tomorrow. Interesting to see whether Kaia can back up her surprise slam results of late and give the British something to really celebrate about – maybe taking the heat off another young man?

Let’s do this, Ladies.

What Katy Did Next

January 18, 2011

Turns out blogging with pics can be time-consuming and – since it’s nearly 7am I’ll admit it – exhausted. So here’s what you get:

Following Dima’s match, we also managed to spot a few more pieces of excitement. They include:

– Fernando, Gil and Papa Djoks. Fernando most certainly is fat. But the mohawk makes his neck look thin.

– Nole, entertaining a crowd clustered around Court 4 five-deep, showing off his tighty-whiteys. At the end, a kid no older than 9 or 10 gave Nole a piece of his own medicine, presenting tennis imitations 2.0

– Elena Baltacha, who we like. Playing Jamie Hampton, who we don’t know, but bumped into on her way to a toilet break. Oh, the glamour.

– Benoit Paire, who we now love. Who was somehow missing the love of the thousands of Frenchies who had gathered around Gilles Simon as he battled Rendy Lu, or were practicing their chants with Aravene at the next court. So we gave him some love instead. Particularly since he was up against 2009’s Dima-slayer Flavio Cipolla.

– Lots of rain and a darkened sky meaning camera flashes switched off, crappy autofocused photos. Hence nothing can do justice to the rocking outfit of Ms Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

– A visit back to the ‘dark side’ to see Janko. Instead, we saw Eva. Totally owning the place directing the ballkids, who performed the most interestingly choreographed piece I’ve seen in a while, wiping down the lines with towels to Eva’s direction. Oh, and Janko was there too. Played quite nicely, actually. Nenad was watching.

Vote here for which pics you wanna see and they’ll be up at some point in the next millenium.

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