10 Reasons Why We Love Clay!

April 22, 2010

This week heralds a time when the colour of our screens change and life becomes happy and breezy again.

Here are a few reasons why we love it when the dirt of Europe takes over our lives and makes tennis full of joy, love and laughter.

10. Sliding is Sexy

9. The View’s not bad from here


It’s one thing to be a jet setter and travel all over the world on your yacht and private plane.

It’s another thing to be a tennis fan, where you can head over to the most gorgeous countries – and some pretty boring, grey ones as well – and get a glimpse of what they have to offer.

So far this year, we’ve been tempted to do things like play with lions in Joburg, swim with dolphins in Miami, and play golf in the desert (by far the most daring activity of all).

Clay season takes it up a notch. Is there anywhere you wouldn’t want to be?

The View from Monte Carlo is salivating:

Nice makes you want to take a spoonful, cover it in hot fudge and dig in.

And I love the ancient statues in Rome right up against the brick-red clay.

8. Longer Rallies make pretty watching

I love it when you settle in to watch that first clay match and just like the players have to readjust their game, we’re readjusting our watching eyes. The rallies are longer and for those of us who like to watch, it doesn’t get much better than that.

7. Rafa on Fire

There are reasons this sport was invented. This is one of them.

6. Time Difference makes ALL the Difference.

Australians all let us rejoce for we are young and free….

Free. That’s right. We’re so free that we’re on the other side of the world, a 24 hour planeride from most – except a handful of Southeast Asian countries, some islands for occasional holidays, and a random nation that copies our every move and then whinges about it.

We’re also desperately alone every morning as we venture into the day ahead, stealthily creeping into Monday, or Tuesday, or the 1st of January in the knowledge that we are going where no man has gone before. We take it on the chin for those of you on the other side of the dateline, because we’re hardened up Aussies and we like being adventurers. But sometimes, when you’re all still having a party up on Sunday and we’re stuck into Monday morning, it brings on the yuckness.

That’s where Clay season is made of joy, because come 6.30 in the PM, we can sit round the Teev with our dinners and our glass of wine and have a night made of fun right in front of us (or at least, after MasterChef. And for those of us without Fox Sports, in front of the Livestream). If you’re going until the late match, you only  need to keep your tired peepers up until the relatively earthly hour of 2 or 3 am and then off to beddy-byes you go. Thanks Europe.

5. Umpire Love

Any self respecting tennis nerd will admit that aside from having a host of player crushes, the favourite umpire fan clubs are still reigning strong.  Readers of Court Thirteen from Australian Open days (oh yeah, we still have more pics to show you from that) will recall that these particular ladies are fans of the gorgeously adorable Carlos Ramos and his Spanish bestie, Enric Molina.

Which is why the clay season brings umpire stalking to a whole new dimension, when the adorable man in chair gets off his fancy high horse and comes down to examine the line. Also provides many opportunities for cutesy umpire convos.

SO much more fun than the hawkeye “oooooooh”.

Unless you’re Gonzo….

4. Sammy is an Aussie and she plays on clay.

For anyone out there who isn’t Spanish or Swiss, it gets pretty irritating after a while when your country harps on about how title starved they are.

Aussies are no different, with a favourite topic of discussion being whether we will ever have a homeboy raise the trophy on our home slam ever again.

It’s also a rife time to whinge and complain at how hard it is to play on clay when you just haven’t been brought up with it, and for Aussies, Americans and Brits to shut their eyes and take a nap until grass season starts.

But for those of us backing Aussie Sam, it’s been a lovely time and the winnage is just going to continue.

C’MON SAMMY!

3. Spaniards Rule (always). And even more, on Clay.

Watching the hottest guys in existence, play deep into tournaments week in, week out?

Yes please.

2. Quarante-Trent

Say anything in a French accent and it will sound tres chaud. Just try listening to the scoreline being called after Jeu, Set, et Match.

1. Rafa Nadal

The King of Clay deserves two entries.

Please let me see more of this in the next few weeks?


Eleven Months

April 19, 2010

For eleven months, we’ve been tearing our hair out, and wondering, WHY?

We’ve been remembering back to that dark and dreary night, June 1st 2009 to be precise, and thinking maybe that sinking feeling we had back then was real.

We’ve been watching him bounce back, then fall back down again, to bounce back, and then choke. With each tale of being “with colm”, and “finding my confidence”, we wonder what happened to that cocky little boy who was so sure of himself once upon a time.

He didn’t want the “pression” on him today, but he made it anyway – perhaps with thanks to the “pression” on Nando, who showed us that it’s true what your high school teacher told you – too much tension will make your  neck sore, and breathing and relaxation exercises are pivotal when doing your final exams. (Or, you know, competing for your first Masters 1000 Tournament. Same difference.)

HERE IS THE KING.. He probably has clay riding inside his undies at this point and by the looks of this pic, I reckon it would have gone inside his ears by then too. But seriously, after an eleven month drought of seeing any positive results on what you’re meant to do best – would YOU care?

Kudos to Nando for making it this far – I think it’s an amazing effort and each of the guys got what they deserved. Nando’s back in the top 10, though how long he can stay there is anyone’s guess with all the activity happening between 8 and 12 these days. And he made it to his first Masters final, which proves he ain’t just a pretty face – or a fabulous underwear model.


ClayTastic Bromance

April 18, 2010

Some of you may have noticed that I prefer not to post on tournaments I can’t actually attend. And being that my usual tournament attendance is on the limited side of only one, despite some exos bumping up this year’s frequency I’m still milking the same set of pics/videos from way back when.

Of course this just means you have something more to look forward to because there are still hella heaps of juicy pics and vids from Jan that have only just made their way back into my hot little hands.

However I do want to take the time to comment on the epicness of the week that has passed, and the joy that it foretells. Clay season has arrived, and with it, we are up for a claytastic bromantic time tomorrow with a Rafando final that promises win-win for many of us tennis nerds, particularly those I am familiar with in the Twitterverse.

It also means its time for THIS

Fixating on 8:35 and 8:52 is encouraged.

VAMOS!



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