I will most definitely come out and support you then.
Still proud of you. *tear*
I will most definitely come out and support you then.
Still proud of you. *tear*
It’s Media Day for Fed Cup! Yay!
Aside from providing lots of photos of my favorite non-Eastern-European-tennis-playing-ladies in adorably unflattering gold tracksuits (why can’t we take the green side of green-and-gold more seriously, for reals), Tennis Australia works really hard to put together videos for us of press conferences and whatnot. You’ll also have a chance to play “pick-the-accent” of our players and coach to determine international influences. Hint: There are many.
According to Dave Taylor, Australian Team Fed Cup Coach (and coach of another lady you might know, Ms Samantha Stosur), we’re not to worry about Sam skipping out on a return to Oz to play for her country, opting to strap on a helmet for the barrage of ranking points that are about to fly on her head if she doesn’t gear up pretty quick (I’m viewing it as when you’re trying to pull out one board game from underneath a stack on the shelf at the top of the cupboard, and they’re all about to come flying over your head… anyone? OK…) by staying in Europe to get ready for clay season.
And rightfully so. We must chillax. Stubbsy has retired, Jelena Dokic is just plain tired, and Sammy is doing what any top-10 player would do in her position: Avoiding an extremely exhausting and difficult ordeal that tends to take more than a day or two to recover from, in order to maintain her level – in fact, at this stage, it’s just about living up to it. No blameskies here. To quote DT, Sam’s played ties for the last nine years, except for when she had Lyme Disease. That’s a helluvalotta patriotism all stacked up nicely for London 2012.
Though this brings in a question which the good journalistic folks at The Australian have dared to breach: Who decided to have the tie this week, anyway, and what’s up with that whole home-and-away thing?
Who woulda thunk you’d ever hear me complain that there is world-class tennis being played in a small local court not far from my home (okay, measure in kms and Kooyong and Melbourne Park are probably closer, but Glen Iris just feels all homey and local neighbourhoodish), which is why I’m not bashing Home and Away, at least not right now. But the timing is difficult, and as someone who’s braved the Australia-to-Europe-via-Asia flight once or seven times, I can whinge gracefully and tell you that it bloody sucks. I know tennis players travel all the time and are expected to be superhuman wonderpeople with tiger blood that’s immune to any type of.. oh wait, what was that, Serena? Anyway. Heading over to the other side of the world at the start of clay season is tough on anyone, and for Sam, it’s a completely respectable decision to opt out.
Much appreciation to Jarka and Rodi for making the trek over, despite both having bits of serious defense to do on clay next month. And we know Sophie Ferguson’s a gun on clay, so it’s great to have her on board the team.
And isn’t it lovely having Sally Peers join us! This girl is adorable. I can’t wait for you to get to know her. Girly group hug, everyone!
Photo: Tennis Australia
Remember this lady?
Anastasia Rodionova has won her first main draw match of the season in Charleston at the Family Circle Cup, defeating Zuzana Ondraskova of the Czech Republic, 4-6 6-1 6-2, in the first round. Her only previous match win this year came in the first round of qualifying in Doha, against Yung-Jan Chen, before she proceeded to lose in the next round to Peng Shuai (Shuai Peng?). As a voluntary resident of the greatest country in the world, a new Aussie citizen, Fed Cup team member and perhaps a co-dweller of my own lovely Melbourne suburb, Rodi is a lady I like to support, so haters to the left, please.
In other Aussie Charleston news that I will mention really briefly because if I don’t talk about it it didn’t happen, the newly resurgent Jelena Dokic lost her first round match to Anna Tatishvilli this morning, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4. Sam Stosur, hope of the nation, has a first round bye before she runs off to defend her title and another gazillion points on the dirt. Also something I’d prefer not to talk about.
So, how about Rodi, hey! Done, done and onto the next one! Woot woot! Aussie Aussie Aussie! Sigh.
Ok, I’ll shut up now.
I could say that out loud, but for some reason, spelling the Aussie pronunciation is just never gonna happen for me.
But, yeah, Fed Cup World Group play-off, happening, in Glen Iris! Woooot.
Australia will be playing Ukraine – as we did last year, come to think of it. Then it was a quick and simple 5-0 situation, and we basically had Sam and Rodi take care of bizness entirely. The team hasn’t been named yet, but Jelena should be back on, Jarka is obviously killing it these days…. and I won’t mention a certain *sniff* awesome doubles player who won’t be there *sniff sniff sniff* but seriously, Anastasia Rodionova, doubles specialist, right?
And it’s in GLEN BLOODY IRIS. WOOOOOOT.
I say that, of course, while I will be sadly shouting at my TV from my bed in Brooklyn, freaking out my neighbours with choice words thrown at the direction of the screen, while for the first time that I can recall, tennis will be played REALLY CLOSE TO MY OLD STOMPING GROUND.
Granted, Melbourne Park is an 18-minute-give-or-take zip from home, but that doesn’t count the insanity of parking and hiking from the parking spot. But no, Glen Iris Tennis Club is totes, totes doable. Like, basically backyard (not really, but I will pretend). Which means….
WAHHH. I WON’T BE THERE.
But – Awesomely enough – LP will most likely attend, and get this-
WE’RE PROBABLY GOING TO WIN.
But apparently, everything can be made nice again, clay-streaked tears aside, by teaming up in the California desert for a nice spot of doubles on a sunny March afternoon.
Francesca Schiavone and Samantha Stosur, on your doubles court, tomorrow. And oh, what’s that? Why yes, they’re playing the Italian dream team, Frannie’s besties, Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci. Same ladies who may’ve dashed some Fed Cup hopes just a couple months ago. Oh, this feels bloodystreakyteary already.
Bring it, Fran. You owe me.
They say group therapy is one of the most effective forms of getting over trauma. You’re supposed to shift your weight on uncomfortable plastic chairs, drink tea out of a styrofoam cup, and bare your soul to a group of strangers. In the absence of such a warm and inviting outlet, I thought it might be more appropriate if instead I snuggled up on my comfy chair, with my lovely Macbook in front of me, and poised my fingers for some blogging admissions that would serve the same purpose. I need therapy, peoples, and the PTSD is intense. Here’s why:
I didn’t see Sam.
Samantha Jane Stosur, one of the loves of my tennis-watching life and a woman I admire, respect and, dare I admit, love, was in my town for the last week and a bit. She practiced on tennis courts merely kilometres from my home, and showcased her lovely brand of tennis in an arena only a short train ride away.
I was stupid, I admit. Forgive me, friends, for I have sinned. I hoped too highly. I had grand plans. I counted my chickens before they were hatched, and for that I have been punished.
I did not go to see my Sam, and I see the error in my ways. I looked at her draw, peeked being the more accurate word. I thought she’d have no trouble, and I could save my pennies for the inevitable splurge on Rod Laver Arena tickets for another week.
It was those Australian schedulers! I cry. Damn them and their money-squeezing ways, placing our lovely girl on the big screen too often, in a part of a tournament I prefer to haunt the back courts instead. I thought she would wait for me, I really did. I thought our love would be enough, and she would know I was there waiting.
I thought I would see her in the finals, I really did.
The only way I can gain any absolution is in the small comfort that I did see Sam playing a strange mix of exhibition tennis and RogeKim oneupmanship at Rally for Relief last week. For a few moments, at least, I saw my girl. But oh, the scent of the match, the sweat of the fight, the thrill of the battle: none of that was there. The support was not there. The shouts of “COME ON SAMMY” still remain in the back of my throat, unuttered. The loud roars, the “THAT’S THE WAY!!” lie still at the edge of my tongue. And there they will remain, until, who knows when?
I did not see my Sam on her Australian adventure.
And for that, I beg forgiveness.
Let the therapy begin.
Contrary to popular opinion, some bright spark actually thought that we’d want to see some real tennis at Rally for Relief – rather than, you know, our favourite people in the universe show us their personalities for a change.
So after the kids went off court, it was time for the grownups to turn up, bringing their A-Games with them. I find it hilarious that Numbers 1 & 2 in the world Vera and Caro weren’t invited, instead leaving us clear Aussie hometown favourites Sammy and Kimmy. Or, you know, it could’ve been part of the “keep-Kim-as-far-away-as-possible-from-Lleyton” plot – though Brian and Bec appeared to be sitting none too far from one another at a certain point. PS: If you know me, you know I don’t bash Caro. I don’t! But damn, did anyone else find her extraordinarily irritating at R4R? Actually, I know what you’re going to say – it wasn’t extraordinary. But oh dear, it was for me. I defend that girl all year round. Then she goes and wiggles her bum and catwalks for Nole? Sad. But I digress.
Are you there, Gd? It’s me, Sammy.
Rafa playing tennis. It’s why they pay him the big bucks.
Rafa and Kim trying out the dynamics of male-female relationships. Apparently they’re both really good at it.
Rafa still not grasping the concept of photography from the other side of the lense.
Rafa on top. (If that comment were reversed and uttered by a Fed lover, I’d be pissed. So apologies.)
Awesome, Awesomer, Awesomest.
Pics: @rishegee. Please link me and notify me when reposting. Thanks.
Like any good exho featuring the hilarious antics of Andy Roddick (I’m actually being serious), there comes the predictable umpire/linesman ribbing, and today was no exception. Andy was insistent on proving that the linesman’s job is easier, and even had him come up and serve for us.
Between tennis players posing as catwalk models (Caro), in the photographer’s pit (Nole and Rafa), calling lines (Vika and Andy), playing soccer (Nole and Muzza), being a proud father (oh wait… that’s Lleyton), and even baseball (Andy), the guys tried to prove to us again and again that they’re good for anything but playing tennis.
But we know the truth, sez we. You kids are tennis players, and here’s the Class of 2011 picture. Stop giggling.
Like any good wedding photographer, I did the bit where you zoom in bit by bit.
Courier’s sad because he’s not with his best mate “Rog”. Why does he call him that?
Ah, the racquet clutch. Perfect defensive position without looking too “arms-crossed” in an awkward situation. Like when you and your numerous “classmates” are forced to lineup for a cheesy pic. Why clasp each other’s stomachs and kiss on cheek politely if you can’t even put an arm around for a photo op?
Obviously, Roger has the friendly arm-wrap down. Dammit. He’s touching Sam. HE’S TOUCHING MY GIRL!
the family all together
Looking gorgeous and playing gorgeous tennis vs looking at gorgeous pictures? My job is easiest.
Oh, Sam. And I really thought we were going somewhere.
Not, it’s not the Sydney vs Melbourne that got me there. I can forgive that.
But Rugby League? Really, Sam?