Saturday, December 1, 2007

Warming Up By Looking Back

With the ASB Classic and Heineken Open about a month away, it’s time to start getting excited. I’ve been going to the tennis in Auckland for a couple of years now, and I thought I’d share some fun memories from previous years’ events.

El Gato! Argentine Gaston Gaudio has always been one of my favourite players, largely thanks to his ridiculous comeback in the 2004 French Open final and also the great year he had in 2005. Plus he’s as mad as a hatter. But in a cool way.

In 2007 I got to see Gaudio play another player I like, Spaniard David Ferrer, in the first round of the Heineken Open. Very exciting for me. Not only did I get to see the celebrated Gaudio one-handed backhand, I also got to see the celebrated Gaudio meltdown. After putting in a great performance to take the first set, Gaudio promptly self-destructed and lost the match 57 63 62. Okay, Ferrer was never really going to lose and raised his game accordingly, but it was still a Voltorb-like self-destruction from Gaudio. He even smashed a racquet and gave it to a little kid at ringside, I mean courtside, something I had never seen before. It was a real thrill. Ferrer went on to win the tournament and is set to defend his title in 2008 as the world number 5. Good times. Gaudio went on to continue his spectacular losing streak and I don’t know if he will even play again. At least he’s not on roids.

For a fan who doesn’t even get to see that much tennis on television, nothing is cooler than seeing a famous player you like play live in front of you. These guys are like rock stars. Or professional wrestlers, but my much thought out tennis vs. wrestling reasoning will have to wait for another day.

Okay, I’ll be back in a few to take a look at the confirmed players for the 2008 tournaments, and maybe talk about some more memories.

I’m going to try to get people to actually come and read this blog. After all that’s the point, right? It’s not self-expression if it's not expressed to somebody. We’ll see how successful that is, but if you are reading feel free to leave a comment or send me an email, that would be neat.

Here’s a picture that’s not from any Heineken Open, but it is of Gaston Gaudio going crazy. Fun and relevant.


Mike said...

Initially I struggled to see what tennis and wrestling had to do with each other. Largely staged commercial wrestling brands are very different from the beautiful simplicity of a game of tennis greats at Wimbledon. But I am beginning to see your point - that professional tennis players, just like "professional" wrestlers, are performers putting on a show for public display. Gaston Gaudio's performance could just easily have been done by a wrestler rather than a tennis player.

I do not by any means think that a weblog requires readers, comments and feedback to be worthwhile. Of the 50 or so posts I've made on my weblog, some have received numerous comments but I strongly suspect some have gone without any reading whatsoever. Personal expression to a silent crowd or a empty square is better than no personal expression at all.

R.C. French said...

I think you're right, maybe self-expression doesn't require an audience. Still, it's always neat to know somebody is reading, thanks for the comments. And of course on the Internet you can always imagine that hundreds of people are looking at your stuff, like the silent crowd you mentioned, and you'll never know.