Quik Update: A French Revolution is brewing on the Tennis Court

In Andy Murray, Francesca Schiavone, French Open, Li Na, Maria Sharapova, Marian Bartoli, Na Li, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Tennis on June 3, 2011 at 8:24 am

It is said that in the early days of the French Revolution, way back in 1789, the Third Estate aka the Commoners, was heading to the meeting of the Estates-General when they saw that the meeting hall locked and guarded by soldiers. This sparked the Third Estate to unite against both the Monarch, the Church and the Aristocracy, which in essence sorta became the catalyst for the French Revolution in France in 1789.  Wait there was suppose to be some connection to tennis in my “working” my History degree. Oh yeah; the 576 of the 577 men (Someone always has to say No) having seen that they were being excluded from the meeting went to a nearby indoor tennis court (an actual tennis court) where they vowed to stick together for their own causes against the Ancien Régime. And hence in essence began La Révolution Française. Now many years after, almost 222 years to the date, France is yet again to play host to an event of epic and/or legendary proportion and it will happen again on a tennis court. BOO YA!

It was an indoor court remember!! But where is the net??

The next three days of tennis; today, tomorrow and day after, are set to shake the tennis world beyond measure in particular the world of the ATP. Fanz, friends, romans and countrymen, this will be a weekend of tennis that I assure you will go down in history books. People will remember some version of this Roland Garros tournament whether they care about tennis or nothing at all. Think of it like how even burly men know that Michelle Kwan never won gold at the Olympics either in 1998 or 2002 (one of the greatest tragedy in all of figure skating history) and that Kerri Strugg’s allegedly vaulted the US to gold in 1996 on a busted ankle. (Truth be told the US had already won the gold and Strugg did not need to further injure herself. She did not know this and apparently the coaches did not care to point this out to her.  This latter part, burly men would not know, so that’s why  I am telling you) For true fanz like yourself, this weekend can only be describe in one word; ORGASMIC. Many normal routines will be forsaken as all attention will be directed at television sets, smartphones …dumb ones too of course, and computers (I watch tennis on my computer now) because the match ups for this weekend could never have been imagined. Who would have thought that the women’s finalz would have come down to a “Battle of the Takeout menus” “Chinese vs Pizza” and that the top four men are battling it out for a chance to hold the La Coupe des Mousquetaires (French Open trophy). It will be a weekend! What a weekend it will be!

It will be tennis of a stratospheric magnitude this weekend

Even the hamster will be tuning in

Yesterday in the ladies semifinalz, Li Na/Na Li took on Shriekapova. The Chinese has a losing record against the Russian 2-5 including a loss at Roland Garros in 2007 if I am not mistaken but she has beaten the Banshee in their last two meeting. The rising dragon in the east came out blazing and broken the Russian in her first service game and despite the Russian breaking back to level things 3-3 later, she lost the set 4-6. Li Na/Na Li is a steady player and is full of confidence. Some may dismiss her presence in this year’s Australian Open finalz as fluke but looking at her record, she has been knocking at the doors of Grand Slam major success several times before. With a good man behind her, Li Na/Na Li is ready for her first major win and Shriekapova was not about to get in her way. In the second set, it was more of the same and Li Na/Na Li exposed the many weaknesses of the Russian ie, her lack of a serve, her inability to move well side to side, poor footwork and more importantly, her screams, which in my humble opinion is a pathetic attempt to throw off her opponents.

Linali showing you her chow mein

I wonder if Maria is aware that her screaming on court matches the intensity of how hard she will hit and/or is hitting the ball. This in essence gives her more skillful opponents the advantage of knowing exactly what she is doing or about to do and hence better prepared to return. “Blocked again and again and again until you learn to keep your mouth shut and your mind closed..” [Severus Snape to Harry Potter in HP and the Half Blood Price] Being “non-verbal” profits a player for Hermione Granger says it best, “Your adversary has no warning about what kind of magic you’re about perform, which gives you a split-second advantage.” The more interesting thing about Shriekapova is that when she is getting her @$$ beat, she is as meek as a lamb.

She opens her mouth and I hear a most heavenly sound...the sound of Boeing Jets hurtling through the skies

Anyway, in yesterday’s Maria’s serve was all over the place expect where it needed to be; in the service box. She double faulted on match point, handing Li Na/Na Li victory, 6-4 7-5. Tennis Gods be praised. This is the first time a Chinese player has progressed to the semi-final and final of Roland Garros and you know that RFTN is all over Li Na/Na Li. I think I am going to start calling her LiNaLi. yes I like that.

Pack your shite and go

Anyway Linali will face Francesco Schiabone, the 2010 French Open champion. Who would have thought this possible, that the Italian would have won her first major at 29 and back it up with the chance to defend her title. I said after Schiabone dismantled American Melanie Oudin in the 1st round 6-0 6-2 I think, that she looked ready to defend her title and most certainly she is. Schiabone took on the Frenchwoman Marian Bartoli aka La petite grosse and too be honest, I expected more of a fight from Bartoli. However, the French are notorious for putting a huge amount of unnecessary pressure on its players, Monfils, Gasquet, Tsonga Mauresmo (it almost destroyed her) and the list goes on. Mary Pierce is allegedly the last French person to win the title in 2000 but Mary is not really French. She is Canadienne-American. The last “real” French champion is Yannick Noah back in 1983 who interestingly enough is the father of Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls. Anyway, Bartoli was basically playing catch up throughout the entire match and lost 3-6 3-6.

Do they floss with boat rope??

Arrivederci mademoiselle!!! Get in shape for next time

In terms of looking at the finalz between Chinese Take Away and Pizza, I am definitely favoring take away. I am not a big fan of Schiabone though I admire her grit, determination and fitness. I am squarely behind Linali though I would not be entirely mad if Schiabone repeats as champion. Both players are a top of the group of above-ordinary players. That is to say that neither possess any extra-ordinary skills say the Williams Sisters, Clijsters, Henin, Davenport etc etc and it has now been close to the twilight of their careers that both ladies have been proving themselves to be more consistent. Nonetheless, they have made it to their second major final and should be congratulated and celebrated for their achievement. Objectively, I am still favouring the Chinese because I think that she is far more steely than the Italian. I do hope for whatever the outcome, a high octane match, clean good tennis and three sets….actually I am not going to be upset if Linali dismantles Schiabone.

Pizza vs Chinese Take Out: We all love to hate them but still partake in the indulgence ever so often

But enough about the ladies, it is the menz. There is really nothing to say. I confess myself speechless regarding today’s semifinals. Despite the records, accolades, winning streaks, invincibility and/or major wins, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are all excellent players; in fact, they are they every best the sport has ever produced. (Notice that I have used their proper names just this once). None of that matters because they are all capable of beating the other. They know each other so well that the difference today between the winners and the losers will be subtle. I doubt it if anyone will whitewash the other but it will require absolutely brilliant tennis to walk away the victor. Despite the fact that I would love for Mr. Federer to win the entire tournament including beat Divadal in the finalz, I know that that might not happen and I cannot be mad. Interestingly enough, Mr. Federer is the only player left to have not lost a set or even face set point.

Divadal showing his pack and Lochness Monster

It will be Divadal vs Lochness Monster and D’Joker putting his unbeaten streak on the line against Mr. Federer. Whoever the winners of today’s matches are, they have to come back out on Sunday and play even more brilliant tennis to win the crown. It is bound to be a most wonderful tennis weekend.

D'Joker vs Mr. Federer

The very best for tennis fanz and for those who are not tennis fanz, you are in for an ABSOLUTE BONANZA of a posting/issue come Monday or early Tuesday, you know how we struggle to be on schedule. So enjoy the weather and your weekend people and do not forget to tune in for tennis. NBC 9:00 a.m. eastern time Saturday and Sunday and for those without cable



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