TENNIS

Brothers of Briar

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Blackhorse

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Yeah…ouchie! When you roll forward on your ankle like that enough to cause an injury it’s either one of the bones in your foot that gets broken or a tendon tears or shears totally. The fracture is the “best” as it heals quickly and is typically very solid once healed. It happened to me years ago. Rolled over my left foot and popped the head right off the 5th metatarsal. Yes, it hurt. But not like Zvarev was exhibiting. I hopped over to my car…close by…and drove 20 miles home (it was a 5-speed stick shift Subaru - so fun on the clutch pedal). My wife called me every kind of stupid and drove me 20 back to town and the regional ER. I ended up in surgery getting a 3 1/2” screw in there to reconnect the bone pieces.

So the lesson is to pay attention to whether a curb is the typical 6” or the very unexpected 12”.
 

Zeno Marx

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Yeah, bummer about Zverev. I was hoping he or Ruud would win the final. I was glad to see Nadal beat Djokovic, but I didn't want to see him win another one.

I hope the women's match is a solid three sets and not another women's final blowout.
 

Zeno Marx

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Wimbledon started a couple days ago. Just a beautiful experience to watch and listen. They have that place perfectly miked. The sound is so very relaxing. The main courts are like amphitheaters.

It's no surprise that so many tennis stars of today have wrist problems. I forget what it is called (Western Grip?), but they don't hold rackets like they once did. Intuitively, you'd think when someone holds their racket out and to their side, the racket face would be up/down and perpendicular to the ground, but that's not the case anymore. When McEnroe, Borg, Connors, etc played, that was pretty much how they held the racket. Now, when they hold it to their side, the face is almost parallel to the ground, as in the face is towards the ground. So when they swing, the motion is an extreme upward and rotational swipe to create the most top spin and the most ball revolutions as possible. It's also why there are so many mis-hits off the frame shooting high into the air like a baseball pop-up. The amount of stress on the wrist is crazy. You can see how violent the motion is with Nadal, and players like Jack Sock are at the most extreme, which is why Sock is constantly having wrist issues. Nadal has had wrist issues as well, but most of them do at this point. I believe this is one of the many injuries Bianca Andreescu had in the last couple years. CiCi Bellis had to retire at a very young age because of injuries like this. She was thought to be an upcoming US star, but her young and still growing body couldn't handle the stress from the way they swing today. She kept re-injuring her wrist. That's the other thing about this grip. The 24 year old body is better prepared for it than the very young or the 30+ year old body. It also has to do with the new string technology and how the rackets are made for lightness, rigidity, etc. Just brutal on the wrist and elbow. Possibly more stress on those joints than a MLB pitcher.
 

Zeno Marx

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He has a wonky serve, but Richard Gasquet's one-handed backhand is a thing of beauty. The French and Belgians love their one-handed backhands, and I'm there for it. I'm biased. I have a one-handed backhand. It's not a very good one, but you know. The two-hander feels entirely unnatural to me, and I personally think it is an ugly swing to watch. What's even more confusing is batting left-handed is probably more natural and technically correct than my prevalent right-handed swing. Switch hitting does not translate to tennis, at least for me.
 

Zeno Marx

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My younger self would have been attracted to the antics of Kyrgios. I was a McEnroe fan, after all. Don't have much time for either of them nowadays. McEnroe is even difficult to listen to as an analyst and commentator. He's particularly cringy when asked to talk about the women's game. If you want to listen to some solid play-by-play, go to the Tennis Channel, if you have it. I only watched part of the Wimbledon men's final. Kyrgios has a similar relationship to his player's box as a lot of the women do. They rely heavily on it for psychological support. I don't know how Kyrgios could have maintained any focus. He spent more time chirping at his box than he did playing tennis. Sort of odd how that all went down. Patrick McEnroe even joked about much of a job it was to be in his box. Something like, "You would think the players have all the stress, but his box is expected to stand up and talk to him after every point." Djokovic had a pretty easy day of it. At that level of tennis, you need to know how to construct a point. You can't just rely on talent. It's a mind game. Kyrgious fails in that regard.

I did watch the women's final. I love how Ons Jabeur plays. A large variety and an artistic approach. She's like Martina Hingis and Agnieszka Radwańska in that way. But as Lindsay Davenpart so rightly said, Jabeur got too cute in the 2nd set. She thought she had it in the bag after winning the first set so easily. Not unsportsman-like, but she toyed around too much. She lost focus. It was still a good match, but you could tell by the middle of the second set who was going to win. I remain a bigger fan of finesse and artistry than of power. I don't find power tennis any fun to watch.

Russian Federation players weren't allowed to play. At first, months ago, Wimbledon expected the Russian players to come out against the Ukraine invasion, but of course, they couldn't without putting their families at risk. After taking some heat for that, their next solution was to not allow them to play at all. In doing so, the tennis associations decided to not allow Wimbledon to affect the point system. It might not affect the rankings as well, but I'm not sure. The irony is that a Moscow-born player won it. She plays for Kazakhstan, but that's only because they gave her financial and development support. The Russian Federation whatever refused to give her any support. So after all that, a Russian player won. I'm not sure how I feel about any of the politics in the game. Tennis IS a very nation-centered sport. I don't think it is realistic to have it nation nation nation and then go hands-off with the players when the nations pull their political maneuvers. "They're just tennis players" doesn't really cover the whole situation.
 

Blackhorse

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Yeah…deny the vaccination or be from Russia. Either way you’re out. Fair? Hmmmm. It’s their tournament.

BTW: it’s a sport, AND a business. Big, big money. That’s for sure.
 
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