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.
 

Zeno Marx

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I appreciate that the 2022 US Open went with Hawkeye over human line judges. It does away with any arguments and the challenge system, making for quicker matches.
 

Zeno Marx

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'And accurate calls. But then look at what happened in Coco’s doubles match with the bad line call.
I had to look that up. I hadn't heard about it. If I'm understanding this correctly, this wasn't a line call. This was poor sportsmanship and an umpire who let her get away with it, just as they were about to lose the point. It's always been amazing to me that the women are the most questionable and "push the rules to their limits" gender in the sport. SO MUCH shady crap happens in the women's game, from illegal coaching to taking injury time outs to change momentum to raising their hand to stop a serve mid-motion to shake up a server. For me, it's the only downside to the women's side. Justine Hennin used to pull all kinds of questionable stuff.
 

Zeno Marx

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Kyrgios's sneaky serves. underhand and underhand between the legs, like he did with Medvedev last night. The opponent either laughs or feels disrespected, and I understand both. Medvedev was ready for it and would have won the point, but the sly serve was long. I didn't realize this, but Michael Chang is the one who started the underhand serve in the open era, and I only say it that way because I'm sure someone in the old days served underhand, like they do in badminton.
 

Zeno Marx

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US Open stuff...

The women remain more fun to watch than the men.

From the perspective of the announcers and analysts, there was a heavy bias towards wanting Alcaraz to win. McEnroe was especially transparent about this. He was my favorite player growing up. Such great hands and finesse. The guy is an a'hole, and I cannot stand listening to him on the TV. I get that sports do better when they can point to a star player, especially a very young one, but when the bias is so clear, it isn't fun. Admittedly, I am also biased, as I enjoy watching Ruud play.
 

cigrmaster

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I grew up playing tennis and was no 1 singles and doubles in h.s for 3 years. I could have played at Boston University but I wasn't into the training. I played through college and most of my life. when I moved to Florida I played on really cool Har Tru courts and was one of the better over 50 players at the tennis club I belonged to. Then the injuries started. The first was my left shoulder and I am a lefty. I lost 10 mph on my serve. Then 3 back surgeries with a fusion and metal in the last which ruined me. I also had 2 foot surgeries and one wrist surgery. I only played singles as doubles was too boring. Now I am in a wheel chair and use a walker. I can't swing a golf cub either as I was big jnto that as well. I was a member at the TPC Prestancia club right across from the development I lived in. I also played a ton of basketball, street hockey, Lacrosse. I lived to play sports. I did a ton of snow skiing growing up until 1994 when I took a viscous wipe out. I stuck to scuba diving as that was easy on the body. I dove at some of the best reefs in the world and it was awesome. I could complain but I had a blast and don't regret a minute. My sig tag says how I feel about life.
 
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