This past Father’s Day, I offered my dad either the best or the worst gift a blogger could possibly give one of their loved ones: a guest post. Unbelievably, he accepted the gift. I told him that he could write any article that he wanted, so long as he talked about sports and didn’t include an embarrassing anecdote about my childhood. Dad is an avid tennis player and fan; he was a single and doubles player on his high school when they were state champions, and even at 50 he’s able to hold his own on the court against college kids. So he decided to write an article about Wimbledon, a preview that would (and should) have been on this site a week ago if not for many, many things getting in the way. But we’re getting close to July 4th, and nothing could represent America better than severe levels of procrastination by a college student. Besides, it’s fun to look at this and try to laugh at a few disastrously wrong predictions. To maintain my sanity, I have placed a few comments in Italics throughout the post (read: botched attempts at wit) in addition to his, ahem, prose. He was an English major in college, so bear with his hyperbole.
Anyway, this is the article he wrote. God help me.
SwissZilla and The Siberian Screamer begin to wreak havoc in Wimbledon.
The Swiss phenom Roger Federer, “SwissZilla”, who has not lost a match on Wimbledon grass since 2003 is poised to crush all contenders on the men’s bracket again this year. (I am completely convinced that this “Roger Federer” person is a figment of your imagination.) In the meanwhile, Maria Sharapova, the Siberian teen model known best for her high decibel orgasmic screams when hitting tennis balls, appears to be in championship form again this year. Well worth watching. (Putting “orgasmic” and “balls” in the same sentence is going to get me a lot of hits in the coming months. Looks like I actually got something out of this deal. Thanks, Dad.)
Left Photo: Of all the Federer pictures out on the Internet, my Dad picks this one. Body hair is one of the many things I don’t want to know about this guy, along with the possibility that he was some kind of Swiss genetic experiment.
Wimbledon Tennis brings to mind white clad ladies and gents, green grass courts, royalty, steeped tradition and 62,000 pounds of strawberries with 1,500 gallons of cream. Maybe that’s why Sharapova screams so much. (Wait…what???) The organizers of the Wimbledon tennis tournament have tried to keep the staid appearance of the tournament, even limiting the amount of color permitted in the garb of the players. Andre Agassi in his younger (long-hair) years even boycotted the tournament because they would not permit him to wear his trademark black shorts and shoes. (Andre Agassi was young once? I never would have guessed.) They have even whispered in the back halls that they issued a warning to Sharapova to limit her screaming and grunting on court. It is said that her high pitched grunts can be heard from outside the arena, and that the decibel range of her outbursts would not pass OHSA standards for the workplace without hearing protection! (Yes! Exclamation points are excellent to make odd attempts at humor even better! How brilliant and original!) But despite the highly cultured appearance at this third leg of the Grand Slam of Tennis, the competition on the court is nothing less than savage.
Included this year is Hawkeye. No, this is not a character from MASH, nor an avid fan checking out the ladies (and you would know, Dad, wouldn’t you?), but a new computer simulation system using cameras to provide reliable instant replay of line calls. “You cannot be serious!” Poor John McEnroe wouldn’t have anyone to rant at if he were playing. Like Sharapova, McEnroe ruffled the tournament’s feathers with his outbursts, but our appreciation of tennis would not be the same if it were not for his lack of decorum heckling the linesmen and umpires. A little American misbehavior on center court is good for the stiff Brits holding pennies between their cheeks. (What warm-blooded American doesn’t like a good joke about the British?)
Besides Sharapova and a couple of others, the ladies are not exactly the type you’ll see on the cover of Cosmo. What is beautiful among the ladies is the tennis form you’re likely to see. Last year’s Wimbledon champion, Amalie Mauresmo, is a decidedly unsexy French woman with a marvelously beautiful backhand. Her one-hander is close to perfection and will definitely make her a contender once again this year. Justine Henin, is a Belgian powerhouse who has three similar characteristics to Mauresmo, French is her native language, she has a marvelous single handed backhand, and she definitely will never make the cover of Cosmo. Between these Francophiles and Sharapova the other likely female to make the finals is the self-proclaimed “bootylicious” Serena Williams. (My God, what has our society come to when my dad understands the context of the word “bootylicious”? What’s next, is he going to make it rain on his next birthday?) Oh yeah, she is the big mama on and off the court, but do not let the extra pounds fool you, Serena has game and can beat anyone on any day if her head is in the game.
Serena: a beautiful woman with the capacity to crush your skull at will has to be a turn-on.
These pictures of some of the best male tennis players in the world is a perfect segue to discussing the Wimbledon men’s draw. Hey, wait a minute…
On the Men’s side, history could be made by SwissZilla winning his fifth straight Wimbledon championship, tying Bjorn Borg for the most consecutive wins in modern history. He is certainly at the peak of his career, winning every major tournament over the past three years, except for the two French Open finals he lost to Rafael Nadal. Roger’s game is nothing less than majestic in its dominance. Jack Kramer, one of the legends of tennis (I never knew that Seinfeld’s neighbor had such talent) says “I have never seen anyone play the game better than Federer. He serves well and has a great half-volley. I’ve never known anyone who can do as many things on a court as he can.” What Kramer does not mention, and one of the things that makes Federer a truly impressive champion, is Roger’s ability to raise the level of play when challenged by an opponent.
The Spanish attack (honestly, when have the Spanish ever attacked since Franco?) is led by Rafael Nadal, the hot young Mallorcan with guns. (Between the picture of Federer’s body hair and that last comment about Nadal, I’m starting to get concerned.) He is the only player on the circuit that has been able to beat Roger multiple times over the past two years. Nadal is the master of clay, never losing at the French Open, and he made it to the finals in Wimbledon last year. He might be Roger’s nemesis, but it is unlikely he can beat Roger on grass. Despite his incredible foot speed and court coverage, Nadal’s huge topspin game lacks the power serve, the variety, or the net game to win on grass.
I can’t believe that I actually have some insight here, but here goes. Wimbledon’s grass has become markedly slower in the last few years. That makes Nadal’s transition from clay a bit easier.
The USA does not have a real contender. Andy Roddick, who won the US Open once, has been completely outclassed and outplayed by Federer. Andy has just two clubs in his golf bag, a driver and a putter versus a full fourteen clubs for Federer. It would surprise me if Roddick even makes it to the quarters. And Roddick is probably the best of the American players. We all hope Blake, the Harvard wonder boy, can rise up to the next level but we haven’t seen it yet.
Russia has the some of the best raw talent in players like Marat Safin, Nikolay Davidenko, and Mikhail Youzhney, but none have had the consistency to be real contenders at Wimbledon. There are some interesting hopefuls out of various far flung places such as Cyprus (Baghdatis), Argentina (Nalbandian), Croatia (Ancic) and Germany (Haas), but they are all merely SwissZilla bait on grass! (Here we go with those exclamation points again!)
So sit back, enjoy the strawberries and cream while imagining what the Siberian Screamer sounds like in person!
So there you have it, my dad’s first foray into blogging. If you’ve survived this long, then congratulations. Considering that this is a start (a START? Who taught you to read, boy? Wait, that’s right, I did. Ohhh snap!), he did a good job. In particular, he did a great job in picking the photos and videos for his article. That’s all that blog readers look at anyway, so this was a success. Thanks, Dad, and I hope you enjoyed this father’s day gift.