Friday, January 27, 2012

Nole Sends Ratface Back To Glasgow

Well, as of just a few minutes ago, Novak Djokovic advanced to the Championship round of the Australian Open, defeating Murray as expected.

However, the fashion in which he triumphed was less expected. The semi-final match between the world no. 1 and the world no. 4 went 5 sets and lasted a few minutes shy of 5 hours. (It also screwed up my commute. How can you get up at 330am and still end up late for work?)

And even I, with my strong dislike for Andy Murray, a deep antipathy that was at first instinctive but over the years grew firmer the more I watched his odious behavior, must admit that for about 60-70% of the match he played some impressive tennis. For an hour and a half there in the third set, and even the 30 minutes in the fifth where he mounted a brief comeback, he actually resembled a professional athlete who wanted to win, to be a champion, rather than the bitchy, victimized, vulgar, mopey, passive player I've come to dread watching.

So credit where credit's due. He fought back. And he took that third set on his own merit. Of course then Novak, the world-class athlete that he's become, found a higher level and a greater focus, and thrashed him in the fourth. After an even start to the fifth, Nole jumped to a 5-2 lead, and Murray gave us his final gasp of maturity and endurance, evening things at 5-5.

But Nole won 3 Grand Slams last year and is #1 for a reason. He finds a way to win, despite pain and physical fatigue, despite a skilled opponent, despite the incredible pressure of the moment. He played a couple strong points on Murray's service game and broke him pretty quickly to win the match and earn his spot against Rafa Nadal in Sunday's final.

In the end, it was a surprisingly entertaining match, with a respectable quality level and some fun momentum shifts. Doubtless the British media will hail it as a success, despite the loss, of Ivan Lendl's effect as Murray's coach. They'll say he's finally changing, growing up, that Lendl is the right voice to guide him to a major victory.

But I'm not convinced that Andy wouldn't rather be playing with his PlayStation at his London mansion while his ridiculously-more-attractive-than-him girlfriend blow dries her hair.

Shave before a Slam you lazy, impertinent bastard.

To sum up:

1.) I'm kind of a dick when I haven't slept for two days, and I can't seem to stop hating Murray.

2.) Novak Djokovic will face Rafael Nadal in the Finals on Sunday. They have been the finalists now for three consecutive Grand Slams, all won by Nadal. In fact, Nadal has lost to Novak in their last 6 meetings. Should be very interesting.

Watch it Sunday, 330am ET on ESPN2. And Happy Friday.


  1. The crack about shaving is a bit unfair.