Hi Furriends! We are kicking off the 2021 tennis season with a bang! I, fur one, have been following the WTA event in Abu Dhabi and the ATP event in Del Ray Beach. There’s also been an ATP event in Antalya, Turkey.
Well, the women’s final is finished and just look at this trophy!
This could be the most beautiful trophy I have ever seen! Those look like real roses, too! I mean, that is classy times 10! Just magnificent!
Not to take away anything from the winner, Aryna Sabalenka! I was able to watch most of this tournament, and she was purrty darn flawless. She is going to have a great 2021 season, I just know it!
In addition, Alex De Minaur won the trophy at the Antalya Open in Turkey.
Some may say this is just a bowl, but I think it’s lovely! There are a lot of interesting, unique trophies that get awarded throughout the tennis season, and I like this one! I can’t tell what it’s made out of, but it looks like some type of blown glass. If I were Alex, I would opt for a displaying this one on a shelf and choose a lesser bowl for my cat treats.
The season is just getting started, so hold on to your roses and fruit bowls because this is going to be a wild ride!
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It’s that time of year again…new year, new beginnings, new resolutions. I, for one, always make one solitary resolution each year – to watch as much tennis as I can!
Reader warning: this post will include some very UNPOPULAR opinions, so read with caution AND an open mind. This is only one feline’s opinion, so read with interest, but leave purrsonal feelings for any one player out of it.
OK, now that that’s out of the way, here we go!
Dominic Thiem – I resolve to win at least one major this season. If I had my preference, it would be the French Open. I know that Frazier has been predicting my success at Roland Garros for years now, so I resolve to make it so!
Stefanos Tsitsipas – I resolve to cut my hair! I know most of my fans have grown accustomed to my pirate-like locks, but hey, even Roger Federer eventually cut his hair and turned out to look quite handsome. I also resolve to stop being “Greek philosopher” on social media. I’m just a 20-something year old guy trying to make my way in the world. I don’t always have to be the Jack Handy of the ATP and have Deep Thoughts.
Adidas and Nike – We resolve to design tennis kits that are shocking, bold, innovative! We want to give viewers something to talk about.
Coco Gauff – I resolve to make it to at least a quarterfinal of a grand slam this year! Yes, yes…I know I am only 16 years old, but I have raw talent. Some would even call me a phenom. I recognize this is a lot of pressure, but at the very least…I will try my best!
Jen Brady – I resolve to build on the momentum of the last half of 2020 and make it to at least one grand slam final! I want to give Frazier and the rest of the tennis fans some American tennis to be proud of! I’m good. I’m really good, and I can’t wait for 2021 to improve on my successes!
Vika Azarenka – I resolve to win at least one grand slam this year, maybe the US Open! I know that, at 31 years old, time may not be on my side, but have you seen what Serena has been able to accomplish after 30? I got this!
Roger Federer – (OK furriends, here’s where it might get dicey…I warned you) – I resolve to retire. I am arguably the best male tennis player of all time. I have nothing more to prove. I am 39 years old. I missed most of 2020 due to surgeries on my right knee, not the pandemic. I have already withdrawn from this year’s Australian Open, but I will be focusing on Wimbledon and the Summer Olympics. I think it’s time to officially call it a day, and retire. Retire with dignity, like Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi!
Serena Williams – (again, I warned you) – I resolve to retire. I am undoubtedly the best tennis player, male or female, of all time. I have nothing more to prove. I’ve beat all the records. I’m an icon! I have a beautiful family who loves and supports me. My life is full. I have it all, and then some!
All tennis players – we resolve to follow the rules! All of the rules. We are still lucky enough to play our sport globally, even during a worldwide pandemic. Tournament officials have certain health and safety protocols in place so that we can continue to travel, play and make our livings doing what we love. We must respect them and do as they say. They are working with experts on this, and hey, we are just tennis players, not scientists. We will trust they are working in our best interest because we are working in everyone’s self interest…including the fans who have patiently waited for the return of tennis!
OK feline friends, what do you think? Will any of these resolutions come to fruition? I guess we will just have to wait and see.
The tennis season opens this week with two tournaments for the men, the Delray Beach Open in Florida and the Antalya Open in Turkey, and one tournament for the women, the Abu Dhabi Open. The first grand slam, the Australian Open, which usually takes place toward the end of January, has been pushed back to February 8. They played a little shuffleboard with the tournament schedule this year, but that’s OK. It’s keep me on my paws and I will be sure to bring you all of the excitement of the 2021 tennis season.
In the famous words of the Little River Band…happy anniversary, baby!
That’s right, furriends! It’s my anniversary! Four years ago today, I opened my laptop and let me tiny little paws start typing, giving you my observations on my favorite sport, tennis!
Unlike the Little River Band song, I hope you have not found someone new. And, I hope that I would not have bought you a card, but was too afraid to send it, to tell you how I feel! I want you to know that I appreciate every single one of you who read my blog, write comments, and hopefully for those kitty cats and furry friends who Don’t Know Much ( that’s another song) about tennis, I can give you some insights on the gave I love so much!
Here’s to another great year or writing and tennis! May we have many more to come!
Here we are, furriends! New Year’s Eve…one of my favorite nights of the year. Frazier’s Racket has completed its fourth year out in the world, and I am purr-oud of myself for allowing my paws to strike the keyboard once again.
Like every New Year’s Eve, I like to reflect on the past year. We can all admit that 2020 was a real stinker! The global pandemic struck the entire globe with such force, it was difficult to find an ounce of light or hope in the world. For tennis, it started with the cancellation of Indian Wells, and then rippled through the men’s and women’s tour schedule with such force. There were exhibition tournaments, some thoughtful, safe and successful and some held with recklessness, foolishness, and little thought of the safety and life of others. I do not want to dwell on those events or the people who organized such exhibition tournaments.
I knew there was a glimmer of hope for tennis when the US Open managed to save the season and hosted a grand slam tournament like no other! The entire Billie Jean King National Tennis Center was closed to spectators and it looked like a cool summer camp for the pros! Arthur Ashe Stadium had private suites for the top players, so that they could watch the matches, size up their competition, and cheer for their mates from the comfort of their own space. The stands were silenced of cheering fans and the roars of the crowd, so it was up to each individual player to muster up the guts and will to play their best games. At the end of it all, Dominic Thiem captured his first grand slam title (of many, I hope!). I know this will never happen again, but roaring for myself, I thought it was super cool!
Roland Garros was played in September, after the US Open, instead of its usual Springtime soiree! No surprise that Rafa Nadal was the lone man hoisting the trophy! And surprise…unseeded Polish player, Iga Swiatek, handily won the women’s title, beating Sophia Kenin 6-4, 6-1.
But enough about them, let’s talk about me! After a year and a half hiatus, I returned to writing! And even though I didn’t get back to it until September, I still think I had a successful year.
Here is how Frazier’s Racket purrformed in 2020.
Number of views: 1903
Number of visitors: 1608
Number of posts: 20
Number of WordPress followers: 326
Number of Facebook followers: 48
Number of Twitter followers: 384
Even after all these years, my most popular post to date is The Gold Chain Epidemic . This uncovers the wild obsession men have with gold chains. I would put this one on your reading list fur 2021!
I’m looking forward to what 2021 might bring. It has to be better than what 2020 dished up! Hold tight and I will be sure to fill you in on the latest racket that happens around the tennis court.
As we settle in to this glorious time of year when the current tennis season is over and players are taking much needed vacays to beaches and mountains, and before the 2021 season begins, I’ve been passing my time by watching classic tennis matches on the Tennis Channel.
Much to my feline delight, I came across a real classic…Martina Navratilova vs. Chris Evert Lloyd in the 1982 Australian Open Finals. This was a golden era for me…really the first time that tennis stars like McEnroe and Connors took up residence in my tiny little kitty brain. And Martina and Chrissie shared the suite next door! American tennis was front and center of my cerebral cortex!
Oh, I digress! Back to 1982…
While some things stay the same, like Martina’s powerful one handed back hand and Chrissie’s one-two punch on the grass, I marveled at how many things have evolved.
For instance, grass! Back in 1982, the Australian Open was played on grass. These days, we are used to watching the Aussie Open in late January, in Melbourne Park, on the hard surface of Rod Laver Arena. This tournament was played on grass, in December (Australia’s summer) up until 1988, when they switched to hard courts.
Wooden rackets! Remember when wooden rackets were the weapon of choice? My first racket was a wooden racket, and man, that thing was cool! Chris Every Lloyd won this tournament smashing about the court with a wooden racket, while Martina was using some of the latest technology, a steel racket.
Believe it or not, there was a time when cigarette companies were major sponsors of tennis events! It seems almost absurd these days. But yes, just as I was watching Martina serve, my gazed focused on a sponsorship sign just behind her…Marlboro! I shook my tiny head to try and refocus, but yes, Marlboro was a major sponsor of the Australian Open in 1982! And if we go back in history just a smidge, you will remember when the Virginia Slim Circuit (of the Phillip Morris company) was formed in 1970, as a rebellion against what is now the USTA for not offering equal prize money for women players (Billie Jean King and the Original 9, anyone!). You’ve come a long way, baby!
And girls! I watched the trophy ceremony, and on more than one occasion the male announcer referred to both Martina and Chrissie as “girls”. They were 26 and 27 years old, respectfully, at the time! Could you imagine this type of rhetoric today? Women, players, athletes, competitors…just a few ways that would be more appropriate, to me.
It was a great cat walk strut down memory lane! Chris Evert (she dropped the “Lloyd” eventually) and Martina Navratilova! Great competitors, great champions, great ambassadors for the sport I love, tennis!
A purrfectly wonderful thing happened a few weeks ago, while I was watching and writing about the ATP year end finals, and it happened so quickly, I didn’t have time to acknowledge it. Now that it’s the holiday season and things have slowed down a bit…
I wrote my 200th blog post!
To some, it may not a huge deal, but for me, purrsonally, I am proud of myself. Yes, I have taken a few breaks here and there, but I’ve always come back. It’s fun for me, and I hope you get some enjoyment out of my tennis mewzings.
I appreciate your support and I hope you have enjoyed! And for those of you who don’t know much about tennis…I hope you learn a little bit about the game I love most!
Well furriends, I cannot hide it…I am a sad cat. I wanted Dominic Thiem to win so bad today. But he didn’t. Daniil Medvedev was just better. Plain and simple.
Everyone purr-dicted Thiem to win this one. He had just won the US Open and he was a finalist last year. But that just goes to show how un-purr-dictable tennis can be.
Sure, the first set started out very routine, with Thiem winning it 6-4. Then Medvedev fought back in the second set and won the set tiebreak, 7-6. And, I don’t know, I could tell Dominic was totally over it. He didn’t have much fight left in him and Daniil finally won it all!
Since I had had my fill of Brett and Jim on the Tennis Channel, I thought “Frazier, get back to your old favorites on ESPN, Brad Gilbert and Patrick McEnroe. Let’s see what these fellas have to say.”
They are equally entertaining as their Tennis Channel cohorts, but in a completely different way. Brad is a bit Malibu and Patrick is old school New York. So here we go…
Dominic has a habit of blowing on his fingers, as if he had just touch a hot tamale, when he sets up to return a serve. Patrick McEnroe said that “blowing on his is his nervous tick…like Nadal picking at his shorts.” Thank you for that visual, Patrick.
After Daniil broke Dominic in the third set, Brad Gilbert said this would be a good time for his coach to start singing “Breakdown” by Tom Petty, or “break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar.”
McEnroe of Medvedev…”waving that racquet like a magic wand.”
Gilbert of Thiem…”he’s running dry on [poker] chips.” Which, to be honest, was a very accurate metaphor of what was happening to poor Dominic.
Well, that’s wraps up the 2020 tennis season. Look for recaps, predictions and other nonsensical tennis news for the remainder of the year!
Yesterday, I spent an entire day at the O2 Arena in London and it was a-meowzing!
OK, maybe I wasn’t there in purrson, but can’t a kitty dream?
It was the semi-finals, with back to back, world class, best of the best, tennis determining who will be playing this year’s finals and I didn’t miss a minute of it!
The doubles matches did not disappoint! Koolhof/Mektic won quite handily against Granollers/Zeballos. Koolhof never cooled off, but instead brought the heat, taking them down in two sets. The afternoon match between Ram/Salisbury and Melzer/Roger-Vesellin was a different story. This match had everything, and went to a deciding 11-9 tiebreak to determine the winners, Melzer/Roger-Vesselin.
Then there were the singles! It was really just as one would hope…numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 competing to be the year-end best!
First up, Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem.
If you don’t know Dominic Thiem’s name yet…(and if you follow my blog), then shame on you! Now is the time to get to know him. He’s played in three grand slam finals and won his first grand slam this year at the US Open. He was the runner up at this event last year and he is a real steam roller! He’s built like a brick, has the best one handed back hand on tour, and is relentless on court. He’s been a favorite of mine for year! Trust me. Get to know him!! You’ll like him.
Anyway, back to the match. It was really just one amazing point after another from both Djokovic and Thiem. So close, like every point was determining the other’s fate. It went to three sets, with Thiem winning 7-5, 6 (10)-7, 7-6 (5). It doesn’t get much closer than that! And to sweeten the win…that was Thiem’s 300th tour match win!
The evening match was a rematch from last year’s round robin between Rafa Nadal and Daniil Medvedev. I was there for that one. Daniil was up 5-1 in the third set, so I decided to cut out early, beat the crowd rush and enjoy a nice dinner. Boy did I make a mistake! Rafa rallied back and won that match, and I missed it…for what? Pasta and a glass of wine! Lesson learned, Frazier…it’s not over ’til it’s over!
Anyway, back to the match. Believe it or not, Nadal has never won the year end final. He’s qualified (by the end of the year, he’s been ranked within the top eight) 16 times and has played this tournament ten times. (The other six, he was out with injuries) So, Rafa was definitely hungry for a win. And I, myself, was wondering if Medvedev had it in him to beat Rafa. Well, all was answered soon enough. Rafa won the first set very quickly 6-3, so I thought this is going to be over in a flash. And then a remarkable thing happened…Medvedev just kept coming at him! He took the second set to a tiebreak and won 6-7(4). We’ve all seen Rafa resurrect from the ashes and come back for a victory before, but not this time. Matter of fact, his playbook was all wrong. It’s like he couldn’t figure out the magic formula to beat Medvedev, and Medvedev wins the third set, 6-3.
Jim Courier and Brett Haber were at it again, calling this match, and Jim was really on a roll with the metaphors and word play. The amount of food and 80’s references he made, well, he’s a man after my own heart!
Things Jim said:
Banana forehand: (referring, I “think” to Rafa’s overhead forehand)
Snicker’s: what Jim ate before the match
Rubik’s Cube: (Medvedev…the puzzle Rafa was trying to solve)
Nip/Tuck: how close the match was
Gumby: Daniil Medvedev
Slinky: Rafa Nadal
M&M’s: how Jim can’t just eat one, and then some fruit
Pringles (OK, maybe that was Brett)
He also said that Rafa had fallen too much in love with his slice today, which was totally not the right strategy against Daniil. Fair…and true!
So there you have it! Today’s doubles final will be Koolhof/Mektic vs. Melzer/Roger-Vesselin. I’m calling Koolhof/Mektic on this…winning at their debut ATP Finals would be sweet!
Today’s singles final will be Dominic Thiem vs. Daniil Medvedev. This could really be anyone’s game, but I’m calling Thiem as the victor! Thiem is red hot right now, but Medvedev will be flying high, full of confidence after his win against Nadal yesterday. I guess we will have to watch and see.
I was watching the round robin match between Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev yesterday, and Daniil played a “trick shot”, the underarm serve.
You know the underarm serve. Chances are, you have played an underarm serve at some point in your life. Instead of tossing the ball high and hitting it overhead on the way down, you toss the ball low and strike the ball underhanded, usually with a little spin (similar to simple volleyball serves you learned in junior high school).
What makes this a trick shot? Professional tennis players these days try with all their might to fire fast paced bullets across the net in hopes their opponent will not be able to return it. Cheap points…just ask John Isner. So when someone changes up the pace, it rattles their opponent, throws them off their game. A risky shot? Sure! Unorthodox? Maybe. Against the rules? Absolutely not!
So when Medvedev played the underarm serve against Zverev, Tennis Channel commentator, Brett Haber, posed the question to Tennis Hall of Famer, Jim Courier, “How do you feel about players using the underarm serve?”, Jim Courier was teed up and ready like,
I love Jim Courier because he is always level headed and doesn’t take the bait when trying to get roped into this controversy, made famous most recently by tennis bad boy, Nick Kyrgios, against Rafa Nadal at last year’s Wimbledon.
Jim is a wise man. He knows his tennis. He calmly explained to Brett that the underarm serve is an excellent strategical tactic, especially when many players are playing far back, behind the baseline. They aren’t ready for a short serve that barely clears the net. It’s legal and it should be used more often.
And then Brett was like, “But what about the unwritten rules about the game?” Brett wanted something. More spark and fire out of this debate. And Jim was like,
There is no “unwritten” rule that you can’t play a shot that is purrfectly legal. Sounds like Brett’s been burned by this sneaky trick shot a time or two at his local club. Doesn’t matter Brett. It’s totally legit so get used to it. If players were smart, they would learn this and use it more often.
What do you think? Is the underarm serve a good strategy or a sneaky trick? Do you disapprove when players use it, or do you think it should be used more often?
The ATP Finals kicked off in London this morning and there is more tennis to watch than just the singles. We have world class doubles teams to watch and here is my purr-eview.
Psst…come closer…mini-true cat confession…I don’t watch as much doubles as I would like, but I’m going to blame this on television coverage of doubles. They just don’t get equal air time. That’s why I love the ATP Finals. Equal play/air time for all!
Ram/Salisbury: American, Rajeev, and Englishman, Joe, are definitely favorites of mine. I like Rajeev because he is a respectable American I can get behind. And Joe seems like a real stand up gent.
Pavic/Soares: Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares. I mean, come on…with a name like Mate, you’re surely a super star in my book!
Krawietz/Mies: This German duo is a pair to reckon with! Kevin Krawietz (purrnouced “kravitz…like Lenny Kravitz) is super cute. And Andreas Mies helped out his community grocery store stock shelves when the pandemic stopped the world from spinning round.
Granollers/Zeballos: Marcel and his big, beautiful brown eyes! And Horacio with his boyish good looks. You can’t help but roar for this team. And hey, when both players have a double “L” in their last name, AND they are playing doubles! Recipe for double trouble!
Koolhof/Mektic: With a name like “Koolhof”, Wesley’s gotta be the Koolest Kat around, especially with that early 90’s pseudo-mullet! Let’s just say I just to know a fella back in the day with that same hair style! And Nikola’s not half bad, either.
Peers/Venus: John and Michael, respectively. I will not tell a lie…every now and then, if I’m not paying attention, I might meow “Oh, I didn’t know Venus (Williams) was playing doubles in this tournament.” I bet he gets that a lot.
Kubot/Melo: Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo could be one of my favorite doubles teams of all time! For one, Kubot is Polish and I have a soft spot for Poland. And two, how can you not like a name like Marcelo Melo? Sounds like a delicious soda pop!
Melzer/Roger-Vasselin: Truthfully, I don’t know much about Jurgen Melker and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, but they look purrty fierce in their photo. I wouldn’t want to cross paths with these two alley cats!
It’s a real shame that all of my favorite teams are in the same group! I’m having a hard time deciding which pair I want to see in the final. So, I will just leave it with “good luck to everyone!” Have a grreat tournament, kitty cats!
The stage has been set for the final men’s tournament of the year, the ATP Finals, November 15-22. Here is my purrsonal purr-eview of the players.
In honor of it’s 50th anniversary I present “Group Tokyo 1970″ and Group London 2020”.
GROUP TOKYO 1970
Novak Djokovic: Not my favorite player, to be honest. He’s had a few hiccups during the pandemic (hosted a super-spreader in Serbia, hit a line judge in the throat at the US Open, to name a few). But he’s chasing tennis history like I chase a mouse around the house, so he’s the real deal at this event.
Alexander Zverev: I’m not going to give much space to this guy. He is denying serious allegations of assault by an ex-girlfriend. I want to like this guy, but he’s making it real difficult. Right now, I’d rather hack up a thousand hair balls than see this guy win.
Daniil Medvedev: I’m coming around to this cat. I know that’s a purrty controversial opinion, but I like his style and I think he’s trying to improve his image.
Diego Schwartzman: At 5’7″, he is an unlikely contender. But here he is and he’s had a stellar year! I’m happy for this Argentinian…now if we can only get him to stop with the “backwards hat” nonsense.
GROUP LONDON 2020:
Rafael Nadal: ME? You want to play tennis with me, Rafa? OK, let me grab my racquet and I’ll be right over! That’s how I feel about my main cat, Rafa Nadal! Meow!
Dominic Thiem: ME? You winking at me, Domi? Back at ya! And that’s how I feel about my other main cat, Dominic Theim.
Stefanos Tsitsipas: Reigning champ, this one. Bless his heart, this one! For the most part, this guy managed to stay out of trouble during the pandemic and focused on tennis. Now, if he would stop being a jerk to his dad (his coach), he’d be in good shape. Take my advise, Stefanos…let your dad be your dad and get yourself a different coach. How you behave with your dad (coach or not) is not a good look for you.
Andrey Rublev: Let’s be honest, I’m just not a fan of his headband. There, I hissed it! Headband aside, he has had a remarkable year and I see great things in his future!
There is a finalist from each group. In a Frazier’s Fantasy World, it would be Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem slugging it out next Sunday at the finals, with Thiem hoisting the winner’s trophy. Unfortunately, my Real World prediction is quite boring, and I’m afraid, might come true. I see Novak and Rafa playing in the finals with the win going to Novak. Cat Nap City! Wake me up when it’s over.
What’s better than courtside seats? What do you get when you have a tennis tournament sponsored by a mattress company? Court side beds!
That’s right, kitty cats. You can kick your feet up and lounge while watching your favorite players battle it out at the bett1 HULKS Indoors in Cologne, Germany! The mattresses are propped up like a Craftmatic Adjustable bed (as seen on MTV’s Remote Control, circa 1989) for maximum comfort!
Apparently, bett1 is the #1 selling mattress in Germany, according to their website. I purrsonally think this is a genius marketing scheme. Being an American house cat, I’ve never heard of this brand, and of course, it made me Google them! Good on you, bett1!
In addition to courtside comfort, there’s also a house band! That’s right! In between changeovers, sets, or medical timeouts, they have a band that provides live entertainment. Their purrty good, if I meow so myself. And when the chair umpire declares “Time” in their deep, ominous voice, the band stops, right on cue.
Looks like a swell good time, a real spectacle, if you could be there. But you can’t. No spectators this year. You know why. I can assume that the kittos enjoying the courtside beds are ball kids or something.
Meanwhile, there is also a tournament in St. Petersburg, Russia this week. And just like the Laker Girls or the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, St. Petersburg has courtside entertainment. Dancers, clad in anything from I Dream of Genie-esque outfits, to full shimmering white body suits (with face coverings to match, of course). They strut out at various times, circling the court, and perform their choreographed number. Hips swaying, hands clapping! And when the sounds turns off, they strut right back behind the magic curtains. (Sorry, no pictures…they are hard to capture).
So even though I can’t be courtside at either one of these cool tournies, I will settle with watching from the luxury of my own comfy sofa!
Yesterday wrapped up the fortnight in Paris, the French Open. And with all things this year, it was full of storylines of tales past, as well as plenty of new news!
The women’s champion, Iga Swiatek! The teenager who became the first player from Poland to win the French Open. “Welcome to the Jungle” was the anthem that kept her calm all week. Well, if Phillipe Chatrier (center court) is the jungle, then she is the Queen! She played a flawless match against Sofia Kenin, winning 6-4, 6-1.
Guess what kitty furriends?The King of Clay, himself! Rafael Nadal won his unprecedented 13th title on Sunday, winning the final against world number 1, Novak Djokovic. This was their 56th meeting, making that the record of most matches between two players. And the score line was equally as impressive as Swiatek’s. 6-0, 6-2, 7-5.
It was lights out so fast for both of those finals! Speaking of lights…
Paris, the City of Lights, finally have lights at the French Open. I know, it’s hard to believe, but prior to this year, when the night sky descended on Paris, they would have to shut down and start play up the next day. Of course, the lights created unusual shadows, but it also allowed more matches to complete, which is always the goal.
Something New: A roof on center court! The roof was a lifesaver, because, as every smart cat knows, you just can’t play tennis in the rain. The roof enabled play to continue, and that is always a purrfect time!
Something Old: The drop shot! The drop shot was the real winner at this French Open. Due to new tennis balls, the ball was bouncing about three inches less than normal (or so meows one of the commentators) so players used the drop shot a LOT! Qualifier, Hugo Gaston, almost beat Dominic Thiem in the fourth round, playing the drop shot as often as I dose off into kitty dream heaven.
With this win, Rafa Nadal ties Roger Federer for the number of grand slam titles: 20! Roger is out this year, recovering from surgery, and he is 39 years old. There is no telling if he will be able to come back and win more majors. Rafa is 34 years old and plays like he’s 24. So I see him surpassing Roger’s record some time next year.
And that’s a wrap for the French Open. A little something for everyone. Hope you enjoyed the summary.
I don’t know about you, but 2020 has me all turned around! I must confess, it has not been easy. It has created quite the confusion for this middle aged cat!
Sure 2020 started out with all the normal hopes and dreams of new and seasoned tennis players…and of course, predictability, with Novak Djokovic (predictable) winning the Australian Open against Dominic Thiem (predictable, again, unfortunately). We sailed through February, then in mid-March, they announced that Indian Wells was cancelled, and I selfishly roared, “This cannot be! What about the players and the rankings, and the ticket holders, and the travel plans, and the sponsors?”
My tiny little walnut-sized cat brain could not comprehend. But then, as time passed, I understood…this is what they HAD to do! Tennis is such a global sport and the pandemic affected every nook and cranny. So measures were taken and decisions were made. Wimbledon was canceled, Laver Cup was canceled, and they postponed the French Open, normally played in Spring, to Fall, after the US Open. And hey, guess what! Dominic Thiem won his first Grand Slam (unpredictable?…nah!)
So, here we are my furry friends…clay court season in September. After hard court season. And it’s freezing in Paris! OK, I may be exaggerating a bit. It’s only 57 degrees F (14 degrees C, for my European furriends). But still, spectators, coaches, umpires, and players are all bundled up like French Eskimos in their finest down.
Although, I’m a little turned around, flipped upside down, I have nine lives. I’m not scared! We will all get through it together. I think I speak for all tennis fans…we are just thankful tournament organizers found a way to keep the season going, in the safest possible way for players and everyone else involved.
The French Open starts today, and there has already been some great action on the red clay! So even though it’s not Spring time in Paris, grab your best fluffy blanket and settle in!