Sweep the Leg, Johnny!

Oh guys, I didn’t get to watch too much of the Barcelona Open this week, but I was able to catch the super-quick championship final between Rafa Nadal and Dominic Thiem.

First off, I don’t follow too much of Dominic Thiem. He recently starting wearing a silly headband like the villain in The Karate Kid. You know the one…who was instructed to “Sweep the leg, Johnny.”  Frankly, I should very much have this kid on my radar…he’s ranked 9th in the ATP. Not too shabby.

Being the sweet kitty that I am and always wanting to cheer for the under cat, I was all in for Dominic Thiem today.

However, as often as I yelled at the TV, “Sweep the leg, Dominic! Sweep the leg!” There was no sweeping or dusting or mopping, except for Rafa sweeping up points, blowing up dust, and mopping Dominic’s pride all over the tennis court! They were head to head in the first set up until it was 4-4, then the light went dim and Dominic was not returning his shots. After that, it was all Rafa, all the time. 6-4, 6-1. Lights out!

A couple of take-away’s from today’s match.

  • Who ever said there is no “I” in “Thiem?” Wrong, all wrong!
  • No matter how many times Rafa wins, his dad always gets emotional.
  • Who was that cute little girl in Thiem’s player’s box? I couldn’t find anything online. I’m going to say it was his niece sitting next to his sister? She was super cute cheering for him.
  • Wonder what drives players’ decision whether or not to shave before a final? I would think this is a pretty important day, I would probably shave. But nope, I am usually wrong.

But Still Like Air, I Rise

Good news, friends! Serena Williams is having a baby! Another precious being waiting to join us on this earth! And she won the 2017 Australian Open while 8 weeks pregnant…and she moved back to #1 in the WTA rankings the week she announced her pregnancy, having not played a match since January! Is there nothing this champ can’t do? But you know what makes her truly remarkable?  The grace she has when faced with adversity. And she has had to face tons of adversity getting to where she is today.

Bad news, friends…Ilie Nastase opened his mouth! It is no coincidence his nickname is “Nasty”. Not familiar? He’s a former world #1 player from back in the Connors/McEnroe era. I won’t give a link or go into the details because I don’t want to give too much attention to negativity. Ugliness breeds ugliness.

Good news, friends! Serena is a bigger person than Ilie Nastase could ever dream of being. In response to the nastiness that is Nasty Nastase, she sent a very clear message through her instagram page. Here is a short excerpt:

I am not afraid, unlike you. You see, I am no coward. “Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom?

You may shoot me with your words…you may try to kill me with your hatefulness, but still like air, I rise.

– Serena Williams

A good friend of mine, Paulina the Porcupine, texted me on Sunday and asked if I was going to write about Serena’s news, and at the time, I wasn’t even going to mention it. When those awful comments were made about her (along with other unmentionable remarks), I still was going to stay away from the topic. But when she posted her response to the issue, I thought “this is a message that needs to be spread.”

So come on everyone…let’s spread some love, acceptance and strength and like air…RISE!

Dear Rafael,

I’m a fan! Honestly Rafael Nadal…HUGE fan! So much so, I gave you legit respect by using your full name….Rafael. I know that usually it’s Rafa, but for this fan letter, it is proper props for the “King of Clay” Rafael Nadal.

I will be honest, I was not always a fan. At the beginning of the Federer/Nadal era, I was on the Fed Express train all the way. I think it was your knee length knickers and sleeveless tops that turned me into a sad-cat. So unconventional, I just couldn’t reconcile myself to see past it. There is an ongoing debate in my house about this look. But for me, your current style is much better. Like really…so, so better! Meow!

When did I wake up from my nap and take notice of this “Rafa Nadal?” It was gradual, really. I was impressed with how you rehabbed through your injuries and your openness when talking about your progress. It’s as if you didn’t want to hide anything from anyone. Like you respected your fans enough to be honest with them. And you speak so softly, a complete juxtaposition of how you play. You seem like a really nice person to know.

Let’s talk about your power! There is  no one on the men’s circuit who is built like you…or plays like you. You’re like a boxer just throwing left hooks, then right hooks, then upper cuts until your opponents are down with a TKO. You are so fun to watch. I almost pity the fool who has to stand on the other side of the net from you. How do they mentally prepare themselves for this? I have no idea! If it was me, I would hide under the bed. And you never ever let up on your intensity. From the first point to the last, it is game on sucka!

I will refrain from talking too much about your Tommy Hilfiger commercial from 2015. Wink, wink. Not going to include the YouTube link here, but you know the one. Yep! That one.

Here’s a little piece I wrote about you during the 2017 Australian Open after you beat Zverev in a five-set match. I hope you enjoy it.

Vamos Rafa!

As we start the 2017 clay court season, you are chasing records! You have 9 wins each for three tournaments: Monte-Carlo, Madrid and the French Open! I think you can make it 10, 10 and 10!! A Rafael “perfect 10!” You have had a renaissance start of 2017, so let’s keep it going! Vamos Rafa!

Tennis love,

Frazier

 

Happy Easter from Frazier’s Racket

Happy Easter from my human and me! We hope that everyone had a relaxing weekend and are enjoying this Spring weather!

As I wrap up my Sunday watching the finals of the US Men’s Clay Court Championships by American, Stevie Johnson and Brazilian, Thomaz Bellucci, I am reminded why I love tennis. The racket today was on the court…specifically the paralyzing cramps that were going on in Stevie’s legs in that third set. The kind of leg cramps that grab hold and won’t let go. The kind where you see the muscles knotting up from under the skin. Stevie managed to make in a good serve, and Bellucci dumped it right into the net. Point Johnson!

Stevie Johnson was finally victorious in a third set tiebreak…final score: 6-4, 3-6, 7-6. To me, this is a victory, not only for Stevie Johnson, but for American clay court tennis….not necessarily the Americans’ strong suit. I see positive things ahead for them this clay court season!

Happy Easter!

Frazier

True Cat Confession #4

This past Sunday, I posted about my excitement for the beginning of clay court season. Click here if you missed it: Ode to Clay

I have a confession…the REAL reason I love clay court season? The hot guys who play! There is just something about watching these clay court “specialists”. They come from places like Argentina, Spain, Italy and France. Here is a list of my top ten favorites!

#1 Rafa Nadal – Spain: Meow…no explanation needed. Just look at him! (and let’s not forget, he has won NINE French Opens)

#2 Jeremy Chardy – France: Umm, hellur!

#3 Jo Wilfred Tsonga – France: He’s had many looks over the years, but here’s one of my favorites. He’s purrfect!

#4 Feliciano Lopez – Spain: Or “Deliciano”…as he is referred to by Andy Murray’s mom! Ha! Yep, this guy plays tennis!

#5 Benoit Paire – France: Yeah, this guy!

#6 Fabio Fognini – Italy: He’s got a little sumpin’ sumpin’ about him, don’t you think?

#7 Fernando Verdasco – Spain: I’ve been watching and cheering for this guy for years! A real cool cat.

#8 Richard Gasquet – France: Just look at him!

#9 Juan Martin Del Potro -Argentina: When he had a dream comeback during the 2016 Olympics in Rio, beating Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal, before losing to Andy Murray to win the silver medal, he shot right back into my top 10 list. Plays with his heart on his sleeve and I LOVE it!

#10 Juan Monaco – Argentina: He makes my list because he is huge part of my first US Open memories (2011)! He made it to the 4th round before Roger Federer beat the snot out of him on Arthur Ashe Stadium in little over an hour…a night session and my first time in Arthur Ashe Stadium! I will never forget it!

Honorable Mention  Carlos Moya – Spain: A great player in his own right, back in the day. Currently he is coaching fellow countryman, Rafa Nadal.  And the top 10 comes full circle!

Did I miss anyone? Sure, plenty! But what do ya think? These guys are worth tuning in to see a little slide on the red dirt!

Slip Sliding Away (and a bonus poem!)

Furry and fluffy friends, it is clay court season and you know what that means! Time to get dirty! Slipping, sliding, and sometimes splitting your way into winning a point, game, set and match. Very physical and fun tennis to watch!

To commemorate the opening of clay court season, I wrote a poem:

Ode to Clay

Red clay, green clay

No matter, we all play!

Dirty, dusty

Sure looks rusty.

Slippin’, slidin’

Splittin’, divin’.

Hold on tight

Cross-court glidin’!

Yay clay!

Not familiar with tennis on clay? Watch this video of a young Rafa Nadal (King of Mud…back when entered the scene with long hair, sleeveless shirts and ridiculous knee-length knickers) expertly execute a lonnnggg slide on clay. (Cue to 0:40 for the fun to begin)

 

Black Cat Blue Sea Award

 

Black Cat Blue Sea Award
Thanks to fuzzyyellowduck at Turtledesk for nominating me for the Black Cat Blue Sea Award!  Turtledesk features art and poetry, and frankly, I think the blog is beautifully done. It’s one of my favorites!! Please check out their blog. Their response to the award can be found here. Turtledesk Black Cat Blue Sea Award

Rules of the Award

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. Answer 3 questions asked by your nominator
  3. Nominate 6 fellow bloggers
  4. Ask 3 questions to your nominees

My Questions Answered

  1. Which genre of literature (or form of art) do you love most? I enjoy all sorts of literature and art. I read a lot of autobiographies of tennis players (I highly recommend “Open” by Andre Agassi…even if you don’t follow tennis, it is an excellent read in its own right). I also enjoy all sorts of art! Even though I don’t travel much (the vet’s office is as far as I like to go), my human likes to visit any art museum of the cities she travels.
  2. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? I have given this question a lot of thought. It has always been my dream to make it to all four tennis grand slam tournaments, so that would take me to Melbourne, Australia; Paris, France; London, England and New York, New York. My human has already been to the US Open several times, but loves it every chance she gets!
  3. What inspires you? You know me…I take a LOT of naps! BUT….when I’m watching tennis with my human, I keep a notepad on the coffee table and I’m constantly taking notes for my blog. Anything I notice that I find unusual or interesting or funny or frustrating…I’ll write it down and it will eventually make its way into my blog!

Nominees

  1. Mageowl’s Blog
  2. Living vs Existing
  3. Golden Pink Journal
  4. Your Finances
  5. AbbeycoSeattle
  6. The Shameful Sheep

My Questions to Nominees

  1. If you could share a meal with anyone living or deceased, who would it be and why?
  2. If you could take any vacation in the world, where would you go?
  3. What inspires you to write?