Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The true test

The world is an illusion, being alive is not real, it is only make believe.  We are here as part of a test, a test to see who is capable of surviving on this miserable world as long as possible.  It is built into minds, our genes, our reality that the individual cannot want to die and must strive to stay alive.  Every living entity in all the worlds, in all the galaxies, in all the universes, has one goal to survive.

Unfortunately this reasoning is counter-intuitive because the sooner you die the sooner you leave the wretched, vile world and go back to where we all belong.  At this point the test will end immediately and you have won, you have survived the test.  A test is only a test if it sears the nerves, if it pushes you beyond what you are capable of, and of course, if it makes you unable to realise its true purpose, when it is able to inveigle the senses into believing a falsehood.

What if it was true?

Friday, 25 May 2012

Who wins the French?

So we all sit with baited breath to see if in two weeks’ time history will be made.  Can Novak Djokovic finish what Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal have so far been unable to do, and win four slams in a row?  I personally think not.  Novak’s form has dropped significantly over the last few weeks especially since his grandfather died, and Rafa is looking his imperious best on court. 

I will say now Rafa Nadal will be crowned French Open champion, probably the only slam he will win this year, but in a way the most satisfying just digging it in to those Frenchies who took the micky out of him with their spitting image skit.

Novak will have the immense pressure of trying to achieve the impossible, and Rafa is playing better and Novak is playing worse than last year. 

Unfortunately I don’t see Federer winning it now, though I would love to be proved wrong.  Maybe if he had been seeded two and didn’t have to play Nadal he may have won, but the way he was destroyed by Novak in the semis at Rome says he just doesn’t have it in him to win on a clay court against the top two.  Maybe at Wimbledon that will change, I still think Fed will win Wimby.

I don’t expect anything from Murray; in fact it would not surprise me if Murray went out before the beginning of the second week.  His tennis has been woeful recently as he tries to overcome injury and change his game with the help of Lendl (something he should have done three years ago).

The other semi-final place is up for grabs depending on draws, Berdych, Del Potro, Ferrer or Tsonga may make the final place.

Only one thing will stop Rafa Nadal winning yet another clay court event - injury.  

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Madrid throwing up a few surprises

The biggest surprise Madrid has thrown up in my opinion is the attitude of both Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic.  They have acted like children, very immature.  Before the tournament started they had already made up their minds, they were not going to like blue clay and so anything no matter what it was, was going to cause them a massive amount of grief.  And guess what it has.

The thing I find most strange is the court is just as bad as last year when it was red, everyone complained constantly about the surface.  It was the worst clay surface imaginable and all the same excuses were used, it is not a regular clay court, it isn’t bedded properly, it is slippery and uneven, but it was red.  This didn’t stop Rafa and Novak making the final did it. 

To me it seems like deja vu for different reasons, but quite possibly similar outcome.  In 09, Djokovic and Nadal played that famous 4hr epic in the semis of the Madrid Open, it basically ended both their seasons and Federer went on to win the French for the first time, then Wimbledon taking him passed Sampras slam record.

Federer is going to be the biggest winner now in Madrid; he has adapted to the blue clay and made no fuss about it. His style of play, gliding across the court like a ballerina and not like a steam train means it has not affected him.  And when he wins on Sunday he will be world number 2.

This will become more important if when we get to the French Open in a few weeks’ time, if Nadal and Djokovic are drawn on the same side. Nadal will have to play Djokovic in the semis, and with Nadal’s record against the Serb in Slam events recently, I would expect Novak to win.  This plays right into Federer’s hands, as he would prefer to avoid Nadal altogether, especially on clay.

If Federer doesn’t play Nadal in France expect him to win the French Open, then on present form I expect him to win Wimbledon as well.  This would be hard to imagine after the US Open last year and would be one of the greatest comebacks ever. 

Of course it is still early days but anything could and still might happen, but if it does happen we can look to a bit of immature petulance by the top two players, for helping it to happen and of course the greatness of Roger Federer.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Madrid’s Smurf Clay looks cool

The elite tennis players may not like the new look blue Smurf clay in Madrid but as far as watching on TV it looks much better.  I suppose elite athletes are fine tuned to certain things but I am sure over time I think blue Smurf Clay will become acceptable.  Personally I cannot see how the colour of the clay makes any difference since colour makes no difference on a hard surface.  More likely it is the type of clay or the way the surface itself has been created that is the real issue, and even if it was the normal brick red clay it would still be slippery and difficult to play on.

Tennis players need to remember though this is an entertainment sport, and blue clay certainly makes it easier to see the ball.  And if Madrid wants to use that colour I see no reason why it should not be able to.  It works on the Madrid courts in a way it would never work at Roland Garros.

It was good to see Federer overcome the new sensation Milos Raonic, but I worry about tennis if someone like Raonic is the future.  I know sport goes through cycles but if the next phase of tennis stars is going to be like the 90’s over again then it doesn’t bode well for tennis.  No disrespect to Raonic he can play some nice shots and he nearly beat the great Swiss, but it was not exciting tennis with lots of rallies and this was on a clay court.  160 mile an hour super servers will ruin tennis.