Thursday, September 10, 2015

Tennis: Let's Dance



Of all the US Open tennis I've watched these past two weeks (and I've consumed more than the recommended USDA daily allowance), the doubles matches have been the best. Not the men's doubles; they're as boring as ever. I'm talking the women's and mixed doubles. Mostly due to the return of Martina Hingis.

Along with Roger Federer, Hingis is probably the best chess-playing tennis competitor ever. Though unlike Federer, she ultimately wilted when major fire-power hit the scene; today, if partnered with another great player, her mind-game is magic.

(By the way, her partner in the women's doubles is Sania Mirza from India -- an international star whose courage, both athletically and politically, eclipses every other player other than possibly Serena Williams.)

Just to say, if you're not a tennis fan, or even if you are, and kind of yawn at the idea of witnessing another win by Williams and Djokovic in the singles, catch the doubles. Hingis with Mirza, and Hingis with Leander Paes (he's 42 years old, for god's sakes, old enough to have partnered and won with Navratilova, the original Martina).

It's tennis when tennis looked like no other sport. The prehistoric tennis of the 1990's, and earlier. Before a wild-swinging bat could hit a home run in the service box; when an inside-out forehand or a sweet backhand down the line would make you gasp.

Catch the doubles. It's a beautiful sight.

23 comments:

  1. Now I want to watch tennis! Which isn't possible right now as we don't have cable...and the Patriots are playing their season opener so I wouldn't have the option anyway. Maybe I can find a match online....

    ReplyDelete
  2. I watched a lot of the singles over the Labor Day weekend but haven't caught a doubles match yet . . . goal for the weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Our coverage hasn't been good. I was just this minute looking to see if Serena's semi was on but it isn't here.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My husband loves to watch tennis. He used to play tennis many years ago...
    I don't like so much tennis and I haven't see women's and mixed doubles...
    Just now I am watching Serena William & Roberta Vinci.
    I have been watching principally US Open. I like Roger Federer and I liked too a Spanish tennis player Feliciano López and I am sorry he did not win Novak Djokovic. Even I like Djokovic too.
    Link to the beautiful Feliciano López!

    You all have a nice weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes indeed, Sonia. A friend of mine calls him Deliciano Feliciano.
    Red Pat, it streams for free on ESPN3, if you have access to that in Canada.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes, Karin!
    Just from now on, I'm going to call him, Deliciano Feliciano! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. The singles are turning out to be more interesting than you thought, Karen.

    ReplyDelete
  8. well, Serena didn't make it, though she is still one of the greatest athletes of all time. I guess for Vinci, her name was her destiny.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I just told a friend she has to watch the Vinci postgame interview. She is so utterly charming. You can click here, but must go to the smaller pix that sez Day 12. http://www.usopen.org/en_US/interactive/video/index.html?promo=topnav

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Karin, I did just that and yes, she is. Anche molta Italiana! What would she have said if she were Norwegian?

      Delete
  10. I'm lost when it comes to chess, but watching doubles tennis is double the fun {or is fun squared?} so it sounds good to me, KB.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I WILL pay more attention to the doubles.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sports are strange. Likes and dislikes. Don't enjoy tennis. Doubles or singles. Bowling falls in to that category for me too. NASCAR? Fishing? Don't get me wound up for the weekend. Baseball and Football. Now, ya talking my langauge.
    Game, set point!
    LOVE!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I agree with you Karin, I saw the Vinci postgame interview, she is so utterly charming and looks so very happy too!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Karin, you just gave me an idea, to do someday a post about the sports that I like to watch on tv...
    I'm not really a sports type person and I don't have a regular physical activity. But I am now planning to do yoga. I think it will be good to me.

    ReplyDelete
  15. When I see the news reports about the tragic case of the woman in California who suffered a tennis overdose, I'll know who and why.

    Mark and my hubby are getting set for football overload; they practically drooled through the Patriots game on Thursday.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Like most sports, I just don't care. And I mean that in the nicest way.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ya, I understand. But it's really weird if you played a sport and were deeply invested in winning that sport, how your muscle memory just goes crazy with every shot.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Be careful, Karin, in case your muscle memory takes over, like it does with sleepwalkers. Make sure all the balls, tennis rackets and bats are stored away else you'll score an ace into the TV. Tennis was a sport I was almost good at at school, and some matches are very exciting. But it's been the same old faces for years now and I turned off. Vinci may get me watching again. As for the doubles, they've often seemed like second-best tennis. But they do take more skill and interaction with your partner, don't they?

    ReplyDelete
  19. I still play tennis, but only with someone who agrees not to play sets or even games. I gave that up after I left the juniors, and am way too competitive for it to be remotely fun. But I love striking the ball, particularly a flat down-the-line backhand and serves. When I played doubles, I played it like singles, but with half a court, which made me a terrible double's partner. And that's why I've grown to appreciate watching a great doubles team. They support each other and play as one.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I remember Sonia Mirza when she came to play in Tokyo over 10 years ago...that was the first time I realized that we had a pretty huge Indian population in Tokyo. Everyone came out with instruments to cheer for their homegirl. Glad to hear she's still doing well.

    It's finally fall in Tokyo and my (by which I mean watch, not play) tennis season is just starting :D

    ReplyDelete