Starting this week, writer Pat Davis is joining Tennis Diary to cover the grand slams and weigh in as only she can on everything from technique to high style in the tennis world:
I was going to write about the oddity of both #1 and #2 male players being without coaches, when lo and behold, Roger and Andy both went out and got hitched, so to speak.
This happens over the holidays, the normal time when tennis players get married, get hitched, have babies, fire their coaches, replace their boyfriends/girlfriends. Hopefully, they also rest their overworked bods, in the only time of the year when they get what is called, a “rest.”
Andy gets Dean Goldfine. Hhmmm. I have to think about that. What made Andy reach his end, rather suddenly it seemed, with Brad Gilbert? Maybe the lad is restless, I thought. Andy believed he should have performed better at the close of last year; he didn’t, so he took it out on his coach. Andy wants to do better, but doing better means he has to climb over Roger Federer, and that he did not manage to do by year’s end.
Roger makes out perhaps better, with the laconic sardonic Tony the Roche. If nothing else, Roger will learn a few more cuss words, the Aussies are good at that. But only part-time. Tony is an old curmudgeon, and realizes he Does Not Travel Well.
Brad Gilbert, on the other hand, is Pupil-Less. He may enjoy it, given his quip about being “the Fired Coach, moving into the ESPN commentator’s booth.” He actually said the F word, “fired.” I went back and replayed my tape.
Not one to feel seduced and abandoned for long, Lleyton Hewitt came out of his breakup with Kim Clijsters looking pumped up in his new muscle tees and firing big-ass service winners. Rumor has it she gave him the bad news over the phone, in which case she doesn’t appear to have the class I thought was part and parcel of her Repertoire of Shots. But Lleyton went out and rebuilt his body to win his own home Slam. The guy is fired up!
In a moment of churlish display, he reputedly chastised his own federation for not making the court more adaptable to the Aussie favorite, i.e. a faster court. Instead, it’s somewhere in between. Patrick McEnroe picked up on this in the booth, remarking how he felt Patrick Rafter suffered from the same problem during his run. He could never win the Aussie Open because the court was TOO slow, and ill-suited to his game. Hewitt has begun to suspect the same. He is one guy who takes Federer seriously, and having been hammered good by Federer last year he appears determined to get himself up to the challenge.
And now for the fashion statements….you didn’t think you’d escape without commentary on the fashion, now did you?
One of the best things about seeing tennis players up close in person is they have such bloody gorgeous legs, the men and the women.
So, why then cover up the fine legs of a really fine looking young player, Rafael Nadal? He’s wearing white cotton knickers this week, but the little tweak of ankle that we see is lovely to look at. He’s already, at 18 years old, please, got a really nice Lou Diamond Phillips look. He reached somewhere into those knickers and found the wherewith all to upset Mikhail Youzhny the other day, in a great five set display.
Knickers rule, I guess.