For a minute there I thought I was watching a Robert Palmer music video – may he rest in peace. Supermodels in minidresses and high bouffants draped with guitars. Or maybe I mistook it for one of those motorcycle ads with a high heeled babe in a miniskirt impossibly draped over a crotch-rocket speedster with no pretense that she was ever going to ride it.

No, I was watching a tennis match. The Madrid Masters Tennis Tournament has hired 25 female fashion models between the ages of 19-27 and paid them $1, 125 for the week to run around in black tank tops and white knee-length skirts chasing balls and giving towels to players.

I remember when rocker Alice Temple and fashion model Rachel Williams posed on a bed together for Vanity Fair in a public announcement of their relationship, 1995 I think it was. “Oh great”, I thought, “now I am not allowed to just be a woman who wears comfortable shoes, I have to compete with lesbian fashion models.” The L Word on Showtime only makes it worse. If you don’t have a hot tub and a stunning girlfriend, you’re nothing. Think how is must be for the adolescent ballgirls and ballboys with pimples and awkward growth spurts trying to compete with long legs and miniskirts. They even work for free and it’s not enough.

The basketball sneaker became an example of a simulacrum, reality is replaced by something representing reality, basketball was replaced by a basketball sneaker and you too could be as cool as Michael Jordan just by wearing his Air Jordan sneakers. The sneaker was separated from its reason for being: flying through the air and dunking a basketball. It became a fashionable and popular orphan.

That is what these models are: fashionable – they’re fashion models aren’t they?, popular – ask Anna Kournikova, orphaned – do any of these models even play tennis? I must say that I often feel the same way. Not so much fashionable or popular but orphaned. It’s a strange thing to spend this much time playing and thinking about a sport and then writing about it when it’s not clear anyone is paying attention. But at least I am actually playing a game not just posing for it. Surely that counts for something.

Practice and Competition Report: played one set with T., 6-4
Solutions Analysis: more detailed visualization before each serve is resulting in better placement.
Success Analysis: this is the third week in a row that I have won at least a set from T. after a year of losing virtually every time despite the fact that he gives me three games in each set. Strategy rules! Hit short then lob – hit short then lob… Might be time to reduce those three gimmes 🙂

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