The Australian Open started on January 14th and ends on January 27th. It’s a tennis tournament, guys. It’s the first big one of the year and you should care about it. Here are some things to watch for during this blissful two weeks:
“La Monf,” or Gael Monfils, will do something absolutely amazing. The Frenchman is probably the most athletic man in the history of tennis and has a penchant for dropping jaws. Be it through his explosive court movement or supreme boneheadedness.
Chris Evert was an all-time great in the women’s game, now she’s just kind of a bitch. This analyst cheers for every top seed in the tournament and gets noticeably annoyed when they do not win. When one of them inevitably loses, she’s does a post-match interview in which she gives her more unwelcome version of a “I’m-not-mad-I’m-just-disappointed” speech. She will pick Sharapova or Serena Williams to win every match.
Andy Murray is pretty good but he also whines like a 12 year old that sucks at Call of Duty. Watch him lose a set in one of the early rounds and count the number of times he reaches for his “hurt” ankles, curses at himself, coach or family, and in special circumstances, cries. Drinking game alert! PS Andy was once dumped by a girlfriend for playing Call of Duty for “seven hours a day.”
Serena might threaten to shove a fuckin’ ball down a linesperson’s fuckin’ throat. Hey, she’s done it before. She’s already made an ankle sprain seem like a gunshot to the torso during this tournament which isn’t anywhere near the end of the drama for her.
Marcos Baghdatis is one hot dog away from a mental breakdown at any given time. The tubby Cypriot has been a good enough to make the Aussie Open final in the past but was outshined that year by ESPN’s fondness for panning to his girlfriend. Now he’s famous for being a professional athlete who appears to eat his fair share of peanut M&M’s. Oh and for breaking lots of racquets when he’s sad about losing.
What the hell is Marion Bartoli doing? She’s easily the least well known top female tennis player but if you look closely enough you will find a puzzling barrell of laughs. Hers is a style that begs to be played with cartoon music in the background. Using both hands on her backhand and forehand. A serve that appears to somehow hurt her. And a training style that is simply baffling. She’ll be the oddly shaped girl that pantomimes playing tennis during the time that she is actually playing tennis.
Tom Rinaldi will fail to make every interview a tear-jerker. Why does this almost legal midget always ask people to answer his overreaching questions with “one word answers”?
Rinaldi: You’ve defeated an incredible opponent in five sets at a Grand Slam tournament in front of millions across the world and more importantly, in front of your friends and family. You worked for a moment like this your entire career and it has paid off for you tonight. Can you sum up how you feel in one word.
Sam Stosur’s biceps are better than yours. You can follow them @SamsBiceps. She’s an Australian playing in front of her home fans. At least, she was. She blew her second round despite being up two breaks in the third set. Maybe she should work less on her biceps and more on not being the shame of a nation.
Roger Federer is the best ever at hitting the ball to the ball kids. He does it on the low a bit but keep watch of this while Roger is dismantling his early round opponents. Many times they will not even have to move. Sometimes it blows everyone’s mind.
Pam Shriver gets too close to the court and then talks too loudly. The ESPN analyst is for my money one of the very best at what she does most of the time. But sometimes she pisses off the players or pisses off the Belgians or chooses her interviews poorly.
This is the greatest era in tennis history. Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player ever looking to add to his legacy at an unprecedented age. Novak Djokovic is the best player right now looking to join Federer and Rafael Nadal in the ranks of greatest ever. And Andy Murray would be the dominant man in tennis if it weren’t for these other guys consistently ruining his dreams. In no other era did the top player dominate the ways that men do. If it weren’t for the other members of the top four each of them might have won every tournament they played. I don’t know that any other sport is experiencing its greatest era the way that tennis is. It is truly historic. Have fun watching it now because it ends soon.