Saturday, November 8, 2008

Not With A Bang But With A Whimper

Has anyone seen the 'official' portrait of this year's contestants for Shanghai? It's on the Masters Cup website, if you're curious. It's hilarious! They're all lounging around in suits in some posh looking place, (apparently the Yong Foo Elite Club, 'a seventy year old garden villa filled with art deco furniture, artifacts and antiques, that was once the British consulate office') and out of the eight, only Roger Federer and Andy Murray look anything resembling comfortable. They're both sitting, all casual, smiling - but then, starting from the left, you have Davydenko, standing, looking like a mafia hitman has him in a gunsight, Gilles Simon standing next to him with his arms crossed with an expression on his face that says 'yeah... I'm the ring-in. So what? You want a piece of me, huh?' Behind Murray and Federer, who are seated front and centre, you have Djokovic, arms folded, looking pissy, going 'why do Andy and Roger get chairs when I have to stand? IT IS UNFAIR!' Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is standing on the other side, looking schmick but very uncomfortable about it, kind of like a first-time male model. I can just see the photographer going, 'pout, Jo, pout! Hand in pocket! Stiff elbow! Stand up straight, don't slouch!' and poor Jo-W having no idea what's going on. Then to round it out you have Juan Martin del Potro sitting on a chair, looking for the world like a teenager having a tanty. Seriously, his face is all screwed up and you can just imagine that the next words out of his mouth will be, 'Screw you, Dad! I'm going to go to the party if I want to! YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!' Andy Roddick, meanwhile, seems to have fallen asleep and missed the photo shoot. Check it out. It's the most hilarious picture in the world.
Back over to the brouhaha (or lack thereof) in Doha, and, perhaps fittingly, the two players through to the final are the two that have not lost all week - and who were also the last two to qualify. We have a Venus/Vera final, after they overcame Jelena Jankovic and Elena Dementieva respectively. I didn't see either match, but they both went three sets and looked like they were fairly decent tussles, which is good. Seriously, Doha has been such a letdown. The awesome Vera Zvonareva story aside, it's fallen flat on its head. Two withdrawals, and what basically amounted to breakdowns from Kuznetsova and Safina... not really what I was hoping for. Nor the WTA, I suspect, considering all the effort they put into that 'Looking For A Hero?' campaign. I really liked that campaign, but it really hasn't been realised very well. I haven't seen any hints of anyone actually 'fighting' for truth, justice and a really big trophy. The WTA tour this year has gone out not with a bang, but with a whimper.
Here's hoping Venus and Vera can pull off a cracker of a final to show that Doha hasn't been a total waste of time. However, it's going to be a tough ask to beat last year's fabulous final between Henin and Sharapova, the one that went for about three hours and was unpickable right up to the end. I'm picking Venus, but I'm going for Vera. Underdog victory ahoy!
Today's Results
Sony Ericsson Championships 2008 (Doha)
Venus Williams def. Jelena Jankovic, 6-2 2-6 6-3
Vera Zvonareva def. Elena Dementieva, 7-6 (9-7) 3-6 6-3


Coco said...

Oh man. This post made me laugh.


Jodi said...

Always happy to amuse. :)