Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hollywood Tennisland

So it looks like the trendy thing to do for tennis players nowadays is to become actors. We have Novak Djokovic playing a Serbian king in a miniseries (is this still going ahead?) and now Paradorn Srichaphan looks set to become a action superhero in the manner of Tony Jaa. What's next? Federer as James Bond?

Actually, Federer could totally do James Bond. And Mirka could be Miss Moneypenny.

Tommy Haas has obviously got an in with the acting world as well, what with his relationship with Sara Foster. And I'm sure a few tennis players would be totally awesome in the acting world. I mean, if Richard Gasquet can pull off 'Pamela' in front of a doping trial then anything's possible, right? (I mean, I'm not saying it's not true. But as far as plausibility goes, it does not rate high, that story.)

I could see Nando Verdasco in some kind of edgy Almodovar flick, easy. And Rafa Nadal would be great in something like 'The Other Side of the Bed'. Possibly co-starring Tommy Robredo. And there is totally a Bollywood epic in the feud between Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi.

I'm on some pretty heady painkillers at the moment, as might be evidenced by this post. (Wisdom teeth - they get you when you least expect them). But it's an interesting idea. I think there is an element of performance in tennis for sure, and that acting is an important skill, both for the benefit of player and opponent. As far as I see it, players come in two breeds.

There is the 'poker face' player - the Federer, the Cilic, the Nadal, the guys who very, very rarely seem bothered by anything. Of course, the odd thing slips through - a 'c'mon', for example - but on the whole, their opponents rarely know how they are feeling. This is a distinct advantage, because when your opponent knows you're rattled, well, then they're just going to get more motivated.

On the other hand, it can mean you're bottling up a whole lot of frustrating, which is not necessarily the best thing in the world. And sometimes it leads to explosions... like, $92,000 worth of explosion. This is why the second breed of players exist - the showboaters. Think Safin. Think Gonzalez. Think racquets smashed so hard the tremors are felt on Mars. Think Roddick with the verbalising and the mouthing off to the umpire. It's a way of venting, sure, but I think it's also a form of intimidation...

...yeah, I'll elaborate on that one time when I'm more lucid.

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