Monday, January 30th, 2012
12

Sport of Tennis Permanently Concluded

Over the weekend in the far-off and forgotten colony of Australia, a long-standing problem in athletics was finally solved! Tennis, a thorny question that first began plaguing the English in the 19th century, is now complete, with the conclusion of a record five-hour-and-53-minute match to end the Australian Open. Ecstatic with their work, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic pretty much nearly barfed during the trophy ceremony. (Nadal actually sat on the net; Djokovic was pretty much face-to-knees; finally, two little convicts scurried onto the court with chairs for the pair.)

We expect word later today from the upcoming Sony Ericsson and then the U.S. Open about their cancellations, now that tennis is done.

12 Comments / Post A Comment

hman (#53)

Ugh, I couldn't imagine ever having the sense of humor to say "Good morning!" after that.

Bobby Womack (#4,074)

If this match can't convince people that steroids are a problem in tennis, nothing will. Two gorillas hitting forehands at each other for five hours, how exciting.

Hirham (#1,709)

@Bobby Womack I can sort of see it with Nadal, but Djokovic really doesn't look the steroid sort; he's really very lean, as is Murray. I guess what I'm saying is that my superficial assessment of steroids based on looks disagrees with your assessment based on endurance.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@Bobby Womack Novak Djokovic is far from gorilla, he is pretty thin and lean. It's quite funny to me how everyone who doesn't know anything about tennis immediately thinks of steroids, while tennis community constantly questions Novak's ability to run around for a very long time (Nadal is very well known for this).

So, here is some helpful info: there is no sport in the world that's more diligent in checking for substance abuse. Tennis players are constantly tested, at random times of day and night, and by that I mean any day, no matter where you are, not just at tournaments. Famously, Serena Williams recently called the police after noticing someone sneaking up to her house in the middle of the night (it was the doping test team). The punishments are severe. Several years ago the great rising French start Richard Gasquet apparently sniffed some coke at a party (although he said he just kissed some woman who did), and got banned from the sport for a year (what can be devastating for a career, and Gasquet never returned to Top 10).

So, yeah, it's pretty hilarious when people say "hey, someone should look into this". Believe me, there are few things in the world looked into as well as this is.

Also, if you actually watched the match, you would have seen that these two did not look doped up at all. They were clearly suffering, gasping for air, dropping on the floor, and as the matched progressed moved more slowly, and hit with less power.

It looks exactly like would expect running around for 6 hours (with breaks between changeovers, between the points, and about 20 minute trip to the locker room while they were closing the roof due to rain) to look like.

That is, to anyone who has any idea how running actually looks like, and feels like. It's actually a lot less impressive than watching thousands and thousands of Joe Schmoes run marathons (as in: non-stop running) in approximately the same amount of time. But I guess to many of us, anyone who can leave the couch for a few hours must be on drugs, right?

Oh, and watching this match was a hell of a lot more exiting than whatever it is you did on Saturday night. I can't get into all the details, but it involved a clash of cultures, life philosophies, and personalities, put on display first in the form of a competition of skills, then battle of wills, and finally a celebration of bare human spirit.

Bobby Womack (#4,074)

@Niko Bellic Wow, I know your comments are normally long, angry rants, but this was fun to skim!

I watched the entire game at a friend's apartment where he had a live stream.

I would say I am fairly knowledgeable about the sport. I played tennis as a kid, on the varsity team in HS, played in college, and had a 4.0 ranking as an adult until I tore the meniscus in my right knee.

Doping exists in every professional sport, and you're naive if you think that's not the case. And that's fine. Yes, there is lots of testing in tennis, but if you read about the actual mechanisms, players can (and are, all the time) found to test positive for banned substances, but not "found guilty" in the ITF parlance, and so the positive test results are never made public. And you might not care about that either, that's fine too.

But look at how defensive you got about the suggestion that these guys are doping! And the way you describe the sport, and crap on me: "It's quite funny to me how everyone who doesn't know anything about tennis immediately thinks of steroids…Oh, and watching this match was a hell of a lot more exiting than whatever it is you did on Saturday night. I can't get into all the details, but it involved a clash of cultures, life philosophies, and personalities, put on display first in the form of a competition of skills, then battle of wills, and finally a celebration of bare human spirit."

It doesn't sound like you find humor in anything – you sound like a very angry, lonely person. I'm sorry you were able to work up such vitriol at 10:30am on a Monday morning.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@Bobby Womack So, you watched this match, have played tennis, and know a lot about sport (not to mention: have seen the picture above) and in two sentences you had to say about this match you decided (of all things you could have said about it) to simply call Novak Djokovic (and maybe a just a tiny bit more justifiably Rafael Nadal) a gorilla?

Well, I guess short bursts of off-mark cynicism are better than long angry rants (which is not something I often do, if you bother to check my history by clicking my handle before you accuse me of it), right?

I'll admit I was wrong in making assumptions about you based on your first comment (as much as you are about making assumptions about me based on mine), but c'mon, it's your own fault for making such a comment, where you could've made a lot more insightful one. Sure, you know more, but many people don't and will take what you wrote at face value ("tennis is played by Barry Bonds types now? Screw that").

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@Bobby Womack As for the topic at hand, I know there is doping in all sports, and I know there is in tennis too, but I seriously doubt there is at this level. Whatever Novak, Rafa, Roger and Andy would gain by doping, is simply not worth in terms of what it would cost them, not if they get caught, but in what it would change in the highly sensitive high-precision game they play, which the rest of the tour just doesn't have the skills for (and no amount of steroids or coke would help them against).

But lets say that everyone does it. In all sports, at all levels, everyone does it. Then what in the world could possibly be the reason to bring it up in this one case? When Giants beat the Pats on Sunday, is that going to be your contribution there too? So yeah, I'm pissed because tennis doesn't get as much exposure as the other sports in US, and you are really not helping with this nonsense.

Maevemealone (#968)

Alt text WIN. Thank you Choire, and Good morning.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

What happened? I was busy watching the Tim Horton's NHL All Star Game.

hockeymom (#143)

@boyofdestiny And did you see that skills competition?
108.8 MPH

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

Bring back wooden racquets at the professional level.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

As a fan of Novak Djokovic, between what he did last year and this, I can say that this is totally enough for me to retire as a sports fan. I now got everything I've ever wanted to get from being a fan. It's the end for me. Thank you. I think I'm gonna pick up bird watching now.

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