Friday, July 5, 2013

Tennis, Crappy Sports Journalism, and Other Good News

This post will be far removed from the ordinary.

Is anyone else in love with Agnieszka Radwanska?  Radwanska-Lisicki at Wimbledon was the best match I've seen this year.  I've never been a fan of 'power tennis,' to me it's a bit sterile to watch.  Radwanska reminds me of David Ferrer: no huge ground strokes, no overpowering serve, plenty of hustle, and an almost unbelievable number of unforced errors per match.  Both Radwanska and Ferrer remind of me Justine Henin who was my all-time favorite player to watch.  Something about their composure and self control; their ability to extend any rally beyond the opponents' comfort zone; the ability to seem so distant from the game while playing is very attractive to me.  Since I'm not above being shallow let me say in the case of Radwanska she's just play ole attractive.  Hell, if you look at her website I'm not sure if she's a tennis player or a model.  Such is the case with professional athletes.

Anyone else annoyed with Chris Fowler and Chrissie Evert calling the Radwanska-Lisicki match?  It didn't come across as partial to me--which is fine--but that is part of the 'job.'  Perhaps since "Lisicki" is the new way to spell "Cinderella" they had already made their pick.  Their were two people in that match Chris and Chrissie and each was making things extraordinarily difficult for the other.  Their was nothing wrong with Lisicki or Radwanska at anytime (though the latter looked a bit gassed to me toward the end) they merely had a heck of an opponent on the other side of the net.      

I really don't like sports journalist who assume they know what a player is thinking.  Not even a great champion like Evert.  "This is a sign of the pressure."  They don't know that and in their effort to make sure viewers get maximum tense and anxiety they have to build up and talk about everything.  Or how about this interview with Andy Murray after a seriously awesome match with Fernado Verdasco.  "Didn't he?"  "Why wasn't it working for you today?"  "Do you know it all yourself?"  "Was this match a warning in any way?"  I love Murray's near deadpan answer to that: "Dude's a damn good tennis player...  He was trying to win just as I was, get off my ass for not making it look easier."  That wasn't an interview, and it's not journalism; it's finishing for a headline or a quote.  He's being pushed along in hopes of being given an answer the outlet wants to receive.  It's as if they already have the story written they just need Murray to drop a few quotes along certain lines so they can go to print.  It all felt very tabloid-ish to me.  Meanwhile so many pertinent tennis question went unasked.  I remember a similar interview after the French Open quarterfinals with Nadal this year.  Kudos to the players for brushing these guys off.    

So I'm making Agnieszka Radwanska my girlfriend; everyone else back off.  We clear on that?

Oh yeah, I'm supposed to talk about books.

As of writing this I got a notification from the library that I can pick up Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore (my other girlfriend).  I loved Gracling more than is healthy and as Bitterblue is a direct sequel I'm looking forward to it.
Finally--the grand daddy of good news for the day--Edward Whittemore is back in print!  E-print to be exact but print nonetheless.  This is great news covered in delicious awesome sauce.  I loved The Jerusalem Quartet for a host of reasons.  I enjoyed Quin's Shaghai Circus as well.  Now you, dear blog reader, don't have to track them down second hand!  Just go to the open road's media website and wait for July 23.  If you're thinking about checking out Whittemore, which you should, start with Sinai Tapestry.  All the books stand alone very well, but Quin's Shanghai Circus could be off putting for some (me) while I found Sinai Tapestry to be all around more palatable.

I've got werewolves on the brain.  More on that in a few days.

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