It is sad to see a game, you love, becoming a sort of comedy. This is very much the case with lawn tennis today. Before Nadal emerged, there was hardly any player, man or woman, whose name you could recall but for Roger Federer. And when Nadal pulls out of a tournament, it becomes a cake walk for Roger. Not that it is his fault, but there is hardly any reason to watch tennis when you know, at the start of the match itself, that Roger will come out with an assuring smile of a guy who has won all and proved it to all.
There are surprises but they are definitely not good enough to set your pulse racing. So, what if Lleyton Hewitt managed to reach the quarters, why should someone give a fuck knowing that this erratic and inconsistent player may pull out of US open because his baby is not well. Same is the case with Andy Roddick, who is known for changing coaches faster than anyone but that does not help him in going past the semis. I dont like Lleyton and Andy generally, but I respect them for their motivation.
A year back, Novak Djokovic had shown promise when he had beaten Federer in the semis of Aus Open. The loss meant a lot to Roger. He is known to be the most consistent player because he has reached 21 consecutive grand slam semi finals. Of the few semis that Federer has lost, the one is this Djokivic one and the other, which I can remember, is against Nadal in 2005 French Open. But, for these losses, Roger might have made the most number of consecutive appearances in finals of Grand Slam. But, Joker was too erratic after that win. He just cant handle his frustation when he is down. And, it was all too apparent yday, when he just dint know how to balance himself against Hass.
The scene is worse with women's tennis. Most of men watch it for the short skirts and nice figure these players have. Else, there is hardly anything to watch or stare. It is so open that the Number 1 woman tennis player has not won a single Grand Slam. Thanks to Russia, that the audience still have some interest in this game. Russia has produced players consistently and often their names sound very similar. Their records too. So, you have a 19 year old Sharapova winning wimbledon few years back. Some other 'ova' or 'eva' won the French. Consistenly, all 'evas' and 'ovas' lost their way after winning one grand slam. It is impossible to have the rivarly once we saw between Steffi Graf and Sanchez. When the younger ones are hopeless, the only ray of light comes from the William sisters. For some strange reason, tennis lovers dont give a fuck about them. I was surprised to know that Venus has won wimbledon 5 times, still her name is not taken in the same breath as of other legendary women tennis players.
Tennis became an interesting sport, as Nadal came up and challenged Federer's dominance. Their matches are as much a test of character as of skills. I think it is very important for lawn tennis that Rafa recovers and plays like earlier else it will become one of those least contested and may be least watched sports in the world.