Sunday, January 24, 2016

Australian Open

I was just about to go to bed about two and a half hours ago when I heard that Novak Djokovic the number 1 seed in the Australian Open was playing.  I like to root against Djokovic which has provided no small amount of aggravation over the years because the guy is great and seldom loses.  I thought I'd put on the match for a half hour or so and get sleepy.  I was up real early this morning so I figured it would not take more than a set for me to have my date with the sand man.

Now 126 a.m. I am riveted to the screen. The number 14 seed Giles Simon is going toe to toe with Djokovic in what will be a marathon match. Already at the two hour and twenty six minute mark as I write this second paragraph and the players are only midway through the third set with each player splitting the first two.  They are playing each point like warriors as if every stroke could be the last one.  Simon was broken early in the third, broke back, and now is playing yet another interminable game in which he is fighting mightily to hold his serve.

Both of these fellows are as lean as a string bean and you can see why.  In the last 2 1/2 hours they have burned more calories than I have in the last 2 1/2 months, and I am not exaggerating.  How contested are these games? I wrote above that it was 126.  It is now 135, nine minutes later and they just completed the game they were playing when I began this blog.  For comparison, it took Serena Williams 44 minutes to win two sets the other day.  These guys are taking over an hour for each set they are playing.

I do not think this is about money.  Both of these players do well. Djokovic probably needs his own country just to store his shekels.  Simon is doing okay also. I just checked and over his career he has earned 10, 500, 000 bananas.  So these guys are not competing to make the rent.   Djokovic wants to remain the best in the world, and Simon wants to be able to defeat the best player in the world.

I keep saying I should go to bed, but I find myself saying "one more game." The way this is going, I could go to sleep, wake up, and they will still be out there in Melbourne whacking tennis balls over the net at impossible angles retrieving them in ways that would be incredible, except I have to believe it since I am seeing it with my own wide open peepers.

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