Recently a professional tennis player hit a serve that not only missed the court, but it went into the crowd, about 20 rows deep. This is professional tennis, at one of the biggest tournaments of the year. And this was not just some no-name tennis player, it was Li Na, who is ranked #5 in the world, and made it to the final of the Australian Open. It’s kinda refreshing that a great player can have an amateur-like moment… it made me feel better about my game. It also goes along with one of my favorite sayings while playing sports: “It happens to the best of us”. (And it’s ironic, because the next time I played tennis, I went for a full-power backhand winner with topspin, but the ball hit the frame instead, sending it really high in the air and sailing over the fence.)
I like how the crowd cheered when it happened. And the camera had to zoom way out to see where the ball landed. At least she has a good sense of humor and could joke about it afterward.
I recently watched an epic tennis match with a great celebration, and it reminded me of regular reader (and friend of the blog) Rurouni Kenneth. Here’s the actual context, if you’re interested. Novak Djokovic had just played 5 hours and 53 minutes against Rafael Nadal to win the 2012 Australian Open championship. It was an legendary match, and I cannot imagine how tiring it had to be. Here’s the last point and the ensuing celebration.
I figure that’s how Rurouni Kenneth will celebrate if he ever beats me in tennis. I’m willing to give him his props if he can ever pull off the upset, but once the clothes start coming off, I’m leaving. 🙂
Here’s one of the latest trick shot videos to go viral — 4 million views in just 4 days. Roger Federer, the greatest tennis player of all-time, is shooting an ad for Gillette, and he hits an incredible trick shot — twice.
Is it real? A lot of people are debating that. It’s hard to tell these days, especially when you have a commercial budget behind it, so CGI is a possibility. But I think he really could do it, although not every time. I remember seeing an exhibition match between Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick live in-person, and Roddick would sometimes request a serve to be hit in an exact spot across the court and Agassi could do it every time, even at the specified miles-per-hour (although the radar gun display could’ve been rigged). Being professional athletes, they have hit tennis balls thousands of times a day in practice.
My serving in tennis isn’t quite as accurate, but if anyone would like to put a bottle on their head I’d try to knock it off with a serve. We could even video it and put it online (though I get a few chances). 🙂
I was watching some of the 2009 U.S. Open tennis tournament with a friend, and we were discussing whether it would be interesting to have a tennis league for fat people. There would be requirements to enter, such as being above a certain weight and a certain percentage of body fat. The court surface would be the somewhat-flexible surface used at the Australian Open, so people can roll if they fall down from getting too much momentum during running.
The players could get sponsorships from junk food makers like Hostess. Imagine the press conference afterwards, with players eating Twinkies during their post-match interview. The advertising message would be “I can eat Twinkies and still win tennis matches!”
Also, more people could relate to this brand of tennis than the professional tours. Plus it would be funny sometimes. So I think some people would watch it. This might not be a prime-time TV type sport, but there are lots of sports that get time on ESPN2 and various other sports channels. Someone should make it happen.