Good headline! Very very good headlining. That's just very very clever. I see what you did there. I'll take the three-item combo with extra Orange Chicken and a bottle of Arizona Green Tea with Ginseng, amiright?
But I have ten better ones.
Just kidding. These aren't better. They're just as fantastic and not problematic in any way. You're welcome!
I skipped the 30 hour flight to Australia this year for a bunch of reasons. I wanted to see if I could do it justice without being on site. I wanted save some cash so I could go to other tournaments. I just could not stomach the idea of paying $15 for a drink at a shitty bar. And I just can't possibly fathom eating one more spicy chili oil dumpling from Dumplings Plus.
Ok, that last one is a complete fucking lie I can't even believe I typed it out loud best dumplings on earf.
Anyway, here's what I've learned:
The Australian Open is about one tweet away from a restraining order.
Introducing the Deucies, an award given for stuff I remember. Because even though a lot of crap happens in a Slam and you try to keep track of it all, only a few things really stand out. The Deucies are an award to recognize anything that left an impression on me. Consider it the cream rising to the top. Or the Number Twos that rise to the top of the toilet bowl. Whichever is more appetizing for you.
Most gripping Encyclopedia Brown case that even Encyclopedia Brown won't take: How much spare change is actually hidden in RedFoo's hair? I say 48 cents in pennies but I could be wrong.
Most improved ESPN2bie: Chris Evert. She still says things that make me stop what I'm doing and wonder why I'm watching the coverage on ESPN2 but mucho props to Evert for the amount of work she's put in to prepare for this Slam. She's quoting stats, head-to-head records, and her game-style descriptions have been much more nuanced compared to her first stint at the French Open last year, where she got stuck comparing the modern players to the players of her era, which never worked. Today I heard her say Kristen Flipkens is winning 80% of her first serve points. Kristen Flipkens! Chris Evert knew a random stat about Kristen Flipkens! Come on, let's ease up give her a clap.
Most awesome person named Kimiko Date Krumm: Kimiko Date Krumm. I have mangoes in my kitchen that look older than Kimiko-Tan. You are ridiculous, woman. You make me actually want to drink Kirin Free, a non-aloholic beer, almost exclusively in hopes of going out into my neighborhood and embarassing a bunch of 20-year olds. But that's not going to happen. The only non-alcoholic thing I drink is coffee. It's worked for me so far. #alwaysdehydratednothealthy
Best Daniel Day-Lewis impression: Jerzy Janowicz. Forget the fact that his first round match against Somdev Devvarman could have been mistaken for a lost episode of Queer Eye for the Polish Straight Guy -- sunglasses on, sunglasses off, hat on, hat off, sunglasses? hat? auuuuuuuuuugh -- Jerzy's $2,500 tantrum was straight up DDL in TWBB.
Please to compare:
Worst match that turned out the crazy dramz in a good way: Petra Kvitova vs. Laura Robson (2R). ZOMG this was not a good match, and bless Robbo for admitting as much right off the bat in her post-match presser. She may just be 18 but she knows the difference between the feelings people have when she hits the ball inside the court all the time vs. whe she hits the ball not intside the court all the time. That is a very big difference. It is the difference between a warm hug from a panda bear and a lawnmower to the face.
But as bad as this match was, with both ladies lawnmowering more often than panda-bearing, it actually turned out to be a compelling match in the third set mainly because it was fun to see whether Robson could hold her nerve and actually keep holding as she was serving from behind. Not gonna lie, I'm crazy surprised she did especially after she was broken serving for the match rather easily. Regardless of whether the tennis was pretty that was compelling enough. And you could tell how bad both women wanted this one and I'm still bummed for Kvitova because she probably needed this win more than Laura.
Worst match that turned out to be stupid dramz in the worst way possible: Gael Monfils vs. Gilles Simon (3R): WHYYYYYYYYY??? WHY DID THIS HAPPEN??? AND WHY COULDN'T I TURN IT OFF???
Ok, so this one was kind like the Petra-Robbo thing except completely not like it at all because at least with the women it looked like they were trying very hard and wanted to win badly. At no point in this infinite mess of a pushfest on Hisense Arena was I ever convinced either of these guys cared who won or lost. If Monfils actually wanted to win he would have destroyed the blistering array of 70mph puffery Simon was spinning into the court.
It's like they agreed to go out for a light hit and then found out they were locked in the stadium and an evil voice came over the PA system and told them they had to play a match for their freedom and then there was a dramatic pause and a sniper shot Simon in the knee and a thug took a baseball bat to Gael's head and then all their Gatorade was replaced by Coke cans and poor James Keothavong. Short straw, buddy.
Basically this match was terrible and if you think it wasn't then you are not to be trusted with life decisions or heavy machinery. By the time the Gael "Losing Ugly" Monfils fired a backhand wide to end the match, all i could think of was this:
Weirdest non-eventful run to the fourth round: Li Na. Nails hasn't dropped a set yet. Who are you?
Best "Bitch, please" stare: Venus Williams. She kinda always wins this award. This award should just be renamed the Venus Williams award. Must be nice to know you have a hit man, i.e. your kid sister, in your corner.
Most disappointing news ever: Ana and JJ ain't mad no more. Hey, if I can avoid maturity you can too. Go fistpump in her face again, Ana!
Worst noticer of epic irony: Victoria Azarenka. Considering everyone on tour seems to doubt her every time she cites an injury, it's hard not to laugh when she downplayed Jamie Hampton's TWO HERNIATED DISKS.
By the by, how do people feel about some of the suggestions that players who withdraw from tournaments shouldn't be allowed to play the next week? I can see the argument both ways. Just thought I'd throw it out there.
Best hat: Bernie Tomic. Can we all stop for a sec and appreciate the fact that Bernard *actually* goes by "Bernie". It's such a gift. Anyway, his hat was dumb.
Best name for an American teenager: Madison Keys. It's not a legit American sport unless a 17-year old girl named Madison plays it. Thanksfully we have a backup in Taylor Townsend.
Best cheer I have stored away for when Donna Vekic pulls off a super big upset at a Slam and becomes a legit thing as opposed to a thing only because the Brit press want to make her a thing and call her their own: "Donna Vekic graduates! Donna Vekic graduates! Donna Vekic graduates!" I am nothing if not derivative of 90s television. It's why you love me.
Best evidence for the non-existence of God: Brian Baker. Fucking cruel, man. He's Brian Baker, not Job.
Most awkward beatdown I've watched in a damn long time: Novak d. Harrisons (2R). If that one didn't reset expectations than people be willfully ignorant.
Most obnoxious fans: Aussies. Sorry, but you don't get the benefit of this "Aussies love their sport" trope if you're going to basically interrupt matches with stupid cheers and skits that have nothing to do with spurring on the players and everything to do with drawing attention to yourselves. Also I heard a rumor that all these crazy fans are actually paid to be crazy, which... gross.
That's all I got off the top of my head. Congrats on your Deucies, everyone!