Stupid ESPN2 didn’t even broadcast the match last night when it was on. Instead it played a ridiculous doubles “match” with George Bush (the old) teamed with Chris Evert. When I checked the scores our girls already lost the first set and had been broke once in the second, so I thought that’s it. First Grand Slam final is already great enough to celebrate.
What do I know about fight and hope! I’m so glad that I was wrong, and I truly hope it’s a metaphor for things bigger than itself, which is usually the case with great sports.
Tennis is a great sport to watch and play. It reflects life like most sports, and it focuses on individualism much more than most sports, team or non-team. You really get to see personalities on court. There’s nothing and nowhere to hide in a 4-hour 5-set marathon. And it’s such an international sport now that you get to see nationalities represented by personalities. It’s no coincidence that unknown players from tiny countries like Luxembourg and Cyprus excel on the big stage by beating Andy Roddick, the stereotypical stupid bruteforce big ass American.
The ultimate goal in tennis to me, like most sports, is grace. You can say that is just colonial bourgeois hypocrisy, which golf and billiard also represent, for things like dress code and audience rules. There’re some things pretentious about them, but as I get to play them myself, I start to realize there’s something deep in them that connects with humanity, again, like most good things in life.
To see Roger Federer play at his best is like watching Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods at their best. Confident yet humble. Proud yet tolerant. Capable of anything yet meticulous about everything. I didn’t watch tennis when Sampras played, and I heard he’s somewhat like that as well. Among women players, Justine Henin-Hardenne is far from Federer’s level, but she’s way above the rest. It’s easy to accuse those who don’t like the Williams sisters as racist, but I have to admit that grace is the last thing on my mind when I watch them play.
Sorry to digress. I didn’t watched Zheng Jie and Yan Zi play, and I’d probably be disappointed or bored (tennis double is never fun to watch), still I’m proud of their fighting spirit and humble words. It may take another generation or two of Chinese players to appear in Grand Slam singles final, but the march has officially commenced today.