September 2007

See how many records you can find that Roger has broken and will break on this Wikipedia page on No. 1 ranking, among all tennis record pages.

The most stunning one for me is that his consecutive No. 1 (now at 189) = his total No. 1. Once he’s there, he’s there. It’s not entirely impossible if he ends at doubling Connor’s 160: 320-189=141, which is less than 3 years.

Of course Nadal and Djokovic and whoever coming along will make it tougher and tougher. But if he plays like this US Open, let them pray.

As Djokovic correctly acknowledged, Federer’s mental toughness wins. That’s another way of saying performing extraordinarily in tight, and more importantly, adverse situation. And that’s always what sets the legends apart from the journeymen. Any one can drive 350 yards now, but only Tiger can mostly save par when he can’t find the fairway in most times. Federer saved 5 set points in the 1st set. And the first 2 sets with Roddick were as close as it gets.

I probably watched too much US Open when I should’ve taken care of the baby and those infinite family things. We were watching by the end of 2nd set of the finals on Sunday and Zhuzhu was sleeping. When Djokovic double-faulted to get to tie break after Federer saved 2 set points I couldn’t help clapping my hands 6 times.

Half a clap would be enough to wake Zhuzhu up. And she made sure that I’ll remember that.

J scolded me for good, and I punished myself by not watching the rest of the match until the final point. There are things a hell lot more important in life than watching sports.

Even though watching Federer winning a slam gets pretty close.

Anyhoooo, I got to know the amazing burn-out of Borg from a related news. He retired at the same age of 26 after breaking many records of his time. Roger just passed Borg’s 11 slams by this US Open win, and burn-out is the last thing on his and everybody else’s mind.

Breaking every conceivable record is.

Nobody can possibly tell it better than this Scott Adams blog.

I rarely take the subway, maybe once a month or so, therefore I never got to really practice the art of MetroCard swiping. About half of the time I need a second try, and sometimes a third.

I came to NYC for job interview in late 2000, with J for her office visit after she got her job here. We stayed in a midtown hotel and I needed to go to 21st St, so I probably took the V train, which stops at 23rd St. After a looong ride between stops I saw the sign for 23rd and got off. The station felt a bit strange and different from the midtown one I entered, but what did I know.

When I got above ground, the strange feeling grew much stronger. The streets looked very different from midtown. There’s hardly any tall buildings around.

Nor people in clean clothes.

Then I saw a familiar skyline in the distance. Wow, Manhattan is really huge, I thought.

But wait, if I see midtown in one direction, I should see downtown buildings in the opposite direction, right?

I looked around. There were no tall buildings in any other direction. Nor people in clean clothes.

What the foosball underwater clockmaker kitchen…

In the end I got to the interview 15 minutes late. Now I wish I were late more and didn’t get the job, but that’s another story.

Since we moved to the area, I’ve studied the Map enough that I won’t mistake uptown/downtown or Queens/Brooklyn again, but I still get confused from time to time about local and express trains, and weekday/weekend/holiday schedules.

I’d safely bet that the average IQ of New Yorkers is at least 15 points above the rest of the country just because of the subway. Adding in stuff like spotting a non-off-duty taxi 5 blocks away and alternate side parking, New Yorkers have got to be the smartest people in the world to just survive in the City.