So getting back to tennis on the blog...
Instead of keeping day by day, I'll do posts for two players I watched on both the third and fourth days of qualifying.
We left off in the middle of day 3, and I'm looking for my next match. I try one that just seems boring boring boring and go off looking if there's any alternative. I decide I'll check out a Polish player, Jerzy Janowicz. No idea who he is, but I walk over to the court and he looks like a really young player, like one I would enjoy watching. His opponent I seem to think is not so young. I am right on both accounts, Jerzy is still a teenager, won't turn 20 for another couple of months. Frederik Nielsen is the typical journeyman, never above 200 in the rankings and heading from mid twenties to upper. This ends up being one of those nice quallies moments. It turns out the young guy can play, so he is fun to watch and I do feel I'm getting an early glimpse at something maybe good. And when he wins, there's just such a big smile on this young man's face. And there are so many happy Polish people who have been watching and are joyfully wanting autographs and pictures. I have a hard time remembering any Polish player making an impact on the men's ATP tour, so if they are so happy in the moment, even if that moment is just the first of a necessary three matches just to get in to the main draw, you have to live in the joy of the moment.
Alas, the fairy tale is short-lived. The next day, Jerzy is playing the Hungarian, Andreas Haider-Maurer, whom I had watched earlier in the week. I am sitting behind and just to the right of Haider-Maurer's coach, and behind and just to the right of me there's a handful of Polish fans in Polish colors vocally rooting on their compatriot. It is a good, fun match to watch, I am certainly routing for Jerzy because I think he's the player with more potential on the up side, but he's just not playing the big points as well, as the saying goes. Jerzy isn't there at the end of each set. I'm not sure the better player won today, but the better player today certainly did.
And no matter what, this year's a better one than two years ago. I have a new name to route for. Jerzy is young, with a booming serve and solid groundstrokes and someone I'd happily watch another year or two before determining he's one of those perpetual qualifiers I don't want to keep watching. And deep down, my suspicion is he's too good for me tom nave the chance to keep watching him in the qualifying.
- The Brillig Blogger
- A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.