More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Australian Open 2008 - The Djoker Aces Them All

Wow, as usual I find myself saying "it's been so long since I last blogged." Everything is just so busy nowadays. I don't know where the time has gone. I've finally found the time to write about the Australian Open. I actually went to the centre court day 3 night matches, but was glued to the tv watching tennis for two weeks so decided to write it up once the whole tournament was all finished.

Firstly, what a great tournament it was this year. So much drama and some thoroughly enjoyable matches. As you may know, Novak Djokovic won the men's championship and Maria Sharapova won the womens. It's a changing of the guard on both the mens and womens side. It's probably good for the game to have new champions but I'm such a Federer fan (see here, here, and here for proof) that I wanted him to keep winning.

The mens finalist of Novak Djokovic "The Djoker" and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga "Ali" was thoroughly deserved. The two of them played the most aggressive and totally amazing tennis thoroughout the tournament. Djokovic's experience helped him over the line in a very entertaining final. He was able to withstand the firepower from Tsonga and most of the crowds support as well. Djokovic has proven that he is no joker and is now a genuine contender for every title. He has joined "the two" in Federer and Nadal. He can now be mentioned in the same breathe as those two and has separated himself from the rest of the pack. It's up to the rest of the players to catch up to the top three.

There is now pressure on Federer and Nadal to hold their places at the top of the tree. As of late last year, Federer's form has dropped slightly. But like the great man said himself, he has made it hard for himself but setting such a lofty standard. Now when he loses one set or a match, there's so much talk that he is losing it. This is so strange to me. Even when the great Pete Sampras was dominating the sport, he would only win one or two grand slam a year. Now Federer has been winning three each year and yet people still talk about his fallability. He may have lost a couple of matches last year to Nalbandian, but he did come back and win the Masters Cup. This year, he made it to the semi finals, his 15th consecutive grand slam semi final. For anyone else, that would be an amazing feat, but yet it's not good enough since its Federer. That makes me so mad.

Anyway, I look forward to The French Open now to see what will happen. Federer must be fired up to win it and Nadal will have fierce competition in Djokovic. Nadal hasn't been as dominant a force lately, especially on surfaces other than clay. His style is made to look almost docile when player big hitters. This all adds up to make the mens side much more interesting.

On the womens side, it also has heated up. With the Williams sisters unable to just turn it on and dominate, there is a new crop of champions. The fact that they are all leggy glamourous players has probably helped boost the profile of women's tennis. It's now a battle of who can play but also look the best. Think of "Aussie" Ana Ivanovic, Maria Sharapova, Nicole Vidisova and Maria Kirilenko. The focus is as much on their looks as there tennis. But unlike Anna "the original" Kournikova, these girls have managed to actually win tournaments. No one can argue that Sharapova is just relying on her looks. If looks (to and coming from Maria) could kill, Maria has it. There is so much intensity in her play and she is not out there to please the crowd like Kournikova use to be. Sharapova is out there to win. All her childhood hardship is showing through as she has worked hard and struggled to get where she is. I guess that is one reason for the explosion of great players from the Eastern European countries. They have had to fight for what they got, making them all so mentally tough.

Finally, here are a few photos from my night at the tennis.

Anna Chadvataze.

Igor Andreev.

Andy Roddick.

Maria Sharapova and Lindsay Davenport.


Blogger PF said...

Sharapova admirer here :-D

1/29/2008 2:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Babbidis admirer here

Who says you need deoderant?

1/29/2008 4:25 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Hey Alan, so did you watch any of the tennis? Maria was really good this year.

Anonymous, too bad Bagdahtis lost to our Hewitt right?

1/29/2008 9:42 PM  
Blogger PF said...

Nope I didn't subscribe to ESPN Sports :-P Happy she won her 3rd(?) Grand Slam title.

1/30/2008 1:02 AM  
Anonymous estnivek said...

I hate Djorkovic or however it's spelt. He loves himself too much. Too arrogant.

1/30/2008 1:15 PM  
Anonymous George said...

I don't mind him too much. He is a champion and won it deservably. I just don't like the other Serbs. After watching the finals in the local TAB, I can see why the cops have to pepperspray those motherF****rs

1/30/2008 4:44 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Alan, you should have watched it online. I think the official Australian Open page allowed you to watch it live if you were overseas.

Estnivek, I don't mind Djokovic. He's slightly arrogant but his game has style.

George, some people do take it a bit too far. Swearing like crazy at a TAB, what's the point.

1/30/2008 6:35 PM  
Blogger mishmash said...

brilliant pic of melbourne, thanh!

2/04/2008 2:02 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Thanks Mish. I just took the photo really quickly on the overpass bridge between Melbourne Park and the MCG. It turned out quite well.

2/04/2008 10:16 PM  
Blogger Jonno said...

2 things annoyed me from this year. (or still from last year) Nadal still hasn't found out tight long pants = wedgies and I don't know why Djokovic bounced the ball so many f*ing times before serving... Jo-W had a case when he went up to the ump I reckon...Small things I know, but they just grated on me....

2/04/2008 10:22 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Jonno, I have to agree with you regarding both things. Can't Nadal find a pair of pants that doesn't ride up his behind. And the Djokovic ball bouncing thing can get annoying. I was shouting for him to just serve the ball.

Another annoying thing that I want to add to the list (which applies for every other year as well) is the tennis commentators.

"That was a great backhand" when clearly the player hits a great backhand. Like I couldn't see that.

"And the sun is in her eyes" when the player tries to shield her eyes from the sun.

"That was a terrible drop shot" after a player dumps a ball into the net.

They state the bleeding obvious. What I want is for them to give me insight into what the players are trying to do or thinking. I know that some people hate Jim Courier and Roger Rasheed for talking too much, but at least they analyse the game and the strategy, which I like.

2/05/2008 7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about the comments they make about the fans?

"Oh look at that fat blogger stuffing his face with Nachos and here come the cops with the pepper spray."

2/08/2008 9:00 AM  

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