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post #266 of (permalink) Old 05-22-2006, 06:14 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Bzh, France
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Re: DENIAL is hawt, y'all! (Marat, you suck. Go away.)

just found this on
thought it belonged here

"The King of De-Nile
Posted 5/30/2005 @ 3:00 PM

When Tommy Robredo broke Marat Safin late in the fifth set of their Round-of-16 encounter, a massive collective groan rose in the press room and Tom Tebbutt of the Toronto Globe and Mail remarked, “ESPN just moved the final to Classic.”

Robredo went on to win the good but not great match, and it now looks like the potential semifinal between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal is more compelling than any possible combination in the final. The highest seed the winner of that clash would face is No. 12 Nikolay Davydenko (more about him tomorrow); the biggest name among the potential finalists in the bottom half of the draw is—Robredo.

In past posts, I’ve called Venus Williams the Queen of De-Nile for her seeming inability to give a woman who beats her sufficient credit, and continually insisting that if she plays at her best, she’s the best player out there. I mean, can’t any woman—or man—in the Top 20 make that claim, given what it means for any good pro to be playing his or her “best”?

Marat is a little better than Venus in the credit-where-credit-is-due department, but he also has a tendency to make everything all about Marat, all the time. He is, after all, a drama queen—and one those ostensibly soulful characters (I’m always a bit suspicious of people who put their sensitivity on display at the drop of a hat) who seems to thrive on complication and muddies reasonably clear water with abstractions and deep, philosophical musings. He’s tennis’ very own version of a character in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.

When Marat was asked what made the difference at the end of the match, he slipped into his most grave, thoughtful mode (I’m soulful! I’m soulful!) and replied, “I think just pure luck.”

I think that’s just pure baloney—this is a guy who double-faulted on match point!

Still, it’s sad to see Marat go. And in all fairness, his rap on luck was not really phony or deluded—it was just, well, silly. He went on to explain what he meant:

Like I was just sitting down right now in the locker room with {coach Peter Lundgren}; we were just talking. Just not one thing went the way, you know, I want it to go. Not one help, not just a little something to make me feel confident, and confident on the court. And it just went from there. And I’m not taking any credit from him. He played really well. But just, you know, a little something. I was missing a little something. One hundred and fifty-five times today, I should have won points, important points, and I was missing by just a little bit.

And, much later in the interview, he elaborated on the role of luck in tennis:

To be honest, it’s really important but also you have to understand that you have to be ready for that. You have to be prepared. And whenever the luck is—you need to be ready for the luck. You cannot just, you know, expect it—like, for example, in the lottery, like every time you bet and one time it’s gonna happen to you, you gonna win 100 million. No, you have to be prepared. You are working for that. {But} in tough times it takes a little bit of something to make you feel good. And if you are not lucky, sometimes it’s tough to be good.

And then Marat, who stood on the brink of looking truly foolish at the onset of the interview, wound it up this way, in response to being asked to name a player whom he considers “lucky”:

Like let’s put it this way. I’m lucky in a way, too. Put tennis on the side. For example, like I cannot complain because I was lucky in many ways that I’m still sitting here and talking to you guys. I was lucky to get one guy who would {sponsor} me for five years, without even knowing me, investing in me about $300,000. This is luck. And of course you need to be ready for this, you need to work for that. So this is what I call luck. Because otherwise, if the guy would say no, I would not be here. I would be collecting bottles in a park in Russia.

You’ve got to hand it to the guy. He’s loaded with charm, he’s bright, he’s sensitive—and still prone to denial."

Hippo, hippo! Parting is such sweet sorrow
That I shall say hippo till it be morrow.

(Romeo and Juliet, II.ii)
Comic relief >>>
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