Saturday, January 27, 2007

Serena Serena

photo caption: Fishing Dock, Castine, Maine 2002

I’m going to try not to post two sports comments in a row but I couldn’t let last night’s one-sided bombfest go without saying how much I loved watching Girl With Curves crush Skinny Blonde Chick.

I’m speaking of the Australian Open Tennis finals between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, broadcast in beautiful HD from Melbourne, Australia Friday night (thank you ESPN2). Not surprised if any of y’all missed it – it was over in 63 minutes. Well, technically it was over after the first game, when Sharapova the new darling of women’s pro tennis couldn’t get a first service in and Serena was practically licking her lips waiting for that spinning lollypop of a second serve. When Serena started creeping in on the poor girl’s first ball, it was just a matter of time before the massacre was complete. Bomb crosscourt. Point. Bomb up the middle. Point. Bomb. Bomb. Bomb. Bomb. Game, set, championship over, baby.

Everybody’s writing today about Serena’s improbable comeback run. Out of the tennis limelight for months with knee problems and personal tragedy, the once Queen of Tennis had even fallen out of the top 100. She entered the Aussie Open unranked and due to a low overall ranking (81st) she had one of the more difficult draws, playing all but one seeded player in her run to the finals. She saved the toughest seed for last in Sharapova, the Russian who has become the signature face of tennis – on the court and off – since stunning Serena back in ’04 to win Wimbledon.

It’s all great stuff but what I loved was watching Serena shine in all that Aussie green and gold, celebrating those curves with flair, gritting and grinding and staring lasers across the net at her opponent. Take no prisoners, baby. And those earrings – big, beautiful loopy things that swung so hard with each swing, I was afraid they’d fly off and soar into space like a UFO. And, seriously, who is calling our girl out of shape? Take another look at those guns.

To be clear, her opponent was no slouch. Her “game” is much more than skin deep and on most days, she’s the best girl on the court by far . But last night, she was brought to tears by the sheer force of will that is Serena. Most of the time when she’s in trouble, she calls on that second gear that sets great champions apart from the rest of us athletically-challenged mortals but last night, second gear, third gear, whatever, just wasn’t enough. No matter what she did, Serena had an answer and it usually involved 80-plus MPH yellow blurs whizzing by far out of her long-armed reach. Through most of the match – in which she won only three games – Sharapova looked like Bambi caught in the Halogen high-beams of a runaway tractor-trailer.

Yes, world, Serena is ba-ack. Bombs away!


Undercover Black Man said...

Don't worry about two sports-related posts in a row. I actually think the sports thing is a nice hook, a good specialty. And it's fun how you write about it.

As for Serena's "guns"... wow, is it all on the natch, you think? Have there been any whispers or suspicions regarding her muscularity? Not to start any malicious rumors but damn...

Also, another angle of the fishing house... I like it.

S.O.L. said...

Thanks for the comments, UBM. I really haven't written publically about sports since my ink-stained wretch days so it's interesting even to me. I'm sort of discovering what my take is.

Watch here Super Bowl Sunday -- I'll be posting as I watch the game. It will be fun as I have no real rooting interest. Not really ....

As for Serena's biceps, everything I've ever heard is they're hers. She's very different physically from her sister, Venus, who is rail-thin, sinewy and taller. Not that I'm in any kind of shape but the Williams sisters' differences are much like mine and my twin sister. I'm 5-9 and long-legged like Mom and she's 5-4 and big-boned like Dad.

And that fishing house photo is one I like too. I actually took the pictures back in September 2002 when I was traveling through Maine. I only recently developed them. I have rolls and rolls of undeveloped film that I've collected for years -- I'm still looking for the rolls I took on my trip cross country to Los Angeles. If I ever find them, I hope the film is still good.