Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Plumbing the depths of upper lower middle class pursuits

So bored during this extended off-season. There's things I could be doing I suppose, but instead I took up friend and once off contributor Chris Egan's suggestion of going with him to the Australian Open tennis. The other suggestions were Melbourne Museum (which I've done to relative death) and Melbourne Heart vs Perth Glory (I think you see the problem there).

I'm not a fan of tennis. I know the names, reputations, basic tactics and approaches taken, some of the controversies, but since I abandoned the clumsy television endorsed nationalism of my long gone youth, I've felt little connection to the players, especially those to whom the media attaches a greater cause. And besides, most of the tour takes place in another place and at godforsaken hours.

I'd never been to the tennis before. And on this hot, clear skied day, I felt most sorry for the little red headed child with the pale skin who was with his mum. Like us they couldn't get in to the court Casey Dellacqua was playing on. On a day like that, it was quite possible that someone of his complexion could spontaneously combust.

So we instead traipsed over to the next court where eighth seed Agnieszka Radwańska was taking on American journeywoman Bethanie Mattek-Sands. The first two sets were all about the American who racked up huge numbers of winners and unforced errors. Eventually the Pole came through in the third set to win.

Then we watched Stanislas Wawrinka against Benoît Paire. Wawrinka swept through the first two sets, we got bored and moved over to the Dolgopolov vs Jones match. Also an anti-climax. The gits starting the Mexican wave seemed to be having fun though.

Discussions on Australian soccer history and the cultural place of Perth Glory in Western Australia were more interesting to me. I wished I could have talked further about American football with the Packer supporting tourists sitting in front of me.

Was able to avoid for the most part those decked in Cronulla Capes, as well as their swarthier brethren in blue and white and those in red and white checks. Couldn't avoid some dreadful line calling however. One was so bad that even I saw it from the other side of the court. Also, apparently Tommy Haas is still playing.

It's also a lot noisier at a tennis match than what you see on television. Don't think I'll make it a habit of going to this event. There's not enough blood in this sport. Players get cramp, pull muscles, get tired, dispute line calls, but there's no sense of risk or danger, no genuine edge. At least the ticket didn't cost me anything.

Something vaguely to do with South tomorrow, hopefully.

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