FauxPolitik

Thursday, January 29, 2004

The Upsets: The underdog rallied late in Australia. Marat Safin rode a particularly improbable victory over Agassi to the final. You just don't expect the oddball Russian to hold up for five sets. Mentally, I mean. On top of that -- though the seeding doesn't show it this way -- Federer's win over Nalbandian was an upset. It's only the second time that Federer has won the pairing in seven attempts. A Federer-Safin final will be intriguing, to say the least. In both cases, one never knows if the champion or the flake will show up. I suppose, with upsets coming late, that I shouldn't count out Fererro. But Federer's flexible game, when it shows up, is perfect for hard court. Past Nalbandian, the smart money's on the Swiss.

On the women's side, an all-Belgique grudge rematch of the U.S. Open finals. Clijsters is a strong, dominating player compared to the willowy Henin, though you'd never have guessed it to watch them play in Queens. Clijsters breezed through center court as if she were, Kournikova-style, late for some more pressing engagement -- as though her day-runner said:

6:00 Show up for finals
7:00 Lose
7:02 Limo to Rockefeller center for dinner with boy-toy/fellow choke artist Lleyton Hewitt [who, by the way, pre-ordered the "Congratulations, Runner Up!" cake for after dinner]

A touch mean-spirited? Perhaps. It would be nice for Kim to at least try to hit the ball in this time.

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