As tennis aficionados are aware, this year’s US Open provided unexpected surprises. Two teenage girls (for the first time ever) competed for the crown, although one of them was not even qualified to enter the main draw. She had to ‘qualify’ herself by playing, I believe, six matches. Once she got into the draw, the march was relentless. On the other side of the net was another phenom from Canada who got beaten in the finals. A qualifier winning the tournament is also a first.
The encouraging and happy result of all this is the fact that there was no need to have bazookas instead of tennis rackets, grunts and grimaces, throw tantrums; the crowd cheered both the contestants. Nobody lost their temper, smashed their rackets, hit the ball not in play haphazardly, sometimes hitting officials and ball boys/girls. Nobody threatened the lines person with “I will shove the ball in your mouth” as another champion did a few years ago. The strokes from both players were clinical, with enough power to throw the opposition off balance. One was reminded of tennis of the good old days when it was not a gladiator sport. It was the supremacy of finesse over brute power. The girls were quite elegant to watch, compared with people like Nadal whose every stroke looks as though he is in labor! On the whole, a good day for tennis.
But to me the happy news was that that Djokovic did not win the singles. He was going for a win which would have broken the record set by the ever-so-gentlemanly Rod Laver—winning all the grand slams in one calendar year.
Here I have a story to tell. Nina Stojanovich is a Serbian, 25, who grew up in awe of the native hero Djokovic. He was her idol! She was thrilled beyond words when the Serbian authorities named her to partner Djokovic to play in the mixed doubles event at the Tokyo Olympics. With the number one player in the world as her partner, the trophy was a shoo-in. Imagine the days and nights when she was dreaming of winning one of the most prestigious tournaments in tennis.
But Joko had already lost his singles bid. He lost in doubles too. He sulked and pouted and was generally obnoxious. And on the day of his mixed doubles match he mysteriously developed pain in the shoulder and withdrew. You just try and imagine what Nina went through. That was mean, mean.
Joko is famous (notorious) for all the infractions that I had mentioned earlier. For instance, I recall the day he hit a stray ball, out of play, at a line judge. (It was no accident, pilgrims.) He hit rock bottom as far as court etiquette is concerned. He cusses in Serbian, breaks rackets (good that he does not have to pay for his rackets.), makes sarcastic gestures at the umpire….the list is long. NO, he had no right to occupy the same orbit as Rod Laver. Or for that matter the Fed or Nadal. To me Medvedev, who clinically demolished Joko with precision and enough power, was a very happy, welcome sight. He won where many times he had knocked on the door. Medvedev will go places. So I prophesy.
On September 7 the New York Times published a story entitled “The tragedy of America’s Rural Schools”. The schools in the story had out of date textbooks, the buildings were dilapidated, they didn’t have a single computer, didn’t have sufficient number of school buses,…..the list is endless. It is also not an accident that the school districts under reference are mostly in black communities. They don’t have the money.
And yet the country spent 300 million dollars a day for twenty years for a war which it did not win. Yes, you read it right: three hundred million dollars a day! Imagine what a day’s expenditure could have done for an impoverished school district.
Cinderella is one of the most endearing, enduring fairy tales that has enthralled children and even adults over several decades. Many films, especially the Walt Disney one, are in circulation. This month a new version has been released and it is rated PG!! Parental Guidance to watch Cinderella??!! It is a musical, this new version, and features 24 songs, I believe. I am surprised that Minnie Driver and Pierce Brosnan allowed themselves to be cast in this effort. Money speaks, I guess!
France has recalled its ambassador to the US in protest over America’s deal to help deploy nuclear powered submarines. On Thursday they had cancelled a gala at the Washington Embassy. Their nose is out of joint because this deal nullifies a $40 billion-dollar nuclear submarine deal that they had signed with Australia. (Wouldn’t there be a penalty for violating a contract involving billions of dollars?) Adding insult to injury, France learnt about the deal from TV media and not from the US government. The French Ambassador likened the submarine deal cancellation to treason. Is Biden getting unhinged?
The highly anticipated rally on behalf of the more than 600 people charged in the Jan.6 Capitol Hill riot drew a modest crowd of a couple of hundred demonstrators today. There were more law enforcement personnel than demonstrators. The mountain gave birth to a mouse!!
Oops! Sorry. Pentagon says that the drone strike that killed 10 in Afghanistan was a mistake. Seven children were among those killed. The driver of the car that was hit worked for a U.S. aid group and had nothing to do with ISIS. Well, at least they said “sorry”, right?
One in five hundred. The number of people in the US killed so far by the virus. A Republican lawmaker said, “Well, that is the luck of the draw. Look at the many millions who are alive!”
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