An epic match!

Yes, it was every bit an epic match!

An ailing Rafael Nadal survives his second round match play against Tim Smyczek in a thrilling five-setter at the Rod Laver Arena. Yes, it was a grueling five-set match.

I don’t know about you but I would not be able to watch and sit still all that painful five-sets. Wouln’t you?
Luckily, I only caught the last set, otherwise, I would be biting-my-nails-again and clutching-my-chest-hoping-my-heart-wouldn’t-burst-out. In fact, I was too terrified to watch and see him lose in the end. I had to shoo my dogs away, especially the smallest one, because he was nibbling my ankle as if he was nibbling a tenor saxophone mouthpiece while I sat there, wriggling in my seat, watching a sweat-drenched Rafa scraping and grinding to stay in the match. He vomited at the sidelines as Rafa was feeling ill. He could’ve stopped (retired) but he didn’t.  Poor boy. I don’t know why I get so emotional every time Rafa is playing but anyone can not deny that this is what the tennis world missed when he got injured last year!

Rafa reacting on his win against Smee at the 2nd round AO15
Rafa on his knees after delivering his winning shot against Smee in the second round match at the AO2015.

To be fair to Rafa’s opponent, Tim Smyczek, who the media and Rafans baptised as Smee, he was a gentleman and his sportsmanship should be commended. And he’s got a new fan in me – what a great guy he is! Smee has a very likable attitude on court – he smiles at every point won or lost and applauds Rafa’s efforts, too. Now there are only a few players like him on ATP and I hope other players emulate him (I’m looking at you, Lukas Rosol!).

The tennis gods must be pleased with Rafa’s determination and grit. He survived – albeit barely – and lived to play another day at the Australian Open 2015. His fighting spirit is incredible, he grinds like it was his last.  And, he celebrates as if he’s already won the title when it is only the second round. How can you not admire this guy? Truly remarkable, that Rafa. This is one match I will definitely remember for a long time.

Here’s the highlights of the #smadal match last night.

To know more about the on-court drama, hear it straight from Rafa. Here’s the transcript of his post-match presser. And here’s Smee’s presser.

Li Na, Australian Open 2014 Women’s Champion

Congratulations. I don’t follow women’s tennis much but I know this year is Li Na’s third bid for the trophy. She lost last year and the year before that. This year, she is third time lucky!

She beat the diminutive player from Slovakia, Dominika Cibulkova, in straight sets, 7-6, 6-0. Both are a joy to watch. Cibulkova impressively beat many seeded players to reach the finals. And Li Na… oh, how can I forget her? After last year’s final against Victoria Azarenka, where she fell twice on the hard court, she came back stronger and more determined to finally lift her first Australian Open trophy. Well done.

I was also looking forward to her speech. And, as always, she was her usual amusing self. The crowd loved her! I was trying to listen to her speech but when she stepped close to the microphone, some parts of her speech came out garbled – the AO people should use audio-technica microphones instead for better sound. So I looked in YouTube to find a video, and I wasn’t disappointed.

She’s really funny. Here’s a sample:

“Now husband. Famous in China. Gave up everything to travel with me. Fix racquet, fix drink. Thanks a lot you nice guy. Also you so lucky.”

Hahaha. I agree, Lina. Husband so lucky.

Here’s the complete video of Li Na’s speech:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-uVsj2pJDo&feature=share&list=PL2RR–XMozwWg0zMOdQFJxQHD8KLT1KqY[/youtube]

Don’t you just love her? Hope to see you accepting more trophies this year.

Okay, enough. Tomorrow, I’ll be a nervous wreck again. It’s my boy, Rafael Nadal, against another Swiss guy – no, not Roger Federer – this time it’s Stan Wawrinka who defeated HelmetBoi (aka Novak Djokovic) in the QFs. How good is that?

So, expect again another tennis post in the coming days 🙂

The heat is on!

Buenas noches, amigos y amigas.

I’m still here, surviving the sweltering, boiling summer heat of Phnom Penh. Summer is at its height and along with the summer heat comes the frequent powercuts. Daily. Well, I do acknowledge that I live in a developing country and power cuts at this time of the year is quite understandable, if not expected. However, I wish that the power supply company, aka the Electricite du Cambodge, be kind enough to issue a power interruption schedule of sorts so that us consumers can plan ahead and make arrangements. I myself work at home and my only lifeline to my employers is the Internet. Without power, I am left without nothing.

Amigos y amigas, you cannot imagine how hot it is here. We are sweating like tennis players, I kid you not. Once we had a power cut that started in the wee hours of the night, our pillows were soaking wet that I and my husband had to use my yoga bolsters instead. Yes, it’s that bad.

Speaking about tennis… my boy Rafael Nadal’s recent return to the tennis tour is also generating a lot of heat! That’s good heat, for your information. He’s been absent for nearly 10months due to a knee injury, missing the London Olympics and the US Open. But now that he’s back… well, we his fans couldn’t have asked for a better comeback. Winning the tournaments in Acapulco and Indian Wells! How’s that?

After the Indian Wells tournament in California, Rafa decided to skip the Sony Open in Miami as per his doctor’s advise. He needs to rest his knees in preparation to the most exciting season of all, the clay season on European soil. A little later today, Rafa’s compatriot David Ferrer is going to play against Andy Murray in the men’s final event of the Sony Open. Can Ferru beat Muzzah to win his first ever ATP 1000 title and make history? We’ll find out. Por supuesto, I am rooting for Ferru. Vamos!

But before I go, while Rafa is on vacation, I’ve been watching his past tournaments to fill my Rafa “cravings”. I came across this video of Rafa’s unbelievable gamepoints against his friend Juan Monaco, in their Davis Cup finals match. I can only think of the word “unbelievable” to describe Rafa.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fqGgCicuo3c[/youtube]

Rafa, without a doubt, is one of the best – if not the best – ball retrievers there is on the tennis planet. If that points didn’t convince you, then you must be a rock.

A big huzzah for Muzzah!

Okay, okay. In my previous post I did say I was going to do the dougie. But for the life of me I do not know how to so I’m sending someone else to do it for me. As you can see, he is doing it with much gusto! Lol.

Troll-face dancing the dougie in celebration of Andy Murray's Olmpic gold!

Why dance, you might ask? Well because it’s a promise I made to myself and my imaginary readers that I’d so so in the event that someone other than Roger Federer wins the gold. And boy, it happened… so there..

In case you haven’t heard yet, Team GB’s Andy Murray thrashed Swtizerland’s Roger Federer in the men’s single’s finals at the Olympic Games on Sunday night. It was a very convincing three-set win – 6-2, 6-1, 6-4. I was really satisfied to see Roger Federer’s dream gold medal turn into silver.

For the first time since 1908, Andy became the first Briton to win the Olympic singles gold and the first Briton to claim an Olympic men’s singles medal since the 1920 event in Antwerp. Destroying Roger Federer, the current world number one and touted as the GOAT, and Novak Djokovic, the world number two and bronze medalist in Beijing,  this year in the Olympics, in the hallowed grounds of Wimbledon in his home turf is a remarkable achievement for Andy who has yet to win a Grand Slam title. This must be the push that he needed, the turning point of his career

I’m not an Andy Murray fan but I’m beginning to be impressed. If he continues to improve his performance he’ll be sure to get that GS title of his career! So, I’m actually looking forward to see him at the US Open next month! By then, my boy Rafael Nadal will be in form and ready to play.

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ClipArt Source

¡Olé! ¡Equipo de tenis de España!

¡Olé! ¡Olé! ¡Olé!
I just want to share my excitement today. One of my favourite tennis players, David Ferrer and his doubles partner Feliciano Lopez, made it to the semi-finals round at the Olympic Games in London. What a great feat considering this duo had never played doubles together.  From this phoo, which I nicked from the twitter account of Linzports, David is probably coaxing an emotional Feli whose face is covered with a towel.

Bromance, Spanish Armada style. Photo nicked from Linzports @ Twitter.

I’m so happy about their win – I think and I know Rafa is, too, knowing that Team Espana, especially the Spanish Armada are doing well in his absence. Well done.

I know David is a cat-person as I’ve seen a photo of him feeding his cat in his balcony. Let’s say, if the Spanish duo makes it to the finals, I’ll start looking for custom gifts for cat lovers especially for him. I kid you not, hahahaha.

The London 2012 Olympics fever

After learning of Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal in the Olympics, I told myself I am not going to watch anything related to the Olympics. But I guess I spoke too soon. On the early hours of Friday, I found myself watching the opening ceremony. I woke up from a bad dream and couldn’t bring myself to sleep anymore so I went to the living room and turned on my laptop. There I saw a lot of twitter updates from friends living on the other side of the planet raving  about the opening ceremony. Grudgingly I searched, and found, a  live streaming site. I knew in my heart that I’d feel sad not seeing Rafael Nadal bearing the Spanish flag. And I was. Can you imagine how Rafa was feeling watching his friend Pau Gasol carry their national flag? It could’ve been him, but he had to step aside due to an injury.

These thoughts aside, at that moment I wished that I have a blu ray home theatre system for the ultimate viewing pleasure! The London ceremony didn’t fall short in  the presentation – it was a showcase of everything British, including the humour  – but still  paled in comparison with the Beijing ceremony. The whole world reacted, some positive, others negative. I think the Chinese had set the standard so high that I don’t think no other host country could top that in my lifetime. However, I don’t think that Danny Boyle and company were even trying to surpass the Beijing ceremony anyway. It is what it is, the British way. What I also love about the whole shebang the most is that it showcased Britain’s rich musical history! Gotta love the soundtrack that played during the parade of the nations.

Cheyor, Cambodia!

Sorn Davin, above, taekwondo athlete, carrying the flag of Cambodia. And, of course, from my native land, the diminutive Hidilyn Diaz, below, a weightlifter. Great to see many female athletes carrying the national flags and, most of all,  all countries sending female athletes to the Olympics – a first in Olympic history.

Mabuhay, Filipinas kong Mahal! Wearing the salakot, a local sun-hat, makes the Filipino contingent more Pinoy and way cooler!

With the opening ceremony broadcast live during ungodly hours on our side of the world, one of my friends wished, via twitter, that our country be should renamed Filipins instead of Philippines because the delegation is always near the last of the queue. Lol. I love the salakot that the Pinoy athletes were wearing, it added more Filipiniana touch and definitely way cooler and better-looking than the hats worn by the Germans, hahaha.

Another friend observed that watching the parade of athletes makes her want to grab an atlas or google their locations. So very true and I totally agree with her! There were so many new names to take note of and, as a postcard hobbyist, the list of countries in my postcards wishlist has just gotten longer!

Speeding GOAT

Now that the dust has cleared and new patches of grass are laid over at Wimbledon, what is next?

The Olympics?
Nope. It’s the rankings, my dear. Very important. This gif file from a Roger Federer fan’s twitter account very much shows the standings, and so funny, if I may say so.

A hilarious gif file re-tweeted by @AndyMugray. Paddle, Roger, as fast as you can, lol.

HAHAHA. Pretty  much the race for rankings in men’s tennis, eh? Here’s a beaming Roger on a plastic crate speedng, err, paddling away from the pack composed of Rafa, Nole, Muzzy and a player I could not recognize, maybe Andy Roddick? Anyways, don’t you just love the look on their faces? And look at their crisp white shoes, are they dc shoes?

In this year’s Wimbledon we witnessed how most of the ranked players fell one by one in the earlier rounds,most shocking was, of course, that of Rafa (see below for my feelings about this). We also saw a  rise in parody accounts of tennis players, much to my enjoyment. The tweets are sarcastic but they’re all so funny they make caricatures out of the tennis players. Yes, emphasis on sarcasm. I think they are excellent, fun and enjoyable to read. I wonder why some people like John McEnroe didn’t get it.

And, oh, in case anyone’s interested. I am super-dooper fine. I have left it until today to say something about Rafa’s stunning loss so as not to make any comments that others might deem harsh or something. Rafa lost. Yes, a major bummer  but just like Rafa, it is just tennis. Not a tragedy. I mean with 46 winners over 16 UFEs – that has got to be the winningest losing performance statistically! I mourned for his second-round match loss one whole day – true – but after that, I’m bouncing again just like my boy, hahaha. And just because  openly cheered for The GOAT and then for the Muzzah, just for the kicks, by the way and which I never thought I would ever do – does not necessarily mean I have switched loyalty and abandoned Rafa. Not a chance.  I think that his early exit would benefit him most since the Olympics and the USO is in the horizon so you can bet your pretty *ss I’d be back cheering again for Rafa 🙂

On to Paris for the Roland Garros

Rafa takes a bite of his trophy after winning the ATP Masters in Rome on 21 May, 2012. Photo Credit: AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTEFILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/GettyImages via Rafaholics.com

One day more and the Roland Garros tournament, aka, the French Open, will begin. Of course, Rafael Nadal will be there as he embarks on a historic mission to become the first player to win seven RG titles.

Prior to this was the ATP BNP Internazionale in Rome but didn’twrite about it, intentionally, of course. I felt that if I write something about Rafa during the tournaments, he gets jinxed! So, after the ATP Tour in Madrid where Rafa lost in the third round, I decided not to write anymore Rafa-related posts. As a result, Rafa won the Rome tournament! Lol. Is this a coincidence or what?

It is so nice to see Rafa happy and biting that trophy again! He has defeated Nole twice now. With his recent win in Rome, Rafa holds the record of being the only is the only ATP player to have won 4 different tournaments: Barcelona, MonteCarlo, RolandGarros, and Rome 6 times!

Well, let’s hope for the best that Rafa successfully defends his RG title for another record in the books! The draw has just been out. See who will be in his draw. You can find it here.

No mo’ blues!

I’m currently having the blues after my boy, Rafa, lost to his compatriot Fernando Verdasco for the first time in the third round of the on-going ATP Mutua Madrid Open. It was awful and painful to watch – and I need this to vent – because it seemed he wasted a 5-2 lead in the third set. I’m so upset that I can’t even concentrate finishing a leather dyeing stuff that I started since this morning.  But as we all know, things like this happen to any player and if this happens they cannot explain what really happened themselves!

No mo' blues, Rafa! Photo Credit: Rafaholics Facebook Page

I know Rafa’s been vocal against the blue clay court and I suspect that his aversion or negativity towards the new court have, subconsciously,  affected his focus and performance. But, he’s not totally alone in expressing their distaste. David Ferrer, Novak Djokovic, to name a few, aren’t happy about it, too, so I hope the organizers should re-evaluate. As a tennis fan and avid-watcher, I find it weird having a blue colour knowing clay is red. I don’t think the blue court has made the yellow tennis ball more visible when watching the matches on TV. Perhaps, it’s my TV set? Lol. But, seriously, we all know Rafa, he is not blaming the blue clay for his loss:

“I lost today because I deserve to lose. I was at 5-2, I arrived at the moment to close the match and I didn’t know how to close it, I didn’t know how to do it. I made a big mistake with my match at 5-2. That’s what happened. He played better than me.”

That’s alright, Rafa.

I just hope that you really, really had a bad day because I had never seen you play very, very badly in clay court – ever. While, in the beginning of the tournament, I was looking forward to see you play in the finals and bite that trophy again, I’m glad your run was cut short, injury-free. That should give you more time to rest, recuperate and prepare for the tournament in Rome, and more importantly, the Roland Garros where the court is in original and beautiful red clay.

On this note, I say, I have no mo’ blues anymo’!