If people in the United States want to watch TV in the wee hours of the morning, they can catch live action at the Australian Open. The tourney is winding down to its final stages and the usual suspects have risen to the top.
On the men's side, it looks like Roger Federer of Switzerland, despite his greatness, likely has won his last major tournament. Federer's 30 years old, and while that age might put him in his "prime" in many other sports, in pro tennis, that's the "golden years". True, he's probably still the 3rd best player in the world, and no American player can come close to competing with him, but that pesky Spaniard Rafael Nadal, who's only 25, has his number. Nadal not only has won 2 out of every 3 times they've played, but in the last few years has made a habit of dispatching Federer in the finals of major tournaments. As time marches on -- it's not going to get any better for Roger.
Rafa has it all. Speed, power, stamina, finesse, a big serve, and every shot in the book. But he's only #2. That's because Novac Djokovic seems to have just a little bit more of all of the above. The 24 year old Serb is dominating tennis like Tiger Woods dominated golf a few years ago. Much like when Woods was at his peak, and many would wager on him against the entire "field", Djokovic currently occupies the same lofty status in tennis. One never knows what sort of injuries may pop up to such well-conditioned athletes that push themselves so hard. Yet, barring that, if Novac keeps his own temperament under control, he appears to be virtually unbeatable right now. He's just that good.
The ladies' side is harder to sort out because sometimes yours truly can only stand so much. I'll get back to that. There's Sharapova, Kvitova, Makarova, and Azarenka. It can get confusing. Kim Clijsters I understand. She's from Belgium. Problem is, some people think of her as the Grandma Moses of ladies' tennis. She's 28. See what I mean about that age thing? Then there's Carolyn Wozniacki, who's been ranked #1 for a while, but never seems to win a tournament. That I do NOT understand. Maybe it's like NASCAR. If somebody can finish in the top 5 or 10 of every contest, without ever actually winning anything, it's possible they could be regarded as #1. Somehow that doesn't seem right.
But the main reason I don't know more about the lady tennis players? The screaming from some of them. I can't handle it. There's times and places for screaming. Roller coasters, scary movies, and haunted houses come to mind. Seeing a mouse at their feet or getting into a heated argument might qualify as well. And I dare say most men would greatly appreciate an occasional scream for whatever may happen during the course of intimacy.
But when a shriek happens on every "stroke" -- in, ahem, tennis, of course -- that's a turn off. As in "click" with the remote. As much as I want to appreciate their talents and watch them play -- I can't stand all the screaming. When they watch film of themselves, don't they understand how unladylike that is? Or do they use the "mute" button?
Beats me, but I'm guessing Rod Laver, a gentlemens' gentleman, who is in attendance at the stadium named after him for the current Australian Open (he currently lives in California), in his heart of hearts, is not exactly turned on by it either.