Monday, January 28, 2008

Moves Like a Butterfly

There is nothing like a good tennis tournament to put a guy MIA. This year's Australian Open --the self-dubbed "Happy Open"--did not disappoint one bit. Staying up to watch the matches live at 3:30 am doesn't get any easier as you get older, but they were worth it. And besides, I have always felt a strange kind of power in the wee hours of the morning when I think the rest of the world is asleep. For me, the player of the tourney was Russia's Maria Sharapova who won this year's crown for her third Grand Slam title over Ana Ivanovic of Serbia. For those of you who are not tennis fans, it was a very different story last year when Maria got her butt soundly whipped by Serena Williams in the finals, 6-1, 6-2. Some players would have had a hard time recovering from a drubbing like that, but Maria decided to use the loss as a springboard. To fly higher. She claimed to have trained very hard in the off season and it showed. Her movement, usually restricted to the baseline, saw her stepping out of her comfort zone as she came to net far more often to put away points. That meant coming up with shots you don't associate with her, like a slice backhand on the approach to net. This year it wasn't just all about power, it was about a plan. If in 2007 she was a caterpillar inching from side to side in the back court, this year she was a butterfly. A lot of people can't get past the blond hair and green eyes, which is a shame because you see something far more attractive when you do--passion for the game. And that's what puts her far ahead of the game. Well done, Maria. Good luck at the French!

3 comments:

Raven said...

There *is* something strange and interesting about being up in the wee hours when everyone else is asleep, especially once you get past 3 AM. I try not to stay up that late very often, but lately it's been happening too much. Last week as I was going to bed I actually noticed my neighbor's light was on and she was getting up for the day. Now *that* was a weird feeling.

J.T. said...

Raven,

I've read everywhere that it's much better to do your sleeping when it's dark. It has something to do with melatonin, which requires darkness to be produced in the human body, which plays a role in the healthy functioning of your immune system. And besides, it sucks waking up at 2pm... I always feel I haven't used the day as effectively.

Raven said...

I've heard that too, and I agree it sucks waking up in the afternoon. When I do it, then I stay up late again that night because I need the time, so it's a vicious cycle. I always feel better physically when I do the majority of my sleeping at night (although considering I tend to wake up around 10 or 11 these days, I never do all of it at night). The 2am-10am schedule seems to be optimal for me and my biorhythms.