The 'You Cannot Be Serious' Awards for 2019

1. Quote Of The Year - Aliaksandra Sasnovich

‘Last year I had too much risotto with mushrooms before the match, but this year I didn’t!’

The Belarusian made this rather astute observation after gaining revenge on Elina Svitolina at the 2019 Brisbane International.

Honourable mention: Rafael Nadal’s critique of Roger Federer after losing to the Swiss maestro in the semis at Wimbledon:

‘He is always able to do the most difficult things easy.’


2. Choke Of The Year – Roger Federer

This one hurts me to write.  

Roger Federer’s two unconsummated match points against the Joker in the Wimbledon final are likely to cost him the numerical right to be called the greatest player of all time.


Fun Fed Fact: the Swiss cow that Roger (above) received for winning Wimbledon in 2003 was slaughtered two years later (almost certainly by Mirka) for failing to produce enough milk


Up 8-7 in the deciding set, Federer rushed through both match points, perhaps hoping to stifle his nerves. His tentative forehand approach at 40-30 will haunt him (and me) forever. It gave Djokovic time to produce a superb/gut-wrenching forehand pass.

If I were a less vindictive man, I’d call the Joker’s pass the shot of the year.


3. Shot Of The Year – Dan Evans

Definitely not Novak!  

Englishman Dan Evans’ behind the backhand stunner in qualifying for the Australian Open is almost impossible to put into words. A shot unlike any other I’ve ever seen. Pure instinct. Mostly a fluke. It blindsided the player playing it...

Just Google ‘Dan Evans shot of the year’ (rather than ‘Dan Evans cocaine’). Hopefully moments like this keep Evans well away from the old nose beers in 2020.


4. Existential Chat Of The Year – Serena Williams and Bianca Andreescu

Four games into the Rogers Cup final, Serena pulled the plug after suffering back spasms against Ronadian power baseliner, Bianca Andreescu.  

Once Andreescu saw Williams crying, she raced over to console her idol. What ensued was a chat that resembled two teenagers out on the disco bikkies. Here is my best attempt at transcribing it: 

Bianca: I’m so sorry, can I give you a hug?

Serena begrudgingly submits

B: Are you okay, what’s happening? 

Serena: It started spasming last night. 

B: (obscenity) Don’t get me started! 

Delirious laughter ensues 

S: You’re now walking. I can’t move.

B: Yo, I’ve watched you your entire career, you’re a (obscenity) beast (hopefully meant as a compliment)...injuries, I’ve been through so many already- 

S: I know, I know. 

B: You know how they are. This sucks...on your back, right? I know everything about you (giggles like a psychopath) 

The two lock hands and share an MDMA-style embrace. Serena is a willing participant this time. Crowd cheers. End scene.  

Cut to: The two players meet in the US Open final one month later and the young psychopath Andreescu wipes the floor with Williams.


5. Profanity Of The Year – Ash Barty

Upon hitting the winning smash to take out the French Open, Aussie Ash Barty’s reaction was priceless. She looked up at her support box, clutched her racquet to her head and mouthed a word that I’m not allowed to write in this blog.

It was a very human moment; up there with Pat Cash clambering into the stands at Wimbledon in 1987. Hopefully Barty gets to mouth many more profanities throughout her career.


6. Sledge Of The year – Nick Kyrgios 

Nick Kyrgios’ rant about two of the three greatest male players of all time on the No Challenges Remaining podcast was both staggering and hilarious. 

Kyrgios called Novak Djokovic’s post-match, release-the-pigeons celebration ‘cringeworthy’ and referred to Rafa as ‘super salty’.


When will Carlos Moya and Uncle Tony stop shovelling salt into Rafa's seafood paella?


The insult got right under Nadal’s (salty) skin, creating one of the greatest grudge matches in years, which is a perfect segue into...


7. Grudge Match Of The year – Nadal v Naughty Nick @ Wimbledon 

This second round bout was probably the most personal match for Nadal since Czech delinquent Lukas Rosol deliberately knocked over his water bottle at the All England Club in 2014. 

Naughty Nick berated Rafa for playing too slowly, threw in an underarm serve and rattled Rafa with a blistering body shot, later admitting that he’d intentionally tried to hit Nadal ‘square in the chest’.

For once, Naughty Nick was locked in. It was an enthralling four-set match that could’ve gone either way (if Nadal weren't 438 times fitter than Kyrgios).

Nadal’s post-match celebration was uncharacteristically animated. The match sapped energy that Rafa needed-and didn’t have-later in the tournament. Sport is wonderful when there’s genuine hate involved. 


8. Villain Of The Year – Daniil Medvedev

After Medvedev defeated Spanish hunk Feliciano Lopez in the third round at Flushing Meadows, the Louis Armstrong crowd jeered the wiry Russian in scenes eerily reminiscent of Rocky IV. 

Like Soviet boxer Ivan Drago, Medvedev was (genetically engineered and) happy to embrace villain status. Perhaps the New York crowd still hadn’t forgiven Medvedev for what Drago did to Apollo Creed...if that makes sense? It doesn’t make any sense. 

Nonetheless, Medvedev did his best to inflame Cold War tensions when he thanked the crowd, signing off his post-match interview by saying, ‘the more you do this (inexplicably boo Russian sportsmen), the more I will win, for you guys. Thank you!’ 


What will end first: the Rocky franchise or Roger Federer's career? Only one still has its dignity


9. Tantrum Of The Year – Pablo Carreno Busta

Unfortunately, not quite on the scale of Karolina Pliskova’s assault on an umpire’s chair in Rome last year, but still a worthy winner...

Carreno Busta (who may, or may not, be the same person as Roberto Bautista Agut) went platanos after losing a five-setter to the ‘lonely master’ (Nishikori) in the Round of 16 at the AO. 

In Carreno Busta’s heat-affected mind, he was robbed by a Hawk-Eye decision deep in the deciding breaker. I have to stress that he had absolutely no case. 

After hurling his bag across the Plexicushion and howling his displeasure at the chair umpire, PCB’s tanty spilled over into the players’ tunnel, where he frightened the bejesus out of stunned officials. The point of instant contrition occurred when he kicked over an unsuspecting towel.

PCB is also rumoured to have strangled an orphaned kitten before reaching the locker room.


10. Accessory Of The Year – Maria Andreescu’s Dog, Coco 

The diminutive appendage, quite possibly a canine, that Bianca Andreescu’s mother, Maria, had in the stand at the US Open quickly became her daughter's lucky charm. The seven-pound poodle kind of worked with Maria’s oversized sunglasses (at night), her frizzy hair and her designer handbags. 

Was Coco having fun?

Will Australian customs allow the infernal thing into the country for the AO? 

Is Mats Wilander starting to resemble a shrivelled sultana? 

These are the big tennis questions. Only 2020 will have the answers. 

As always, if you need any tennis equipment, or just fancy a chat about the game, please drop by KK Tennis. 475 Malvern Road, South Yarra. Looking forward to a great summer of tennis!

January 01, 2020 — Murray

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