Monday, August 13, 2007

And now for some tennis

A few years ago, I began to realize that my then favorite tennis players Paradorn Srichaphan and Lleyton Hewitt were getting past their prime and it might be time to find some young blood to get behind. I still rooted for Srichaphan and Hewitt when they played, but at a certain point, the returns diminished greatly.

At that point, two players who had recently tore up the junior circuit, Novak Djokovic and Gael Monfils, caught my eye. Monfils had just turned pro that year (2004), and Djokovic the year before, and I was catching each of them in their first Wimbledons respectively.

They both lost in the games I watched, but I was impressed with their performances, and decided that they were my new favorite tennis players (I probably have some documentation of this somewhere, but I'm too lazy to check).

Now, fully three years later, both have entered the spotlight of the world. Monfils has disappointing people by showing glimpses of his potential, as some people liken him to what Dwyane Wade would be if he played tennis, but never cracking the top 50 of ATP rankings.

Djokovic, on the other hand, has seen a meteoric rise that has carried him all to Number 4 in the standings. This past week, he won the Rogers Cup (I don't know what it is either), disposing of World No. 1 Roger Federer, No. 2 Rafael Nadal, and No 3. Andy Roddick in the process. He seems set to make a big splash in the upcoming US Open, and were it not for a little thing called school, I would not hesistate to make the trek down to Flushing to watch him do so (I had to pass up $10 tickets...)

It might be just me, but it's nice when the relative unknowns you put stock in rise to glory. It's so beautiful, I might start tearing up.