Make us your homepage

 

LaRosa's Sweet Spot: May 19, 2010

5/19/2010 1:00:00 PM

LaRosa's Sweet Spot Archive |

The French Open kicks off this weekend, and in honor of The Dirty Slam, the Sweet Spot offers up a drinking game.  Each time one of the following things occurs, take a swig of some fine French wine. Now before Tennis Channel's morality police (or legal dept.) swings into action, this endeavor's designed not to get you loaded for two straight weeks, but to keep you sober.  Why? Because I'm the worst!  But seriously, if I have to stay somewhat dry to report on the next 15 days (Sunday start!), you have to be somewhat dry enough to be able to read it. That's right. Ladies and gentlemen, THE UNFUNNEST DRINKING GAME EVER. Good luck getting a buzz!

 

Take a swig if…

 

Anna Chakvetadze wins a match.

 

Marcos Baghdatis makes it through a set without launching anything out of his nose.

 

Commentators don't make thinly-veiled fat jokes about Marion Bartoli, Alisa Kleybanova or any female player who has even the semblance of a muffin top.  That's right, put your glass down if you hear words like "fitness," "form," or "conditioning." Take two swigs if Serena isn't commended for showing up "toned" or "in fighting shape."

 

Novak Djokovic wears something from Sergio Tacchini that doesn't look like Hugh Hefner's sexytime pajamas.

 

Ernests Gulbis gives a boring post-match press conference. Some gems from the Latvian in the past week alone:  On being busted with a lady of the evening in Oct, "It was great, very funny. Everyone should spend a night in jail." On whether he takes private planes to tournaments with the wealth he comes from, "Yes, and I have ten helicopters, a submarine and a spaceship."  Given his level of play lately, methinks he'll be sticking around for at least a week's worth of memorable zingers.

 

Roger Federer's semifinal streak at majors and his shot at breaking Sampras's all-time weeks at No 1 record isn't brought up breathlessly each and every time Rog takes the court.  Through a confluence of cosmic irony, Mayan prophecy or a mix of the two, both records are wrapped up in his ability to reach the semis in Paris.  If he wins his QF, the heavens will open. Or the ground.  I'll be honest and say I wasn't digging his chances a week ago. But given how he dealt with Gulbis and Ferrer in Madrid, and played Rafa hard in the final, I'm seriously liking his chances to make history yet again. And then Nostradamus will have been right.

 

Don't jinx Roger!

Gwen Stefani shows up and doesn't jinx Fed between now and then. (Perhaps I can put this more kindly. GWEN, STAY HOME.)

 

Justine Henin wears something without those little sleeve things on them.

 

Ana Ivanovic tosses a ball and no one gasps or otherwise clenches their nether regions.

 

Jelena Jankovic completes a match without complaint, physical, emotional or metaspiritual.

 

Svetlana Kuznetsova repeats as champion. Or even makes it to the second week.  Or even, well…Sveta's 1-3 on clay this year, I'll let you finish that thought so I don't have to be the bad person.

 

Lucie Safarova doesn't have some kind of nightmarish thigh-strapping on.

 

Andy Murray smiles.

 

Rafael Nadal loses.

 

Melanie Oudin aces.

 

The Peacock Network (aka NBC) airs each and every one of their matches live, sans any kind of delay that makes you want to riot in the streets with pitchforks and torches (a la Rafa's upset to Robin Soderling last year, which because of time zone quirks viewers on the west coast NEVER SAW).

 

Quisner doesn't shoulder the weight of a nation. Not that Andy Roddick being 0-0 on clay, Mardy Fish being a gimp, Wayne Odesnik being officially banned for two years for importing HGH and James Blake and freshly minted yank Tommy Haas cheering on from Barcaloungers doesn't fill American men's tennis fans with oodles of confidence.

 

Aravane Rezai says something nice about a fellow player. Down the whole bottle if it's about either Jelena Jankovic or Marion Bartoli.

 

Serena Williams' time in Paris isn't marked by at least one occasion of having to rally from the brink of defeat. Take two swigs if it isn't against a three-named opponent ranked outside the top 150.

 

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga doesn't make you want to pinch his cheeks.

 

Ugliness won't spew from the stands whenever a player so much as lingers over a ball mark. Gotta love those Roland Garros crowds. Take two swigs if you in fact gotta love those Roland Garros crowds.

 

Victoria Azarenka doesn't implode.

 

Venus Williams plays a clay court point.

 

X-rays and/or MRI's aren't required of at least one player a day. Swig twice if a major storyline isn't the calendar, particularly the men's schedule, with notable (and sucktacular) withdrawals by heavy hitters Juan Martin del Potro, Nikolay Davydenko, David Nalbandian, Tommy Haas, Igor Andreev, Ivo Karlovic and James Blake.

 

You don't hate me for this.

 

Zzz… And by that I mean getting any sleep over the next two weeks, with wall to wall to wall coverage from Tennis Channel and a certain daily Slam blog that you better check out on the regular, or else I'm sicking an ill-tempered Serbian fuzz ball on you, and he's recently taken up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

 

Allez! and see you Sunday.

 

--

 

Follow James throughout the French Open at twitter.com/JamesLaRosa