Flawless extraterrestrial wins his crying game
TV VIEW:“IT’S 15-15 all – that’s games, not points,” said the BBC’s Andrew Castle, prompting the latecomers to the red button to nigh on fall out of their chairs. Especially those who reckon tennis belongs in the Olympics as much as pineapple in a peanut butter sandwich and who always suspected the pros weren’t all that pushed whether they prevailed or not.
But there was Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina huffing and gasping and puffing about the court, his opponent, the extraterrestrial Roger Federer, still looking freshly laundered after almost four hours of their semi-final.
Even he, though, by the time they completed the four hour, 26 minute epic, looked a touch fatigued, a single bead of perspiration spotted just above his left eye, but your real sympathy had to go to his wife who, between Wimbledon and the Olympics, has spent most of her summer sitting in that family-and-friends box on Centre Court. The perils of being married to Roger Federer.
It was, indeed, monumental stuff, John Lloyd declaring it to be “one of the greatest three-set matches I’ve ever seen, that’s for sure”, although there was an unfortunate interlude late in the proceedings when a baby started howling in the arena. Honest, someone brought a baby to the Olympics.
“Babies wouldn’t have been allowed in in Wimbledon,” said Lloyd, sounding wholly unimpressed, Roger not best pleased himself when his serve toss was accompanied by a “nyaaaAAAAAaaaaaa” from the stands.
But then there was silence, security possibly having removed the baby from its daft parent’s grasp, the marathon continuing.
“He’s like a wasp at a barbecue,” said Andrew of Del Potro, who was doing his level best to make Roger sweat, but in the end the extraterrestrial did the job, 19-17, predictably enough, in the decider. And then Del Potro cried like a baby, and you really had no choice but to revaluate your assumptions about how pushed these pros are about the Olympics. Quite a lot in his case, evidently.
How pushed are the hosts about cycling? They can’t get enough of it. The sport just continues to drip red, white and blue Gold, if you know what we mean.
“Queen Victoria, you have delivered again, she’s molten hot!,” howled Hugh Porter as the Pendleton woman did her golden thing, not long after the British team pursuit fellas did theirs. “An emphatic drubbing of Australia,” Hugh purred, as we started losing count of their pedalling and world record-breaking gold.
It should be noted, though, that the British and Australian cycling teams in that final featured names like Clancy, Burke and O’Shea, so if the Irish Diaspora was added to that medal table we’d be laughing. For now, though, we’re still waiting for some bling, having to make do with enjoying the success of others. Like the exquisitely named Dong Dong who won gold for China in the trampoline. Mind you, it’ll be close to impossible to match the moniker of a French hammer thrower in the chuckle stakes: Quentin Bigot. He sounds like a parody of a conservative political columnist. Highly marvellous.