Jeff appreciates the little things in life as Serena loses $426,000 purse in desert
TV VIEW:Hull have three Egyptians in their squad today, I guess that’s what they need to do if they want to climb the pyramid
Serena Williams and Jeff Stelling? “Awesome”, as the former might put it, “bloody marvellous”, as our Jeff might say.
A quirky enough sporting pairing, it must be said, not exactly the Torville and Dean of our day, but other than the 54 minutes Brentford kept Chelsea scoreless in the FA Cup yesterday, until Juan Mata unlatched the floodgates, they combined to provide the smiliest moments of the sporting week.
Granted, the Qatar ExxonMobil Open isn’t the most romantic of events on the tennis circuit, hosted, as it is, by Fifa’s favourite world’s-richest-country-per-capita, where migrant workers make, on average, $300 a month. Although, the $426,000 first prize for whacking a ball about the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex possibly helps attract the sport’s mightiest.
And that’s the loot Victoria Azarenka left Qatar with yesterday after beating Serena in the final, a lively enough affair too, the Belarusian winning 7-6 (8-6), 2-6, 6-3.
By then, though, Serena had reclaimed her world number one spot from Azarenka, at 31 years, four months and 24 days becoming the most ancient woman in the sport to take the top spot since computer rankings began in 1975. Chris Evert was a mere 30 years, 11 months and three days when she held top spot in 1985, Serena, then, gliding, youthfully, by her.
“I’m so sensitive nowadays, I’m always crying,” she said on Eurosport when she chatted after her quarter-final win over Petra Kvitova, the victory that put her back at number one.
It was an epically lovely moment for a woman whose boobs and bottom have been commented upon a whole heap more through her career than her sporting brilliance ever has been, while her critics largely swooned over the physical form of her opponents.
Heck, you just can’t imagine why.
That other sporty smile? Ah yeah, seamlessly linking to Serena: Jeff and Hartlepool.
Propping up League One, the third tier of English football, going in to Saturday’s game, Hartlepool are, it has to be said, completely rubbish.
Which makes Stelling, a Hartlepool native and diehard supporter of his town’s team, a kind of a must-see on Sky’s Soccer Saturday.
You shouldn’t chuckle at his agony most weeks, but it’s seriously hard not to.
(And why is he hard not to love? Saturday: “Hull have three Egyptians in their squad today, I guess that’s what they need to do if they want to climb the pyramid.” “Unforgivable,” said Charlie Nicholas’s face, and he was right, but still. The man’s a legend).
So, Saturday? Hartlepool, a goal down at home to Leyton Orient after eight minutes. Some time later, 88th minute to be exact: Equaliser! Jeff responded like he’d just won $426,000 in the lottery. Bopping and hooting about the studio.
Then, waaaaay way in to injury time, and Jeff, never mind the viewers, couldn’t quite believe it: Hartlepool got the . . . winner.
In time, our ear-drums will recover, the gist of Jeff’s response: “Agggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh.” And with that they stormed upwards to second-from-bottom of League One, only Portsmouth below them. Jeff was worn out high-fiving himself. Pure bliss, like.
And Portsmouth, you might recall, won the 2008 FA Cup, but after that things, largely of a financial nature, turned in to the shape of a pear.
At least Jeff didn’t call Charlie an elongated, fast-swimming cephalopod mollusk, which was something.
“He’s all arms and legs, he’s a squid,” Graeme Souness said of Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos on Wednesday night.
Well, Serena’s been called worse.