Let’s work it in reverse chronological order
Roger Federer and SABR — my only grouse with the “new” move is that it is heavily distracting to want to keep spotting it. It’s like having a trick, or a song that everyone waits for during a concert, and it’s bothersome because it’s Fed, and his game transcends all. Boris complained, ESPN has details of why Roger doesn’t think it’s wrong. I know the name itself is a bit egotistic, but this is the bit I found immensely funny, and true.
Good grief. Maybe the fellas who don’t want Federer to do that can sign a petition to get him to stop. Then they can sign another one prohibiting Ivo Karlovic from serving so hard, or Rafael Nadal from using so much topspin.
Next up, the age thing in tennis. Every article about Federer starts with his age. But then Fed goes ahead and says something about Serena’s loss, “We’re lucky she’s still playing tennis. I didn’t think she was going to play this long”
Next up, Serena (33), judges Roberta, here, “She’s 33, She’s going for it at such a late age.”
Err, she’s 32. Ms. Vinci, you’re a class act, part goofy, part honest, and so so humble.
Meanwhile, Fivethirtyeight has some statistical insights on why it’s the biggest upset ever in women’s tennis.
Before the tournament, we used Elo — the ratings system that takes into account players’ match results and quality of opposition and creates power rankings for anything from chess to the NFL — to rate the best women’s tennis players of all time. According to this system, Williams is one of the greatest but not the greatest. (Despite her loss, however, she is still playing well enough to keep building her case.) It’s this system that shows just how historic Vinci’s upset was.
As of Aug. 23, Williams’s Elo rating was 2505 and Vinci’s was 1852 — a difference of 652 points. That gave Vinci about a 3 percent chance of beating Serena.
I guess that’s why upsets are fun, because they beat statistics hollow, and don’t take grit and tenacity into account. Or, why we watch sport.