Three things I learned during the last week

  1. World Tennis must thank its lucky stars for Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

rafa and roger

It’s not just Australian Tennis in chaos. World Tennis has some serious issues as well. We’ve all seen the soap opera that is Tennis Australia rolled out during the first week of the Australian Open. Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrios were bundled out of tournament so early they were forced to find other ways to stay relevant. Lleyton Hewitt is under fire for his Davis Cup selection strategies. Apparently he prefers blokes who actually have a go, who would have thought? But it wasn’t just Australian’s behaving badly during the first week of the year’s first major. Maria Sharapova’s conduct was put under the microscope again after a long bathroom break in her loss to Ash Barty. John McEnroe can’t seem to stay out of the headlines as a commentator, upsetting the usually unflappable Roger Federer. Speaking of Roger, he may be out of the tournament now but World Tennis can thank its lucky stars he is so full of class. His press conference following his upset loss last night was all class. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal continue to carry the reputation of the sport on their very broad shoulders. However, they aren’t getting any younger. Can the next generation follow their lead? Stefanos Tsitsipas appears ready, the jury is firmly out on the rest.

  1. The Australian Cricket Team selectors actually did something right.

Justin Langer Portrait

The organisation that can lay claim to having had a worse summer than Tennis Australia is Cricket Australia. Our two major summer sports are in complete turmoil. The selection board of Cricket Australia has found much of this season firmly under the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Steve Smith’s Boxing Day test interview did little to quell the notion that this is a group of men completely out of touch with reality. Combine this with the baffling non selection of a number of players who have performed strongly at domestic level, in favor of players completely out of form or over matched by the world’s best cricket team India……It’s been a nightmare summer for cricket lovers. However the last week has seen a ray of light poke through an otherwise gloomy sky. Earlier, the selectors came under fire once more for selecting the squad for the first test against Sri Lanka more than two weeks out from the match. Worse still, the team was selected before this week’s tour match between a Cricket Australia XI and the visiting Sri Lankians. Curtis Paterson blasted two hundreds in the match, but wasn’t in the selected squad for the first test. The answer of the selection board to this dilemma was simple. Let’s add him to the squad. HOLY COW! Credit where it’s due, they got this one correct.

  1. The new season of Game of Thrones will set records that will NEVER be broken.

Away from the sporting field we saw a new teaser released for the final season of Game of Thrones. The teaser saw two of the remaining three Stark siblings (Sansa and Arya) walking in the creepy Crypts of Winterfell along with the King in the North John Snow. As they walk voices of fallen characters speak individually to each of them. They each approach a statue of themselves in a corner of the crypts and stop to examine it. As they observe their final resting places a cold mist is shown invading the crypts. The three turn to face the approaching mist, with John and Arya drawing their swords in anticipation. The mist continues to approach with the hero’s frozen in place, awaiting its arrival. It is a teaser littered with call-backs and foreshadowing all tied together with bone chilling anticipation. The final season of GOT will be just 6 episodes in length, however those 6 episodes are all said to be feature movie length. Industry insiders expect this season to produce record setting viewer figures globally that are unlikely to be matched in our lifetimes. And all this while planning and casting for the GOT spin off series based around the Age of Heroes gathers momentum.