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2021 In Between Grand Slam Thread



  • Registered Users Posts: 18,609 ✭✭✭✭ glasso

    Olympics draws out


    Hard to see Djokovic not getting to the final - only Zverev might provide opposition. Although it's only 3 sets so being beaten is entirely possible.


    Personally just don't like the way Osaka goes about her whole "I want it my way" narrative and also the borderline if not more cynical "I'm Japanese not American" despite never having lived there since 3 to cash in on the sponsorship in the Japanese market due to lack of more global sports stars (she can't even answer questions in Japanese) so hope that she's beaten but down to the surface choice it all should suit her.

    Post edited by glasso on

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,156 ✭✭✭✭ josip

    If Djokovic is beaten in the singles he has another chance of a medal in the mixed doubles.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,609 ✭✭✭✭ glasso

    Do you think that would count for the Golden Slam?!

    Certainly the Olympics is a bonus more than anything compared to the Calendar Slam which would, aside from getting to 21 slams, would really differentiate him from the other pretenders (that's all they will be in the end most likely in terms of records).

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,830 ✭✭✭✭ Joe_ Public

    Feel for Osaka. She gets criticism in America because she plays for Japan while getting abuse from Japanese people for supporting black lives matter. There is criticism too for not apparently representing Haiti enough. And then she is apparently cynical for choosing Japan even though she was born there and has played for Japan since she was 14 and so had no decision to make. Can't honestly blame her for having the attitude towards the media she does.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,609 ✭✭✭✭ glasso

    Nothing to do with cashing in on the huge Japanese sponsorship $$$ and dearth of Japanese sports stars in global sports so a cash bonanza?

    Yeah right.

    And as said can't even speak Japanese!

    There was about as much chance of representing Haiti (who have never won even 1 gold medal at the Olympics so imagine how cool that actually would be) as the man in the moon.

    Her father openly went out to try to replicate with his daughters what Richard Williams did with the Williams sisters as he freely admits (also had no background in tennis)

    "the blueprint was already there. I just had to follow it" he said of Richard Williams

    He would have seen the massive sponsorship money that Nishikori was pulling in so from a money point-of-view it was no-brainer. Nishikori is now down in the 50's in ATP rankings and still pulling in over $30m annually from the Jap corporates!

    As women's tennis has such a poor standard relative to the mens' game this has now actually been done twice and so actually is possible

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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,830 ✭✭✭✭ Joe_ Public

    A big so what to every word of that. She was born in Japan, has a Japanese (not "Jap") mother and it's fairly clear that heritage is very important to her so anyone can be as cynical as they like, but they can't fully know her motives. She is 10 years representing Japan and still they are calling her out for not playing for the US. Why should that still be a story?

    I'm only reading Tumaini Carayol piece in today's Guardian. Criticised by Americans for playing for Japan. Criticised by Japanese for supporting blm. And criticism in American media for supposedly not doing enough for Haiti. I don't think any athlete is ever above reproach or criticism but there's a clear lack of a sense of proportion about much of this.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,609 ✭✭✭✭ glasso

    you think that she could have put the effort in to learn Japanese to a level that she could actually try to answer press conference questions in the Japanese language (not questions about clay court tennis obviously!) if "heritage" is so important?! (mi hole) and if she (father's decision) is to pocket the many millions from the Jap(anese) companies each year?

    Like Djokovic could even address the crowd in French when he won RG.

    she is 10 years supporting Japan because her father and the Jerry Maguire's advising them saw the Nishikori $$$ clear as day over 10 years ago ffs

  • Registered Users, Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 6,073 Mod ✭✭✭✭ yerwanthere123

    Dunno why anyone would take issue with Osaka representing Japan tbh, considering the money involved it was a complete no brainer. I'm sure in reality she identifies as American.. but she probably keeps that to herself 😅

    Does she actually get much, or any, critiscm for it in America? I don't see much.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,830 ✭✭✭✭ Joe_ Public

    I don't read that much American media or culture, it is something she talks about in her netflix series and stretches back to 2019 when it was announced she would be giving up her US citizenship to play for Japan in the olympics. Maybe she's making it up, maybe I'm really naive but i have absolutely no problem believing her. Maybe people think it's justified, people are entitled to think what they want.

    She also has Piers Morgan as well as the likes of right wing goon Megyn Kelly and their noxious band of followers on her case this week. She has my deepest sympathy there.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,609 ✭✭✭✭ glasso

    Osaka's narrative is full of holes

    After she unilaterally decided to pull out of the French Open press conference after her first match there she did an interview with Japanese outlet Wowow the same day - who pays her.

    Does a full Netflix series with camera crew and big boom mikes following her 24 hours - that must really help any supposed anxiety

    Only wants things on her own terms is the actual situation.

    The statement released through her sister about the French press conference debacle made it clear - she didn't like being asked about being good on clay - ffs

    I don't mind the Guardian but that Tumaini Carayol has long set out his stall as "I'll support Osaka" no matter what.

    It's also a low quality article referring to Twitter posts from random people not even shown

    As for going on about Japan - it's hardly news that Japan has xenophobic elements in its society - everyone knows that. It's a very inward-looking place.

    As for the Japanese thing trying to claim that it's not for commercial reasons is pathetic and Osaka has provided no convincing answer and that article is only reprinting stuff from 2019 -

    “I made comments about it already so if you want to read those comments …” she responded curtly. “I’m kind of over repeating myself all the time, so … I mean, I’m not trying to be rude.”

    Like wow - so convincing.

    Article mustn't have found the actual so-called reasons not very convincing as it leaves it at that.

    Another sign of how poor a piece of journalism that is.

    Must be the only athlete representing Japan in the Olympics who can't actually speak Japanese to reporters.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,830 ✭✭✭✭ Joe_ Public

    Who said she can't speak Japanese? You don't know that, she says she can understand the language, can speak it though not fluently and doesn't feel confident enough to speak in public in front of groups of people. Disbelieve her if you want, could care less.

    And: big frickin deal anyway. A guy spoke a few words of French! Wow, chapeau.

    What I find interesting is we literally created a football culture in this country in the 80s-90s around a group of players, many of whom had never set foot on Irish soil before declaring for Ireland. Most because it gave them an opportunity to play international football and advance their careers. And we defended it, got angry when people called them plastic paddies because we were drunk on the success and that justified everything.

    I was in the rds when Matt Doyle and Sean Sorenson took on JP and the rest of the American team. Great occasion it was. Would Matt ever have declared for Ireland if he hadn't got the chance to play Davis Cup and other events? And no one ever had any issue with it.

    Thousands upon thousands of athletes have made similar decisions for their careers over the years without receiving an iota of the flack Osaka is getting. The convention here seemed to be once players were proud to play for their Jersey and were good ambassadors for Ireland, that's all that mattered. On that basis, i consider Osaka beyond reproach.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,609 ✭✭✭✭ glasso

    Eh, watch the reading comprehension - I said that she can't answer reporters questions in Japanese - and she can't and doesn't.

    Djokovic can speak several languages and French is passable - answers press conference questions and has being do so for years - not just some few words to the crowd.

    So wrong on that score too banjo

    Whataboutery about the Jack Charlton era and Matt Doyle or whatever the feck is mere whataboutery to be ignored so is.

  • Registered Users, Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 6,073 Mod ✭✭✭✭ yerwanthere123

    What flack is Osaka getting though? Beyond a few snide comments on internet forums I see next to nothing. Sharapova got far, far worse than Osaka has ever gotten, and she had much more of a right to represent Russia than Osaka Japan imo.

    You'd never see an article like this written about Osaka, for example.

  • Registered Users, Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 6,073 Mod ✭✭✭✭ yerwanthere123

    I think Osaka has occasionally answered questions in Japanese, but I imagine they're pretty basic, uncomplicated ones.

    Speaking of Osaka, did anyone watch the Netflix documentary? Interesting enough to while away 90 minutes or so, but ultimately a waste of time. We learnt absolutely nothing about her, and it's merely a collection of clips and montages with Osaka mumbling a few lines here and there. Also, the Australian and US Opens are seemingly the only two grand slams in the world and Gauff is apparently Osaka's biggest rival.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,609 ✭✭✭✭ glasso

    Playing the victim is very "in" in 2021 and Osaka is seeking to milk it all for her own purposes

    Whereas in reality she just wants things her own way on her very specific terms

    She has a crowd of "wokesters" supporting her in the media at all costs, like the one who wrote that absolutely poor quality "article" especially since she stuck on a George Floyd face mask but that is merely muddying the waters

    She is hardly unique at all in supporting that cause - thousands of athletes do and many are taking stands at the Olympics etc re taking the knee etc

    "I'll take money for this interview or do this Netflix series or do this Vogue photoshoot but I'm all anxious if someone might ask me a question that I don't like then eh no, that's just not on in my world"

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,830 ✭✭✭✭ Joe_ Public

    No misreading of your post whatsoever but the main thrust of my response is i couldn't care less about it and whether Djokovic can speak 50 languages and deliver a press conference in Swahili. It's zero of an issue for me.

    Whataboutery for you is the exact same principle for me. It's precisely the same thing. Maybe you find fault with every athlete who makes a similar decision for the benefit of their careers, i don't know, but it's easy for people in general to just find certain faults in people they don't like or are hostile towards.

    Not that you or anyone can fully glean her motives anyway. You're just making assumptions along with everyone else.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,609 ✭✭✭✭ glasso

    Very simply you can't just have things all your own way and if decisions are made they are answerable to.

    This whole situation is 100% of her own making.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,830 ✭✭✭✭ Joe_ Public

    I mean, as originally stated, i can't say 100%. It is something she talks about in that doc, you don't have to believe her. I have no problem accepting she got flack, i couldn't say the extent of it. I don't know.

    I also say she's not beyond criticism at all. I said as much following RG, i had questions about how all that was handled.

    The main thrust of my initial comment was about proportionality. She's getting criticism from several different angles, maybe not any one side of it severe but it all adds up. And getting piled on again this week, so I have huge sympathy for her. That's all it is.

  • Registered Users, Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 6,073 Mod ✭✭✭✭ yerwanthere123

    I can sympathise with her to an extent, but I've gone totally off her since Roland Garros. Any criticism she's gotten since or because of that is entirely her own fault. She can't have it all her own way.

    I'm not sure she cares that much tbh, I think she's almost gotten to a Serena-like level now where's she surrounded by yes men and the 'YAAAS KWEEN' Twitter Mob.

    Post edited by yerwanthere123 on

  • Registered Users, Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 6,073 Mod ✭✭✭✭ yerwanthere123

    Maybe we should discuss some actual tennis now?! 😅

    A lot the matches unfortunately run throughout the night our time, think Osaka is actually opening proceedings at 3am tonight. Although I read that she was switched to Sunday as she was needed for the opening ceremony? Open to correction on that. I think she'll either win it all or go out early.

    Barty should be a big favourite too, will hopefully keep the momentum from Wimbledon and is a threat on all surfaces. I fancy Muguruza to make a bit of a run too, has been very solid this season but unlucky at the slams.

    As for the men's, it's the usual can anyone stop Djokovic affair. He's more vulnerable over three sets of course but if he can get to the 5 set final then it should be his for the taking.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,830 ✭✭✭✭ Joe_ Public

    Right, but you say she's supported by the right on yes men on twitter at the exact time she's actually facing a pile on from right wing ghouls because, let's face it, she had the temerity to be young, black and successful and speak up for causes she believed in.

    But anyway, the tennis.....

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,609 ✭✭✭✭ glasso

    speaking up for causes has precisely nothing to do with wanting it all her own way as she has clearly set out - muddying the waters as said.

    thousands of athletes have shown support for BLM etc - it (or other ones like " 'cos mental health") is not to be used like some get-out-jail-free-card and in fact makes less of such causes if it is.

  • Registered Users, Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 6,073 Mod ✭✭✭✭ yerwanthere123

    Ah come on, that's total bollocks. She's getting criticism for using the increased focus on mental health for her own personal gain and trying to get out of the bits of her job she doesn't like in the process. That and being totally up her own hole.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,830 ✭✭✭✭ Joe_ Public

    Jail? I didn't know she'd committed a crime.

    Sure, tennis people are critical of her because of the press thing. Some are sympathetic. But the likes of Morgan and others of his ilk don't care a fig about tennis, like how the f... could that level of hostility be justified by a bleedin press conference? It's blatantly obvious what is stoking that enmity. I think osaka struggles under the weight of pressure and this is sabalenka chance.

    Djokovic is too short to back so I'm doing the double to win and conduct his winning speech entirely in Japanese.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,609 ✭✭✭✭ glasso

    Piers Morgan wasn't asking her questions in the press conferences at RG

    pretty benign tennis journalists were

    And Morgan didn't make any comment until she created this whole situation all by herself

    she's tunnelled up her own arse as other posters have said and using/abusing serious issues for her own purposes makes it all the more grubby and self-serving

    100% of her own making

    What an idiot

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,681 ✭✭✭✭ MisterAnarchy

    Most of those Netflix documentaries are essentially propaganda vehicles for the person involved.

    You are rarely going to get anything insightful,gritty, warts and all .

    Especially with an active sportsperson as they have to maintain the brand, Brand Osaka in this case, one that is manufactured and artificial.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,609 ✭✭✭✭ glasso

    Here is what Osaka's sister said about the French Open press conference situation - later realised that she let the cat out of the bag and i.e. fooked up and deleted it!

    -> Mental health is just blocking out anything that you don't want to hear apparently. Osaka herself claimed later to have had some element of depression in the past yet her own sister says clearly here that you don't need to "have depression or some sort of disorder" to invoke the mental health card.

    “Naomi mentioned to me before the tournament that a family member had come up to her and remarked that she’s bad at clay. At every press conference she’s told [she] has a bad record on clay. When she lost in Rome [round one] she was not ok mentally. Her confidence was completely shattered and I think that everyone’s remarks and opinions have gotten to her head and she herself believed that she was bad on clay.

    “This isn’t true and she knows that in order to do well and have a shot at winning Roland Garros she will have to believe that she can. That’s the first step any athlete needs to do, believe in themselves. So her solution was to block everything out. No talking to people who is going to put doubt in her mind. She’s protecting her mind hence why it’s called mental health. So many people are picky on this term thinking you need to have depression or have some sort of disorder to be able to use the term mental health.”

  • Registered Users, Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 6,073 Mod ✭✭✭✭ yerwanthere123

    Agreed. It was striking how they avoided anything controversial though, to the extent that they completely ignored everything that happened in the 2018 US Open final. If you didn't know a lot about tennis you'd have no idea why she was so glum looking holding the trophy aloft.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,609 ✭✭✭✭ glasso

    exactly - not even worth watching.

    mere puff pieces.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,609 ✭✭✭✭ glasso


    582 athletes at the the Olympics representing Japan and they pick Osaka to light the flame - bit of a kick in the teeth to the actual Japanese ones I would say.

    Renounced her US citizenship in late 2019 to represent Japan at the Olympics.