It was a moment of surreal nostalgia dipped in a single serving cup of retraction.
Long before the time when there were lifeguards in red bathing suits educating the viewers to the benefits of running along the beach on Star TV, we had tennis stars with headbands teaching us to stretch our sternocleido mastoids (ahem.. neck muscles, I was talking to a med student earlier today) on Doordarshan.
There were two reasons people watched tennis in th
Truth be told, Ms. Graf was the greatest tennis player ever to walk the tennis courts in a skirt. Long before the Henin backhand, there was the famed Graf forehand. The Asian markets had lapped up the German and a billion walls were dedicated to Sportstar centerspreads featuring the champion. Newspapers carried page long eulogies.. blah blah.
No one in their right mind would, however ever blame Graf for the unfortunate incident. But, it nevertheless robbed us of the greatest tennis player ever to walk the tennis courts in a skirt.
I hated Steffi Graf for the remainder of her career. (Remember the Austrian Grand Prix in 2002, when Barrichello let Schumi through in the final lap? Ah, similar emotion.. different context).
So, anyway.. here I was choking on my dinner, as I see Mrs.Graf endorsing pasta (my brand, at that) on television. I have nothing people against endorsing pasta.. in fact, I love pasta.. we could start a new religion, Pastafarians. But not her!!
What next, I 'd see McGrath out baring his teeth for Haldiram's Rasogollas?
Anyway, let's examine the possible pastafarians in tennis.. get any of the following to endorse any flour food and you ve got this patron for life:
5. Flavia Pennetta: Pennetta is primarily a participant in many a duel with Henin Hardenne including the one when Italy won the 2006 Fed Cup, (inspite of her losing to Justine). Much attention was also begotten from the recent Sunfest Open in India.
4. Maria Kirilenko: Let's face it, one cannot look away from a blonde Russian with a tennis racquet. Another beneficiary of the Indian attention at the Kolkota open early this month. With Hantachova also present, Ana Ivanovic was the only one who missed the party. Pity!!
3. Silvia Farina Elia: During the usual rain delays at Wimbledon, the broadcasters often used to play the recorded matches on Court 3, 4 or some random low seeded encounters. Thank God for that, else one would never have got to see the Italian.
2. Martina Hingis: In the days when people looked for a face for women's tennis with a beacon and a bull horn, there was this magnificent young player who foreshadowed a career of greatness. And then imploded. Horribly tempted to say a Federer gone bad, but then that would be a good thing.
And the crowning glory goes to..
1. Gabriela Sabatini: I loved her. Still do. From those Hawaiin headbands and florescent pink racquet grips.. to the under the skirt returns, the Argentine was/is the foxiest chica of them all. As nominal as it may sound, but objectification is an infamy that the game has never spared the male (or female) audience from.