Well sports fans, how’s your year going so far? Has this virus mess caused you any great hassles? I have to say The Child Bride and I seem to have managed quite well and save for some age related problems like, “Where are my glasses?”and “Can you be a little more specific, what month is it?”

We have no complaints.  We’re still working on the Travel Cards the Federal Government gave us for petrol and that obviously means we haven’t been doing much travelling!  We’ve just received our NSW (petrol) card so at this rate, that should see us up to Christmas!  The joke about the garbage bin going out more often than us really isn’t a joke around here!

I’ll say it now and then I won’t have to say it again.  I think our politicians have handled the crisis quite well.  By that I mean they’ve listened to the medical experts and with the arrival of the vaccine, it seems we’re climbing out of the crisis at long last.  Our medical people have done us proud and it’ll be quite some way down the track before we can say we’ve thanked them enough.

The big sporting event that occurred is the Oz Tennis Open in Melbourne.  Not many folk thought they could pull it off but they did.  There are always going to be some dingbats involved of course, and for mine it was Bernard Tomic’s girl friend Vanessa Sierra.  I have no idea who she is or where she comes from but it seems they were all told that if they went straight into Melbourne, they’d have to go into quarantine.  I think she thought that was some kind of pizza!  Her life was turned up side down and I can understand that, having to spend 2 weeks in a room with Bernie!  But she had other major problems and she aired then on National TV:  “Why can’t I go to a salon?  I never wash my own hair.  Do you mean I have to do it myself?”  Sweetheart, which part of the word quarantine are you having trouble with?  

Bernie made it into the second round but then played like a spoilt child and with some luck neither of them will ever be heard of again.

There was a changing of the guard in the Lady’s comp with Naomi Osaka sweeping all before her and if I were a betting man I’d lay a dollar she’s going to be around for quite a number of years.  Meanwhile, Serena Williams has felt the cold breath of Old Father Time on the back of her neck and has some serious thinking to do.  Does she retire now and effectively go out at the top of her fame or does she play on?  I’d think she’d probably still be able to make it through three or maybe even four rounds of any championship she entered for several years yet, but then she’ll come up against one of those highly trained, super fit, hard charging and much younger players and probably get blown off the court.  If I were Serena I’d bow out gracefully now, have another child and then set up a tennis clinic and pass on the enormous talent she has to the next couple of generations.

On the other hand, Old Father Time hasn’t been able to get within a bull’s roar of Novak Djokovic and he made short work of the Russian Daniil Medvedev in the men’s final.  I’d put a dollar on Novak also being around and competitive, for several more years as well.

The Galahs  are over in New Zealand at the moment because nobody wanted to go to South Africa where there’s a very virulent strain of COVID running about.  Having been beaten by the Indian Second XI here, it seems now this team has finally found their level of competence in the game because  The Black Caps  have belted them from pillar to post!  In short, The Galahs  have played pathetically and there is now a very real chance I may get the long awaited call-up.  Stay tuned, I’ll let you know.

From Left Field.  The name Russia, their flag and national anthem have all been banned from the next two Olympics because the IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency have convicted them of tampering with a test database in a lab controlled by Russia.  Fair enough but what then follows I don’t understand.  Russian athletes will still be allowed to take part in the Olympics and they’ll compete under a version of the Olympic flag.  I don’t understand that.

Somebody (I don’t know who and I really must be more careful with whom I associate) whispered in my ear a few days ago that the cross-country wrestlers have started up again.  That came as a complete surprise to me as I was under the impression, because the game was in such a sick state at the end of last season, that COVID had wiped it out!  But No!  Like Lazarus they’ve risen again.  Mind you, The Waratahs  (that’s the NSW side) currently look as if their end of year trip should be to the knackery!  To date they’ve played and lost two games (to  The Reds [41-7] and  The Brumbies [61-10) and by the time you read this, they’ll have played  The Western Force  and I doubt they’re capable of winning that one either.  They could even be rejected by the knackery at the end of the season!  One assumes even the knackery has standards.

The round ball enthusiasts (G’day Max) have started up again or maybe they never even stopped!  I don’t know but like basketball and rugby, I don’t really care.  Be Happy and March to the Drumbeat you Hear in Your own Head.  That’s my philosophy.

Talk at you next month,

The Hillside Critic.

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