Early night

It was a quickie in Melbourne. Aryna Sabalenka successfully defended her Australian Open women's singles tennis title, dispatching the Cinderella 12-seed, Zheng Qinwen, in about an hour and a quarter. Zheng had benefitted greatly from the draw, so much so that the champ was the first seeded player she faced the whole two weeks. And the Chinese ace did not have what it takes against Sabalenka, who won her every set the entire tournament. The real final was Sabalenka against Coco Gauff the other night, and even there, Sabalenka was way too tough. In the last match, she hardly broke a sweat.

Watching Belarus go against China for the big prize, I couldn't help but hear the voices of my dad and my uncles over my shoulder saying stuff like "Battle of the Commies." Tonight in the men's final it's the kid with the red hair against the lanky Russian. Jannik Sinner of Italy, representing the Free World. No pressure.

It was great seeing Evonne Goolagong Cawley hand out the trophies to the women. She won that event in her native country 50 years ago. Somewhere in our basement there's an old wooden racquet with her name on it. She was something on the court, and she seems like she's still quite the ambassador for the game under the Southern Cross. And with her on the stage next to current stars, an unpredictable women's tourney came to an end.


  1. Evonne! Always and ever, so wonderful!

  2. Evonne Goolagong. Wilma Rudolph. Althea Gibson. Arthur Ashe. Wyomia Tyus. Those people inspired me as a boy. What happened? Suppose I've changed.


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