The Red Man says Happy Australia Day to all of our Sports Fans Down Under and forgive me if I’m a day late and I can tell you for sure I’m a dollar short.   So we say Party Hearty Aussies and let the fireworks begin!

And speaking of fireworks, we’ve had plenty of  Snap Crackle and Pop  at the Ladies’ Championship match in Melbourne Park to close out the Singles for this Australian Open.   Wow.  The headlines in humongous type in one of the local tabloids read Melbourne Against Victoria this morning and that theme went viral like an explosion of pellets from a shotgun.  The hoopla occurred as a result of a controversial injury timeout Victoria Azarenka took in her semi-final match against Sloan Stephens.  The defending champion Azarenka appeared to call for a trainer at a crucial mental moment in that match  and then had trouble explaining what was physically wrong when she was interviewed afterwards. The Tennis Gods frown on Players who cry Wolf.  Shit house mouse.  Even The Red Man had trouble believin’ that wild make-believe story.  So all the Sports Fans in Melbourne apparently jumped on the Anybody But Azzie Bandwagon in the Final.

004

Crowd wildly applauds Li Na when she walked onto the court

and never wavered from that show of support

012

Li Na’s husband Dennis knows this one’s gonna be a nail-biter so he gets a head start

008

Li Na comes out swingin’ and takes Set # 1 in a squeaker 6 – 4

009

Azarenka opts for winter wear due to cooler temps

018

Disaster strikes Li in second set when she falls and sprains her left ankle

020

Medical team to the rescue with quick tape job

but tape can’t save second set which she loses 6 games to 4

021

Why doesn’t anybody like me?  I’m winning up in here

019

Dennis is more worried than ever after Li’s injury timeout

001

Chinese fans remain hopeful

007-001

 What’s this you say?  Is it deja vu all over again? 

Li Na falls a second time in third set and hits her head

002-001

Li Na’s friends wondering if China is being punished for something

006

Dennis can’t watch

006-001

Are you kiddin’ me?

She falls in the second set, the Australian Day Fireworks blow us off the courts

this third set and now she falls again?

005

Whatever.  I’m playin’ tennis.  I don’t care if nobody likes me but Red Foo.

004

I did it!  It’s Over – This one’s in the history books!

002

Red Foo was thrilled! His friend not so much.

001

In the end, the agony is released…

010

… and the ecstasy belongs to Victoria

And so Sports Fans after two full weeks of matches Down Under we come to the end of our Women’s Drama and The Red Man is exhausted from it all.  The Defending Champion’s name is etched on the trophy a second time, and whatever you think about how she made it to the Big Show, she defeated a formidable challenger in Li Na but more importantly she won in the face of a hostile environment which causes the real champions to dig deeper to defeat their own self doubts.   The Red Man salutes your Spunk, Azzie.  Win again next year and they’ll make you an honorary Aussie.

Get me outta here Percy…my nerves are frazzled.