When watching tennis physically hurts

Friday Funnies strap 2-2

Let’s be honest. The changing of the men’s tennis guard happened some time ago but we’ve all been in denial. A bit like Eric Abetz about his new boss.

Whenever Roger Federer takes the court against Novak Djokovic, we still want to believe it’s 2006. So this is how we felt about the first two sets of last night’s semi-final.

It was a completely different ball game when the Joker took on Gilles Simon earlier in the week, with the world No. 1 racking up 100 unforced errors during a marathon Lleyton.

A fair portion of said boo-boos came from drop shots that failed to clear the net, prompting this exchange with a fan during the post-match interview.

Simon had his own thoughts on the Joker’s dominance of the game. “We’re all tanking,” he says. “Novak is nothing in reality. We’re all fixing.”

Britain’s Johanna Konta was a surprise Aussie Open semi-finalist and revealed her mystery extends well beyond the game.

Quizzed about her citizenship status, the Australian-born Konta answered: “Actually I am a tri-citizen, I’ve got a Hungarian passport as well. I’m pretty much the female version of Jason Bourne.”

Which means tennis is the least of her talents.

Meanwhile, England’s new rugby coach Eddie Jones is busy getting rid of any trace of Hollywood from the team’s training base in Surrey.

Jones has removed an inspirational quote from Arnold Schwarzenegger from the wall of England’s high performance centre.

It’s not one of the star’s best quotes: “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”

But Jones says it’s not the quality of the quote that has led to its removal. “I’m not a big fan of his movies,” he says.

And what does Arnie have to say about this?

Over to cricket and Aussie legend Jeff Thomson brought the house down when he was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame this week.

Thommo, now 65, lamented how everything shrinks as you get older. But his new glasses apparently ‘magnify everything’, something that pleased him no end when he went to the loo.

“I was pretty happy with what I had down there,” he told the audience. “I’ve just got to get a pair for my wife!”

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Aussie cricket captain Steve Smith fired off some unintentional humour of his own when he had a crack at Indian star Virat Kohl for his wild celebration after taking a catch from Smith in a T20 international.

Given the Australian team’s send-offs of opposing batsmen, I’m not sure we’re in a position to have a go at anyone.

But we’ve got to hand it to ground announcer Mark McLeod for the welcome he gave Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Amir during a T20 international against New Zealand.

Amir has just returned to the game after serving a five-year ban for his role in a spot-fixing scam in 2010.

McLeod greeted Amir with the sound of a cash register opening. New Zealand Cricket has apologised to the Pakistan team.

Former World Sailing CEO Peter Sowrey, who lasted just five months in the job, revealed this week he was sacked because he wanted to shift the Olympic sailing from Rio’s stinky Guanabara Bay.

Which prompted ESPN Radio to issue this challenge to International Olympic Committee members.

“To any member of the executive of the International Olympic Committee who will travel to Rio and take a swim in this water, spend one hour in this water with your family, I will pay the expenses,” said host Mike Greenberg.

To date, there have been no takers.

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The austerity approach being brought to the Rio Olympics seems to be catching.

The Los Angeles 2024 Olympic bid team has dropped plans to build a $1 billion athletes village, opting to use the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) campus instead.

That’s right, they’ll be putting the athletes up in a frat house.

Normally, the story of half a professional cycling team being hospitalised by a motorist driving on the wrong side of the road would have trouble making it into Friday Funnies.

But then Giant-Alpecin racer Chad Haga started live tweeting his recovery from his hospital bed and it’s hilarious.

Haga was airlifted to hospital with serious head and neck injuries but can obviously see the funny side of things.

Washington DC police were busy building community spirit during the week’s blizzard, joining the locals for a game of footy.

And here’s what the long arm of the law looks like when it’s bonding with the public.

 

And finally, meet Ludivine. She’s a young hound dog. And quite the runner as it happens.

Ludivine was let out of the house for a pee and ending up joining the inaugural Trackless Train Trek Half Marathon. She finished seventh.

Her owner April Hamlin was gobsmacked. “I can’t believe she ran the whole half marathon because she’s actually really lazy,” she said.

Have a good weekend, everyone. Try not to accidentally run a marathon.

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