Everyone Likes It Smooth, of Course

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Everyone Likes It Smooth, of Course
(Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Some random ramblings.

I like Nadal more than Roger. And my best mate just loves Federer. I pester him on this thing, and he likes to pick me.

We are way past discussing statistics since all our statistical discussions get into phases where we do not understand what we are saying—he starts on those quirky game-theory stuff—and I bluff a lot, which he doesn't really realize. (Who's smarter, really?)

Nowadays, we discuss this thing only during matches between these two. I start fist-pumping when Nadal hits a running forehand, as if to say, "In your face!", and he picks me, but more coolly when Roger rips a back-hand down the line pass off a half-volley, saying, "take that you!"

Of course, I love those shots too—how smooth Roger is. And most of the blokes you would see around would first point out the "smoothness"—yeah for them statistics are a foregone conclusion—and it is that additional "something" that is all they need to point out—"Man he could do that—and in what style!". The ladies...well, I don't wanna be the first man killed over the Internet.

So what is it about smoothness? Looking at the literal meaning, it seems to say, "the guy doesn't jerk himself when he plays." Surely, that is true in part. You start a particular move aimed at executing something, and that move follows a "smooth-progression."

That doesn't help much, does it? We started with smoothness, and we come back to it—yeah what some call the " viscous cycle."

Perhaps it is something like music. When you listen to a piece, you like it when the next note doesn't fall much off from what you expect it to be. If it falls off much, you feel like disagreeing with it. "Oh man, it's noise!"

But what if it is exactly as you expected it to be? Well, perhaps you will feel that the guy who wrote the note is no smarter than you. What use is it anyway listening to him? You may as well listen to yourself.

Yeah Yeah, now don't try to get at me saying, "but you enjoy it even the second or third time you hear." Well, mate just note that you may still like it the second or third time, but the same song, "n" times over, well, I am sure you won't listen to that one.

So you "expect" something. Why do you expect it or not...well, I am already fantasizing about this lot, how do you "expect" me to come clean on that one? Anyway, it is always easy to blame it on evolution.

Yes, sounds weird, I know. But if you think about it, evolution always has sounded like, "do what saves your life, and enjoy what comes off as better." Of course, music is not what you need to save your life.

But with lots of people saying, "it helps you relax, clears your mind, makes you comfortable" and such stuff, things which are good of course, and things which could be pictured as "positive," if survival is "zero" and falling into danger as "negative." Being positively minded towards survival, you perhaps "expect" next what is "positive" in that sense.

Don't buy it, no pressure. Just told it so that you may not pester me for having "no reasons" for my statement. As if I needed to give one for "liking" something anyway.

So you expect something, and revolt when what comes off doesn't closely enough match your expectations. Don't know why is that, but perhaps will muse about it at your expense why smoothness of motion maybe thought of as a superior trait.

The smoothness of motion that people refer to needs, "no jerkiness" in motion. Perhaps it sounds like "he did not have to change his plans at the last moment." Perhaps this extrapolates to, "he knows what he is doing. Better, he knows what he is gonna do." Conclusion : "He is superior."

Indeed, Rodge has better anticipation than most guys. Well, make that "all guys." So perhaps there is some truth in my psycho-analysis.

The Rodge backhand is my favourite —yeah when he does it properly, of course.

The single-fisted is called so obviously because it uses only a hand. Now, when you hit with one hand, you cannot move the racket quick enough in time intervals of the order of milli-seconds, to make quick adjustments, only one hand to move it. Also, you have to start the shot early enough to build enough momentum by the time you strike the ball.

So to make that properly, you need to know or calculate earlier than normal where the ball is gonna be. You cannot simply expect to be able to calculate wrongly, then correct the mistake quickly enough, and gain enough of momentum on the new trajectory by the time you strike the ball, when you have only one hand to help you with it.

So, "start early, and be right."

Yeah, I made it sound like not every Tom, Dick and Harry can play that shot. So what? I still like Rafael more. Not every Tom, Dick and Harry can play with his left hand too (insert some fist pumps here).

So, I am gonna take my troubling mate, buy him a Guinness and show him a print-out of this article, so that we will have peace forever.

But know what? I like the Pirate more. And I like the Sampras Slam Dunk more than the Roger back-hand.

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"Long John Silver, You rock mate!"

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