Victoria victorious but not gracious

I’LL admit, I didn’t watch the women’s final of the Australian Open on the weekend. 

I changed the channel after discovering that even with the TV on mute and with earplugs firmly in place, I could still hear the excruciatingly annoying (and equally unnecessary) squeals of eventual champion Victoria Azarenka.

Yes, she puts incredible power into her serves and forehands, but she reveals herself to be a fraud when she unleashes high-pitched gasps of equal decibel levels when delicately placing a backhanded drop shot.

It would seem her boyfriend – Redfoo, of the popular music group LMFAO – is an incredibly effective vocals coach.

Did I mention it was annoying? Especially so when her opponent, Chinese star Li Na, couldn’t be more opposite in terms of how gracious she is with her on-court persona. 

In saying that, Azarenka’s yelps were probably not as cringe -worthy as Channel 7’s embarrassing cross-promotions that popped up during commentary.

I don’t know about you but it just seems weird to me when sports commentators squeeze in lines such as: “Oh, looks like he’s pinched a nerve there! Speaking of ‘pinches’, contestants in this season’s My Kitchen Rules will surely be looking to add a few pinches of salt to their dishes!”

We don’t watch the tennis for that – if we wanted cheesy, forced lines, we’d switch on Channel 7 earlier in the evening and catch an episode of Home and Away.   

CUP GLORY RETURNS AS GIANTS CRASH OUT

Who said fairytales don’t exist?

After a decade or more of the so-called “big boys” dominating English soccer’s famous cup competitions, the romance of those tournaments shone brightly over the past week.

We’ll start with the FA Cup, which is about to head into the fifth round, where Liverpool fell victim to division three strugglers Oldham Athletic in a 3-2 thriller.

Liverpool, which is rumoured to be visiting Sydney later in the year, fielded a slightly weakened team, but still should’ve had enough quality to beat lower league opponents, especially considering the Reds’ strikeforce cost around $66 million!

But that wasn’t the only shock result – Millwall (division two) beat Premier League side Aston Villa, Luton Town (fifth division) toppled Norwich City and third division MK Dons thrashed top tier side QPR.

It really is great to see and results like those are the reasons why the FA Cup has become so popular over the years.

Meanwhile, the cup magic didn’t stop there. Last week Bradford City became the first fourth division team to reach the League Cup final in six decades after beating Aston Villa in the semi-finals.

Bradford knocked out Premier League sides Wigan Athletic and my beloved Arsenal en route to Wembley Stadium, where they will face Swansea City in the final. 

The Swans beat mega millionaires Chelsea to reach their first ever cup final in their 101-year existence. 

MUNDINE CONTINUES TO LET FAUX PAS LOOSE

A few months ago, when Anthony Mundine was trying to promote tonight’s IBF title fight against fellow Aussie Daniel Geale, the controversial rugby league star-turned boxer proudly said that he “needs the haters”.

Well, he’ll be glad to know that he’s just picked up a few more. Possibly even more than that.

At Monday’s pre-fight press conference, Mundine again played the race card during one of his infamous rants and even went back to his rugby league days.

Not only did he accuse rugby league of being a racist sport, but he went on to say that the great Laurie Daley wasn’t proud of his Aboriginal heritage and that the late Arthur Beetson, when chairman of selectors, was being controlled by outside influences. He even implied that Beetson was an “Uncle Tom” – all of this after threatening to boycott the national anthem.

This guy just doesn’t know when to stop. Thankfully, the extremely likeable Geale should know a few ways to stop him. 

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