Morning/evening all. We're into Day 12 of the Australian Open, and it feels odd that there's only one main-draw singles match to be played. Not that I'm complaining too much, because it starts at 8.30 a.m. where I live (in the UK), which means that last night was the first time in twelve days that I got a full night's sleep.
I noticed last night in the comments section the humorous suggestion (yet again) that the Crisis Center photos are in some way predictive of the outcome of matches - and in fact, though they are not intended to be, I believe I have a fairly good track record on that front, which may have something to do with the selection methods.
In general I prefer to spread around the picture glory during an event among as many players as possible, while choosing images that I think will appeal to fans. Thus I take no particular credit for Fernando Gonzalez' early shock defeat of Roger Federer at the 2007 TMC in Shanghai - Gonzo was simply looking rather photogenic (to my eyes) that day. In truth what tends to happen is that I am more confident that as the draw is whittled down I'll necessarily be using images of certain players later in tournaments, and unless there are notable incidents to picture, try to focus on others in the earlier stages, especially if they appear to be playing well.
And so it transpires that by this stage of the AO, there's only one player remaining in the men's draw whose image hasn't already appeared in these Crisis Centers. A complete coincidence, your honour. Besides, can I really post a picture of Fernando Verdasco and the cockade of his hair for the second time in 48 hours? What would that do to MrsSanta's early-morning sensibilities?
Just look at the size of that left arm next to the head.
I wish both players well in today's match, of course.
Have fun with the tennis, everyone. Please hold any off-topic chat until after it's over for the day.
-- Rosangel Valenti