The applause Novak Djokovic received at Roland Garros was one of this year’s most touching moments in sport. (AP)
Fourhand is the Daily Spin’s occasional roundup of various hits and misses on tour.
LOVE-LOVE The New Yorker‘s affinity for tennis is readily apparent in two year-in-review dispatches this month: Gerald Marzorati’s Serena-standoff piece, “No Athlete Had a Better 2015 than Novak Djokovic,” and Ian Crouch’s instantly nostalgic “Best Eleven Minutes in Sports in 2015,” which includes the 2-minute, 25-second standing ovation that French Open fans gave to Djokovic, the finalist in the men’s singles championship, and the 5-second apology that Roberta Vinci offered U.S. Open attendees after defeating Serena Williams in their incredibly tense semifinal match. (Good news: 8-and-a-half minutes of sporting splendor remain.) The former has it that “[Serena] had an extraordinary year. Or three-quarters of a year, rather.”
KICKIN’ IT Sports Illustrated‘s Tim Newcomb takes a look at the evolution of tennis footwear over time. Come for the expected, classic Stan Smith history; stay for the chance to learn new words (“plimsoll”).
TECH ALERT Meanwhile, MIT’s Technology Review reveals how sports such as soccer, volleyball, and basketball are seeking to capitalize on something akin to the Hawk-Eye technology that has worked so well for tennis.
ICYMI And even if you’ve already read them, the musings of Kelsey Anderson, wife to ATP World Tour pro Kevin Anderson, are well worth a second look. Among other morsels, she dishes to CNN that Kevin is made antsy by the exclamation “Come on!” that so many pros utter. For those craving more, Kelsey blogs at The Changeover, though she hasn’t posted there since late October.
BONUS Here’s an Architectural Digest story that friends pasted to my Facebook wall repeatedly this month: the visual concept for an underwater tennis court. Aye, leave it to the powers-that-be in United Arab Emirates, even if the rendering by the designer, Krysztof Kotala, clearly shows the word “Basel” on the yet-to-be-built subterranean court in Dubai.
Follow Jon on Twitter @jonscott9.