And by "research" I mean, uh, the discovery that they have The Tennis Channel in my area.
AHAHAHA. Write a poem about Roger Federer, win cool stuff. Unfortunately the deadline was early February, but clearly this is one to watch for upcoming contests. "The jury will be Roger's management team." The idea of this delights me.
OOH THERE SHOULD BE FIC WHERE TEZUKA WRITES DEEP BEAUTIFUL POETRY ABOUT FEDERER AND RYOMA FINDS OUT AND IS ALL, "CHE" BECAUSE HE IS SO MUCH
From Wikipedia I have learned a couple of interesting things. Like that the twist serve is specifically called "The American Twist" so Ryoma making it his specialty is clearly symbolic of the ongoing theme in the anime of the divergence of two cultures and Ryoma's adjustment between them. And also that the zero-shiki drop shot really exists. "Oftentimes if the backspin is great enough, the bounce of the ball will be shorter, and in some extreme cases will even cause the ball to BOUNCE BACK TOWARD THE NET." [emphasis fucking mine.] The Zero Shiki is my favorite of all the tennis moves in PoT. I love that it's actually not as far-fetched as it looks. Actually I just think the drop shot in and of itself is this beautiful amazing play and every time I see someone hit it in an actual tennis game I go all starry-eyed.
One other wiki note: Clay courts are considered "slow", meaning that the balls lose speed as they hit the court and bounce relatively high, making it more difficult for a player to hit an unreturnable shot, called a winner. The Court Under the Overpass is a clay court. Hmm. Tezuka could have picked any number of street courts for the match against Ryoma. Was he deliberately picking a slow court because he wanted to drive the point home that even on a slower court with more easily returnable shots, Ryoma still couldn't beat him? Or was he actually picking a slow court so that Ryoma would have a subtle handicap advantage over him, i.e. Tezuka's serves would be more returnable? I think given that the challenge was to hit a point past Tezuka, Tezuka would want to underscore that with a hardcourt surface, but instead he chose the clay. Which makes me think that the location was more about the seclusion and isolation than anything else. Clearly this is an area amid lots of urban development and it appears to be tucked out of the way (which also makes it really significant that Tezuka, despite Ryoma's short time in the city, assumes correctly that Ryoma knows exactly where it is. They both have probably scouted out and gotten a feel for every tennis court in the city). Tezuka wanted this match to be private. The street courts we see so frequently were more easily accessible but they were more likely to be watched, and while Ryoma could have handled an audience, Tezuka wanted to make it very clear that his message wasn't misunderstood. This wasn't a game about performance but evolution. It was also a game, I think, about trust. Ryoma needed to trust Tezuka's motives and understand why he was asking. Had Tezuka beaten him that way in a more public location, that trust would never have arisen. It just underscores how very intimate their first real encounter was, and how important it was to Tezuka to emphasize that Ryoma's growth in tennis be a private, internal one.
Also, the more I read about Roger Federer, the more I wonder what he's left to rise above. Where do you go when you're the greatest in the world? I wonder where Ryoma would want to go?
And now, your Daily Tenipuri Screencap of Love:
Oh, Kamio. ♥
also, i hate that Kamio beat Sengoku - Sengoku!!!!! and then lost to that random Jyosei Shonan dude who didn't even get to play. Bah. YOU ARE BETTER THAN THE REST, KAMIO.
HAHAHA oh yeah and! re the so-called "backlash:"
HP fans versus PoT fans. Who would win in a cagematch? SUPPORT YOUR ANSWER. :D