What it's about.
Two guys, one tennis court, and a lot of emotional baggage.
Shows about things that I know absolutely nothing about both confuse and intrigue me. I don’t know if it’s the taste for the unknown or some philosophical thing like that, but the fact that I know nothing about tennis might have saved me.
All that comes to mind when I think of tennis is - Russian tennis players. No clue if that is a normal thing, but that’s what comes to my mind. I also think of the ridiculous sounds that comes out of others' mouths when they hit the ball... as well as their weird tendency to booty shimmy before serving:
Regardless of every reference of tennis going right over my head, I have to say that my discovery after seeing this play is that I really like Russian people. It may not be the conclusion or moral most people come to, but, you know what? I think I was mostly entertained by the self deprecation that makes Russian people - well, Russian.
The story opens with two guys - an American (Tim) and a Russian (Sergey) - playing their ‘last’ match at the US Open (some big deal tennis tournament thing). Immediately, I am drawn to Sergey, because... well, the accent, duh. But also Sergey’s charm is just insanely funny. He’s this semi-depressed stupidly good tennis player that doesn’t actually have anyone to play for but himself. Huge difference to Tim’s all-American and frankly all-boring background #SorryNotSorry. I don’t know about other people, but I’ll always choose the sarcastic Russian over the all American jock type. Tim’s deal is he’s 34 (so like 98 in tennis years), and has got a family he actually wants to get to enjoying instead of spending every hour of everyday playing tennis. Sergey, on the other hand, hasn't got a sob story to back him up and ultimately just wants to break into being the #1 tennis player in the WORLD.
Keeping count of what team I’m on so far:
Tim: 0 Sergey: 1
Each of the guys have got their baggage, mostly coming in the form of their partners. Tim’s wife is a retired (I think) tennis player who has trouble finding herself as something other than the wife to the tennis world’s golden boy. Then we have Sergey's girlfriend.
Sergey: 1 + one point purely for his insanely entertaining gf
Can’t remember her name, but honestly it’s fine cause she is the equivalent of taking a shot of Russian vodka and forgetting everything. Hard as nails she doesn’t put up with Sergey’s little tennis tantrums and eventually becomes the only reason for his victory in finding happiness in other places in his life besides tennis. Truly an exemplary Boss A** B.
Although Tim has his own stuff going on, I couldn’t help finding myself waiting for Sergey to come back on stage. I think most of it is the appeal I seem to have - like most of people my age - for “exotic” things. Since my family is mostly from other places besides the US (excluding me, of course). I think I will always connect more with foreigners who make references to their own traditions and culture. And come to terms with the fact that it doesn’t mean that I am ashamed of being American or anything, it’s just having the privilege of growing up with a colourful culture. I find that what I got from the show is likely far from what other people focused on while watching the play. Yet, it also makes me realize just how different everyone's experiences can be - even when you see a show about tennis and you know nothing about tennis besides the fact that Serena Williams is really good at it.
Also, I think it's pretty clear I'm #TEAMSERGEY
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