Yes, no, wait - time for a quick run through the weekend of sport.


Women's tennis is every bit the equal of men's tennis when it comes to producing quality we saw in the Australian Open final between Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova. But...


Women's tennis is not in the greatest of places. Osaka v Kvitova is not exactly Martina Navratilova v Chris Evert.

Serena Williams is the only superstar in the women's game right now, and the heat has gone out of her sisterly battle with Venus.


There isn't a decent rivalry in a sport which only truly thrives on rivalries. That's where men's tennis has it all over the women's game.

The (sports) world will be hanging on every shot when Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic meet in the Melbourne final tonight.

To be brutal about it, not many people really cared who won between Osaka and Kvitova.

Naomi Osaka...riding the emotional rollercoaster during her Australian Open final victory. Photo / Photosport
Naomi Osaka...riding the emotional rollercoaster during her Australian Open final victory. Photo / Photosport

I'm totally supportive of women in all walks of life in the equal pay debates, absolutely.

But tennis is a sport where even one great rivalry can change everything. Women's tennis is not delivering like it has in the past.

Men's tennis is hot, hot, hot thanks to the Big Three. Women's tennis is lukewarm because the leading players - Serena the Screamer aside - are simply not household names anymore.

American Osaka, who represents Japan, seems to be a news magnet so perhaps she can help change that.


Confused about the Black Caps? Absolutely.


India have been fabulous, as have their supporters, in the two ODIs so far. They are a class cricket act, having developed a pace attack to match the rest of their brilliant game.

But why are the Kiwis so bad? It's a helluva shock, watching Kane Williamson and co. being so hopelessly outclassed.

It's not a great look in the World Cup year.

The bowling looks very shaky, but someone like Matt Henry — who seems to love English conditions — could be a World Cup surprise.

Okay. I'm clutching at straws. That's what this is about — trying to keep the faith when unpalatable facts are staring us in the face.

For all of its strengths, this New Zealand side lacks the sort of magic ingredient — think Martin Crowe or Brendon McCullum — which drove famous campaigns past.

Gone are the days when the World Cup meant handing the trophy to Australia. It is a reasonably open contest.

But it has only taken two one dayers against India to take a lot of wind out of New Zealand supporters' sails.

Bottom line: England and India will meet in the World Cup final.

But in one day cricket, anything can happen. Don't lose the faith yet.


Back to the tennis...

Roger Federer-ites despair - Novak Djokovic will, over the next five or so years, come to be regarded as the greatest tennis player of all time.

The Serbian will never be regarded as the greatest to watch, although when you witness something like his dismantling of Lucas Pouille in the Australian Open semifinals it makes you realise that sporting beauty takes many forms.

There have been many players over the years — Ivan Lendl, Stefan Edberg, Pete Sampras and co. — whose ability and records were better than the public perception of them.

Djokovic is a machine. Even his hair doesn't move. The ball almost always comes back.

Once Federer retires, Djokovic will find it easier to win the crowds over. Over time, we will come to appreciate him more in keeping with his stunning ability.

He's had the edge over Federer anyway. Only injury will stop him steamrolling past Federer and Nadal's record of Grand Slams.

Djokovic will be the greatest — we'd better start getting used to the thought now.


The Black Clash cricket game between rugby and cricket players. We don't need another one.


Applause for football's Wellington Phoenix who won again on Saturday night — this time over Melbourne City.

Congratulations to everyone involved — coach Mark Rudan, Roy Krishna et al.

Just when you thought they were write-offs, the Wellington side have become the A-league surprise packet.

The Phoenix will be desperate to hang on to Aussie Rudan, who is in his first major assignment. Rudan has one season left on his contract as do the Phoenix, to prove they deserve to stay in the A-league.

As for the flying Krishna, insiders are still scratching their heads as to why his talents took so long to be recognised as A-League worthy.


Whether the Phoenix are doing enough to survive by meeting certain audience targets is another subject.

Winning a title would be one way to win that argument.

Sick and slick...Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, winning gold in Aspen. Photo / Getty Images
Sick and slick...Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, winning gold in Aspen. Photo / Getty Images


Time again to accept that many things in life, including language, change.

The amazing Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, who has just claimed New Zealand's first X Games snowboarding gold in Colorado, used the word "sick" about six times during a radio interview with sports host Martin Devlin.

People of my generation tend to think of sick as something bad. Before you jump down our throats, it's not our fault. We were taught that way.

Sick, apparently, is something very good to the Sadowski-Synnott generation.

Aside from that, congratulations Zoi. Great stuff.