Australian Open Tennis: Head v Heart

John Harms is letting his heart rule when looking for the winners at the tennis. He’s followed a few out of loyalty over the years – and not just tennis players. Any on your radar?

About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears (appeared?) on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three school-age kids - Theo, Anna, Evie. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst four. His ambition was to lunch for Australia but it clashed with his other ambition - to shoot his age.


  1. Been watching the Fed on the TV here in Yarrawonga. Would watch him just to see that backhand. Why do his opponents think it is a weakness. It’s one of the best skill executions in modern sport.

    I hope he wins.

  2. Gets my vote for stillest head. Would love a John Baker analysis of the biomechanics. Also gets my vote for aesthetically pleasing. Maybe it’s a Swiss thing? IN the dying stage the other night Wawrinka hit two of the best backhands in history – and lost.

    Trust you’re pedalling hard to keep the generator going for the TV.

    I believe the Cats are training the house down.

  3. Andrew Starkie says

    I watched Stan v Novak from start to finish. I was tired and wanted to go to bed but just couldn’t turn it off. So many ‘wow’ moments. That’s when sport is great.

    What I saw of Rog v Jo last night was simply beautiful. Two of the most attractive sportspeople to watch in the world. You’re right about Rog’s head, it is so still, like the TV is on pause. I missed the second set because I watched the Bee Gees doco on ABC which was great. They came across as genuine, good people. Robyn’s last quote was ‘How lucky I am I get to work with my brother every day’. He passed away after the film was made.

    I like Ferrer for his honesty. You can feel his love of the game.

    Saw the end of Sloane and Serena. The emergence of a new star is always exciting. I only caught a grab from Serena’s presser where she appeared as rude as usual. She isn’t a good advertisement in some ways.

  4. John Baker says

    The Fed and Stan do have a couple of the best backhands in tennis. There should be points awarded for aesthetically pleasing shots so as backhands like these get rewarded. It happens in ski jumping. I was watching the Fed’s match on Monday night with a mate who coincidentally now lives in Switzerland and an idea we had was the aesthetes should start every game 15-0 up.

    More to come on the biomechanics.

    I also hear the Tiges are training the house down.

  5. John Harms says

    I like that idea JB.

    Does that mean that Geelong circa1985 should have started matches 2.3 to 0.0.

  6. John Baker says

    It does if Richmond was able to start at 2.7 in the ’82 Grand Final.

  7. Skip of Skipton says

    Roger is a big fan of cricket I read.. (His mum is South African). He has to be reaching peak likeable!

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