My flatmate Amanda has a new crush and his name is Daniil Medvedev.
“Oh, he’s so cute!” she gushed to Sharyn at lunch the other day at Lau Pa Sat. She held up her phone showing a screen-shot of the Russian tennis player.
Sharyn held the phone at arm’s length and squinted. “Cute, meh?” she asked finally. “So skinny and white. He look like dau-gay!”
Amanda snatched the phone back. “He most certainly does not look like dau-gay! He’s so hot!”
“I dohn like. I still like Federer. I’m like SPG hor?”
“You wish, Shazz,” Saffy piped up.
Sharyn was undaunted. “He got hairy arms, some more. So shiok. Not like my husband!”
Amanda paused. “Why, what’s wrong with your husband?”
“He got no hair on his arm! He like chicken rice.”
Saffy looked up from her bowl of mee pok. “I think I’m with Shazz on this one. I love Federer! I don’t think it helps that Medvedev always looks so cranky!”
Amanda looked lovingly at her phone. “Well, I think he’s just amazing. Look at those cheekbones! They’re like CGI! Did you see how he just made mince meat of that Zverev at the Shanghai Open?”
Saffy’s bosom puffed up. “Oh, okay, Alexander Zverev! Now that is one handsome man! He’s like one of those Renaissance paintings!”
“Can’t stand him!” Amanda sniffed. “He’s always pumping his fist every time he wins a point. Such bad sportsmanship!”
“Yes, but he’s so beautiful,” Saffy pointed out, “and when you’re that beautiful, you can get away with a lot of stuff!”
What’s surprised many people is not the fact that Amanda has a crush on Medvedev, but that she has any interest in tennis at all. This, after all, is a woman who, in 2016, went through the entire fortnight without once realising the Olympics were on.
“How could you not have known?” Saffy asked at the time. “It’s on all the news media!”
“I don’t follow sports!”
Saffy persisted. “But you must have heard of Joseph Schooling winning the gold medal?”
And without fail, every September, Amanda will be completely surprised that the roads around Marina Bay are closed off for the F1.
“Oh, is that why all that hoarding is up?” she said last month when her taxi was diverted. “I thought they were building an MRT station or something!”
And here she is, suddenly rattling off Medvedev’s average serving speed, his progress up the world rankings, and marvelling over the number of consecutive sets he’s won on the ATP tour.
“He’s a total machine!” she told the coffee lady in her office. “You don’t want to get into a long rally with him. He must be amazing in bed!”
The coffee lady sighed. “Ay, xiao mei, I very busy, you know. I still got the whole floor to serve! What you want, coffee or tea?”
Though as Saffy pointed out the other day, it’s not strictly true that Amanda is interested in tennis. “It’s just Medvedev she’s in lust with. If he played ping-pong, she’d be a ping-pong expert!”
Almost overnight, Amanda’s Facebook feed has been flooded with images of her Russian spunk and YouTube highlight clips of his matches.
“Since when have you been a tennis fan?” commented a friend.
Her reply was preceded by the emoticon of rolling eyes. “Hello, have you seen this man in action?”
Not even the belated discovery that he’s married has put a dent in Amanda’s ardour and fanatical adoration.
“Daria?” Saffy said as she looked at her Google Images search. “That’s his wife? She’s gorgeous! She’s even got a Cindy Crawford mole!”
“I know,” Amanda sighed. “And the worst thing is that Russians have such lovely sounding names. So her married name would be Daria Medvedeva. How lovely is that?”
Saffy pursed her lips. “Isn’t it just irritating how beautiful people marry beautiful people? And have beautiful names as a result? If I got married to him, I’d be Saffy Medvedeva!” She paused and silently ran the name on her tongue. “Nope. Daria Medvedeva sounds like a Victoria’s Secret model. Saffy Medvedeva sounds like a sexually transmitted disease. ‘I just came from the doctors. You know that itch I’ve been having? It’s a bad case of Saffy Medvedeva.’”
The girls fell about shrieking.
That evening at dinner, they were still chortling. “I’m going to be laughing for days!” Amanda promised.
Photo: TPG News/Click Photos