Asian Finale: SO PROUD. SO PROUD!

Under Sam Stosur’s cool shades, there’s a slightly shy girl with a sweet smile. Love it. 



For Sam, Osaka presented a chance for her to not only qualify for Bali, but cap off what’s been a breakthrough comeback for her in 2009 with her first singles title. But coming into the final with a title win/loss record of 0-5, I wondered if the pressure would get to her. 

Of course, it helped that she was facing an opponent whose own title win/loss record was 1-9. 

But despite a double fault on her first championship point, Sam pulled it off. Perhaps getting the title monkey off her back is the first step to a more productive singles career for my compatriot.

Let’s hope so, because it couldn’t happen to a nicer person.



Over in Shanghai, it was all dimples and man-love between Jo-Wills and Julien Benneteau, who defeated Fyrstenberg and Matkowski 62 64 for the doubles title, and got themselves some blades of glory.




More blades of glory in store for Davydenko, who took out Nadal 76 63 for his first Masters 1000 title this year. 

What can I say? For the second time in the last two days – just too good. Davo took each balls ridiculously early in his trademark fashion and rushed Rafa around like a rabbit with acute angles. 

Rafa had a chance to wrestle the first set, after Davo wasted 2 opportunities to go up an insurance break with some easy forehand errors, and then promptly conceded his next service game to Nadal. But not typically known for his tiebreak records, Davo found his mojo again, just in time to close out the set 73 in the tiebreak.

From then on, it was free-flowing, cruise-control tennis. When Davo’s on, it’s thrilling to watch, and damn hard to beat. Unless of course, you happen to be some potato-nose from Switzerland.

And please, let’s get one thing clear: this whole “blades of glory” thing doesn’t make Davo eye-candy. My limits stop at Robin Soderling and Ivan Lendl, y’all. 

Some could argue that it shouldn’t even extend that far. 



Okay, so maybe a leeetle bit cute.




As for Rafa, sometimes I wonder if players ever really change. You can make improvements, add to your game, change strategies. But when you’re under attack, when you’re low in self-confidence, or in Rafa’s case, coming back from several injuries, there is always a tendency to revert back to what you know. Ground zero.

Unfortunately for Rafa, it means that the changes he made to his hard-court game in the 12 months prior to his injury – improvements to the serve, aggressive play, and flatter groundies – have been largely missing since his return. Allowances have to be made for the fact that he hasn’t been physically 100%, but that’s no reason to receive serve from all the way back in Majorca.

9 winners to Davydenko’s 35. That says it all really. It’ll take a bit more time.



That concludes the “Asian swing” this year folks. And Lordy, it has been anything but swingin’.

Half-empty stadiums, numerous injuries, upsets plaguing both the WTA and the ATP, some rather frightening tennis cheerleaders… and all the while, the Marat Safin Heartbreak Train is still headed for that cliff edge

But through it all, we also ended up with the triumphs of two massively under-appreciated Russians, Davo and Kuzzy.


Perhaps it’s not a complete fail afterall, 

xx doots

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23 responses to “Asian Finale: SO PROUD. SO PROUD!”

  1. Mia says :

    Kolya was jerking Nadal around with angled and deep, flat strokes. Somewhere, I hope TMF was watching this yet another display of how to beat Nadal. Players that he routinely schools — e.g., Kolya, Sod, Cilic, DelPo (yes, USO notwithstanding), Misha — or has winning h2h against — Nalby, Djok — appear to have an easier time against the Majorcan compared to him. True, most of Nadal’s wins vs. TMF have been on clay but I do wonder, over and over again — and especially seeing those other games — that Roger’s stumbles may be largely mental/psychological. Sigh, Superman ain’t Superman without kryptonite.

    • SJ says :

      Actually I think Nadal plays better against Federer, the loses are mixture of Fed’s stubborness working against him and Nadal playing more aggresively and standing closer to the baseline, in the match with Cilic he was standing so far back that you could barely see him and with Davo today he seemed to move further back as the match went on.

    • dootsiez says :

      ah, the Rafa who lost to Cilic and Davydenko was by no means the Rafa of 2008 and AO 2009. Allowances have to be made for that.

      If Nadal had played like this during the Wimbledon 08 final, he would’ve been toast.

      I think it’s clear that Rafa may not be obviously injured, he is struggling physically. 😦

  2. Tashi says :

    Irina almost crying at the end was about the cutest thing ever. You deserve it Davy.

    9/35 winners for Rafa. That says a lot about where his game is right now. He’s just too defensive but that’s okay because he’s not a natural hardcourt player so it’s going to take a bit more time for him to get back to where he was.

    Jo/Julien is adorable overload.

    Yay Sam!

    • dootsiez says :

      Love Irina. LOVE!

      Whatever Mirka, you’re no longer my girlcrush! Tell ya to your hubby 😛

      • Tashi says :

        Mirka will always and forever be Queen of Tennis WAGs. God I miss that woman and all her handbag carrying, diamond showered glory. Comeback Mighty Federers! Come.Back!

  3. pban says :

    Even with the head to head being where it is, he is the only one to defeat rafa on clay twice.Plus the double handed backhand helps these guys as well but Iwouldn’t trade roger’s singlehanded one for anything….it is just pure eye candy when it is on.Of course we do have to live through the nightmarish backhand shanking days as well but they are more than made up for by the eye popping halfvolleyvwinners from the baseline …… Ihave reached the last reserves of my sanity from missing him so much.

  4. Julie says :

    Not fair Doots. That second picture of Davy, below the belt IMO. Everyone would look er crazy when they’re screaming in joy (case in point, Fed USO 08!). But how could you not find him cute? The dimples, the fuzzy hair, his and Irina’s joy! I am biologically incapable of rooting for Nadal so anyone that plays well against him has my vote and when that same peson happenned to dismantle the Djoker a day before, well my ovaries take notice! And the dimples…

    Congrats to Sam by the way. Her first singles title. She is going to be on fire during the AO I feel it.

    • dootsiez says :

      hey! There’s hot “crazy screaming” and not-so-hot “crazy screaming”. Julie, you gotta draw your line somewhere! 😛

  5. pban says :

    hear hear,i agree with you wholeheartedly on the biological incapability of supporting nadal.I absolutely root for the player on the opposite side even if i hate him.I know doots doesn’t agree but i am sure she understands our sentiments.

    • dootsiez says :

      aww pban, you know there are lots of people out there who feel the same hate for Federer.

      • pban says :

        I don’t hate nadal ,infact he has way more class than the djoker and muzza but you see Isimply cannot root for someone who is the source of so much despair.Just like Julie I too am waiting for my compensation for Wimby 2008.The tennis gods owe us something big for all the devastation that the calamity otherwise known as the greatest match ever played caused. It was 2 am when it ended and Icouldn’t sleep because of the overwhelming sensation of doom and this continued till the us open.Writing about it, even today Ican feel the raw pain that I endured a year back……tennis gods if you ever listen,then you owe us fedfans big time( and RG2009 doesn’t count as enough compensation)

        • Alex says :

          What about beating Rafa at 2010 RG in the final? Would that be enough compensation from the tennis gods?

  6. Alex says :

    You Rafa haters. He’s a good lad.

    • dootsiez says :

      I second that.

    • Julie says :

      I don’t hate Nadal. I’ll just never cheer or root for him again after what is called in my house the Great Summer Debacle of 2008. Quite frankly before, I was indifferent to him, didn’t like his style of play and was annoyed at him beating Fed at every RG but I was cool. Then RG and Wimby 08 happened…. Let’s just say that I feel that he has to repent/apologize for the pain I endured! I accept cash or defeats. I’m still waiting for my big fat check!

      • dootsiez says :

        Hehehe well I was cheering for Rafa whenever he played Roger back in 2005 and 2006. So … *ahem*, now I regret it. A TEENY leeeeetle bit.

        Last year was different though. I don’t remember ever feeling so horrible that Rafa won something, and that’s because I was too busy being devastated for Roger! 😦

    • pban says :

      yes yes yes

  7. Liz says :

    Yea Sam! That is one teeny tiny trophy she’s lifting, isn’t it? Compared to the Djoker’s monster in Beijing.

    I guess calling Kolya “eye-candy” is stretching it. But he played great tennis that was fun to watch, and he seems like a really good guy who loves his wife to pieces — that’s pretty cute in my book! And I love the way he got so excited about winning.

    I am a Roger devotee, but I can’t hate Rafa. He’s just too nice. It’s not his fault he can beat Roger! At least he doesn’t go around dissing Roger like certain other players we could mention.

    • dootsiez says :

      I love how all the top guys in tennis – Roger, RAndy or Davo – all ADORE their wives. People in this sport are so cheesy and well behaved!

  8. JFK says :

    Wow. I thought for sure Kolya was going to be wiped out in straights!! Apart from almost choking away the first set he was playing awesome. It’s well deserved considering how he started the year off!!

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