Tag Archive | Alexandr Dolgopolov

US Open 2012 Day 5 Recap: It’s not exactly over yet.

Another one of the Grandpa Generation is off to the sunset after US Open – for Andy Roddick is hanging up his racquets after US Open.

There’s no way any decent tennis fan would have missed the announcement that one of the most colourful (if not exactly the most agreeable) personalities of the tour is retiring. With him meeting one of the stars of the Generation After Nadal-Djokovic-Murray, Bernie Tomic – it was supposed to be the marquee match of the US Open thus far. Fair to say some expected Bratomic to end the career of A-Rod. After all, he’s 11 years younger (on paper anyway ;)), supposedly stronger and faster, nearing the peak of his game whilst Roddick is on his swan song.

Arthur Ashe was packed to the capacity for that match, nearing the crowds of a final even. If Roddick was to go out, he would go out with a bang and in front of thousands of Americans.

But Roddick was not done yet. Read More…

AO2012 Day 4-6 Wrap: Notable people. (by PJ)

Into the second week of Australian Open. Needless to say, the first week has its fair share of dramas and tears and all that jazz. Since I was at Melbourne Park for Day 4 – Day 6…I just want to put some of my thoughts together. For something more intelligent and articulate, head over to Matt’s mid-week wrap post.

–          Andy Roddick. I’ve never really been a major fan of his, but there’s something in him that evokes sentimentality in me. Basically most of the guys in the Grumpy Old Men club (aka Federer’s cohort) do that to me. So the second round-match between Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt was a must-see for me (went through so much grief getting a ticket, it wasn’t funny). It started well, but didn’t end well. Roddick had to retire at 2-sets-to-1 down due to a hamstring injury. He gave it the best he could out there, lasted as long as he could for the crowd and for himself, but with the Olympic year, some things are just not worth risking. But we did get 3 sets of tennis, where, to me, it was like a blast to the past – two Grand Slam champs battling it out. Pity we didn’t get a conclusion befitting to the calibre of these two. But get well soon, Andy. It would make my year to see you and Serena with that Olympics mixed doubles gold medal around your necks.

–          Lleyton Hewitt. Say what you want about him, hate him all you want but no one, NO ONE can deny the spirit, determination and the grit of this man. A lot of people call him delusional for still playing, but if you’d watch his win over Milos Raonic yesterday – man. In the fourth round of his home Slam, and he was in tears. He still wants it. He still loves this game. And it has been a hell of a road for him to get here today, with all the injuries and surgeries. What carried him through is the desire to get back on court and compete. He’s a fucking stubborn competitor and he’ll retire on his own terms.

Rafa Nadal gets kudos for being mentally tough, and rightfully so. But Lleyton Hewitt’s mental toughness – especially in that last game of the match yesterday – is amazeballs. I wasn’t fazed about the outcome of the match – I’m happy with a Hewitt win or a Raonic win, but yanno what, in the end I’m ecstatic Hewitt won because the old fart well and truly deserved it. Of course, Djokovic is going to eat him for breakfast with gluten-free bread the next round but hey, wildcard into the fourth round. That’s an achievement.

–          Milos Raonic. First match on the big stage, first match with over 10,000 people cheering on your opponent. He was a little unnerved, and the slight stage fright is understandable. In the end, lack of experience and lack of ability to handle pressure in key moments cost him the match, but from what I’ve seen of him, this kid’s got game. Give him more time to develop and I believe he’s more of Pete Sampras than Ivo Karlovic.

–          Bernard Tomic. I hate this little shit and I don’t see myself liking him anytime soon. He’s a massive douche with a huge ego, a big mouth and stupid antics like “faking out opponents” – first Verdasco with the whole “I’m giving up” act and then Dolgopolov with the “let him think I’m challenging but not really HAAAHAHA” act. Look, in the long run, I’ll be honest and say it probably didn’t affect the outcome of the matches but it doesn’t discount the fact that Tomic is crappy. What pains me the most is that he is good. Bernard Tomic can play tennis …and he is mentally sound. For a 19-year-old, he is so fucking mentally sound. Definitely more mentally sound than Crazy and hence he pulled off the upset win in 5. Someday this brat will be at the top of the rankings and someday he may win a Slam and when that day comes, I’m going to be royally pissed off.

–          Alexandr Dolgopolov. A disappointing Australian Open for my favourite Crazy Ponytail. I didn’t think he’ll be able to beat Tomic based on his first two matches, but I still hate the fact that I was right. His tennis had been a joy to watch – mostly – but his mental fortitude needs reassessing. All year last year, he could be playing the dumbest tennis and losing 6-1, 6-0 but yet he still looked like he was having fun on court. Always impassive, sometimes smiling, but I’ve never seen him lose it. Well, he lost it against Kamke and lost it again – MASSIVELY – against Tomic. If he was mentally steadier, he would’ve won. But he wasn’t, and it is what it is.

I hope he’ll bounce back, stronger than ever, and with that crazy-ass-I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude and start having fun on court instead of being all angsty and angry. I take back what I said wanting him to show more passion and emotion and even anger. I don’t think I ever want to see a pissy Ponytail on court again. Bad enough I have to watch him lose in front of me, but to lose in a cracked-up fashion against that little shit. Ugh.

–          Roger Federer. He lobs 7-feet-tall people, at the net. He is hot potatoes. Also, he is a perfect 10 -10 wins out of 10 – when I’ve seen him live. So so lovely.

–          Grandpa Returnerers . Who said 200kmph ++ serves are unreturnable? Federer and Hewitt proved this theory wrong. On Friday, Federer casually whipped Karlovic’s 207kmph first serve across court for a winner. Yesterday, Hewitt was returning Raonic’s 222kmph – 228kmph first serves. RETURNING them…for winners. As someone said on Twitter…#weakeraMYARSE

–          Svetlana Kuznetsova. Girl, I love you but you’re crazy. Like all the good ones are. I still hope for Sveta to win another Slam…#delusionland or not.

–          Maria Sharapova. Serena Williams. Both scary strong and scary good so far.

–          Novak Djokovic. Whipping through his matches with ease, and basically killing his opponents, but no one is giving him a challenge so far. Rusty will give his 200% but I don’t think he’ll even come close. Djokovic’s first real challenge should come in form of Ferrer should he get there but MAN I want that Djokovic/Murray semi-final. WANT IT LIKE WHOA.

–          Zheng Jie. Mikhail Kukushkin. Nishikori Kei. The feel good stories of the Open so far, with Zheng Jie and Kukushkin pulling off stunning wins over higher ranked opponents. And Special Kei – first Japanese man into the second week of a Slam. It’s hard not to get the fuzzies when you read about how hard these people work to get to where they are now. Props to Kukushkin especially for beating Viktor Troicki and Gael Monfils. Last year I watch Dolgopolov kicked his ass – HARD – in the first round. This year he’s in the fourth round (and my wacko Crazy is on his way home WAAAAAAAHHHHHHH).

And that’s the wrap as according to my rambly brain. Onward to the second week. More drama? Definitely. More frazzles? Why is that even a question?

– PJ

P.S. Photos are my own.

P.P.S. A fan perspective on Hewitt/Roddick and Dolgopolov/Tomic up at Tennis Grandstand. I’ll like to say it’s more coherent but I think I also ended up rambling.

AO2012 Day 3 Wrap: Five-setters. They’re cool. (by PJ)

This is not going to be coherent, let me warn you first. I’ve had very little sleep, I’m cranky about the fact that I have to work while there’s tennis going on, and I’m extremely SKDFJSLKGJKSDJFSKD about the fact that I cannot, for the life of me, get a ticket to go to Hewitt/Roddick tonight (EDIT: I GOT A TICKET. IT IS ON. YESSSSSSSSS!!!! Actually in the end I had two, my life is a comedy of errors…).

Unless I want to pay AUD$279.00 on Ebay but I am not that desperate or stupid. I have a TV, I’ll survive. With tears and a big bucket of ice-cream.

(Also I wrote this at work while my boss is away at a meeting, because I wouldn’t have time otherwise. I don’t know how Doots did it on a consistent basis.)

Ooooh the drama from yesterday. All from the men’s side, too!

So. Batshit Crazy Dolgopolov has apparently decided that he will start killing me early in the year. After one five-setter on Monday, he was so in the mood for another one yesterday, performing Houdini-like magic to escape from his match with Tobias Kamke.

I had a bad feeling about the match even before it began, partly thanks to Dolgo’s admission that his Gilbert’s Syndrome may have reared its head, and also because he was no show at his scheduled practice session.

I had a bad feeling when he looked both orange and also a little green in his pumpkin outfit in the first set. It wasn’t a BAD first set per say, he was a bit unlucky with his crazy to lose serve and lose the set. But then it seemed like whatever was bugging him went away, as he upped his ante and played spectacularly to serve two breadsticks and snag a 2-sets-to-1 lead.

But Crazy do as Crazy does – went completely fucking batshit insane in the 4th – played the dumbest tennis I’ve seen from him in a while. Forehand spraying wide, backhand finding the net, first serve lost on Planet Pluto. Truly horrific performance in the 4th, and I was burying my head in my hands, going  “YOU FUCKER, YOU COMPLETE TOSSER OF A FUCKER.”

He got broken pretty quickly in the fifth, and my heart sank to depth of my shoes. I had none of that steely resolve I had on Monday when I was just way beyond pissed and all “IF YOU LOSE, YOU LOSE IN FRONT OF ME!!!”. I was just…sad. Sad that he couldn’t live up to his potential and his game, sad that he may just exit the tournament in the second round. Therefore I ditched him for Isner and Nalbandian…and hey, maybe he just needed a break from me cursing him, as he managed to survive a matchpoint (on his serve) and eventually win the final set 8-6.

Tough task ahead against Bratomic. I will probably be the only one backing him in the crowd.

Also, seeing Dolgopolov emotional and frustrated and smashing racquets is no fun. I take back what I said about wishing he’ll show more emotion/fire. He should go back his I-couldn’t-care-less mannerisms. That sort of demeanour and attitude seemed to work for him better.

Ahhh Isner/Nalbandian. Isner = 5 setters. That’s just the way he rolls, and yesterday was no different. 5 sets, although the final score of 10-8 is a far cry from *that* Wimbledon match. But man, you gotta feel for Nalbandian. A bad decision late in the 5th set could’ve been really costly. We’ll never know for sure, of course, but it he could’ve gotten a look at a second serve…who knows. The umpire’s decision is questionable. He did call the score and gestured to resume play, but it may have been done a tad too quick. Nalby’s time in taking to challenge was definitely much less than, say, Del Potro or Nadal. Still, the decision was made, play went on, and Nalby never really covered from that.

Marathon Man Isner earns himself a berth in the third round and potentially playing Rafa in the fourth. Another 5-setter? Who knows. (I wouldn’t hold my breath though…)

Other snapshots from the day:

1)      Baghdatis/Wawrinka was fun. Would’ve been fun even if Baghdatis pulled a Baghdatis and play 5 sets till 6AM in the morning. But Stanley needs his Ewok sleep, and after failing spectacularly to serve out the match, came back fiery in the 4th and smashed the Baggy serve to break him three times (Baggy went one up and smashed 4 racquets).  But man, those Greek/Cypriot fans were just too much. Cheering on every single point won by Bagman? Heckling Stan’s serve? Really?

2)      Bernie Bratomic beat Sam Querrey. Not surprised. But definitely not pleased. He plays Dolgo next. I will probably be there trying not to kill Tomic, kill Dolgo or kill myself. On paper, Dolgo should win. They both play the same brand of game, only Dolgo plays it better. Unfortunately, he’s also way way WAY more crazy. And he hasn’t been very convincing in his last two matches. Hope he won’t be affected by the crowd in RLA – my one voice will not be enough to drown the Fanatics.

3)      Fetus Fed Dimitrov nearly pulled off an upset, but couldn’t sustain the physicality of 5 sets, suffering from cramps and muscle tightness in the fourth and fifth sets. Nicolas Almagro escaped the fate of Mardy Fish.

4)      Ah, Mardy Fish. Flailing and failing as (Alejandro) Falla fired past him. I do think he works very hard to get to the top 10, to where he’s at now, but his on-court behaviour was appalling. Dude, don’t be an ass to the ballkids. There is no need to give the kid a death stare just because he was half a step late with your towel. Geez.

5)      Delpony – looking in form as he outplayed Blaz Kavcic. Kavcic had the upperhand a couple of times, but Delpony was never really threatened at all. With Fish fried, that quarterfinal is looking very likely.

6)      Tommy Haas, possibly playing his last Australian Open, put up a credible fight against Rafa but the inevitable is inevitable. The tour will become so less hot when Tommy finally hangs up his racquet. That man is beautiful beyond belief. #shallow #perverted #haasishot

7)      The women left all the drama to the men yesterday. Azarenka and Clijsters were especially devastating in their form, giving their opponents a mere game. Ouch.

Tonight could be a blockbuster or a washout. Either way, I AM NOT THERE. FUCK MY LIFE.

Till next time, if I am still alive to blog after tonight/tomorrow.

PJ

P.S. No Pants, you say? Well, have some.

He did not play yesterday as Andreas Beck, suffering from a back injury, gave him a walkover. Cosmic Gods of the Universe were pissed at Tennis Australia for putting Federer at Hisense, I understand, but Gods, don’t take it out on poor Beck. Anyway, Roger goes into his 3rd round match with Ivo Karlovic without much match play. Hope this will bode well…

You people know how I am. I worry excessively OKAY.

P.P.S. I’m writing for Tennis Grandstand as well for this year’s AO. A version with no swear words and less personal emotion is up here: On the Grounds: Day Three of Australian Open.

P.P.P.S. Photos are my own.

Weekly Wrap: There’s still some tennis going on.

Hello, Picket-Fencers! Thought I’ll help upkeep the Fence with wrapping up the week’s tournaments as it happens. As you all know, Roger is skipping Shanghai, and he won’t be seen on a tennis court hitting yellow fuzzy balls until Basel, which is like 5 weeks from now…

HOW DO I LIVEEEEEE WITHOUT YOOOU?? BUT I WILL SURVIVEEEEEEEE!!!! (even my song choices reflect my schizophrenia/bi-polar/split personality disorder)

Anyway. I’ve watched next to zilch tennis so I’m just writing quick wrap-ups based on news articles/tweets/my own random observations.

Florian Mayer finally struck jackpot on his fifth try, beating Pablo Andujar (also known as The One who Farted 8 SPs against Nadal in RG) in the Bucharest clay court tournament, becoming the 9th first-time winner on the ATP tour for the year. He didn’t have to face a seeded player until the final though, with Disco Tommy Robredo and Granola Bar all bombing out early. I have to admit I paid very little attention to this tournament as I’m not a huge fan of clay and the field didn’t hold my attention…so congrats to Florian Mayer, hip-hip hooray.

Now the Moselle Open in Metz, this I paid more attention to, because Crazy Ponytail Dolgopolov was playing, as well as Jo Tsonga and Papa Ljubs. Those three managed to reach the semi-finals as per their seedings (with 2nd seed Reeshie Gasquet losing rather tamely to Gilles Muller in the quarter-finals) – and Crazy faced off against Tsonga in one semi.

I was really really REALLY hoping for Crazy to win this, because

1)      I harbour Wimbledon angst and rage against Tsonga (don’t care if I am being unreasonable, nyaaar)

2)      I actually like Crazy more than Tsonga. I thought Dolgo had a realistic chance seeing he beat Tsonga the last two times they met.

3)      How awesome would it be for Dolgo to grab another title!??! Awesome for me anyway 😛

But alas, it was not meant to be. All it took was a bit of crazy gone wrong and a bit of Tsonga brilliance at the end of both sets, and that was enough for Tsonga to seal the win 6-4, 6-4.

Boo hoo hoo.

Jo then faced-off against Papa Ljubs in the final and laboured to beat the old guy in three sets, winning his first tour title since 2009. This takes him to number 7 in the race for the WTF and he’s looking quite good to make it.

(On an off note, I cannot believe The Berd is still in the running at 8th place. Seriously?)

Over in Guangzhou, and on the more feminine side of things, Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa snatched her first WTA title, beating Magdalena Rybarikova in the final (and beating no.1 seed Maria Kirilenko en-route to the final). Previously she has never been past the quarter-fiinals of a WTA tournament (and if I can be honest, I’ve vaguely heard of Scheepers and never heard of Rybarikova…either this is really a Minnie Mouse tournament or I need to watch more women’s non-Slam/non-Masters tennis).

Hopping across to Seoul, a favourite of Fence Owner Dootsiez, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez won her first hard-court title, beating Galina Voskoboeva in straight sets and two tiebreakers. MJMS is back and making some noise on-court again, hopefully, after a period of time where she had been relatively quiet.

That’s all from me for now. See y’all in the interim if there’s any Federpants tennis news to blog about. I’ll be hoping to update more about the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur simply because it’s my home tournament – but with Headsmashy Youzhny pulling out, I’ve admittedly lost a huge chunk of interest, so we’ll see. I hope Kolya turns in a good performance and I can blog about him winning a week from now. 😉

Till next blog,
PJ

P.S. Y’all want Federporn? Go bug LJ 😀

USO 2011 Day 6 (by PJ): It’s all good…ish.

Today was the day that I finally spent some quality time engaging myself in USO tennis. I had been so flat-out busy with work the past week that I couldn’t afford to stay up late/wake up early/sneakily take some time off work (as I usually would). Seeing it was Sunday in Aussieland, I actually crawled up at 430AM in the morning to catch Roger’s match against Marin Cilic.

Read More…