Emerald green may have been decreed by Pantone as the colour of the year, but the colour of the Happy Slam is clearly yellow, as both Nike, Adidas, and “the Others” all brought out cheery, yellow coloured gear as a homage to one of the national colours of the host nation.
If only the tennis was bright and cheery. Day 1 of the Aus Open brought with it a drama free procession of the top players, starting with Sugapova’s double bagelling of Puchkova, who more than lived up to the tired puns on her name. Read More…
Fernando Verdasco has always had game. This much we know, particularly after he came agonisingly close to beating Nadal at the Australian open in 2009. Perhaps a little too agonising, since he hasn’t done anything quite so spectacular since.
13 times Fiasco has played against Rafa and at best, we hope for a slight challenge before he inevitably folds like a paper crane. At worst, Rafa’s air of authority when playing against his fellow Spaniards simply turns Fiasco into a muted, unthinking minion (granted, thinking has never been one of Fiasco’s strengths).
So yesterday, when Fernando Verdasco calmly served out the first set against Rafa with an ace, I was mildly impressed, but still fully expectant of a loss: Win the first set, throw momentum into the wind in the second, and fizzle out with a whimper in the third. Isn’t that how the script goes?
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.
A quick tid-bit wrap of Day 7’s proceedings before we all completely descend into Day 8 as well as Federer’s pants.
For the very manly side:
1) FINALLY, we see The Rafael Nadal Show, as Rafa made quick quick work of Croatian qualifier Antonio Veic, winning in comfortable straight sets . The Rafael Nadal Bakery also marks its official opening, with a breadstick in the first set and a bagel in the third. Oh, how has the sight of Rafa steamrolling through his opponents been missed. And by the manner he celebrated after winning the match, it was clear that he had missed NOT struggling through his matches, too. I know that Veic is “only a qualifier” but I felt that qualifier or not, Rafa needed an easy win.
2) Del Potro failed to exorcise the all-mighty Satan Djokovic, falling in 4 sets. JMDP unfortunately came out just a little flat at the start, whereas Djokovic was all there and all pumped. The turning point of the match was when Delpo missed those two crucial break points in the third set, and from there on, Djokovic pretty much romped home with the win. All the same, I think Delpo had a pretty good run – unfortunate that he came up against Satan, if not he would have definitely gone further. If he remains healthy and injury-free, let’s just say the hard-court season later in the year will be a lot more competitive.
3) Bad day at the office for the Ponytailed One, as Dolgopolov fell to Viktor Troicki in 4 sets, and then subsequently lost his doubles match as well. I saw the highlights of the match (owwie, painful) and I don’t quite know what to make of it. There was some superb shot-making from him, but too many drop-shots. As exquisite as your drop-shots are…if you’re using them 90% of the time, the opponent figures it out, surprise surprise.
Dolgo has the game, has the shots, and really great hair, but…mentality? He doesn’t self-implode, doesn’t raise a ruckus or lose his temper, and maybe that’s what that is missing in his game – as weird as that may sound. He’s a lot about having fun on court. Which is awesome – for someone who has hated the sport (and his father) before seriously picking it up again, nothing can be worse than making it a 9-5 office hour job. But Dolgopolov needs to get fun AND winning going at the same time, because I definitely think he has the game to win. He needs more fire and desire. Although one should consider his health problems but then again, we don’t really know how much that impedes him from playing since he never really talks about it.
For now, I’m still on the Hairbandwagon, simply because I like the guy a lot, and he’s actually quite a sweet person with a good attitude. But he needs to – I don’t know – start upping his focus and his commitment. There’s a very fine line between keeping it fun and not taking it seriously, and I don’t want him to completely tip over to the other side of the line.
4) Toothface Murray – sweeping along with his match very smoothly until an unfortunate ankle incident resulted in him almost fainting in a heap by the net, but simply refused to give up. After strapping and icing and lots of agonised faces, Murray limped back on court. But Michael Berrer just simply couldn’t even take advantage of the fact that his opponent is half-crippled, and Murray managed to maintain his play and composure enough to win the match in straight sets. It remains to be seen how serious is the ankle injury; his match with Troicki will be a clear indication. I would hope it’s not so serious, because even though I’m not the guy’s biggest fan (har har har), nothing sucks more than going out on injury.
5) Skinny Legs Simon took out Mardy Fish in what technically is not an upset, and Papa Ljubs sent Fernando Verdasco packing in what technically is not an upset either.
6) Bobby Soddercakes – breezing through his matches eeeeaaasyyy after a slight hiccup in the first round. By the way things are looking, we are heading for a potentially very tasty quarterfinal with Sodders and Rafa.
7) In the Matches of the Seedless – the Seedless to come through were Alejandro “Don’t Call My Name” Falla and Juan Ignacio Chela. One of these two will be in a quarterfinal…if you thought Montanes or Fab Fog in a QF is kinda BWUH, crunch on this.
And the laaaaydees:
1) No more Aussies flying the flag as far as the singles go. Jarka Gajdosova found Andrea Petkovic’s moondancing a little tad too much to handle, losing in three rather competitive sets. Le sad face, but she has played well all tournament, just that she came up against the better player on the day.
2) Shrieky Sharaporva – back to usual business, dismissing Chan Yung-Jan in slam-dunking easy straight sets, as did Li Na, brushing aside Sorana Cirstea in an equally breezy fashion.
3) Kaia Kanepi was the only higher-ranked seed to not make it through; she fell to Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets. Makarova is lookin’ really good, and may have not completed her seed-slaying act yet. Elsewhere, the stage is set for Agnieszka Radwanska, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Kirilenko (who put a stop to Arantxa Rus’ run) and Petra Kvitova.
And that’s all I have for you today!
Theoretically, Pablo Andujar should be munching on bagels and breadsticks in the Bakery of Rafael Nadal. But nope. Rafa’s round 2 match, although a lot less dramatic than his round 1 match, was anything BUT straightforward.
It’s kinda puzzling to see Rafa Nadal failing to consolidate a break – on clay, in Paris – but it’s downright Twilight Zone to see him failing to consolidate a break THRICE. But to see him down 5-1, 40-0 in the third set was complete Twilight Zone in Alternate Reality as the tennis world again erupts into a flurry of disbelief: Rafa Nadal, what the FUCK are you doing?
Let’s give Pablo Andujar some credit. He played well, very well in fact, to hang with Rafa and keep him constantly challenged in the first two sets. The fact that he was up 5-1, 40-0 in the third set was not completely of Rafa’s own undoing – and even if Rafa was about three zillion kinds of crap in the third set, there was no denying Andujar’s spectacular shots at opportune times helped him with the commanding score-line in his favour.
Most tennis players would have lost the set when facing three set points, double-break down. Not Rafa Nadal. But of course, on the flip side – one can argue that most tennis players would have WON the set with three set points and insurance breaks in his pocket. Most tennis players would have taken at least ONE of the EIGHT set points offered. Unfortunately, not Pablo Andujar.
Andujar choked – there was no other way to put it – when he had three set points, his forehand was landing everywhere BUT inside the court. And I woulda think with that break, Rafa would go on to hold easily and force Andujar to try and serve for the set again. Nope, think again. The games that followed were utterly weird as both Rafa and Andujar seemed to try their hardest NOT to win the set, which sort of went like this:
Rafa: *hits a double fault* Hey, Pabby, I know I just broke you, but here are four – count them, FOUR – set points! I am so nice, no?
Andujar: Awww Rafa, that is SO VERY nice, but I couldn’t possibly! *hits a crap forehand*
Rafa: Okay. Then I break you again, no?
Andujar: Oh, if you must.
Rafa: Many sorries, no? Here, have another set point!
Andujar: Hmmm…not shiny enough. You can have it instead.
Rafa: *shrugs* Okay.
Andujar: My legacy: Guy Who Wasted Eight Set Points Against Nadal! Yee hah!
It eventually went into tie-break, which was kind of yo-yo. They traded mini-breaks before a couple of bad errors by Andujar gave Rafa a 5-1 lead – but Andujar clawed back to 5-4 only to play the most horrendous drop-shot at the net to give Rafa match point.
Gee Rafa, whatever happened to “a little less drama, please”?
Honestly, it’s just unusual to see this Rafa – a Rafa that is less than 100% confident of his game, a Rafa who shank forehands, a Rafa who couldn’t land a first serve, and a Rafa who, at times, just look completely lost out there (against both Isner and Andujar). It’s disconcerting to see him struggling so early on in RG, as shades of Federer at Wimbledon last year flash through my mind. I don’t quite know what to think yet, but I do know I should never ever count out Rafa in Paris. Struggling or not, I somehow still think he’ll find a way to bulldoze his way into the final.
But time will tell.
The rest of the day played out as such:
1) Rafa avoided any significant drama, but not so for Jurgen Melzer. Following the footsteps of fellow semi-finalist Big Berd, Melzer found himself unceremoniously dumped from the tournament by unheralded Berd compatriot Lukas Losol. Melzer was serving for the match in the 4th set, and curiously just lost it. He began smashing racquets in the 5th, but couldn’t hang on for the win, and POOF! Murray’s quarter is as pretty as Djokovic’s right now.
2) Speaking of MAndy – he was as exciting as a wet smelly sock in his own match against Simone Bolelli. But y’know, it’s Simone Bolelli. Served for TWO sets, led by breaks a few times, but ultimately succumbed to Mandy’s teeth and his inability to take a set. So Mandy is through in straights despite smelly-sock play, while Bolelli and Andujar should get together to get drunk and soak their heads.
3) Bobby Sod was in no mood to lose anymore sets this round, outplaying Albert Ramos in straight sets, THANK YOU, SOD.
4) My sentimental favourite Nikolay Davydenko’s Playstation batteries went flat against Croatian qualifier Antonio Veic, losing in 5 sets. I have been hoping for Kolya to upgrade his Playstation but that just doesn’t seem to be happening. Veic will play Rafa in the 3rd round, squashing my hopes of a Kolya/Rafa meeting.
5) Hairbandwagon, meanwhile, is still rolling after Dolgopolov’s neat dispatch of Andreas Haider-Maurer in straight sets. Dolgo most unusually hit more winners than unforced errors, including a ridonk drop-shot off Haider-Maurer’s second serve that WORKED. This is what happens when his crazy works for him. Anyway, he’ll need ALL his winners in his bag of tricks to overcome Satan Bert Minion Viktor Troicki, who was clinical in dispatching Tobias Kamke.
6) The other half of the Ponytails, X-Man Malisse, however, fell against Fernando Verdasco in four sets – in what must be a relieving win for the dude.
7) Mardy Fish is the last American man standing after Samurai Sam bite the dust against Papa Ljubs; Marcos Bagman (l. Leonardo Mayer), Kevin Anderson (l. Juan Ignacio Chela) and Florian Mayer (l. “I Took Federer to Five on Grass” Falla) are among the seeds to crumble on Day 5.
There was no lack of drama on the ladies’ side either. First off, Mama Kim shockingly lost to little known Dutchwoman Arantxa Rux – after serving for the match and holding match-point in the second set. She noticeably had ankle issues but denied that her loss was due to that. She put it down to lack of matches and lack of confidence when she lost the match points. Props to Rux for holding her head together to pull off the upset – a rare feat among the ladies, that’s for sure.
Shrieky Sharapova came within a whisker of joining Kim on the next flight out, losing first set and was down a break to French wildcard, 17-year-old Caroline Garcia. Garcia was imperious in the first set, leaving Shrieky looking almost befuddled as she ran way with the set 6-4. Even MAndy tweeted with an unusual touch of mild enthusiasm:
The girl sharapova is playing is going to be number one in the world one day caroline garcia, what a player u heard it here first.
But as Garcia’s serve began to crumble as the occasion loomed upon her. She hit double-faults to hand Shrieky a break when she was up 4-1, allowing Shrieky to regain her momentum and ran off with the next 11 games, dishing out a bagel in the third.
Even so, girl’s got game, development and loads of time on her side. I hate to agree with Toothface – but she may be a great force to be reckoned with.
Other than that, it was fairly uneventful for the women:
1) Li Na came up against some resistance from Silvia Soler-Espinosa, but still managed to prevail in straight sets, but the other girl on Lenglen, Victoria Azarenka, pummelled Pauline Parmentier into oblivion, only allowing her one game.
2) Jarka Gajdosova survives in straight sets to advance – Aussie men’s tennis may be looking shabby but the girls are still flyin’ the Aussie flag!
3) In the match of Ana Ivanovic’s first-round Slam conquerors, Ekaterina Makarova defeated Johanna Larsson in straight sets.
4) All the seeds survived except Alexandra Dulgheru, who lost to countrywoman Sorana Cirstea.
That’s the wrap for Day 5. Am seriously honestly hoping for a DRAMA-FREE Day 6 – especially where Roger is concerned. Ferd, please stay locked in the toilet and do not come out…forever.
Stay glued to your screens to cheer for the Swiss Pants, y’all!
P.S. photos from daylife.com
To say that there is a fair bit of controversy going around the fact that ITWA has managed to get Roland Garros to cock-block the availability of players’ press transcripts is a massive understatement. I thought about writing something about this for the Fence, but then again, I’m hardly a tennis blogger/writer, I’m in all honesty just a
obsessive rabid insane nutters fan with only a casual interest in writing about tennis. Plus the fact that I can’t come up with anything more intelligent than “you all are a bunch of dictatorial wankers” so I will leave it to Dootsie, who is bona fide blogger and is more eloquent with the written word than I’ll ever be, especially on this issue.
So moving onto Day 3 wrap (Day 4 is well underway as I write this – and Pants had just won comfortably, through to the 3rd round and facing one of my least favourite people, meh).
1) When Rafa was trying to claw his way through a very determined John Isner, Bobby Sod Soderling breezed through his first set with Ryan Harrison with a bored, dismissive air that suggested nothing less than a fast, straight-sets win. Not so. In midst of biting down my thumbnail over Rafa/Isner, Sodders found himself down a break in the second set.
He eventually broke back, but Harrison doggedly hung on to snatch the second set in a tie-break. Third set went Sod’s way, and the fourth seemed to be heading the same direction as well with an early break on Harrison’s service. But Sod soon found himself broken back, and it was neck-to-neck until an error from Harrison’s forehand earned The Yoker the break, and he served out the set without difficulty. Not a scare as major as Rafa’s – but still a scare nonetheless. Hey, Soddy, I need you to hang around a little longer for this tournament so don’t go around losing sets and matches.
2) Mandy Mooray won his match easily, playing French qualifier Eric Prodon. I didn’t watch the match, but post-match articles suggested that he was sluggish and not focusing very well. That sort of reminded me of his match against Stakhovsky in Australia – where he was grouchy and distracted but won convincingly anyway. It’s a Slam – I don’t think we’ll seeing much of Practice-Match-Andy. He’ll be fine.
3) Fetus Fed Dimitrov continues to try and find his ground among the big boys, losing to French headcase Jeremy Chardy in straights.
4) Hairbandwagon rolls on with Alex Dolgopolov scoring a comfortable straight-sets win over Rainer Schuettler, oldest player in the top 100 at the age of 35. I don’t think it’s an indication as where Dolgo is for the tournament – Schuettler was hardly a test. The thing with him is that he plays such aggressive, high-risk tennis that can be a train-wreck (and HAS been a train wreck more often than not all clay season thus far) if his crazy is not working for him. It’s hard to read him for now. I don’t think he’s lazy or that he doesn’t care – he wants it, but sometimes it just doesn’t seem like he wants it ENOUGH. For now, it seems like he’s lacking that sort of drive and focus that one MUST have if one wants to be at the top. He still has time to prove that his AO run isn’t a fluke, and I’m waiting – WANTING – for him to prove that it wasn’t a fluke.
He plays Andreas Haider-Maurer (cool name but I have no idea whossat) next and am I worried he’ll lose? Err, yes. On paper he should win, SO PLEASE WIN OKAY.
5) The Fernando Verdasco who can play tennis showed up long enough to beat Juan Monaco in four sets – exceeding my expectations, as I was sure he would somehow manage to fart away significant leads to end up losing. His year and his tennis has been really unspectacular so far – taking a fast nosedive out of the top 10 since beginning of the year, and if he loses early in Roland Garros, he’s out of the top 20 even.
6) Other Spainiard Nicolas Almagro fell to Lukasz Kubot in 5-sets. Having watched Kubot at AO this year, the guy CAN play but even so, taking out the one of the heirs apparent to the title of the Prince of Clay is quite surprising.
7) Most of the seeds survived – even those that were not expected to, for example, Samurai Sam, who proved that he can still win matches by packing of Philipp Kohlschreiber. Granted Kohli was guy who knocked out Satan last year, this result is a surprise to me. Everyone’s favourite new Frenchie Nicolas Mahut also fell in his hurdle, losing in 4 sets to Kevin Anderson.
8) Shrieky blasted Mirjana Lucic off court, dishing out a bagel in the process. She’s looking good – kit-wise and game wise. Never used to like her, but has warmed to her over time. Here’s to hoping she goes far.
9) Ana Ivanovic – apparently injured – lost to Johanna Larsson in three sets, after serving a bagel in the second. I…actually don’t know how she’s still relevant anymore in the scheme of things, girl can’t seem to string herself together for the last two years. But I can’t honestly say I care a lot about Ivanovic so moving on.
10) Aussie girls continued to roll, with Jarmila Gadjdosova scoring a win over Virginie Razzano in an emotional, heart-rending match. Both girls had just lost their significant half in very different ways – Jarka through divorce, and Virginie through death. Virginie’s bravery and heart was the one thing that stood out brilliantly in her loss.
“Me playing here was a decision from my fiancé. He wanted me to continue my life. He wanted me to play here and keep fighting on the court. With my family and friends here and the public, I tried my best to keep my emotions and play for him. It took me a lot of courage to go on Court Philippe Chatrier. It was difficult for me to be here. It was painful, it was hard, but I did it for Stéphane.
“He had faith in me. He knew I had this strength he also had, and this is why we worked so well together. We had courage. We fought together day after day.
“It’s difficult, especially when you lose someone who was – and who will forever be – the man of my life, whom I love and will always love. I have beautiful memories in good times and not so good times. It’s a history that’s alive, that we built together for 11 years. And I’ll continue to build it through my sport, through my passion, tennis, which gives me courage and mental strength.
Source: WTA website
11) Dominika Cibulkova was upset by Vania King, losing in three but seeds for the ladies remained largely intact with Mama Kim leading them into the second round.
And that’s all about Day 3 from this girl’s point of view. I wrote an essay of some sorts on Rafa/Big John, which is found in the post below this one, so clickey if you’re interested.
Day 4 wrap will come, but not today. As Day 4 is still going.
The death of Bin Laden brought a lot of mixed feelings over the course of the day. Some were jubilant, some (myself included) felt the human cost of the past 10 years more acutely than ever. But above all, if there could ever be one good thing to come out of this entire clusterfuck of the 21st century, I hope that it is some measure of closure for the families of innocent civilians torn apart by terrorism. Not just American, British, or Australian, but also Arab or Muslim.
In light of all this – who wants to talk tennis?
But indeed we should. Lives must be lived, and nothing brings me more glee than watching Dayvo make sweet love to a nice German car after beating home boy Florian Meyer 6-3 3-6 6-1 in Munich. It was Dayvo’s 21st career title and should be more than enough to send him on a well-deserved climb back into the top 30.
In other news, del Porridge took out Real Tennis Fiasco 6-2, 6-2 at the Estoril Open final, while over in Serbia, Satan maintained his perfect record for the season with a 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 win over Deliciano Lopez at the Mama Djokovic Open, improving his match record in 2011 to 27-0. Clap along politely, if you must, as he enjoys an intimate moment with the alarmingly phallic trophy.
27 wins in a row is no doubt an incredible achievement, but just to put it in context:
Wogie McFeduhruh is the only player in the Open Era to hold 6 winning streaks of 20 matches or more. The 1st streak being 23 matches in mid-2004; the 2nd streak was 26 matches; 3rd – 25 matches in early 2005; the 4th streak was 35 matches at end of 2005; and the 5th and longest streak started at the 2006 US Open and ended after 41 victories.
All credit to Mister @naughtyT for the stat.
So yes. Fantastic achievement for Novak Djokovic. But when I, Miss Bossypants Doots, tell y’all to sacrifice goats at the alter of the too-often underappreciated Wogie McFed, YOU DO EXACTLY WHAT I SAY! Oh yes you do!
PS. By the way, Rotterdam could barely prevent itself from weeing in excitement as it announced this week that GOATerer will be joining the line up for the 2012 tournament. Check out the video here.
1. Sing it with me yo:
“Where trouble melt like lemon-drops, high above the chim-chim-chim-ma-ney tops that’s where … you’ll … fiiiiiind me …”
OH, OH! OH MAH GAH! What is that blinding, glorious light coming from Centre Court in Dubai? Oh never mind, it’s just LEMON-DROP WOGIE.
Lemon-Drop Wogie had his predator face on, which was simply magnanimous. Who can blame Somdev Millionaire for falling victim to it?
2. It was an uneventful day in tennis that saw two of the top players in men’s tennis return for the first time after the Australian Open with easy straight set wins. Both Djoko and Wogie won 63 63 against their opponents (Llodra and Millionaire respectively).
While I didn’t see Wogie’s match against the Millionaire, I did catch the match between Llodra and the Djoker, who – as you would expect – looked like he just drank a highly pungent dose of confidence.
Oh, and he did that thing where he makes his limb stick out of his torso in positions that MAKE NO LOGICAL SENSE TO MY EYEBALLS.
3. Over in Acapulco, Verdasco continued to fall victim to Fake Tennis, losing to Nose Job Bellucci in 3 sets. Seems like if you wanted a token top 10 win on the ATP these days, ‘Dasco is your man.
And speaking of Spaniards: who died and made Almagro the Nadal of second tier clay? Almug heads into the second round at Acapulco undefeated in his previous 2 tournaments. Ferrer wants his clay machine back, yo.
4. In the sad news of the day, Super Mario addicts mourn over the retirement of “got mono? Get law degree!” Ancic at the age of 26. I have no idea how Ancic managed to do an entire law degree while playing tennis on and off. RESPECT, dude!)
While 26 is still young in tennis years, Ancic’s decision came after years of being kept away from the game by a groceries list of injuries and intense smooching with mono-carriers. The frustration of it all finally wore him down.
“I can’t stand it any more, I have finished my career. I’m forced to quit because nature has decided it’s time. My back can’t withstand the effort of professional tennis.”
Mario will of course be remembered for reaching the semifinal of Wimbledon in 2004, and a career high of 7 in the world in 2006, shortly before his body found various ways of rebelling against him.
But contemplate this for a second: but for the existence of Roger Federer, Mario Ancic would have a Wimbledon runner up cookie tray sitting at home. Or possibly the winner’s trophy. That’s something.
And I will leave you to work out which year.
Since I took a break after the Aus Open, I have been traveling, frolicking, working, and generally going through a shopping list of mundane chores that inevitably arrives in the last few weeks of my summer break. But with Wogie and his incredible moobs set to return to the scene next week in Dubai, tennis beckoned and I came running back like a long-lost lover yearning for some desperate sexytimez.
Oh yeth, La Doots is open for business again, bitches! Grumpier, pornier and more abusive than ever. AND SEXYTIMEZ WE HAVE. RIGHT HERE: courtesy of Credit Suisse.
And it is also courtesy of Credit Suisse that we have this video of Wogie, speaking about being a success … or something along those lines.
(Actually, I have no idea what he was speaking about in the video. It was kinda hard to concentrate when the top two buttons of his shirt were invitingly undone. Moving on …)
Cheek-pinchers, line up in A SINGLE FILE BEHIND ME. When we’re done with those rosy cheeks, Wogie McFed’s face will be as swollen as his Uranus-sized ego. Kidding, kidding! I love him. And his Uranus.
Wogie: “You like my **air quotations**? Andy Roddick taught me how to use them. Like ‘Andy and I have a great **rivalry**’. ‘Novak Djokovic has **ear cramps**’. ‘Fernando Verdasco plays **real tennis**.’ ‘Andy Murray will **win a slam**’ … oh wait, am I still doing it right?”
In actual tennis news: I have no idea what’s going on.
Except for that fact that Milos Raonic is causing half the tennis world to go ape shits over him and his MASSIVE NOSTRILS. Nostrils large enough, in fact, to contain SORE LOSERS shaped like Fernando Verdasco.
“For me that’s not a real match in tennis. I hope to play soon against him in clay court to show him what it is to play tennis, and play rallies, and run, and not [just] serve.
“I think he was more lucky than me in the tiebreak. He hit the line at 5-5 with a return and when you are at that point in the match and are lucky to put a ball on the line then you have big options to win the match.” – Fernando Verdasco
I’m sorry, Nando. So clay court slugfests = “real” tennis now, eh? Poor Sampras. By your logic, he now has no “real” slams and 14 phoney, counterfeit ones. Wogie only has one of the real deal. And your pal Rafael Nadal fares better, but hey, poor him too! I mean, what was he THINKING? Going off to improve his serve for surfaces people outside Spain actually give a shit about.
As for Raonic, we’ve been waiting so long for the next generation of tennis players to “arrive” that you almost expected a degree of hype and backlash against any new kid on the block, and I’ve seen evidence of both.
Personally, I neither like nor dislike Raonic. His style of play – efficient and no-frills as it may be – ultimately boils down to the serve, the IN-YO-EFFING-FACE mentality and a healthy dose of je ne sais quoi. It’s not artistic, it’s not spectator-oriented. You won’t catch any Rafa-like gets or Federersque stunts. But dude knows how to win. What more do you want?
And in any case, we can do a lot worse for this sport than a straight-talking, big-serving breakout kid from a North American country starved of tennis darlings. But perhaps it’s best that we all wait until the hype and backlash die down before we decide whether to book a seat on the Raonic bandwagon.
Oh, and in case you’ve been living under a rock:
- Raonic is in his second ATP final this week in Memphis against Roddick, who took out the So-Top-200 Juan Martin del Poop for the first time in his career.
- Cilic and Kuznetsova kept on winning after the Australian Open for a change, and are both in tournament finals this week (Marseille and Dubai respectively).
- Soderling is in yet another final in France (Marseille). Dude should just be given honourary citizenship there.
- On the vaginal side of things, Carol was like the No 1, then Kim was like “the real No 1”, then Carol was, like, back to No 1, and all the while I was like, No 1 in my lunch box.
And here’s what you missed in the last 3 weeks.
A couple of days late, but I thought I’ll just string a post to try and keep the AO2011 posts sort of complete.
Day 3 of the tennis…well we all know what happened Day 3 of the tennis. Roger got taken to five sets by Gilles Simon after being up two sets to love. That was one match that I would not have survived live, I barely survived it watching the TV. However, there ARE people who survived it live, and Head Bitch is one of them. Read her fabulous on-the-spot account as a guest blogger on the SI Blog here, and trust me when I say you really really should.
As for my own account…well. The first set he was playing so well, and second set as well although he did get broken that one time. But there was nothing to signify that Wogiekins would not win this in straights, in fact I was pretty much certain he would. And then Simon upped his level. TREMENDOUSLY. And Federer responded by dropping his level, proceeded to get broken three times (although he broke back twice, but that was not nearly enough innit?) to drop the set.
Truth be told, Simon has always been tricky (2-0 H2H, anyone?) and I wasn’t freaking out too much…until Simon just kept blazing this balls past Federer. Until Federer very visibly began panicking and making stupid shot selections and lost his forehand and backhand. Until he got broken in the fourth. Until he lost the set and got pushed to a fifth. Then I couldn’t take it. It was nearing midnight and I went out for a run in the gardens. Yeah, the possums probably thought I am some crazy insane retard. I came back when it was 2-all, and I literally couldn’t watch it. I couldn’t bear the thought of Roger going out second round, plus I have Sunday tickets and Tuesday quarterfinals, what the fuck am I going to do with those tickets otherwise? I seriously do not think I could enter Melbourne Park again for any kind of tennis knowing he lost in the fucking SECOND ROUND.
When he broke, I was nearly weeping with relief and yet so worried that he was going to get broken back. When he didn’t, all was good. When he held those three match points on Simon’s serve and didn’t manage to close it out, all was not good. When he got to match point and played the most stupid dropshot, all was VERY BAD. When he closed out the match with an ace, I felt like I had just run ten marathons. But he was through. That was all that matters.
Other tidbits and observations of Day 3:
1) Tipsarevic served for the match TWICE against Verdasco, blew both chances, blew the tiebreaker, blew the fifth set. Yes, Tipsarevic really blows.
2) Kohlscrubber didn’t manage to scrub out the Berd-shit despite taking the first set. But Berdych came back to take the match in four sets. Evidently it was some powerful pigeon shit.
3) Dimitrov – the 345843th Baby Fed – got taken out by Concubine Fed (Wawrinka) in straights. But it has been a good tournament for him, and I honestly do like the guy’s game. Hope to see him reach a landmark in his career soon.
4) Mahut lost to Bert Minion Troicki (who then proceeded to retire against Master Bert, WTF). But Mr. Amazing Anime Hair has gained some points through this tournament, so I hope he’ll be able to make the main draw of slams soon.
5) After beating Davydenko, Florian Mayer crashed out against Nishikori Kei. Dude, you beat Kolya and lost to Nishikori? If you want to.
6) Roger’s potential 4th round opponent, fondly known as Farty Dish on le Fence, lost to Disco Tommy R. Can’t say I’m surprised. The Fish is just not consistent at all.
7) Venus pulled a stomach muscle against Scream Girl Zahlavova (boy her screaming was…ear splitting, deafening, screechy) and lost the first set in a tiebreak, but quickly came back to win the match, serving a bagel in the process. And oh, her dress was truly horrifying and kind of very ugly.
And some Day 4 tidbits and observations from yours truly:
1) Rafa had another slam dunk easy yahoo sleepy match against Ryan Sweeting, giving up only 4 games. Critics say Rafa is in imperious scary form. He may be so, but seriously, you cannot make that assumption based on those two matches.
2) Deliciano was definitely not delicious in losing to Bratface Tomic in STRAIGHT sets. Bratface reckons he’ll “give Rafa a run for his money”. I say to all of those who will be at RLA tomorrow evening, bring a bread bag to collect freshly baked goods from centre court, courtesy of Rafa.
3) Mandy Curry was curiously emotional and grouchy while steamrolling Ilya Marchenko.
4) Nalbandian retired against Berankis after only winning one game. Couldn’t go on, said he was too tired, and too drained. I can picture Lleyton Hewitt dialing CALL-A-HITMAN…
5) Del Potro put up a fight against Baghdatis, but too little match-play, and a wrist that he was clearly still very concerned about (hence it may not be 100%) saw him exiting in 4 sets. Bagman got the win, and his fans are as annoying as ever.
6) Bobby Sod continued flying under radar, beating Gilles Muller and achieving his best ever result at Australian Open.
7) Sammy Stosur put up a wonderful display to trounce Dushevina. She’s looking good, and I hope she’ll go far.
8) Other Aussie Molik lost to Nadia Petrova, exiting what may be her last Australian Open. Been a decent run for her.
9) Jankovic unexpectedly lost to Peng Shuai in straight sets. That is a bit flabbergasting, in my opinion.
And that’s all I have to say regarding Day 3 and Day 4. Will try to write a Day 5 post before tomorrow. Caved in and bought ground passes for Day 6…good matches on Margaret Court Arena that I am kinda stoked about.
Hope y’all are enjoying the tennis!
P.S. Photos from daylife.com