Tag Archive | Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

US Open Second Week Preview (by Matt)

Rather than look at the order of play for each day – come on, what’s to say about that Tipsarevic-Ferrero match or that Kerber-Pennetta quarterfinal? (others can guest blog-post on those kinds of matches…) – I prefer to look at the entire second week of a major tournament.

The storylines?

Sure, we can start in the fourth round, but let’s then work through the rest of the week to provide an overview of the stakes in New York for several different kinds of players.

So, about that fourth round: Fish versus Tsonga. That’s the match the Picket Fence will be leaning on. It’s a fascinating match, and it is rightly the third match of the day session on Ashe Stadium, meaning that it’s being treated as the featured match of the day by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and CBS television, the American broadcast network which chooses the matches it wants for the three-day holiday weekend.

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You lose. I lose. Remember?

Even by my own not-so-lofty standards, I was as zen as a little ninjaaaa about Woger’s loss.

You lose, I lose. Remember?

Oh, don’t get me wrong: he was sucky. He was shanky. His forehand played PEEKABOO all match. He impersonated Furderer, Olderer, Shankerer, Failederer, Declinerer, Douchbaggerer, Cantconvertbreakpointerer. He channeled all his turdy alter egos to perfection and sucked hard, harder than a GIANT, SUCKING, OCTOPUS. And I am so, so sick of him looking delicious and playing revolting.

But being the incredibly petty person that I am, I take comfort in my prepubescent mentality that it’s okay if we suck a little, AS LONG AS EVERYONE ELSE SUCKS MORE.

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Philosophy 179 – Yes, It’s A Graduate School Course

Dear Picket Fencers,

Honesty is not always the best policy. There are moments in life when other people aren’t ready to handle tough truths, moments when the soothing or polite lie is necessary.

This is not one of those times.

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RG2011 Day 4 (by PJ): A Recap as Quick as Federer’s Match

So. How hot was Woger McFed yesterday? Almost as hot as the chilli peppers his red shirt is modelled after? Hotter even? YESH.

Pants was in no mood to be stretched yesterday, breezing through his second-round match on sunny Lenglen over French wildcard Maxime Teixeira in very comfortable straight sets. There was a slightly dodgy and wobbly moment from Fed in the first set, when he failed to consolidate an early break (which Teixeira donated with two double-faults – understandably overwhelmed by the man across the net), but after that, it was pretty much The Roger Federer Show.

Reeling off 13 games in a row and dishing out a bagel in the second, a pretzel in the third, Roger smacked 33 winners to Teixeira’s 15, and produced a nice, dazzling little show for the Lenglen crowd, all wrapped up before lunchtime.

It’s okay, Teixeira, you may not be as hot as Federer – looks wise and game-wise – but you’re cute in your own way. And from what I’ve seen of him yesterday, he has a good game to work with, so watch out for him on the circuit.

Because I have nothing more constructive to say about the match – other than it is wonderfully relaxing to see Fed in his flowy, ballet-y, non-Ferdy mode, have some porn pictures instead.


Probably the only time in my life I wish I’m a towel.

By the way, Tennis Gods – if you let all his matches be frazzle-free LIKE THIS all the way to him lifting Coupe des Mousquetaires – I’ll give you my first born. And blood. Basically, yanno, WHATEVER YOU WANT.

Ahem. Anyway, onto the rest of the field:

1)      Lord Farquaad Ferrer, Fed’s fairly feisty (potentially) QF opponent of the future, dumped Julien Benneteau in straights, as expected. Yep, it’s all working fineee for little Daveeeed.

2)      Benneteau’s French compatriots did better though – Gael Monfils, Reeshie “Baby Fed” Gasquet and Jo-Wills Tsonga all through to the third round. La Monf and Reeshie had to showcase some French headcasey-ness before winning though – Monf was served a breadstick by unheralded Guillaume Rufin and Reeshie dropped the first set to Marcel Granola Bar before winning in four. The last Frenchie in action, Stephane Robert, however, bowed out to Fab Fog in straights – as expected, he didn’t go far after scalping Big Berd.

3)      Victor Hanescu did well to hang with Djokovic neck to neck until the point when he was serving to stay in the set – he blinked, and it was all over. Not that it matters in the end, because he was forced to retire in the third set with a leg injury.  So the Satanic Streak lives for another day.

4)      Comeback Kid Del Potro on his comeback trail, blasted past Blaz Kavcic, and despite a small struggle at the end of the third, he prevailed to take the match in straight sets. He’s next presented with the chance to perform some exorcism, as he meets Satan Djokovic next in what was touted as the Mother of All 3rd Rounds.

5)      Fed’s third round opponent would be Janko Tipsarevic, after he disposed of Pere Riba in straights. Urm, I’ll frazzle about that tomorrow.

6)      Other men’s seeds survived the day as well, notedly Other Swiss Ewok Wawrinka and Headclobber Youzhny. Belgian qualifer Steve Darcis scored another surprise win over higher-ranked Philipp Petzschner.

7)      Aussie laydees continued their run, with Slammin’ Sammy flattening Simona Halep and Anastasia Rodionova overcoming Edina Gallovits-Hall. Y’know, I may be deluded but I am really hoping to see Sam in the final, and perhaps finally overcoming The Finals Demon to take the trophy. But, long way to go yet.

8)      Sabine Lisicki was on the verge on creating a huge upset when she was serving for the match against Vera Zvonareva, but then injury and cramps settled in. She eventually lost the third set 7-5 and was in so much pain that she was carried off court in a stretcher. Props to her for not retiring, but it’s truly painful to see a once-promising player hampered by so many injuries/physical ailments.

9)      Milos Raonic may have lost, but Rebecca Marino continues to fly the Canadian flag, beating Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in three sets. There may come a day yet, when Canadian tennis will outshine American tennis…possibly…

10)       Most of the seeds, including Kangaroo Woz, Franny Schiavone and Svetlana Craaaaay are all comfortably through to the next round.

11)      And oh, a little tribute to the doubles pair that I actually care about: The Ponytails Express of Dolgopolov/Malisse dumped the 12th seeds Mark Knowles/Michal Mertinak. Roll on, Ponytails!

That’s the wrap for Day 4! Enjoy Day 5, y’all! Will Andujar pull an Isner? Can Bolelli pull off an upset Will Verdasco’s Hair outplay Malisse’s Ponytail Bun? Will the eccentric and erratic Dolgopolov be able to at least match his result from his debut French Open last year? Intriguing!

(For the record – my answers: NOPE, HAHA NO, MAYBE WHO KNOWS, OH GOD PLEASE WIN)

– PJ

Miami Players Party: Y/N

Sometimes, a mighty, barf-inducing PICSPAM is the only appropriate thing to do. So indulge me, if you could, in a simple game of Yes/No, Yay/Nay, Oui/Non … UNF/URGH!

Well, they say a picture paints a thousand words, so I shall say no more. It’s Miami, it’s tennistical, and IT IS A FASHION-DISASTUHHHH.

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JJ

group

Vika

Vera

ANNAKAY

Vee

Feli

Tsonga

Isn’t it refreshing when a teenager dresses like a teenager? Did Laura Robson get the memo?

Oudin

Hello, I am Sweet Caroline and I just crawled out of a cabbage patch.

Carol

First and last time I’ll say this about Ferrer…

Ferrer

Just the clothes. I swear.

Czechitout

hang on

Swuss

udderly awesome

swisscheese

wally

suitedwodge

(Watermarked photos courtesy of Tennis Panorama)

Tennis Fashion: Australian Open 2011, the Adidas Kids.

Yes. There is an outdated and fastly-irrelevant “real” tournament on right now known to many as the Davis Cup, but for most of the non-French and non-Serbian players, the Australian Open is the next thing on the horizon. (Yes, you Davis Cup diehards just stabbed me in slow-mo in your head).

So in the spirit of “How-Many-Weeks-Til-Real-Tennis-Starts-Again?”, here’s a review of what the Relevants are wearing next Australian Open.

And to relish the irony, I shall open this post about the Relevants with a photo of Ana Ivanovic and Dani Hantuchova.

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Not a huge fan of the green and purpose combo, but at least it does not burn retinas. But my problem with the dress has nothing to do with the colours: in what universe do breast-zips serve any functional, decorative-or-otherwise purpose?

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But it’s okay really, especially considering the acidic, clashing colours Adidas has for its cover girls at Roland Garros …

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And as we talk about Adidas’ many failures, starting a collaboration with Stella McCartney must be ranked near the top somewhere. Caroline Wozniacki’s outfit at Australian Open 2011:

UPDATE – sorry, the blue dress was for Roland Garros. Looks like we’re stuck with this for the Australian Open, which isn’t too bad.

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Henin, Dinara, MariKiri. The same old designs every year. Only this time, Adidas thought it would be a great idea to use pink-and-green outside the strictly Christmas season.

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Continuing the watermelon-themed outfits …

VerdascoTsonga

(I miss Jo-Willy. That is all)

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What are the chances that Ahndee Mooray wears those outfits for the entire season in 2011?

xx doots

Vidspam: Moobies alert.

Roland Garros, please keep’em comin’.

Kei Nishikori, a bitch for JPop.

I think Roger and Rafa should be in this. I think they should sing this song. y/y?

[I love how Danny had already resigned to Sandy being a prude, but the moment she turns up a skank, HE GETS ALL EXCITED. Roger should be the skank, obviously. I SEE IT IN MY HEAD YO!]

But alas, we get no such thing.

Roland Garros Day 4: I will follow you into the dark…

We’ve only completed 4 days of play at Roland Garros and already, drama abounds, tempers are flaring … and the crowd? Just as vocal as ever.

All these elements came to an unfortunate mix during the match between Gael Monfils and the freaktastically named Fabio Fognini.

LaMonf took the first two sets 6-2, 6-4 and seemed to be cruising his way to victory when FabFog staged a furious comeback, winning the third and fourth sets 7-5 6-4. He quickly took at a 3-0 lead, but LaMonf found his brain in time, rallying to level the final set at 4 all.

Then the clock struck 9:30pm, and all hell broke loose.

Fabfog requested that umpire Carlos Bernardes stop play because of poor lighting on Phillipe Chatrier. Monfils resisted, and Stefan Fransson – Mr Head Bitch – came onto the court to hear out both sides of the case to no avail. Players argued, fans jeered, and the elder Fognini in the stands made time-out signs, signaling to his son that it’s time to bring out the stall tactics.

Stall he did, and understandably so. Soon, FabFog found himself climbing up the umpire’s chair to plead his case. But Bernardes have having none of Fognini’s eyebrow magic and awarded the Italian a point penalty for time violation. By this stage, the small but raucous crowd was hurling abuses at Fabfog.

Dude, these people stormed the Bastille and chop off their king’s head, yer just don’t cross them.

Fognini eventually reconciled to his fate and held on to a difficult service game for 5-4. Monfils quickly got behind 15-40, giving FabFog two match points. But with both players cramping into the darkness, Monfils saved match points and play was suspended due to what was charitably termed as “poor light”.

Time on the clock? 9:56pm.

Post-match, the senior Fognini, who goes by an equally imaginative name of Fulvio, accused the tournament officials of favoritism.

Indeed, what kind of favoritism allows an umpire to be bullied into submission by a partisan crowd, yet won’t allow Free Shirt Gasquet an extra day of rest after a grueling couple of weeks, or listen to the request of their local No 1.

Q. So you didn’t want to play on Sunday? So you’re surprised, I suppose. You’re French No. 1, we’re in France, this is a French tournament and an important one. Were you surprised? Did it get on your nerves to be imposed to play on a Sunday?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: I expected this question, to tell you what I think about this. Frankly, I was a bit disappointed because I was playing on a Sunday. I had asked not to play on a Sunday, absolutely, because I had practiced in such a way that I thought I wanted to play on a Monday or Tuesday, to be totally fit.

But they imposed it on me. I had to play on a Sunday. I have to accept the rules. This is the game and this is it.

Now, if you’re world No. 80 and you’re not that important in the hierarchy, if I can say, loads of things are imposed on you in this case. What really bothered me is that, you know, if you look at Murray, if he decides on a day or hour at Wimbledon, nobody’s going to impose anything on him.

For Federer in his country it’s the same. In the U.S. I suppose it’s the tame thing for the best American players. I think that Lleyton probably plays in the sun during the Australian Open because he loves the sun and other opponents don’t like the sun. He wants to play in the sun.

Today we’re in France. I’m French. I’m French No. 1. I would have thought it was legitimate for me to be listened to, that I would be given a choice. They should listen to me when I wanted to play or start.

But I accepted the rules, and that’s all. I’m disappointed. That’s true, because I expected a bit more from the organization and the rest, but this is the way it is. I mean, had I lost on Sunday because I was not feeling good, then many people would have been disappointed. This would have been a bit silly, I think.

But it wasn’t the case, so I’m here, and I’m fit. I’m ready to play. This story will continue, and that’s the end of the story.

Some kind of demented favouritism that is.

Not to be outdone by the controversies of the men’s tour, the women of tennis staged their favourite kinda show – cat fight. This is war bitches.

When asked about the media attention on Rezai despite Bartoli being the higher ranked player, Marion replied:

“I don’t give a damn,” she said. “I don’t need this to be motivated, frankly. I’m not jealous about anybody else’s results. I don’t envy anybody. I do my job every day.”

When asked about her ambitions, Bartoli made an apparent reference to Rezai when she said, “There is no ambition, you know. The player who had ambition is the player you mentioned before.”

Rezai zinged back.

“Marion is a difficult girl. She already attacked me two years ago when I reached the final in Istanbul,” said Rezai after reaching the French Open third round on Wednesday.

“If she has a problem with me, I don’t know, because I did nothing. That’s a bit of a shame, but that’s her education. She has attacked me many times in the press. I don’t have the same education as the one she has.

“I think I have respect for players. I get on with many people. But with Marion, it’s very difficult. She has difficulties getting included with the other girls.”

“That’s her education”? Oh Aravene, paraphrasing the Head Bitch now, are we?

Of course, all this feuding just serves to remind us all of one thing: WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF WAR BITCHES.

It’s time to stock up on popcorn, sit back and watch mayhem unfold.

xx doots

Roland Garros Day 1: Play.

There’s a Paris that exists in popular imagination as romantic, delicious and artistic. Symbol of good taste.

Unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately), that is not the Paris that Roland Garros brings out. The sole slam on clay tends to show the other side of this lovely city – the side that stormed the Bastille and chopped off the king’s head.

So it was with trepidation that I turned on my live stream to watch a few WTA first round clashes. The women’s side has been prone to early top seed wipeouts lately, and Sveta and Venus both had potentially tricky first round opponents. Surprisingly, they both made it through with relative ease, taking out Cirstea 63 61 and Nutty Patty 63 63.

For Sveta, the cloud of defending champ voodoo hung over her head as she quickly got down 0-3 with a string of errors. But as she stepped up to the baseline to serve at 0-3, three of her forehands suddenly found themselves within the lines. She held, gave herself a couple of fist pumps and went on to win 12 of the next 13 games.

Probably the most convincing match I’ve seen Sexlana play since the Australian Open, and didn’t she play it just in time?

(Pity about Sori, with a quarterfinal to defend, looks like she’ll be taking a dive down the rankings.)

As for Venus, the good news is her problem lately hasn’t been the early rounds. The bad news is that it tends to be in the semis or the finals where she completely no-shows.

We’ll see what happens in Paris. Do check out her ‘Lady Marmalade’ inspired outfit though. “Voulez vous coucher avec moi, ce soir?”

While Sveta and Venus dodged the upset bug, there was no such luck for Vika, who was thoroughly outclassed by Gisela Dulko, 61 62. That Vika should fall to a well-known giant-killer was not surprising. But the score, and the contrast between the hot mess that was Azarenka and the cool cola kid in Dulko didn’t make it pretty for the 10th seed. Dulko played an intelligent match, with just the right mix of guile and consistency to flummox Vika. It was a good time to step up – she’s in a cushy part of the draw.

On the men’s side of things, if Mandy was the Nole of 07, and Delpo was the Mandy of 08, then Cilic is the Delpo of 09 and Ernie is the Cilic of … umm, never mind. Tsonga was supposed to be somebody, I’m just not sure who. In any case, it’s just another ascending scale of non-performance, with a caveat on Del Potro’s injury. And with Roger and Serena winning the Aus Open, and Rafa and Justine in fine form for Roland Garros, 2010 feels a little … well, 2007.

I can live with that.

Day 1 of Roland Garros saw Tsonga taken to 5 sets by Daniel Brands, eventually winning 46 63 62 67 75. An erratic Marin Cilic, at one stage, split sets and went down a break in the third set to Ricardo Mello – a guy who has only won back-to-back tour-level matches once in his career. Cilic eventually prevailed 61 36 63 61, and yet I couldn’t help but remember the Australian Open, where Cilic Peppers persisted erratically, winning tough round after round until bodily fatigue finally wore down an eager heart. Think we’re headed for a repeat? Or worse – an early exit?

With his results lately, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Last week, Rafa and Roger respectably disagreed on whether how much of a player’s clay season performance depends on their performance in the tournaments leading up to Roland Garros, and how much of it depends on what happens in Paris. Gulbis and MJMS rode into Paris on a wave of good publicity after their successes during the European clay circuit. They came looking to cause bangs, but left with nothing but whimpers of pain, as MJ crashed out to Amanmuradova 62 64 and Ernie retired when down to Julien Benneteau 46 26 01 with a hamstring injury.

It’s a shame not to live up to expectations and form, because 3 years from now, I’m not sure how many of us will remember the clay season either of them had.

xx doots

Vidspam: Awesometown.

Roger’s cute accent. Jumping Jo. Girly Mandy. Dorky Sodders.

WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE SUCH HORRORS, ROLAND GARROS?!