Tag Archive | Juan Carlos Ferrero

USO2011 Day 4 (by PJ): Oldies rocking socks.

Hola and hello to all! I hope you’ve been enjoying the lovely LJ’s posts, and now it’s back to yours truly for a bit. I have to admit I’m doing this wrap post without actually watching any tennis – only livescoring (at work – and that is no easy task, trying to maintain a balance between not tearing my hair out and pretending to work).

I, however, did set an alarm at 4AM, just to check the score of Federer/Sela, and he was seemingly cruising and I was definitely half-dead so I crawled back to bed, feeling somewhat assured. From the Twitter timeline and the stats, Pants played a good, solid match – losing only 8 points on serve and a 45% BP conversion (which is quite spectacular for him).

How lovely and also, how very hot of you.

Read More…

Means to an end.

The US Open Series, a summer-long game of “what’s the pattern?

We keep an eye on the early winners, the premier tournament titlists. It’s easy to spot the hot players, the ones that go on a streak and head off to New York with a trail of tennis carcasses behind them and new trophies to be used as flower vases back home.

It’s a little difficult to analyse that success rate of the US Open series winners. The “Roger Federer Years” – may there be more to come – tend to skew our sense of just how much momentum carries over to the US Open from the lead up tournaments, particularly the early ones.

The tendency has been that we phrase every victory as a warning shot ahead of the Open. We build every champion up to be a contender for the Crown. Yet with Querrey and Vika taking home the Stanford and LA trophies on the weekend, I wonder just how much of a contender either really is.

Will Sam Querrey clean up the minor tournaments of the US Open Series and take home the cash, Davydenko-styled? Will Victoria Azarenka be the Caroline Wozniacki of 2009? And does she have the Carpe Diem instincts of  Serena, Masha, Rafa, Fed or even del Potro, and seize any slight chance she gets for her maiden slam?

Hmmmmnnoo.

I’m staying off those bandwagons for now.

“I’ve got to be happy getting to the final and having chances to win. I didn’t play my best tennis. Just tired.” – Andy Murray, after losing the final in Los Angeles.

Poor Ahndee. It’s so tiring firing coaches and taking a month off from playing tournaments.

Not much to say on Ahndee and Maria’s losses: can’t be too down on a run to the final, but the truth is, both have been playing uninspired tennis all week, and both looked like they’ve got nothing left to give, or rather, they’ve got nothing left that they’d want to give, by the end of the tournament. It’s too early in the hard court season to succumb to this shit, perk up folks.

If the US Open series is merely means to an end for the ambitious, the spattering of tournaments left in Europe are means to nothing but a fruitful trip to Louis Vuitton. Congratulations to our winners – JCF (def Potato Star Ace 6-4 6-4 in Umag) and Nastya Pavs (def Vesnina 5-7 7-5 6-4 in Istanbul); Nicolas Almago, who defeated an ailing Gasquet 7-5 6-1 in Gstaad and got his genuine Swiss alpine rock.

“My goal for the rest of the season is to reach the Top 10 and stay there.” – Nicolas Almagro.

Lofty goals for a minion. Looks like the US Open series ain’t the only place to be for the ambitious.

xx doots

SPOTTED – McFederer looking McDreamy in McJacket. Dootsie McBitched.

Oh you dorky McBastard.

Woger McFed was eyeballed by fans on the practice court at Roland Garros with a shiny new McJacket, looking very much like Charlene Riva Federer sang opera all night while Mirka snored away defiantly.

There there. *pat*

With the words “South Africa” plastered on his back, no guessing who he’s supporting in the soccer World Cup, huh?

Earlier in the week, Roger caused mayhem in tennis fandom when he looked into a camera with his flirt-face on and the camera burst into flames, basilisk-styled.

There was nothing left but this photo, as evidence of his whorishness. Don’t petrify yourselves, kids.

As the week went on, Woger McFed continued to McBitch his fans worldwide with his outrageous licentiousness.

But as we all know, McFederer is not just a pretty back, he is also a pretty side-profile…

… And a man so attuned to realm of perfection that his hair naturally curl in perfect symmetry above his ears.

Pity there’s nothing symmetrical about the size of those arms.

Of course, it wasn’t all about looking McDreamy, McFed spent a few quality sessions this week cheating on Rafa practicing with former Roland Garros champ Juan Carlos Ferrero.

… Before deciding to have a hit with the Frenchie Nic Devilder. Judging from the size of his arms, I’m assuming that y’all know that Devilder is a lefty. Let us mark the significance of that with a moment of angst-filled silence.

(Shut up bitches, it’s not Friday.)

xx doots

Photo credit to the McMinions on the Mothership (RF.com). McDelicious.

Frazzle Post: Roma, put me in a coma.

Rome final: Nadal v Ferrer (Rafa in two)

Stuttgart final: Stosur v Henin (Henin in 3)

What say you? Aha, I was right.

Monte Carlo (and more): Public Enemy No 1.

1. How much does Rafael Nadal want to win Monte Carlo? As much as Sue Sylvester wants non-Sneaky Gays, more than an obese person wants hot chips with chicken salt and North American Federer fans want their Federporn delivered on Thursdays.

Analogies, I’m terrible at them. He wants it bad is what I’m saying.

Two matches, 2 breadsticks, 2 bagels. They don’t come served steaming hot with Swiss cheese, but that’s not to say they’re not just as a good. As far as I’m concerned, they’re better that way.

*

*

2. 5 Spaniards in the final 8 in Monte Carlo. Someone once told me that Spanish players are white shirts to French players’ tie-dyes. Outside Nadal and – for mostly nostalgic reasons – JCF, not a lot of them catch my eye.

Well … at least not in any professional way.

Mentioning JCF, he served up some baked goods of his own on route to a 61 36 75 victory over Jo-Wills. The Mossie might be 16-1 on clay this year, but he comes up against an impossible roadblock next: Mr Bakery himself.

“I would love to play him in the semi-final or the final, but right now the draw is like this,” Ferrero told reporters.

“I have more experience. Maybe my serve and my backhand are a little bit better, and physically I’m stronger than in 2003,” he said, although he would not state he was a better player overall.

Source: Yahoo.com.au

No, he would not and should not, having only won 2 of his last 8 meetings against Rafa. But he did hit us with this fabulous line.

“I know Rafa very well but we all know he is the number one public enemy on clay.”

Nice one. You’re gonna go down Juanqui, but you’re gonna go down swingin’.

Surprisingly, one Spaniard didn’t make it to the quarterfinals – Tommy Rob, who was dispatched in straight sets by a certain Daveed, 63 64.

Nalbandian smiling on a tennis court generally blows my mind.

Nalbandian smiling on a tennis court with what appears to be Roger Federer’s hair makes my brain combust into a gooey pile of ashes.

WHY MUST YOU DO THIS TO ME?

*

*

3. “Upset” of the day, Marin Cilic was booted out of the principality by Montanes 64 64, although I’m not sure how upsetting it really is when a big-serving Croatian loses out to a small and speedy Spaniard. An Australian Open burn-out and movement issues on clay in equal measures.

The upset of the tournament so far, however, goes to Mandy, who made the trip to Monte Carlo in vain, losing his first match to Kohlschreiber. As good as Kohlschreiber is, it has become clear by now that Mandy’s in a psychological funk. The Fed didn’t just defeat him to win the Australian Open crown, he broke him.

But the strange thing with Andy Murray is his incredible self-awareness. He’s always been one to know his own limitations. It’s solely up to Mandy now to unbreak himself out of this lethargy that has been clouding over his tennis since his tears in Melbourne.

Q.  Could you compare the moment you are living now, this result, with another moment of your career?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I’ve been  – I mean – obviously the last two tournaments have been bad.  You know, yeah, it’s been a long time since I lost a couple of matches like this.

But I think, you know, I have to make sure that, uhm, you know, I don’t panic.  You know, everyone I think can go through periods where they don’t play well.  You know, I’ve lost to good players.  Obviously, the score line has not been very close in the last couple of matches.

I just need to start playing better.  It’s probably been a couple of years.  Last year, the whole year, I was very consistent.  The years before that, I was a little bit inconsistent.  But I need to try and find that again and find my consistency, then I’ll start to play well.

No reason to panic for Muzz fans – if he has any, I suspect a small part of him is living for the July-September stretch of the season already. Bizarrely enough, sometimes I feel that more so than perhaps even Federer, Andy Murray is the one player at a stage in his career where he cares only about majors.

Because he ran out of things to prove elsewhere a year ago.

*

*

4. Excuse the total lack of WTA coverage, usually women’s tennis interests me a lot more than men’s tennis during the clay season.

It’s been so far so good for the top seeds in Charleston, as Wozniacki (def Schnyder), Petrova (def Wozniak), Jankovic (def Rodina) and Zvonareva (Bondarenko) all progressed into the quarterfinals in straight sets. Peng Peng Shuai Shuai and Dani Hantuchova are also in their first clay quarterfinals of the year, as they wrapped up their wins over Vesnina and Angelique Kerber respectively in 3.

As I write this, Sam Stosur is up 3-0 in the final set, after taking the first set 6-1 but conceding the second 3-6 against Vera Dush.

Slam her, Sammy!

Over in Barcelona, Franny defeated local favourite CSN for a place in the semi, while Shvedova, Dulgheru and Vinci all came through their quarterfinals in straight sets in front of what seems like a total of 5 spectators.

Small revelation while I was streaming Barcelona yesterday – Roberta Vinci = vastly underrated player. Amongst her, Franny and Flavs, the Italians have one stylish Fed Cup team.

*

*

5. Time to file that restraining order Jelena, Daddy’s on parole.

The AP is reporting that the Serbian court has freed Damir Dokic on parole. Dokic was convicted of threatening to blow up the Australian ambassador and sentenced to 15 months in prison. That sentence was later reduced to 12 months. Dokic was released on Thursday.

Monte Carlo: In form.

Oh yeth, it’s the time of the year for me to dig out this picture again.

As I write this, Rafa is pulverising Thiemo de Bakker for sport (Note: Rafa won, 61 60 by the time I finished writing). Coming into this clay season, there has been a mixture of both expectations of make and break for Nadal. No matter how much he’s improved on grass and hard court over the last two years, clay is and will always be his default setting. What happens when that default setting breaks down?

The latter of 2009 told us all we needed to know.

As much as Roger’s year is centered emotionally and form-wise on Wimbledon, 2009 taught us that Rafa’s year, no matter how much he values Wimbledon and the other slams, is at least centered on his Roland Garros performance form-wise. And when he couldn’t perform, it hurt. On so many different levels. And the hurt carried through right til the offseason.

Watching Nadal the past few months, even though he hasn’t won a title this year yet, I couldn’t buy into all the media negativity about his play. His results may look similar to late-2009 -quarterfinal, a final, two semis – but the buzz in his tennis is back. You couldn’t help but sense that he’s on the verge of something here – the moment when you swim ashore and fumble in the water for solid ground to stand on.

And what better solid ground than the red dirt on which he’s won 5 consecutive times?

Q.  You played at a very high level in Miami, although you didn’t win the tournament.  How encouraging was that coming into this clay court season?

RAFAEL NADAL: I played well in all the tournaments this year.  I didn’t win yet, but I was there all the time.  I had the problem on the knee in Australia, but I was playing really well.

And in Doha, for sure, best level probably in Doha.  In Indian Wells, I was playing very good tournament.  I played a terrible match in semifinals, but the rest of the matches I was playing a very high level.  And in Miami, too.  I played well.  I played good match against Nalbandian, very good match against Tsonga.  And later in the semifinals I was playing very well in the beginning.  Then he played well and I played little bit worse.

That’s important, always play well, because that gives me a lot of confidence, give me know how I can play well another time, because the last year, the last six months, anyway, if I didn’t have bad result, having semifinals, one final in Shanghai, quarterfinals in other tournaments, I feel I wasn’t ready to win important tournaments.

But this year since I start, I feel ready.

Ready I think he is.

And what of players other than Rafael Nadal?

JCF has my vote for the best clay-courter outside the top 3 right now, but Wawrinka, coming off a title in Casablanca, had a surprisingly easy time in dismissing Ernie, 61 64. Truth be told though, the score line was partly Ernie’s own undoing. Still, 6th straight victory for Stanny the Manny. Impressive.

The Miami final seems to have given Birdy a mighty boost, as he rolled past Reeshie 62 60. Elsewhere, things didn’t get much better for the French, as Nando defeated Juju Ben 62 61.

There is no end in sight, for the reign in Spain.

xx doots

Picket Fence Newsreel: The Monte Pythons.

1. Notable victories overnight in the Monaco principality of Monte Carlo – Ernie whipped Chiudy into submission with a 63 62 win.

Nalby and Birdy had it even easier, with the identical score line of 63 61 over Beck and Feli respectively, while JCF baked Granola bars, 60 63.

Perhaps more intriguing than the matches – WHAT’S WITH THE HAIR DUDE? YOU LOOK 50.

*

*

2. As Monte Carlo got under way over the last two days, the biggest news so far is that Novak Djokovic has split with Todd Martin after 7 month collaboration. The pair teamed up before the US Open last year, but Nole’s serving woes and some communication issues between long-time coach Marion Vajda and Martin saw the tenure come to an end.

“You’re always going to have problems like that when you work with two coaches. They did not understand each other very well.”

“Todd is a fantastic person. He has so much experience and was willing to share everything with me. There are no hard feelings but we just decided it was not working. It was probably a question of understanding what kind of person I am.

In other words, Martin didn’t click with the Djokovic team.

The problem was probably exacerbated by Djokovic’s serve problems over the past few months. Martin reportedly attempted to tinker with Djoko’s serve to protect his shoulders, but if the woes of Ivanovic and JJ at the Australian Open were anything to go by, messing with the serve at this stage of a player’s career is just asking for misery.

“Todd has specific ideas on some issues of work. There were no major problems, but changes in my service did not work out. It was a good experience and I’m not sorry for it.”

“At the ATP Finals in London my shoulder was tired and the body automatically started to make adjustments because of that,” Djokovic explained. “Then we tried a slightly different action and it all got very complicated. So now I am just going back to my original action.”

Source: Foxnews

*

*

3. You didn’t think I was going to skip this did ya? Over the last weekend, Stanislas Wawrinka took home his second title in almost 4 years, defeating Victor Hanescu in the final 63 62. It was his first victory over the Romanian in 3 attempts.

While competing there, Stan took some time off to visit the local mosque with his coach.

The tournament, one of the few on the ATP tour schedule played in Africa, was declared to be a success.

“It was fun to watch, and even though there weren’t a lot of Moroccans at the tournament, it is growing in popularity here, especially as we have had our share of good players recently,” said Said Chobkar, an avid tennis watcher who has documented the rise of the sports popularity in local media. He said that this year, more and more young Moroccans “are picking up a racket and started to hit some balls. Hopefully this will mean more success for us on the international stage.

[Omitted]

Majed Ibrahim, a young tour operator based in Casablanca, said he made more money during the tennis tournament that he had in the previous three months combined.

“These kind of events are really great for the country, because it brings in a lot of money from foreigners who want to see the place and not just watch sports,” he said.

Source: Bikya Masr

How awesome is this sport of ours?

As for the Swiss, the title – coming a week after his 25th birthday – was a resounding statement that he still has the drive to win at smaller tournaments, despite recently becoming oldie and a daddy. Oh wait –

Wrong Swiss.

Even so, it was important for Stan to get the monkey off his back after losing 5 consecutive finals. He’ll be looking to build on his victory in Monte Carlo, where Ilham and baby Alexia will be joining him for the first time.

FUCK YOU, ROGER FEDERER. We could’ve had a Mighty Swiss Babes play date.

*

*

4. The ATP has a new video: DIMPLES AND DOLPHINS. My heart almost ruptured.

*

*

5. Leon Smith, former coach of Andy Murray, has been officially named Britain’s Davis Cup captain and the head of men’s tennis at the LTA. While the rest of us took a moment to wonder out loud – “Leon WHO?” – Mark Petchey was first to jump the gun and bitch to the media.

“When Roger Draper came into the LTA it was all about a world-class leadership team, world-class people and this is it; four years down the track we are putting someone in charge of the men’s game and the Davis Cup who has none of these qualities.”

“So are we saying the strategy before was wrong and now we’re on the right one, or are we actually saying we don’t have a clue and are sticking somebody in the job who we think might persuade Andy Murray to play Davis Cup? Andy will make his own decision and I know Andy, he was happy to go with the majority view of what the players wanted in terms of a Davis Cup captain – and the majority of those players wanted Greg Rusedski.”

After the dramas surrounding Tennis Australia and now with the LTA, it seems that the politics of tennis federations aren’t so different from the politics of girlworld.

*

*

6. Lastly, congratulations to Sania Mirza, who married Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik on Monday. There was no end to the drama as the April 15th wedding had to be brought forward by 3 days, after Muslim clerics in Hyderabad criticised the fact that Malik was living in his future bride’s house.

The ceremony was held in the presence of family and friends at a hotel in Hyderabad, attended by a delegation from the Pakistani parliament, including Pakistan’s minister for population welfare, who has asked Sania and Shoaib to become ambassadors for the country’s program to curb population growth.

So … I guess we know what that “family planning kit” is all about now.

But enough of all that. Wedding photos! Hurrah!

xx doots

Woohoo!

Miami: The Frazzle Post

Congratulations to Kim Clijsters and Andy Roddick. Miami Champs for 2010.

Picket Fence Newsreel: Interlude.

1. Excuse the irregular blogging for the next few weeks. As some of you might know from twitter, I’ve just moved house with 6 years of my life packed away in paper boxes.

We have no internet, no phone line and no TV, just very large beds. The telco said it values our concern and will get back to us … in 3 weeks.

Needless to say, I’ll be living off cafe wireless for the next few weeks.

*

*


2. The BJK Cup turned out to feature less “cashcow tennis” than I was expecting. Venus accomplished the Kimpossible in a closely-contested  match, winning 6-4 3-6 7-5.

She’ll be taking a well-deserved rest after storming the post-AO circuit with titles in Dubai, Acapulco and an exhibition in NYC.

Keep that in mind the next time you’re tempted to doubt her commitment to tennis.

*

*

3. I’m digging Fila’s new spring collection, debuted by Kimmy and Sveta over the weekend. It’s clean, youthful and appropriately “tennissy”. Nice to see that Fila has finally signed Kuznetsova too.

*

*

4. Miss Muffin announced a few weeks ago that she’s now working with Heinz Gunthardt, Steffi Graf’s former coach.

Within a space of a year, Ana has dabbled with 4 high-profile coaches: Kardon, Gunthdardt, Sven and Cahill (as a part of the adidas player development program). Meanwhile, her rankings have continued to head south and will quite likely plummet after her Indian Wells points come off.

To say the least, coaching was the least of her problems.

On the other hand, if Ana’s anything like Andy Roddick, a new coach will do wonders in putting some energy and personal security back into her game.

Although, if she is like Roddick, those things will wear off along with the novelty within a year.

*

*

5. The ticker on tennis.com reported from “reliable sources” today that Roger Federer will be withdrawing from Indian Wells.

Just hours later, ‘Rog Fed’ announced on Facebook that he’s been cleared by his doctor to play.

In this dark and sinister world, WHO CAN WE STILL TRUST, IF NOT TENNIS-DOT-COM?

*

*

6. Juan Carlos Ferrero – my favourite Spaniard not named Rafael Nadal – has risen to No 14 this week, with almost nothing to defend until Wimbledon.

Consider this: the Mosquito back in the top 10.

Must be a weak era, right?

*

*

7. Dina’s out of Indian Wells. Next.

*

*

8. Douglas Perry, from the Oregonian, has outed himself as a Fedophile (clickey). On a scale of one to cool, he’s grool.

*

*

9. Our thoughts are with the Chilean players this week, as their country was devastated by a massive earthquake over the weekend. Gonzo posted this on his website earlier:

Hello friends:

I was watching TV and I found out about the earthquake. I’m so sad for the victims and families. I’m at Mexico City. This night I’ll fly to Lima to try to get a new flight to Santiago.

Thank God I could talk with my family after the earthquake. I watched TV all the time and I’m so sad with the news. It’s tough I can’t be in Chile. I’m praying. I would like to help with the reconstruction of my country.

I hope to see them again as soon as possible.

A big hug for everyone and Fuerza Chile!

*

*

10. A belated happy birthday to JJ, who turned 24 last Sunday.

She celebrated with a pink cake against the mountainous backdrop of Monterrey, where she lost 2 days later to Sevastova. Not to be confused with Shvedova.

Oh JJ, I wish I knew how to quit you.

Here’s to more body glitter then.

xx doots

Picket Fence Newsreel: The one that didn’t go up in Vancouver.

1. The median age on the ATP World Tour is getting older as the WTA gets younger. It seems that 30 is the new 20, or so the good form of Juan Carlos Ferrero would have us believe.

Having hit the big “three-oh” last week, Boss took home back-to-back titles, claiming his erectile dysfunctional trophy with a dramatic 57 64 63 win over Ferrer.

Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of Spanish tennis. The only Spaniard I’ve ever really liked was Rafael Nadal. As a nation – to use some gross generalisations here – Spain has a culture of producing mentally infallible grinders in the same way France produces charismatic nutjobs full of talent but devoid of brains.

But back to Ferrero, who – Rafa aside – is probably one of my favourite Spaniards. Compared to the rest of the red dirt grinders, Juanqui has more aggression and craft in his game. Watching him construct points with a mixture of instinct and strategy has always been a pleasure. It’s the quality that made him a slam champion and former World No 1.

With this win, Ferrero returns to the top 20 after falling outside the top 90 with injuries last year. What an amazing effort.

Watch out, clay season.

“I feel unbelievable after winning two weeks in a row,” said Ferrero.

“It is a great feeling. I think the key to my current success is the physical work I have done. I have been working very hard and I know that I can be on the court forever. That helps my game a lot because I get to the ball much early and can be more aggressive.

“This also helps me mentally. I feel very strong and know that I have more resources now when playing important points.”

2. While it was all about the old dogs in Buenos Aires, the men’s final in Memphis featured a meeting TO DECIDE THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN TENNIS – Isner and Querrey.

Urgh just look at them! All adorable and squigee like plasticine!

As you’d expect from the tallest final in ATP history, the match featured a serve fest from both guys with Isner playing impeccable tennis for the first two sets. Not to be deterred by the rain of aces, Querrey fought back from 2-5 down in the second set tiebreak, with the help of some tension from Isner, and maintained an early break lead in the third to take the title 67(3) 76(5) 63.

Oh John Izzy, you had it easy, but then you got dizzy, and lost in a breezy. 😦

3. If I could choose a minor tennis tournament visit one day, it would be Memphis. As far as I could tell from following the tournament last week – fabulous atmosphere, cozy little venue, sensible trophies and a supportive crowd.

Wish I was there.

4. Corona Extra is the ATP’s new global premier partner. (clickey)

Good job on getting the partnership. It’s not the most family-friendly of labels, though I don’t know that it actually needs to be. Sport and booze, MFEO.

5. Looking ahead to the week –

Will Federer’s withdrawal help Novak Djokovic’s quest to defend a title for the first time in his career?

Will Ferrero continue his streak of Latin American dominance and set himself up as a Tier II favourite for the clay season?

Will Venus maintain her form from Dubai last week to defend yet another title in Acapulco?

Will Elena Dementieva realise she can’t play a tournament every single week of the year and still expect to contend for slams?

Will the lung infection be so overawed by Federer’s fabulous presence that it’ll choke and play too defensively, causing Roger’s illness to come with an asterisk?

Or let’s hope so anyway. More hot chocolate for you Federbear. 😦

xx doots