‘Twas a week of redemption on the ATP and WTA tours as players set out with points to prove, monkeys on their backs and losing streaks to be ended.
1. In Costa do Sauipe, Ferrero baked Kubot for a 6-1 6-0 win in the Brazil Open. It was Ferrero’s 13th ATP title, just two days after turning the big three-oh.
And boy, did he need this win, after losing in the opening rounds in Auckland and the Australian Open.
For Kubot, it was a decent run to follow up his best slam result ever at the Australian Open 2 weeks ago. With this win, he moves deservingly into the top 50.
2. Also coming into this week with zero wins in 2010 was Robin Soderling, who took a wild card to Rotterdam in an effort to play himself into some form.
And he did just that.
It wasn’t a fantastic final, as the Headclobber retired with a leg injury, trailing 64 20.
It was Dimples’ fifth career title after failing to win a match since his victory over Roger Federer in Abu Dhabi. One week, he was losing to Granola Bar, the next, he’s on a 5 match winning streak with a top 10 victory to boot.
That’s tennis for ya.
“I came here without any confidence and didn’t play well in my first two matches. But my coach, Magnus Norman, has been great this week and telling me that even when I wasn’t playing great I still am tough to beat. The best medicine to regain confidence is winning matches and especially against good opponents.”
For a guy as reserved as Sod, he and Magnus Norman certainly have a great relationship.
3. Is it still considered news when Elena Dementieva wins a tournament? The girl’s nothing if not the “real No 1” of the non-slam tour.
In any case, it was redemption for Demmy after losing to Momo in the final last year, as she came from a set down to beat Lucie Safarova 6-7 (5) 6-1 6-4 in the final of the Open GDF Suez.
It was her second victory in 3 tournaments in 2010. If only the one she lost wasn’t the only one that mattered.
Whatever Nike’s trying to do these days with its designs – MAKE IT STOP.
4. In Thailand, Vera zvommed her way to a title at the Pattaya Open with a 6-4 6-4 win over local favourite Tamarine Tanasugarn. Nothing more to it – she’ll need all the points she can defend before Indian Wells I’m afraid.
5. Player of the week: Fernando Verdasco, who fought back from a set down to take out Randy 3-6 6-4 6-4 for the title in San José.
For Nando, the win came as a huge monkey off his back. Since his Australian Open blitz last year, he hasn’t had much success in the latter stages of tournaments, going 0-15 against Top 10 players and falling outside the top 10 after putting Dootsie through a miserable 5 setter against Davydenko at the Australian Open.
Perhaps Roddick was still feeling the numbness in his shoulder, his serve just did not have its usual pop.
And I have to get this off my chest – WHAT’S WITH THE PUSHING?
I geddit man. You’re comfortable rallying from the baseline now. You defend better. You’re not just a big serve anymore, if you ever were.
But that doesn’t mean you grind your way through matches without flattening out your forehand. There was a time when I considered the Roddick forehand to be one of the biggest in the game. It doesn’t even come close to that these days.
As for Nando, he’s closing in on a top 10 spot again, just 110 points behind Marin Cilic. But it’s a case of too little, too late for me. I want to like him, but after 15 losses to top 10 players, countless double faults, brain cramps and sets of utter lethargy, I was done with him by London 2009.
6. Good news Rafa fans. He’s moved up to No 3.
Yes Dina, I’m a terrible person:
Cheers erupted on Centre Court in Beijing as Zhang Shuai (not to be confused with Peng Shuai) took out the “Real World No 1” Dinara Safina 75 76.
Zhang, ranked 226 in the world, has never won a match in the second round of a main draw before. She appeared to have no conceivable weapon other than her ability to absorb pace, which happened to exactly what Dina was sending her.
To be fair, it’s not like Dina knows how to play any other way. Much better players would’ve had trouble winning a match with 51 unforced errors and 13 double faults. But I guess that’s precisely the trouble with women’s tennis right now, you wish the No 1 player was “the better player”, or “the best player”. Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot of correlation between quality and ranking when it comes to Dinara.
Also out of the tournament is Venus Williams, who lost to Pavs for the second time in two weeks 36 61 64.
Shockingly for Venus, she committed 14 double faults with no aces over the course of the 3 sets. Colour me surprised if that knee is properly healed. I’m almost in favour of Venus just calling it a year rather than flailing physically and making matters worse.
This is, however, a damn good picture.
On the men’s side of things in Beijing, Cilic, Ferrero, and Robredo all came through in straight sets, while Kohlschreiber took out Dr Ivo in 3, breadsticking him along the way. Anyone who breadsticks Ivo Karlovic deserves a multitude of my love and affection.
And we had 3 Novak Djokovics. Basically my worst nightmare.
In Tokyo, the Swiss are showing the tennis world that they can be awesome without some potato-nosed hubby-of-Vavrinec.
Well, no they can’t. Nice try anyway.
Marco Chiudinelli “upset” Dudi Sela 46 61 64 to secure his own career high ranking in the top 100, while Stan had a good 64 64 victory over John Isner. A good word for Marco, he’s been playing a lot better than his ranking would indicate ever since the Us Open.
Not to mention, they both looked oh-so-pretty, who needs the other Swiss with these two around?
Who am I convincing?
FACT: Homelessness is a huge problem on the ATP tour.
The Davis Cup semifinals and World Group play-offs are underway this weekend across 3 continents. What we love about the DC is that it’s filled with manhugs, bromances, and Swiss campfires. It all comes down to having “the spirit”.
What we hate about DC is that no one cares enough to televise much of the action.
The hobo in the picture, also known as Stefan Koubek or more widely as “Federer’s Practice Buddy”, came back from two sets to love down, only to lose to Capdeville 6-4 in the fifth.
Earlier Massu defeated Melzer to give Chile a 2-0 lead over Austria.
In other ties, Gael Monfils appears to be still missing his marbles as he was stunned by birthday boy Thiemo de Bakker in 4 sets. WHO?
Only marginally more dependable, Jo-Willy did his bit for la Republique and leveled proceedings with a comfortable win over Jesee Huta Galung.
Also tied at one all are Sweden and Romania with Soderling and Hanescu both scoring wins on each side. This means, as le Sod tweeted, “no party til Sunday“.
You gotta feel for Ahndee Mooray. It sucks to be this good on a team that’s this bad. But Toothface felt compelled to save Britain’s Davis Cup hopes from full scale extinction by playing with a bum wrist.
Martyr. That boy.
It’s all very well, until you realise that this is only a zonal play-off, and even with his martyrdom, GB is tied at 1-1 against Poland.
Hey Muzz, there are some things worth sacrificing yourself for.
For others, call a sicky.
Onto more riveting stuff, the two Davis Cup semifinal ties were contrasting affairs.
The deep-pockets of Spain delivered time and time again, as Ferrer and Ferrero both score straight set wins over surprise semifinalist Israel. Color me surprised if Spain doesn’t successfully defend its Davis Cup title this year.
On the other hand, the efforts of the Czech Republic in putting themselves into a 2-0 lead over Croatia have been nothing short of epic, eliciting man-hugs all round.
It took Radek Stepanek five hours 59 minutes to beat Dr Ivo 67 76 76 67 16-14 in a match that featured Ivo raining down a staggering 78 aces, besting the world record (his own) by 23. Yeah Ivo, spank that ace.
Random thought: if it took Karlovic and the Worm almost 6 hours to finish the match, how long would it have taken if played between Rafa and Djoko?
And just in case you weren’t exhausted by the Ivo v Worm mindfuckery,
Berdych then took almost another 4 hours to ‘shock’ Marin Cilic, 63 63 36 46 63. Tough luck for the Red Hot Cilic Peppers, the picnic blanket brought him no mojo this time.
As for the Swiss… errr, WHAAAAA-
As I was saying before we were so rudely interrupted by Kanye, the Swiss sailed to a 2-0 lead over the Italians, with Stan and Roger both winning comfortably in 3 sets.
Roger Federer, THE WANKER, made 66% first serves, 10 aces, 0 DFs.
The “if-onlys” killed me.
He converted a respectable 6/15 break points. Umm … if you need me, I’ll be in my backyard, digging a hole and throwing my Federbear into it.
No Roger, not even a smiley Monkey Face will save you from my rage.
Although, I did discover the Swiss voodoos behind Roger’s rare break point conversion success:
Roger aside, the rest of the Swiss team was the epitome of cool.
Even Luthi had “the spirit thing” going.
I may be prepared to forgive Roger if he brings back that Fedrinka campfire.
Not to be denied,
As bummed as I am about Venus getting booted out so early in the tournament, I must admit Kim got to me with her sincere reactions to the 6-0 0-6 6-4 victory.
How can you not want to reserve your seat on the Comeback Train after this?
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Tennis-wise, it wasn’t fantastic until the last set, but the match was just sheer drama.
Venus was about as mummified as her knee during the first set. Kim tensed up and braincramped through the second. And the third set just thrilled and delighted the energetic crowd.
Venus had a chance to save the match when Kim served for it at 5-4 and fell behind on serve. But unlike much of the Kimpossible’s early career, she didn’t succumb to nerves and soldiered on.
I didn’t need my morning coffee after those last four points of match, that’s for sure.
Welcome back to the Big League, Kim.
The problem with the women’s draw isn’t that there aren’t any exciting players left, it’s that they are all pitted against each other.
After the Kimpossible downed Venus, it was Flavulous’s turn to duel with Vera in the best match of the tournament so far on the women’s side of things.
It just had it all:
Fabulous tennis? They were swinging for the fences with properly constructed points.
Drama? How about a steady flow of profanities and tears in the third set?
Double faults? Unforced errors? Kept to a respectable minimum, thank you very much.
Killer smiles? YOU BET.
For the first two sets, Vera looked close to her Indian Wells best. Set two was a closer contest that reached its crescendo at 5-6, when Flavulous saved match points on serve with the gutsiest play imaginable.
I always knew she played intelligent and focused tennis, but who knew Pennetta had this much fire? She was fabulousness personified.
Ultimately, Vera payed the price for being too conservative on her match points, but even so, nothing called for the meltdown of biblical proportions that typified the third set.
Not only did she walk off to sob her heart out in the tunnel before the third set started, when Vera came back, she acted like a player who demanded too much of herself but fell short of her own lofty standards.
Within a few points, she started ripping tape off her knee and venting to Lynne Walsh for refusing to let her cut the tape before a changeover. She cracked her racquet on the net post, slapped her knees in frustration, heaved her shoulders through much of the third set, and drowned herself in expletives.
All this was then topped off with Vera leaving the court muttering to herself something that sounded suspiciously like “I hate this crowd/country/crap.”
Oh Vera! Even your brainfarts smell good.
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
On the men’s side of things, Rafa had a straight sets victory over Almagro that was far from straightforward. If you tuned in during the match, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this was a WTA match – the pair traded 13 breaks of serve until Rafa finally won out – 7-5 6-4 6-4.
Rafa and Almagro were both hampered by injuries throughout the match. Tough for Rafa, but a blessing in disguise for the Rafa Porn Appreciation Society.
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images
Rafa, if you ever need a tummy rub – ye know who to call…
Rafa will have to up his game next match against Gael Monfils, who was up 2 sets to love against Jose Acasuso before his opponent retired. Monfils posted clean stats during the match, with 27 winners, 9 unforced errors, 10 aces and saving the one breakpoint he faced.
Now I’m conflicted.
The other retirement of the day came from Gilles Simon, who – like so many other players who may or may not be named Rafael – was hampered by tendenitis.
Simon retired after getting down two sets to one against a healthy and reenergized JCF.
Q. Could you tell us a little bit about your summer and your resurgence. You look like the player we saw the last few years.
JUAN CARLOS FERRERO: Uh huh.
Q. What’s different?
JUAN CARLOS FERRERO: I told you the other day, physically I’m completely different. I’m feeling great on the court, so I can play a lot of rallies as long as it is.
I recovered well after matches, so that’s the big difference in maybe couple of years.
Be it Hewitt, or Ferrero, and even Clijsters – isn’t it ironic that it was only after a lengthy absence that these players found their way into my heart?
Oh yeah. Jo-Willy won in straight sets. OH YEAH!
Time for a happy dance!
For the first time ever, the top 8 of the ATP tour are through to the quarterfinals. Clap clap, well done guys.
Federer def Wawrinka 6-3 7-6 (5).
Vintage Federer in the first set, 2009-hard-court Feduruh in the second.
Credit to Stan though for some massive serving towards the business end of the second set – I have no idea where that serve even came from. The backhand was as sizzling as it was erratic.
But as always, Federer fought back from being down 0-3, hung on to the set and found a way to win. Much less rust than his first round performance. He’s got a step it up for Jo-Willy, and most likely Murray, should he make it past the next round.
AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson
Tsonga def. Simon 6-3 6-3.
Did I declare at the start of the tournament that I’d be okay with Jo-Willy beating Federer?
Well, I am a friggin liar.
Jojo had a solid performance against Simon to kick the top 10 pretender out of the tournament.
Simon hasn’t been playing stellar tennis for a while now, so I wouldn’t regard the match as a good litmus test for Jo-Willy’s form.
What is clear is that Tsonga has a lot of trouble with massive servers, but not so much with the counterpunching types. What’s also clear is that he likes his little “happyjump”.
Murray def Ferrero 6-1 6-3.
Barring a “be quiet please” styled performance from Federer in his next two rounds, Murray’s going to win this thing.
Tough luck for JCF, he has managed to draw Murray in the last 3 tournaments they’ve both contested. And it appears that Ferrero is just a terrible bad match up for Murray – offensively not strong enough, and defensively, he’s never going to outpush Muz.
Nadal def. Petzchner 6-3 6-2.
Petzchner is not the hardest competition, but Rafa won comfortably, as he should’ve, which is a sign that the knees are holding up just fine.
Roddick def. Verdasco 7-6(2) 4-6 7-6(5).
Didn’t watch the match at all, but from the score line, it could’ve gone either way. Tough luck for Verdasco, as always, he comes up short on the big points.
Oh yeah, Novak Djokovic won his match against Youzhny in straight sets. Can’t be bothered pretending that I care.
In a match that was supposed to be all about Rafa’s knees, it was Ferrer who ended up limping off the court at 3-4. Sorry Rafa fans, after two months of thirst, the 7 games that Rafa and Ferrer played probably did nothing to quench your desperation.
Rafa was understandably rusty, but it’s hard to tell at this stage how much of that rust was from his 2 months off the tour, and how much was from any lingering physical and mental effects of his knee injury.
That was quick: REUTERS/Shaun Best
I keep thinking back to what Federer said about his back problems earlier on in the year: that it wasn’t so much the physical recovery that was bothering him, but the mental block he developed over it, i.e. changing his service motion without realising and unconsciously trying to protect his back when retrieving balls. It took him some extreme physical conditioning to break the mental hold the injury had over his game.
Nadal could face a similar problem, it’ll be interesting to see whether his movement is at all affected by his knee injury, or even the thought of his knee injury. But then again, Rafa is much more used to dealing with injury issues than Federer, and his knee problems certainly aren’t anything new. He’s just too good a player not to bounce back from this.
In other injury alerts: Tommy Haas had to retire from his match against Gonzo because of some pretty nasty blisters. Of course Tennis Gods, Tommy Haas is playing great tennis once again and you just can’t handle it, can you? You just had to take him down with yet another injury. Of course.
Leave him alone.
The big upset of the day was Ferrero defeating Monfils, 63 76(7), which I missed completely. Given Ferrero’s form of late, and Monfils’ recent injury, I wasn’t all that surprised.
It’s just heartwarming to see someone like Ferrero hang around, still motivated and trying to win. To be frank, he’s “been there, done that”. It would’ve been perfectly understandable for him to walk away from the game now and ride off into the sunset – he has little left to prove.
But the fact is that he’s not headed for the sunset – he’s holding on, he’s doing more than just holding on in fact – he’s beating some of the young guys. And he’s showing people that he didn’t end up in the top echelon of the game a few years ago by a fluke.
Much respect. Kudos.
Unfortunately, Ferrero faces Andy Murray next round. Unless Murray is really off, the Mossie’s going to get smacked.
Oh yeah, and Jo-Willy scraped past Schuettler, barely – 46 63 64. But he looked so joyous about it all that I don’t even have the energy to get negative.
Don’t ever change, Jojo.
Roddick had a fairly routine win over Andreev 61 76(3).
Given that he’s played some tennis since Wimbledon already, he seems to be in fine form for the Rogers Cup.
My tennistic preferences tend to fall into three categories: 1) players I love, 2) players I respect, and 3) players I dislike. Federer, of course, falls in the love category, as do the Williamses. Nadal is less than love but more than respect. And you should know the ones I dislike.
Once upon a time, Roddick used to fall in the dislike category, and his behaviour at the Australian Open last year certainly reinforced every stereotyped view I’ve had of him over the years. But respect has to be earned, and Roddick has certainly earned mine with his work ethics and maturity this year.
I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling this sudden surge of respect for Roddick. While I remain disinterested in his style of tennis, he did take me, as well as many other tennis fans, on a journey with him this year. As the man said himself:
“During my career I’ve been portrayed as every type of person—good, bad, ugly, rude, nice—and this is the first time it’s been presented in the light of a hardworking, everyday Joe type of tennis player trying to make good,” Roddick said. “All the while the meat and potatoes of who I am have probably stayed the same.
“Maybe people have realized that it’s not easy and it does take work.”
God knows we love “hardworking, everyday Joes”. Yes, you can sign his name under the “less than love but more than respect” category.
Coming full circle
HOYA! Behold the Ninja-ness of Jo-Willy’s new ‘do.
And try not to behold the less awesome scoreline of 4-6 7-6(2) 7-6(4). First to Karlovic at Wimbledon, and now to Isner in Washington, Tsonga’s not having a terribly good time with the big servers is he?
It’s forgivable I suppose. You get stuck in a tiebreak with the likes of Isner and Karlovic, you face a good prospect of not coming out the other end alive. Next time, Jojo.
In other matches, how great is it that the guys who did well at Wimbledon have carried over their momentum? Haas, Roddick, Hewitt, and Ferrero all progressed to the next round. Props in particular to JCF, who had a surprisingly easy win over 7th seed Tommy Robredo, 6-3 6-2. Like Hewitt, the Mosquito is defending nothing for the rest of the year, which means the only way to go .. is up.
And up we go!
Image Credit: AP Photos/Jacquelyn Martin
1) Here I was thinking that I’d rather sharpen pencils than have a conversation with Nikolay Davydenko, lo and behold, he proves to be mildly theatrical.
Normalcy in my tennis universe is now threatening to crash down on me.
Here’s the paradox with Koyla. Every time I watch him play, I am oh-so impressed with his dynamic game, his movement, how early he takes the ball – the guy’s enjoyable to watch. And I’ve resolved numerous times to pay more attention to his career.
But to no avail. I can’t for the life of me work out why I just don’t give a damn about him. Don’t hate him, don’t love him, just don’t care. He reminds me of that infamous SI cover of Lendl – “the Champion that nobody cares about”, only Davo’s no champion. He’s just a really good player.
Well I’m happy that he won. Even happier to see his wife was there, now she excludes WAG excellence.
2) Oh yeah, the Stanford final. IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.
Aye. Denial was so sweet but it has to be said – the Hamster won. And you gotta give her credit for coming through all those tough three setters against players with bigger weapons or more experience.
“It would be zero degrees outside and we’d sweep off the snow just to practice. People would say I wouldn’t be any good at tennis if I let my dad coach me. That was about the time Venus was just starting out and coached by her dad. She went to No. 1. That helped me develop mental toughness.”
Dr Walter Bartoli is well-known for being every bit as eccentric as his “doctor” title suggests. He strikes me as a bit of a mad scientist, and Marion his guinea pig, or hamster, whatever. Even his method of motivation seems rather risque.
“He told me before the week there’s no way I would make the final. Today he said the only goal was to avoid losing 6-0, 6-1.”
Umm, if my dad said that to me, he’d be getting no more Christmas cards from his daughter.
3) You don’t want to look at mosaics of the Hamster, do you? How about some pictures of “the real doubles No 1s” – Venus/Rena – instead?
They look so ridiculously sweet, it warms me to the cockles of my calcified heart.
Gnawwwww… squish, squish:
4) Over in Gstaad, Thomaz Bellucci joined the likes of Reeshie Gasquet to win “Le Rock“, beating Andreas Beck, 64 76(2).
I’ve only seen Bellucci play once – first round at Roland Garros last year against Rafa. It was actually a close match, by “close”, I meant that Rafael Nadal won in straight sets. But hey Bellucci won more games against Nadal that tournament than Fed did … not that I need to revisit that wound.
So why do I care about a clay court tournament after the French Open? I don’t. As far as I’m concerned, tournaments on clay after June just shouldn’t exist.
But Bellucci’s kind of a cutiepatootie, isn’t he?
5) Some other people worthy of a mention this week:
- Like Robin Soderling last week, Tommy Haas‘s winning streak against players not named Roger Federer was finally snapped by Querrey in LA. But it’s just nice to see that he’s followed up his recent successes with another decent run, instead of wandering off to the Land of Lost Souls again. Same goes for JCF.
- Third time’s the charm – Sam Querrey finally won a title after losing his last two finals. If I were American, I might care. Or I might feel equally uninspired.
- Not that I actually give a damn about Carsten Ball either. As an Aussie, I fully expect him to fade into anonymity again after a fluky run. Prove me wrong.
6) LA for the girls, Washington for the guys this week. “Proper tennis” only gets better from here..
Images via Dailylife and Getty Images
Here’s looking at you, Radek Stepanek, in all your mutant sexbomb glory. (Czech def Argentina 3-2)
Oh yeth, it’s the Davis Cup again. Whose smart idea was it to play Davis Cup the week after Wimbledon? 3 best of five set tournaments in 7 weeks, talk about an overkill.
Spain def Germany 3-2.
Fact # 1: Feliciano Lopez is a bromantic.
Fact #2: It is my lifelong ambition to be jammed in the middle of Spanish bromantics.
Fact #3: In case you missed it, Spain won their fifth live rubber because Mosquito was awesome.
Fact #5: Nando doesn’t have a monkey face. *sad*
What’s a monkey face you ask? Stare at it long enough and it might wink back!
Croatia def USA 3-2.
Fact #5: Marin Cilic wore a picnic blanket, and made a wonderful team leader.
Fact #6: Nice guys can play crap tennis. Here’s looking at you, James Blake. Two sets to love up against Karlovic and still managed to lose the match, REALLY?
Israel def Russia 4-1
Fact #7: the Safin Heartbreak Train rolls on. Of course he couldn’t just lose in straight sets in the doubles rubber, he had to come back from 2 sets to love to take it to a fifth set, and then lose. That’s Marat Safin for ya.
Fact #8: The Israeli Davis Cup team played such inspired tennis that a Hollywood biopic needs to be made about it.
Fact #9: They’re NOT going to beat Spain at home in the semifinal.
Fact #10: Contrary to popular belief, these are not Federer fans.
All images via Dailylife
1) I had a bizarre moment when I fell asleep during the rain delay in Momo v Dina, woke up early morning in Melbourne and saw that the Murray v Wawrinka match was still going. Whaaaaaaa?
It’s only a matter of time before we screw tradition and bring
in the night matches.
It sounded like a magical match, I only caught the last few games after I woke up, and can’t really say more until I’ve seen the entire thing. The atmosphere was electric, even with Dootsie all groggy and sleep deprived. A huuuuuuuuge hug for Stan, you and I can be friends again.
I honestly didn’t think Wawrinka had it in him, don’t know why – his H2H against Muz is actually closer than the Fed v Murray H2H (from memory). That backhand is just completely ridonk and stinkfaced when it’s on. Well done to Mandy for slugging it out. At the end of the day, junk balls at this end of a slam just ain’t gonna cut the mustard. I’m glad he found some aggression in his game to avoid sheer chaos in Britain. He’ll pick up the serve and reduce the UFEs again in the quarterfinal and beyond no doubt. No pressure or anything.
2) As much as I’m not a fan of Ana Ivanovic, I don’t kick a player when she’s down. Nor do I wish her anything but health and recovery. Truly bummed that Ivanovic had to go out in that fashion, but equally happy with Venus’s performance in the first set, everything’s just clicking together for her. Nice hug from Venus at the end to comfort a distraught Ivanovic. Golly, I can’t handle her happy fists or her tearful exits.
ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
3) Serena Williams was scary against Daniela Hantuchova. Like, blow-you-into-oblivion kinda scary. Wimbledon is hers to win.
On a slightly different note, I thought she dealt with this rude reporter very well.
Q. There’s been some controversy about the Wimbledon playing committee perhaps picking players for their looks rather than their tennis talent on Centre Court. They are saying that good looks are a factor with who plays on Centre Court. What do you think about that as an extremely accomplished tennis player who should be on Centre Court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think Roger’s hot, but he’s married, so…
Q. What do you think about it in regards to the female tennis players, though?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I have no comment on that actually (smiling).
Q. Do you think it’s sexist?
SERENA WILLIAMS: For why?
Q. To put good‑looking female players on Centre Court, doesn’t matter whether they’re ranked 45th.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Like I said, I have no comment on that.
Yeah dude, why don’t you just come straight out and call her ugly?
4) I love the WTA in all its bitchy glory, oh yeth I do. Anyone seen the infamous Bump-gate between Wozniacki and Lisicki? A visual reminder?
Or perhaps a musical reminder for extra Meow-Meow?
It’s a pity, these two are actually quite good friends off court from what I’ve heard. I’m a bit disappointed with Carol’s performance at slams, but Sabine earned the victory, even if she so saw CWoz coming.
5) Haas, Hewitt, Roddick and Ferrero in the quarters? Let’s partay like it’s 1999!
Seriously guys, clap clap. Well done. Haas, Ferrero and Roddick all through in straight sets – didn’t see that coming. Wimbledon has got to be pleased they gave JCF a wild card.
I was getting a little freaked out by the fact that Hewitt had yet to lose a set coming into Week 2 – abnormality in tennis disturbs me. So at last, a sense of normalcy descended on my tennis universe when he came back from a two set deficit to win in 5 against the Worm. At the end of the day, Lleyton Hewitt will be Lleyton Hewitt. Somehow, I find it oddly comforting.
Predictions? I always get mine wrong, but that’s all part of the fun: I don’t see Ferrero troubling Mandy. Depending on how well Hewitt recovers from his five setter, Roddick v Hewitt should be interesting. Roddick last played Rusty at Queens and came through in two tiebreaks, and no doubt he will triumph once again to move into the semis. As for Tommy Haas, I don’t see him scoring consecutive wins against Novak Djokovic, nor would it surprise me if he did. Don’t know how to call that one. Suppose I’ll go with the safer option – Djokovic… is that safer?
Nothing’s safe at a grand slam.
6) Less spectacular matches: Elena Dementieva and Novak Djokovic have made the most of their extremely cushy draws. Both their runs have been uneventful, but solid. Novak Djokovic is almost invisible these days. Court 3? Really Wimbledon? Karma will getcha.
ARad ended Oudin’s dream run. She’ll get blown off the court by Venus, I think. I hope. But I like the girl, she’s no Martina Hingis, but she’s no Daniela Hantuchova either. She’s her own thing.
7) Amidst a Monday of Mania, a player who lost in this very round 12 months ago faced allegations of cocaine use in front of an anti-doping tribunal.
According to Figaro, Gasquet’s defence relies on a Frenchwoman called Pamela, whom he met in Miami and “kissed several times”. If Pamela was found to be using cocaine that night, then he might be able to establish that the cocaine in his urine was found there ‘without his own knowledge’. Verdict is expected to be in the next two weeks.
Gasquet has expressed that regardless of the ban, he’ll come back to tennis.