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.
Isn’t it refreshing when a teenager dresses like a teenager? Did Laura Robson get the memo?
Hello, I am Sweet Caroline and I just crawled out of a cabbage patch.
First and last time I’ll say this about Ferrer…
Just the clothes. I swear.
(Watermarked photos courtesy of Tennis Panorama)
A little snippet of the Melbourne music scene before we get onto the tennis, worth it just for the guy at the start.
1. Dear Tennis Gods, it would be great if you … you know … stopped kicking my ass. Weekend results – in the order of misery:
Madrid: Aravene Rezai def Justine Henin: 46 75 60.
Madrid: Lucie Safarova def Maria Sharapova 64 63.
Whatshisface def. GOAT 62 76(5).
Darth Federer def Dootsie 60 60.
I wonder how Maria Sharapova feels these days – back in 08, she was playing the best tennis of her career before her body came crashing down on her. She came back, slowly but surely, climbing her way into the top 20 with a rustier, more uncertain brand of tennis, before her body crashed again.
But Sharapova wouldn’t be Sharapova if she didn’t have that never-ending relentlessness to her. It’s no surprise that she lost first match in Madrid – coming back from injury, rusty, hasn’t played or won much this year, she had the misfortune of drawing the baby-faced giant-killer that is Lucie Safarova. No frazzling needed – her comeback from injury begins in earnest in Strasbourg.
As for Justine, she was reportedly ill after Stuttgart, looks like she ran out of gas in the third set. I say “looks like”, since no network had the decency to cover an OOP featuring Venus, Henin and Sharapova.
2. To top it off, Jizzy let match point slip at 63 53 before losing to Querrey 36 76(4) 64. WHAT. EVER. No one wants an erectile dysfunctional trophy anyway.
Mentioning erectile dysfunction …
(Lordy, Nole looks pre-pubescent.)
3. Since his very public act of self-mutilation two years ago, Mikhail Youzhny has tumbled down the rankings before sneaking his way slowly back up. Who knew? Dude’s closing in on Top 10 again.
Over in Munich, Mish outlasted Red Hot Cilic Peppers 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, making it third time lucky for the finalist of 2007 and 2009.
Marin. Scruffy. Dimples. Alas …
4. Over in Estoril, Whatshisface successfully defended his title. *grumbles*
What happens in Estoril stays in Estoril, ya hear me?
1. While the men’s tour has somewhat settled down during the clay season with the reign in Spain, the only thing reigning on the ovaries side of tennis world is chaos.
Overnight, Carol and Vika both crashed out to Lucie Safarova and Anna Lapushchenkova for a quarterfinal no one expected to get. None of this, however, was that surprising. The BFFs have been struggling with various injuries since starting their clay seasons in the US.
But with Kim Clijsters down with a torn foot muscle, the Williamses largely absent, and Gen-Y ravaged by injuries, Justine Henin should just keep her head down, try not to catch any more volleys at the net, and hope that Sam Stosur implodes under the weight of our Aussie hopes.
2. Mentioning Stosur, she overcame a slow start to take out Alexa Dulgheru 36 60 62 for a place in the quarters against Li Na. So much talent, but so tempered by sheer mindfuckery. Can’t wait.
3. Talk about mindfuckery, Justine Henin isn’t one known for her mind blanks, but she barely steadied the ship in time after choking away a 5-1 lead in the second set, squeaking out Wicky in straight sets- 6-3 7-5.
She’ll have to up the ante if she wants to beat Jelena Jankovic next round, who has barely lost games this tournament. But then again, Justine is an experienced Jaja slayer, having won their last 9 meetings.
4. Dina is back people, as Dinarik. It’s all very confusing.
But since she’s been away for a while and it was her birthday on Tuesday, I’ll play nice: good to see her tough out a win against Agnes Szavay. 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-0.
5. But Dootsie, you can’t just ignore Rome!
Oh yes I can. Sulkysulkysulkysulk.
6. In off-court news, Deliciano is expecting a Delicianita.
Spanish press confirmed this week that former Miss Spain María José Suárez is between 1-2 months preggers with Deliciano’s child. The pair has been on-and-off for the last 5 years and do not plan on getting back together.
In a recent interview with Hola, Jose Suarez plans to raise the child on her own because she “would rather raise the child in a less hostile, and independent environment”, and admitted that their relationship should have “ended three years ago”.
Indeed. Hell has no fury like a Spanish woman gone hormonal.
7. Fernando Gonzo may have pulled out of Madrid, still bothered by his knee pains, but make no mistake, dude’s got more tennis left in him.
Gonzo announced today on his website that he’ll be working part-time with Darren Cahill. The pair will begin their partnership the week before the start of the French Open.
Okay Darren, you go work with the poor man’s Fed.
‘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.
The last week before the Australian Open.
Overnight, Roger Federer has pulled out of the Kooyong Classic, sparking rumours that his wrist is bothering him more than he’s letting on. Fed’s manager dismissed the claims. Make of that what you will.
Meanwhile, here’s a pic I took last year. *sigh*
Nole and del Potro now headline the field in Kooyong, while Jo-Willy Tsonga‘s participation is a little uncertain given his injury.
It’s a bad week for France all-round. Over in Sydney, Monfils has pulled out of the tournament after being plagued by what appears to be a shoulder inflammation. Birdy, Hewitt, Stan and Samurai will still be there to hold up a less-than-stellar field.
Never mind, Sydney’s all about the girls. Serena, Safina, Sveta, CWoz and Vika will be getting their last minute practice before the Oz Open next week.
Somehow, it’s just not that exciting without the Belgians.
Over in the tennis wasteland of Hobart, Anabel Medina Garrigues and Shahar Peer are the top two seeds, but Zheng Jie, Lucie Safarova, Alize Cornet and Sori Cirstea should make things interesting.
The headlines read “Safina stunned by Toyko loss”, “Ivanovic upset by Safarova“. Unfortunately it was just one of those cliches that journalists like to fall back on when they run out of worthwhile things to say.
There was nothin stunning or upsetting about Safina or Ivanovic losing first round.
Self-professedly, I’m not an Ivanovic-fan, but cheering against her these days is a bit like kicking a dead puppy: not only is it cruel, it’s also futile.
Knowing how I felt when my favourite players were slumping or injured, I’ll save the negativity for a sunnier day.
Sure – the girl is confused, she doesn’t have a proper coach, she’s on track to finish the year ranked outside the top 20. She’s tinkering with her serve and messing it up. She lacks conviction in her mind and fire in her belly. But you gotta think there’s a rock bottom to this slump and that when she gets there, the only way to go is back up.
Umm, just ignore Nicole Vaidisvoa.
As for the actual match, there is only one word to describe it: dreadful. Errors flowing from both sides, not to mention 11 DFs from Ana alone. I do however give a lot of credit to Mrs Berdych for showing class in victory.
“It wasn’t the best match Ana did. We played against each other in Toronto. It was a much better match, much tougher.
“I know how Ana is feeling and I feel it with her. She’s struggling with her serve and when that goes, all your game goes.”
Have a break Ana, have a Kitkat. Take the rest of the year off and comeback ready to win matches again next year.
I had a bizarre moment opening up my scoreboard this afternoon, thinking that Dinara Safina had lost the first set of her Round 2 match to Chiang Kai-shek.
Turns out it was only Chang Kai-chen, an 18 year old Taiwanese sensation making her debut on the WTA tour this summer. Given that her previous biggest victory was over Kanepi, I was fairly impressed with Chang, who showed the sort of guts, massive forehand and composure under pressure that you so rarely find in youngsters late in the third set.
It also goes to show the lack of “the fear factor” these top women hold over their lower ranked opponents. Teenagers like Chang and Kvitova walk on court not only believing that they could pull off an upset, but almost expecting it.
“I had a lot of chances in the third set but I just let it go. The way I played the game at 5-4 was not right after her latest setback.” – Dinara Safina on her loss.
Yada yada, story of your career.
There’s something in the water in Tokyo – Kuzzy also went out a gutsy Andrea Petkovic. This whole win-a-second-slam-then-slump-spectacularly thing has been done once before by Marat Safin. Try something new Sveta.
I’ve survived for 16 months without Henin, but suddenly, awaiting her return has never felt so long and arduous.
What the –
Serena, you … actually wanna win this? I thought we had an understanding!
Rena progressed to the quarterfinals with a 63 62 win over Lucie Safarova, a kill so clean I could use it as a mirror.
I don’t understand Serena. One day she’s getting her ass kicked by a journeywoman from the Land of Lost Souls, the next she’s winning 100% of her second serves and baring her teeth at poor ickle Lucie Safarova.
I don’t know what to do with you, ReeRee. For superstition’s sake, can you at least lose your next match, or in the final?
Elena Dementieva scored a three set win over Sam Stosur, 6-7(3) 6-1 6-3. Stosur’s two major weapons – the serve and the forehand – still have the tendency to get up and walk out on her in the middle of a match.
I don’t think she’ll be too devastated about it though. The girl’s had a wonderful summer and will no doubt be one of the dark horses for the US Open.
Don’t know how I feel about Elena Dementieva. Actually I do know – I don’t feel anything about her. Utter indifference. Don’t love her, don’t hate her, just… meh.
I am however, totally excited about the Wimbledon rematch between her and Serena. Elena’s game has been known to trouble Serena in the past, but Elena’s also developed a tendency to play horrendously at the tail end of a tournament lately. Only the Tennis Gods know which version of Elena and Serena they’re going to send along to the match tomorrow.
One thing is for certain though – I would love to see a Sharapova v Williams final. It’s been too long.
Mentioning Masha Fierce, her performance at Toronto this week has been the best I’ve seen from her since her return.
For the most part of her 6-2 7-6(5) win over ARad, Masha Fierce was exploding off the ball and whipping Radwandska’s cupcake serves into puddings. The double faults are a little disconcerting still, but the rust is definitely wearing off.
Now, let’s get this semifinal monkey off our back.
Unfortunately, our hopes of a Glittergal v Glamourgal showdown between Shaz and JJ were dashed by Kleybanova, who took out JJ in a 3 hour marathon 6-7 (6), 7-6 (7), 6-2. Credit to Kleybs, who was deceivingly athletic, and went for her shots, amassing over 50 winners for the match.
I haven’t seen her match against Ana Ivanovic at the Australian Open this year, but it’s not hard to see why this girl’s a bit of a giant killer. Gutsy.
JJ faded physically in the third set. Understandably so, she’s played a lot of tennis with some huge match wins over the past few weeks. Getting miffed about line calls certainly made her night even more draining than it had to be.
- Roger Federer (24 points: 10 for the win, 2 for straight sets, double as team captain)
- Lucie Safarova: (16 points: 10 for the win, 2 for straight sets, 2 for beating a higher ranked player, 2 for taking down a seed – Bammer)
- Sara Errani (16 points: as above, took down Kirilenko)
- Dinara Safina (12 points: 10 for the win, 2 for straight sets)
- Jelena Dokic (12 points: 10 for the win, 2 for beating a higher ranked opponent)
- Victor Troicki: (10 points for the win)
- Feliciano Lopez (1 point for losing but winning at least a set)
- Agnes Szavay (1 point, as above)
Looks like my gamble on Errani, Dokic and Safarova paid off. Turns out I do know something about the 25+ bracket of the WTA after all.