When I entered The World of Roger Federer’s Pants, I made it a point to find out everything Swiss-tennis related, and that was how I got to know about Patty Schnyder, who was more often than not overshadowed by The Other Swiss Great besides Roger Federer, Martina Hingis. But after Hingis’ retirement in 2002, she has shouldered the responsibility of being the Swiss no.1 female player.
Up until now.
Yesterday, Patty Schnyder emotionally announced her retirement, after a whopping 17 years on tour.
It’s time to close this amazing chapter of my life. This very emotional decision makes me thankful and proud of all the moments I have been able to share on and off the court with fans from all over the world and with the champions and legends from many decades.
Source: WTA News
As a tennis player, she has had a good career, able to crack the top 10 and winning 11 WTA tour titles. But after a first-round loss to Sorana Cirstea in Paris, she decided that maybe it was time to call it a day on her fuzzy-yellow ball smacking days.
I felt I had some more years in tennis but the last five weeks on clay I have not been able to push away the desire of wanting to do other things in my life. That’s the feeling of my heart.
I guess it’s approaching the point where the desire and the passion is ebbing away for Patty. I have to admit I’ve never paid much attention to her career as her male compatriot is constantly hogging all my attention (what a douche, right?) but in her good days, she has had some great wins over the greatest players, including Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis, Justine Henin and Rere Williams. She was in the top 50 for 14 years of her career – which is something that marks her playing power.
The Grand Slam title, however, was one thing that had eluded her – closest she ever came to that was in 2004 when she lost the Australian Open semi-final against Mama Kim Clijsters. Poigantly, she reflected upon that.
When I was a kid, I had so many dreams and some came true. I wanted a Grand Slam title but that will have to remain a dream.
Go forth in achieving your other dreams off the court, Patty. All the best to you in your future endeavours!
P.S. photos from daylife.com, quotes from WTA.com
1. Playing her first tournament since the Australian Open, Serena scored a straight-sets victory over Timea Bacsinszky, 76(2) 61, followed by a slight struggle, 62 36 60, against Andrea Petkovic, who put up a more than respectable effort.
By the way, what’s with Serena’s 5 minute “gossip sessions” at the net these days? What the hail girl? You’re Serena Williams, you really don’t need to be nice to the minions.
2. NINJAAAAA. Somehow the slits work in black.
Also returning from injury, Venus had no trouble dismissing Nutty Patty and Shahar Peer both in straight sets. With her wins being so straight-forward, conversation during the press conference turned unnecessarily to the topic of retirement, with Venus dismissing the idea given her recent results.
“Well, when I’m feeling rotten and no good at tennis then I’ll say to myself ‘get out of here’. But on this wave of wins there is no real need for me to think about quitting. We’ll see.”
Acapulco aside, it is a fact universally acknowledged that the Williamses aren’t well known for their clay-court prowess. But with the fall of other seeds such as Lena Dee, Vika, Carol, Sveta and DinaRICK in Rome, I wonder if Serena and Vee, with their inherent killer instincts, smell a chance just around the corner.
Venus has such a ridiculously beautiful body, just sayin’, but she really does.
3. Sharpen those knives, feast on the carcasses. The “World No 2” crashed out of Rome yesterday, losing in straight sets to my beloved MJMS, whose incessant drop shots were so filled with stealth that she really ought to be arrested.
4. The competition hasn’t been kind to the locals – ARad spared Roberta Vinci just one game in a 6-1 6-0 win over the Italian (before losing to Mrs Birdy), likewise CWoz trounced wild card Maria Elena Camerin before going down to my beloved. Flavs and Franny both crashed out in straight sets second round.
Expectations raised, expectations crucified. It’s like Wimbledon, but for the Italians.
5. When you have nothing more to lose, the only way to go is up. Ana Ivanovic “upset” Vika and Demmy to score her first top 10 victories in … yonks.
Nevermind Vika and Demmy played stale and listless tennis, wins like these matter little for merit, but they matter hugely for morale.
And is there a more demoralised player than Ana Ivanovic in women’s tennis?
I don’t club baby seals for sport, no matter how much I may or may not dislike baby seals. Not when Ivanovic fans are developing something akin to the battered woman syndrome these days anyway.
Good job Ana. She has a doable section of the draw to the final. That said, the minute something becomes ‘doable’ for Miss Muffin is the minute it snaps out of her reach.
PS: oh yeah, some guy won a match in Estoril. No biggie.
I mean … It’s not like I’m having his babies or anything.
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.
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.
Marat lost to Baby-Marat. I’m sorry, it was my fault. I shouldn’t have paid any attention to him. I’ll look away now.
By the way, please tell me we still have Paris?
Okay, looking away now. No peeking.
In better news, up your glitter supplies for Doha as JJ secures the final spot to make up the top 8 by beating Lucie Safarova in straights 76 73.
This makes the final line up for Doha:
Yes Safina’s back to No 1 temporarily. You know what? No one gives a shit.
Not much to be said about JJ’s match against Mrs Berdych. JJ was consistent, she mostly is.
Not the same could be said about her closest rival to Doha, who lost 60 62 to Pironkova and requested that her identity be kept secret on this blog.
There, there. We won’t judge. Rest up that injured body of yours and come back firing next year.
Someone else who’s done for the year sooner than expected: Kim Clijsters lost in 3 sets against Pattycakes Schnyder, who apparently is still playing tennis.
The match was never televised, but just from the stats alone: is it a rule in women’s tennis that as soon as someone “makes it” on the big stage, they immediately screw up their serve?
There was a time when I used to like Pattycakes. She has this fabulously nutty vibe about her, must be the whole Harnecker thing.
But since that epic match against Sharapova at Roland Garros 2007, I’ve largely forgotten that Patty still existed, except in that far and fearsome land we call “the Temple of Lost Souls”.
She made it difficult for herself. She tried (very hard) to choke it away, but Schnyder prevailed finally 64 36 76(6) to deny us a potentially juicy quarterfinal between Clijsters and Sabine Licks.
Doha and Basel can’t come soon enough.
All the “It-girls” are doing it – Dementieva, Sharapova and Ivanovic. Sure they are! You totally want to double fault your way into oblivion just like them.
Czink def. Ivanovic 7-6(6) 7-5.
Yes, that would be Melinda friggin Czink.
Ana served at 51%, with 2 aces, 11 double faults, right after she announced that she’s experimenting with her service motions. Hey kiddo – stop messing with your serve.
I’m not against experimenting with serves per se, but do it when 1) you have a coach, 2) during the off season.
Clijsters def. Schnyder 6-2 7-5.
It says something about the WTA tour when Kim Clijsters, coming back from a two year absence, scores two consecutive top 20 victories.
In fact, it says: “the women’s game has not progressed in the last two years”.
Not to take away from Clijster’s level, which has been nothing short of impressive. She didn’t even face a single breakpoint all match.
Clijsters play Sveta next round, who she is 6-1 against. But coming back from such a long absence, there’s still a big question mark over whether she’s ready to take on a the reigning French Open champ. But then again, Kuzzy’s not in the best physical shape right now, I wouldn’t be surprised if Clijsters claim her first top 10 victory this week.
Jankovic def. Kirilenko 7-6(6) 6-3.
Err JJ? You got taken to a tiebreak by MariKiri? What’s up with that?
Please don’t get slaughtered by Vika next round.
And … you looked like a corn?
ANTA, I thought we were friends.
Other WTA seeds all progressed in Cincinnati, with ARad the only upset (lost to Bammer). Vera Zvonareva had a hard time taking out Giant-Killer Alisa Kleybanova, but make it through 6-4 1-6 7-5. I just mentioned it to show her cheery outfit.
Mentioning outfits, Serena’s light colours from Nike also looks fantastic. If only she’d just relax … girl, you just beat Kateryna Bondarenka in a round 2 match, okay? Chill.
REUTERS/John Sommers II
Fact: the WTA is my fashion hell.
Please tell me this was not made from her wedding dress?
Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Bethanie Mattek-Sands lost to Nadia Petrova, 63 36 63, though her victor was just as fashionistically-challenged as her. Whoever’s designing Nad’s dress clearly wasn’t fired after Wimbledon.
It’s Sharapova v Petrova next round: will Maria score another inspired victory? Or will Nadia find her marbles in lost property and pull off a win?
AP Photo/Paul Sakuma
Things aren’t going much better ftennis-wise over at the Istanbul 😛 players party, where it became clear that foot-tan was much needed, along with a comb for poor old Patty.
And yeah that’s right, organisers, put the ones who didn’t read the dress code in the middle.