Tag Archive | Philippe Kohlschreiber

Shrimp on the barbie?

Looks like the good folks of Western Australia will be tossing plenty of shrimp on the barbie this summer, with an absolute kick-arse field headed for the Hopman Cup 2010.

 

 

As if the combined attraction of Stosur/Hewitt wasn’t enough in this country, so far four other teams have been confirmed with Dementieva/Andreev representing Russia. Snow White and his dwarfette are teaming up for USA.

And today, the organisers announced the attendance of Lisicki and Kohlschreiber for Germany, and Cirstea/Hanescu as Romania’s first entry in the tournament. 

Likey likey.

 

And what’s this I hear about a possible Murray/Robson collaboration?

Tennis in my time zone. Oh yeth …

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Cincy/Toronto Day 2: Who stole Masha Fierce’s visor?

It was YOU Fernando Verdasco! 

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I want the faux hawk back. That birds nest sitting on top of Nando’s head is killing me. 

 

Expect sparrows to fly out any minute: Nick Laham/Getty Images

 

Fernando Verdasco is at the stage in his career where he’s probably thinking to himself – “I’ve made it. I’ve broken through, now what?”

He could cement his place in the top 10, show the world that he’s here to stay, or he could fumble his way back down the ladder a la Blake or Ferrer.

Right now, he looks more likely to take the latter path than the former. The guy has an 8-7 win/loss record since the French Open (27-9 prior), and in most of those losses – (Wimbledon, Montreal and Cincinnati) he hasn’t played badly. He’s just brainfarted spectacularly during crucial tiebreaks.

Losing tiebreaks against Karlovic (Wimbledon) or Roddick (Montreal) is mostly excusable, but losing to Garcia-Lopez 7-6 (4) 7-6 (4)?

Certainly doesn’t do wonders for his confidence heading to the Open.

Be it the birds nest, or the visor, or the brainfarts, Fernando Verdasco is officially depressing me

 

Also depressing – here I was, breathing a sigh of relief as Marin Cilic finally won a half-believable match against JCF, the kid promptly went on to lose next round to Ferrer. What’s wrong Marin?

Actually, what’s wrong Daveed? Why do he look like he hasn’t slept for a month? Do something about those panda eyes!

 

Coffee? AP Photo/Tom Uhlman

 

In other matches, ’twas a day for the “oi oi oi’s” as Lleyton, Guccione, and Slammin’ Sammy all scored wins against worthy opponents.

Compared to his loss against Ferrero last week in Montreal, Hewitt was much sharper against Soderling, downing the Sod in a highly competitive 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4  victory. 

Hewitt and the Yoker were still in the process of recovery from recent injuries, and the rust from Sod clearly showed, as he committed 50 unforced errors. Lleyton, on the other hand, claims everything is going well.

 

“My body felt a lot better.  That was the difference.  Yeah, gave me a lot of confidence to be able to actually go out there and compete.  Last week in Montreal I couldn’t compete, which is frustrating.”

 

I wish I could like him, Hewitt, but even Bec is more amusing.

 

Nick Laham/Getty Images

 

For the other “oi oi’s”, Chris Guccione took out Kohlshcreiber 7-5 2-6 6-3, denying us of potential tennis porn between Jo-Willy and Kohly.

I have 3 words to describe the Gooch: boring as fuck.

Oh wait, and two more: cross-eyed.

 

Photo by Mark Lyons/Getty Images

 

Now don’t you dare take out Jo-Willy, Gooch. I’ll have you extradited to New Zealand.

 

And a final hurrah for Sam Stosur, who’s playing such consistently good tennis against anyone but her finals opponents. With her 6-4 6-3 win over Sveta in just over an hour, Stosur has officially clinched top 16 seeding at the US Open, which means she won’t have to play any of the top seeds until fourth round. 

It would do wonders for the atmosphere at the Australia Open next year if Sammy could somehow break through to the top 10 by the end of the year. C’mon girl, you’re so close. 

Stosur faces Pennetta next round – who’s up for revenge? 

 

POW POW! Jeff Gross/Getty Images

 

 

Weekly Mosaics: go thug yourself!

Mirror mirror on the wall,

Who’s the fugliest of them all? 

 

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mosaic88e60a3d096c0ad80cbbe2b7f9ca1bda61669489

 

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Yes folks, those are indeed the new mug shots the ATP put up on its website for their players’ profiles. Were the instructions “pretend the photographer’s Etienne de Villiers?”

Epic success.

 

Go-Thug-Yourself Honourable Mention: Fernando Gonzalez for his “big eye small eye” stare-down. 

Go-Thug-Yourself Third Place: Gilles Simon, for his drug mule impersonation. 

Go-Thug-Yourself Second Place: Jo-Willy Tsonga, for managing to make his face look so out of proportion that it’s medically alarming

Go-Thug-Yourself Grand Prize: Radek Stepanek, for perfectly capturing the sultry, sexy fug that the ATP photographer was aiming for. 

 

And congratulations to the photographer for making Roger Federer, who incidentally has the best skin, look like he has forehead acne instead of sweat beads. That takes serious skills. 

 

*rapturous applause*

xx doots

Final Tidbits: Goodbye to all that.

Wait – there are tennis tournaments going on this week? 

Sometimes I just want to stop the world for a bit and savor the moment, but that can’t be done, so it’s bye bye, Wimbly. You’re not my favourite slam. Actually, I hate you like an unloved child. And just because I’m a Federer fan, doesn’t mean I buy into your pomp and stickupyerassness the way TMF does.

But hey, you’ve delivered, yet again. You can go away now, with my parting thoughts…

 

 

1) If Brooklyn is okay with it, ARod and Dementieva should get together for a drink and some serious commiserations. They both had hugely improved their games. Both conquered some demons and played the match of their lives. Both knew that their chances to win another slam (a slam in Dementieva’s case) were running out – it was now or never for the pair of them. Both had points in their matches that will haunt them forever – Roddick in the second set tiebreak, and of course Dementieva and her dramatic match point. 

Both faced opponents heavily favoured to win, but nevertheless didn’t play their best tennis on the day. But both their opponents served near-record numbers of aces to save their asses. Both Fed and Serena dug themselves out of deficits, and practiced the art of survivorship – being the last man/woman standing, which takes slightly more than just day form. Roger and Serena didn’t end up with set points or match points that would haunt them forever. They survived long enough to put themselves in a position where just one flinch from their opponents would give them a lifeline. In the end, they both earned their victories thoroughly.

And thus the difference between Fed/Serena v Roddick/Dementieva? 25 slams. My deepest respect for the losing pair aside, my faith in Fed and Serena was reaffirmed by those two matches, not that it needed anymore reaffirming. But Roger, Andy, Serena and Elena will remain the four heros of the tournament for me

 

 

2) Wimbledon as a tournament irks me, and the trophy presentation irked me too. You had Borg, Laver and Sampras sitting there in the Royal Box – why couldn’t any of them have presented the trophy instead of the Duke of Whatever? They were the real royalties on Centre Court.

And how did the photographer manage to make the four GOAT contenders of men’s tennis look this fugly? 

 

 

Other Wimbledon stuff-ups that irked me: the girls-on-centre-court issue, the not-so-subtle ignorance of Novak Djokovic issue, the trying-to-call-Henman-Hill-Murray-Mound issue…

Redemption points for their tweeting and Facebook page. Best use of social network sites ever. 

 

3) This question was posed to Lleyton Hewitt after his third round defeat at Roland Garros: 

 

Q. If you look to this tournament you see some former No. 1 players like Safin, Ferrero, you. You’re not still in the 30s, but it seems like your generation cannot pick on anymore. How do you see that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Roger is doing all right for our generation. We’ll just hang on to him at the moment.

 

No need to hang on to Roger. With the exception of Safin, the rest of the ‘old balls’ – Ferrero, Hewitt, Haas and Roddick  – all came roaring back during Wimbledon. And Ivo Karlovic too: in his 30s and making his first grand slam quarterfinal. Maybe it’s because of these guys, but we saw some fairly old-school tennis during the fortnight – massive serves, tactical S&V, there was a few singlehanded backhands hanging around that did not belong to Roger Federer too. Meh. 

 

 

4) I’m a bit stuck on Venus Williams – I keep rooting for her to win a slam this year, and keep feeling disappointed whenever she loses. At least she played divinely to get to the final, but Serena wasn’t to be denied.

Oh well, I’m already on the bandwagon, so how about … I’ll support her like crazy again for the US Open? Can’t be that far-fetched, can it? *sigh*

 

5) Still ignoring Dinara Safina, and obviously failing at it. Actually why don’t we ignore Jelena Jankovic too. When your opponent hit double the number of winners as you, it’s a case of sour grapes to say that she has no weapons. 

While we’re at it, Caroline Wozniacki is dangerously close to being in the Ignore Club. I’m still waiting for her to step it up at a grand slam. When you’re announcing yourself as the next, next big thing, it’s probably not good enough to lose to Dokic, Cirstea or Lisicki before the quarterfinals of slams. I did enjoy “Bumpgate” though. 

 

 

6) Random-assortment-of-forgettable-players-worthy-of-a-mention: Dudi Sela, Philippe Kohlschreiber, Francesca Schiavone, Virginie Razzano (yay top 20), Amelie Mauresmo (come on she’s pretty forgetable these days), Radek Stepanek, Melanie Oudin, Sorana Cirstea  … 

Just because you fell before the finish line doensn’t mean you didn’t have a fantastic tournament. 

And a better draw for poor old Rendy Lu next time, please? 

 

7) And the almost-heroes:

Sabine Lisicki – any girl who can serve that well deserves to be in my Bandwagon Park.

Stanislas Wawrinka – Stan decided to step it up in a major way, and flaunt his backhand now that Reeshard is no longer around. He still fell valiantly short, but showed that he deserves to be back in the top 10. Keep it up: onwards and upwards to the Masters Cup!

Lleyton Hewitt – a round of applause for Rusty for taking out del Potro, surviving dangerous opponents like Petzschner and Stepanek, then taking Andy Roddick to a thrilling five sets. Didn’t like him a few years ago, but it was good to see him hanging around again. Let’s hope the hip holds up. 

 

 

8.) Regardless of your opinion on the so-called ‘Big Babe tennis’, the WTA needs its Big Babes to do well right now. Not a fan of either of them, but I was glad to see Daniela Hantuchova and Ana Ivanovic pull reasonable performances at Wimbledon.

Slightly freaked out about Maria though – I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that the rust will eventually wear off. She’s young, she’s still got time, right? RIGHT? 

 

9) Who wants to sign my “Roger Federer needs a coach ASAP” petition?

Damn it.

Here’s what the stubborn Roger had to say about his team during the French part of the post-Wimbly presser: 

 

Pouvez-vous nous parler de votre équipe ?
J’ai cru dans mon équipe. Cela a payé. Je suis très fier car je n’ai pas fait les changements drastiques que tout le monde attendait. J’ai eu raison, vous avez eu tort (sourires). »

Can you talk about your team? 

“I believed in my team. That paid off. I am very proud because I didn’t make any drastic changes as everyone expected. I was right, you were wrong.” (Laughter) 

Source: l’equipe

 

No we’re not wrong. I still think Federer should get a coach, but let me just hide that petition somewhere for a rainy day. 

 

 

10) Like Serena, Federer now hold 3 out of the 4 grand slams. Unlike Serena, Federer is No 1 in the world. I’d like to shut up about the WTA rankings, but it’s so goddam hard.

Mentioning rankings, I’m feasting my eyes on this …

 

333v3ue 

 

Potential to rise for Andy Roddick. Potential to crash and burn for Gilles Simon.

 

11) Rafa to return in Montreal. My guess is that Roger’s pulling out. 

 

12) I thought Andy Murray dealt well with the pressure and expectations at Wimbledon, but his smacktalk pre-Wimbledon appears a little silly in hindsight. Truth be told, whether or not Federer should’ve chosen to comment on Murray’s game after their match in Dubai last year, he was pretty spot-on with his assessment. Larry Stefanki said almost the same thing about Murray on Wimbledon Radio after the semifinals: 

 

“Besides Roger Federer he is the best mover in the game. He has the best footwork and he is technically very sound. He has to change his mentality of the way he wants to play this game at the very top level.”

“He is going to have a great future if he gets to the point of recognising balls to attack and to come into the forecourt and play there rather than 15 feet behind the baseline.”

“I like Andy Murray a lot and I respect his game. He plays it very smart but I still believe the game is played in the forecourt and at the net in order to win some big titles.

Source: Reuters

 

That’s one area that Nadal has hugely improved on in the last year: choosing when to come forward proactively and attack, and when to defend. No reason to suppose Andy Murray can’t improve on the same front. 

 

 

13) And onwards we roll: what are Andy Murray’s chances at the US Open? Good? Very good? Sure bet? 

After Roger’s wins in Paris and London, I don’t even care if he wins the US Open anymore, if he does – cherry on top, any slam’s a bonus. If he doesn’t, I’d like to see him at least keep the semifinals streak alive. 

I haven’t done the calculations, but is there any chance of Rafael Nadal dropping to No 3 in the rankings before the US Open? Hell, I do NOT want a Federer/Nadal semifinal. 

 

14) I miss/hate Richard Gasquet. 

 

15) 15th tidbit for 15 slams: HURRAH! YAY! WOOHOO! Still basking in the afterglow of Federer and Serena’s victories.

 

 

Having said that, the GOAT debate is now slightly more annoying than the grunt debate, which is slightly more annoying than grunting itself … which is saying a lot. 

 

Time to take that “GFC” icon off my sidebar, me thinks. The irony of it all is that Federer said at the end of Miami “thank God the hard court season’s over”. I wonder what he thinks about this upcoming hard court season. 

 

xx doots

The way you make me feel.

There’s no getting around it. Watching Roger Federer befrazzles me. It makes me want to pole vault my way up the equator and into centre court while blinding praying that they’ve got the roof open. 

 

It started off rather stunningly: Paul Gilham/Getty Images

 

The first two sets promised to be a Federer clinic again. And even that befrazzled me. These easy straight set matches won’t do much for his match fitness going into the second week. Roger Federer looked too relaxed out there, which is of course a good thing. A relaxed Federer just flows. But this is Wimbledon after all, the No 1 and 2 spots are both on the line, and so is history, from both sides of the draw. Being too relaxed is not a good thing.

 

I shouldn’t have worried, because a slight dip in Fed’s form and some fairly spectacular play by Kohly saw Federer being out on court for almost an extra hour.

 

Fed’s not dealing with these grass court slips very well is he? He seemed to let the falls disturb his rhythm a little. I wouldn’t be surprised if he finds them undignified. When Federer gets frustrated and snarky, it’s always an indignity issue. The indignity of losing his forehand halfway through a match, of being outsmarted by Hawk-Eye, of late calls by the linesmen or the umpire, of losing to Novak Djokovic… or did I dream that one up?

 

Mr Grumpy: Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images

 

When he fell, his level dipped. His first serves walked out on him, and the forehand started to look shaky. Giving back a break to lose the third set was just not cool. Dootsie was looking for the nearest river to dive into. The alternative was to burn in the Tennis Hail.

 

Having said that, Kohlshisfaceschreiber played the set of his life in the third, 21 winners and 2 unforced errrors, and it is to Federer’s credit that even with a slight dip in his level, that the German only won the set 76(75). Kohlschreiber played a “tree” game without actually treeing.

 

And just when you thought things were going to get interesting in the fourth set, something wonderful happened: Roger Federer changed his shirt.

 

Smiley: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images

 

What? It looks like a smiley monkey face!

 

If I really wanted to read into things, I’d say that changing the shirt signalled the return of Federer to free-flow mode. New set, clean shirt, perfectionist world order back in tact. But then again, RFed still had moments of struggle on serve, and Kohlschreiber has had a taste of imposing his presence on court. It wasn’t that easy, yet it was. You can’t complain about the scoreline in the fourth set. A Swiss breadstick just to compensate for the indignity of it all. 

 

You win, clap clap:  Paul Gilham/Getty Images

 

While we’re talking about the way I feel … I feel angst for Roger’s next round match. As the yoker said, nobody beats Robin Soderling 11 times in a row. Can the Swede cause his second seismic upset in 6 weeks?

I feel equally uneasy about Mirka sitting in that box, watching TIEBREAKS at this stage of her pregnancy. The last thing I want to read is the headline – “Mirka gives birth on grass”, though strangely appropriate it would be if Foeterer were born on Wimbledon grass … 

BUT we’re not going there. 

 

This pregnancy thing suits her: REUTERS/Toby Melville

 

How many more MJ related titles can I come up with?
I think we can go one more.