Tag Archive | Robby Ginepri

Up North: Remember this guy?

The only American male player other than Sampras, Agassi and Roddick to make a slam semi in the last decade – Robby Ginepri.

 

It was an error strewn affair when Soderling stepped on court to face the 100th ranked American overnight in Chennai, as the Swede’s “honeymoon period” after beating Roger Federer for the first time in Abu Dhabi came to an abrupt end. 

Sodering started the match well, but soon found himself down a break, conceding the first set 6-4. After seeing off 3 break points at the start of the second set, Soderling went on a roll, breaking Ginepri for a 3-0 lead. 

He had another 2 break points for an insurance break, but Ginepri did not back off, holding serve and promptly breaking back to even the score in the second set. With momentum under Ginepri’s wings, Soderling’s game fell apart. Robby G broke in the 11th game and served out the match, 64 75.

It was a disappointing exit for the tournament favourite, but Soderling denies that heat played a factor in his loss. 

“Everything went wrong, but the heat was not a factor,” the Swede said. “I tried my best, but it was an off-day. I was just not hitting the ball well.

“It is hopefully just a one-off thing.”

 

Looks like Sodercakes will be in town earlier than expected for Kooyong. 

Good news for Robby Ginepri though. His career has taken a dismal turn since making the 2005 US Open semifinal. Is this a sign of better things to come for the American? Given that it was his first match of the year, it doesn’t hurt to be a little optimistic.

“It’s great to start the year with an important win,” said Ginepri.

“Robin has had a fantastic run in the past year, and one is never sure what to expect in the first round against a player of his calibre.

“But I just wanted to serve and return well and it all came together in the end. I am quite excited about this win.”

 

Over in Qatar, Roger put left Abu Dhabi loss behind him and his Rolex in his locker, beating Christophe Rochus 61 62. It was an exhilarating display, as Federer tallied 47 winners to 12 unforced errors in 15 games to take the match. 

 

In the post-match press conference, Federer sounded – if possible – even more upbeat and enthusiastic than usual.

Someone’s pumped up for the Australian Opennnnnnnnnn.

“I feel like it could be a great season,” Federer said. “I had a break after the US Open and another one at the end of 2009, and I’ve come into this season pretty refreshed.

 “I don’t often get a chance to steamroller someone like that. My movement was explosive and nice, and I feel physically fine and mentally fresh.

“I feel eager to do well and I feel like I’ve got more titles in me,” he concluded.

 

You know Rog, if you burn out early, you’ll have my charming wrath to answer to. Tough love 2010. Tough love.

Some short highlights from the match. 

With the win under his belt, Roger took to the court to frolic with the ball kids. 


In the preceding match, Rafa also made an official start to his season with an easy win against Simone Bolleli. Nadal broke our favourite Italian hunk twice in the first set, and once in the second to seal the match, 63 63. So far, so good. 

While Federer, who is not too far off from the all-time record of weeks at No 1, has made no secret of the fact that he intends to cling on to the top spot, Rafa doesn’t see it as a goal. 

“… for me it’s not important. If you win tournaments you will have your chance (of being No 1).

“But I am just trying to play well here. If I win I have more chance of being world No 1. But I’m taking it day by day, and so for me being No 1 is not a lot.”

 

 

Later on today, Roger will take on Safin-lookalike Korolev, while Rafa finds himself faced with another Italian, Potato Star Ace.

Monday Tidbits: Hamburg, I’m your FAN!

YAY!

Nikolay Davydenko, who I’ve “Australianised” as Davo, won Hamburg over the weekend, beating Mathieu 64 62. Don’t you love it when underachievers achieve? 

Look, he even got himself a fan:

 

 

That’s got to be one of the wackiest tennis trophies I’ve seen. Double yay! 

 

Mentioning WTF tennis trophies, what are your favourites? Three of mine: 

 

WTF No 1: Le Rock! 

 

 

WTF No 2: Le Tree! 

 

 

WTF No 3: Le Rubble, which incidentally resembles what’s left of Novak Djokovic, after Jo-Willy’s done with him.

 

 

 

Meanwhile, a shoutout to Robby Ginepri, the most forgettable American, who also ended his title drought last weekend with a win in Indianapolis over the eternal bridesmaid – Sam Querrey, 62 64.

Didn’t watch it, didn’t care. Didn’t realise it was actually an international tournament. 

 

And a final yay to the WTA Stanford tournament this week: real tennis! I can’t wait. 

 

xx doots

 

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Caroline Wozniacki became the second player this week to avenge her Melbourne loss by defeating, wait – make that pulverising, Jelena Dokic in straight sets, 61 62. She followed up this victory with a 61 76(1) dismissal of Bremond. Nice work Woz. I was a little concerned last week after her early exit, but perhaps it was just a routine case of WTA neurosis. 

 

On the topic of WTA neurosis, at least JJ had the audacity to be embarrassed about her 62 75 loss to Kaia Kanepi. But give your opponent more credit JJ, it’s not all about yourself.  I like your dress though. 

 

 

“This was the worst match of my career. It was a horrible day. I kept framing the ball, kept making unforced errors, and could not put two balls together on court. I didn’t move properly, and I didn’t see the ball properly,” said [JJ].

“She didn’t have to do too much. Basically I beat myself. I don’t know what happened out there. I am ashamed of this performance.”

Source: tennis.com

 

Image from tennis.com

 

Aside from JJ, all the other top seeds seem to be doing fine, even the mercurial Miss Ivanovic, who scored a win over lucky loser Camille Pin in Dubai today/yesterday. Should Serena and Venus both win their next matches (against Ivanovic and Dementieva), we’d be on track for another siblings showdown after one earlier this week between Radwanska and … well, Radwanska. Hoorah!

 

On the men’s side, boring boring boring – Djokovic, Tsonga, Lopez, Youzhny all through. In Memphis, it’s been a good day for the Americans, with Ginepri, Querrey, and Fish through as well. The Worm also continues to squirm his way through the draws, umm – someone stop him? Sorry Worm fans, but the guy’s like a over-excited mutant left over by the dying generation of S&Vers. We need an upset on the men’s side of things. Or maybe another Djokovic v Tsonga showdown. Oooh yeth…. 

 

In other news, speculations (and this is indeed pure speculation) that Federer could be interested in working with Darren Cahill. Of course, rumours have been around for years that the Fed’s after Cahill, but it just so happens that Cahill has left his coaching position on the Australian Davis Cup team, but believes he’ll “probably get back to coaching again at some point”. That’s all there is to it really. I suppose Fedophiles like myself are desperate for news these days. Where is the world is Roger Federer? 

 

It’s always the same pattern: When Roger Federer has to recover from exhaustion or get to terms with disappointment, he vanishes. He might hit the beach in Dubai or on the Maledives, like after the Masters Cup in 2008. Last year after the AO the Californian megacity Los Angeles was his secret holiday destination.

But he also disappears in Switzerland in between. He plays cards with mates in Basel, skis in Lenzerheide or turns up at a barbecue on Lake Zurich. If, however you do not happen to run into him or get a tip, you will as likely find Roger Federer as the elusive Bernstein Room: not at all.

Why is that? Federer does not want any media attention in between tennis events, and rigorously protects his privacy. And he is very clear about this to his company and acquaintances. If you do not respect this, you fall from his grace. His girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec, his parents, his fitness coach Pierre Paganini, his physio Gary Hamilton, his coach Severin Lüthi and his media-assistant Géraldine Dondit will stay mum – about anything. 

The likeable Paganini will talk casually about how to get fit, but not about how Federer gets fit. You can also have a friendly chat with Lüthi about all the world and his brother. Regarding Roger, almost everything is censored – to an extent that borders on the absurd. The coach must not even let you know when training starts. Information is so scarce that even the most everyday announcements are traded like sensations.

His pals clearly become uncomfortable if they are expected to talk about the star. They act as if they were negotiating a minefield. Whatever Federer does not want to tell himself has to be question-marked. 

This also goes for his whereabouts. So only a handful of people know where he is moving, which flight he is taking to which destination. “Sometimes Mirka and I will slip away for a month, and nobody knows where we are”, says Federer. “And that’s exactly how I want it.”

http://www.blick.ch/sport/tennis/fed…ucht-ab-111957

English Translation:  fhol on RF.com

 

 

It’s all very James Bond and the secret service isn’t it? The name’s Federer. Roger Federer.

2008 Year-End Wrap Up: ATP Pt 1, the Matches

Just goes to show how much more emotionally invested in the ATP I am compared to the WTA. What a year it’s been, and I’ve decided to separate it into different posts. So here’s the first one, matches of the year. And a little disclaimer before I start – neutrality has no place on blogs, so feel free to disagree/agree with my terribly biased opinions. 

 

Match of the Year

Do I need to spell this one out? Can anyone really pick another match other than this one? No, I’m seriously not going to mention it by name, if you can’t figure out which match I’m referring to, there’s something wrong with you. Not only did it have high quality tennis, Shakespearean rain delays/acts of divine intervention, and two players who both epitomise what the Wimbledon Champion should be like, but it was also a watershed moment in 2008. The man who won would go on to take over the World No 1 in a month’s time, but really, the moment he reached for the trophy at SW19, he already was the unofficial no 1. 

That’s probably as much as I’m going to write about THE match, though I think it deserves many posts solely dedicated to it, I do feel that it’s been theorised enough already, and frankly, I’m still too traumatized by match to talk at length about it (I have the HD version of the match on my computer, and it’s ZIPPED with the password “cardigan”. Maybe one day in 10 years time, I’ll meet a stranger at a pub, or on public transport, and smilingly nod when he/she asks me if I remember this match, but for now, to quote Federer “it hurt”, and it still hurts).

But one last thing I will say about this match was something that came up when I was talking to a friend of mine (also a tennis fan) the other day – what would’ve happened in an alternative universe, if Federer had won the match? 1) it would have been the best come back in the history of tennis. 2) as Federer fans, we would’ve all been a happier bunch. 3) Federer probably could have held on to his no 1 spot instead of subjecting us to his existential crisis from after Wimbledon right through to the doubles gold in Beijing. But think about the other side for a moment – Rafael Nadal would have been the imploder who served for the match, double faulted, and lost in 5 sets. If you remember Nadal’s face after the 2007 final, you would not wish that on him. You would not wish that on anyone. So maybe it was only fitting that Federer be the warrior who “almost” came back from a 2 set deficit than Rafa the imploder who double faulted and lost perhaps his last/only (I hope not) chance to beat Federer on grass. 

 

Non-“The Match That Shall Not be Mentioned” – Matches of the Year

Because The Match was so significant that it just overshadowed every other match, let’s take that aside for a second. The non-“Match” matches of the year (the ones I’ve watched anyway) are –

 

Best of Five

  • Gasquet v Murray Wimbledon: what can you do about Richard Gasquet, on the one hand, I give Murray full credit for coming back from a 2 set deficit, but on the other, it is so Gasquet to lose the match after being up two sets and so close to victory. From another perspective, both Gasquet and Murray (until recently) were at the time, what I would call “the tortured artists”, exceptionally talented, but with the mental fortitude of a stick insect. But since that match, how their lives have diverged – Murray’s gone on to establish himself as a strong contender at major tournaments, and Gasquet ended his year miserably titleless, and injured. *sigh* Had it not been for THE match, this would’ve been match of the year for me. 
  • Federer v Tipsarevic Australian Open: Tipsarevic came out of nowhere to push Federer to the absolute extreme, and he did play some phenomenal tennis. Federer had some brain dead moments too during the match that probably cost him in the first 3 sets, but once Tipsarevic took that 2-1 lead, Federer clicked into that extra gear, and didn’t give Tipsy much of a chance in any more of his service games. And the game where he broke at 8 all in the fifth was just sheer brilliance, from both ends of the court. Yet (and maybe I’m only speaking from hindsight), there was this ominous feeling after this match, that perhaps, the 10 finals in a row streak was about to end, and that perhaps something else is wrong.
  • Federer v Andreev US Open: I’ve still only watched half the match (downloaded to 90%), and from what I’ve seen so far, lots of unforced errors from Federer, but he wasn’t playing badly, Andreev was just playing the best tennis I’ve ever seen him play. I was scoreboarding the match during Constitutional Law, needless to say I didn’t hear a single thing about executive powers, all I heard was the buzzing in my ear from the general lack of oxygen. To add to the drama, I always thought New York was the last city to really warm to Federer, clearly I was wrong. Years of service from Federer was repaid with interest by New Yorkers at the US Open this year, and that was beautiful to see. Can we do the same down here in Melbourne for Australian Open 09? To be really sick and quote everyone’s favourite politician right now – “YES WE CAN!”
  • Nishikori v Ferrer US Open: I’ve still not seen the entire match either, plan to download in its entirety during the off-season. Ferrer I’ve always liked for his speed and doggedness, there are those who possess incredible talent, but only make use of a fraction of it (Gasquet, Safin), and then there are those who you wonder how on earth they even made it into the top 10, let alone top 4 for Ferrer at some point this year. But that is because Ferrer made 110% of the talent he does have. As much as I love Nishikori, I did feel quite bad for Ferru after the match. And how about Nishikori, I think we finally have a promising young talent from Asia. All hail Special K!
  • Haas v Gasquet US Open: REESHIE! *tears chunks of hair out* But this is another match between two “tortured artists” who really could’ve accomplished more in their careers with the talent they possess. I haven’t quite given up on Gasquet though, and I won’t until he gets to the age of 25 at least.
  • Those that never made it to five sets: who says you have to make it to 5 sets for it to be a fabulous match? matches I loved this year include – Gulbis v Roddick US Open, Federer v Gonzalez Roland Garros, Federer v Monfils Roland Garros, Nadal v Murray US Open, Djokovic v Federer US Open, Murray v del Potro US Open

 

Best of Three

  • Federer v Murray Masters Cup: it’s still fresh on everyone’s mind, so it suffices to say that I think it’s “the” best of 3 match of the year.
  • Before the Federer-Murray match, I thought the best of 3 match of the year was Nadal v Simon Madrid, again – the sheer drama, the Spanish fans, the unfreakingbelievable shots Simon was pulling off that had me pointing at my computer screen screaming “GET OUTTA HEYAAAA!”  I finished the match at 4am AEST, that’s how enraptured I was. 
  • Nadal v Djokovic Hamburg – it’s funny to think that Nadal is now safely in command of the No 1 spot when way back in May, he was one match away from dropping to no 3 (the position Federer, to my dismay, is in right now). Again, only watched bits of the match but it looked like high quality stuff, many thought it was the best match so far at that point in the year, until it was outdone by the match a day later.
  • Federer v Nadal Hamburg – aka the match next day – Federer shouldn’t lost the first set, but he did. Nadal shouldn’t lost the second, but he did. Therein lies the drama of this match, plus this match conned me into a false sense of security that the Roland Garros final was going to be a competitive match, until Nadal showed up in Clay Monster mode and Federer showed up… well Federer never really showed up. 
  • Roddick DEF Federer Miami – Roddick’s had a pretty disappointing year even by his own standards. But he can walk away from this year thinking “hey, I WON ANOTHER MATCH AGAINST FEDERER”. That almost counts as a grand slam in Roddick’s books these days right? Given that it was not long after Dubai (where Roddick beat both Nadal and Djokovic), there was every reason at that point in the year to think that Roddick was going to be relevant again. Until he lost to Davydenko the next day that is. Don’t you miss the days when Andy Roddick was making grand slam semis and finals, coming up with some classic presscons and acceptance speeches along the way? 
  • Federer v Nalbandian Monte Carlo – both players played out of their mind, and Federer prevailed in 3 sets, but that was the sharpest Federer had looked since the Australian Open. In fact, it was positively TMF/JesusFed. I had my doubts coming into the match, I hit the panick button half way through, and I ended the match back to being the Zen Master that I really am. Kool-Aid Drinker? Me? Never!
  • And that sinkin’ feelin’ continues…I don’t want to remind everyone but just think of what we had to live through this year – Fed the Dead v Simon Pt 1/Pt 2, Fed the Dead v Ginepri Cincinatti, Fed the Dead v Murray Dubai, Fed the Dead v Mardy-Fish-who-rhymes-with-Dish Indian Wells, Fed the Dead v Blake Beijing, Fed the inexplicable vs Stepanek the Worm in Rome, Fed the inexplicable vs Karlovic Cincinatti. The only thing I can say about that sinkin’ feelin’ is that old sayin’ – “what doesn’t kill ya makes ya strongaaaa”
  • Non-Masters Matches deserving of a mention: Cilic v Fish New Haven (Marin wins his first title, and I hopped on the bandwagon); del Potro v Gasquet Stuttgaard (del Potro started on his four titles streak, I lose more of my hair over Richard Gasquet); Kei Nishikori v James Blake Delray Beach (Kei wins his first title at the expense of my second favourite forehand in the game)