I remember Federer taking a medical time out just twice in his career. The first time was in the 2005 Australian Open semifinal against Marat Safin. The second time happened in Shanghai in 2008, against Andy Murray in their final round robin.
Unsurprisingly, Federer lost both of those matches. This is a man who keeps his injuries in the closet, along with the skeletons and Wimbledon jackets of yesteryears, unwilling to reveal any physiological weaknesses unless he has to.
So when Federer asked for the trainer a few games into his fourth round match against Xavier Malisse, the gravity of the situation was written on the faces of Anaconda & Co, who watched on in concern, shivering and miserable from the Federer box.
The day started off with 2 unfortunate retirements… Feli (Pulled muscle) and Dancevic (Lower back)…and with that the Roland Garros 2012 casualty list was off to a great start.
Our wonder boy Wogie McFudd was second out on Suzanne Lenglen…up against German Tobias Kamke. I missed the first half of the match due to mandatory nommage of birthday cake bought for Dad, but the last half which I did see consisted of:
yes kitteh…it was kinda horribleh
I have seen the FUTURE, bitches, and holy hell, the future looks exactly the same.
Excuse the appearance based over-generalisation. Anyone with a decent knowledge of women’s tennis would understand that the randomized shotmaking of Kvitova, the mobility and precision of Vika, the pitbull presence of Sharapova and the simple formula of BOOM-BOOM make these 4 ladies all different and individual in their on-court presence.
Well … kinda.
Whereas the French Open in the last few years has served up a kaleidoscope of players in its latter stages, Wimbledon continues to be the slam dominated by a single narrative. Wimbledon 2011 post-Williams dynasty has left women’s tennis with a quartet of grunting, walloping, fist-pumping, big babe, blond ladyballers between whom 90% of the general public cannot differentiate. Read More…
1. With some players, it’s love at first sight. Some floor you with a single performance. But some players grow on you like warts and moles. They may not have been your favourites to start off with, but as they approach the autumn of their careers, you realise that even without ever actively liking them, they’ve become part of some of your best tennis memories.
Andy Roddick is a wart. Having been bored by his game and stardom for almost all of his career, I found myself feeling desperately anxious for his future as he was knocked out 76 76 64 by Deliciano, a player he has never lost to before in 7 attempts.
This is not to discount the astounding performance from Lopez, who showed some uncharacterstic shallots to win the first two tiebreaks, meticulously plating up 28 aces and 57 winners on Centre Court. A minor upset this may be, the result actually reflects Deliciano’s form of late, which has mostly been obscured by some close losses – to Roddick by the narrowest of margins in Queens, and to Federer at Roland Garros and (rather epically) in Madrid. Read More…
Ljubicic is in the Indian Wells final. Good for Papa Ivan, but golly-gee, I hate Indian Wells.
BRING ON MIAMI ALREADY.
It’s Hopman Cup time, the tournament with diamond encrusted balls. One step closer to these prized trophies are Romania and Spain, having won their ties against Australia and the US of A respectively over the weekend.
I remember going to a local stand-up comedy show a few years back. When the comedian brought up the name “Lleyton Hewitt”, the crowd booed. If we can’t find some love for him here in Aus, then what hope is there for Hewitt overseas?
Fast-forward a few years and the Hewitt-hating normality I’ve come to know and love is crashing down on me. Instead of suing the ATP, making homophobic remarks and playing mind games with his opponents, Lleyton Hewitt has somewhat grown up.
These days, he seems to be more willing to spend his time investing in online retail stores, making babies with Bec, and generally doing inoffensive things such as milking what’s left of his career for all its worth.
And in all honesty, he doesn’t have to. No one’s stopping him from riding off into the retirement sunset a la Marat Safin. Perhaps we don’t give him enough credit for … actually loving this sport?
Unlike his compatriot Sam Stosur, Hewitt started his year with a win over Victor Hanescu in a dramatic third set tiebreak.
All credit to Hanescu, who served big, mixed in drop shots and volleys to make Hewitt run around like a rabbit. But Lleyton wouldn’t be Lleyton if he didn’t battle every match to the end of time. With Hanescu cramping and the Perth crowd fired up, there was only one result to expect.
Romania however could depend on Sorana Cirstea to seal the tie. Not a fan of the Racoon eye make-up and slappy forehand, but you gotta admire the guts and fight from the girl. Looking done and dusted half way through the second set of her singles match, Cirstea took full advantage of a slight falter by Stosur, pumped herself up and took control of a match she had no business winning.
Top 20 by the end of the year?
Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?
I’m sure you’ll understand my newfound love for the girl, having missed her match against Serena at Roland Garros last year, it was my first time watching her.
And why wouldn’t you love her game? Beautiful service motion, one of the rare non-spastic ball tosses on the WTA tour. She’s an intelligent player with a good sense of knowing when to stay in the rally, and when to move forward and unleash her array of doubles-savvy volleys on her opponents.
You don’t get a lot of players like her on the women’s tour these days. A breath of fresh air, as one might say.
Is it any wonder then that MJMS and Tommy Robredo teamed up to defeat Oudin and Mr Chubby Sex?
Izzy, I love you. But you know you can’t serve at 77% and still lose the match, right? It’s a crime for someone with a serve like yours to volley that floppily.
As Romania and Spain kicked off their quest for Perth’s balls, all the teams turned up to attend the annual Hopman Cup ball. Lena D looks beautifully bland, as always.
Sabine hadn’t realised Halloween was almost 3 months ago.
I keep a mental list of players who are either of the same height or shorter than me. Melanie Oudin belongs in the former category. Kimiko Date Krumm in the latter.
John Isner belongs in neither.
When I was 15, I was still waiting for boobs to arrive. Frick you.
Shave. Wear a tie. Tuck your shirt in. And stop looking like a hobo.
Tommy Rob shows Mandy how it’s done.
Sammy. Aww. Sammy.
Lleyton and new coach Nathan Healy.
What I wouldn’t give to be in Perth right now …
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.
And what’s this I hear about a possible Murray/Robson collaboration?
Tennis in my time zone. Oh yeth …
Dinara Safina: OUT.
Venus Williams: OUT.
Elena Dementieva: OUT.
Svetlana Kuznetsova: OUT.
Caroline Wozniacki: OUT.
Vera Zvonareva: OUT.
Flavia Pennetta: OUT.
Nadia Petrova: OUT.
Ana Ivanovic: OUT.
Hardly excusable for any of these players. With the exception of CWoz and Flavia, none of them made it beyond 4th round at the US Open. Even with an extended break, none of them came to Tokyo with any sort of mindset to win either.
So who actually wants to play tennis?
Maria Sharapova does. With a performance so awesome I had to do a shrieky rendition of “SEE YOU SOOOOON/ON THE MOOOOON” to celebrate.
Stung by her own fault-fest against Oudin at the US Open, Masha Fierce has reverted back to her old serve in Tokyo. I sure hope she’s is doing it with the approval of her doctors, and not just out of frustration with the changed service motion.
On the plus side, so far the old serve is working for her. Only one double fault (7 aces, 71% first serves) in her 6-0 6-1 thumping of Sam Stosur. Never mind that Stosur couldn’t make a first serve to save her puppy’s life, Masha Fierce played the sort of scintillating, “allez-up-your-f$cking-ass” tennis that saw her win 3 slams by the age of 21.
Knowing that Shazza is only capable of wining slams in even-numbered years, I’d say things are looking good for 2010. Just goes to show – don’t tinker with your serve, gals, even if it was for perfectly legitimate, shoulder-related reasons.
ARE YOU LISTENING Justine?!
A less shinier performance by Lena D, who had ONE miracle serving day at Wimbledon this year, missed her chance there, and has since gone back to serve purgatory.
With 10 DFs, Horseface completed an embarrassing performance against KBond, brainfarting through the third set to lose 26 76 16. Color me unimpressed.
Don’t call on JJ to ‘save the tour’, but hell, she’s one of the few seeds who actually came to play tennis, taking a 3 set victory over Sabine Licky. Ironically, unlike some of the duds that took out the other slamless wonders, Sabine would’ve been a perfectly legitimate giant-killer for JJ to lose to.
Not the cleanest match, but the level was certainly within expectations. Barring her US Open performance, JJ seemed to be on her way back from the ‘Inferno of Lost Souls’ during the summer hard court season.
It seems like she’s continuing exactly where she left off, regaining her movement, strengthening those powderpuff serves and working on her forehand.
Now gimme more body glitter and happy splits, biatch. Who wants to play tennis?
Good day at the office for Americans, a day of bloodbaths for the WTA, as its own headlines read: “who let the underdogs out?”
For all her comforting results this summer, Jelena Jankovic fell second round to Yaroslava Shvedova 6-3 6-7(4) 7-6(6) after holding two match points. During the match, JJ lacked her usual vibrancy and sprint.
And how could she not? She was playing with a heavy heart after learning that her grandmother had passed away the night before.
“For my part, I wasn’t really on the court. My grandmother died and I was very close to her. I was very sad and emotionally, I was not really on the court. I was really suffering. I tried to think about my tennis, but, you know, I felt like I was so late and so slow. I couldn’t even watch the ball. That was my problem.”
It’s sad to see JJ’s slam season finish on a low point like that, just when she seems to be getting her game back on track. Take a break Cherry, and cut yourself some slack.
Call it double standards, call it whatever you want. But I’m less inclined to cut Dementieva any slack.
As a self-proclaimed non-fan of Dementieva, I must admit I was fairly cynical of her grand slam chances, even after her victory in Toronto. If slam results could be inferred from warm-up tournaments, then Dinara Safina should be sitting on a few slams right now. I stuck a fork in the idea that Lena D would eventually win a slam a while back, and I’m not about to resurrect her now.
Even so, it’s just not good enough for the World No 4 and a veteran of the tour to be out-gutsed by an injured 17 year old.
Credit to Melanie Oudin though, if you thought she was impressive against JJ at Wimbledon, then her performance in her 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 win over Demmy was something else to behold.
The petite 17 year-old was 90% guts today as she fought back tears, ignored the pain in her injured leg, and played fearless tennis for three sets against one of the more established names currently in women’s tennis.
Oudin certainly lived up to the inscription on her shoe – BELIEVE. If only a few more of the WTA contenders could do the same.
Q. Talk about the shoes. They say “believe” on them.
MELANIE OUDIN: Yes.
Q. Is that your saying or somebody’s…
MELANIE OUDIN: Actually, my boyfriend gave me that idea to put on it, and I really liked it. So I put that on my shoe. It seems to fit me well.
And fit her, it sure as hell did.
Someone who never had any troubles with self-belief: Masha Fierce, who came through a cruising win over another American 17 year old, Christina McHale 6-2 6-1.
The serve is still coming in ebbs and flows, the toss tends to get higher as the match goes on. But Maria had it under control for most of the match except for one service game in the second set. Not that it mattered much, Masha Fierce was just awe-inspiring in her omnipresence on court.
Thank god the Pova’s back, showing the other clowns how to do it with a stamp of authority.
Desperately needing a stamp of authority was Dinara Safina, whose 6-7 6-2 6-3 win over the 67th-ranked Kristina Barrois of Germany was just about as laborious as her first round match.
You really don’t need to hear me say for the gazillionth time how over Safina I am. Contrary to Maratski’s insistence, I’m clearly not the one who needs to go fug herself.
Tough day for Alize Cornet, whose season has turned from promising to dismal after losing to Zheng Zheng Jie Jie in 3 sets. She does however take the prize for my favourite dress of the Open so far. Very impressed with Lacoste’s gears for the girls this year.
More tough luck to Sabine Lisicki, who served for the match against Rodionova at 5-3 in the third, only to lose it 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 and spraining her ankle on match point. For your information, Rodionova is Australian this month, although there’s no telling which flag she’ll play under in her next tournament. And I thought I was indecisive.
On the men’s side of things, James Blake won two matches in a row, since … ever. Me likey.
The rest of the top 20 also came safely through. RFed’s childhood friend, Marco Chiudinelli, equalled his best ever slam result by making the third round of the US Open over Youzhny. Swiss tennis’s two-men effort lives on, despite Concubine’s shambolic loss.
(4) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. (Q) Angela Haynes (USA) 63 61
I might’ve been angry at her performance and comments towards Melanie Oudin at Wimbledon, but who am I kidding? I love watching JJ play, I love her pre-pubescent whining. I love her body glitter and happy splits.
After a vacation in Dubai post-Wimbly, JJ’s back with a solid win – 5 aces, didn’t face a single breakpoint. Given her results so far this year, I’ll withhold my judgment until her next match.
Speaking of which: JJ v Lisicki next round.
JJ beat Licky earlier this year in Stuttgart 75 57 63, and Licky certainly hasn’t forgotten about it.
Since their last meeting, Licky’s been rising and JJ slumping, so yes Sabine, you might just get your “revange”
Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. (6) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 64 63
It’s a sign of how far she’s come in the last few months that I kinda expected Sam Stosur to beat Domi. But expectations aside, yeehaw!
I don’t just like her because she’s Australian. Gimme a WTA player with a great kick serve, powerful forehand, and sound volleys, and chances are – me gonna likey.
Slightly off topic: bad news for Sveta fans – she’s out of LA next week with a foot injury. That still leaves 10 of the top 15 women in the world entering the tournament. Sheesh, the USO Series is going strong isn’t it?