Tag Archive | Samantha Stosur

Roland Garros Preview: A Conference of Anti-Experts. Pt 2

Doots: Interesting thing when I mentioned the women’s draw, PJ said the field is “wide open”. I feel as if we’ve gotten used to saying this in the past few years, but actually this is the least wide open slam I’ve seen in the past few years.

PJ: Really? How so?

Doots: The women’s tour has been dominated this year by Sharapova and Azarenka. We’re literally looking at a Big 2 situation – with Serena occasionally popping up on the radar because she’s that awesome.

LJ: but it’s clay, I think therein lies the problem.

PJ: I guess for me, I feel like it’s “open” in the sense that there are no sure favourites despite domination from Azarenka and Shrieky. Not like how Rafa is for the men’s.

Doots: Well, I still don’t know. Sharapova has had her best results this year on clay: Rome, Stuttgart, and lost to Serena by the same scoreline as Vika in Madrid. She comes into Roland Garros with by far the best clay season record of the women, which is incredible considering how bad she was on this surface a few years ago.

PJ: That is true. I was rather impressed with Sharapova’s clay showing this year. I know clay isn’t her forte but going by recent form and results, I’ll peg her as one of the favourites. Historical showing otherwise.

LJ: I think Shrieky, Azarenka and Serena for me, but hey if previous results are to be followed, it’ll be a crapshoot for the win.

Doots: They do tend to be the “Big 3” these days, which was precisely my previous point – it’s not as open as in previous years where you just knew that Wozniacki or Jankovic or whoever was up at the top couldn’t do it. But looking at the draw quarters again –

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The Injury List: Now we know what’s going on in the locker room.

I’m sorry Randy fans. There aren’t many more prominent players with worse luck than him. We all know. But at least you know what’s wrong now.

Roddick, 27, said doctors thought he had been suffering from the virus, also known as mononucleosis, for two months.

The American, who has slipped to 11th in the rankings after recent defeats, said the news came as a relief.

“I’m just glad that we found out something that was causing it,” said Roddick, who expects to play at the Cincinnati Masters next week.

“It’s weird, the fear of kind of the unknown and not knowing what’s going on,” Roddick added. “There were some days where it was good, and some days where it was real bad.

“So it was like you would have one of those two or three good days, and it was like, ‘OK, you’re just being kind of a wimp.’ It’s nice to have a little bit of clarity moving forward. It’s not something that’s going to affect me, anything super-serious.”

Roddick, who had cut back on his work schedule after feeling tired, said he had been baffled by his lack of energy.

“I opted out of probably four or five workouts this summer – that I’ve never done before,” he said.

“So that wasn’t fun. It was just me wondering if I was out of shape or what was going on, why there was this lethargic feeling.”

Roddick says he expects to be fit to play in the US Open, where he lost to fellow American John Isner in the third round last year.

Source: BBC

Others on the injury list – Venus Williams has pulled out of Montreal, citing a left knee injury. Serena Williams now looks like Beyonce with a mummified foot.

0f379fcf.jpg_effected

It’s looking more and more likely that these two are heading into the US Open straight from the grass season. If Serena’s heading there at all.

On the bright side, Samantha Stosur is due to be all okay for the US Open after being diagnosed with a stress reaction in her distal humerus. Whatever that means.

Doctors recommended 10 days off, so Stosur pulled out of Cincy and Montreal but has taken a wildcard into New Haven.

Get well soon, folks.

xx doots

Newsreel: Sam Stosur pulls out of the Commonwealth Games.

Appreciate the irony of the 2010 New Dehli Commonwealth Games slogan – “come out and play“, as the Games suffer yet another “high profile” withdrawal.

In October this year, India will host the Commonwealth Games for the first time. Given the popularity of the sport in Indian (and other Commonwealth countries), tennis has been included for the first time as a part of the Commonwealth Games. Yet the field is expected to be weak, with Stosur – the would-be top seed of the tournament – announcing her withdrawal.

The world number five has decided to skip the Games to focus on defending her Osaka points and securing a place at the WTA Year-End Championships. Lleyton Hewitt, who led Australia’s Davis Cup boycott of their tie in India last year due to security concerns, has also decided not to compete in India.

Andy Murray and Marcos Baghdatis are also expected to withdraw, although neither has confirmed their non-participation.

Good news for the Indian players attending the event, with Sania Mirza, Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes all down to compete.

Baggage, passion and German engineering.

Czink in Brisbane, Wickmayer at the Australian Open, Jelena Jankovic in Stuttgart. I watched Henin tough out all those matches this year without quite understanding how she did it, but that’s part of her package. Of all her weapons, her ability to remain calm when she’s down and seemingly build momentum out of thin air is astounding. You expect it every time, you ask yourself “surely not?” And you finish the match smacking your lips happily, ‘yup yup, that’s it.’

Highlights (check out the last point):

And check out Justine’s reaction.

I like Henin 2.0. Much less baggage, much more passion.

As for Jaja, she knows what this feels like – her 10th straight loss to Henin, pinkie-less or otherwise. And yet the vast majority of those matches were closely contested.

And despite the early losses of Azarenka and Wozniacki in Stuttgart this week, Stuttgart tennis has been simple and militarily efficient. Much like the country’s engineering.

Sam Stosur sealed off her 10th victory in a row yesterday, with a match so straightforward, so methodically executed it was a relief to watch. Serve, forehand. Serve forehand. Oh you’d like to rally a little, okay, just let me find a forehand somewhere – oh there it is.

Nothing terribly creative or dramatic about it, but given the default mayhem of the WTA, it’s nice to see strategy, execution fall so seamlessly together for Stosur these days. With a sprinkle of confident too, like a pinch of lemon zest to finish off a great fish.

You know what final I want in Stuttgart this week.

xx doots

Asian Finale: SO PROUD. SO PROUD!

Under Sam Stosur’s cool shades, there’s a slightly shy girl with a sweet smile. Love it. 

 

 

For Sam, Osaka presented a chance for her to not only qualify for Bali, but cap off what’s been a breakthrough comeback for her in 2009 with her first singles title. But coming into the final with a title win/loss record of 0-5, I wondered if the pressure would get to her. 

Of course, it helped that she was facing an opponent whose own title win/loss record was 1-9. 

But despite a double fault on her first championship point, Sam pulled it off. Perhaps getting the title monkey off her back is the first step to a more productive singles career for my compatriot.

Let’s hope so, because it couldn’t happen to a nicer person.

 

 

Over in Shanghai, it was all dimples and man-love between Jo-Wills and Julien Benneteau, who defeated Fyrstenberg and Matkowski 62 64 for the doubles title, and got themselves some blades of glory.

 

 

 

More blades of glory in store for Davydenko, who took out Nadal 76 63 for his first Masters 1000 title this year. 

What can I say? For the second time in the last two days – just too good. Davo took each balls ridiculously early in his trademark fashion and rushed Rafa around like a rabbit with acute angles. 

Rafa had a chance to wrestle the first set, after Davo wasted 2 opportunities to go up an insurance break with some easy forehand errors, and then promptly conceded his next service game to Nadal. But not typically known for his tiebreak records, Davo found his mojo again, just in time to close out the set 73 in the tiebreak.

From then on, it was free-flowing, cruise-control tennis. When Davo’s on, it’s thrilling to watch, and damn hard to beat. Unless of course, you happen to be some potato-nose from Switzerland.

And please, let’s get one thing clear: this whole “blades of glory” thing doesn’t make Davo eye-candy. My limits stop at Robin Soderling and Ivan Lendl, y’all. 

Some could argue that it shouldn’t even extend that far. 

 

 

Okay, so maybe a leeetle bit cute.

 

 

Ahem.

As for Rafa, sometimes I wonder if players ever really change. You can make improvements, add to your game, change strategies. But when you’re under attack, when you’re low in self-confidence, or in Rafa’s case, coming back from several injuries, there is always a tendency to revert back to what you know. Ground zero.

Unfortunately for Rafa, it means that the changes he made to his hard-court game in the 12 months prior to his injury – improvements to the serve, aggressive play, and flatter groundies – have been largely missing since his return. Allowances have to be made for the fact that he hasn’t been physically 100%, but that’s no reason to receive serve from all the way back in Majorca.

9 winners to Davydenko’s 35. That says it all really. It’ll take a bit more time.

 

 

That concludes the “Asian swing” this year folks. And Lordy, it has been anything but swingin’.

Half-empty stadiums, numerous injuries, upsets plaguing both the WTA and the ATP, some rather frightening tennis cheerleaders… and all the while, the Marat Safin Heartbreak Train is still headed for that cliff edge

But through it all, we also ended up with the triumphs of two massively under-appreciated Russians, Davo and Kuzzy.

 

Perhaps it’s not a complete fail afterall, 

xx doots

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 …

USO Day 1 Wrap: ConFederercy of Radness.

It’s Day 1 folks, apart from drooling over Federer’s “beautiful lines” and his outfit, which turned out to be pleasantly stark against the colour of the court, there ain’t much to say. Or is there?

Firstly, the obligatory drooling session starts … now:

 

 

I will never get over his uncanny balance…

 

 

Or the aesthetic value of his movement…

 

 

Slobber slobber, slurp slurp…

End of drooling session.

 

Roger had a comfortable victory over American teen Devin Britton, 6-1, 6-3, 7-5, while becoming tennis’s new 50 million dollar man.

In other news, Dootsie has FINALLY been freed from the tyranny of credit card slavery. See Roger? We’re not so different after all. 

Money aside, it was a pretty uneventful match. The only thing I learnt from that match is that Devin Britton and I are clearly meant to be best friends. He’s practically stealing words out of my mouth. Can you picture Dootsie saying this about RFed?

 

“He’s the best. [gush] No weakness. [blush] I mean, [demented] I didn’t know what to do. [shrilly] I was just trying to play my game and see what happens, [FAIL] but, you know, he was pretty controlling of the points. [sadistic] You know, he’s No. 1 in the world for a reason. [love-heart pupils]”

 

Admittedly, Britton was quite nervous during the match, claiming that Roger was even better than he looked on TV, ‘watching on TV I don’t think you can really tell exactly. I mean, he obviously looks unbelievable on TV, but playing against it was even more tough, you know. It was so scarey. I was pretty scared.’

 

Heh, I don’t even know what my reaction would be if Roger Federer was standing across the net from me. 

Actually I do: I would be on my knees, begging for mercy.

 

In other results, Venus Williams was a hot mess against Vera Dushevina, overcoming the Russian 6-7, 7-5, 6-3. Venus was error-prone and bothered by her knee during the match, and had to get it strapped by a trainer.

Girl, you’re wearing PINK. Of course you’re going to have knee issues. 

 

The Curse of the Pink Panther:

 

As always, Vee’s outfit looks better from the back than from the front. 

 

 

Serena had a much easier time, rolling over Alexa Glatch 6-4 6-1 on her quest for title defence. With her first match under her belt, Serena took the time to talk about her recently released autobiography, where she opens up about her personal life, including the period when she was down in the dumps.

It’s hard to imagine someone so vivacious, fierce and bubbly going through such a tough time in her life.

Serena admitted that it ‘wasn’t easy‘ writing openly about going through therapy, ‘however you get there, whatever way you take to get there is very interesting. That’s one of the routes I take, because I didn’t know where else to go. I felt I didn’t have anywhere else to turn

Obviously I did, because I did have my family. And looking back on that, I realized that I could have done things different. But, you know, whatever it took to get there, I thought was just to get me motivated. I think ultimately my trip to Africa helped out, as well.’

Pretty sombre stuff from a girl who writes her name in pink. Now I’m tempted to buy her book… sneaky!

 

 

Allow me a sigh of relief as James Blake won his R1 match against Hidalgo in straight set, 6-1 6-4 7-5.

After a season plagued with injuries, I have camped myself firmly among the Blake Well-wishers. Dude’s had a knee injury, rolled ankle, and broken toe just this season, which has adversely affected his schedule and training. Give him a break, Tennis Gods. Don’t be such bitches. 

 

 

Another sigh of relief as Youzhny did the US of A a public service by eliminating PHM from the draw – he spared us all from the assault-on-retinas that is this Adidas giraffe shirt.

 

 AFP PHOTO/Stan Honda

 

Of my Aussie compatriots, Slammin’ Sammy came through a close one against Ai Sugi. While Hewitt stayed on course in his bid to upset Federer in R3. FRAZZLE.

 

 

Less fortunate was Jelena Dokic, who is now fighting to save her nightmarish career from total oblivion.

Since her Australian Open run, Dokic has suffered a back injury at Roland Garros, before becoming bed-ridden for two months with my worst enemy – mono. But the girl is still trying to sound upbeat about it all, “I think it counts how many times you get up. Not how many times you fall down. So hopefully I can try to do it one more time and hopefully I won’t have to do it again.

Jelena will be flying to Italy next week to contest a minor tournament. With a bit of luck, she’ll get herself back in shape physically and avoid sliding out of the top 100. But this is Jelena Dokic we’re talking about, luck is the antithesis of her existence.

As for her future, “The toughest thing is staying positive mentally,’ said Jelena,’hopefully I’ll be healthy the whole of next year’.

 

 

For most people, that’s not too much to ask for.

Stanford Mosaics: erm hello Tennis Gods, we need JJ back.

(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.

Hurrah! 

 

JJ @ Stanford

 

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.

 

Sabine

 

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?

WTA Mosaics: why shoot’em when you can crop them?

While the ATP replaced their players’ profile pictures with thug shots this week, I went onto the WTA website to check out how the ladies handled their profile photos.

It turns out the WTA team was much more efficient: instead of lining the girls up for their mug shots – therefore expending time, money and resources, they simply cropped out the head of each player from completely random photos.

 

Individually each player looks great. Together, the mosaics disrupt the perfect harmony of my “60s Kodak” theme for blog images.

CAN’T. HANDLE. IT.

 *implosion*

 

Mug1

 

Mug2

 

Mug4

 

Picket Fence Awards for Profile Picture Excellence

 

The Sweet Potato Award: Dinara Safina

The Garnier Fructus Award: Jelena Jankovic

The Ginny Weasley Award: Sam Stosur

The Room-for-Imagination Award: Dominika Cibulkova

The ATP Undercover Award: Francesca Schiavone

The Colgate Extra White Award: Alize Cornet

The Who-the-hell-are-ya Award:

 

Screecher.Michelle Larcher de Brito. Apparently.

 

The “Images Deceive” Honorable Mentions:

 

Mug3

 

that’s if anyone recognises the six of them

 

Well done WTA, as unharmonized and random as these photos are, at least the girls don’t look like they’re auditioning for the next Prison Break spinoff. Clap clap.

Aussies Update: Hopman Cup … already?

The Hopman Cup organisers have confirmed that Lleyton Hewitt and Samantha Stosur will be representing Australia at the tournament in 2010. Given Sam’s doubles record and both players’ recent forms, this looks to be a fantastic team. 

 

Tournament director Paul McNamee said securing Hewitt and Stosur for Hopman Cup XXII was a coup, especially given their strong form at Wimbledon earlier this month. “Maybe it’s a case of winning every 11 years,” McNamee said yesterday. “It’s a really strong team. Together they are going to be formidable and they are looking forward to it. “Lleyton is really coming back to great form and I think Sam brings a lot to the tournament.

Source: The West Australian

 

Australia has only won the Hopman Cup once in 1999 with Mark the Poo and Jelena Dokic

 

Can’t believe people are thinking about the Hopman Cup already. Time flies …