1. Who hasn’t heard Serena Williams rap yet? Sure, we ain’t looking at the next female Kanye (if you don’t like Kanye, we cannot be friends), but it’s not bad … if you’re drunk enough …
When I was a li’le girl in school, there were many classes I hated, either because of the subject itself, or because the teacher in charge of it hails from the lower spectrum of mankind. And the more I hated them, the more I complained to my mother about them, the worse I did in those classes. I couldn’t wait until the day I got old enough to drop them and study only the things I like.
Which brings us, of course, to the flamingly obvious: Djokovic and Nadal did not fall to the Rise of the Minions merely because they could not adjust to the new surface, they fell because they would not adjust to it.
So, let’s have a quick wrap on day 2 before we proceed to the 64 men and women still alive in the singles’ draw. I was not at Melbourne Park today, due to the fact that I have to earn a living and such (although I manage to grovel for a day off tomorrow…tsk tsk I have no dignity when it comes to tennis) and I was really overwhelmed by the heat yesterday, so it was right that I took leave from tennis.
Being in Australia…the biggest news of the day, even bigger that Bratomic’s defeat of Verdasco yesterday – would be Sam Stosur’s straight-sets defeat to Sorana Cirstea.
Is it surprising? Kind of. Is it unexpected? Not really. Is it sad? Well, yes.
I didn’t see the match, not one bit of it, but Twitter told me that Cirstea was playing brilliant and Sam was playing mediocre, and that made all the difference. Let’s face it, Australia is desperate for an Australian to win Australian Open. The best bet, all things considered, is Samantha Stosur. She was never known for being mentally strong – although I had hoped that the US Open win last year signified a positive change – and I do believe in the end, the pressure got to be a bit too much for her.
Well, at least this will make people look the other way when the next tournament rolls around. And then I certainly hope for Sam to power back, because girl’s got the game, and she has the heart. Remember RG2010 and USO2011? No one even gave her half a chance and she somehow steadily sneaked her way into the finals. I hope for that to happen again, sooner rather than later.
The other Australians fared better – Jelena Dokic, James Duckworth and Matt Ebden recording victories to progress to the next round. Huge moment for Duckworth in his AO debut – I saw him play (and lost) the wildcard playoffs last year, and I think he actually has potential. He’s only nineteen, so if he works hard and does not lose the passion…he may be a name to be known in the future. But Jarka Gadjosova joined Sam on the losers roll, losing to Maria Kirilenko.
The old man Lleyton Hewitt also pulled through – in four sets – in his typical fashion. Played some solid tennis to get to a 2-sets-to-love lead, and then opponent (German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe) suddenly gained momentum as Hewitt lost the will to land first serves…therefore leading to Hewitt losing the third set. The momentum continued and soon Mr.Famous Five Sets find himself facing yet another 5-setter as he trailed 1-5 in the fourth.
(By this time, I was all ready to cliff myself. Serious.)
But what they say about Lleyton Hewitt is true…don’t ever count him out, whatever you do, and never let him back into a match, because chances are he will then hang on like a barnacle and never let go. That was precisely what happened. Stebe got nervous, lost serve once, lost serve twice, and soon Hewitt was up 6-5…but up against Gramps Hewitt (as well as the whole parochial arena), he buckled, dumped a forehand into the net, and Lleyton celebrated like he just won the final.
He earns himself a second-round match with his pal in the Gramps club, Gramps Andy Roddick (who beat Robin Haase in straight sets, avoiding the drama of last year). I will be there for that match (I hope) and I will cry like I did during Hewitt/Nalbandian last year, because it will not end well for me. Even more so when I think it may possibly be Hewitt’s last AO and Roddick’s second last or third last or even last.
As for other matches…
1) Bad day for the male Russians as Mikhail Youzhny headsmashed himself out of the tournament against Andrey Golubev, in a hysterical match with 17 breaks of serve. Igor Kunitsyn lost to Pablo Andujar in straights, and Dmitry Tursunov lost to Janko Tipsarevic after losing a long tie-break in the second set (he was one set up). New Russian Alex Bogomolov Jr survived though. I know I keep saying I want to kick the Colonel off my bandwagon…to be honest I’m not completely sure why he’s still there.
2) Andy Murray got taken to four sets by Ryan “The Ego” Harrison. As I’ve heard, MAndy started dismally, not serving well and basically just playing like his ass was hurting him. However, when he got a grip of himself in the second set, he was never really threatened, wrapping up the match in four sets. Interesting observation: some people seem to think he was toning down on the swearing and yelling and muttering because of Mr.Lendl. Mr.Lendl may be good for that attitude yet, hey?
3) Juan Carlos Ferrero – couldn’t keep up his strong performance for the first two sets and ended up losing to Viktor Troicki in 5 sets. So close to pulling off a great win.
4) Ernest Gulbis provided the bipolar match of the day, whipping Micheal Llodra in the first set and then got whipped in the next three. Dude’s never going to sort himself out, is he?
5) Other notable Frenchmen – Simon, Tsonga, Benny, Monfils etc – all got through, in contrasting fashions – straight sets, four sets, five sets, retirements. Special mention to Nicolas Mahut, who oust Rad Steps in straights.
6) The other big-named women – Serena Williams, Petra Kvitova and Shrieky Sharapova all breezed through the matches. My worry about Gisela Dulko proved to be utterly in vain as Shrieky dismantled her completely, only giving her a game.
7) Uber sad that Sammy was the only seed to fall from the women’s side – although Vera Zvonareva and Svetlana Kuznetsova needed three sets to beat their opponents.
That’s the wrap post in short for the day. And of course, there will be more to come.
P.S. oh, Djokovic won as well. I nearly forgot about him because…well, I don’t care enough? LOL.
Dear Tennis Gods,
Last I checked, we’re SEVEN FRIGGIN days into 2012 so WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING!?!??!
Well, well, well. What an absolutely craptastic start to 2012. A week in and the tour is already littered with injuries and retirements. Among them, the big names and the big people.
If you didn’t catch the live broadcast of the 2011 United States Open women’s singles championship match on Sunday evening (or Monday morning in Dootsland, aka Australia), you surely have heard about the latest incident involving Serena Jameka Williams and a member of the officiating crew, two years removed from her unfortunate default against Kim Clijsters in the 2009 U.S. Open semifinals.
American television networks – sadly but predictably – are giving almost all of their airtime and “punditry” (such as it is) to the flap between Serena and chair umpire Eva Asderaki. American news outlets treat tennis as a sideshow (despite the presence of The Tennis Channel) and are hopelessly imprisoned by the view that biographical memes and longstanding narratives are what bring viewers to the sport. U.S. Open broadcaster CBS – just like former Wimbledon broadcaster NBC (with ESPN playing a lesser but still real role in perpetuating the problem) – thinks that running with familiar narratives makes for more compelling television than layered analysis of the Xs and Os of a tennis match. Anything American-centric only adds to what is perceived as ratings-generating television. None of this is surprising, but it remains unfortunate, because the real story from Sunday afternoon in a cloudy New York City was the woman who brushed aside Serena, 2 and 3 (not 7-6, 5-7, 6-4), to win her first major singles title.
I will say, straight up, that I predicted a 2 and 3 rout… for the 13-time major champion who was in search of a fourth U.S. Open crown and the completion of her remarkable recovery from an injury and recent (severe) health complications. Yes, there were reasons to think a close match was possible, but there was certainly no indication that Sam Stosur was ready to deliver an upset blowout of the best women’s tennis player since Steffi Graf.
Today was the day that I finally spent some quality time engaging myself in USO tennis. I had been so flat-out busy with work the past week that I couldn’t afford to stay up late/wake up early/sneakily take some time off work (as I usually would). Seeing it was Sunday in Aussieland, I actually crawled up at 430AM in the morning to catch Roger’s match against Marin Cilic.
Hola and hello to all! I hope you’ve been enjoying the lovely LJ’s posts, and now it’s back to yours truly for a bit. I have to admit I’m doing this wrap post without actually watching any tennis – only livescoring (at work – and that is no easy task, trying to maintain a balance between not tearing my hair out and pretending to work).
I, however, did set an alarm at 4AM, just to check the score of Federer/Sela, and he was seemingly cruising and I was definitely half-dead so I crawled back to bed, feeling somewhat assured. From the Twitter timeline and the stats, Pants played a good, solid match – losing only 8 points on serve and a 45% BP conversion (which is quite spectacular for him).
Hello to Picket Fence readers! Fence Hijacker PJ here, blogging on the behalf of World Class Traveller Doots. I’m one of the few with the coveted Key to the Fence (MUAHAHHAHHA HEWITTPORN…no, I’m kidding. Really.) and for now, I’m also one of the few bringing you US Open updates, news and bloggage.
Also, I am open to bribes – cash, chocolates, certain pair of Pants, blood, your first-born – if y’all want Federporn.
So! US Open preview. Honestly I just want to type FUCK YOU TENNIS GODS AND THAT IS ALL for the preview, but…hey, let’s make this as proper as possible.
With the last minute withdrawal of Venus, Wozniacki’s draw is still packed with land mines, with Wicky, Ana, Cibulkova, Stosur early on. Roland Garros champion, the newly crowned Miss Popular with the sponsors, Li Na is the second highest seed in this quarter and set to play only her 5th match since Roland Garros.
As for how she’ll do this US Open series, your guess is as good as mine. Personally, I think Li might be tempted to go on a mental offseason early this year.
The draw gods so like to have their little giggles that they’ve put ARad – Vera’s latest conqueror, in the same section of the draw as her. After her winning her first premier title in San Diego earlier today, Aga told the press that she had high hopes for the US Open. By “high hopes”, she ‘only’ meant semifinals.
“I was pretty close [to reaching a Grand Slam semifinal] a few times, but I was always against top players and it was always close,” she told reporters. “But I think I can do it, and if I play like that, for sure.”
While no one denies that she has the guile to slay a top seed now and then, whether she’ll ever get past her quarterfinal voodoo is another matter, especially when more power ball machines such as Azarenka has had enough trouble shaking off their quarterfinalist fate at slam level.
Other than ARad, power rules in Vera’s quarter, with Jarka/Petrova, Petkovic and Kvitova lurking pleasantly around the corner like a couple of blast-ended skrewts. Oh joy.
BYO earplugs and heavy metal music, for this is the screechers’ quarter. Vika is due to face my compatriot Dokic first up, followed by Flavs/Kiri, Dani and yes – the original Screecher herself, Maria Sharapova.
Meanwhile, keep an eye out on Marion Bartoli, who’s on ambitious hamster rampage to become the WTA player with the most wins this season.
Jankovic and Serena, Clijsters. Crammed into one tiny 16th of fulsome awesomesauce, or bitter disappointment. The road doesn’t get easier on Franny’s end of the quarter, with the winner of Maka and home favourite Marino first up, and Sveta (oh remember her?) or Safarova in the 16th.
First of all – because I’m a petty and ridiculous human being – I’d just like to say how much the above picture makes me feel awesome about myself and my unfailing ability to ERASE INCRIMINATING PHOTOS OF MYSELF FROM EXISTENCE.
But back to the tennis and Satan has scored himself a Satanic draw from HELL with Davydenko first up, followed by Cilic/Del Potro, and the winner of Trotsky/Isner/Monfils.
Watch my face: *ECSTATIC JOY*
Birthday Boy’s quarter
McFed may not have landed himself with a McDraw, with a Tsonga rematch hovering in the distance like a dementor upon all our souls, but it’s the kind of draw that could send sparks flying.
More intriguing than Jo-Willy would be an inter tennis-generational clash between Tomic and Federer, which – incidentally – would build some hype over the Australia-Switzerland Davis Cup tie in Sydney in September. Gasquet or Almagro bookend the quarter. It’s not a breezy sashay in the park, but it’s doable and challenging, which is a problem only of the first world kind.
(That said, Woger – if you lose to Tsonga again, I will personally pole vault my way to Montreal and chase you down with a wok in hand. No pressure.)
Farty and Toothface sandwich this quarter of sheer whack, with match ups between Wawrinka v Nalbandian, Lopez v Stepanek, Llodra and Youzhny. Ooooof. I feel like a connoisseur just typing those names out.
Possibly interesting first round against Dodig, while Baldasco and Tipsy battle it out for the title of the ATP’s Favourite Minion.
On the other side of the quarter, Berdych (how is this guy still in the top 10?) takes on Dolgopolurve early, and hopefully, with a bit of cray-cray from Dolgo, we might say bye-bye to Berdy extra early in Montreal.
Oh yeah, apparently, Tommy Haas is still playing tennis. Who knew?
Play kicks off in a few ungodly Australian hours. Until then, bonne nuit!