Tag Archive | Sybille Bammer

Down Under Day 4: Karolina’s Sprem.

 

Meet Marcos Baghdatis. Every usher’s nightmare. Incapable of finishing a match “on time”, but utterly capable of bringing in mobs of rowdy, excitable fans armed with flare canisters. 

For two sets, Baghdatis struggled on the “business points”. Whilst there was very little between Marcos and Ferrer during the first two sets, Ferrer – with his sheer doggedness and consistency – always played a fraction better towards the tail end of the set.

Had it been any other crowd, the vocalists would’ve been silenced at this point.

But this wasn’t any other crowd. Fun fact – Melbourne is the second largest Greek speaking city in the world after Athens. On a day like this, it comes in handy. 

Groups of Cypriots and expat Greeks in the stadium cheered like energizer bunnies as Baghdatis clung onto the third set. Before we knew it, Baghdatis smelled a drop in level in Ferrer and clinched the fourth set. By then, the elderly and corporate ticket holders were leaving in droves to escape the “OLE OLE OLE MARCOS” chants booming through Hisense Arena. 

Was anyone surprised? Who would Marco Baghdatis be without Australia?

Be it his inspiring 2006 run or his 2008 dusk to dawn epic against Lleyton, no matter how further down the rankings Baghdatis slipped, he’s always been treated like a superstar down under. And today, it took some superstar treatment for Baggy to finish the duel. But he did it the hard way – cramping, smashing rackets, shanking shots, missing opportunities … He did it. 4-6, 3-6, 7-6, 6-3, 6-1. 

By the way, Sprembag = an item or not?

 

 

In the non-upset of the day, Gisela Dulko claimed her second glamour scalp in the last 12 months, downing Ana Ivanovic in 3 sets, 67 75 64.

I did not see it, nor do I wish to see it, with both players leaking a total of 146 unforced errors in the match.

I do not even wish to talk about Ana Ivanovic. why kick a player when she’s down and fading into irrelevance?

Her press conferences of late have filled with therapeutic “bingo words” like “balance”, “just enjoy”, “relax”, “the positives”. Exhibit A: 

 

I think every athlete goes through it. You know, you just have to sort of, yeah, be positive and stay positive. Sometimes it’s hard.

But, you know, it’s like you have families that support us a lot and you can go through it together. And then, you know, I’m sure, you know, we learn from it. We’re not going to let it happen again.

 Q. What do you do this year to give yourself a break when you’re away from tennis? How do you unwind and relax? Is there something different in your routine this year?

ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, you know, I still have to find things that’s gonna make me relax. I really like reading and watching movies. Sometimes I spend too much time in the room; it’s not good either.

Just find something, go for a walk just to keep your mind off of tennis, you know, surround yourself with positive people.

 

At some point, you just say “whatever makes you happy dear” and look the other way.

 


While 2010 hasn’t brought about a change in fortunes with Ana Ivanovic, Venus Williams seems to be regaining her form. Against a potentially tricky Sybille Bammer, Venus was back to her “hard, flat and fast” best. While the first set went in a flash, she stayed aggressive throughout the second set, despite suffering a slight drop in form half-way through the set. 

Although truth be told, Sybille Bammer managed a total of 4 winners in the match, and not for the effort of trying either. There is only so much you can do against Venus when you have zero offence game.

Venus plays her third lefty in a row – Casey Dellacqua next round, who enjoyed a 3-set victory over Karoline Sprem, while lil sis Serena enjoyed an equally sharp victory against ex Safina-conqueror Petra Kvitova.

The Williamses liked their lefty cupcakes, it seems.

 

 

Later on in the night, the Federer Funhouse resumed business as Roger sealed an easy win over Victor Hanescu, 62 63 62. 52 winners to 17 unforced errors. So shiny I’d like to wear it on a chain around my neck.

On a good day, mere mortals run, the all-time greats fly. Our man, he soars

And even Jim Courrier couldn’t keep his hands off him.

 

 

 

Oh by the way, Prince Whatever walked in during the middle of the match. Apparently, it was a big deal. 

 

 

 

 

Yes folks, feel the love I have for the royal family of Bri- err “Australia”.

xx doots

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Cincy Tidbits: the Kimpossible Run Ends.

Kimmie-pola

Getty Images

 

(1) Dinara Safina (RUS) d. (WC) Kim Clijsters (BEL) 62 75

A part of me is relieved to see Kimmie lose to Dinara. Don’t get me wrong – I want Clijsters to have a successful comeback, but can you imagine the embarrassment for the WTA if a player who hasn’t played for two years comes back and straightaway beats the “Real World No 1”?

But it’s certainly been exciting welcoming her back in the fold, and I don’t doubt that she will be able to achieve at least what Martina did on her comeback, and probably even more. Kim feels the same way, rejuvenated by her results this week:

 

“Obviously so far, it’s working,” Clijsters said. “I had really good results, and feel my level here has risen.”

So much that she was already aching for another shot at No. 1.

“I kind of feel like I want to go out there and do it all over again,” Clijsters said.

Source: AP

 

In other results: 

(5) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. Sybille Bammer (AUT) 60 63

JJ has gone through a period of complete burn-out after her successful late season run last year, but I think she’s close to getting her game back together, and more importantly, getting that happy vitality back, which seems to go hand-in-hand with her game. I’ve missed her and her happy splits. 

Sybille Bammer isn’t the toughest of the Hot Mamas out there, but 6-0 6-3 looks like the sort of routine win that JJ wasn’t getting 3 months ago. Lena D will of course be the big test. JJ has a great record against Dementieva, but Elena isn’t the same player that she played 10 months ago in Moscow. It’ll be a tough one, but I’m leaning towards Dementieva pulling through here. 

 

JJAP Photos

 

(4) Elena Dementieva (RUS) d. (8) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 62 61

For CWoz to lose 62 61 to Dementieva, a player who she’s a good record against, is telling of the fact that her game has stalled. Compared to the rest of the players in her generation, Wozniacki lacks  a weapon, and sooner or later, the Cirsteas and Lisickis of the new bunch will start to catch up. The girl needs a forehand, and to stop pushing her way through matches. 

 

CWoz-polaGetty Images

 

(14) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 63 63

Fabulous Flavia is playing like a different player these days. The serve has gotten stronger, she’s moving and defending well, as you’d expect from those dirt-loving Italians. But she’s been playing some pretty crafty tennis too.

With her 6-3 6-3 win over Hantuchova, Flavs is officially the first Italian woman in the Top 10. The whole nation of Italy is expected to go crazy over it … because Italy will always be Italy.

 

“It’s a dream come true, I always hoped to be one of the best players in the world and now I’m there so it’s crazy. It really means a lot. Everyone expected something like this from the beginning of the year because I was number 11 in February.”

I have only spoken with my mum so far. I’ve already received I don’t know how many SMS’s so I think it’s going to be crazy,” said Pennetta.

“Maybe it’s better for me to be here (for now). I can be more focused. Then after this long trip of tournaments I’ll go there and really enjoy this moment.”

 

And focused she must be: she takes on the World No 1 for all but 8 weeks a year in her next match – Dinara Safina. 

Regardless of the outcome of that one, how can you not love this face

 

Flavs-pola

AP Photos