Thursday, 30 July 2009

Call that a TV schedule? Combined Edition

I really like that Sharapova came through her match against Petrova with such ease, but I'm not sure there's that much to be read into the result.

I didn't see the match (much like the rest of the week, though the quarters and the finals have been deemed fit to broadcast for some reason), but have seen Nadia check out of matches like that in the past. A trait that remains unchanged in spite of her top ten position.

What I'm saying is that, for it to have been so easy, I'd guess it happened again. And if I were to go with what I've read, it seems I'm right.

Not that any of this should matter to Shaza of course, who should be looking to string a set of wins together -- preferably strong ones like this -- in an effort at building up those depleted levels of confidence ahead of the US Open.

She'll play the winner of Venus and Kudryavtseva next.

"Its always great to come back and play someone who's at the top of the game and playing pretty well. I always relish playing the top players," she said. "I'd love to play against her."


Not sure what form Venus is in, but if she is anywhere near the top of her game, it should be a good matchup - I always enjoy these two teeing off against each other. It's visceral, feral tennis at it's best. Not very pretty, but full of the right kind of drama.

"No, not the slice Elena, not even the drop shot, but never the slice..."
(Photo: AP)

Dementieva took out Kirilenko just as easily. I quoted her a couple of days back as saying she was unaffected by that semi final loss to Serena at Wimbledon. Which I think is rather impressive; it would have been so easy to relapse into that slump she'd been in earlier on this year. Also bodes well for her ahead of the Open.

Customary racquet throwing pic - is he deliberately trying to sport that nostalgic clean-shaven US Open 2000 look?
(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

In LA, Ernie went down in three sets to Safin, in a match that despite the 26 63 64 scoreline, was actually quite close. Yes feel free to double take. Not often you see or hear of Marat getting through many of those. But playing so much (don't forget that exho with Pete) has caused him to snap out of that dreamy state he was in earlier on this week, and his recent pressers sound more grumpy. Guy's nearing the end of his career and it seems he can't wait to reach the finish line.

"You're ok kid, you'll do alright" Or something like that...
(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Not that I blame him, of course. With the amount of excess energy he's consumed in those mental outpourings over the years, I should say he's spent. Not unlike Pete Sampras was, in that regard.

As far as young Ernie goes, it's not this loss, I'm just not ready to buy into him as a concept. Not just yet. At his peak I'd put him right up there with the del Potro's and Roddicks of this world; but Ernie's not the first and will definitely not be the last young player that failed to capitalise on his talent.

Looking at his stats, his only result of note is that QF at RG last year. Apart from that nothing. Not at the 1000 level, not below it. Not a single ATP title in fact. Isn't it time he picked up one of those unintrusive clay court titles in Europe? The ones I bitched about a week or so ago, because of their particularly suspect calendar positioning.

It might be better to start with something as small as that. Something that doesn't cramp the style of the big boys, but puts you on the map. He really needs to get that monkey off his back before it burgeons in to a snorting gorilla.

I'd go as far as to say he should have played something like Gstaad instead of LA this week.
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