Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Cincy, Toronto: Mental Midgets

With my tennis apathy still not exactly on the wane, I vowed to limit match exposure till late on Wednesday. With very unpalatable flunkdowns like these, it seems I did my senses a favour.

Guccione d. Tsonga 7-6, 6-2

Normal near-atomic levels of instability resumptionalised; contemptuous bouts of grumpiness on my part set to ensue.

Garcia-Lopez d. Verdasco 7-6, 7-6

The more I see of the world the less inclined I am to think well of it'; and the more explosivity I witness on tour, the more I'm convinced that it will be followed by an unceremonious meltdown of Karlovician proportions. To be fair to Nando, he managed to sustain the heights he reached at Melbourne this year for longer than I expected.

And his slide is less pronounced than some of his colleagues I won't sully this post by mentioning; but his star is on the wane...

Rezai d. Safina 3-6, 6-2, 6-4

Someone else whose star is on the wane, and perhaps more officially so, is Dinara Safina. The alarm bells should have been ringing, with the loss she suffered in the final of Cincy. It's not often a dressing down from Zeljko at a non Slam event goes unheeded.

But with her second round loss to Aravanne Rezai today, a match in which she served 17 double faults, I'd say it's time for a long hard think.

I'd also like her to take the moment to reexamine her relationship with Zeljko. I'm not suggesting it come to an end of course - just that things appear to have run their course with their current strategy.

Both Dinara and Zeljko appear to pride themselves with the way in which he hasn't gone about changing her game, preferring instead to nurture her natural baseline power-plays; but it seems what she needs now is a good old fashioned dose of what I call 'organic' growth - tennis development from the ground up, at least in areas as problematic as her serve.

Stosur d. Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-3

I've been cutting Sveta disproportionate amounts of slack, with that incredible win in Paris. But she's stunk out what was meant to be a very protracted victory parade with the way in which she's followed up.

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