Tuesday, 31 August 2010

USO: Save it for the judge. Or something.

 

 

 

Much as I’m in favour of this sort of thing (and much as it makes the poor sod on the other side of the net LOATHE you), this is akin to a stand up comic using up all his best gags in a teaser. It also has something of the Christians and the lions about it.

 

A little more quotidian, not to mention a little more restraint, if you please.

 

Meanwhile, a little more abandon and  far more belligerence from Sod would go down nicely too.

 

Five sets in a first round match against a guy making his first appearance at a Slam?

 

Oh I’m sure Haider-Maurer played the match of his career. It’s also true that, since Wimby, Sod’s developed a most worrying tendency to storm through the early parts of a match before allowing his inner, more flatulent self to lose control of the ship.

 

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Early on yesterday I casually surmised that if any one of Ivanovic, Stosur, LaMonf and Reeshie were to lose their opening round matches, we shouldn’t, in fact, consider it an upset however upsetting it might personally be.

 

All survived. Reeshie and Ana easily, LaMonf and Stosur less convincingly.

 

Quite what this demonstrates – other than that I’m shit at making anti-predictions – I don’t claim to understand. Though the take out as far as Stosur’s concerned appears to be that she should be closing these matches out with significantly less pain.

Ana appeared to be striking the ball well though one competent win against a dithering opponent does not a comeback make. Zheng next.

 

 

 

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Friday, 27 August 2010

USO: Expect anything and *everything*…and nothing at all.

 

 

 

 

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» Rafa wins: Career Grand Slam –> World further divides into those for whom H2H’s never mattered less and those for whom ‘more’ never means *more*

 

» Muzz wins: Maiden Slam -->Monkey falls off his back and into a pond with a broken duck in it.

 

» Fed wins: Only an Open Era USO record….as if anyone cares about that.

 

» QF Night Match worth staying up for: Rafa/Nalbie

 

» QF Death Match worth looking out for: Djoko/ARod (Roddick’s won their past 4 meetings and is 5-2 overall)

 

 

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LEGEND

Top Guns, supposedly

Big Bad Denizens

Britain’s Got Talent

Sympathy Vote

(First Round Fracas underlined)

 

ATP

 

Q1 Rafa, Istomin, Kohls
Feli, Ljubicic 
Easy-peasy though I’d still say Rafa’s got no business being around “Upset
Merchants” Istomin and Kohls this early in the game.
Ferru/Dolgo, Ernie
Nalbie, Dasco
Ernie and Nalbie. At least one will be gone by round four. Winner plays Rafa in the Quarters.
Q2 Muzz, Wawa
Querrey, Almagro

Muzz arrives wrecked in the quarters having dropped far too many sets along the way. Maybe.

Misha, Xman, Isner
Steps/B’teau, L’dra/Berd

Berd surrounded by a bunch of nutters-at-the-net. You can’t always fight madness.

Q3 Kolya, Reeshie, Bellucci
LaMonf, Tipsy, ARod
Half full: Reeshie finds a way to round four.
Half empty: ARod doesn’t
Baggy, Fish
Pico, Blake, Djoko
Djoko breezes through in straights until he has one of those matches against Baggy/Fish
Q4 Sod, Falla, Gonzo
Cilic
Sod to survive a R2 5-setter against Fire, before cutting down Cilic in his subprime.
Yoyo, JCF
Hewitt, Federer

Fed to avenge Halle convincingly. And to then struggle against Yoyo/JCF – equally convincingly

 

 

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WTA

 

With firm favourite Kimmie coming in with hip concerns and CazWoz your number one seed, expect anything and everything…and nothing at all.

 

 

Q1 Caz, Navarro, K’vong, Safarova
Rezai, Benny, Groth/Masha
Groth could put out Masha in R1. A couple of poor service games, cement-block focus from Groth. BOOM. Could totally happen.
Sveta/Date, Kiri
Shvedova, AChak, Domi, Li
Remember how Kimiko toughed out a 3 setter over Dina in R1 of RG, and then went out the very next round basically spent? Yeah, try and forget that.
Q2 JJ, Kanepi
MJMS, Wickmayer

I won’t list all the reasons JJ shouldn’t do well here – there’s so many I almost expect her to make something of it.

ARad, Petkovic/Petrova 
Coco, Bepa

Bepa gets her Coco revenge and Nadia goes down to ARad in straights

Q3 Franny, 'Courage’, ABond
Pavs, Vika
Can Vika’s belief' trump ‘Courage’ itself?
Peer, Flavs
Pironkova, Venus
Will Venus get her Wimby revenge? Does Venus even know what revenge is?
Q4 Stosur, Kleybs
Dani/Dina, Demmie
Can Dina use Demmie/Stosur’s struggles to her advantage? Assuming she emerges in one piece from that New Haven reunion.
Bartoli, Ivanovic, Zheng
Kvitova, Baltacha, Kimmie

Who wants to be brave and predict Kimmie cleans up? (Hint: Not me)

 

(Images: Getty)
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Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Cincy: Third Degree Burns.

 

There’s to be no getting around it: it would have been a consummate disaster for him not to win this one given the industrial-grade hydraulic leg-up he had received.

 

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There were retirements: Istomin’s foot deprived us of what could have been a telling match either way (I’ve been following Dennis since he almost put Rafa out of Queens and, if you aren’t already, I suggest you do the same).

 

There were walk-overs: though for all we know, Kohls injured his shoulder falling off a bar stool in convulsive fits after viewing a scratchy DVD labelled ‘GiggleFest’ someone had sneakily slid under his hotel door overnight.

 

And he didn’t even display the sense of fair play or good breeding by “manning up” to  face a top five player now, did he?

 

Personally, I don’t think Muzz and Djoko were ever a factor last week.

 

And whose fault is it that Rafa went out to Baggy anyway? Or that “Baggy-was-as Baggy-usually-is” a mere twenty four hours later?

 

There were, believe it or not, other talking points. There’s to be no getting around that either:

 

-- Fed’s kamikaze chip-and-charges; they got him burned at the net so many times I almost expected to hear of skin grafts being applied during a carefully screened MTO. And yet he persisted. Occasionally it paid off. Some even went as far as to suggest the match went on for as long as it did because he was “trying out stuff”.

 

I doubt that very much.  Mardy was simply serving too well.

 

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Though there’s no question he’s been experimenting and, quite evidently, has been since Toronto: those opening sets he played against Djoko and Berd were so suffocatingly swift, so intoxicating in their intensity that had he polished up any sooner, would likely have been called up for a false start.

 

Though you get a sense that none of that somewhat dismissive brilliance would have been possible were it not also accompanied by it’s evil twin: those macabre, episodes of fug we saw later - so “neuerratic” in nature they might almost have been born of a dysfunctional aura and under a full moon.

 

“Cincy Tennis”, on the other hand, was a whole lot more straightforward. Where he might once have swung he sliced, where he might once have shanked he held back. And when he did deem it appropriate to end the rally, did so knowing he could end it on his terms either with either a very dressy drive volley at the net or a more routine forehand belted crisply from the back of the court.

 

I like what what I’m seeing – whether or not and however we choose to credit Annacone’s involvement is, at this stage, almost irrelevant.

 

 

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-- Fish lost this on a single break deep in the final set. The previous two sets went to lengthy tie breaks. Fed wasn’t holding back one bit. All of which speaks volumes for a guy everyone seems so keen to hurl pejorative shit at (myself inc.).

 

It’s completely disingenuous to suggest that the match went on for as long as it did because of Fed’s ambivalence at his own play – almost as disingenuous as it is to harp on about Fed’s crappy breakpoint conversion rate without once giving a nod to the Mardy serve.

 

So now, if you don’t mind, I intend to give that nod.

 

And now, if you don’t mind, I intend to go back to hurling pejorative shit.

 

-- ARod posted back to back wins over Djoko and Sod. Ok, so it didn’t end the way he wanted (he only narrowly avoided a final set bagel against Fish)  and he really should have known better than to come down on the ump in the way he did – an act that is now as hammy as it is bedraggled.  But his last comparable spell was back at IW/Miami.

 

All things considered, an uplifting week not least in terms of his #9 ranking. That’s right, that great American rankings crisis was….not quite the subprime credit crunch we thought it was.

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Sunday, 22 August 2010

“It is with every small act of kookiness that we veer ever closer to the stars.”

 

 

 

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When  it finally does go down, it’ll be these four ladies contesting the semi finals in Montreal.

 

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Sveta and CazWoz did manage to get a couple of games in (Woz broke) before the rain forced them off again….they used the down time to indulge us with a spot of footy-tennis.

 

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Sveta rocks the world of footy-tennis like no other - with either a tennis or a football (mixed doubles with Muzz?). But a special mention and an A* to Woz for effort who has, for now at least, earnt the dissolution of her “anyone-but-Woz” status.

 

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Being kooky on court with Sveta is a good thing – your efforts have been noted.

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Saturday, 21 August 2010

Four Weddings and a FeduNadal

 

 

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We can be jovial about this.

 

I went to bed - on a Friday night,

With Nadal-and-Baggee on ma teh-lleee…

 

When I woke up,

The whole world was shook up,

 

And Fed and Nadal but a storeeee….

 

 

…or we can wallow in our grief over one of W. H. Auden’s lesser known works:

 

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and paint your house grey,
Throw out the face-paint; there’ll be no Fedal today

 

 

 

Although, hand on heart, how many of you can really say you wanted it this soon?

 

I know many will disagree, but for me their last meeting drew a blank. Like two drunk and disorderlies forced to patch up their differences at a makeshift charity do no one wants to attend.

 

They’re both inching towards finding their form. Feds shown more flourish but also more confunktion. Rafa was roundly outplayed last night but is also the more steadier of the two.

 

Give it another week I say, let them play themselves into more affable spirits before we once again force them upon one another.

 

As for Baggy, you’d be a fool to ever doubt him. You’d be a fool to bet the house on him too but that’s part of the deal and, I daresay, the appeal. For some people.For others, just like that recent Fedal fail, he too draws a blank.

 

Me, I’m in the middle. I don’t think his smile is tennis’s solution to world peace (Franny’s is) but I do enjoy his groundies and elephant-on-ice dance moves as much as I enjoy Nalbandian’s.

 

image

 

It’s not often such impeccable timing, efficient weight transfer and fluid movement unite in one player. When that player looks more like a Highland Caber Tosser than a tennis player, it makes the spectacle more-peculiar still.

 

Federer was sublime over Kolya. To be fair, in the first set they both were.

 

The surprising thing this time, however, was Fed’s defence – if I didn’t know any better I’d almost believe he’s found the patience to sustain rallies under pressure. As I say, I know better.

 

With that single break and that first set gone, Kolya began a spraying spree that almost certainly prevented this from going into a third set. Twas a shame because for one set we had the makings of what could have been the match of the week.

 

No one should be surprised at Nole’s and Muzz’s departure. The only amazing thing is how long Muzz ,in particular, lasted in the heat.

 

The good: He’ll get plenty of time to rest up ahead of Flushing.

 

The bad: Mardy Fish might win the US Open Series.

 

The ugly: CazWoz is seeded #1 at the USO (don’t expect me to ‘drop it’ any time soon).

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Friday, 20 August 2010

“You had me at ‘speedy recovery’…now STFU”

 

Serena Williams withdraws from 2010 US Open

Friday, August 20, 2010

Top-ranked Serena Williams has officially withdrawn from the 2010 US Open as she continues to recover from a cut to her right foot.
Williams cut her foot on a piece of broken glass in July, which required surgery, and has not competed on the WTA Tour since winning her 13th career Grand Slam tournament title at Wimbledon. She is a three-time US Open champion.
"It is with much frustration and deep sadness that I am having to pull out of the US Open," Williams said in a statement released by her publicist. "My doctors have advised against my playing so that my foot can heal."
She called missing the tournament "one of the most devastating moments of my career."
US Open Tournament Director Jim Curley released the following statement regarding Williams' withdrawal:
"We regret that Serena Williams is unable to play the US Open and wish her a speedy recovery. She will be missed, but the tournament is about the competition and the players on the court. This year's US Open will be a memorable event, as it has been every year."

 

*coffee splutter*

 

The USO’s clearly bigger than any one player, but am I alone in thinking the professional response would be to wish her a speedy recovery and leave it at that?

 

But then that’s been in somewhat short supply this month as far as tournament directors are concerned. Must be in a weak era.

 

Feel free to rub coal tar in the faces of the injury doubters/snarkers.

 

I will personally be supplying pots. Form an orderly queue.

 

Woz will now be the #1 seed.

 

How the not-so-mighty have risen.

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Slippage.

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getty

 

Zheng d. Dementieva 7-6 (3) 6-4

 

It’s not quite James Blake proportions just yet, but many would argue the slippage has begun.

 

If so, I can’t watch.

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“Sun is Energy”, remember? Turns out it’s also plain hot.

 

4e0b7028fcef4517dc26c64ea57ae361-getty-95925214kc033_western_south

It’s that ‘pit-sniffing’ forehand again.

 

 

“The heat here is important,” Nadal said. “It’s not easy to play here.”

 

You know it’s been bad when “the solar-powered one” declares it unfit for purpose.

 

He wasn’t the only one.

 

“The conditions are tough here,” Murray said. “I’ve played seven matches in nine days, and every one was between noon and 3 o’clock, when it’s warmest. I think anybody would be feeling (tired) in my position.”

 

Both toughed out three setters over Ernie and Benneteau respectively.

 

It wasn’t USO winning form. Few expected it to be.

 

Benneteau, in particular, seemed set to repeat the kind of upset he pulled off in Paris against Fed last year – ya know, when he turns into that nutter at the net.

 

Unfortunately, in doing so, he also succumbed to a bout of muscle cramp allowing Rafa to meekly close it out 5-7 7-6 6-2.

 

Djoko had what, perhaps on paper, seems the easier 6-1 7-6 win over Daveed.

 

Anything but, as it turns out: as has been the case all too often recently, he found a way of making things more difficult for himself and when he did finally make  his victory wave, did so looking scrawnier than usual and with his eyes bulging out a little more than usual.

 

Heat? Clearly not an issue.

 

Roddick won over Sod in three, but not before being dragged kicking and screaming into a 2nd set tie break, in which he blew match point and then went all “fire and brimstone” on the ump for allowing Sod to challenge what he presumably thought was well outside the scope of time allowed either by the rulebook or umpire’s discretion (also, funnily enough, part of the rulebook).

 

Roddick’s version of events:

 

 

 

Discretion: Can’t live with it, can’t live without it….

 

Love you Andy, but a piece of string is as long as discretion says it is.

 

Robin didn’t hear the call and the ump obviously exercised discretion in allowing him to challenge once he had realised the true score.

 

It’s the very same discretion that allows Rafa to habitually creep over the unofficial 25 secs allotted to complete your serve.

 

In either case, no malice is involved and so, well, it should be ok.

 

It was very close, but ARod would likely have gone on to lose that set anyway: Sod seemed to have picked up his game and was crunching those groundies in the way only he can. He saved match point by finishing at the net – do we need further proof he was in the zone?

 

It’s become increasingly difficult to stomach the patronising way in which Roddick takes aim at officials: it’s both insulting and counterproductive – berating an ump with poor English about his communication skills makes for a far uglier spectacle.

 

In other news Brad Gilbert almost got arrested by a rentacop and was practically frogmarched out, after demanding access to the locker room on the back of his “former champ” status:

 

image

 

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image

 

“Commentating Ugly”. Look out for the forthcoming book.

 

Why is it that all the best shit seems to go down when I’m tucked up in bed dreaming about jellybeans?

 

When TopSpin’s away, the mice will play…

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Thursday, 19 August 2010

Moody, Muscley and…..RAW

holding_0910-vo-we18.01

 

What’s a pretty boy like you doing banged up in a damp, squalid……

 

 

 

andy-murray-2

 

…..S&M dungeon like…*oh*.

 

The pictures are actually from Muzz’s garage in his £5M Surrey home. The guy that did the photoshoot was so struck by the grind of the tour that he wanted them taken “where he works”.

 

exclusive01

 

“Airy”…*camera-click*….oh that’s good”….. “playful”…..*click*….very gooood”….*click*…..can we get some Coldplay vocals going here?”

 

 

exclusive02 exclusive03

 

There’s an article in there somewhere. Lot’s more talk on how to be RAW. It’s the done thing apparently.

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I’ll take it.

 

 

 

 

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Someone won two consecutive matches – only her fourth in the past 11 months.

 

I only saw her win over Petkovic. It wasn’t pretty and I doubt it was any different against Nadia – who doesn’t need any help snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

 

Still, a win’s a win. And a win over a top twenty player when you yourself are ranked #70 probably benefits you in more ways than you can hope to understand.

 

I’ll take it.

 

Franny next.

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I almost died and went to Outtake Heaven…

 

“It’s not you…it’s me….” *GUFFAWS UNCONTROLLABLY*

 

 

 

 

For the record, it took them a full 9 minutes and 18 seconds to get a workable four line exchange out of the door.

 

And what a glorious nine minutes it was.

 

There’s a small chance I wet myself. But it was totally worth it.

 

My personal highlights:

 

-- 5:00: What I assume is the director, sadistically moving the goalposts after they’ve spent 5 minutes getting out their first successful (rehearsal) take - “…if you wouldn’t mind saying the following in Basel dialect”

 

-- 6:10/6:18 : “he looks at me……..he gives me the look”. Yeah, it’s all Rafa’s fault Rog! Maybe he should start doing that during your ball toss!

 

-- 1:48/7:10: Roger’s attempting to paper over the giggly cracks by pretending to take the process seriously. Your studious demeanour’s fooling no one.

 

-- 11:12: Actual proof that Roger Federer sweats. You just have to meet his eye. Having Rafa’s eyelashes doesn’t hurt too.

 

-- 11:16: Rafa’s somewhat surly hair swooshes – there are swear words, I’m told – anyone?

 

The best part? I can imagine the two returning as Grandpas in rocking chairs fifty years from now on some dusty veranda doing it all over again.

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Wednesday, 18 August 2010

I’m not that into you….just yet.

 

Not my favourite person Benny.

 

There’s steely focus and there’s just plain rude. But a little of more of this and I might get on board.

 

benny  benny2

 

Benesova d. Jankovic 7-6 (7-3) 6-3

 

Nothing shoddy about her straight sets dismissal of JJ, who, now just two weeks away from the USO, has some real thinking to do.

 

l4666026

 

 

"I didn't feel like a top-five player out there," said Jankovic, who lost to Serena Williams at the 2008 US Open in her only Grand Slam final appearance.

"My game hasn't been at the top level for the last couple of tournaments."

"I really wanted to play matches here, and at the last tournament, but I didn't do that and now I haven't played many matches before the US Open," she added.

"I'll just try my best over there, and hopefully I'll be better."

-- BBC

 

Hopefully. Though “famous last words” and all that…

 

More Benny. On a trial basis for now.

 

 bede4d0b596be44bd5a749d4a1aba4b5-getty-95921795ms046_rogers_cup c010f429915f1acf79d5de5367f7de88-getty-95921795ms044_rogers_cup

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Pull yourself together….or not.

 

reeshie

 

Darned if I know what’s come over Reeshie recently.

 

Putting together consecutive wins and knocking out Misha the #12 seed ?

 

Pull yourself together man.

 

Describing the incident as “unacceptable”, Reeshie has reportedly apologised, takes full responsibility and has vowed “to never allow that to happen again”.

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“Sorry”, no apology necessary.

 

image

 

Falla d. Monfils 6-3 6-4

 

Really?

 

Someone obviously forgot to ‘CC’ Gael in: Losing to Falla no longer merits an apology.

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Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Not saying he doesn’t need a coach but…

 

First title of the year. First coachless title ever.

 

muzz_ap

AP

Murray d. Federer 7-5 7-5

 

Muzz wasn’t in as breathtaking form as he was against Rafa and the match wasn’t, frankly, the envy of the world.

 

Neither were the conditions, though the rain delays appeared to affect Fed more than they did Muzz.

 

Even so, if his newly unveiled forehand is here to stay it will all have been worth it.

 

AND IT IS NEW.

 

Prior to this week, Murrays forehand, or rather the frequency with which he used it to attack (i.e. almost never), was a barometer of sorts as to his levels of confidence. Now, it appears to be something he can use to end rallies with on a regular basis.

 

With consecutive wins over Daveed, Rafa and Fed (all without dropping a set), the week’s best player won and that is as it should be.

 

Now on to that man in pink, whose escapades in Toronto last week are like some curious hybrid of “Citizen Kane” and “Sesame Street”.

 

One the one hand, reaching the finals on the back of some, frankly, tragic episodes of spontaneous human confunktion should inspire confidence.

 

The opening sets he played against Berd and Djoko in particular were as good as anything we’ve seen from him and suggest he is still in touch with the kind of form that wins Slams.

 

The stuff that transpired after both those first sets, however, suggests he’s also in touch with the type of form that loses them.

 

Fed_getty6

getty

 

Interestingly enough he may have unwittingly stumbled upon a strategy with which to trouble big-hitting Krakens –part of me wonders how much of this is to do with Annacone.

 

You can’t down a Kraken once it gets going – we all know that, folly to even try.

 

But if his match against Berd tells us anything, it’s that racing through the opening stages of a match in that deadly hypnotic way can smother the “big hitting genie” before it gets out of the bottle - and if he’s able to do that, then he’s in with a chance. A very good chance.

 

It’s an interesting thought. Kraken’s aren’t half so scary with their head forcibly dunked underwater.

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Fun Yes….”Unbelievable” No…

 

 

And here’s why.

 

a) It’s probably fake. Even if we don’t doubt his ability to pull it off (see b), there’s no way Gillette would risk the avalanche of lawsuits that would emerge from taking someone’s eye out.

 

b) If I, a lowly club denizen, can hit an empty canister of balls placed at different locations in the service box about eight times out of ten (really), then…….

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Monday, 16 August 2010

Apocalypse Now.

 

 

 

storm 

 

I can live with the occasional rain delay (I dare say after the Toronto final we all can).

 

I can -- just about -- live with Masha welching on three Championship points, allowing an erratic Kimmie back into playing a final set she should have had no hope of being involved in.

 

Filthy, dark clouds brewing up apocalyptic storms and other variations on the Doomsday scenario during those Championship points, however, make me wonder whether something more malevolent is involved.

 

Whatever the case, when they returned from the rain delay,it was Kimmie, now miraculously free of the serving problems that had plagued the first set, firmly in charge.

 

kim

No Photoshopped night necessary

 

All of that took place before my Sky Box went on the blink, which meant I was reduced to watching Masha suffer problems with her foot and Kimmie mop up a largely one-sided final set on a grainy internet stream that’s probably only reserved for UFC.

 

Conspiracy, much?

 

Yeah, I was probably in a fouler mood than whatever malevolence lay within those dark clouds. And there’s a small chance I may have been a little ungracious about the whole Kimmie situation who now, quite deservedly, shoots up to world #4.

 

Hearty Congrats Kim. No agenda. Promise.

 

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Does that make her a USO contender? Is any top ten player not named Serena a contender?

 

Masha, as expected, is out of Montreal.

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New rule: Doubles clearly matters, when it’s as cute as this.

 

“The Art of Joy”.

 

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It’s a little difficult to tell with her back being turned and I’ll admit she’s got nothing on MariKiri (no one has), but if anyone tells me Vika is “joyless” again…

 

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Vika (muffled): “…can’t breath….cannnoot breath…”

 

 

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The trophy in case you were wondering what all the fuss was about.

(Blimey, did someone just tell Kiri that she doesn’t get to keep it?)

 

A week ago, Kiri also picked up the doubles title in San Diego with Zheng Jie and..er…. Rafa/Djoko were ejected out of the first round of Toronto.

 

New rule: Doubles clearly matters, when it’s as cute as this.

 

(Images: Getty)

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Sunday, 15 August 2010

There’s always Orkney…There’s always Soda Bread.

 

masha_getty3 This.

 

I’ve been paying far too little attention to Cincy over the past two days considering how invested in a certain player I am – you have the man in pink to blame for that.

 

That serve may never again be what it once was – but in all other departments Masha’s  rapidly approaching pre-injury levels of performance and, should she walk away with the title later today, will be back at #9. It’s been too long…….FAR too long.

 

ana_getty6

 

Kimmie overcame a tearful hobbly Ana Ivanovic after the latter was forced to pull out after only four games with what sounds to be a torn muscle:

 

“It sounds very similar to what I had with my left foot,” said Clijsters, who tore a muscle in her foot last April and missed nearly two months, including the French Open. “I hope it’s not that bad.”

“All of a sudden on that one shot, I felt something, you know, crack a little bit,” Ivanovic said. “I was very scared.”

Ivanovic straightened up, cupped her hands behind her head and winced. She walked gingerly to her chair and took a medical timeout, removing her shoe. A trainer rubbed the inside of the foot and taped it so Ivanovic could try to continue.

d

After the second point - a serve that Ivanovic didn’t even bother to chase - the match was over.

I tried bit of tape, but I could not put any weight on it, and there was no point in me continuing,” she said

-- tennis.com

 

To be honest, I doubt she’d have had much success against Kimmie, but to be robbed of the chance of even trying? After her best week of tennis since…….yeah, how does that sentence end?

 

Greek Tragedy. In every sense of the word…well, except in Ana not actually being Greek. Wishing her a speedy recovery.

 

So there it is. Masha takes on Kimmie. Masha wins or I move to the Orkney Isles, turn recluse and bake soda bread for my remaining days.

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What’s a Not-So-Wee, Bonny, Lad like you doing with a Fug Forehand like that anyway?

 

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Andy Murray doesn’t have a forehand.

 

A big first serve yes. A crafty and deceptively powerful double-hander, HELL YES.

 

But a forehand? …….*crickets chirping*

 

At least not in the top four sense and certainly not as a putaway shot.

 

Unless…

 

 

 

0:09, 0:21 and 1:04, thanks for asking.

 

And those of you that saw the match will know those weren’t the only ones.

 

Rafa was, perhaps, a little rusty but was otherwise neither injured, tired, nor royally pissed off. There were no complaints from him. There should be none from his fans either.

 

Muzz was simply that good.

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Class

 

 

Q. A gentleman asked Djokovic before that he told you something at the end of the game, and the answer of Djokovic was, “Ask Roger.” So what did he tell you?

ROGER FEDERER: Um, well, he told me that he thought I should have won the match earlier, so I deserved the victory. (Laughter.)

I was like, Yeah, I kind of agreed. But look, I’m still happy I won either way, you know.

You know, he’s a good sport, and we enjoy, you know, the tough rivalries through guys like him or Murray or Rafa, whoever it is at the top. Makes you a better player. I think we’re, to some degree, thankful that the other guy is around, too.

 

 

The fact is, for whatever reason, and even if he doesn’t always mean it, Djoko does a great job of presenting himself – however much that may unsettle his detractors.

 

For my money, I do believe he means it - those post-match man hugs at the net from his early years would make me hurl.

 

feddjoko

getty

 

But that’s precisely my point. He “unlearned” that unfortunate habit, weaned himself off it once it was made clear to him how pretentious and ill-informed it made him look – especially when his opponents were, sometimes, so obviously uncomfortable with it (Fed would sometimes pull away).

 

Anyhooo.

 

Federer d. Djokovic 6-1 3-6 7-5

 

The match was very obviously a shoestring-budget remake of the original Stanley Kubrick production from only 24 hrs earlier  – this time presented in a smarter, sassy and edgier way -- though no less filled with tempestuous 1st set beatdowns, latter set Fed malfunctions and capped with a period when Fed does at least manage to rise above the gunk to close out the match despite falling far short of his form in the opening set.

 

Shout out to Djoko for rallying back in the way he did – it would have been infinitely easier to actually die after spending the best part of that sado-masochistic first set merely playing dead– and for actually managing to play what looked like his first bout of intelligent, belligerent, fearless tennis in two years. You give me hope.

 

Shout out to Fed for regrouping after enduring his second “go-loco” out-take reel from hell in 24 hours. Your ability to inspire awe, gore and to make me guffaw all in equal measure and in little over two hours, does you proud. This could become a trend.

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Saturday, 14 August 2010

Wait…Isn’t that THE top four?

 

rafa1 djoko1

fed1 muzz1

 

First time since 1987.

 

Can you guess who those others were?

 

I’ll give you a clue: Becker, Edberg, Llendl and Connors.

 

Oh wait, that’s not a clue…

 

In other news, Daveed did finally run out of gas.

 

My scriptwriter says he feels vindicated but has chosen to pursue other opportunities.

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