Monday, July 23, 2007

Stateside Champs

In the Countrywide Classic championship, Radek Stepanek beat James Blake in an intense, high quality affair in the blistering California heat. After Stepanek took an injury timeout early in the third set, Blake won only one more game. I wasn't aware these two didn't care much for each other, but at times the encounter felt more like a shoot out than a tennis match. Both players spent so much energy on the underneath, momentum swung like a pendulum. In the end, Radek won the war 7-6(7), 5-7, 6-2 and hoisted his second career title and first of the year while a visibly angered Blake, who blew three or four (I lost count) set points in the first set tiebreak, will move on to Indianapolis to try to defend his first US Open Series title and sign more copies of his critically praised book Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life, which debuted at No. 22 on the New York Times bestseller list.

Meanwhile, Anna Chakvetadze made quick work of Akiko Morigami 6-1, 6-3 to take the Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open title, the Russian's third of the year. If there was television coverage of this US Open Series event, I missed it.

Next up for the women is the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford University. For more on the US Open Series, check out the official site.


tangerine said...

Another disappointment from the mental wasteland known as James Blake.

Raspberries to Stepanek too, who had to resort to all kinds of gamesmanship in order to beat Blake. It wasn't just his suspicious injury timeout in that last set, but also him toweling off in the middle of Blake serving and several times he tried to challenge calls *after* he'd hit the ball, which you can't do.

There was a lot of tension in that match, and some very good playing too, but the end result was marred by Stepanek's sore-winner behavior and Blake's predictable wishy-washy mentality. Blah.

Karen said...

Are you kidding me. You mean I missed an almost slug fest. I did not watch the match, hate to look at that "unfortunate" looking fellow called Stepanek. I guess his behavour is as a result of his very unfortunate looks. Dont like either player so there was no incentive for me to watch - yawwwwwwwwwwwwwwn

Craig Hickman said...

"Another disappointment from the mental wasteland known as James Blake."

Please, tangerine. Tell us what you really think. (wink)

Step-on-it is a rather unsavory fellow on the tennis court, no?

Mad Professah said...

It was very high quality tennis, though. Blake should have won that first set but when facing triple break point Radek made 5 first serves in a row (in the high 120s) to win the game. He made some pretty amazing shots and showed that he is way faster than ehe looks (though not as fast as Blake, of course).

Of course Stepanek is "betroted" to Martina "Chucky" Hingis! Too fitting.

Karen said...

Talk about a match made in heaven. The poor off-spring.

Craig Hickman said...

Alright, you two.