Friday, May 30, 2008

Day 6: Sisters, Sledged



I know, I know. Tacky title. But when I got the news that both Serena and Venus lost today, that's the first thing that popped into my head.

It wasn't a shock. Really. I said in my preview that Katarina Srebotnik gives Serena fits on clay. And there's a shady undercurrent to their on-court relationship that I noticed in Charleston. If a player can get into Serena's head, strange things can happen. And Flavia Pennetta beat Venus in straight sets the last time they played. On a hardcourt. So...

Tough draws.

I didn't get to see much tennis today. Won't see any tomorrow either. It's the Maine Democratic Convention weekend and I'm a delegate, so I'm knee deep in our democracy.

For those who have seen the matches and want to provide your takes, please share in the comments.

I should be back Sunday.

13 comments:

mznblue said...

What shady undercurrent are you referring to Craig?

Craig Hickman said...

Just something I sense but can't name.

Helen W said...

Good on ya for being involved. Sounds like you have an exciting weekend ahead.

And good on Wayne Odesnik for his play at RG. Here's a nice article by Justin Gimelstob about him.

Rafa will play his 4th straight lefty on Sunday - vamos!

Karen said...

mznblue, if you read Katarina's comments, you will see that there are under currents there. I have to say that when I read Serena's blog when she said how people were laughing when she lost in Berlin, I thought she was going through her paranoid phase. When I heard Richard Williams speak about racism on the tour and how his daughters have never been accepted, I thought he was just talking crazy, but this FO, if you listen to the commentators, and really read the post match comments of journalists and the players themselves, you will see that these girls have never been accepted and frankly speaking will never be accepted. When people speak of other top players they talk about aspects of their games, with the sisters it is always about their athleticism and not about the tactics that they employ. I hardly ever hear anyone criticise Sharapova's really ugly game, the fact that she has no variety or AnaI's weak mental state or JJ's lack of grace on court (laughing when your opponent hits a shot out is not to my mind being a cheerful person) or her various injury timeouts to slow momentum but everyone talks about how Serena cannot volley, how she has all these interests etc. Talk about their tennis and what they have been able to achieve during their careers. Now everyone is talking about the fact that because they did other things during their career, maybe it is better for you and you dont get burnout. Phewt. Whatever.

spark said...

Let's be honest! red clay is not the williams' best surface and it is no wonder they lost. Why "tough draw", they could've been drawn to play whoever in the third round (petrova, schiavone etc.), it would've been a tough draw, cause these are the FO!

I'm glad that red clay still has it's own rules and breakthrough players. Now Shara has to go out and everything will be in "red clay order" ;-)

mznblue said...

Thanks for explaining Karen. I've tried to avoid articles from the talking heads. I've followed both sisters for a long time and this has always been the case. It's really a shame that everything Serena and Venus have given to the sport continues to be unrecognized and spoken about.

I'm still very disappointed they're out, especially Serena, but I'm very glad they won't have to think about Paris again for the rest of the year. Paris and clay really screw with Serena's head and now can really get down to business. I just hope my girl puts this behind her and find her belief again. Because even if she isn't playing her best, as long as Serena has the belief, she will find a way to get through.

skivvy said...

I'm glad you mentioned that "undercurrent" there was something going on when they played each other in the States.

Yes, I'm a bit let down in the outcome, partly because Serena's comments have been taken out of context again.... the press/media wants a story. I almost wish Serena would retire so that we could go shopping together and wouldn't have to listen to non-champion talking heads blather on about her "athletic ability" and so on -- as if you can win slams without technique....

tangerine said...

NBC got stuck showing us the two most boring matches of Roland Garros so far: King Federer vs Victim No. 873 and Princess Sharapova vs Nobody Worth Remembering. Snore! Tomorrow should be more interesting with Blistered Foot Nadal vs Yet Another Lefty Loser and Serb Snake vs Some Guy Everybody Will Be Rooting For.

Can somebody clue me in on the "undercurrent" between Serena and Srebotnik? I watched the match and didn't get any sense that there was some underlying tension between them. Then again I did not see their match in Charleston where this all started apparently?

Coincidentally, this was only the second time both WS lost on the same day in a slam, the last one being four years ago also at Roland Garros. The french clay just doesn't agree with them, I guess.

Huge congrats to our lone American Robby Ginepri for finally breaking through to the round of 16 on french clay, the first American to do so in seven years. He's playing as well as he did in is breakout year 2005. This Higueras coach is working wonders.

skivvy said...

Hi Tangerine,

To me the "undercurrent" was kind of like, "I'm not scared of you Serena." with a couple of stares/glares exchanged. It reminded me of the vibe that Spirlea gave Venus at the US Open 97 but without the chest bump.

Oh, and here is nice Venus article:
http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-french30-2008may30,0,4865585.story

brooklyn1006 said...

Tangerine, your post is very funny, and true.

About Venus and Serena, about all I have the energy to say is on to grasscourt season...

cms said...

Go Obama!

chaos-theory08 said...

"Sharapova's really ugly game, the fact that she has no variety or AnaI's weak mental state or JJ's lack of grace on court (laughing when your opponent hits a shot out is not to my mind being a cheerful person)"

I thought I was the only one who sees Sharapova's messy game. I'm not impressed by her at all. And as for Ana, well... she's good, she's pretty... next girl please.

chaos-theory08 said...

"King Federer vs Victim No. 873 "

It was like watching an exhibition match ... common theme: they both suffered mononucleosis.