Monday, August 17, 2009

US Open Series Champions

CINCINNATI - AUGUST 16:  Jelena Jankovic of Serbia poses with the trophy after defeating Dinara Safina of Russia in the finals of the Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open on August 16, 2009 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I fully expected Elena Dementieva to win the premier event in Cincy, but Jelena Jankovic outlasted her in the semifinals and made the world No. 1 look like a rank amateur in the final. She is the defending US Open runner-up and she does enjoy the summer hardcourts, so perhaps she'll use this victory to move past her career ennui.

Dinara Safina is the top-ranked player in the world based upon her results at tour-level events. Like it or not, that's the way it is and I accept it. But what would be her ranking without on-court coaching? There's a reason she can't win a Slam. She can't get chewed out and berated by her demented-looking coach coached on the changeovers.

Juan Martín del Potro can go jump in a lake. Seriously. And get fit. I get so tired of hearing commentators talk about the difficulty of performing well during the dog days of summer because of the heat. So tired of hearing the excuses they rain on players who do what del Potro did in the Montreal final: hit a brick wall physically and have to go through the motions to avoid another blotch of retirement on his record.

Wasn't that long ago a certain someone won Indianapolis, made the semifinals in D.C., and then won Montreal (without a first-round bye!), Cincy (without a first-round bye!), and the US Open, avenging his D.C. loss in the first round at Flushing Meadows, and didn't hit a wall until Davis Cup on clay a week later.

Del Potro is young. Being able to physically recover more quickly than the old folks is part of youth, no?

MONTREAL, QC - AUGUST 16:  Andy Murray of Great Britain poses for photographers after defeating Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina during final of the Rogers Cup at Uniprix Stadium on August 16, 2009 in Montreal, Canada.

Andy Murray, who Karen likes to call the best best-of-three player on the tour, was the willing recipient of del Potro's breakdown to win his first Rogers Cup. He replaces Rafael Nadal as the No. 2 player in the world today.

What a difference an injury makes.


Whole Sight said...

Craig said: "Del Potro is young. Being able to physically recover more quickly than the old folks is part of youth, no?"

I think it's a well-known aspect of physiology that actually, our strength & endurance keep improving in our late teens and early 20s, reaching a peak in our late 20s.

So yes, del Potro does need to work on conditioning - but at age 20 he can't put in the gym work and get the same results as Murray can at age 22. If Delpo gets a couple of years under his belt and still sags in the 3rd set and beyond, then we can roast him . . . but not before.

Karen said...

@Whole Sight, the whole lie to that argument is one Rafael Nadal. At age 22 he has achieved what many in the sport has not achieved. Also, look at Roger Federer, a man who is well past his prime (or so people will have yuo believe) who outlasts his opponents who are much younger than he is over a best of 5 set match every single time. At every major that Roger has played the only person who has been able to take him out over best of 5 is Nadal. The only time that Nadal has not needed 5 sets to take out Roger is at the FO in 2008. Every other time it has gone the distance. People always look at the h2h and the wins by players but do not take into account that none of these matches are beat downs, they are indeed well earned victories. If Roddick had not made some asinine plays in Montreal he would have been the winner as you could tell as the match progressed that Andy was the fitter of the 2. Murray, for all his vaunted fitness was also sweating bullets.

tangerine said...

Boy, look at how some players gain so much when Nadal is out of the picture...players getting titles they wouldn't otherwise win, some big ranking changes that wouldn't have happened otherwise...Just goes to show what an impact Rafa has been and that tennis needs a healthy Nadal more than ever.

Karen said...

People always post comments that Roger makes that are considered inflammatory, arrogant, dishonest etc. I just wanted to post something that could be taken as the God's honest truth: Both Murray and I have benefited from Rafa being out with injury – I’ve won two Majors, Andy won Montreal.“
It takes an honest man to admit something like this. An honest man. If I ever see or hear anyone post that Roger Federer is a no good so and so I will always refer back to this article.

Helen W said...

Sorry Karen, just because some of Roger's remarks are reasonable, it does not excuse the inordinate number of his remarks are are conceited or arrogant, nor the many remarks that mark him as a poor loser or winner.

Not even his greatest detractors claim that *everything* he says is objectionable.

Dapxin said...

lols @ karen, how long you been looking for that :)
See, RF is who he is - I have come to accept that, accept that we are who we are too.

I personally wished it was him that was displaced, just so I can get more of the egoism, in, I'd have paid to see that!

Heard the bbc commentary of the Murray game halfway b4 I got onto the train home, and cant believe Potro lost the way it would seem he was playing.

I personally feel Murray's style of play can evolve formidably, if he wasn't doomed to the hopeless burden of carrying British hope - read hype, and they call him British No1...ti wherever he sneezes.

As for Safina, I am not a Tennis expert, but the ranking system is simply primitive, if it can adapt to who's best at the biggest stages. period.

I am happy for Jelena tho, she smiles in a way that brings joy to the heart win or lose, and I hope she doesnt get to play miss Serena in a slam Serena's got that 666 to her flat in serbia :)

Karen said...

@Daxpin, not long actually. Saw it over at Freakyfrites' blog this morning.
@Helen, I think a lot of what Roger has said in the past has been miscontrued. I saw an article that appeared in the Canadian papers in which Roger addresses Jacketgate. I had no idea that he had a jacket with the NO. 14 on it. I guess Soderling does not deserve tennis fans the world over to decry how arrogant Roger was to wear a No. 14 jacket after giving him a beatdown for his first FO, but there you go. I also saw this morning where Rafa was of the view that being No. 3 is just a number. Rafa says it, he is so humble, Roger says he does not like being No.2 and would like his No. 1 ranking back, as well as saying that there is no difference between 1 and 2, and he is arrogant. I just dont understand it.

Dapxin said...

Stop trying to understand it then. Just accept it...maybe someday you will. maybe someday we will too.

But stop trying to make yourself see the light. that way, you are at peace with yourself.

Karen said...

@Daxpin - LOL

Karen said...

What did poor Petrova do to be drawing Sharapova at almost every tournament since her comeback. Are they trying to make Sharapova look good by ensuring that she has to get past Petrova every single time. Each time her matches against Petrova have become more beatdowns than competitive. It is like she hones her skills against her. Just sad to watch.

HoiHa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HoiHa said...

Delete Comment From: Craig Hickman's Tennis Blog

Well Karen I am no fan of the Fed but to be fair that was at least a respectful and gracious thing for him to say and thanks for sharing it ...

on the other hand, did anybody read Murray's presser where he defended his move up to the #2 rank by saying that, just like Rafa, he took time off too ... precious ...

Whole Sight said...

Karen said: "Whole Sight, the whole lie to that argument [that strength & endurance keep improving in our late teens and early 20s] is one Rafael Nadal. At age 22 he has achieved what many in the sport has not achieved."

First of all, it's not an argument - it's widely observed fact. Second of all, you should know (but perhaps you don't) that all statistical observations include outliers. In this case, Nadal is an outlier - an unusual rather than usual individual. That doesn't mean that everyone else must conform to Nadal; just the opposite.

I'm glad you like Nadal; it's just that his history has nothing to do with the fitness of del Potro at the young age of 20, and before him, Andy Murray at the same age.