Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Summer Summary

Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro (L), the 2009 US Open Tennis champion, poses with fans upon his arriving at the international airport in Ezeiza, Argentina, on September 16.
Getty

Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro (L), the 2009 US Open Tennis champion, poses with fans upon his arriving at the international airport in Ezeiza, Argentina, on September 16.
Getty

Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro, the 2009 US Open Tennis champion, poses with fans upon his arriving at the international airport in Ezeiza, Argentina, on September 16.

Back in July, this is what I wanted to know:

Last year, Gilles Simon and Juan Martín del Potro stormed into the Top 10 with some surprise and some expectation. Something tells me only one of the will defend a good chunk of points he earned in the lead up to the US Open, and I can't even say I'm sure about that.

Well, I was thinking of del Potro, and he clearly more than defending his points by becoming the tour's newest champion at the US Open.

How will the recent world No. 1 fare coming back from rehabilitation and family disarray?

Not too well. Rafael Nadal's knees are fine, but his abdominal muscle might be torn. It affected his play to the point that he lost twice in two tournaments to the US Open champ, the only time he's ever lost three times to a single player in a single season. (He lost to him in Miami as well.)

How will the top American Andy Roddick recover from an injury absence and the heartbreak of another Wimbledon title that got away?

Losing two tight matches to the USO champ earlier in the summer and losing a fifth-set breaker to John Isner in the third round of the USO, his earliest exit since losing in the first round in 2005, indicates he hasn't recovered at all. Probably won't. At least not enough to contest another Slam final.

Will Serena Williams stay healthy and play a fuller summer than she has in recent years?

Yes. And look how that ended...

How will the new mother Kim Clijsters, returning from her relatively brief retirement, handle all the new girls?

She beat Victoria Azarenka in one of her first event back, as I expected, and toppled Venus and Serena en route to her second US Open title. Ironic that she would be the one to make me look psychic.

Will Venus Williams finally get herself back to a US Open final?

Nope.

Will Elena Dementieva?

Nope.

It seems to me the only top player around which there is no question mark is none other than Roger Federer.

When he lost a big lead against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Canada, I thought I was wrong. But then he won Cincy so I thought not. He made his sixth-consecutive USO final until he ran into the biggest player with the biggest question mark who answered his critics (I said he could go jump in the lake and get fit...) resoundingly.

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 15:  Juan Martin Del Potro (R) the 2009 US Open Tennis Champion meets with anchors (L-R) Al Roker, Jenna Wolfe and Matt Lauer on NBC's 'The Today Show' on September 15, 2009 in New York, New York.
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Del Potro meets with anchors (L-R) Al Roker, Jenna Wolfe and Matt Lauer on NBC's 'The Today Show' on September 15, 2009 in New York, New York.

Of course Melanie Oudin gets an honorable mention for her gutsy run to the quarterfinals. It's going to be interesting to see where she goes from here, especially since the American tennis establishment seems dead set on punishing her coach for speaking the truth about the American tennis establishment.

::

I may cover Davis Cup. I may not. It's going to be a busy weekend on the farm.

Thank you all for reading, and I'll "see" you soon!

11 comments:

tangerine said...

Could somebody please post a link to what Melanie's coach said?

Del Potro's dethroning of Roger seemed somewhat similar to Safin's win over Sampras in 2000, doesn't it? Juan's next challenge will be to avoid Safin's career fate.

SarooQ said...

That might be just true tangerine, but Sampras was already on a decline and you could already tell playing Tennis was something that didn't make him the happiest.

Federer on the other hand is still playing ridiculously well and is in no mood to stop playing anytime....

But i absolutely love love Delpo. Him winning is sooo different than when Djoke won or with all the hype around Murray's improved game. I dont know what it is about him, but i hope he wins many more to come!! I also want Rafa to win some more and Fed too.....i just dont have a taste for Murray.

Craig Hickman said...

Link included in main post now, tangy.

HoiHa said...

This Serena bashing seeems to be getting out of hand ... Bodo has a good take on it IMHO.
http://tennisworld.typepad.com/tennisworld/2009/09/anticivil-civility.html

ps I am not worried about rafa - like Roger's horrible year last year, this is rafa's - the one thing I KNOW about Rafa is he is the best "learner" on tour - he will back with tons of points to gain next year ...

oddman said...

True that, HoiHa.

Awww, look at Juan Martin holding that wee baby... it's engulfed in his hands.

I read somewhere that he said he won't change how he is, now that he's had this success - and he has plenty of good friends back at his club to remind him.

I like this guy. More and more.

Dapxin said...

The summer simmers,
summaries arrive,
the winter steps in,
step up winners and losers...
---------

gr8 0post

Beth said...

What's up on the farm this weekend Craig? Do you have a farm stand weekly or each weekend? Thanks for this post and all the salient commentary. I hope that next year is a new and exciting year for all of we tennis fans! Sort of like the season finale of our favorite show. We are left with some cliff hangers: Will Nadal heal and be ready and back 100% by January? Will Roddick be able to finally win one of these super-tight matches? Will Federer be a new man and just blaze through 2010 now that he's a new dad? Tune in.....who knows what we'll see!

lynney62 said...

Hey Craig....just wanted to say "Happy Fall"! I imagine your farm is so beautiful during autumn. Would love to see some pics if you have time to post them!

Craig Hickman said...

Beth, the farm stand is busiest on the weekends, though it's open 7 days. But I've got guests coming and a private dinner to cater, so I'm going to swamped.

::

lynney, I'm working on a few slideshows as we speak. I'll post them soon as I get chance.

A said...

This is days old now, but I love that NY Magazine immediately sprung to Serena's defense. At least they have a sense of humor about the whole drama. And by the way, at least Serena got everyone excited about the women's side. I'm sorry, Kim's ability to come back and beat everyone off the bat just ain't cutting it for me. Frankly, they should be thanking Serena, not fining her.

http://nymag.com/daily/sports/2009/09/serena-williams.html

BayouPeach said...

I have a serious crush on Del Po....just thought I would mention that. He's so cute with his tall self. He's quickly becoming one of my top 3 for his tennis, not that charming smile of his.