Monday, August 31, 2009

US Open 2009 Day 1 Open Thread

Viktor Troicki (R) of Serbia works with his trainer ahead of the U.S. Open tennis championship in New York August 30, 2009.
Reuters

Viktor Troicki (R) of Serbia works with his trainer ahead of the U.S. Open tennis championship in New York August 30, 2009.

::

Let the games begin.

Arthur Ashe Stadium will features Kim Clijsters, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Andy Roddick in their first-round matches, while Louis Armstrong showcases Victoria Azarenka, John Isner, Amélie Mauresmo, James Blake, and Meghann Shaughnessy. Donald Young (remember him?) returns to action on Court 7 against Tommy Robredo.

I don't see any upsets on the schedule for today. Do you?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Quote For The Day

“Well, I’m surprised to hear that, because I don’t have to wear anything or do anything anybody tells me. I do everything myself. It’s really up to me.”--Roger Federer, upon hearing that many of his fans defended his ubiquitous monogram as something Nike made him do.

(Thanks, HoiHa)

Bottom Heavy

FLUSHING, NY - AUGUST 29:  (L-R) Bob Bryan, David Baron, Mike Bryan pose for a photo together during Arthur Ashe Kid's Day at the 2009 U.S. Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 29, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.
Getty

Bob Bryan, David Baron, Mike Bryan pose for a photo together during Arthur Ashe Kid's Day at the 2009 U.S. Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 29, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.

::

Both US Open draws this year feature bottom halves heavy with contenders, players who can cause all sorts of trouble for the top seeds, and some dangerous floaters floating around for good measure.

On the men's side, the short list of the 16 seeds in the bottom half reads like a hardcourt army: No. 7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 17 Tomas Berdych, No. 11 Fernando Gonzalez, No. 13 Gael Monfils, No. 18 David Ferrer, No. 3 Rafael Nadal, No. 6 Juan Martin del Potro, No. 24 Juan Carlos Ferrero, No. 9 Gilles Simon, No. 16 Marin Cilic, No. 19 Stanislas Wawrinka, No. 27 Ivo Karlovic, and No. 2 Andy Murray. Scattered about like weeds that threaten to strangle whatever the seeds produce are Rajeev Ram, Nicolas Massu, Jeremy Chardy, Jose Acasuso, Michael Llodra, Nicolas Kiefer, Richard Gasquet, Juan Monaco, Marat Safin, Chris Guccione, Philipp Petzschner, Sergiy Stakhovsky, Ryan Sweeting, Feliciano Lopez, and Ernests Gulbis. All these players have the game, experience, and/or recent tour-level momentum to pull off a few surprises. I'm not making any predictions of this mess.

As for the top half, Roger Federer can sleepwalk to the semifinals without dropping a set where he'll likely find Novak Djokovic, unless Andy Roddick finds his confidence and can get out of the fourth round, no small task given the players who stand in his way. Raja tends to get soft draws, but this one is a joke. As peytonallen said, unless the sky falls....

NEW YORK - AUGUST 28:  Tennis legend Billie Jean King greets the crowd during the opening ceremony for the US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park on August 28, 2006 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York.
Getty

Tennis legend Billie Jean King greets the crowd during the opening ceremony for the US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park on August 28, 2006 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York.

::

On the women's side, with a few exceptions, you've got headcases in the top half and champions and contenders in the bottom half.

That said, the second quarter of the draw looks most interesting. Will Elena Dementieva be able to clear the hurdle of Maria Sharapova at a Slam as early as the third round? Will Maria get past the player some call the pit bull in the first round? Will Caroline Wozniacki and Sorana Cirstea, two of the players folks think I want to win the whole shebang, face off in the third round? If so, who will prevail? And will Agnes Szavay, also on the list, come alive at the final Slam of the year and knock off Svetlana Kuznetsova, if they both win two matches?

Dinara Safina, who will remain No. 1 no matter how she fares in Flushing Meadows, might have to fight her way to the quarters, where her campaign will end. Jelena Jankovic, the defending runner up, should be the player who stops her, but she's not the only player in that quarterfinal who can.

As for the half of champions, we'll just have to see if we get another all-Williams face-off in the semis. Defending champion Serena Williams may have to exact summertime revenge on Sybille Bammer and Samantha Stosur to get there, and Venus Williams will have to subdue some hard hitters and possibly Kim Clijsters just to make the quarters where Victoria Azarenka or Li Na will await.

As for the youngster who's all potential that I want to storm through the draw and win her maiden Slam: I'll reveal her identity when she falls. Though, I have to say, she has a workable draw and if she plays extremely well and gets a little lucky, she could contest the final.

We'll see.

Friday, August 28, 2009

US Open 2009 Live Updates

For yet another year, I will not be making the trek to Flushing Meadows to see live action at the US Open. Of course, Savannah, who lives there, will provide her take on the live action with lots of "backstage" reporting.

We're lucky to have a regular reader who will also provide us with some up-close-and-personal reportage. From Matthew:

Hey there folks - I just wanted to let everyone know that I am basically not working for two weeks and spending the time watching live tennis. As a result, I'm focusing more on my own not very well-updated (usually) tennis blog during the U.S. Open:

http://matchpointace.blogspot.com/


I'm going to be at the tournament every day next week, and will post every night. Check it out, if you're so inclined.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

US Open 2009 Men's Draw

[1] FEDERER, Roger SUI vs (W) BRITTON, Devin USA
(Q) vs GREUL, Simon GER
CHELA, Juan Ignacio ARG vs HERNANDEZ, Oscar ESP
ALVES, Thiago BRA vs [31] HEWITT, Lleyton AUS

[21] BLAKE, James USA vs RAMIREZ HIDALGO, Ruben ESP
ROCHUS, Olivier BEL vs KUNITSYN, Igor RUS
(Q) vs GARCIA-LOPEZ, Guillermo ESP
(Q) vs [14] ROBREDO, Tommy ESP

[12] SODERLING, Robin SWE vs MONTANES, Albert ESP
ZVEREV, Mischa GER vs GRANOLLERS, Marcel ESP
KIM, Kevin USA vs SELA, Dudi ISR
(Q) vs [22] QUERREY, Sam USA

[26] MATHIEU, Paul-Henri FRA vsYOUZHNY, Mikhail RUS
STARACE, Potito ITA vs (Q)
HERNYCH, Jan CZE vs SCHUETTLER, Rainer GER
(Q) vs [8] DAVYDENKO, Nikolay RUS

:: ::

[4] DJOKOVIC, Novak SRB vs LJUBICIC, Ivan CRO
(Q) vs (Q)
BECK, Karol SVK vs GONZALEZ, Maximo ARG
(Q) vs [29] ANDREEV, Igor RUS

[23] KOHLSCHREIBER, Philipp GER vs SEPPI, Andreas ITA
(Q) vs GIL, Frederico POR
GOLUBEV, Andrey KAZ vs MAYER, Leonardo ARG
BOLELLI, Simone ITA vs [15] STEPANEK, Radek CZE

[10] VERDASCO, Fernando ESP vs BECKER, Benjamin GER
SERRA, Florent FRA vs TIPSAREVIC, Janko SRB
KENDRICK, Robert USA vs VASSALLO ARGUELLO, Martin ARG
(Q) vs [20] HAAS, Tommy GER

[28] HANESCU, Victor ROU vs ISNER, John USA
(Q) vs ROCHUS, Christophe BEL
GICQUEL, Marc FRA vs TURSUNOV, Dmitry RUS
PHAU, Bjorn GER vs [5] RODDICK, Andy USA

============================================

[7]TSONGA, Jo-Wilfried FRA vs (W) BUCHANAN, Chase USA
NIEMINEN, Jarkko FIN vs FOGNINI, Fabio ITA
CIPOLLA, Flavio ITA vs BENNETEAU, Julien FRA
(Q) vs [30] TROICKI, Viktor SRB

[17] BERDYCH, Tomas CZE vs ODESNIK, Wayne USA
(Q) vs (Q)
(Q) vs RAM, Rajeev USA
MASSU, Nicolas CHI vs [11] GONZALEZ, Fernando CHI

[13] MONFILS, Gael FRA vs CHARDY, Jeremy FRA
KOROLEV, Evgeny RUS vs BECK, Andreas GER
DANIEL, Marcos BRA vs ACASUSO, Jose ARG
MARTIN, Alberto ESP vs [18] FERRER, David ESP

[32] ALMAGRO, Nicolas ESP vs DARCIS, Steve BEL
GINEPRI, Robby USA vs PAVEL, Andrei ROU
(W) LLODRA, Michael FRA vs KIEFER, Nicolas GER
GASQUET, Richard FRA vs [3] NADAL, Rafael ESP

:: ::

[6] DEL POTRO, Juan Martin ARG vs MONACO, Juan ARG
MELZER, Jurgen AUT vs SAFIN, Marat RUS
CUEVAS, Pablo URU vs (W) GUCCIONE, Chris AUS
KOELLERER, Daniel AUT vs [25] FISH, Mardy USA

[24] FERRERO, Juan Carlos ESP vs SANTORO, Fabrice FRA
PETZSCHNER, Philipp GER vsSTAKHOVSKY, Sergiy UKR
(Q) vs LU, Yen-Hsun TPE
GIMENO-TRAVER, Daniel ESP vs [9] SIMON, Gilles FRA

[16] CILIC, Marin CRO vs (W) SWEETING, Ryan USA
GABASHVILI, Teimuraz RUS vs (W) LEVINE, Jesse USA
ISTOMIN, Denis UZB vs (W) EVANS, Brendan USA
LAPENTTI, Nicolas ECU vs [19] WAWRINKA, Stanislas SUI

[27] KARLOVIC, Ivo CRO vs NAVARRO, Ivan ESP
LOPEZ, Feliciano ESP vs (W) DENT, Taylor USA
CAPDEVILLE, Paul CHI vs CRIVOI, Victor ROU
GULBIS, Ernests LAT vs [2] MURRAY, Andy GBR

US Open 2009 Women's Draw

Dinara Safina RUS (1) v Olivia Rogowska AUS
Urszula Radwanska POL v Kristina Barrois GER
Tathiana Garbin ITA v Mallory Cecil USA
Petra Kvitova CZE v Alisa Kleybanova RUS (27)

Patty Schnyder SUI (19) v Lucie Safarova CZE
Sara Errani ITA v Arantxa Rus NED
Shuai Peng CHN v Jarmila Groth AUS
Yanina Wickmayer BEL v Virginie Razzano FRA (16)

Ana Ivanovic SRB (11) v Kateryna Bondarenko UKR
Unknown v Monica Niculescu ROU
Unknown v Lourdes Dominguez Lino ESP
Aravane Rezai FRA v Sabine Lisicki GER (23)

Alona Bondarenko UKR (30) v Alla Kudryavtseva RUS
Gisela Dulko ARG v Ekaterina Makarova RUS
Yaroslava Shvedova KAZ v Masa Zec Peskiric SLO
Roberta Vinci ITA v Jelena Jankovic SRB (5)

:: ::

Elena Dementieva RUS (4) v Unknown
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova RUS v Melanie Oudin USA
Polona Hercog SLO v Christina McHale USA
Tsvetana Pironkova BUL v Maria Sharapova RUS (29)

Jie Zheng CHN (21) v Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER
Alize Cornet FRA v Unknown
Unknown v Julie Coin FRA
Katarina Srebotnik SLO v Nadia Petrova RUS (13)

Caroline Wozniacki DEN (9) v Galina Voskoboeva KAZ
Unknown v Severine Bremond Beltrame FRA
Kristina Mladenovic FRA v Stephanie Dubois CAN
Ayumi Morita JPN v Sorana Cirstea ROU (24)

Agnes Szavay HUN (32) v Shahar Peer ISR
Varvara Lepchenko USA v Carla Suarez Navarro ESP
Tamarine Tanasugarn THA v Anastasija Sevastova LAT
Julia Goerges GER v Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS (6)

==============================================

Victoria Azarenka BLR (8) v Alexandra Dulgheru ROU
Unknown v Unknown
Alberta Brianti ITA v Stefanie Voegele SUI
Unknown v Francesca Schiavone ITA (26)

Na Li CHN (18) v Ioana Raluca Olaru ROU
Michelle Larcher De Brito POR v Mathilde Johansson FRA
Maria Kirilenko RUS v Unknown
Patricia Mayr AUT v Agnieszka Radwanska POL (12)

Marion Bartoli FRA (14) v Rossana De Los Rios PAR
Viktoriya Kutuzova UKR v Kim Clijsters BEL
Kirsten Flipkens BEL v Jelena Dokic AUS
Gail Brodsky USA v Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP (20)

Kaia Kanepi EST (25) v Unknown
Magdalena Rybarikova SVK v Unknown
Bethanie Mattek-Sands USA v Iveta Benesova CZE
Vera Dushevina RUS v Venus Williams USA (3)

:: ::

Vera Zvonareva RUS (7) v Nuria Llagostera Vives ESP
Unknown v Anna Chakvetadze RUS
Unknown v Jill Craybas USA
Lucie Hradecka CZE v Elena Vesnina RUS (31)

Amelie Mauresmo FRA (17) v Tatjana Malek GER
Aleksandra Wozniak CAN v Laura Granville USA
Olga Govortsova BLR v Sania Mirza IND
Edina Gallovits ROU v Flavia Pennetta ITA (10)

Samantha Stosur AUS (15) v Ai Sugiyama JPN
Vania King USA v Anastasiya Yakimova BLR
Timea Bacsinszky SUI v Unknown
Meghann Shaughnessy USA v Daniela Hantuchova SVK (22)

Sybille Bammer AUT (28) v Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez ESP
Unknown v Andrea Petkovic GER
Melinda Czink HUN v Maria Elena Camerin ITA
Alexa Glatch USA v Serena Williams USA (2)

Inflated

A reader writes:

US Open series title to [Sam] Querrey proving that the title has limited to no value in the real world, wallets notwithstanding, when just playing tournaments and getting at least to the quarters will win you the title, as no real competition showed up week in, week out. Sounds like the basis of Safina's being No. 1, doesn't it?

Just an observation.

Face Of The Day

NEW HAVEN, CT - AUGUST 26:  Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium wipes her eyes between points while playing Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia during the Pilot Pen Tennis tournament at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale on August 26, 2009 in New Haven, Connecticut.
Getty

Yanina Wickmayer
of Belgium wipes her eyes between points while playing Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia during the Pilot Pen Tennis tournament at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale on August 26, 2009 in New Haven, Connecticut.

Singles - Second Round
(1/WC) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. (Q) Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 64 57 76(2)
(2) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 61 64
(3) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. Iveta Benesova (CZE) 76(1) 64
Virginie Razzano (FRA) d. (5) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 36 64 ret. (right hand injury)
(Q) Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) d. (6) Marion Bartoli (FRA) 16 76(5) 20 ret. (left adductor strain)
Elena Vesnina (RUS) d. (9) Samantha Stosur (AUS) 36 63 64


Doubles - Quarterfinals
(1) Llagostera Vives/Martínez Sánchez (ESP/ESP) d. Senoglu/Shvedova (TUR/KAZ) 62 61
(3) Craybas/Raymond (USA/USA) d. Borwell/Kops-Jones (GBR/USA) 63 62
(4) Bondarenko/Bondarenko (UKR/UKR) d. Cornet/Gallovits (FRA/ROU) 63 75

::

Singles - Third Round
[1] N Davydenko (RUS) d [15] F Santoro (FRA) 75 63
[2] [WC] F Verdasco (ESP) d [16] A Seppi (ITA) 76(3) 62
[6] S Querrey (USA) d B Phau (GER) 75 63
[7] I Andreev (RUS) d [Q] F Gil (POR) 64 64
[11] J Melzer (AUT) d [8] V Hanescu (ROU) 76(5) 46 61
J Acasuso (ARG) d [14] I Kunitsyn (RUS) 36 76(3) 63
L Mayer (ARG) d S Bolelli (ITA) 62 64
F Serra (FRA) d [WC] R Ram (USA) 46 76(6) 75

Doubles - Quarterfinals
J Knowle (AUT) / J Melzer (AUT) d C Kas (GER) / P Petzschner (GER) 76(2) 46 10-8
[2] B Soares (BRA) / K Ullyett (ZIM) d J Chardy (FRA) / F Santoro (FRA) 61 76(3)

Doubles - First Round
[3] F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK) d W Moodie (RSA) / H Tecau (ROU) 76(4) 46 10-7
[4] M Damm (CZE) / R Lindstedt (SWE) d [WC] R Kendrick (USA) / S Lipsky (USA) 75 64
M Melo (BRA) / A Sa (BRA) d S Huss (AUS) / R Hutchins (GBR) 75 63

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Face Of The Day

NEW HAVEN, CT - AUGUST 25:  Alize Cornet of France reacts during a match against Samantha Stosur of Australia during single's competition at the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Pilot Pen tournament on August 25, 2009 in New Haven, Connecticut.
Getty

Alizé Cornet of France reacts during a match against Samantha Stosur of Australia during single's competition at the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Pilot Pen tournament on August 25, 2009 in New Haven, Connecticut.

Singles - Second Round
[1] N Davydenko (RUS) d R Kendrick (USA) 76(10) 63
[2] [WC] F Verdasco (ESP) d P Capdeville (CHI) 60 63
J Acasuso (ARG) d [3] T Robredo (ESP) 36 75 76(5)
[WC] R Ram (USA) d [5] M Fish (USA) 63 63
[7] I Andreev (RUS) d K Kim (USA) 63 61
[8] V Hanescu (ROU) d J Tipsarevic (SRB) 64 67(8) 63
B Phau (GER) d [9] N Almagro (ESP) 26 63 75
F Serra (FRA) d [10] J Chardy (FRA) 67(8) 76(4) 61
[11] J Melzer (AUT) d [Q] P Cuevas (URU) 62 30 ret. (shoulder)
[Q] F Gil (POR) d [12] P Petzschner (GER) 67(2) 76(8) 63
S Bolelli (ITA) d [13] A Beck (GER) 64 64
[14] I Kunitsyn (RUS) d [WC] T Dent (USA) 63 64
[15] F Santoro (FRA) d P Starace (ITA) 75 60
[16] A Seppi (ITA) d Y Lu (TPE) 67(5) 63 75
L Mayer (ARG) d [LL] O Rochus (BEL) 60 64

Doubles - First Round
[2] B Soares (BRA) / K Ullyett (ZIM) d E Butorac (USA) / J Coetzee (RSA) 63 63
J Knowle (AUT) / J Melzer (AUT) d O Marach (AUT) / D Skoch (CZE) 63 64

::

Singles - Second Round
(8) Amélie Mauresmo (FRA) d. Alona Bondarenko (UKR) 61 61
Anna Chakvetadze (RUS) d. Sybille Bammer (AUT) 46 64 75

Singles - First Round
(2) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. (LL) Edina Gallovits (ROU) 60 60
(3) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. (Q) Ioana Raluca Olaru (ROU) 61 62
(6) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. María José Martínez Sánchez (ESP) 46 63 61
(9) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. Alizé Cornet (FRA) 67(8) 62 64

Doubles - Quarterfinals
Benesova/Hradecka (CZE/CZE) d. Dekmeijere/U.Radwanska (LAT/POL) 36 62 107

Doubles - First Round
(1) Llagostera Vives/Martínez Sánchez (ESP/ESP) d. (WC) Molik/Shaughnessy (AUS/USA) 61 61
(3) Craybas/Raymond (USA/USA) d. Jans/Rosolska (POL/POL) 63 62

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Quote For The Day

"I am very motivated. I hope to quickly return to the Top 20.... I'll take anyone in the first round -- Nadal, Federer, a qualifier, doesn't matter who, I don't care.... I was very unhappy to find myself for a long time in front of the television. I know I'm no longer part of the best in the world, but I hope to find myself there again."--Richard Gasquet, on returning to main draw competition at the US Open

Face Of The Day

Zheng Jie, of China, hits a forehand during the first set of her first-round match against Svetlana Kuznetsova, of Russia, at the Pilot Pen tennis tournament in New Haven, Conn. , on Monday, Aug. 24, 2009.

Zheng Jie of China, hits a forehand during the first set of her first-round match against Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia, at the Pilot Pen tennis tournament in New Haven, Conn. , on Monday, Aug. 24, 2009.

::

Singles - First Round
(1/WC) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. Zheng Jie (CHN) 61 67(5) 64
(5) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (Q) Roberta Vinci (ITA) 26 62 76(5)
(8) Amélie Mauresmo (FRA) d. Ai Sugiyama (JPN) 64 61
Virginie Razzano (FRA) d. Patty Schnyder (SUI) 63 36 63
Elena Vesnina (RUS) d. Gisela Dulko (ARG) 76(6) 62
Iveta Benesova (CZE) d. (LL) Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 46 62 61
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 63 63
(Q) Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) d. Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 64 64
(Q) Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) 36 61 64

Doubles - First Round

Dekmeijere/U.Radwanska (LAT/POL) d. (2) Chuang/Yan (TPE/CHN) 75 46 108
(4) Bondarenko/Bondarenko (UKR/UKR) d. Garbin/Medina Garrigues (ITA/ESP) 62 36 107
Borwell/Kops-Jones (GBR/USA) d. Niculescu/Olaru (ROU/ROU) 62 36 108

::

Singles - Second Round

[6] S Querrey (USA) d M Gicquel (FRA) 64 67(3) 62

Singles - First Round

S Bolelli (ITA) d C Rochus (BEL) 63 64
P Starace (ITA) d M Zverev (GER) 63 26 63
[Q] P Cuevas (URU) d A Golubev (KAZ) 63 64
K Kim (USA) d T Gabashvili (RUS) 64 57 63
B Phau (GER) d B Becker (GER) 26 62 63
R Kendrick (USA) d [Q] F Nielsen (DEN) 63 75
[Q] F Gil (POR) d [WC] M Baghdatis (CYP) 64 63
Y Lu (TPE) d G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 62 62
J Acasuso (ARG) d M Gonzalez (ARG) 61 67(7) 62
[WC] R Ram (USA) d [Q] N Lapentti (ECU) 75 16 76(3)

Doubles - First Round
C Kas (GER) / P Petzschner (GER) d [1] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) 75 63
J Chardy (FRA) / F Santoro (FRA) d T Parrott (USA) / F Polasek (SVK) 64 36 10-7

Sunday, August 23, 2009

US Open Series Champions

CINCINNATI - AUGUST 23:  Roger Federer of Switzerland holds the winners trophy aloft after defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the Singles Final during day seven of the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters on August 23, 2009 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Getty

I've resisted calling him The Monogram, but that damned thing is ubiquitous. In my lexicon, he's evolved from Precious Rog through The Name to Raja and will remain so. But it's awfully tempting to use The Monogram moniker henceforth.

After his convincing wins en route to his third Cincy title -- Novak Djokovic didn't know what hit him today -- he's also looking like he's ready to win his 6th consecutive US Open in a few weeks.

Yawn.

TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 23:  Elena Dementieva of Russia poses for photographers after defeating Maria Sharapova of Russia during the final of the Rogers Cup at the Rexall Center on August 23, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Getty

Elena Dementieva outserved, outreturned, outfought and outlasted Maria 100% Sharapova to win her first Rogers Cup.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cincinnati Semifinals Open Thread

For some reason I thought the matches started at 3 EDT. Sorry for the confusion.

It's the final four and it's the "Big Four". Fed is already up a set. Be interesting to see if he can close it out this time.

Rafa ought to have his way with Djoke later. We'll see.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cincinnati Quarterfinals Open Thread

New world No. 2 and defending champion Andy Murray will open the day against lucky loser Julien Benneteau who benefited mightily from the withdrawal of exhausted Juan Martín del Potro, while new world No. 3 Rafael Nadal will play the night match against Tomas Berdych. In between, Roger Federer will take on Lleyton Hewitt and Novak Djokovic will play Gilles Simon.

Someone had to get the night match, but when two former world No. 1's and perennial rivals face off it would make more sense to put that match on last. But Rafa gets the night match and thus the shortest turnaround time should he advance all the way to the finals.

Nothing has changed.

A brief note on Andy Roddick and Sam Querrey. Confidence is like glass. It takes a lot of focused effort to shape it up the way you want it but it can chip, crack or shatter in a blink. The top-ranked American looked like he did in the first round of the US Open in 2005 when he lost in three tiebreaks to Gilles Muller in the first round, while Sam played with conviction, fire in his eyes, and utter determination. It was nice to see. But as expected, all that went out the window against Hewitt in the next round. The young American saved his best for the man who was certainly ripe for the plucking and then turned right back into a boy who doesn't give a shit about winning anything of worth in the next match.

Enjoy the quarterfinals.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Face Of The Day

Venus Williams of the U.S. serves to Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine during their second round match at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Toronto, August 18, 2009.
Reuters

Venus Williams of the U.S. serves to Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine during their second round match at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Toronto, August 18, 2009.

Singles - Second Round
(Q) Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) d. (3) Venus Williams (USA) 16 75 64

Singles - First Round
(9) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Peng Shuai (CHN) 63 63
(11) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. (Q) Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 26 63 62
(12) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. (Q) Maria Kirilenko (RUS) 63 63
(16) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. Sara Errani (ITA) 64 62
Virginie Razzano (FRA) d. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 67(3) 60 62
Zheng Jie (CHN) d. Elena Vesnina (RUS) 63 62
Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) d. Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 64 64
Shahar Peer (ISR) d. (Q) Monica Niculescu (ROU) 64 46 76(4)
(Q) Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. Kaia Kanepi (EST) 64 76(3)
(Q) Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) d. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 76(1) 76(4)
(Q) Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) d. (Q) Julie Coin (FRA) 26 61 76(6)
(WC) Kim Clijsters (BEL) d. (Q) Elena Baltacha (GBR) 63 64

Doubles - First Round
(6) Llagostera Vives/Martínez Sánchez (ESP/ESP) d. King/Niculescu (USA/ROU) 61 75
Dushevina/Rodionova (RUS/RUS) d. (7) Groenefeld/Schnyder (GER/SUI) 36 76(1) 108
Kleybanova/Makarova (RUS/RUS) d. (8) Mattek-Sands/Petrova (USA/RUS) 62 62
A.Radwanska/Wozniacki (POL/DEN) d. Yan/Zheng (CHN/CHN) 64 46 107
Jans/Rosolska (POL/POL) d. (WC) Fichman/Wozniak (CAN/CAN) 16 76(5) 10

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Western & Southern Financial Group Masters

Singles - Second Round
[9] G Simon (FRA) d I Andreev (RUS) 76(5) 67(6) 61
D Ferrer (ESP) d [14] M Cilic (CRO) 76(4) 62

Singles - First Round
T Berdych (CZE) d [10] F Gonzalez (CHI) 64 ret. (knee)
G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) d [11] F Verdasco (ESP) 76(4) 76(4)
L Hewitt (AUS) d [12] R Soderling (SWE) 36 76(8) 63 - saved 2 M.P.
[Q] M Youzhny (RUS) d V Hanescu (ROU) 75 62
J Melzer (AUT) d F Lopez (ESP) 57 76(4) 76(7)
A Seppi (ITA) d [Q] J Hernych (CZE) 36 64 61
[Q] C Guccione (AUS) d P Kohlschreiber (GER) 75 26 63
I Kunitsyn (RUS) d J Blake (USA) 76(5) 67(5) 64
P Petzschner (GER) d [Q] S Bolelli (ITA) 76(6) 63
[WC] J Isner (USA) d T Haas (GER) 76(5) 57 76(3)

Doubles - Second Round
[2] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) d R Lindstedt (SWE) / M Melo (BRA) 64 64

Doubles - First Round
M Llodra (FRA) / J Tsonga (FRA) d J Melzer (AUT) / R Stepanek (CZE) 76(2) 64

::

Married Marat?



That's the word on the streets, anyway. Nastya Osipova, a soloist with the Russian pop-group Blestyachie, is Marat Safin's bride to be.

Face Of The Day

CINCINNATI - AUGUST 17:  Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain wipes sweat from his face against Marin Cilic of Croatia during day one of the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters on August 17, 2009 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Getty

Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain wipes sweat from his face against Marin Cilic of Croatia during day one of the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters on August 17, 2009 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Singles - First Round
[9] G Simon (FRA) d [WC] W Odesnik (USA) 63 62
I Karlovic (CRO) d [13] G Monfils (FRA) 64 67(5) 76(2)
[14] M Cilic (CRO) d J Ferrero (ESP) 63 64
J Chardy (FRA) d [15] T Robredo (ESP) 63 75
[16] R Stepanek (CZE) d V Troicki (SRB) 76(2) 10 ret. (foot)
I Andreev (RUS) d N Kiefer (GER) 61 75
B Becker (GER) d M Vassallo Arguello (ARG) 63 63
N Almagro (ESP) d D Sela (ISR) 64 10 ret. (groin)
P Mathieu (FRA) d M Zverev (GER) 67(4) 75 63
[Q] I Ljubicic (CRO) d F Serra (FRA) 46 63 64
D Ferrer (ESP) d S Wawrinka (SUI) 75 62
J Acasuso (ARG) d [Q] L Kubot (POL) 64 63
[WC] M Safin (RUS) d [WC] R Ginepri (USA) 75 76(2)
S Querrey (USA) d [Q] Y Lu (TPE) 63 64

Doubles - First Round
F Lopez (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) d S Huss (AUS) / R Hutchins (GBR) 46 76(2) 10-3
T Berdych (CZE) / P Kohlschreiber (GER) d N Davydenko (RUS) / I Kunitsyn (RUS) 57 76(4) 10-7
R Lindstedt (SWE) / M Melo (BRA) d J Coetzee (RSA) / J Erlich (ISR) 76(3) 36 14-12

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Rogers Cup

Singles - First Round
Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (10) Nadia Petrova (RUS) 63 64
Alona Bondarenko (UKR) d. (13) Marion Bartoli (FRA) 64 63
(14) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) 63 63
Francesca Schiavone (ITA) d. (15) Amélie Mauresmo (FRA) 62 36 61
Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. (Q) Heidi El Tabakh (CAN) 76(2) 76(4)
Patty Schnyder (SUI) d. Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) 62 61
Sybille Bammer (AUT) d. Anna Chakvetadze (RUS) 36 64 62
Agnes Szavay (HUN) d. (WC) Valérie Tétreault (CAN) 62 64
Aravane Rezai (FRA) d. Alizé Cornet (FRA) 64 75
Ai Sugiyama (JPN) d. Iveta Benesova (CZE) 63 64
(Q) Roberta Vinci (ITA) d. (WC) Stéphanie Dubois (CAN) 61 62
(Q) Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) d. (Q) Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 76(4) 62

Doubles - First Round
(5) Hsieh/Peng (TPE/CHN) d. Azarenka/Zvonareva (BLR/RUS) 46 60 106
Senoglu/Shvedova (TUR/KAZ) d. Chuang/Pelletier (TPE/CAN) 64 64
Kirilenko/Vesnina (RUS/RUS) d. (WC) Dubois/Marino (CAN/CAN) 62 67(5) 106
Amanmuradova/Kudryavtseva (UZB/RUS) d. Koryttseva/Poutchek (UKR/BLR) 76(10) 62
(WC) Kuznetsova/Mauresmo (RUS/FRA) d. Husarova/Parra Santonja (SVK/ESP) 60 64

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.
Getty

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.
Getty

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.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Forgetting How To Win

Andy Roddick of the U.S. waves to the crowd after his loss to Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina during their semi-final play at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Montreal August 15, 2009.
Reuters

Three consecutive events, three consecutive ultimate set losses.

It's nice to see so many new and renewed fans so firmly in Andy Roddick's corner when he's locked in a dogfight, but to see those dear-in-headlight eyes and the chin on the sternum after every point he loses tells me that Roddick doesn't have the confidence and belief in himself he needs to add another big title to his trophy case.

For the second time in seven days, Juan Martín del Potro played to win against Roddick. He took the biggest risks on the biggest points and won the match. For the second time in seven days, Roddick played not to lose against del Potro. This time he even held a match point. Got his racket on a first serve, actually got a good, solid swing on the ball, but mishit it and sent it wide. Two games later, collapsing under the pressure of all that cautious tennis, he lost the match and walked off the court crestfallen.

If someone had told me a year ago that del Potro would succeed Roger Federer as the player most capable of tormenting Andy on a tennis court, I'd have said you were crazy. When Andy dropped serve to open the second set it was clear he was going to lose the match and del Potro knew he was going to win it.

For those who think Andy's Wimbledon run sets him up as a lead contender at the US Open, I say think again. Had he actually won Wimbledon, then of course he'd be the favorite to win the Open.

But, despite the improvements in his attitude and outlook and tennis, all of which we've seen throughout his career when he takes on a new coach, Andy has forgotten how to win. And it's killing him.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Whatever

That's how I'm feeling right about now.

After a rough few days on the farm, I can't be upset with Serena Williams phoning in a loss to Sybille Bammer yesterday in Cincy; excited about Andy Roddick defeating Novak Djokovic in straights to advance to yet another semifinal this year; moved by Kim Clijsters' comeback or loss to the world No. 1 today; exhilarated that Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Roger Federer after being down 1-5 in the final set and failing to convert a string of match points in the routine part of the set.

It's simply all background music.

Right now, Juan Martín del Potro is playing Rafael Nadal in the final quarterfinal in Montreal and I really can't bring myself to pay much attention to it.

What on earth is happening to me?

I adore this sport, yet I don't feel compelled to watch much of its action of late.

Farm (and all the beauty and heartbreak it attends) or no farm, this year's tennis season feels abnormally long and the US Open isn't even upon us.

What's a tennis fanatic to do?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Face Of The Day

Germany's Rainer Schuettler towels off between sets as he plays France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Montreal, August 12, 2009.
Reuters

Germany's Rainer Schuettler towels off between sets as he plays France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Montreal, August 12, 2009.

Singles - Second Round
[2] R Nadal (ESP) d D Ferrer (ESP) 43 ret. (knee)
[5] A Roddick (USA) d I Andreev (RUS) 61 76(3)
[6] J Del Potro (ARG) d [Q] J Hernych (CZE) 62 75
[7] J Tsonga (FRA) d R Schuettler (GER) 46 63 64
[9] G Simon (FRA) d [Q] A Falla (COL) 46 62 62
[10] F Verdasco (ESP) d L Mayer (ARG) 61 61
[11] F Gonzalez (CHI) d T Haas (GER) 76(2) ret. (hand blisters)
[Q] J Ferrero (ESP) d [13] G Monfils (FRA) 63 76(7)
P Petzschner (GER) d [15] T Robredo (ESP) 76(3) 76(4)
M Youzhny (RUS) d J Isner (USA) 67(8) 61 63
V Hanescu (ROU) d P Kohlschreiber (GER) 63 46 75
S Wawrinka (SUI) d [LL] A Golubev (KAZ) 75 64

Doubles - Second Round
[3] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Knowles (BAH) d J Coetzee (RSA) / J Melzer (AUT) 76(2) 64
L Dlouhy (CZE) / P Petzschner (GER) d [4] B Soares (BRA) / K Ullyett (ZIM) 64 63

Doubles - First Round
[WC] F Dancevic (CAN) / P Duclos (CAN) d N Davydenko (RUS) / I Kunitsyn (RUS) 75 57 14-12
F Lopez (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) d S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS) 63 67(1) 10-6
R Lindstedt (SWE) / M Melo (BRA) d T Parrott (USA) / F Polasek (SVK) 63 76(4)

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Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open

Singles - Second Round
(2) Serena Williams (USA) d. (Q) Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) 63 62
(4) Elena Dementieva (RUS) d. (Q) Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 63 64
(5) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. (WC) Maria Kirilenko (RUS) 76(6) 63
(7) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) d. Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) 64 16 75
(8) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 46 64 64
(9) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Anna Chakvetadze (RUS) 64 62
Melinda Czink (HUN) d. (11) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 76(6) 75
Sybille Bammer (AUT) d. (13) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 60 75
(14) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. Agnes Szavay (HUN) 62 64
Sorana Cirstea (ROU) d. Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER) 63 62
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) d. Alona Bondarenko (UKR) 75 16 64
Peng Shuai (CHN) d. María José Martínez Sánchez (ESP) 57 62 61
(WC) Kim Clijsters (BEL) d. Patty Schnyder (SUI) 62 75

Doubles - Second Round
(1) Black/Huber (ZIM/USA) d. Mirza/Schiavone (IND/ITA) 64 63
(2) Hantuchova/Sugiyama (SVK/JPN) d. (WC) Oudin/Perry (USA/USA) 63 62
Dushevina/Rodionova (RUS/RUS) d. (3) Hsieh/Peng (TPE/CHN) 16 64 106
Kleybanova/Makarova (RUS/RUS) d. (4) Pennetta/Raymond (ITA/USA) 46 63 102
(5) Ruano Pascual/Zheng (ESP/CHN) d. Dulko/Peer (ARG/ISR) 63 63
(8) Mattek-Sands/Petrova (USA/RUS) d. Senoglu/Shvedova (TUR/KAZ) 63 63

Doubles - First Round
Kirilenko/Vesnina (RUS/RUS) d. Chuang/Yan (TPE/CHN) 64 60

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Face Of The Day

MONTREAL, QC - AUGUST 11:  Alex Bogomolov of the United States  returns a shot to Tommy Robredo of Spain during the Rogers Cup at Uniprix Stadium on August 11, 2009 in Montreal, Canada.
Getty

Alex Bogomolov of the United States returns a shot to Tommy Robredo of Spain during the Rogers Cup at Uniprix Stadium on August 11, 2009 in Montreal, Canada.

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ROGERS CUP

Singles - Second Round
[1] R Federer (SUI) d [WC] F Niemeyer (CAN) 76(3) 64
[3] A Murray (GBR) d J Chardy (FRA) 64 62
[4] N Djokovic (SRB) d [WC] P Polansky (CAN) 64 76(6)
[8] N Davydenko (RUS) d P Mathieu (FRA) 76(4) 76(2)

Singles - First Round
[10] F Verdasco (ESP) d F Lopez (ESP) 61 67(5) 61
[11] F Gonzalez (CHI) d [Q] M Raonic (CAN) 46 76(6) 64 - saved 1 M.P.
[15] T Robredo (ESP) d [Q] A Bogomolov Jr. (USA) 64 62
[LL] A Golubev (KAZ) d [16] R Stepanek (CZE) 63 64
P Kohlschreiber (GER) d [17] T Berdych (CZE) 76(5) 67(9) 64
[Q] A Falla (COL) d D Sela (ISR) 64 36 63
[Q] J Ferrero (ESP) d L Hewitt (AUS) 61 64
T Haas (GER) d I Karlovic (CRO) 46 76(3) 64
J Isner (USA) d [Q] J Levine (USA) 63 64
[Q] J Hernych (CZE) d [Q] J Benneteau (FRA) 62 63
V Hanescu (ROU) d J Melzer (AUT) 64 63
D Ferrer (ESP) d V Troicki (SRB) 63 60

Doubles - Second Round
[7] M Mirnyi (BLR) / A Ram (ISR) d [WC] R Nadal (ESP) / F Roig (ESP) 46 63 10-8

Doubles - First Round
L Dlouhy (CZE) / P Petzschner (GER) d P Kohlschreiber (GER) / S Wawrinka (SUI) 62 62
T Haas (GER) / R Stepanek (CZE) d J Chardy (FRA) / G Simon (FRA) 64 60

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WESTERN & SOUTHERN FINANCIAL GROUP WOMEN'S OPEN


Singles - Second Round
(1) Dinara Safina (RUS) d. Roberta Vinci (ITA) 26 75 64
(3) Venus Williams (USA) d. (Q) Olga Govortsova (BLR) 62 62
(6) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. Lucie Safarova (CZE) 63 67(2) 76(4)

Singles - First Round
Alona Bondarenko (UKR) d. (10) Nadia Petrova (RUS) 62 63
(13) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Ai Sugiyama (JPN) 62 61
(14) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. (Q) Ayumi Morita (JPN) 62 63
Peng Shuai (CHN) d. (15) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 62 61
Sorana Cirstea (ROU) d. (WC) Meghann Shaughnessy (USA) 75 75
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) d. Sara Errani (ITA) 36 63 61
Sybille Bammer (AUT) d. Zheng Jie (CHN) 62 46 62
Agnes Szavay (HUN) d. (Q) Urszula Radwanska (POL) 75 75
Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) d. Aravane Rezai (FRA) 63 63
María José Martínez Sánchez (ESP) d. Vera Dushevina (RUS) 64 36 63
(Q) Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 63 64
(WC) Maria Kirilenko (RUS) d. (Q) Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 64 61

Doubles - First Round
Bondarenko/Bondarenko (UKR/UKR) d. (6) Groenefeld/Schnyder (GER/SUI) 64 62
Dulko/Peer (ARG/ISR) d. Borwell/Grandin (GBR/RSA) 63 62
Mirza/Schiavone (IND/ITA) d. Koryttseva/Poutchek (UKR/BLR) 16 64 106
Amanmuradova/Niculescu (UZB/ROU) d. Granville/Gullickson (USA/USA) 62 63
(WC) Oudin/Perry (USA/USA) d. (WC) Clijsters/Wickmayer (BEL/BEL) 63 36 108

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Face Of The Day


Getty

Novak Djokovic at the player fashion show Sunday in Montreal.

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Montreal Live Scores

Singles - First Round
M Youzhny (RUS) d [14] M Cilic (CRO) 46 76(4) 61
[WC] F Niemeyer (CAN) d I Kunitsyn (RUS) 75 61
R Schuettler (GER) d F Serra (FRA) 64 60
I Andreev (RUS) d D Tursunov (RUS) 55 ret. (ankle)
P Mathieu (FRA) d G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 75 06 61
J Chardy (FRA) d Y Lu (TPE) 67(5) 63 64
[WC] P Polansky (CAN) d [WC] B Agostinelli (CAN) 63 76(6)
S Wawrinka (SUI) d N Kiefer (GER) 64 61
[9] G Simon (FRA) vs [WC] F Dancevic (CAN)
M Safin (RUS) vs [13] G Monfils (FRA)
P Petzschner (GER) vs S Querrey (USA)
L Mayer (ARG) vs M Zverev (GER)

Doubles - First Round
[WC] R Nadal (ESP) / F Roig (ESP) d N Djokovic (SRB) / D Vemic (SRB) 75 64
D Ferrer (ESP) / T Robredo (ESP) d M Llodra (FRA) / J Tsonga (FRA) 76(6) 16 10-8
[Alt] J Coetzee (RSA) / J Melzer (AUT) d R Hutchins (GBR) / A Murray (GBR) 36 63 10-7

Sunday, August 09, 2009

In No Mood

Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina holds aloft the trophy after defeating Andy Roddick of the U.S. in the finals of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington, August 9, 2009.
Reuters

Andy Roddick was in no mood to win his fourth Legg Mason Classic title today while Juan Martín del Potro was in no mood to lose it. Such a scenario between two evenly matched players produces today's tight, tight result. The Argentinean's gonads seem to be swelling. The American's....

Italy's Flavia Pennetta poses with her trophy after winning the LA Women's Tennis Championships singles final over Australia's Samantha Stosur in Carson, California, August 9, 2009.
Reuters


I was in no mood to watch the women's final. Flavia Pennetta goes a step farther than last year at the LA Women's Tennis Open while Samantha Stosur remains title-less.

Sunday Open Thread

We've got finals today. Andy Roddick's going for his fourth Legg Mason title up against defending champ Juan Martín del Potro. And sizzling hot Samantha Stosur takes on Flavia Pennetta who dismissed Maria Sharapova last night for the LA Women's Tennis Open title.

And speaking of Sharapova. Listening to Mary Jo (who, for the umpteenth time, needs to recuse herself from calling Sharapova's matches!) and Cliffie and Pammy and Tracy carry on last night, you would have thought Maria was playing herself. If they said anything about Flavia, it was so brief as to be lost in all the chatter about the shoulder the shoulder the shoulder the shoulder the shoulder....

Give it a rest, people. Sharapova has the yips. Has for two years. Overcame them for one tournament -- the 2008 Australian Open -- to tear through the field without dropping a set in one of the most dominating Slam performances of the decade.

Twas before her alleged surgery.

Sistergirl has other things on her mind. She's on the court to fulfill some other obligations, I would venture, and once those are paid due, she'll go back to travelling the world with her best friend forever.

Or are they no longer forever?

But anyway.

Who's going to win the US Open Series titles today?

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Faces Of The Day


Getty

A picture taken by the father of Swiss tennis champion Roger Federer and taken on August 7, 2009 shows Roger Federer (R) and his wife Mirka holding their twin girls at their home near Zurich. Federer said on July 24, 2009 he had become a proud father of twin girls after Mirka gave birth overnight to Charlene Riva and Myla Rose. "This is the greatest day of our lives. Mirka, Myla and Charlene are all healthy and doing very well," Federer said on his website.

Friday, August 07, 2009

The 500 Elite


Legg Mason

Andy Roddick
beat back Sam Querrey in straight sets for his 500th career victory. Seems like just yesterday he reached 400.

“It’s a pretty small number of players who have gotten there, an elite group,” said Roddick. “I’ve done it with enough time [in my career] to add to it. It is validation of consistency in my career.”

Andy is the 15th player in the Open Era to achieve the feat and the fourth among active players. Roger Federer, Carlos Moya and Lleyton Hewitt have also passed that elite threshold.

:;

Legg Mason Classic

Singles - Third Round
[1] A Roddick (USA) d [16] S Querrey (USA) 76(4) 64
[2] J Del Potro (ARG) d L Hewitt (AUS) 64 36 76(2)
[4] F Gonzalez (CHI) d W Odesnik (USA) 62 64
[5] R Soderling (SWE) d M Gicquel (FRA) 75 57 63
[8] T Berdych (CZE) d P Petzschner (GER) 46 63 63
[10] T Haas (GER) d J Ferrero (ESP) 75 26 61
[11] I Karlovic (CRO) d [Q] S Devvarman (IND) 75 61
J Isner (USA) d [Q] S de Chaunac (FRA) 62 64

Doubles - Quarterfinals
[5] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) d S Huss (AUS) / R Hutchins (GBR) 64 75

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LA Women's Tennis Open

Singles - Third Round
(14) Zheng Jie (CHN) d. (1) Dinara Safina (RUS) 75 46 64
(2) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) d. Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 76(5) 46 64
(10) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. (5) Nadia Petrova (RUS) 63 63
(13) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. (6) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 63 62
(8) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Anna Chakvetadze (RUS) 63 62
Urszula Radwanska (POL) d. (12) Li Na (CHN) w/o (right knee injury)
Sorana Cirstea (ROU) d. (17) Sabine Lisicki (GER) 63 10 ret. (shoulder injury)
Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Alona Bondarenko (UKR) 46 60 63

Doubles - Quarterfinals
Kirilenko/A.Radwanska (RUS/POL) d. (1) Stosur/Stubbs (AUS/AUS) 63 76(3)
Chuang/Yan (TPE/CHN) d. (2) Hantuchova/Sugiyama (SVK/JPN) 16 63 10-7
(4) Hsieh/Peng (TPE/CHN) vs. A.Bondarenko/Vesnina (UKR/RUS) w/o (Vesnina: low back strain)
King/Niculescu (USA/ROU) d. Garbin/Schiavone (ITA/ITA) w/o (Schiavone: right hamstring strain)

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Face Of The Day

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus reacts to losing a point during her loss to Russia's Maria Sharapova in a tennis match at the LA Women's Tennis Championships in Carson, California, August 5, 2009.
Reuters

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus reacts to losing a point during her loss to Russia's Maria Sharapova in a tennis match at the LA Women's Tennis Championships in Carson, California, August 5, 2009.

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LA Women's Tennis Oopen

Singles - Second Round
(1) Dinara Safina (RUS) d. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 62 64
Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (3) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 67(4) 64 62
Sorana Cirstea (ROU) d. (4) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 16 64 76(5)
(5) Nadia Petrova (RUS) d. Shahar Peer (ISR) 64 26 63
Urszula Radwanska (POL) d. (7) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 64 67(6) 64
(8) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Ai Sugiyama (JPN) 62 61
(10) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. (WC) Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 62 64
(12) Li Na (CHN) d. Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 46 64 62
(13) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. Maria Kirilenko (RUS) 62 64
(14) Zheng Jie (CHN) d. Elena Vesnina (RUS) 64 46 60
(17) Sabine Lisicki (GER) d. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 61 64
Alona Bondarenko (UKR) d. Lucie Safarova (CZE) 57 64 75
Anna Chakvetadze (RUS) d. Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) 63 36 61
Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. (Q) Jill Craybas (USA) 76(2) 61

Doubles - First Round
(1) Stosur/Stubbs (AUS/AUS) d. Ruano Pascual/Zheng (ESP/CHN) 64 64
King/Niculescu (USA/ROU) d. (3) Pennetta/Raymond (ITA/USA) 75 63
(4) Hsieh/Peng (TPE/CHN) d. Poutchek/Savchuk (BLR/UKR) 62 63
Kirilenko/A.Radwanska (RUS/POL) d. Kudryavtseva/Rodionova (RUS/RUS)
62 46 104

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Legg Mason Tennis Classic

Singles - Second Round
[1] A Roddick (USA) d B Becker (GER) 63 62
J Isner (USA) d [3] J Tsonga (FRA) 46 76(2) 76(4)
[4] F Gonzalez (CHI) d [Q] A Falla (COL) 75 75
[5] R Soderling (SWE) d M Youzhny (RUS) 63 61
J Ferrero (ESP) d [7] T Robredo (ESP) 63 62
P Petzschner (GER) d [9] M Fish (USA) 16 64 61
[11] I Karlovic (CRO) d R Schuettler (GER) 64 75
M Gicquel (FRA) d [12] V Troicki (SRB) 30 ret. (right foot)
W Odesnik (USA) d [13] I Andreev (RUS) 26 75 64
[Q] S de Chaunac (FRA) d [14] D Tursunov (RUS) 36 76(3) 75
L Hewitt (AUS) d [15] D Sela (ISR) 63 26 62
[16] S Querrey (USA) d I Kunitsyn (RUS) 63 64

Doubles - Quarterfinals
M Damm (CZE) / R Lindstedt (SWE) d [3] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Knowles (BAH) 36 61 16-14 - saved 2 M.P.

Doubles - First Round

[5] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) d T Berdych (CZE) / L Dlouhy (CZE) 75 63
T Parrott (USA) / F Polasek (SVK) d S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS) 64 67(1) 10-4

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Face Of The Day

Frank Dancevic, of Canada, reacts during his match against Tommy Haas, of Germany, at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2009. Haas won 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
AP

Frank Dancevic
, of Canada, reacts during his match against Tommy Haas, of Germany, at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2009. Haas won 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.

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Legg Mason Tennis Classic

Singles - Second Round
[2] J Del Potro (ARG) d Y Lu (TPE) 46 63 62
[Q] S Devvarman (IND) d [6] M Cilic (CRO) 75 64
[8] T Berdych (CZE) d E Gulbis (LAT) 62 76(6)
[10] T Haas (GER) d F Dancevic (CAN) 61 46 64

Singles - First Round
B Becker (GER) d R Ginepri (USA) 76(3) 67(1) 76(4)
R Schuettler (GER) d L Mayer (ARG) 61 36 76(5)
[Q] S de Chaunac (FRA) d D Istomin (UZB) 63 76(7)
J Ferrero (ESP) d [LL] N Lapentti (ECU) 64 67(5) 60

Doubles - First Round
[2] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) d J Coetzee (RSA) / J Erlich (ISR) 43 ret. (Erlich - right arm)
[3] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Knowles (BAH) d M Mirnyi (BLR) / A Ram (ISR) 76(6) 26 10-7
[WC] C Guccione (AUS) / L Hewitt (AUS) d [4] B Soares (BRA) / K Ullyett (ZIM) 46 75 12-10 - saved 2 M.P.
S Huss (AUS) / R Hutchins (GBR) d M Melo (BRA) / A Sa (BRA) 61 64
M Damm (CZE) / R Lindstedt (SWE) d L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT) 75 75
F Gonzalez (CHI) / T Robredo (ESP) d [WC] J Isner (USA) / S Querrey (USA) 36 76(5) 10-6

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LA Women's Tennis Open

Singles - Second Round
(2) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) d. Peng Shuai (CHN) 36 63 76(6)
(6) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. (WC) Vania King (USA) 64 46 61

Singles - First Round
(12) Li Na (CHN) d. Ayumi Morita (JPN) 60 20 ret. (GI illness)
(13) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. Monica Niculescu (ROU) 61 62
(14) Zheng Jie (CHN) d. (Q) Olga Savchuk (UKR) 75 16 62
(17) Sabine Lisicki (GER) d. (Q) Kimiko Date Krumm (JPN) 76(5) 26 75
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) d. (Q) Melanie Oudin (USA) 67(3) 62 62
Sorana Cirstea (ROU) d. (WC) Michelle Larcher de Brito (POR) 64 75
Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) d. Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 75 75
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. Melinda Czink (HUN) 36 64 61
Maria Kirilenko (RUS) d. (Q) Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) 46 63 61
Urszula Radwanska (POL) d. Julie Coin (FRA) 61 62

Doubles - First Round
(2) Hantuchova/Sugiyama (SVK/JPN) d. (WC) Craybas/Gullickson (USA/USA) 64 61
Garbin/Schiavone (ITA/ITA) d. Shaughnessy/Spears (USA/USA) 61 64
A.Bondarenko/Vesnina (UKR/RUS) d. Kleybanova/Makarova (RUS/RUS) 64 76(4)

Sunday, August 02, 2009

From The Brink

Marion Bartoli of France holds up her trophy after beating Venus Williams of the U.S. in the finals of their Stanford Classic tennis match at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, August 2, 2009.
Reuters

What is it about staring down the barrel of match point or two, surviving, and ultimately winning the whole shebang? Some effort from Marion Bartoli to beat Venus Williams in a third set, the Frenchwoman's third three-set victory in a row.

Who saw that coming?

::

Sam Querrey of the U.S. holds his trophy after winning the L.A. Tennis Open tournament by defeating Australia's Carsten Ball during their singles final match in Los Angeles, California, August 2, 2009.
Reuters

Sam Querrey overcame a second set lapse against Carsten Ball (too bad his first name isn't Wilson) to secure his second career title. Back-to-back-to-back finals with a victory on the third try in the third set. Not bad at all.

Will he be this summer's Juan Martin del Potro?

::

Russia's Nikolay Davydenko holds the trophy after defeating Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrerro in their Croatia Open final tennis match in Umag, Croatia, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2009.
AP

Nikolay Davydenko wins back-to-back titles. Juan Carlos Ferrero was this week's victim. He looks beyond thrilled. Clay in August oughtta be against the law.

::

Russia's Vera Dushevina lifts her trophy after beating Lucie Hradecka of Czech Republic in the final of the WTA Istanbul Cup tennis tournament in Istanbul August 2, 2009.
Reuters

Vera Dushevina
lifts her trophy after beating Lucie Hradecka at the Istanbul Cup.

::

Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil holds the trophy after defeating Andreas Beck of Germany in their final match at the ATP Suisse Open tennis tournament in Gstaad, Switzerland, Sunday Aug. 2, 2009.
AP

Thomas Belucci won his maiden title over Andreas Beck. Good for him.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Catching Up

STANFORD, CA - JULY 31:  Serena Williams towels off between games while playing Samantha Stosur of Australia in their quarterfinal match on Day 5 of the Bank of the West Classic July 31, 2009 in Stanford, California.
Getty

When was the last time Serena Williams won an event between Wimbledon and the US Open?

Damned if I know.

Haven't been able to watch more than four or five games of tennis since summer arrived in Maine. I check the score when I get around to it and post the results if time allows.

I tried watching the veterans duke it out in LA. But when Marat Safin gave Tommy Haas the break right back with consecutive double faults and stopped fighting his opponent, I stopped fighting sleep.

As for Serena. I would imagine she had all sorts of trouble breaking Samantha Stosur's serve. The Roland Garros semifinalist who held match points against Serena in Melbourne earlier this year, has the second best set of serves on the tour and enjoys playing the best Slam performer in the world. I was a bit surprised of the third-set score, but Sam finally got that out of her system.

Better not happen again.

I see Miss EleVen, on another one of her home courts, tore through Miss 100%, Miss Legs is right where she usually is, and Maid Marion still can't lose to Miss Melodrama.

Now who's going to win the title?

::

Bank Of The West Classic

Singles - Quarterfinals
Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. (1) Serena Williams (USA) 62 36 62
(2) Venus Williams (USA) d. Maria Sharapova (RUS) 62 62
(3) Elena Dementieva (RUS) d. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 62 64
(8) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. (4) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 36 76(3) 63

Doubles - Quarterfinals
Chan/Niculescu (TPE/ROU) d. (1) Black/Huber (ZIM/USA) 75 63

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LA Tennis Open

Singles - Quarterfinals
[1] T Haas (GER) d [8] M Safin (RUS) 76(3) 62
L Mayer (ARG) d [2] M Fish (USA) walkover (abdominal strain)
[6] S Querrey (USA) d [4] D Sela (ISR) 63 75
[Q] C Ball (AUS) d J Isner (USA) 64 64

Doubles - Semifinals
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d M Melo (BRA) / A Sa (BRA) 62 64

Doubles - Quarterfinals
B Becker (GER) / F Moser (GER) d Y Lu (TPE) / D Vemic (SRB) 64 26 10-8