Monday, September 28, 2009

Like Autumn Leaves...

... the top seeds fall in Tokyo. The world No. 1 Dinara Safina is out. The No. 2 seed Venus Williams, out. The No. 5 seed and Roland Garros champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, out. All of them to qualifiers.

Who will take advantage of such bare, bare branches?

::

Chang Kai-chen of Taiwan reacts with joy just after defeating world number one player Dinara Safina of Russia during their second round match at the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament in Tokyo on September 28, 2009. Chang defeated Safina 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 7-5.
Getty

Chang Kai-chen
of Taiwan reacts with joy just after defeating world number one player Dinara Safina of Russia during their second round match at the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament in Tokyo on September 28, 2009. Chang defeated Safina 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 7-5.

::

TORAY PAN PACIFIC OPEN

Singles - Second Round
(Q) Chang Kai-Chen (TPE) d. (1/WC) Dinara Safina (RUS) 76(5) 46 75
(Q) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. (2) Venus Williams (USA) 76(6) 75
(Q) Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. (5) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 75 46 63

Singles - First Round
(11) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 75 63
(12) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. (Q) Alexa Glatch (USA) 75 60
(13) Nadia Petrova (RUS) d. (WC) Ai Sugiyama (JPN) 60 21 ret. (GI illness)
(14) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. Sorana Cirstea (ROU) 63 60
Iveta Benesova (CZE) d. (16) Virginie Razzano (FRA) 36 76(5) 60
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) d. (Q) Jill Craybas (USA) 63 63
Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 46 75 61
Zheng Jie (CHN) d. (Q) Sania Mirza (IND) 57 62 63
Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) d. (WC) Kimiko Date Krumm (JPN) 57 76(2) 64
Vera Dushevina (RUS) d. Alona Bondarenko (UKR) 16 75 61
Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) d. (Q) Urszula Radwanska (POL) 64 64
Peng Shuai (CHN) d. Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) 63 63
(Q) Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) d. Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER) 63 61


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PTT Thailand Open

Singles - First Round
[8] J Isner (USA) d [WC] K Wachiramanowong (THA) 63 36 76(5)
T Bellucci (BRA) d G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 64 76(7)

Doubles - First Round
M Safin (RUS) / G Simon (FRA) d [4] J Coetzee (RSA) / R de Voest (RSA) 64 67(3) 10-4
B Becker (GER) / L Mayer (ARG) d [WC] S Ratiwatana (THA) / S Ratiwatana (THA) 63 26 10-3

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Proton Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2009

Singles - First Round
[Q] B Evans (USA) d [Q] M Yani (USA) 63 64
[WC] T Dent (USA) d A Golubev (KAZ) 46 63 76(4)
[WC] M Baghdatis (CYP) d Y Lu (TPE) 46 63 76(5)

Doubles - First Round
[WC] R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK) d [4] S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS) 63 64
S Huss (AUS) / S Lipsky (USA) d C Rochus (BEL) / M Vassallo Arguello (ARG) 64 63

A Star Is Born?

by MMT

The newly-crowned US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro waves from a fire engine at people gathered to see him on September 17, 2009, following his arrival in his hometown Tandil, a city of 120,000 inhabitants in Buenos Aires province. Del Potro, who defeated tennis world number one Roger Federer in the final of the US Open, has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the ranks over since he emerged in 2006 from the tennis centre of Tandil, which also produced Mariano Zabaleta and Juan Monaco.
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The newly-crowned US Open champion Juan Martín del Potro waves from a fire engine at people gathered to see him on September 17, 2009, following his arrival in his hometown Tandil, a city of 120,000 inhabitants in Buenos Aires province. Del Potro, who defeated tennis world number one Roger Federer in the final of the US Open, has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the ranks over since he emerged in 2006 from the tennis centre of Tandil, which also produced Mariano Zabaleta and Juan Monaco.

::

He had a lot of opportunities to pack it in on that Monday evening in Queens – down a break in the second and receiving to stay in the set, or up a break in the 4th and giving it back before serving to stay in the set.

But he didn’t.

Because he is, if nothing else, tough as nails and supremely determined. The fact that he won two of his sets in tie-breaks is an indication that the mental resolve to stay in the moment and struggle for a result is reminiscent of the very pantheon of men he seeks to join and maybe even take for his own one day…maybe.

For all his technical prowess, hitting his strokes with massive power and direction on both sides, with consistency and steely resolve, one thing missing from his game that makes me wonder how long he’ll be able to continue generating the results he had in the 2009 US Open, is the plan B.

More


Newly-crowned US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina arrives at La Bombonera stadium before the Argentine First Division match between Boca Juniors and Godoy Cruz in Buenos Aires, September 20, 2009.
Reuters


Arriving at La Bombonera stadium before the Argentine First Division match between Boca Juniors and Godoy Cruz in Buenos Aires, September 20, 2009.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Autumnal Champions

Kimiko Date Krumm of Japan holds winner's trophy after she defeated Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain in the women's singles final,  during a ceremony at the Hansol Korea Open Tennis Championships in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2009.
AP

Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan holds winner's trophy after she defeated Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain in the women's singles final, during a ceremony at the Hansol Korea Open Tennis Championships in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2009.

::

As Matt informed us, she is the second oldest player (Billie Jean King was the oldest) to ever win a title on the WTA. She'll be 39 tomorrow. Nice work if you can get it. And she got it after being off the tour for 12 years. 12 years.

“Yeah, of course, very happy. I realized one more time after this game that we don’t know about tennis unless we actually play it.

“Above all, my husband’s love was a big help for my win.

“I think I won’t have any problem in my physical strength over the next five years. But I’m married … have to have kids and have a lot of things to do. I think I can play tennis for the next two years.”

Hers is quite a story.

::


Getty

Spain's Albert Montanes celebrates with the trophy after defeating Argentine's Juan Monaco in the ATP Romania Open tennis, on September 27, 2009 in Bucharest. Montanes won the final 7-6, 7-6.

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Wearing a traditional Uzbek costume, Israel's Shahar Peer smiles during an awards ceremony after beating Uzbekistan's Akgul Amanmuradova in the Tashkent Open final, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2009. Peer won her second straight WTA Tour title, beating local favorite Akgul Amanmuradova 6-3, 6-4 in the Tashkent Open final.
AP

Wearing a traditional Uzbek costume, Israel's Shahar Pe'er smiles during an awards ceremony after beating Uzbekistan's Akgul Amanmuradova in the Tashkent Open final, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2009. Peer won her second straight WTA Tour title, beating local favorite Amanmuradova 6-3, 6-4 in the Tashkent Open final.

::

Raise your hand if you saw back-to-back titles coming for a woman who's struggled most of the year?

::

Gael Monfils ended a four-year title drought by winning the Open de Moselle in Metz over Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-2.

Tokyo Talent

TOKYO - SEPTEMBER 25:  (L-R) Dinara Safina of Russia, Ai Sugiyama of Japan, Ayumi Morita of Japan and Venus Williams of the USA pose during a press conference for the Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis 2009 at Hotel Grand Pacific Le Daiba on September 25, 2009 in Tokyo, Japan. The main draw of the tournament is to be held at Ariake Colosseum from September 27 to October 3.
Getty

Dinara Safina of Russia, Ai Sugiyama of Japan, Ayumi Morita of Japan and Venus Williams of the USA pose during a press conference for the Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis 2009 at Hotel Grand Pacific Le Daiba on September 25, 2009 in Tokyo, Japan. The main draw of the tournament is to be held at Ariake Colosseum from September 27 to October 3.

::

The draw is bottom heavy once again. Why on earth is Dinara Safina being protected with cotton candy draws she can barely even get through? Or maybe, just maybe, I'm focused on the wrong player in the world No. 1. After all, it was Caroline Wozniacki who got through the Tier III top half of the draw at the US Open. And there she is again at a WTA premiere event in the Tier III top half of the draw.

::

Singles - First Round
Roberta Vinci (ITA) d. (9) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 61 62
Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. (10) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 64 76(1)
(15) Li Na (CHN) d. Alizé Cornet (FRA) 64 60
Elena Vesnina (RUS) d. María José Martínez Sánchez (ESP) 63 62
Sabine Lisicki (GER) d. Patty Schnyder (SUI) 64 60
Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) d. (WC) Ayumi Morita (JPN) 61 64
Gisela Dulko (ARG) d. Agnes Szavay (HUN) 63 60
Aravane Rezai (FRA) d. Sara Errani (ITA) 62 62
(Q) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP)
61 76(3)
(Q) Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. Sybille Bammer (AUT) 75 64
(Q) Chang Kai-Chen (TPE) d. Kaia Kanepi (EST) 63 63

Face Of The Day

WESTWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Ron Kramer speaks during a memorial service for his father, International Tennis Hall of Famer Jack Kramer at Straus Stadium at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on September 26, 2009 in Westwood, California.
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Ron Kramer speaks during a memorial service for his father, International Tennis Hall of Famer Jack Kramer at Straus Stadium at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on September 26, 2009 in Westwood, California.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Face Of The Day

Prison guards escort Damir Dokic to the courtroom for the retrial, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009, in Ruma, northwest of Belgrade, Serbia. The father of tennis player Jelena Dokic, Damir Dokic was sentenced recently to 15-months in jail on charges that he "endangering the security" of the Australian ambassador in Belgrade and unlawful possession of weapons, but a retrial was ordered after a higher court annulled the first verdict.

Prison guards escort Damir Dokic to the courtroom for the retrial, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009, in Ruma, northwest of Belgrade, Serbia. The father of tennis player Jelena Dokic, Damir Dokic was sentenced recently to 15-months in jail on charges that he "endangering the security" of the Australian ambassador in Belgrade and unlawful possession of weapons, but a retrial was ordered after a higher court annulled the first verdict.

::

BCR Open Romania

Singles - Second Round
[3] J Monaco (ARG) d [Q] P Riba (ESP) 64 62
S Greul (GER) d [6] D Koellerer (AUT) 61 64
[8] P Cuevas (URU) d P Luczak (AUS) 75 64
M Gonzalez (ARG) d O Hernandez (ESP) 75 36 61

Doubles - Quarterfinals
[1] L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT) d D Koellerer (AUT) / J Levinsky (CZE) 63 64
[2] F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK) d [Alt] F Gil (POR) / D Munoz-De La Nava 60 63
[3] J Brunstrom (SWE) / J Rojer (AHO) d [WC] M Copil (ROU) / H Tecau (ROU) 64 67(7) 10-8
[4] P Cuevas (URU) / M Granollers (ESP) d A Pavel (ROU) / G Trifu (ROU) 75 60

Open de Moselle

Singles - Second Round
[1] G Monfils (FRA) d [WC] S Grosjean (FRA) 61 61
[4] P Petzschner (GER) d [WC] M Llodra (FRA) 76(3) 63
J Tipsarevic (SRB) d [8] I Ljubicic (CRO) 64 76(3)
R Gasquet (FRA) d C Rochus (BEL) 75 46 62

Doubles - Quarterfinals
R Schuettler (GER) / M Zverev (GER) d P Marx (GER) / B Phau (GER) 62 62
P Kohlschreiber (GER) / P Petzschner (GER) d [2] R Hutchins (GBR) / J Kerr (AUS) 75 67(5) 10-7
C Fleming (GBR) / K Skupski (GBR) d [3] C Kas (GER) / R Wassen (NED) 63 36 11-9

Doubles - First Round
[WC] T Ascione (FRA) / M Gicquel (FRA) d Y Lu (TPE) / J Tipsarevic (SRB) 76(3) 26 10-7

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HANSOL KOREA OPEN
Seoul-KOR


Singles - Second Round
(1) Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) d. Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) 61 61
Maria Kirilenko (RUS) d. (3) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 61 12 ret. (right hamstring strain)
Kimiko Date Krumm (JPN) d. (5) Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) 46 76(4) 63
(7) Vera Dushevina (RUS) d. Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) 75 61

Doubles - Quarterfinals
(2) Chuang/Yan (TPE/CHN) d. Petkovic/Rybarikova (GER/SVK) 46 63 1210
(3) Kleybanova/Makarova (RUS/RUS) d. Grandin/Haynes (RSA/USA) 63 63
Chan/Spears (TPE/USA) d. (4) Jans/Rosolska (POL/POL) 63 76(4)


TASHKENT OPEN
Tashkent-UZB


Singles - Second Round
(2) Shahar Peer (ISR) d. Kathrin Woerle (GER) 62 64
(4) Olga Govortsova (BLR) d. Vesna Manasieva (RUS) 62 63
(Q) Alexandra Panova (RUS) d. (7) Patricia Mayr (AUT) 75 61
Akgul Amanmuradova (UZB) d. Ekaterina Bychkova (RUS) 46 75 76(4)

Doubles - Quarterfinals
Govortsova/Poutchek (BLR/BLR) d. (1) Senoglu/Shvedova (TUR/KAZ) 64 46 104
Diatchenko/Dzehalevich (RUS/BLR) d. (2) Amanmuradova/Kustova (UZB/BLR) 62 16 108
Ar.Rodionova/Savchuk (RUS/UKR) d. Fedak/Manasieva (UKR/RUS) 61 61

Face Of The Day


Reuters

Tennis player Flavia Pennetta of Italy displays a creation as part of Pin-Up stars Spring/Summer 2010 women's collection in Milan September 23, 2009.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Justine Henin To Return

I just threw up.

I haven't read a link, so someone will have to drop one in the comments. But hubby just called to deliver the news.

"You were right all along about Justine," he said.

He read a few sentences from whatever outlet had the story.

"Did she give a date for her return?"

"Uh. Nope. Sometime next year is all she said."

"Didn't think so. I would expect it to be sometime between Rome and Paris."

"I can't believe no one in the tennis media leaked the truth."

I'll have a tirade about all this later in the week, if my stomach settles down.

And I'll be calling out the propagandists.

By name.

Discuss.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up

http://i412.photobucket.com/albums/pp201/savanna215/misc%20blog%20pics/3092db62b900411ad77bfc6242abcbed-1.jpg

Savannah's got it. I haven't even had a chance to read a tennis headline anywhere else.

I should be back to my regularly scheduled programming within a few days.

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Davis Cup Open Thread

Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic serves against Croatia's Marin Cilic during their semi-final Davis Cup tennis match between Croatia and Czech Republic in Porec, some 200 kilometers from Zagreb, on September 18, 2009.
Getty

Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic serves against Croatia's Marin Cilic during their semi-final Davis Cup tennis match between Croatia and Czech Republic in Porec, some 200 kilometers from Zagreb, on September 18, 2009.

::

Readers rarely talk about Davis Cup, but here's on Open Thread for those would like.

Use it to discuss anything tennis related.

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!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Don't Cry For Him Argentina

Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina lifts the trophy after defeating Roger Federer of Switzerland in the men's singles final match at the U.S. Open tennis championship in New York, September 14, 2009.
Reuters

Y'all knew some variation of that title was coming. I can't always resist being cheesy. And since Juan Martín del Potro wants to buy a cheesecake for his birthday to celebrate his stunning victory over Roger Federer, it's appropriate.

(I'd sell him one of mine.)

Quick: What does the 20-year-old Argentinean have in common with Marat Safin, Lleyton Hewitt, Roger Federer, Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal?

Among active players, they all prevailed in their first Grand Slam finals.

Impressive company.

And for del Potro, it's even more impressive considering that just 9 months ago, Raja routed him to the loss of three games and two bagel sets en route to the Melbourne finals.

Has a player ever showed such massive improvement within a single season?

And why is it that players whose mother tongue is Spanish are the only ones capable of defeating Raja in Slam finals?

Speaing of which, Dick(head) Enberg and his corporate masters over at CBS need to be sanctioned by us, the viewers, for giving the US Open 2009 men's singles champion a hard time for wanting to provide remarks in Spanish during the trophy ceremony.

I just saw a pretty, poised, blonde woman speak three languages in the women's trophy ceremony and she was the runner up.

This has been one bizarre US Open.

But del Potro's victory is exactly what tennis needs.

Raja has won many a major not playing his best tennis, but not this time. Del Potro becomes only the second Argentine to win the US Open and only the third player not named Federer or Nadal to win a Slam since Wimbledon 2004.

I feel as though the men's tour has just opened up. Here's hoping del Potro's victory paves the way for all that other potential to step up and make their own history.

Faces Of The Day

Marcelo Gomez (C), who coached Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro since he was a child until 2007, is carried by friends as they celebrate Del Potro's victory against Switzerland's Roger Federer in the men's singles finals match at the U.S. Open tennis championship, in his hometown of Tandil, September 14, 2009.
Reuters

Marcelo Gomez (C), who coached Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro since he was a child until 2007, is carried by friends as they celebrate Del Potro's victory against Switzerland's Roger Federer in the men's singles finals match at the U.S. Open tennis championship, in his hometown of Tandil, September 14, 2009.

US Open 2009 Men's Final Open Thread

Serena (L) and Venus Williams of the U.S. hold the women's doubles championship trophy after beating Cara Black of Zimbabwe and Liezel Huber of the U.S. at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York September 14, 2009.
Reuters

Serena and Venus Williams of the U.S. hold the women's doubles championship trophy after beating Cara Black of Zimbabwe and Liezel Huber of the U.S. at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York September 14, 2009.

::

I had a minor emergency and couldn't get this up till now.

Can't believe Raja is serving so poorly and still managed to almost be up two sets to love. Good to see del Potro dig in.

Best of three to follow....

Quote For The Day - Serena Apologizes

"I want to amend my press statement of yesterday, and want to make it clear as possible - I want to sincerely apologize FIRST to the lines woman, Kim Clijsters, the USTA, and tennis fans everywhere for my inappropriate outburst. I'm a woman of great pride, faith and integrity, and I admit when I'm wrong.

"I need to make it clear to all young people that I handled myself inappropriately and it's not the way to act -- win or lose, good call or bad call in any sport, in any manner.

"I like to lead by example. We all learn from experiences both good and bad. I will learn and grow from this, and be a better person as a result."

--Serena Williams

There. She said it all. Next.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Motherhood Father Loss

Kim Clijsters of Belgium reacts after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in their women's singles final match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 13, 2009.
Reuters

Wild card. Brutal Draw. Champion. This is what I wrote at the end of March:

Full disclosure: I was never a fan. But when I read the reports that her father died of cancer, the first thing I thought was, She's definitely going to come back now.

The loss of a father can be one of the most transforming experiences of a person's life, no matter how old they are. But for someone as young as Kim, who just had a child of her own, I can imagine that the only thing she can do with her grief is get out on the court and train and grind, but above all else, compete. Afterall, her father brought her to the sport.

She always struck me as a politician. Something about the way she presented Miss Congeniality to the media and the fans, but behind the scenes, she seemed ruthless about getting her way. Like a good politician, she leaked her announcement to the press and followed it up days later with a huge press conference.

As we bemoan the current boredom of the women's tour, this announcement couldn't come at a better time. Beloved around the world and with a game that will give all these young ball-bashing baseliners fits (for those who think Victoria Azarenka is the next champion, think again...), her mere presence will inject the tour with some much-needed life.

Who knows, maybe motherhood and father loss will cure her biggest liability -- her mental frailty -- and she will go on to win another Slam or two.

Surely she can see her opportunities. Now she intends to seize them.


Oh, how she seized them. The only player to beat Venus and Serena in the same event twice. That will remain the gold standard. The first mother to win a major in 29 years. The first wild card to win the US Open period. The first unranked player to win a Slam ever. Her first Slam back.

Kim Clijsters, of Belgium, kisses her husband, Brian Lynch in the stands after defeating Caroline Wozniacki, of Denmark, during the women's championship match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2009.
AP

When she went into the stands to kiss her husband, I was moved. He quit his job to support and accompany her on this journey.

Kim Clijsters of Belgium and her daughter Jada pose with the trophy after she defeated Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in the women's singles final match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 13, 2009.
Reuters

The whole family celebrated. "See Grandpa up there smiling down?"

Kim Clijsters of Belgium displays her trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in the women's singles final match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 13, 2009.
Reuters

I don't need to be a fan. But a remarkable story is a remarkable story.

US Open 2009: Women's Final Preview

BY MadProfessah

Caroline Wozniacki DEN (9) vs. Kim Clijsters BEL. Unseeded Kim Clijsters should win easily over the ninth-ranked teenager from Denmark playing in her first major final while the young mother of 18-month old Jada is playing in her sixth (one win, four losses).

I suppose the less said about the unfortunate result that lead Clijsters into this final. However, this should lead the Tour(s) to consider video replay, not just electronic line calling that players can resort to when bad calls are made. As I've noted before, it's very curious that these unfortunate incidents only seem to happen to Black players in a predominantly White sport. It was an egregious line call that went against Serena Williams in a quarterfinal match against Jennifer Capriati in 2004 that eventually led to the current electronic line calling that everyone agrees has been a resounding success. I hope that something good can come out of last night's incident that can improve the game again.

Wozniacki is not out of her depth; she absorbed the formidable power of Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarterfinal, eventually earning the right to (easily) dismiss "America's new sweetheart," the diminutive Melanie Oudin and another Belgian Yanina Wickmayer to reach this final.

However, it is hard to find another person who has been as severe an underdog in a recent Women's US Open final as Wozniacki is against Clijsters tonight. Maybe she'll use this opportunity to play out of her head, with no pressure, but even doing that, this Belgian will be able to turn defense into offense so quickly the result will not be in doubt. Clijsters will become the first mother to win a major tennis title since Evonne Goolagong in 1980.

MadProfessah's pick: Clijsters in 2 sets.

US Open 2009 Women's Final Open Thread


Getty

Lukas Dlouhy
of Czech Republic (2nd R) and Leander Paes of India (R) hold the trophy after winning the Men's Doubles Final over Mahesh Bhupathi of India (2nd L) and Mark Knowles of Bahamas (L), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, at the 2009 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, in New York, September 13, 2009.

::

It's the so-called Great Dane vs. Comeback Mother Kimmie.

I have no clue what I'm going to get from Caroline Wozniacki. It's her first Slam final. I've no clue what I'm going to get from Kim Clijsters. She's not the same person she was before her life changes.

I miss having a player in the final you know will deliver her best tennis, but this is what we've got.

Here's hoping for their best.

Who's going to win?

Talk About Serena Open Thread

Serena Williams of the US talks to  US Open head referee Brian Earley after being penalized in her match against Kim Clijsters from Belgium during their Women's Semi-Final US Open match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center September 12, 2009 in  New York.
Getty

At MadProfessah's, bambam's, and Don Scarlett's request.

I took for granted everybody had talked about this the night it happened.

My bad.

Here are a few of my remarks from that Open Thread.

But if you want to fight to defend your title, you must must must contain yourself. You CANNOT threaten to shove a fucking tennis ball down a player's throat.

There are no excuses for such threats on a tennis court.

I won't excuse it. Not for Lleyton Hewitt. Not for Serena Williams.

::

I can't and I won't excuse Serena's behavior.

But she snapped and it wasn't pretty.

That said, the men get away with murder. Roddick, my other fave, berates umpires and linespeople on the regular (though not lately) and I don't excuse him either. But he gets away with it.

Because he's a man?

Serena doesn't need to be banned from anything. She took her penalty and her press conference performance was positive and strong, whether she was "acting" or not.

If you can sift through the cacophony of banter, there are quite a few comments about the situation from several posters.

Serena Williams was fined $10,000. In her statement, she said:

“Last night, everyone could truly see the passion I have for my job. Now that I have had time to gain my composure, I can see that while I don’t agree with the unfair line call, in the heat of battle I let my passion and emotion get the better of me and as a result handled the situation poorly.

“I would like to thank my fans and supporters for understanding that I am human and I look forward to continuing the journey, both professionally and personally, with you all as I move forward and grow from this experience.”


Serena's amended statement:

I want to amend my press statement of yesterday, and want to make it clear as possible - I want to sincerely apologize FIRST to the lines woman, the USTA, and mostly tennis fans everywhere for my inappropriate outburst. I'm a woman of great pride, faith and integrity, and I admit when I'm wrong.

I need to make it clear to all young people that I handled myself inappropriately and it's not the way to act -- win or lose, good call or bad call in any sport, in any manner.

I like to lead by example. We all learn from experiences both good and bad, I will learn and grow from this, and be a better person as a result.


Mary Carillo thinks the fine is a joke. Not sure what she thinks would be more appropriate. Thinks Serena (and therefore Venus) should be defaulted from the doubles final tomorrow and suspended from the sport.

John McEnroe thinks she should be suspended but her suspension should be that she be forced to play the smaller events in the fall that she probably wasn't going to play anyway because that would be good for the sport.

Yup. I heard it with my own ears. That's what he said.

We have officially entered the Twilight Zone.

Have at it.

US Open 2009: Men's Semifinals PREVIEW


BY MadProfessah

Roger Federer SUI (1) vs. Novak Djokovic SRB (4). For the third consecutive year, Federer's path to the US Open title will go through Novak Djokovic, who was the last person to beat the Swiss great in a hard court semifinal, at the 2008 Australian Open. Federer beat Djokovic in Cincinnati on hard courts in two close sets just a few short weeks ago and knows how to get the job done in NYC. MadProfessah's pick: Federer in 4 sets.

Rafael Nadal ESP (3) vs. Juan Martín Del Potro ARG (6). This is Juan Martín's second Grand Slam semifinal this year and the 20-year-old is on a very steep learning curve. He has already shown that he can beat Nadal on hard courts, accomplishing that feat a few months ago in Canada. Nadal is not at 100% although he must be extremely motivated to get to his first career final in New York to cement his status as one of the all-time elite players by competing for (and completing) the career grand slam. MadProfessah's pick: del Potro in 5 sets.

US Open 2009 Day 14 Open Thread

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 12:  Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates match point after defeating Fernando Gonzalez of Chile in the Men's Singles Quarterfinals match on day thirteen of the 2009 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 12, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Nadal defeated Gonzalez 7-6 (7), 7-6 (7), 6-0.
Getty

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates match point after defeating Fernando Gonzalez of Chile in the men's singles quarterfinal match on Day 13 of the 2009 US Open.

Up next: Juan Martín del Potro. Could be a barnburner. I suppose the other semifinal could be as well.

All I'll say is that I'm not interested in seeing another Fedal final. Not even in New York. I'd take almost any matchup but that one. Almost.

::

Order Of Play

Arthur Ashe Stadium 12:00 Start Time

Men's Singles - Semifinals
Rafael Nadal(ESP)[3] vs. Juan Martin Del Potro(ARG)[6]

Not Before:16:30
Men's Singles - Semifinals
Roger Federer(SUI)[1] vs. Novak Djokovic(SRB)[4]

21:00 Start Time
Women's Singles - Finals
[9]Caroline Wozniacki vs. Kim Clijsters(BEL)

I'm Gonna Wash This Slam Right Out Of My Hair....

(Anyone care to sing along?)

I’m gonna wash this Slam right outta my hair,
I’m gonna wash this Slam right outta my hair,
I’m gonna wash this Slam right outta my hair,
And send it on its way.

Don’t try to patch it up

Tear it up, tear it up!

Wash it out, dry it out,
Push it out, fly it out,

Cancel it and let it go!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

US Open 2009 Day 13 Open Thread

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11:  Fans walk past the Arthur Ashe sculpture garden during a rain delay on day twelve of the 2009 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 11, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.
Getty

Fans walk past the Arthur Ashe sculpture garden during a rain delay on day twelve of the 2009 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 11, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.

::

I suppose it was fitting that there was no play on September 11 as the sky cried all day over New York City.

Take two:

Order Of Play

Arthur Ashe Stadium 12:00 Start Time

1. Men’s Singles – Quarterfinals
Rafael Nadal (CHI)[11] v. Fernando Gonzalez (ESP)[3] To Finish 7-6(4) 6-6(3)

2. Men’s Doubles – Finals
Lukas Dlouhy (CZE)[4] v. Mahesh Bhupathi (IND)[3]
Leander Paes (IND)[4] Mark Knowles (BAH)[3]
This match may be moved to Armstrong Stadium.

3. Women’s Singles – Semifinals
Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) v. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)[9]
This match may be moved to Armstrong Stadium.

Not Before:20:00
4. Women’s Singles – Semifinals
Kim Clijsters (BEL) v. Serena Williams (USA)[2]

Louis Armstrong Stadium 12:00 Start Time

1. Women’s Doubles – Semifinals
Cara Black (ZIM)[1] v. Samantha Stosur (AUS)[3]
Liezel Huber (USA)[1] Rennae Stubbs (AUS)[3]

Friday, September 11, 2009

Quote For The Day

"She's known as the Belgian Maria Sharapova,"--Bill Macatee, about first-time US Open semifinalist Yanina Wickmayer, on CBS sports.

US Open 2009 Day 12 Open Thread

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 10:  (L-R) Leander Paes of India, Cara Black of Zimbabwe, Travis Parrott and Carly Gullickson pose with the championship trophies after the Mixed Doubles Final match on day eleven of the 2009 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 10, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Gullickson/Parrott defeated Paes/Black 6-2, 6-4.
Getty

(L-R) Leander Paes of India, Cara Black of Zimbabwe, Travis Parrott and Carly Gullickson pose with the championship trophies after the Mixed Doubles Final match on day eleven of the 2009 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 10, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Gullickson/Parrott defeated Paes/Black 6-2, 6-4.

::

I'll say nothing about the women's semifinals. Whatever will be will be.

As for the rest of the schedule, all I'll say is there's luck and there's no luck at all.

Discuss.

UPDATED - Order Of Play - ALL MATCHES CANCELED

Arthur Ashe Stadium 16:00 Start Time

1. Women's Singles - Semifinals
Kim Clijsters (BEL) v. Serena Williams (USA)[2]

Not Before:15:30
4. Men's Doubles - Finals
Lukas Dlouhy (CZE)[4] v. Mahesh Bhupathi (IND)[3]
Leander Paes (IND)[4] Mark Knowles (BAH)[3]
This match may be moved to Armstrong Stadium.

Louis Armstrong Stadium 16:00 Start Time

2. Men's Singles - Quarterfinals
Rafael Nadal (CHI)[11] v. Fernando Gonzalez (ESP)[3]
To Finish 7-6(4) 6-6(3)

Grandstand 16:00 Start Time

3. Women's Singles - Semifinals
Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) v. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)[9]


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Quote For The Day

"From what I have been looking at and reading, it doesn't seem like Venus and Serena are in any hurry to go anywhere. Everyone is always looking for the next big thing. Well, the present, as far as the women's game goes, is pretty good. It feels like [people] will only really appreciate that once they are gone."--Andy Roddick, responding with sarcasm when asked about how everyone is waiting for the "American girl" to come along

(Thanks, Pamela)

US Open 2009 Day 11 Open Thread

US tennis player Melanie Oudin wearing shoes bearing 'believe' returns a point to Danish player Caroline Wozniacki during their quarterfinals match of the 2009 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, in New York, September 9, 2009.
Getty

US tennis player Melanie Oudin wearing shoes bearing 'believe' returns a point to Danish player Caroline Wozniacki during their quarterfinals match of the 2009 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, in New York, September 9, 2009.

::

Order Of Play

Arthur Ashe Stadium 11:00 Start Time

1. Women's Doubles - Semifinals

Serena Williams (USA)[4]/Venus Williams (USA)[4] v. Alisa Kleybanova (RUS)[13]/Ekaterina Makarova (RUS)[13]
2. Mixed Doubles - Finals
Carly Gullickson (USA)/Travis Parrott (USA) v. Cara Black(ZIM)[2]/Leander Paes (IND)[2]
3. Men's Singles - Quarterfinals
Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG)[6] v. Marin Cilic (CRO)[16]

Arthur Ashe Stadium 19:00 Start Time

1. Men's Singles - Quarterfinals
Fernando Gonzalez (CHI)[11] v. Rafael Nadal (ESP)[3]

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Venus Receives ADL Honor

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has honored tennis star Venus Williams for her "principled stand" after Shahar Pe'er was excluded from participating in a Dubai tennis tournament earlier this year.

In February 2009, the United Arab Emirates refused a visa to Pe'er, preventing her from participating in the Dubai Tennis Championship. Williams publicly spoke out against the decision and called for equal treatment for all players.

In recognition of her comments Williams received the ADL Americanism Award during a ceremony at the League's national headquarters in Manhattan on Wednesday.

"What Venus Williams did in Dubai must be acknowledged and celebrated," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director, in presenting the award.

"When Shahar Pe'er was denied a visa to compete in the tournament, Venus knew that it was wrong and she knew that someone had to say so. And she did.

"Words have consequences, but not always for the good. However, Venus' words were for the good. They were supportive, they put the Dubai Tennis Championship on notice and, while it was too late for Shahar to compete, Andy Rom's visa, first delayed, was granted."

In accepting the award, Williams spoke of the importance of treating all people equally and speaking out against injustice.

"I feel like I did the minimum, just to speak and to say something," Williams said. "It shows that whatever little things you can do to make a difference really will help. I want to thank Shahar for her courage, and I share this award with her."

Read the rest...

(Thanks, b)

US Open 2009 Men's Quarterfinals Preview

In the order they will be contested:


Getty

Fernando Verdasco could probably beat Novak Djokovic, but he won't because he's too erratic. Djoke seems to be playing within himself and Todd Martin has him attacking the net at almost every opportunity. Then again, Jesse Witten took a set off Djoke, and was up a break in another, so why can't Verdasco win a few sets if not the match? I guess I've talked myself into this being a toss up. But I've got to pick, no? Djoke in 5.


Getty

Roger Federer won't be troubled under the lights much at all by Robin Söderling because Soderling is going to do what he always does when he plays The Name. Maybe he'll take a set, but I've got my doubts. RF in straights.


Getty

Juan Martín del Potro may be breathing a sigh of relief that Marin Cilic brutalized Andy Murray in the upset of the tournament. Haven't heard it called that by the propagandists, though. Maybe I just wasn't listening. What I heard from John McEnroe is that Murray "overtrained". Pitiful. Wasn't it none other than St. Andre himself who picked Murray to win the whole thing this year? I've never trusted Murray in Slams and he's strengthening that mistrust in each Slam he plays. The Croatian can play tennis, but he won't be beating the Argentinean. Del Potro in straights.


Getty

Fernando Gonzalez
will pummel Rafael Nadal with his power, but it won't be enough to keep Rafa down. Rafa's nursing an injury, but it won't be enough to keep Rafa down. The Spaniard is hungry. Rafa in 4.

Blame It On Steffi

by MMT

There’s been a great deal of discussion at this year's US Open about the problems that top WTA players have serving today. Almost as curious is the paucity of good analysis as to source of their problems. If all of a sudden women on tour are having problems properly serving, and all at once, it makes sense to compare the serves of women say 20 years ago, to modern players and analyze the difference.

I am a firm believer in the philosophy that all problems in tennis are essentially technical – even the ones that appear to be mental, and nothing has made that more apparent to me than the serving issue. In the past, weilding unforgiving 85 square inch 15 ounce wood racquets, a player couldn't get away with bad technique on the serve - today they have oversized composites to help them hide the fact that their technique is sorely lacking.

More...

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

US Open 2009 Women's Quarterfinals Preview

So here we are. In the order they will be contested:

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 06:  Kim Clijsters of Belgium reacts to a point against Venus Williams of the United States during day seven of the 2009 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 6, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.
Getty

Li Na, who's been enjoying some of her time in Chinatown, can beat Kim Clijsters. But I don't think the best Chinese singles player is going to excuse Comeback Kimmie. Unless, of course, the Belgian undoes herself, which remains a strong possibility. I know Venus Williams is Venus Williams, but the tour's newest mother champion allowed a woman on one leg to bagel her after she delivered her own. That betrays an inconsistency a player with Li's speed and firepower can take advantage of. If she, of course, doesn't undo herself. Comeback Kimmie in 3.

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 06:  Serena Williams celebrates after defeating Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia during day seven of the 2009 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 6, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.
Getty

Flavia Pennetta survived 6 match points. That makes her more dangerous than she might otherwise be. Serena Williams has been known to lose many a head-scratcher in the quarterfinals of a Slam. I won't bother to list them, but you know what they are. One, a nightmatch on Arthur Ashe stadium five years ago. The defending champion is trying to successfully defend a Slam title for only the second time in her career and not since Wimbledon 2003. She might be particularly nervous. The gutsy Italian doesn't have a serve, so if Serena's return game is on point, this is going to go fast. Serena in straights.

Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine celebrates her win over Gisela Dulko of Argentina at the U.S. Open tennis championship in New York, September 7, 2009.
Reuters

Kateryna Bondarenko would be playing Jelena Jankovic, but since the Serbian's grandmother died, she'll face Yanina Wickmayer instead. In the top half of the Tier III event, the younger Bondarenko sister should use her experience in winning a doubles Slam to subdue the the young Belgian, whom I haven't even seen strike a tennis ball, so what do I know? Who would've thought this year's final eight would feature two Belgians? Bondarenko in 3.

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 07:  Melanie Oudin of the United States celebrates her defeat against Nadia Petrova of Russia during day eight of the 2009 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.
Getty

In what I called the most intriguting quarter of the draw, we get the fortnight's best story. 17-year-old Russian killer Melanie Oudin will play the propagandists' queen Caroline Wozniacki. As Lan said, Melanie slayed the entire Russian Fed Cup squad -- past, present, and future. Almost had a chance to oust another one, but alas the headcase that is Svetlana Kuznetsova couldn't get out of her own way to take out the counterpunching Dane clad in a potato sack with ruffles. I speak of her appearance because that's about the only thing making the media propagandists salivate all over her. This is a player deep in the third set of a second-week Slam encounter posting 5 winners to 4 unforced errors. Not my cup of tea. Oudin has a forehand she can call a weapon, but she's also a counterpuncher. Still, her attitude, her ability to make midmatch adjustments -- her guts -- endears her to me nonetheless. As one of her hometown friends said in an article that made CNN.com's front page, "It's still so surreal. She sort of wins no matter what happens. She's there going for it and not giving up." I think she's going to give the propagandists heartburn. Melanie in 3.

::

No matter what happens we are guaranteed a first-time finalist, perhaps even a youngster who storms through the draw out of nowhere and wins her first Slam against all the odds.

US Open 2009 Day 9 Open Thread

Novak Djokovic of Serbia (R) invites former player and now tennis announcer John McEnroe down to play on center court after defeating  Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic in straight sets in their evening match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 7, 2009.
Reuters

Order Of Play

Arthur Ashe Stadium 11:00 Start Time

1. Men's Doubles - Quarterfinals
Bob Bryan (USA)[1] v. Carsten Ball (AUS)
Mike Bryan (USA)[1] Chris Guccione (AUS)
Not Before:12:30
2. Women's Singles - Quarterfinals
Na Li (CHN)[18] v. Kim Clijsters (BEL)
3. Men's Singles - 4th Round
Marin Cilic (CRO)[16] v. Andy Murray (GBR)[2]
Arthur Ashe Stadium 19:00 Start Time
1. Women's Singles - Quarterfinals
Flavia Pennetta (ITA)[10] v. Serena Williams (USA)[2]
2. Men's Singles - 4th Round
Gael Monfils (FRA)[13] v. Rafael Nadal (ESP)[3]

Louis Armstrong Stadium 11:00 Start Time

DOUBLES TBA
1.
v.
Not Before:13:00
2. Men's Singles - 4th Round
Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG)[6] v. Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP)[24]
DOUBLES TBA
3.
v.
Not Before:16:00
4. Men's Singles - 4th Round
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)[7] v. Fernando Gonzalez (CHI)[11]

Monday, September 07, 2009

Oudin's Coach Pulls No Punches

Thanks to Savannah for alerting me to this exchange between Tom Perrotta and Melanie Oudin's coach.

Melanie was overlooked as a junior, but here she is having more success than anyone in her age group. Why is that?

Brian de Villiers: You don't want to go there with me. The problem with American tennis, number one, is they don't dream big enough, they're not sold the dream, and then they don't believe in themselves. You have dream big, and you have to aim to be the best. I think people are afraid to put themselves on the line and say, “Hey, I want to be number one.” Dream big, and then try and make your dreams come true. And that's exactly what this child is doing. She dreams big and she believes. There are a lot of talented girls out there, tons of them. But I'll leave it at that.

What are her parents like?

They're just a normal family. I've been very lucky. From day one when they dropped the kids off [Oudin's sister, Katherine, is a college-bound player], they've left me alone and never fussed with me about results, what we're working on—I've done the schedule, I do all that. Most parents, I have a lot now who still bother me at the club, come sit on the court and tell me what to do. They've never, ever done that. And she's believed in me. I sold her the dream, told her how we were going to do it, and we came up here [to the U.S. Open] when she was 12 years old and got a feel for the place and she said, “Yeah, I'm gonna be here one day. This is what I want to do.”

Did you believe there was a limit to her potential because of her small size?
No, because she's playing smarter. I'm trying to teach her to play smarter than everybody else out there. A lot of players are just bang, bang, bang. Just walk around and watch the juniors now, some of the stuff out there—not much variety.

How far is she from her peak?

She turns 18 this month. Tennis is an ongoing thing. You don't ever get to a point and say, “Now I know how to play.” It's continuous, now matter how old you are. A lot of people think, 'Boom, now I'm a player, that's it.' It doesn't work like that. Better players come along, you get pushed, different surfaces, different circumstances come up.

Has she ever had a fear of losing?

She's never had a fear of losing. Look, I've been very, very tough on that kid. I've let her have it many, many a time when she's made bad decisions out there, because that's something she can control. If she misses a shot, that's fine, but to make a bad decision through neglect and sloppiness and lack of concentration, that's the stuff that drives me nuts. I think it's helped in the long run because she adjusts out there very quickly and she figures things out.

Why does she have to lose the first set?

Just to continue to annoy me and stress me out. The girls she's playing now, this is the hardest ball she's faced. It takes a little time to adjust and get the hang of it. When you're playing at the Challengers, you don't see balls that are coming at a hundred-and-something miles an hour, you don't see serves whizzing by at 120 miles an hour. So it takes time just to adjust to the pace, to get a read on the players, and then formulate a plan in her head and get to work.

What current American tour professional not named Williams actually believes in him/herself when it matters most?

And the USTA head of player development is Patrick McEnroe?

Insular and unimaginative.

My Youngster

http://cowbell.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83423e30253ef01156ff4e5f6970b-400wi

I figured I'd wait till week two began for the entire draw before confirming her identity.

pompelmo said...

It was Azarenka, and she lost! LOL.

I told you. It is Cirstea. Craig is not much of a fan of Wozniacki. Melanie would be a very long shot.


I must say I'm surprised pompelmo was the only one who was certain and also the only one who stated aloud that I don't have a whole lot of good to say about Wozniacki. Agnes Szavay? Please. I got over her a long time ago. While I like Gisela Dulko and would have no problem with her in the final, she doesn't exactly qualify as a youngster, so I was surprised she was even suggested.

Ironically, I didn't get to see Sorana play a single point at this event. Ironically, she lost to Wozniacki. But while my youngster is out of the tournament, the spirit of my desire is still alive.

Petra Kvitova, Melanie Oudin, Wozniacki, and Yanina Wickmayer are still around. Are all in the Tier III half of the draw. And given that Nadia Petrova and Svetlana Kuznetsova are such headcases, any one of the youngsters could make her first Slam final.

US Open 2009 Day 8 Open Thread

Actor Jason Bateman kisses his wife Amanda Anka while watching Vera Zvonareva of Russia and Flavia Pennetta of Italy during their match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 6, 2009.
Reuters

Actor Jason Bateman kisses his wife Amanda Anka while watching Vera Zvonareva of Russia and Flavia Pennetta of Italy during their match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 6, 2009.

::

Finally. We're in Week 2 across the board. I won't get to watch any of the tennis because the Jerry Lewis telethon is on both CBS affiliates in my market and I don't have time to drive to a friend's house and watch it on Direct TV. Of course, the Internet streams are blacked out.

Order Of Play

Arthur Ashe Stadium 11:00 Start Time

1. Women's Singles - 4th Round
Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) v. Gisela Dulko (ARG)
2. Women's Singles - 4th Round
Melanie Oudin (USA) v. Nadia Petrova (RUS)[13]
Not Before:14:30
3. Men's Singles - 4th Round
Roger Federer (SUI)[1] v. Tommy Robredo (ESP)[14]
Arthur Ashe Stadium 19:00 Start Time
1. Women's Singles - 4th Round
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)[9] v. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)[6]
2. Men's Singles - 4th Round
Novak Djokovic (SRB)[4] v. Radek Stepanek (CZE)[15]

Louis Armstrong Stadium 11:00 Start Time

1. Men's Singles - 4th Round
Robin Soderling (SWE)[12] v. Nikolay Davydenko (RUS)[8]
2. Women's Singles - 4th Round
Petra Kvitova (CZE) v. Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)
Not Before:15:00
3. Men's Singles - 4th Round
Fernando Verdasco (ESP)[10] v. John Isner (USA)

Face Of The Day

Flavia Pennetta of Italy reacts to winning her match against Vera Zvonareva of Russia at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 6, 2009.
Reuters

Flavia Pennetta of Italy reacts to winning her match against Vera Zvonareva of Russia in the best match of the Day 7 at the US Open.

::

Savannah has up a good review of Day 7 action featuring some interesting player quotes over in her world. My farm stand is swamped and I haven't even had coffee yet. I'll post an open thread soon as I get another moment.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

US Open 2009 Day 7 Open Thread

Sorry for the lateness. I had no Internet connection for hours.

The second week begins for the women and the champion's half of the women's draw has held up. It's now two tournaments. A Slam and a Tier III.

Go figure.

Order of Play

Arthur Ashe Stadium 11:00 Start Time

1. Women's Singles - 4th Round
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK)[22] v. Serena Williams (USA)[2]
Not Before:12:30
2. Men's Singles - 3rd Round
Nicolas Almagro (ESP)[32] v. Rafael Nadal (ESP)[3]
3. Women's Singles - 4th Round
Kim Clijsters (BEL) v. Venus Williams (USA)[3]
Arthur Ashe Stadium 19:00 Start Time
1. Women's Singles - 4th Round
Vera Zvonareva (RUS)[7] v. Flavia Pennetta (ITA)[10]
2. Men's Singles - 3rd Round
Taylor Dent (USA) v. Andy Murray (GBR)[2]

Louis Armstrong Stadium 11:00 Start Time

1. Men's Singles - 3rd Round
Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP)[24] v. Gilles Simon (FRA)[9]
2. Women's Singles - 4th Round
Francesca Schiavone (ITA)[26] v. Na Li (CHN)[18]
3. Men's Singles - 3rd Round
Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG)[6] v. Daniel Koellerer (AUT)
DOUBLES TBA
4.
v.

Grandstand 11:00 Start Time

1. Women's Doubles - 3rd Round
Alexa Glatch (USA) v. Maria Kirilenko (RUS)[10]
Carly Gullickson (USA) Elena Vesnina (RUS)[10]
2. Men's Singles - 3rd Round
Tomas Berdych (CZE)[17] v. Fernando Gonzalez (CHI)[11]
3. Men's Singles - 3rd Round
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)[7] v. Julien Benneteau (FRA)
Not Before:18:00
4. Men's Singles - 3rd Round
Gael Monfils (FRA)[13] v. Jose Acasuso (ARG)

Court 4

2. Women's Doubles - 3rd Round
Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER)[9] Patty Schnyder (SUI)[9] v. Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA)[8] Nadia Petrova (RUS)[8]
3. Mixed Doubles - 2nd Round
Sania Mirza (IND) v. Carly Gullickson (USA)
Daniel Nestor (CAN) Travis Parrott (USA)
4. Mixed Doubles - 2nd Round
Virginia Ruano Pascual (ESP) v. Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA)[8]
Stephen Huss (AUS) Nenad Zimonjic (SRB)[8]

Court 11 11:00 Start Time

1. Men's Doubles - 3rd Round
Juan Ignacio Chela (ARG) v. Ivan Ljubicic (CRO)
Pablo Cuevas (URU) Michael Llodra (FRA)
2. Women's Doubles - 3rd Round
Cara Black (ZIM)[1] v. Olga Govortsova (BLR)
Liezel Huber (USA)[1] Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS)
DOUBLES TBA
3.
v.
DOUBLES TBA
4.
v.
Not Before:16:00
5. Men's Singles - 3rd Round
Marin Cilic (CRO)[16] v. Denis Istomin (UZB)

Court 13 11:00 Start Time

1. Women's Doubles - 3rd Round
Alisa Kleybanova (RUS)[13]/Ekaterina Makarova (RUS)[13] v. Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP)[2]/Virginia Ruano Pascual (ESP)[2]
2. Men's Doubles - 3rd Round
Martin Damm (CZE)[11]/Robert Lindstedt (SWE)[11] v. Wesley Moodie (RSA)[7]/Dick Norman (BEL)[7]
3. Women's Doubles - 3rd Round
Samantha Stosur (AUS)[3] v. Gisela Dulko (ARG)
Rennae Stubbs (AUS)[3] Shahar Peer (ISR)
4. Mixed Doubles - 2nd Round
Zi Yan (CHN) v. Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER)[4]
Mariusz Fyrstenberg (POL) Mark Knowles (BAH)[4]
5. Mixed Doubles - 2nd Round
Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE)[5] v. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (ESP)
Kevin Ullyett (ZIM)[5] Andre Sa (BRA)

TBA 13:30 Start Time

Not Before:13:30
1. Men's Doubles - 3rd Round
Max Mirnyi (BLR)[5] v. Simone Bolelli (ITA)
Andy Ram (ISR)[5] Andreas Seppi (ITA)
Not Before:13:30
2. Women's Doubles - 3rd Round
Sorana Cirstea (ROU) v. T.B.D.
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)
Not Before:15:30
3. Men's Doubles - 3rd Round
Bob Bryan (USA)[1] v. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP)
Mike Bryan (USA)[1] Olivier Rochus (BEL)

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Dead On Arrival

That's all I have to say about today.

Fitting for both former champions dismissed in tight matches by young Americans.

Quote For The Day

"If I can keep playing like this, I can get as high as anything,"--Melanie Oudin on revisiting her goals or reaching the top 100 after outlasting Miss 100% on Arthur Ashe.

US Open 2009 Day 6 Open Thread

Order of Play

Arthur Ashe Stadium 11:00 Start Time

1. Men's Singles - 3rd Round
Roger Federer (SUI)[1] v. Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)[31]
Not Before:13:00
2. Women's Singles - 3rd Round
Melanie Oudin (USA) v. Maria Sharapova (RUS)[29]
3. Men's Singles - 3rd Round
John Isner (USA) v. Andy Roddick (USA)[5]
Arthur Ashe Stadium 19:00 Start Time
1. Women's Singles - 3rd Round
Dinara Safina (RUS)[1] v. Petra Kvitova (CZE)
2. Men's Singles - 3rd Round
James Blake (USA)[21] v. Tommy Robredo (ESP)[14]

Louis Armstrong Stadium 11:00 Start Time

1. Men's Singles - 3rd Round
Novak Djokovic (SRB)[4] v. Jesse Witten (USA)
2. Men's Singles - 3rd Round
Fernando Verdasco (ESP)[10] v. Tommy Haas (GER)[20]
3. Women's Doubles - 2nd Round
Yung-Jan Chan (TPE) v. Serena Williams (USA)[4]
Katarina Srebotnik (SLO) Venus Williams (USA)[4]
This match may be moved to Ashe Stadium.Not Before:15:30
4. Women's Singles - 3rd Round
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)[9] v. Sorana Cirstea (ROU)[24]

Grandstand 11:00 Start Time

1. Men's Singles - 3rd Round
Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER)[23] v. Radek Stepanek (CZE)[15]
Not Before:13:00
2. Women's Singles - 3rd Round
Jie Zheng (CHN)[21] v. Nadia Petrova (RUS)[13]
3. Men's Singles - 3rd Round
Robin Soderling (SWE)[12] v. Sam Querrey (USA)[22]
4. Women's Singles - 3rd Round
Shahar Peer (ISR) v. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)[6]

Court 4 11:00 Start Time

1. Men's Doubles - 2nd Round
Leos Friedl (CZE) v. Michael Kohlmann (GER)
Jaroslav Levinsky (CZE) Rogier Wassen (NED)
2. Mixed Doubles - 2nd Round
Lisa Raymond (USA)[3] v. Raquel Kops-Jones (USA)
Marcin Matkowski (POL)[3] Jeff Coetzee (RSA)
3. Men's Doubles - 2nd Round
Jesse Levine (USA) v. Mahesh Bhupathi (IND)[3]
Ryan Sweeting (USA) Mark Knowles (BAH)[3]
4. Mixed Doubles - 2nd Round
Rennae Stubbs (AUS)[7] v. T.B.D.
Robert Lindstedt (SWE)[7]
5. Mixed Doubles - 2nd Round
T.B.D. v. Jill Craybas (USA)
Eric Butorac (USA)

Court 7 11:00 Start Time

1. Women's Doubles - 2nd Round
Tatjana Malek (GER) v. Maria Kirilenko (RUS)[10]
Andrea Petkovic (GER) Elena Vesnina (RUS)[10]
2. Men's Doubles - 2nd Round
Bruno Soares (BRA)[8] v. Juan Ignacio Chela (ARG)
Kevin Ullyett (ZIM)[8] Pablo Cuevas (URU)
[B]3. Women's Doubles - 2nd Round [/b]
Vania King (USA)[12] v. Liga Dekmeijere (LAT)
Monica Niculescu (ROU)[12] Julie Ditty (USA)
4. Mixed Doubles - 1st Round
Chia-Jung Chuang (TPE) v. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (ESP)
Christopher Kas (GER) Andre Sa (BRA)

Court 10 13:00 Start Time

1.
v.
[B]2. Men's Doubles - 2nd Round [/b]
Lukas Dlouhy (CZE)[4] v. Nicolas Almagro (ESP)
Leander Paes (IND)[4] Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo (ESP)
3. Men's Doubles - 2nd Round
Simone Bolelli (ITA) v. Frantisek Cermak (CZE)[10]
Andreas Seppi (ITA) Michal Mertinak (SVK)[10]
4. Mixed Doubles - 2nd Round
Flavia Pennetta (ITA) v. Cara Black (ZIM)[2]
Dusan Vemic (SRB) Leander Paes (IND)[2]

Court 11 11:00 Start Time
DOUBLES TBA
1.
v.
2. Men's Singles - 3rd Round
Marco Chiudinelli (SUI) v. Nikolay Davydenko (RUS)[8]
3. Women's Singles - 3rd Round
Gisela Dulko (ARG) v. Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ)
4. Women's Singles - 3rd Round
Sara Errani (ITA) v. Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)

Court 13 11:00 Start Time
DOUBLES TBA
1.
v.
DOUBLES TBA
2.
v.
DOUBLES TBA
3.
v.
4. Women's Singles - 3rd Round
Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) v. Anastasia Rodionova (AUS)