Archive for July, 2009

Well, That Was Fun

Posted by Brodie under: JJ, Mono, Stanford

31 Jul 2009

Photobucket

JJ takes first set. Blows two match points, second set goes to a tiebreak. Goes 0-2 in TBs against Mono. And loses again in three sets against her.

Its not rocket science to usually figure out what players are doing wrong. JJ WAS making more errors than she could have been, but she really wasn’t playing that badly. And I wonder what happened, because she isn’t being very successfuly, and she’s definitely not beating players she should be. Which is weird, because Caro has a very similar game, and is having trouble with players ranked higher than her, or very close to her, but seems to have little trouble doing what JJ seemingly can no longer do: beat those players in later rounds that she should be.

Not to take anything away from Mono, she hit some big shots and took a huge risk on an angle on match point, painted the line and rabbed the winner, and then eventually held serve. But JJ simply isn’t getting things done, and she looks incredibly vulnerable for a top 10 player. Have the other players figured her out? Is her fitness worse? Is she simply making too many errors? It could very well be that. She needs to be able to stick around in long points and pound the ball side to side until the opponent makes the error, she’s been great at in the past. But it seems like Mono was doing that for most of the time, and it worked out pretty well. Its strange to see.

On a side note, I’d just like to comment on what I saw when I got home and turned the stream on. It was when JJ attempted to challenge the call of a ball, and freaked when she couldn’t. The ball just (appeared) to miss the baseline (when it was actually in) and then ding off JJ’s racket, which was incredibly close to where the ball was going to bounce, because of her positioning. The ball got over the net, JJ went to call, Mono returned it for a winner. Rules say that if the player hits the ball, they’ve committed, and can’t challenge, so they can’t hit the ball for UE, and then challenge the call after they screwed up, for example. Thing is, JJ had no choice whether or not to hit the ball because of where she was positioned, and clearly didn’t want to, but it didn’t matter. Kind of a crap rule, regardless of the fact that it was actually in. I think if you stop after the second you hit it, especially when you’re clearly in the position where you can’t get out of the way of knocking it back, you should be allowed. Its a sticky situation.

Regardless, we’ve got Superhero/Mono in the semis tomorrow. I’ll for sure be watching. Bring on Masha/V.

31 Jul 2009

Photobucket Uploader Firefox Extension

I’ve compared Flavs to Batman, a stretch, but a fair comparison. But I think if you were to call one WTA player a superhero, it would probably be Sam. She looks totally normal, and is quite funny off court. Hell, she looks quite pretty in her TTV mugshot. But on court? First of all, she’s jacked up. As all hell. And her sunglasses, hat, and tied back hair all create her epic disguise (those sunglasses just ooze badassery), and she serves big, and is willing to track down any ball. She also doesn’t really follow through on her serve, which is weird as hell.

And then she defeats the “real” number 1, ReRe in the Stanford quarters. She came out firing in the first set, going up a double break 4-1 before you could barely blink. But Serena hasn’t won 4 bazillion matches by accident, and it is indeed never over till its over. She fought back and won the second set. The weird thing is that she couldn’t, and didn’t really seem to bother to keep the momentum going, and Stosur fought back and took the third and the match. Its weird, usually Serena unleashes her, what I have come to call, her “inner bitch rage”. And as much as I don’t really like Rena, its scary as fuck, and kind of awesome. Its uber competitive. It comes out in slams, and I also have vivid memories of it coming out against Jay-Z in Miami when she was having troubles. It didn’t make an appearance today. And its more or less the single reason Serena isn’t the REAL number one. She just didn’t become super competitive, and as much as she cares or doesnt care, its points lost, and its the few points that Dina often pulls out that keeps her a step ahead of Rena. Sammy S will play the winner of Mono/JJ, which I’m going to make a post of, and at the moment, its looking like Mono…

Amerikuh, Fuck Yeah!

Posted by Brodie under: Los Angeles, Stanford

31 Jul 2009

Photobucket Uploader Firefox Extension

Hate. Work. Gotta leave in like 20 minutes but I will get this done!

Stanford – ReRe and Venus both killed it, hardly surprising. Match of the day was Sabine/JJ. Sabine was apparently tearing stuff up in the first set, getting JJ upset. They have completely contrasted styles of game obviously, and the knock against people who play JJ’s style of game (people like Caro, and even Muzz) is that they have no answer to seriously big hitters or servers. JJ started getting in control in the second set, and was able to pull off the win in 3. I didn’t see the match, but really too bad for ‘Bine, this would have been another big win for her. Guess she was having serving problems later on as well.

This does tell us that JJ is still having troubles with her game, and isn’t nearly close to the level she was around this time last year, but also that Sabine needs to work on her consistency, and at least from when I’ve seen her, when to take risks, and when not to. She’s got the big shots, but she can be a bit flailing at points and needs to know when to settle down.

The REAL news is that with Venus’s win, she’ll play Masha tonight in the quarters. TTV is showing 3 matches today, Stosur/ReRe, JJ/Mono, and then V/Masha, and I’ll likely be watching all three, and I think I’m just gonna make a new blog post after each match. Finally stuff I can talk about! These are some big matches in my opinion, and a real setup to the big tournies just around the corner. Going to be a huge test for Masha, who demolished Nads, we’ll get a great idea of just how far away she is from knocking top 5 players.

Photobucket Uploader Firefox Extension

Americans Q-Man and Fishy will be hittin’ up the quarters (come on Q, srsly). The Dude also won, and Argie Mayer upset Igor K! Way to go dude. Haven’t caught any of this tourney, but if there’s streams later on, will definitely have to catch some semi action I think, pretty cool field left in this. Go Tree!

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'…

Posted by Brodie under: Gstaad, Istanbul, Umag

31 Jul 2009

Photobucket

Ah, the joys of the tennis action you miss when you miss a day and a half or s and there’s FIVE tournies going on. Been catching the scores on the phone though and caught some of ReRe’s match, but anyway, here’s a quick skip, hop and jump over the past two days of the “other three”.

Gstaad – Stan the Man was knocked out by a qualifier in the second round, as the top seed, which I believe is the Scales Of Mo tipping due to some of these dudes playing on clay WAY too much this year. I know they love it but COME ON. The Kief got to the quarters and is on court right now, and Igor A and Jeremy tee it off later, in the quarters.

Umag – Massu beat Ferru?! FAAACK NO! MAY SVEN STRIKE YOU DOWN. I saw Ferru was up a set, and had already planned out my post about how he beat him, and even came up with a new awesome nickname for my least favourite player, the Chilean Annoyance Supreme (coming to a Taco Bell near you). This is clearly the horrid, terrible work of Captain Gilbert, cause Sven would never create such an evil outcome.

Ugh, I barely care what else happened now, but personal old man fave, Grandpa Ljubs upset Almagro, and Koyla Bear, Melz, JCF, and Seppi all won. Koyla is pretty well the huge overall favourite to win now.

Istanbul – Poor U-Rad, tore it up in the second round and then got herself bagelled and breadsticked next round. Petkovic continues to tear shit up, doesn’t seem like she ever wins a set with opponents getting over 3 games. Would be epic if she could win this tourney too.

30 Jul 2009

Photobucket

Gotta love stuff like this. Tree rolls his ankle against Baggy in the tiebreak, and Bags is over the net and the first one to get there. Some serious sportsmanship from the vet, and just overall great to see. Tree then complimented him by winnning the next bunch of points while apparently semi-hobbling about, and taking the match in the second set tiebreak. Dude is seriously looking poised to fire his way up the rankings and start to test some of the bigger names.

Also, Marat won. Again. I didn’t know he still likes doing that. He also DIDN’T go to the Playboy mansion. Feeling ok there buddy?

As for the ladies, Masha destroyed Nads, 61 62. She didn’t just clean up, she wiped the floor with her afterwards. The first set was an absolute demolision, and the second set wasn’t a whole lot better. Nads is ranked 10th currently. Speaking of firing up the rankings… I’m pretty pumped to see Masha crack some skulls in Toronto, she’s ruthless when she’s locked in. The tourney also loves her, as a former champion, so I’m kinda hoping they schedule her in for opening night (unlike last year, JJ and a Canadian wild card, boo!).

As everyone probably already knows anyway, Dani beat A-Rad in three, and Lena snacked on Kiri for dinner. The Sisters and Licky hit it up today, among others.

29 Jul 2009

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Still playin’ on clay… still playin’ on it…

Over in Guh-staaaaad, clay rat Igor won, as did Jeremy, who (cheers to Aleksa) “abyouzhed” the Youz. Whole bunch of dubs matches means there wasn’t a whole lot else going on there.

Pretty well everyone in Umag (great city name btw) who should have won did so, for the most part, including top seeds Koyla Bear and Ferru, as well as Old Man Ljubs and Almagro. Max Gonzo upset Troicki though, who is seeming to have a bit of a time of it of late.

Lastly, Istan”drawwideopen”bul, Dushbag served a bagel and a breadstick, and fourth seed Rezai got bumped in three. I’d like to take this time to give probs to Dushbag (pic above). I actually quite like her, despite the nickname, girl has game, and is quite good looking good too. But with a name like that… such nicknames write themselves. I actually hope she wins this thing, cause seriously, who the hell is left anyway?

Its Awfully Dark Up Here

Posted by Brodie under: Los Angeles, Stanford

28 Jul 2009

Photobucket

Rough day for the Canadians, specifically defending champ CanWoz. She fell to Dani in 3 sets. She had some serious trouble getting her first serve going, and it seemed like she was facing break points every other service game. It was too bad, cause her forehand was really cracking and she can really nail some seriously powerful winners when she’s got a point set up. Not afraid to ding some sweet angles too. She’s already lost the points from last year already, which is why she was ranked 30-somethingth going into it.

In what was the most “epic” match of the day, Kiri took out Chak in three sets, lasting 3 hours and 20 minutes, the last set being a tiebreak. There was no stream, and I can’t find a damn pic yet. That’s over 3 hours of hotness the world was denied. That’s just wrong. Damn you America and your stream FAIL.

One semi-interesting upset of the day was Sam Stosur over Domi, which wasn’t much of a match judging by the stats. Domi is pretty consistent typically, weird. Venus (knocking out another canuck, Steph Dubois), Sabine, Mono, JJ, all moved on, and sexyteam Kiri/Banana won in dubs.

As for the men, as you can guess, Fancy Dancy lost to Baggy, in a match that was actually quite close. Good to see Baggy back though.

As for the rest, hard to get very interested, especially with total stream FAIL. Ernie actually won a damn match, as did Igor K, and Tree upset 7th seed Becker. Dude missed out on serious points over the grass season, some are predicting he’ll crack the top 20 eventually. Dunno about that, seems very possible, another one to definitely keep an eye out for over this hard court season, could very likely shoot up the rankings.

Marat is currently on court, yes, in a real match. He dropped the first set 36, but won the second 63, in a total of an hour, between both sets. Damn, that’s fast. Take note, Rafa and Masha. Aaaand he just went up a break, but nothing is certain with Mr. Farewell Tour. He’s playing Ginepri, btw.

Welcome Back, Dear

Posted by Brodie under: Bepa, Gstaad, Istanbul, Umag

28 Jul 2009

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Well, the good news (for most) is that Bepa is back. The bad news is that she struggled mightily, and lost in 3 against Koryttseva, 62, 16, 64, in Istanbul. She seemed to have a real trouble with high and low balls, netting a TON in the first set. Didn’t expect her to be great coming back with tons of time off from injury but… yikes, not pretty. Patty, the second seed, was also upset in Istanbul, so the draw is looking pretty wide open at this point. Oh, and personal fave and prospect U-Rad won. Girl has serious skills, I honestly believe she has the game to crack the top 20 within the next year or so, she has an incredibly aggressive and impressive game. If you ever get a chance to see her, definitely take a peek. I’d love to see her and Sabine go at ‘er.

Gstaad was a pretty regular day, 8th seed PHM dropped out, but Stan, Jeremy, and Kief (who knocked out Chucho sadly) all moved on.

Umag got fully underway, and JCF, Melz and Seppi all moved on. Interestingly enough, the Djokovic squared brothers decided to play dubs together, against Italians Foghat and Starchild, and got knocked out 60 75. Bagel, yikes, but hey, exciting idea. Foghat also knocked out the only seed on the day, Zverev, in singles.

28 Jul 2009

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

These tournies are just… bah. It was past midnight and Masha wasn’t done, and I needed my beauty rest. So I’m saving this post till this morning, hopefully I’ll get all of em done tonight. Who knows.

Perhaps The Lonely Island said it best when they said “two, no six, no twelve, BAKER’S DOZEN!”. Here’s a look into the baked good deliveries of the day.

A-Rad started things off by touching my Banana (Sorana that is) up for a whopping bagel and breadstick 60 61, and continues her odd and unfair dominance of her. Niculescu handed Shaughnessy (whoever that is) a breadstick and a bagel, and Cznick handed Kleybs a bagel in the first set. Masha dished a breadstick in the third set against Ai to move on. Masha was definitely inconsistent, she’s added a bit of a wind up to her serve, so she’s said, cause of the shoulder, and I think she’s still working in to it, firing 4 aces against 9 doubles, and 60% on the first serve. She’s got work to do, but hey, to be expected. Other winners are pretty regular, Lena and Nads.

Are you fo realz? Only three insignificant first round matches in LA, but resident DJ and wanna-be-barrista Vince Spadea got his ass double bagelled by Kendrick. Yikes. Another homeboy, Kim, got a breadstick from Guccione (Gucci? Really?).

No one ever said the American hard court season was easy, but this was pretty well lambs to the slaughter all around. And this doesn’t even include various baked goods in the European tournies. Lots of action today in Stanford, OOP is here, and real action in LA well get underway for the men.

27 Jul 2009

Photobucket

Despite the act that I got so distracted it doesn’t matter anyway, resistance is pretty futile when you’ve got 5 tourneys this week, 3 in Europe, two on the west coast of the States, some 9 hours away from each other. So I’ll likely do two posts a day, one for Europe, one for the States. Moving on.

For the ladies in Istanbul, the only two seeds in action, Rezai, and Govortsova (I THINK I’m spelling that right, woah) both won, nothing much else happening yet.

Everyone was upset in Umag, cause it rained, I’m assuming (that or there was a very serious bomb threat) because of a national day of mourning for a train accident last week, yikes. Good on the governent to show that kind of respect though. Tthere were no matches completed today.

Gstaad, second seed Kohlswhatever continued to struggle post Davic Cup and got bagelled (yikes) and Feli continued his seemingly never ending struggle, dropping out as well. Not too many other big names in play though either. These tourneys will heat up as the week goes on, obviously.

The Changeover Podcast:

Episode #56 – Indian Wells Wrap