Archive for October, 2009

Year End Dramafest 2009

Posted by Brodie under: Agi, Serena, Venus, Vika, YEC

30 Oct 2009

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You want drama? We’ll give you some fucking drama.

The first match of the day didn’t start things off too surprisingly, Caro dropped to JJ 2 and 2, and after the gimpfest that was her last match, pretty safe to have seen that coming.

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A win by Lena would book her into the final semis spot in the Maroon Group… but she instead lost to Kuz, in what was a dead rubber (minus the cash) for her. Sure there’s ending the season on a positive note, but this is ending the season on a win… though not a tournament win. Doha is a magical land my friends.

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And then this crazy shit. Unfortunately for Vika, praying to Sven wouldn’t end up helping. She took the first set pretty convincingly, and ran up to 5-2 in the second set, and it seemed all but over. And then things changed. A-Rad had little trouble holding serve (for the most part) and Vika’s serve absolutely abandoned her, and the Iron Chef was just chasing down every damn ball out there and Vika couldn’t cope. A-Rad busted the thing out 7-5 and onto a third we went.

After a change of clothes, Vika returned kind of teary eyed, and Rad Big Sis held serve. Then Vika called a medical timeout (yes, a justified one) and shit started falling apart. She returned to the court with a huge wrap, exactly like that of Caro’s, on her left thigh and was pretty hobbly (that’s totally a word). She managed to hold serve, but things kept getting progressively worse, and the tears kept coming faster. Not to mention Agi was pushing Vika all around the court, and then busting dirty drop shots (she has to have the best drop shot in the game, I think) that Vika wouldn’t even bother running too. In the cruelest twist of Svenatarianism fate, A-Rad made a drop shot up 4-1, that just tapped the net cord and fell onto Vika’s side… in which case she decided she had had enough, and that was that. Pretty rough ending to Vika’s year, obviously. Clearly people had a point with Caro, “well she plays so many damn tournaments…” “why was she in Luxembourg last week?” but Vika hasn’t played nearly the same amount of tournaments as Caro, and suffered basically the same fate in the hot and humid weather of Doha. And that’s not even touching Dina (and the insane fact that the tenth ranked player is subbing in…). Yo WTA, your top two young stars are cramping up at the Year End Championship held in a place where you can’t even sell tickets (as seen above). Um, maybe get on that.

This of course means that Caro and JJ are into the semis (what ridiculous journeys the two of them have had) to represent the White Group, and Serena and Venus are for the Maroon Group. The semis kick off tomorrow a half an hour EARLIER than what has been going on this week (the WTA now standing for “What The? – Arbitrary”) at 4:30pm local time with JJ vs. Venus and then Caro vs. Serena. Oh, its gonna be fun.

A Whole Lotta "Wow"

Posted by Brodie under: Caro, YEC

29 Oct 2009

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That, my friends, is the true blood, sweat and tears of sport.

Caro came flying out of the gates, ripping off a bagel to Dina-bot Vera. Then up 5-2, well in control, Bepa fights her way back in, forcing a tiebreak and managing to win it. To a final set we go… after tears from both players, Caro has used all her medical timeouts at 5-4 and serving for it.

After an insanely long rally mid-game, Caro’s leg goes into a super cramp and she collapses onto the court in agony in tears. Medical timeouts are gone, and since “rules are rules”, she’s stranded out there, until (I believe) the chair comes to see if she’s even still alive. She is, and she gets up and grabs the match by the balls… by grabbing some balls. A match point blown, her parents (specifically her mom) have absolutely lost their shit on the sidelines. She wins a point off a Bepa error at deuce… and then somehow pulls it out in the third, 6-4, collapsing into more tears than all of Fed’s sobs combined. In fact she could barely walk off the court.

Just an amazing show of heart, guts, and will to win. Safe to say no one will be questioning her fighting spirit from here out (not that anyone really was). Its kind of the cherry on top of the season at this point, just incredible, and pretty damn heart warming. Will she be good to go against JJ? Maybe, maybe not (yeah, JJ would make the semis through 2 retirements if so…) but regardless, its an amazing win and a great way to potentially finish her season, if that’s what will happen. Ice bath and rest up girl, we need you tomorrow.

Sliding Into First

Posted by Brodie under: Dina, Serena, YEC

29 Oct 2009

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Hear that sound? Its the sound of your brain dripping out your ears.

Dina retired against JJ (see girl, that’s how you REALLY give away a match) and is done for the year. Epic sad face. And yes, Vera is in.

Venus won the first set against her sister… and then, yup, lost the next two. A clue, Sherlock! And since Dina is dunzos, and ReRe won a match, she gets more points, and she’s your new number 1! Strangely enough I can’t even ask “has she called it a year yet?” since she’s rather oddly playing Fed Cup (Mary Jo man, skillz that killz, all that ESPN crap worked).

Here’s what’s going down tomorrow, fun times people:

Centre Court (from 17.00hrs)
1. Vera Zvonareva vs. Caroline Wozniacki
2. Serena Williams vs. Elena Dementieva
3. Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Venus Williams

Back To The Future

Posted by Brodie under: Caro, Vika, YEC

28 Oct 2009

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It might not have been pretty (well, the play) at the end, but it was entertaining, and generally high quality, and its the future of women’s tennis, so strap in mo’ fuckers!

Just a brilliantly fun match to watch really, the two of them crawling away in the third set, not being able to hold from 3-1 until Caro is serving at 4-5 (after breaking Vika to stay in it) hits an insane running passing shot… saves a match point… hits another crazy running winner off a Vika drop shot…. well, cue Vika breakdown (smash ball into crowd, smash racquet into court… and then again on the changeover…) and we have ourselves a Danish winner at 7-5 in the third. Not to mention the insane game at 2-2 in the second set that I believe was close to 20 minutes and must have gone to like 15 deuces (I saw it up to 11). And I’m just really glad Caro started bringing the heat after barely showing up in the first set (she won 13 points and won a big fat breadstick in 27 minutes). Since this is Caro’s first match, she’ll go to 1-0 and Vika now to 1-1.

First Blood

Posted by Brodie under: JJ, Lena, Serena, Vika, YEC

27 Oct 2009

Since crap is seriously getting in my way of seeing Doha (so far) I’ll keep today to one post.

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Either a solid win for Vika… or a weak loss from JJ. The players seem to prefer the latter. “”I basically gave her everything. I beat myself.” “I’m glad she gave me the match and she was not in the mood. It worked out pretty well for me.” That last quote is so magical, because it could be Vika sarcastically ripping JJ for not giving her credit, or she could be being totally honest in like “she didn’t play that great, I won, moving on.” The first set wasn’t THAT competitive, JJ was making a lot of errors, was really distracted by people still finding their seats (all four of them) and Vika looked pretty solid, and it was all that was needed. Apparently the second was quite closer, but Vika held steady, winning 6-2, 6-3. Kinda nice to see Vika win, to be honest, really seems like its been a while since she made a serious impact on a big tournament.

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And then this crazy shit happened. I only saw part of the first set, Venus was basically yanking Lena around the court by her hair, and Lena was not mightily impressed. But like we’ve seen happen, Venus apparently dropped the level of her game, Lena caught up, and won the next two sets and the match. Concentration issues? Fatigue? Just can’t keep the power up? Venus still has a fantastic game and can hit with the best of them, but let’s be honest, has had some serious lapses this year, and I really wonder when the rumours of retirement and such will get going. Anyway, huge win for Lena.

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Mommy, I’m scared. Of course SOMEONE had to come along and ruin things. I pretty well cursed Kuz, as I started watching at the end of the game at 5-4 in the first set, she was actually doing a great job going stroke for stroke with Serena, to be honest, picking her spots wisely… but then was too Russian, blew 2 set points in the tiebreak… and yeah, it didn’t exactly end with another Russian over Williams victory. Here’s what is up tomorrow:

Around 5pm local time (10am Eastern/my time)

1. Caroline Wozniacki vs. Victoria Azarenka

2. Dinara Safina vs. Jelena Jankovic

3. Serena Williams vs. Venus Williams

I have class until 10:20, then a rehearsal at 11:30, so I’ll get to see a huge chunk of Caro’s match, and tons of Dina’s, which is wicked awesome. (And let’s be honest, I don’t much care about the last one).

Ready For Battle

Posted by Brodie under: YEC

26 Oct 2009

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As the once Rafiki once said: “…it is time”.

Things get underway tomorrow at 5pm local (10am eastern) with JJ/Vika, Lena/Vee, and ReRe/Kuz. Basically every match-up is auto-win at this point, not going to lie.

There is a chance that classes, rehearsals and crap will get in the way of my viewing, but at this point I’m pretty well expecting to catch a part of every match (if not the whole thing) and will very likely being doing a post on every single match (as well as posting the OOPs once they’re out). So basically, if you’re looking for complete Doha coverage, miss stuff, or are just looking for some bad humour, head on over here, shit shall be off the hook. And because of this ATP coverage will be little to none (tough Pico won another match on a hard court today which is pretty magical). Let’s do this.

Incoming WTF: #1 Dinara Safina

Posted by Brodie under: Dina

26 Oct 2009

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Tournaments Won in 2009: Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open, Banka Koper Slovenia Open, Women’s Internazionali BNL d’Italia Ranking Points as of October 26: 7731

The Land of Oz and American Hard Stuff

Dina’s year got off to a pretty quick start, making a run to the final of both Sydney and the Australian Open, losing to Lena and Serena respectively. In IW she made the quarters where she lost to Vika, and a confident Sammy in the third round of Miami (you can ask some certain FD Podcasters about that one).

Gettin’ Dirty

An all around insanely successful clay season for Dina, starting out in Stuttgart with a run to the final, losing to Kuz in straights. From there things got ridiculous, tearing up both Rome and Madrid beating Kuz and Caro in the respective finals. She took a full head of confidence to the French, losing a ridonk 5 games in her first four matches. Unfortunately for her, Kuz’s mental strength out did her in the final.

High On Grass

Dina played the Ordina open before Wimbledon, where she was rather ridiculously knocked out in the semis to Tappin’ Tammy Tanasugarn. Wimbledon of course ended up being a mess in the end, losing in under 50 minutes to Vee in the semis.

Hard For America

Dina actually played the Portoroz Dina Open before going to America, where she won the whole thing pretty easily. In LA she fell to JZ in the third round, but was able to put together some impressive wins over Kim and Flavs in Cincy before losing in the final to JJ. And of course in Toronto, she fell too Aravane in three sets in the second round. I saw the first set and got to hear the loss while being on court 1 watching Caro lose. Fun times. And of course the USO was an epic struggle, losing to Kvitova in the third round.

Asia and Beyond

Crap! Second round of Tokyo and Beijing to Kai-Chen Chang and Shuai Zhang. Uh, ok. Its down to Dina and Serena for who will end the year number 1… let’s hope Dina shows up.

Incoming WTF: #2 Serena Williams

Posted by Brodie under: Serena

26 Oct 2009

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Tournaments Won in 2009: Wimbledon, Australian Open
Ranking Points as of October 26: 7576

The Land of Oz and American Hard Stuff

Surprisingly enough, ReRe’s year actually started in Sydney, where she made it to the semis and lost to Lena in straights. From there of course it was off to the AO, which she won, playing role of Russian slayer, beating Kuz, Lena and Dina in the last three matches. Next up was Paris where she gave a walkover to Lena in the semis. No IW of course, and in Miami she out battled tough JZ and Nails (those were great matches) and her sister to make it to the final, where she of course was injured and lost to Vika.

Gettin’ Dirty

If there was one thing to point to to properly justify Dina’s top ranking all year, ironically enough (considering ReRe’s comments) is the clay season. Serena was basically non-existent until the French, losing in her first match of the now perma-classic Andalucia Tennis Experience, Rome, and Madrid, to Zakopalova, Patty (man that match was hilarity) and withdrawing to Franny after a set. Weak sauce. In the French she battled to a quarterfinal loss against the Kuzonator 5-7 in the third set. Which of course was entirely her playing like crap.

High On Grass

Of course, only one grass tournament, Wimbledon, which she won with an insane WTF win over Lena in the semis and then a total clusterfuck of a final against her sister. Moving on.

Hard For America

In Stanford she fell in the quarters to Superhero, and in the third round of Cincy to Mama Bammer (ginormous WTF). In Toronto she fell in straights to Lena. And of course the US Open, the line judge made her lose to Kim.

Asia and Beyond

Only Beijing, where she fell in the third round to Nads in a crazy third set tiebreak. Your guess is as good as mine as to which Serena will show up, and how badly she wants to be number 1 to finish the year.

25 Oct 2009

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Tournaments Won in 2009: French Open, China Open (Beijing), Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (Stuttgart)
Ranking Points as of October 19: 5772

The Land of Oz and American Hard Stuff

Kuz’s season got underway at the AO, blowing away a quarterfinal match to eventual champ Serena, being up a set and 5-5 in the second. (I watched the collapse while drunk at the campus bar, not pretty). She fell out in Dubai and IW in her first matches of both, to Vez and U-Rad (epic lulz forgot about that) respectively. The ship got turned around in Miami, as the Kuzonator made the semifinals where she fell to champ Vika.

Gettin’ Dirty

Kuz’s fantastic clay season started out just that, with a 10 match win streak to take Stuttgart and make the final of Rome, where she lost to Dina. After a (pretty sad) second round loss to A-Bond in Madrid, she turned around and marched all the way to a grand slam victory in Paris, this time beating Dina in the final (and you know, Serena on the way).

High On Grass

Kuz’s grass season was, well, next to non-existant, with a first round loss to CanWoz at Eastbourne and then a third round loss to Ms. Licky.

Hard For America

Kuzonator’s hard court season got off to a rough start, running into Kim in the third round of Cincy, and a hot Superhero in Toronto (I was at that match, she never really got going). At New Haven she fell in the quarters to oft dubs partner Momes, in what was apparently a totally hilarious match (one I was pretty sad to miss, safe to say). She fell to finalist Caro in the fourth round of the USO in an insanely close, third set tiebreak match.

Asia and Beyond

Kuz lost to Petkovic in the second round of Tokyo, but then ripped up Beijing winning over the Iron Chef in the final (and only losing one set along the way). Should be interesting to see if she can carry some of that momentum into Doha.

Incoming WTF: #4 Caroline Wozniacki

Posted by Brodie under: Caro

25 Oct 2009

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Tournaments Won in 2009: AEGON International (Eastbourne), MPS Group Championship (Ponte Vedra), Pilot Pen (New Haven)
Ranking Points as of October 19: 5475

The Land of Oz and American Hard Stuff

Despite an insanely successful season, Caro’s first couple of months were surprisingly pretty slow. She lost in the quarters of Auckland to Vez, and to hometown favourite JD in the third round of the Australian (and yes, I’m still bitter over getting up at 3:30 to watch Ana and Caro lost their third round matches at the SAME TIME, when they would have played each other if they won… sigh). She even lost in the quarters of Pattaya to Rybawhatever (um…). She lost in the quarters of both IW and Miami, to eventual champ Bepa, and after an impressive win over Lena, to Kuz in the extreme Florida heat (the second set was one of my faves all year, Caro took it in the tiebreak, and it was just a total competitive mental slugfest, and then dropped the third).

Gettin’ Dirty

Its fake fungus clay, but Caro won her first title in Ponte Vedra with an impressive win over CanWoz. In Charleston, Caro made the final but lost to an energized Ms. Licky. Not a huge fan of clay, she fell in the second round of Stuttgart to Mono, and only made the third round of Rome, falling to Vika. Her clay breakout came in Madrid however, making the final without dropping a set, where she then lost to Dina. Things didn’t go so well at the French, however, losing in the third round to dubs partner Sorana Banana.

High On Grass

Caro’s second title of the year came in the Wimbley warm-up tournament in Eastbourne, over Gypsy. And despite NOT being invsible at Wimbledon, she lost to an overpowering Ms. Licky in the fourth round. In between, she played the clay Swedish open and lost in the final on her birthday to MJMS, but then got over it quickly, went home, and partied it up with the Rad sisters and some other (presumably hot) Dane friends.

Hard For America

Caro’s hard court season got off to a surprisingly slow start, with an opening second round loss to Banana. In Cincy, she fell in the quarters to Lena. And then of course in Toronto, thanks to my curse, she fell to JZ in the second round in straights after being up 5-1 in the first (I got to see her crying on the golf cart afterwards with her dad, happy times!). Luckily she turned things around in a huge way afterwards, winning a rather insane 11 matches in a row, winning New Haven over Vez, and defeating Bana, Kuz and Mel on the way to her first slam quarterfinal and eventual final, where she of course lost to Mom in straights.

Asia and Beyond

Asia has been of an injury filled crapshoot for Caro, retiring in the second round of Tokyo and losing in the first in Beijing. She made the semis of Osaka losing to Sammy, and then retired in Luxembourg so her dad’s insane friends (who I had the pleasure of sitting with in Toronto) could collect tons of money, obviously.

This is Caro’s first trip to a Year End Championship, and is set to finish the year for the first time in the top 10.

The Changeover Podcast:

Episode #56 – Indian Wells Wrap