Archive for January, 2010

31 Jan 2010

Men – Johannesburg (250)

Official Site: Here
Draw: Here
Top Seeds: Gael, Ferru, The Deli Lopez, Chuds

Chances are one or two things are occurring for you right now. 1) You’re still recovering from AO and likely won’t watch any of these tournaments until later in the week. 2) You’re interested in tennis pool, have a bunch of top players that you can unload, and are looking to take 3 tops seeds in any tournament. So I’m just going to cut to the chase and mostly address the draws for the top seeds for all this crap.

I seriously have nothing to say about this draw. There is NO ONE there. Gael has been injured, so don’t pick him. If he’s on your team, keep him. I actually like Feli’s chances to win his first title of the year. You heard it here first.

Men – Zagreb (250)

Official Site: Here
Draw: Here
Top Seeds:
Marin, Old Man Ljubs, Melzer, Troicki

Not entirely sure how I feel about Marin, despite being the hometown favourite. Semifinal appearance, hop on a plane to get your ass home and start playing Monday? Dude’s played a ton already this year. Still, keep him if he’s on your team. Another hometown dude Ivo is also in his quarter. Don’t mind Tipsy as the fifth seed, if you’ve already got him. Meh. Oh, and this shit’s indoors, y’all.

Men – Santiago (250)

Official Site: Here
Draw: Here
Top Seeds: Gonzo, Pico, Bellucci, Cuevas

It’s never too early (or too late…) for a clay tourney, I always say! The Fill-In King Of Clay takes to his first clay tournament of the season as the second seed, and Gonzo is the clear hometown favourite. Did I mention it’s on clay? And it’s in Chile. So if you thought Chilean fans were nuts in Melbourne, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Women – Zippo

Nothing is going on for the women this week, but two weeks from now will be Paris and Fed Cup, and the week after that is Pattaya City. And if you’re in the pool, YES you do get to trade, so take your trades and use them wisely. Here’s the sites for Paris and Pattaya City. The top seeds are Serena (wut?), Elena, Wicky and Bepa, Nads, and Caro respectively. Feel free to talk tennis pool in the comments, here’s the standings for the MTR Tennis Pool Club after AO:

1 ally_r (managed by Alison) 7799
2 AnaTennisGirl (managed by Ana) 7740
3 repoman13 (managed by Miguel) 7673
4 Dogtown (managed by Tracey) 7504
5 downtwo22 (managed by Joe) 7319
6 MindTheRacket (managed by Brodie) 7268
7 eastcoast (managed by Renee) 7155
8 phillies07_08 (managed by Brian) 7014
9 Becky2705 (managed by Rebecca) 6820
10 RagingBitch (managed by Jills) 6685
11 JustinBartha (managed by Carl) 6639
12 bokash (managed by boris) 6479
13 Oh Dina… (managed by SA) 6381
14 RubyTheWriter (managed by Ruby) 6267
15 Atiras (managed by Sarah) 6226
16 MaruVR (managed by Maria) 6159
17 PinkPooding (managed by Vanessa) 5974
18 rileysteam (managed by Neil) 5759
19 Taffy (managed by Tiff) 5625
20 Masochistic Lions (managed by Mango) 5493
21 Moneyhoney87 (managed by Sabrina) 5484
22 MN Tennis (managed by mi) 5458
23 Beau27 (managed by Alexandra) 5382
24 Maratsmaiden (managed by Sherri) 5356
25 meretricula (managed by V) 5310
26 Curtos7 (managed by Curtis) 5275
27 tennisetviola (managed by Emily) 5150
28 ihanglikeastar (managed by rishita) 5124
29 van£ss (managed by vanessa) 5101
30 tennisdeva (managed by Erin) 5083
31 dollymix (managed by Nick) 5053
32 Parkupdates (managed by Parker) 4790
33 Stoogle (managed by Stella) 4741
34 MagicHeads (managed by Tim) 4510
35 zoejrogers (managed by Zoe) 4509
36 Twinningstea (managed by Claire) 4444
37 VikaFTW! (managed by Lily) 4370
38 jellybean221 (managed by Emma) 4043
39 TennisGrrls (managed by Sheryl) 4042
40 julesdc (managed by Julie) 4028
41 Boki84 (managed by Bojan) 3826
42 Pink Coconut (managed by Maryam) 3710
43 ravenclaw (managed by Jenn) 3205

31 Jan 2010

Ah, irony. Yesterday I heard “Bright Side” by Thornley, a song off an album I never much cared for, but has grown on me for it’s overall catchiness. Anyway, I listened to it a few times and figured I might be listening to it a whole bunch over the next week or so. You know, those catchy songs that get stuck in your head. Yeah, bad omen.

Fed or Serena win(s) got you down? Favourites all lose in the first round? Ana fan? Feeling the winter blues? Not seeing enough sunshine? Grumpy cause your sleep patterns are fucked? Look on the bright side! Here’s the top 10 reasons to hold your head high after Australia.

1) You Can Finally Start Sleeping Properly Again

Yeah, it’s a whacked out time, following this Australia stuff if you live in North America. You’ve gone to sleep early, woken up early, stayed up late… gone to sleep, woken up, gone to sleep… or just plain haven’t slept. But this shit’s all over, and you can go to bed at 12 tonight and not be afraid of missing anything.

2) You Can Have A Social Life Again?

Girlfriend getting peeved that you’re placing tennis on the top of your priorities (definitely not the case with me!) Parents wondering why they haven’t seen you done homework in a week? Skipped nights out because “otherwise I might miss something?” Take back your life, all is well.

3) The Tennis Season Can Only Go Up From Here

Right? Unless maybe you consider a Justine/Fed slam combo win worse. But seriously folks, this shit can only get better.

4) Nole Fan?

Career high ranking of number 2 baby! (Don’t worry about who he displaced.)

5) The REAL People Who Can Beat Fed Were Messed Up

The last time Roger lost a match in a slam? Out with a bum forearm… or wrist… or brain. The last time Roger lost at AO? Bum knee. Second last time Roger lost at AO? Bad clam chowder.

6) There’s Always Next Week

Chances are if you’re reading this, unlike Serena, you DO care about non-slam events. Yeah, I care if Pico wins a 250 clay tournament in Sweden. Yeah, I do care if Sabine comes out of nowhere to upset Venus and win her first title. It’s no slam, but the great thing about tennis is that things just start up anew next week, and there’s always good things to look for.

7) Indian Wells And Miami Aren’t Far Off

The greatest self proclaimed “total wannabe” will be bringing in her irreverant coverage from her blog and much like last year, it’s going to kickass. Plus, IW and Miami are huge, meaningful tournametns, and they’re like a month away.

8) Tennis Pool Is Still Fun

OK, I got my ass handed to me this week in tennis pool. But if you’re playing, the show must go on, and there’s still tons of tennis to be played. And it’s fun, dammit! Plus it gets us even more interested in smaller tournies. What’s more fun than that?

9) Fed’s Still Douchier Than Thou

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, look, there’s no secret behind it. You know, I mean, definitely a very talented player (laughter). I always knew I had something special, but I didn’t know it was like, you know, that crazy.

I definitely had to work extremely hard so I would pick the right shot at the right time. For instance, on the match point I decided to hit a dropshot. You got to be crazy to do that.

HAHAHA OH ROGER. Good to hear that he’s got a comedy career lined up after retirement. He’ll probably get 150,000 people to every show.

10) It Will Just Be Sweeter When Muzz Beats Fed At Wimbledon

Fuckin’ right, baby.

Kiss It Good

Posted by Brodie under: Australian Open, Federror, Muzz

31 Jan 2010

Where to start… Muzz came out with a defined game plan that really just didn’t seem to work. He kept playing to Fed’s backhand, a tactic that kind of worked, but because he was so focused on WHERE he was hitting the ball, he wasn’t swinging freely and focusing on HOW he was hitting it. So it goes.

The third set was a whole lot closer, and Muzz blew serving for the set as well as several set points in the tiebreak, and it didn’t really feel like a grand slam final until the business end of that set, where suddenly everyone was fully engaged and shit got loud in a hurry.

Fact is that Fed outplayed him and deserved to win. The pressure in grand slam finals just seem to be too much for Muzz, for now. It’s really just too bad, because Muzz was mostly in control in the third set and was winning more than 50% of points off his SECOND serve and was finally getting the first serve mojo going. Way too little, way too late.

Poor, poor Andy. The British press is going to rip you a new one. Again. Apparently some British sources are already starting to refer to him as a Scot… how convenient. Head up Andy, your brother knows what’s up. Your time will come.

All Wrapped Up

Posted by Brodie under: Australian Open, Justine, Serena

30 Jan 2010

Props to Serena, who wrapped another Australian Open title over Justine in three long, tough sets, and defended her title for the first time ever.

To be honest, not being a huge fan of either of these players, I was really hoping for an entertaining match, or something outrageous to happen. It wasn’t a “classic”, but it was high quality tennis and a pretty solid match overall. However, Justine’s serve was just not getting in enough and still needs some serious work on accuracy. And even after the second set win, to me, Serena still felt entirely in control. She didn’t have much trouble finishing it off.

Overall I think it’s kind of great for women’s tennis, regardless of your thoughts on these players. Serena really cut the antics down, she was often seen visibly calming herself on court, and really wanted this thing. Justine was incredibly humble afterwards, admitting an emotional couple of weeks, and how much it meant to her to be able to climb back to the top and contest for titles. The two even had a nice moment at the net.

It’s a bit of an anti-climactic end to a generally non-eventful slam as far as the women are concerned. No hometown underdog upsets, no line judge tirades, no comeback champion (almost). No Serena saving match points, no excessive grunting. And no Russians. The Australian Open last year featured 3/4 Russian quarterfinalists. The past two slams have had 3 Belgians, two Chinese, and zero Russians. Odd. But that’s ok, it’s early in the season. After Indian Wells and Miami, I’m sure they’ll all have the crazy juices going just in time for the clay season.

Like, Whatever

Posted by Brodie under: Australian Open, BryBros, L-Rob, Nestor, Zimo

30 Jan 2010

So this happened. It sucked. It still does. Whatever.

And poor L-Rob dropped the final, 6-1, 7-6, after admitting being pretty exhausted afterwards. Between about a thousand matches over in Perth for Hopman, as well as making the quarters of the women’s main draw doubles. Whatevs girl, great few weeks in Australia you put together, keep it going.

Bent And Broken

Posted by Brodie under: Rafa

29 Jan 2010

Sigh, poor Rafa. Could people’s prophecies of Rafa never being able to achieve his full potential because of his knees finally becoming true? Probably not, but Rafa has been unable to defend either of his non-clay slam titles because of his knees.

This one is a new one, and will put him out for two weeks without any activity, and then another 2 weeks for medical treatment until he gets back to matches. The bad news is that he’ll miss Rotterdam and Davis Cup (which Spain should be fine in anyway.) The good news is that there’s a relative break after AO before the big non-slams in Indian Wells and Miami. But the bad news is that he’ll be entering with zero match play, and for what it’s worth, a lot of points to defend. BUT the good news is that he SHOULD be fully healthy come the clay season. *Whisper* and try to become the first male to win any tournament (Monte Carlo) six times in a row… ever… */whipser*

Isn’t Tennis Fun?!

Posted by Brodie under: Australian Open, Serena, Venus

29 Jan 2010

Fine ESPN, you win.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m not a Serena fan. And I’m not really a Venus fan for mostly no reason but the fact that she’s Serena’s sister (totally irrational, whatever.) But there IS something a little hypnotic of watching two bashers from one womb completely dismantle their opposition. And they totally have a fun time doing it. And no, that doesn’t mean BryBros douchetastic-chest-bump kind of fun.

ESPN always babbles about how the Sisters should be the number 1 seed (they came in as the number 2 seeds with nothing but slam and YEC points) and it’s totally true. Considering they’ve racked up THAT many points from only 5 tournaments sure as hell says a lot. And just think about it. Good luck breaking Serena while her lanky sister is at the net. That huge reach… get it past her, and Serena’s back there to rip the cover off the ball and potentially murder someone at the net. I can only presume that in 20 years the anti-Svens, Fed’s kids, will harness the interconnected twin brain power of the BryBros and the female intensity and mascles of the Williamses, and no female will ever win another doubles title ever again.

29 Jan 2010

Fed put on a clinic against Jo last night, who looked down right tired and discouraged. Jo just couldn’t get the first serve slamming, he was playing about a thousand feet behind the baseilne the entire time, and couldn’t ever really dictate play. He also didn’t seem interested in running down balls, which he really needed to do… it wasn’t pretty, 2, 3 and 2. So Fed/Muzz final. Some interesting stuff Fed have to say after.

Q. Normally the guy who plays you has nothing to lose at all. Andy is in a slightly different predicament. Do you think that will affect his game at all?

ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, don’t know. I mean, look, he’s in his second Grand Slam final now. I think the first one’s always a bit tougher than the second one. But now that he didn’t win the first one, I think doesn’t help, you know, for the second one around.

Plus he’s playing, you know, me, who’s won many Grand Slams prior to that, been able to win here three times so I know what it takes and how to do it, which is definitely an advantage.

I don’t feel like the pressure’s really on me having to do it again, because I did it before. I think he really needs it more than I do, you know. So I think the pressure’s big on him.

But we’ll see how he’s gonna handle it. It’s not going to be easy for him, that’s for sure.

Q. Normally the guy who plays you has nothing to lose at all. Andy is in a slightly different predicament. Do you think that will affect his game at all?

ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, don’t know. I mean, look, he’s in his second Grand Slam final now. I think the first one’s always a bit tougher than the second one. But now that he didn’t win the first one, I think doesn’t help, you know, for the second one around.

Plus he’s playing, you know, me, who’s won many Grand Slams prior to that, been able to win here three times so I know what it takes and how to do it, which is definitely an advantage.

I don’t feel like the pressure’s really on me having to do it again, because I did it before. I think he really needs it more than I do, you know. So I think the pressure’s big on him.

But we’ll see how he’s gonna handle it. It’s not going to be easy for him, that’s for sure…

…But I usually don’t play bad matches anymore. If I do, it’s maybe a few games here and there like everybody else.

Q. When is the last bad match you played?

ROGER FEDERER: Last bad match? I don’t know. A long time ago, I think.

So… Fed is playing well. And feeling good about his chances. And apparently was beaten by Muzz when he wasn’t playing or feeling well. Except he doesn’t play bad matches. You figure it out.

Livin’ In Pain

Posted by Brodie under: Ana, Australian Open

28 Jan 2010

Apparently Ana had a torn glute and practiced a whopping 4 hours in the 10 days before AO. Just when things were getting better. Or… less horrible. No, no excuses for the toss or the serve in Brisbane. But it sure did seem like Ana was getting the mental toughness back and she was really starting to whack the ball and believe in that forehand. And of course Melbourne was an entire mess. Damn, things just seem to keep getting worse before they get better.

Bloodletting

Posted by Brodie under: Australian Open, Justine, Serena

28 Jan 2010


Let’s be honest for a minute here. A lot of us KNEW this could happen, most of us didn’t think it would. Even more of us didn’t want it to, likely (if you’re some sort of regular reader of this blog.) Maybe if you wanted a shit show. But now it’s only a day away, so better start getting used to it.

The weirdest thing is that Justine, the one who hasn’t played professional tennis in a million years, might just be the favourite. Serena needed two tiebreaks against a tough Nails, but realistically Serena was making some lazy shots and just kind of doing enough to get by. Not until the very end did she show that whacktastic competitive spirit, maybe because she knew she had to stop screwing around.

On the other hand, Justine lost a game to JZ and is sort of tearing up the court right now. Serena’s movement isn’t terrible, but it’s not at it’s greatest… though I’d be curious to see how much of a deal it would be in a final. Regardless, you know these two have been eying each other across the draw as day after day it’s come down from 16, to 8… and now there’s only two. This should be one hell of a match, and at the very least, great for women’s tennis. Bring it.

The Changeover Podcast:

Episode #56 – Indian Wells Wrap