Archive for April, 2010

Turn And Run

Posted by Brodie under: Dina, Justine, Stuttgart

29 Apr 2010

What happens when you get a whole bunch of top players and stick them in a tiny-ass draw? One of those weeks, my friends, one of those weeks.

Only Sven knows what the hell is going on in Stuttgart right now. Caro’s ankle is still messed, loses to Lucie. Vika wants to go shopping, loses to Lapuschenkova (who?). Justine beats Wicky, who just beat Franny easily a day before. JJ and Sam win, fine, but… Dinara returns, drops the second set to Agi, all seems surely lost. And then she serves a bagel. A BAGEL. She even served 64% in the first set that she won in a tiebreak. Oh Dinara, you’re the icing on the cake of this crazy week. And you even frickin’ won. Love it.

Well Blow Me Down

Posted by Brodie under: Ferru, Muzz, Rome

29 Apr 2010

I’m not entirely sure of what to think of you, Andy Murray. I missed the match, but 3 and 4 against Ferru really ain’t bad considering how crap he’s looked all week. It’s like he’s constantly asking himself “why aren’t you giving me anything to work with?” and aimlessly wondering around the baseline. Regardless, and even after serving 41%, he won 76% of points off his first serve and half off his second. Unfortunately, he only got 20 off Ferru’s serve, and didn’t break him all match. Huh. Whatever dude.

Thanks to my curse (I was pretty angry at myself for not picking Ljubs in tennis pool, so I was sending him all my negative energy to lose) Ljubs retired at 0-0. Old man just can’t keep up. Ernie won the match of the day in a crazy third set tiebreak. Jo bounced back, Sod was useless, and Fer keeps on winning. Somehow. Though I’m pretty convinced that he’s mega screwed (read: exhausted) against Nole, who took out Thomasz 4 and 4. And that Rafa dude is still that Rafa dude.

Oh, and as I tweeted earlier… who picked The Womanizer vs. The Woman Buyer as the night match? It’s like Ernie is a local hero for beating Fed and and Italian in epic matches. Maybe they just know he needs the rest after Feli got the day off. Believe in the Power Of Curls.

Everything’s Comin’ Up This Guy

Posted by Brodie under: Rafa, Rome

28 Apr 2010

So you’re playing a guy, who last year, beat Verdasco on a hard court, Nole in straight sets at the French, and was the only guy without Dick in his name to take a set off Fed on grass. He’s won two 500 tournaments in his life, and just a couple weeks ago made the quarters of Monte Carlo. You better make sure to bring your A game, right?

Nah, you let him win consecutive points twice all first set, and pommel him into the ground until he’s beating himself. 6-1, 6-3. It should probably be an event when someone manages to take a set off this freak. I haven’t the slightest idea how anyone is even going to touch him in a 5 set situation.

Slaughter In Stuttgart

Posted by Brodie under: Stuttgart

28 Apr 2010

Perhaps it’s the nature of the draw. Tons of big names, only two byes, and a small draw… naturally, theyr’e gonna start dropping, and dropping soon. There weren’t that many true upsets, but some big names did fall.

The two big ones were the only two second round matches, where Shahar knocked A-Rad in three and Nails took out Kuz in two. Nails has literally done nothing since the Australian, won one here in Stuttgart, and now takes out a struggling Kuz, who needs to get her shit together and fast if she wants to keep hanging around the top 10. Oh, and A-Rad needs a second serve, or players who are willing to hit big and take chances are just going to keep on beating her.

Technically Wicky beating Franny isn’t an upset, but Franny is solid on clay and has been all year. Vika took out (again, struggling) Flavs 1 and 4, and Lucie, Justine, JJ, and Sam all won.

28 Apr 2010

For those who don’t know, I’ve become a regular podcaster over at Forty Deuce. I haven’t really bothered posting them here, cause I figured everyone already reads that site anyway… but there are more readers here now, so I suppose there’s an outside chance that it isn’t true. I hope you all enjoy. I had some pretty epic rants.

Oh, and there’s specific mention made to the MTR Kader Remix of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” which is contained in this post. Enjoy!

28 Apr 2010

Alright everyone. Here’s the experiment! This allows me more than Twitter, let’s me go spam crazy, and let’s you all rant in the comments if you want (please do!). Feel free to spam your friends. I’ll keep it to the last 10 entries, if you want the rest, just go across the break, or click on the post title to see the whole thing. I’ll be using my time zone. Cheers!

12:12 Fer wins! Solid. Saved 6 set points in the first set, just saved a break point. Jo up a break already. Tree up a break in the second. I’m starving and need to shower, so I’m outta here. I’ll be watching, and on Twitter. Live blogging is done for today, might do some tomorrow morning. Thanks everyone, not too sure how many people are reading, so feel free to let me know if you did, liked it, or whatever, in the comments or on Twitter. See you there!

12:05 There it goes. Vika wins, she’s thrilled. Nice meet at the net. My tennis pool team is drowning in it’s own blood.

12:03 Flavs just can’t get these ad points. Fer holds, 5-2. He’s looking good. Vika fires a huge forehand, match point again. Flavs saves it though. Holy.

12:00 Vika’s losing it. Another saved. Jo/Viktor getting underway too. Fer just broke. And Flavs lands one on the line for game point. Holy crap. Nerves of steel.

11:59 Two match points Vika… Flavs saves the second one with the net cord. Wowza.

11:54 Fer is doing a great job on his serve right now, really solid. Using his shot making, not just his ability to run forever, to win points.

11:50 Vika breaks back. Oh whatever. Everything else is painfully on serve.

11:46 Flavs breaks back. Really fighting.

11:43 My poor team. Error long from Berd, Stan’s got it done. Yikes.

11:42 Nevermind. Vika breaks back. Berd makes a terrible shot selection.

Read the rest of this entry »

Oh Yeah. You.

Posted by Brodie under: Kuzonator, Stuttgart

27 Apr 2010

I actually totally forgot how sweet of a clay season Kuz had last year. I remember she won the French, obviously. But she also won Stuttgart and made the Rome finals. Damn. Especially with Dinara still hurting, she’s a big favourite to clean up this clay season. Though she’s been wickedly inconsistent so far this year. Regardless, she took out Srebotnik 1 and 2 in the beginning of her title defense.

Other winners include Nails, her first win in forever, over Errani (who has been great this year, WTF?) 1 and 1. Also, Shahar, Agi Szavay, some randoms… and yes, A-Rad beat Ana 7-6, 6-4. Go play some freaking International level tournies so you can get some wins, points, and confidence. Thanks.

27 Apr 2010

Time to start freaking out.

Fed failed to show up today against a revived Gulbis, who was hella impressive despite some understandably crazy nerves. Curls’ backhand particularly impressed me, really penetrating considering the slow clay, and he was able to push Fed around and keep him off balance. Oh, and the first serves. 71 percent of them in. Not to mention, he’s got a new team and a new approach.

“I just started concentrating more on tennis, treating it more like my job,” Gulbis said. “Last year I didn’t take it as a job. It was more like a hobby. I didn’t have a system.”

Believe in the power of curls.

Let’s be honest though, Fed played like crap in what was his first second round loss in a Masters event since 2002. Yes, 2002. Fed served 56% for the match, and a disgustingly low 46% in the third set. Shades of the US Open final against Delpo. At times he looked angry, upset, or just down right complacent and the first serve was more than passive.

“My serve was not working at all. On clay you can lose the feeling sometimes. At one point I tried to go three-quarters speed but that didn’t work, either. So I just kept going for it and hoping that it would come back eventually, and it didn’t unfortunately.”

The really crazy thing was that Fed saved match points at 4-5 and broke to get back to 5-5… and then basically gifted The Power Of Curls a break and another chance to serve it out, which he did. Not only incredibly un-Fed like, but just a real plain lack of concentration. Weird. I’ve really felt like this might be the year that Fed finally loses that slam semi-final streak… we’ll see.

Muzz beat Seppi today in straights, but dear lord, who is coaching this guy? Not hard to see why he sucks on clay. Muzz often takes the initiative and is aggressive by counterpunching on hard courts. On clay, at least today, he was satisfied by sitting a mile behind the baseline against a weaker opponent, hoping that something might happen. Dude, come in, play a drop shot, mix it up. You’re too good to not make things happen. Yeesh.

Nole beat Jeremy and Hanescu took out my poor, injured Pico in other second round action. Rusty Lawnmower upset The Youz, and Nico, Feli, Troicki, Stan, Ferru, Bolelli and Belluci all won in other first round action. So pumped for tomorrow.

27 Apr 2010

OK, so exams have totally ruined my schedule for “The Week Ahead” posts, as you might have noticed. I’m not gonna break down draws or anything, you’ve seen them, stuff has already got started. But I’ll put the sites, draws, and top seeds, just so you know, and can click on the phrase in the top left to find it quick if you need it.

ATP – Rome (Masters 1000)

Official Site: Here
Draw: Here
Top Seeds:
Fed, Nole, Rafa, Muzz, Sod, Fer, Jo, Marin

WTA – Stuttgart (Premier)

Official Site: Here
Draw: Here
Top Seeds:
Caro, Dinara, Kuz, JJ

WTA – Fes (International)

Official Site: Here
Draw: Here
Top Seeds:
CSN, Patty, AMG, Czink

I Look Up At The Sky

Posted by Brodie under: Barcelona, Fergasm

25 Apr 2010

Oh, Fernando.

An impressive win by Fergasm today, to claim his first ever 500 level title, knocking out a steadfast Sod. That’s a win over Sod and Nole over 2 weeks, a masters final and a 500 title. Wow. This coming from a guy who didn’t have much of a clay season last year. Oh, and he came back in the semis against Ferru after being down a set and a break. Hella.

The most impressive thing for me has been Fer’s mental strength that’s seemingly come out of nowhere. Even after a complete thrashing at the hands of the King in the Monte Carlo final, he’s managed to pick himself up this week. Even when down, or after errors, he can take a deep breath, shrug the shoulders, and urge himself on. Which is exactly what you need on clay to keep fighting, because anything can happen.

Let’s not get too excited, this doesn’t suddenly make him a French Open contender, and he IS a top 10 player, so it’s not like he’s a dark horse. However, something like a semifinal is entirely within his reach with guys like Kolya and Delpo out, and the fact that he can beat Nole and Sod and has the fitness for 5 setters. This clay season just got a whole lot sexier.

Mind The Racket Podcast:

Episode 7 – US Open Week 2 Wrap-Up