Archive for May, 2010

31 May 2010

Some random fun quotes from the pressers of the day.

Q. It wasn’t a hostile gallery, but it was definitely a Justine gallery. How do you defend yourself against that or don’t you think about it or don’t you even hear it?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: To be honest, I didn’t even hear it. Yeah, like I said before, I’m pretty internal, I guess, and worry about what’s going on on my side of the court.
I didn’t even know what was going on, so you could tell me anything right now and I’d probably believe you.

Q. Are we going to have a Nadal/Federer final, or don’t you let yourself think that far in advance?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am in quarterfinals. I am very happy to be here, and you will have Nadal/Almagro, sure.

Q. What do you think contributed to your surge after two sets? Why did you seem to struggle in the first two sets?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I’m really not a morning person, so it took a lot of time for me to get into the rhythm and warm up basically for the match.

Q. What about the pressure for the next match? Would you say Rafa is unbeatable, or do you think you have opportunities to win this match?
NICOLAS ALMAGRO: Well, if I thought he was unbeatable I’d pack up and go home. But not at all. I know how to attack him. I’ve done so in Madrid, and at many times in the match. So I’ll continue on the same tracks.

Q. Talk about [Stosur’s] game. She’s really been coming on, including on clay.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, she’s amazing. She’s fast, strong, and has a great serve. You know, I don’t know if she has a real weakness. She plays a real all around game, so I think that’s what makes her like a real modern, really good player.

Q. It seems that you have made a lot of progress in French, so maybe is it possible for you to tell us a few words about Paris and this tournament in French?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I get really nervous, and I hate my accent. I need to work on my accent. (Speaking French) I love it when I play in Roland Garros. It’s my favorite Grand Slam, because the city is beautiful and I live here. It’s wonderful. I love Paris.

Around The Grounds

Posted by Brodie under: Roland Garros, Shvedova

31 May 2010

To be totally honest, Sam/Justine was the match of the day, and other than that there wasn’t too much madness going on, so I’ll do ’em up in one post.

The dudes were pretty predictable. The “upset” of the day was Nico knocking out an exhausted Fer, who was only able to claim a set. Monte Carlo, Rome, Barcelona, Madrid, Nice… that’s a lot of tennis. And after a week at RG, 5 sets is a lot to ask against the hard hitting Nico. Really just as simple as that.

Rafa continues to work off some rust, but some props have to be given to Thomaz, who played him tough and is an impressive youngster on clay. The Melz knocked out Oompa Loompa in four (sad face) and Djoker lost a set to Ginepri, who has had a hell of a week, but otherwise looked pretty solid. Likely looking at a Rafole semifinal, which is a tasty prospect.

As for the ladies, as noted in the live blog post, Shahar tried to go toe to toe with Serena and, go figure, it didn’t work, as she lost 2 and 2. Dani put up a solid fight against JJ in the first, but JJ is looking like the JJ of 2008, absolutely rock solid from the baseline and exhausting her opponents by having them run side to side for seemingly all match.

As for the “no name” match, Slava defeated Groth 4 and 3. Super excited about that. I saw both of her matches in Toronto, the first one she came back against Dani, down 5-1 in both sets to win 7-5, 7-5, and then gave Serena a pretty good battle on centre court. She has a pretty solid backhand and fantastic movement. Oh, and she beat JJ at the USO. The surface definitely favours JJ, but Slava has had a solid clay season, so bring it on. Imagine if she made the semis? Oh WTA.

Not exactly a bold statement, but I’m pretty sure the winner of this tournament is going to be Serena, Sam or JJ. If Sam can beat Serena, who knows. But gotta like Serena’s chances if she gets past Sam. How weird is that?

Bits And Pieces

Posted by Brodie under: Jo

31 May 2010

Lindsay Davenport is coming back! Kinda. She’s planning on play dubs with Liezel “Locker Puncher” Huber at Stanford and San Diego. The two played together for the US of A at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, so it’s perhaps fitting that it’s announced that they’re playing two American tournaments on Memorial Day.

And Jo is out for at least 10 days because of his hip (I’ve also seen groin) and will be re-evaluated and might miss the whole grass season. Crap.

31 May 2010

Insanely impressive win today for Superhero as she knocks out Justine, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4. Sam was broken in the opening game of the match, and was broken again with a couple points that she should have won. All set long you got the sense that she was slowly chipping away at Justine, and was hitting some ridiculous Rafa-like run around forehand winners. the scoreline of the first set really doesn’t reflect exactly what was going on.

Sam carried the momentum into the second set and that’s when things got messy. Sam started using the kick serve to her advantage, using her power and topspin and the errors from Justine came out in full force. As did the second serves, which Sam jumped all over and was winning most of. It felt like it was only a matter of time.

Justine wasn’t going to give up that easily, however, and came out fighting. The errors came back, though, and Sam got the early break to go up 3-2. Arms and legs of steel, nerves of… back to back double faults. Couple of errors, and Justine got things back on serve. But Sam kept pumping herself up, kept using the forehand, kick serves, and keep Justine off balance on her forehand and eventually broke at 4-all and then closed it out.

It was super impressive stuff from Sam, who really used momentum and kept her compusure when serving for the match. Justine is still playing for broke and isn’t employing a whole lot of variety. I really only remember her using the drop shot twice, and she was void of solutions for the epic Superhero serves.

Next up is Serena, which is going to be quite the battle on clay, especially because the kick serve is working, and it should be effective in throwing off Serena’s power as well. Bring it.

Live Blogging III

Posted by Brodie under: Live Blogging, Roland Garros

31 May 2010

Hey folks. Another live blog for RG, I’ll be keeping up with both matches going on and hopefully adding insight into both, though it will likely be Chatrier heavy. Feel free to leave thoughts in the comments or on Twitter!

12:11 Sorry for not returning peeps. Turns out I gotta close up shop for the day. I’ll likely do another one tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

10:21 Rafa on serve but still with a break chance. I’m gonna do a Sam post, but keep this going underneath. Might take a quick nap or something, so should be back in about 20-30 minutes. See ya then.


10:02 ZOMGZOMGZOMG. Errors from Justine, Sam breaks. Unreal. Rafa takes the first set off of Thomaz, 6-2. 7:11 the winners to unforced errors ratio, but Thomaz only had one winner.

09:58 Sam holds the flood. Goes down 0-30 but gets some big serves, pumps herself up and holds. Momentum swing = over. 4-all in the third now, Justine to serve again.

09:53 Justine holds. The crowd is clearly on Justine’s side, and she has the momentum. So… lame. Rafa up a break, 2-4.

09:51 Back to back double faults and some bad errors… Justine is handed the break back. Fine. We have a ways to go still.

09:46 LOL. Justine had some really key double faults earlier in the match, this time it’s caught ball toss and another fault and a double fault on break point… Sam to serve at 3-2!
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30 May 2010

Holy friggin’ epic quote from Justine after beating Masha.

She has beautiful qualities on clay because she plays kind of a man’s tennis. I mean, she has very heavy balls. She is a very powerful girl.

Unfortunately the part isn’t caught in the video, which is short but… JAYSUS. “She has very heavy balls”?! You can’t even claim a translation error, the thing was in English. Sweet Sven, Justine, you know a lot of things, don’t you?

Thanks to Rich for posting this hilarity.

30 May 2010

There’s been lots of epic RG karaoke vids this year, including Kuz, Sod, Jo and Muzz. But this is by far the best one. I laughed pretty damn hard. This deserves a spot on the blog.

See guys? Not being a homophobe can actually get you girls… in a strange, semi-backwards kinda way. Also, Vik totally looks like Thomaz with that wig and the epic tan. Just throwing that out there. Nole’s best impression yet. I was pretty sure that was the actual Shakira for the first half of the video.

30 May 2010

I really wanna know… AHHH WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?! Wait…

Many of us might have heard of Teimuraz Gabashvili AKA Oompa Loompa (I mean seriously, look at that picture) but not a lot of people have seen him play or really much cared. So who the hell is he? Luckily, the people at Roland Garros want you to know with this great piece.

According to Gabashvili, “I’ve had a lot of difficult moments in my career, last year especially. I was ranked No.59, and then I got sick. I had an operation, and after that I went into freefall. I lost all my matches, even in the Challenger series. But the most important thing now is that I’ve found my own style of play, and I’m more settled in my private life. I really have fun on the court, whether or not I win, and tennis is no longer my reason for living. It’s just a passion.”

I mean… aww. How can you hate on that? Guy had a rough go, was psycho, had some personal issues… and now is loving it. His first round match against Crazy “Fucking Psycho” Dani was billed as the battle of the crazies, and I wasn’t quite sure what Oompa Loompa here had done to get the reputation. More after the break.
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30 May 2010

Both of the evil ones cruised today against Stan and Marin, not surprisingly for either. Stan had his chance in the second set, blew it, and that was all. Didn’t see Sod vs. Marin but I would have been surprised to see Marin take a set.

There have been a lot of rumblings over whether or not Sod has a shot at beating Fed. Unlike what would have been pretty overwhelming for Robin last year in the final, he’s got a chance here. He’s more experienced in big matches this time around, too. Also, if you remember the third set from the final, Sod got it all the way to a tiebreak and it seemed like he was finally starting to settle in and play some great tennis, but it was just way too late.

That being said, I’d be surprised to see Sod lose in straight sets. Yeah, you read that right. The dude has been on fire of clay and I think he’s going to come out firing; no deer in the headlights this time. However, I’d be even more surprised to see Sod actually win. Sounds a little contradictory, but it’s true. Fed at a slam is Fed in 5 sets, and that’s a damn huge mountain to climb. I’m actually really looking forward to the match though. Expect lots of big forehands from Sod, countered by Fed’s (annoying) slicing, countered by Sod trying to employ a more all-court game with Fed trying to bust some angles. Should be fun.

Berd Of Prey

Posted by Brodie under: Big Berd, Muzz, Roland Garros

30 May 2010

Damn, that was some crazy, angry sex.

Bloody impressive effort from Berd today. He’s gone and had himself a pretty solid and impressive clay season, considering he’s typically thought of as a big server and thus not a huge clay favourite. He’s shown great patience, however, and built off that forehand and a great start to the season.

To be honest, I gave Muzz a better shot at this. He’s been playing better on clay, specifically taking more intitative instead of waiting for openings to present themselves. Berd pretty well hit through him and played a great clay game and took it pretty easily in straights. Of course Muzz was less than impressed with conditions and was dishing out some great verbal abuse… of himself. So that really helped.

Mind The Racket Podcast:

Episode 7 – US Open Week 2 Wrap-Up