Archive for June, 2010

Let’s Get Mo To Sunday!

Posted by Brodie under: Mo, SW19

30 Jun 2010

Mo is one of the most loved umpires on the ATP. His great smile, charm, sense of humour, combined with his fearlessness to make overrules and command of the action on court.

Perhaps it was most fitting that he got to sit over the Isner-Mahut epic, in which he sat for 7 straight hours on the second day without a lunch, dinner, or bathroom break. Not to mention there were no challenges, so he had to be engaged on every single point. To even up the epicness, ESPN is now calling him “Number 1”, seeing him as one of the best, if not the best chair on the men’s side.

So how do we reward such epicness? Let’s help get him umpiring the men’s Wimbledon final on Sunday! You can go here to retweet my original tweet, which has … now been retweeted by both Jon Wertheim and Matt Cronin… and the @Wimbledon account itself!. Or if you want, retweet this entire post’s tweet. Let’s do this!

No More Love

Posted by Brodie under: Bepa, Kimmy, SW19

29 Jun 2010

Wimbledon and I have been a bit… weird over the past two years. You know those short and weird relationships?

The first week starts out great. You love spending time together. As much as possible. You can’t stop thinking about each other. You wonder where this person (grass surface) has been all your life (season). Generally speaking, there’s so much awesomeness going on that you can’t complain. You’re just soaking it up.

Then you don’t see each other for a couple of days. Maybe just one. You meet up. Ah, everything is so bright and fantastic. But then you notice something weird. Definitely not normal. What the hell was that? Must have been something… yup, was definitely something. Ah, that’s definitely not right either. Before you know it, everything has gone to hell. You feel like you have nothing in common. You’re not sure how you ever even liked this person in the first place. It’s all become such a mess, and you smack yourself for not realizing that of course, OF COURSE, it was going to end up in a mess like this.

And so goes Wimbledon. Sven grants Kim not one, but TWO gracious net cords to get the break back in the second. Bepa somehow doesn’t flinch. Kim pees in the wind. Bepa still doesn’t flinch. Second set Bepa.

Then she plays the third set as the mentally stronger opponent. By far. And wins. In the third set. In a grand slam. Quarterfinal. Get out while you still have your freedom.

The Planet Smasher

Posted by Brodie under: SW19, Venus

29 Jun 2010

I’m really only making this post to fulfill my blogger duty, (at least I’m honest) but perhaps the biggest upset of the entire tournament, men or women, comes today in the form of a straight sets slopfest off the racquet of Venus Williams.

Let’s face it, Venus is getting over the hill. She has her days were things get wonky. Particularly the serve. The graciousness that it seems to be, especially on grass, turns into a million moving parts that don’t seem to all move at the same time. Serves way wide, way long, or into the bottom of the net. The backhand timing goes. The forehand looks like a rocket launcher. It’s what happened in Australia. Typically she can figure things out, and has the upper hand on talent and power alone on grass. Not this time.

Broken Record

Posted by Brodie under: Nails, Serena, SW19

29 Jun 2010

How many times do I have to say it?

Remember that post about the Dick match? “Love or hate grass tennis, if you can serve well and give yourself a chance to win, anything can happen.” Exactly, me.

OK, remember that Masha post? Deja frickin’ vu. Nails came out playing some amazing tennis. Deep balls, low balls. Centre of the court balls to set herself up for an aggressive stance. She came back from 40-0, 4-all on Serena’s serves to win a couple big, long points. Serena then promptly fired an ace to take the game. All Nails could do was laugh.

But she refused to hold up. 40-0 on her serve. We have a friggin’ match. Then what? A wild forehand error. I exactly remember thinking “sometimes one crazy error can swing things. Hope she stays confident”. Another wild error. Two double faults. Boom, break point. Another error. 6-5 Serena to serve. Match over.

Sure, technically it wasn’t, but it was the same crap as last time. Nails came out serving well, making some in roads on the Serena serve (just like Masha) and then essentially blew up on key points in a totally unnecessary way. She basically gifted the first break of the second set with some forehands into the net, to boot. Silliness.

I know it’s sport, and “anything is possible”, but Serena pretty well has a cake walk to the big plate. Her serve has been insane, her return game has been crap. But that’s fine, because apparently everyone will just implode for you at some point anyway.

Just As Good

Posted by Brodie under: Kaia, SW19

29 Jun 2010

It’s been a tough 12 months for Kaia Kanepi. I can’t pretend to be a fan, or really know what’s been gong on, but I can tell you this:

She stank up the place in the summer of last year, couldn’t win a match, dropped all the way from the top 20 to out of the top 100 in the blink of an eye, and needed to win a couple ITF events in May to get back into the top 100.

Today she blew a third set lead to Petra Kvitova and eventually lost it 9-7 in the third.

Here’s what she has accomplished, however. She needed three matches just to qualify for the main draw. She got all the way to the quarterfinals. That means she won seven matches straight (what you need to win a slam starting in the main draw). She also needed to matches to qualify for doubles (yes, there is actually qualifying for doubles) in which she did, and actually won her first match… meaning that’s an added four matches total. Bloody hell.

So uh, welcome back? (And props to Petra Kvitova, Wimbledon semifinalist. Haha… ha….. ha…….. I’m so confused.)

Pic Me Up: Anna Kournikova Sex

Posted by Brodie under: Pic Me Up, SW19

29 Jun 2010


Nah, just kidding. I’ve missed the CrazyAnnaHand dearly. How lovely it is. Sorry Ana, you ain’t got nothin’ on this one(‘s craziness).

Oh, shit. Her and Martina “The Wrong Martina” Hingis won, 6-2, 6-4. And yes, it’s ladies INVITATIONAL doubles. Sob.

Bits And Pieces

Posted by Brodie under: Muzz, Nails, Rafa, SW19

28 Jun 2010

Andy Murray is the only man remaining to have not lost a set, AND the only man remaining to have not played a 5-setter. Well bloody hell. He looked pretty comfortable in the first set, then a bit awkward… and then won on fitness and defense. He’s got things to work on, but regardless, is still looking pretty good.

What did I say we learned from week one? That Fedal have been off, the Andys have not. So Dick goes ahead and loses, and Fed and Rafa absolutely cruise against clearly lesser opponents. Fine. The fun? They’ve both got their hands full against familiar and annoying opponents. Berd and Sod. After the match, the guy interviewing Rafa told him “good luck” on his Sod match. He replied “thanks, I’ll need it”. I guess I don’t really need to say much more.

Guess who is still winning? Nails! She’s tapped T-Haas’ old coach and fitness trainer of late, and apparently it’s working. Unfortunately for her, she gets Serena next, but don’t count her out just yet. Maria was close… and Nails took her out in Birmingham and was damn impressive. In fact, she’s probably the fourth in line to beat Serena on grass, behind Venus, Kim, and Masha.

Oh, and Kaia, Pironkova, Kvitova, and… Bepa? You’re good, aren’t you? Anyway, they’re in the quarters. There’s always gotta be one quarter where some randoms come out. I actually kinda like it.

Shell Shocker

Posted by Brodie under: Dick, SW19

28 Jun 2010

Love or hate grass tennis, if you can serve well and give yourself a chance to win, anything can happen.

And so it goes, with Rendy defeating RAndy in what is surely the bigest “what the FFFUUUUU?” result of the tournament so far, on either side.

Dick got off to a pretty routine start, grabbing a break, serving things out, first set 6-4. Lu was persistent, however, and kept serving huge, and finding ways to get aggressive. Before anyone knew what was going on, Lu took the second set tiebreak, he took the third set tiebreak. Huh?

Dick brought the heat in the fourth set tiebreak, and evened it up. A set a piece. I figured that that was the match. Dick would keep serving big, keep holding serve, and Lu would eventually crack. Not the case. Thanks to three wonky errors from Dick, and an awkward net approach, Lu found himself with the biggest win of his career, 9-7 in the fifth.

Make no doubt about it, Lu was in control on his serve, and looked a legit contender after taking the second set. His small size helped, and he actually reminded me of a lesser Roddick. He took low balls, scooped them with authority, and got ’em back deep. He was able to keep Dick pinned on the baseline and without options. From there he’d slowly creep his way in and find a way to turn it into brilliant offense. And he wasn’t missing.

That being said, it really did seem that Andy was incredibly reactive and passive, especially in those second and third sets, and while he was able to hold serve, it burned him in the tiebreaks. Even on net approaches, he didn’t really give off the vibe that he was comfortable or knew what was going on. I would have liked to see him have a few “go for broke” return games, try something new, work some drop shots… just something nuts. In his own words, his return game was “crap”.

But that’s grass court tennis. Dick hadn’t been broken since the first set against Llodra… and is then broken in 16th game of the fifth set three matches later. And loses. So it goes.

I Forgive You

Posted by Brodie under: Hanescu, SW19

28 Jun 2010

In cased you missed this wackiness from the other day…

Victor has since apologized.

“I would like to apologise to the fans, the AELTC and everyone else for my behaviour last [Friday] night at the end of my match against Daniel Brands.
“There were people in the crowd that had been insulting me since the beginning of the match. I was winning, had four match points in the third set but unfortunately I could not close it out.
“Then I got a leg injury at the end of the fourth set. I lost my control briefly in the fifth set after another insult from someone in the crowd. I should have never done that but I am human and I made a mistake.”

I’m not gonna lie. I’m a pretty competitive dude. Always have been, even as a wee one. If someone had be insulting me the entire match, I’d be pissed. If I blew match points in the third and then hurt myself, I’d probably be Marating many a racquet. And if that dude kept on insulting me? Yeah, I might do something stupid too. The “peace, I’m outta here” is a bit much (though totally hilarious).

While I do hate on bad sportsmanship, Victor has never really done anything ridiculous on court to warrant haters. Hell, he’s typically pretty emotionally bland. So I forgive you, at least. And hell, it’s kinda funny to watch.

Bloody Belgian Battle

Posted by Brodie under: Justine, Kimmy, SW19

28 Jun 2010

While a Maria/Serena match is guaranteed to be competitive and fierce (and filled with lots of strange noises) and Kim/Justine match is about as certain to have equal amounts of weirdness. In both meetings this year (Brisbane and Miami) Kim won in the third set tiebreak in matches filled with wild consistency and random spurts of brilliance.

Today was just as strange. Justine game out, working that psycho killer game, hammering forehands, backhands, coming to the net. It kept Kim off balance, hitting tons of errors, missing first serves. And Kim just kept being Kim, driving us all nuts by playing at the speed of light and sticking in a totally crap rhythm. First set Justine, 6-2, in the blink of an eye (under a half hour).

The turning point, however, was early in the first set, where Justine slipped coming to the net, lost her racquet, and fell awkwardly on her arm. She got treatment for it twice, once during the first set and once after it. All of a sudden, the backhand started going. Makes sense, it’s tough to hit a one handed backhand if your arm is hurting. It was in her head.

And just like that, Kim flipped the switch. More first serves, cracking the forehand. Looking fearless. And into the magical Kim rhythm. She took the second set easily, 6-2, and then the third set 6-3.

Q. How much did it bother you after it happened?
JUSTINE HENIN: Well, it’s very hard to say. I mean, of course, it’s been mentally not easy to deal when I fall down on the court and the few games after. It was mentally not easy.
But after that, I mean, it was warm, and I could play. I don’t really now how it affected it. So we’ll see in the next few days.

Q. Was there a particular shot that it bothered you on the most?
JUSTINE HENIN: On serve and backhand a little bit. But we’ll see.

BG said it best when he said “she’s trying to play a bigger game than her size.” Especially when the backhand isn’t work… indeed.

Mind The Racket Podcast:

Episode 7 – US Open Week 2 Wrap-Up