Archive for September, 2010

30 Sep 2010

“I missed you so much.” “I’m so sorry baby, I’m glad I’ve got you back.” “Let’s make out.”

Wait? Aga retired? Down 5-0? Crap. I believe it was because the entertainment level of the match quite literally bored her to tears. But you didn’t hear it from me.

Caro, Vika, Elena and Franny are your semifinalists in Tokyo.

28 Sep 2010

He came. He saw. He hit some tennis balls. He lost. And his wrist didn’t explode. In fact, it feels “perfect”. We’re all winners.

The first set was all you could ask from the big guy. He pounded out serves when he needed for them, went for shots when he had the chance, and ripped some forehands. Were there errors? Oh hell yes. Were there epic shots? OH HELL YES.

In particular, the forehand cross court was looking dangerous, and he hit one as a return winner that was particularly lazerbeam-ish. While the errors came due to the lack of timing, it ended up hurting his confidence level unfortunately. In cross court rallies, he wasn’t particularly interested in turning balls around going for bombs down the line. When he did, they typically worked out alright, but it was pretty obvious that he preferred to try and hit through Rochus with the cross court shot.

The second set wasn’t a whole lot different save for more Delpo errors. These were more of the silly ones; easy forehands into the net, goofy looking backhands wide. He kept fighting though, and showed shades of his normal, freewheeling-forehand self, and a bit of that great, underrated defense.

A 7-6, 6-4 loss in your first match back doesn’t look bad on paper, and rightfully so. 16 aces, 1 double fault, 65% on the first serve and 75% of first serve points won. I’m sure the error count is wicked high, but that’s beside the point. Delpo said his wrist feels “perfect”, and he looked surprisingly strong and agile out there. I’d go as far to say that physically, he’s probably around 90-95%. It’s going to be a process of getting the timing and the feel for the ball back, but hell, is there any better time to work on that than during an indoor swing where you don’t have to worry about wind and other factors?

Welcome back big guy. We’ve all missed you.

27 Sep 2010

WTA – Tokyo (Premier 5)

Official Site: Here
Draw: Here
Top Seeds:
Caro, Bepa, JJ, Sam

I’d probably have a lot to say, but the epicness of the above picture is distracting me. Um… so begins Caro’s quest for year end number 1? Yeah, start getting used to that idea. Should be some great matches, and looking forward to watching some on TTV.

ATP – Bangkok (250)

Official Site: Here
Draw: Here
Top Seeds:
WHO CARES, DELPO IS BACK… Though I think some Rafa guy is there too.

In all honesty, it’ll be interesting to see how hard Rafa pushes himself. No doubt he’ll play hard, rip the ball, and do all the regular Rafa shots. He just might not be chasing down every ball and going for every crazy angle and what have you. That being said, he’s pretty well got a cakewalk to the semis. Would love to see an Ernie/Rafa semi or a Rafa/Fer final, but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves…

ATP – Kuala Lumpur (250)

Official Site: Here
Draw: Here
Top Seeds:
Sod, Koala, Berd, Youz

Really a damn solid draw and grounp of players with a nice mix of big hitters (Sod, Berd) and more defensive players (Koala, Ferru, Marcos). Definitely worth keeping an eye on the draw later into the week; this tournament could have a pretty awesome finish.

27 Sep 2010

Yes. It’s actually happening. For those who haven’t heard, Delpo/Elf/JMDP/Bumblelf returns to us on Tuesday at 7pm local time. The even better news? That’s 8am for those of us in the Eastern time zone. Which means I don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night and be a zombie.

I’m expecting to either cry or giggle for an hour straight. And the first 1-2 big serve/forehand winner combo that he puts together may cause me to either faint or poop myself. Yeah, it’s going to be quite the match.

Vid Me Up: I Just Peed Myself

Posted by Brodie under: Elf, Vid Me Up

26 Sep 2010

Delpo kicks it off against Oli Rochus, presumably on Tuesday. I can’t wait. Can you tell?

Pic Me Up: Look What We Made!

Posted by Brodie under: Pic Me Up, Pico

23 Sep 2010

What can I say? We made a pretty gorgeous baby.

OK fine. It’s Carlos Moya’s kid. Carla. Pico and I will have such better names for our kids. Like Analine Monaco. Or Rafuan Monaco, if it’s a boy. Pfft. Carla.

23 Sep 2010

Somewhat lost in the ZOMGDELPOISBACKpalooza, some rather depressing injuries.

Gonzo has really effed stuff up with his knee and is being shut down for a whopping nine months. Really too bad. Doubt he’ll retire, but gotta feel that he’s running out of time.

JZ is done for the rest of the year with a bum wrist. Which wouldn’t be so depressing if all of the tournaments for the rest of the year weren’t in Asia. Boo. Nails needs you girl.

Oh, and Monf is out of Metz with an adominal strain that he got after jumping out of bed in excitement and sliding into his dresser. At least that’s what I’m presuming it’s from. The actual unfortunate part of this is that Monf would have been defending the Metz tourney in hometown France. Boo.

Ponder The Racket IV

Posted by Brodie under: Ponder The Racket

22 Sep 2010

– By now you’ve all heard that yes, Delpo is finally back. You’ve also probably read a few (thousand) of my tweets proclaiming my excitement. A lot of people are saying “calm down, he’s not going to win the tournament”. That’s really not the point. The dude has basically been non-existent all year. Hell, he can lose 6-0, 6-0 to number 500 for all I care. The dude is talented. I just want him healthy for next year, and out there enjoying tennis again. Seeing his name on the scoreboard will bring tears of joy.

– Poor blog. I can’t lie, I haven’t watched any live tennis since watching Rafa roll around on the ground like a baby. But, again, Elfie boy will get my nerdiness back next week. And as I’ve mentioned a zillion times, the time zone is far from generous.

– Is Steps a Davis Cup legend or what? Bloody well impressed with what he managed to put up over the Davis Cup weekend.

– If I’m Serbia, I want the final on clay. Take away the serves of Monf, Jo, Llodra (or whoever is going to play) and even things out.

– Poor Nole. Guy is going to have to play WTF and DC at the end of the year. That’s one long haul to finish off the year, never mind the mental pressure to go along with it.

– Oh Ana. My expectations are low but… c’mon girl.

– Speaking of injuries, poor Sabine. Girl has been as non-existent as Delpo this year. Would really hate to see such a bright young star with top 10 potential (in my opinion anyway) have her career take such a huge ding from injuries.

– New FD Podcast on Saturday. Pretty damn pumped. Expect ridiculousness.

– Lastly, did Andy really miss Kim or what?

20 Sep 2010

WTA – Seoul (International)
Seoul WTA tennis

Draw: Here
Official Site: Here
Top Seeds:
Nads, Pavs, Kiri, MJMS

For a lot of people, Asia is a bit of a graveyard in the tennis season. The slams are over, it’s full of workmen (or workwomen!) type players grinding it out, while bottom top 10 somethings try and squeeze their way into the YEC.

For others, it’s full of low pressure tennis and a chance at redemption for those who have been injured. This tournament alone swings up two great examples: Dinara, who missed a ton of this year with her back, and Ana, who has zero post-USO points to defend from last year because of injury.

It also presents a great chance for younger players to strut their stuff, and put in the hard work. I’m looking at you, Pavs, Halep, and Polona.

Unfortunately for us in the Eastern time zone, play starts at 11pm and runs through the wee hours of the night. No fun. I’m hoping to record some streams (fingers cross) and watch a match, or at least bits and pieces to see who’s up to what, and write some posts on it. Gotta stay in the loop!

ATP – Bucharest (250)

Draw: Here
Official Site: Here
Top Seeds:
Montanes, Mayer, Starchild, Chela

Ha, no.

ATP – Metz (250)
Metz ATP

Draw: Here
Official Site: Here
Top Seeds:
Marin, Monf, Ljubs, Richie

Frenchies! Nice to see that Richie’s rank is now high enough that he gets a respectable ranking in smaller tournaments.

Bombs Away

Posted by Brodie under: Davis Cup

17 Sep 2010

Rough day if you’re an Argie, amazing day if you’re a Frenchie.

Pico attempted to do what he does best on hard courts: grind away on serve and hope for a bit of a fluke break. He got one in the second set and couldn’t capitalize, and got one in the second and was able to capitalize. Sadly, Llodra was serving like a psycho and was dynamite when he got his first serve bombs in. Pico tried to step in more and play a bit more aggressively, but it didn’t work. He also got burned in cross court rallies. He played them too much like a clay rally, and refused to go down the line. They were typically on the ad side, which meant that changing directions for leftie Llodra was easy peasy, and he ripped a few for winners or unreturnables.

Next up was Nalby and Gael. Gael really did bring his A game, and was firing out of the blocks. He won the first set, then dropped the second. From that point on, it was Gael’s match. It was a battle of Gael’s fitness and Nalby’s mental fitness, and Nalby lost. While he pushed Monf around endlessly, played drop shots, and made him run miles after miles, Gael was more than content to do it. And when Gael got a forehand opportunity, he drained every single one. Slowly but surely, Monf started winning some of those ridiculous points, and kept on getting to the ball. Nalby’s tricks, the drop shot, firing behind Monf, whatever, eventually stopped working. Nalby started making errors, botching volleys, and it was the crack of light that Gael needed to jack the crowd up and ride the horse home.

France has never lost to Argentina, and Argentina has never come back from 0-2 down. It’s more or less sealed, unless Monf decides to go brain dead. Because even a passive Monf will take out Pico, sadly. Though again, don’t be surprised to see the Argies take the dubs tomorrow.

It was nothing but madness in Belgrade arena. Viktor was stuck in for Nole, who probably still has jetlag. He lost (on indoor hard courts? Really?) to Steps, who I had proclaimed as good as dead. What a Davis Cup legend.

Then the match I thought I was sure of turned out to be the total opposite, with Janko totally disposing of Berd. Weird. Janko has been absolutely fantastic since Wimbledon, Berd has been sub-par at best. I guess that might begin to explain it.

Strange as it is, it’s a 1-1 tie, which is what I expected. I’ll be utterly shocked if Serbia doesn’t clean house in the doubles tomorrow.

Mind The Racket Podcast:

Episode 7 – US Open Week 2 Wrap-Up