Archive for the ‘MaKiri’ Category

4 Feb 2013

We’re back! Between Nadal’s return, Davis Cup, Fed Cup, and all that was last week and will be this week, there was a ton to talk about. We managed to get around to most of it and pick off the juicy dark meat for you. I think we’re getting the hang of this!

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Fistful of Steel

Posted by Brodie under: MaKiri, Superhero, USO

5 Sep 2011

It just wouldn’t be a Labour Day weekend without some drama after the sun goes down and the lights come on.

What was originally scheduled as the third match on Arthur Ashe was pushed all the way to a late start on the Grandstand as to avoid delaying the night session, and the fans were treated to some tennis dessert as Samantha Stosur took on Maria Kirilenko.

The first set was all Stosur from the beginning, dominating from the baseline off the forehand wing and troubling Kiri with her big kick serve. Kiri scratched out a hold and broke Sam serving for the set, but was then broken herself, and the set was over in a blink, 6-2.

From then on, MaKiri decided it was do our die, and it was a beautiful thing to see. Instead of trying to out hit Sam from the baseline, she took any and every opportunity she could to get to the net. This often meant taking short balls inside out on the forehand and pushing Sam to her weaker backhand side. It was textbook net rushing harkening back to the often used strategy of 20 years ago and more.

The greatest part, however, was that it was working. A wonderful doubles player in her own right, it didn’t matter if it was forehand, backhand, or right at her, Kiri had all the answers at the net.

After a grind of a set, it was off to a tiebreak, one that is now already partly legendary. Set points and match points saved abound, it was full of insane winners, long rallies, and missed opportunities. 32 points, and 17-15 to Kiri.

Jacked up on adrenaline, she came flying out of the gate in the third to hold at love and take a couple points off Sam’s serve. Two nights ago, Sam played the longest women’s match in US Open history against Petrova, where she served for the match in the second and blew the tiebreak. She kept calm on serve in the third and found a way to secure the only break of the final set at 5-6 to take the decider.

Not unlike two nights ago, Sam kept her cool. Something has to be said about both her mental strength and her fitness. It was pretty clear that Kiri’s adrenaline and level of play would not hold up all set, and like a vulture swooping in to claim its prey, Sam broke early and cruised to take the match as if the second set had never happened.

Make no doubt about it, Sam is playing incredibly well right now. The errors are there, and always will be when you play the way she does. The important thing is that she’s sticking to her game plan (kick serves, finding a way to the forehand, pushing out wide and staying patient) even when things get tough, but not playing stubborn enough to not make small adjustments (such as her approach to passing shots against Kiri, specifically the third set). Her past two matches have been insanely close, but her opponents have been on their game and they’ve deserved to be.

After a great run in Toronto, and now overcoming two difficult three set matches, Sam’s confidence has to be sky high. Up against Zvonareva in the quarters and then possibly the winner of Pennetta/Kerber, she might just be the favourite to make the final.

Golden Drama

Posted by Brodie under: Aravane, Kuzonator, MaKiri, Roland Garros

28 May 2010

If you were looking for drama, you came to the… well, honestly, wrong place, save for the end of the day.

The match of the day was easily Aravane/Nads, who lived up to the billing. Monsterous hitting from both sides, which led to a lot of breaks due to a lot of huge shots off second serves.

The drama came at the end however, when Aravane had match points at 4-5 on Nads serve… lost them. And then consecutive service breaks got us all the way to 7-all in the third set when the match was called. Nads had three match points, blew the first one with a double fault, couldn’t capitalize on the other two, obviously, and a yelping, fistpumping Aravane and her crazy crowd tied things up.

I’ve gotta believe Aravane will have the upper hand, serving first and with the crowd behind her, that and Nads’ blown match points were at the end of the match, instead of earlier on. Should be a crazy finish.

The other dramatic but not so surprising match was the final fall of Kuz. We all knew it was going to happen sooner than later. Perhaps most fittingly, it comes at the hands of a fiesty Kiri, again, in three sets. Kiri nearly had it stolen from her grasp while serving for the match, but showed off some serious mental strength and massive forehands to eventually take it.

She’ll take on Franny next. A solid chance to make it into the quarterfinals.

It Was The Best Of Times…

Posted by Brodie under: Ana, Kuzonator, MaKiri, Rome

4 May 2010

First thing is first. I didn’t get to do this yesterday, and it must be taken care of.

Ana won a match over a player ranked higher than her. A recognizable one. In straight sets. Without dropping serve. I’m scared.

Resident MTR… er, Earth Ana Expert Curtis filled me in. She never faced break point, was nailing her serve, and was playing consistently and confidently. And Vesnina played like crap but… yeah whatever. Vika is going to be a hell of showdown later.

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Well what the hell girl?! Kiri’s gotten herself a solid season so far, and makes the third round of Rome after defeating Kuz in three. Keep the Kiri train rolling!

Really got to feel for Kuz though. She can have periods in matches where she’s inconsistent, but it just seems she’s permanently inconsistent and is having a hell of a time winning points on her own serve, which isn’t like her. She’s starting to look more and more like an outside shot to repeat at the French this year.

Mind Asplode

Posted by Brodie under: Australian Open, Dina, Justine, JZ, MaKiri, Nads

24 Jan 2010

But it was all going so well? What is this, the US Open?

No Justine/Kim, not even Justine/Kuz. Instead we have Nads, who has been playing incredibly solid tennis all week. I’m a little bit sad that Kuz lost… but at the same time, if you saw the first round of Brisbane, Nads and Justine were absolutely ripping the cover off the ball. Nads will be looking for revenge, and let’s be honest, probably has the upper hand. She’s been pretty consistent all tournament, and Justine, if anything, may start running out of gas sooner than later. If it’s anything like Brisbane, a match you do NOT want to miss.

And then there’s the other quarter, which was a mindfuck to start out with. Questions around Dina… Mono and JJ? Didn’t happen. So sad to see Dina go down. She apparently was in so much pain she could barely move, and it was exactly what happened in Doha. The really unfortunate part is that she’s been playing quite well, and getting progressively better. Not to mention if she were to have won, JZ is an easily beatable opponent.

And how about JZ? She’s a pesky one all right. She took out A-Bond, which is really not that huge of an upset, and will take on MaKiri next round. The two of them have been pretty solid all tournament, especially Kiri, who is out to prove something (which she did, making her first ever slam quarterfinal. Props.) I actually think that may be a really fantastic match, despite detractors likely looking to go blabbing about two unseeded players in a quarterfinal. So JZ or Kiri and Justine or Nads will be in the semis. And one of them will be in the final. I’ll let you take a moment to wrap your head around that.

An Upsetting Start

Posted by Brodie under: Australian Open, MaKiri, Masha

17 Jan 2010

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Well, for Masha fans anyway.

MaKiri came out whacking balls like I’ve never seen before, giving Masha a run for her money in the grunt department, and generally just looking as angry as she is cute. Which was glory unto itself.

She served big, got some 70% in, and won most of the points off her first serve. She totally freaked when she served for the match, but then got mega-pissed again and broke at 4-5 in the third to take it.

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While this is entirely Kiri’s win, I still don’t get Masha’s choice not to play a warm-up tournament, as she hasn’t played a legit match since October. Had Kiri not been on fire or so determined, or had she had an easier opponent, she likely could have worked her way into the draw and caught some steam. Not the case with such a seeding. She was NOT taking balls inside the baseline enough and was playing far too defensively, and made it easy for Kiri to ramp up her game. Plus her net game was all over the place, both in fundamentals and in choice.

As for the draw, Kiri could face Domi in the third round. This also opens things up for Dina big time, and now has a much more comfortable path to the quarterfinals.

Game Over

Posted by Brodie under: Bepa, JJ, MaKiri, Moscow

22 Oct 2009

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And just like that, that’s all she wrote. Bepa drops a bagel and 2 to Pironkova (seriously?) and JJ’s match becomes inconsequential, which means she will lock up the final spot for Doha.

I think, to get ready for Doha, Saturday and Sunday I’m going to do posts for the top 8 players (bottom 4 Saturday, top 4 Sunday) how their years have gone, and what kind of momentum (if any) they have going into YEC, as well as previous YEC (or WTF) experience, if any.

And since some sorta kinda other interesting stuff has been going on, I’ll wrap that up while I’ve got the time…

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Well, look what hometown girl has come flying out like a house on fire. Kiri knocked out CanWoz… le sigh. Kleybs, Franny and Dushbag all won too. JJ is on court right now, but as noted, it doesn’t even matter if she wins.

Jump On It

Posted by Brodie under: Agi, MaKiri, USO

2 Sep 2009

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Well well well. MaKiri has had quite the year in doubles, but singles… well let’s be honest, its been a bit of a joke. Its been pretty sad, cause she’s capable of much more. I saw her against Flavs in Toronto, and it boggled my mind a bit as to how she’s been doing so terribly. Flavs beat her, pretty comfortably, but MaKiri was winning some solid points and was in rallies, and Flavs is in top form, to say the least.

Today she came out with a huge win over A-Rad in 3 sets to move on to the third round. She was hitting some big serves and just taking it to A-Rad all match. Which is a great plan, because Rad is a super defensive player and really does lack a weapon. She hit a couple of massive clutch forehand winners late in the final game too which was mighty impressive. Mental toughness for the win. Quite easily the biggest win of her season this year, and she’ll take on Nails in the next round, which should be a hell of match.

Two things: Rafa is playing right now and its making me insanely happy. Vamos! Secondly, I was way too depressed to make an Ana post last night, but I’ll put one up tonight while I’m busy not paying attention to the horrid night session.

19 Aug 2009

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First off, the match started with me meeting up with sodapop and Carrie from Forty Deuce! Courtney quickly noted that the time/blogsphere space continuum had been broken, that must have been close. The ridiculousness was well under way before the match even started, as Flavs’ coach was beside the court having a smoke before the match started…

Then things REALLY got underway. The match was surprisingly close at the beginning, Kiri was really spanking the ball around rather nicely. One game went to like, seven deuces, it was insane. One point, Flavs knocked a ball wide and started yelling at her self “whyyyy Flavia whyyy”.

The two most hilarious things were both on Kiri’s serve, if I remember right. First, Kiri went to serve, and there was a huge erruption of aplause from a nearby court, and Kiri got totally surprised, and then had a look of fear on her face as she realized her ball toss was coming back down at her, but she was luckily out of the way. I kind of had a fit, it was so awkward and hilarious.

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And then not long after, a line judge was stung by a bee, on his bald head none the less, and was forced to leave the cort, or “take care of it” as the chair said. Lastly, in true Batman fashion, Flavs won the set in a total badass fashion, chasing down a Kiri lob that had beat her, and off the bounce, whacked a blind two handed backhand that somehow caught a piece of the line and went as a winner. Kiri was not impressed and tossed her racquet once she got back to her chair.

I missed the second set, because my dad and I needed to move and get some food, and we later caught the entire CanWoz/Fichman vs. Two Random Poles dubs match, which the Canadians unfortunately lost despite being up a set and a double break. Ugh.

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I won’t go on about the night matches, but I caught the second set of the Kim match, and it was a pretty routine win for her really. Can’t wait to see her play Vika tomorrow, her forehand is a crackin’.

Kuz/Sam was quite the match. Kuz really wasn’t playing that badly, but dear lord, Superhero was firing on all cylanders. I was rooting for Kuz, but by the end I had just given up and was prepared to give mad props to Sam. She was serving and volleying, coming in, drop shotting, hitting crazy angles and lines all over the place. It just really looks like she’s used some of the skills from her doubles playing and worked them into hard court singles playing so that she can really mix up her game and throw the kitchen sink at her opponent. It doesn’t hurt that her consistency and lack of errors was totally deadly.

Tomorrow on the bill, looking like Dina/Rezai on centre, Caro/JZ on court 1, Vika/Kim, possibly Caro/A-Rad dubs match, likely ReRe/SafarovaShvedova, and definitely Ana after that (last two are the night matches). Plenty of other fun matches going on too, mind you, but those will be the ones I’ll be checking out likely, definitely Caro and Ana of course. Hope you’re all enjoying the blog posts and tweeting!

17 Aug 2009

Safe to say my first experience with live tennis was filled with a whole lotta Russia! My dad and I got to the motel, which actually rules, went and got some food, and headed over to the grounds around 5:30. We wondered around, saw a little Mono/A-Bond (yes, Mono’s serve is even more insane live… Mono somehow lost too) some peeps practicing, and headed over to the grandstand, where MaKiri/Vezzie were up a set on Canadian faves Marino/Dubois…

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The second set was pretty fantastic and entertaining, and close, despite the fact that the Russians clearly had a power and skill advantage. They broke to go up 54, but the Canadians fought back and evened up, and took the set in a close tiebreak. There was a bunch of hilarious older guys in front of me that somehow all knew each other, and were commenting on volleys and serves and stuff and it was awesome. I also had to explain to two elderly ladies beside me how a super tiebreak works. They continued to talk about their friend from Newfoundland. The Russians hauled ass in the third and took it, but it was a lot of fun, and I was hella close. From there we went to the stadium…

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First off, what a fantastic stadium, wow. A lot bigger than I expected, but our seats are fantastic and COMFORTABLE. I’m used to having no personal space and a crap, uncomfortable seat with no leg room at sporting events. The seats in the stadium aren’t super comfortable but there’s tons of space and its pretty awesome. The CanWoz/Monica vs. ReRe/Navs exo was first, which was pretty funny. James Duthie was the chair, had lots of good jokes, like he was wearing ReRe’s pomegranate lip balm, Navs chipped basically everyone, and Monica let out an “oh shit” on the second point. Good times were had by all. Afterwards, Monica was inducted into the “Rogers Cup Hall Of Fame” (for what its worth) in a really nice ceremony. On to the featured match…

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Got a few really awesome pics of Masha, and it was a pretty entertaining match, if sorta predictable. Nads hit a lot of bad DFs, and 30 UEs, which sometimes killed momentum for her, really bad. Still, she fought off 4 MPs, and Masha was broken while trying to serve it out, but ended up breaking Nads to take the match. For those who saw it, lots of drama with line calls (thats what happens when everyone is paining lines) and Nouni made 3 big overcalls, which of course were challenged, and he was right 2 of 3 times, for the record. Teehee. Still, too much inconsistency from Nads, and despite some DFs from Masha, she was pretty solid and hit some pretty gigantic shots and deserved the win.

Overall, a very solid night. Tomorrow has quite a bunch of awesome matches, including Ana, Flavs/MaKiri, and Kim.

On a side note, thanks to all those who have been following and responding to my tweets. My dad has located the liquor store, my mom bought us a bottle of rum to take with us, and needless to say, my dad and I are going to be drunk as skunks (who knew skunks were alcoholics) tomorrow. Lookin’ forward to it! Go Kim! Vika/Kim in the second round must happen!

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