Archive for the ‘Venus’ Category

4. Venus Williams

Posted by Brodie under: SW19, Venus

20 Jun 2011

Weapons: Huge serve, forehand, great movement on grass
Weaknesses: Health issues, hasn’t played much over the past year

Venus’ game on grass is truly the work of the tennis gods. For as awkward, lanky, and clumsy as she might look on hard courts or clay, she looks equally as graceful and smooth on grass. Her match on Monday is proof of that, driving through Akgul without facing a break point. However, she hasn’t played much over the past year obviously, and does seem to have blip matches where she can’t seem to get the parts moving in harmony, and is a mess tactically. Venus should be able to do well here, but don’t be surprised if she falls earlier than you expected.

6 Aug 2010

Let’s be honest folks. As one who has given myself up to the tennis gods and created a tennis blog, I’m a tennis nerd. I spend a lot of time watching it, reading, and being in the know. I have people’s tweets go to my phone so I’m always on top of things.

So then how ridiculous is that in one day away from the game, I can’t keep up with the amount of injuries?

Superhero Sam busted up her forcep and lost. Rusty Lleyton is out of Toronto. Venus has knee pain, and is advised not to play until said knee pain goes away, so she’s withdrawn from Cincy, and no word on Montreal (did I not totally call that she would skip out of Montreal cause her sister wouldn’t be there?). It could also be coincidence, but Tree isn’t playing Toronto and no one really seems to know why (if you do, hit me up, I haven’t been able to find out why).

There was some grumblings before the hard court season about injuries. It’s been a pretty ridiculous year for injuries, many wondered who would be out (or left…) come USO times. Obviously some huge gaps already, with Justine and Delpo missing the USO, Serena missing the whole hard court season, and a whole other slew of injuries as well as less serious ones causing players to retire from matches.

It’s been such a rough year for injuries, this 2010. I really hope the ATP and WTA sit down and have some serious talks about injuries and the tour schedule. Here’s an idea: screw with the ranking system a bit, and how points are awarded. Just an idea.

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.

23 Jun 2010

Q. John and Mahut are in an incredible marathon. You had your marathon last year. What happens when you get deep into a fifth set and it just goes on and on? Do you go to a different place? Is it harder to focus?

ANDY RODDICK: I played a couple. Obviously last year, Davis Cup with Tursunov, the El Aynaoui match way back when.
It’s so important to stay there mentally, especially on grass. You know, you got to harp on those first points of every service game, try to get that. Love‑15, 15‑30, that starts becoming dicey. So they’re doing a pretty good job of putting themselves in good position as far as serving with a lead.
Beyond that, you know, you always kind of try to convince yourself it’s only going to be another 10 or 15 minutes, even if you might not believe it at the time.

Q. What’s given you that better attitude on grass than you had earlier?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I don’t know. I think probably the biggest difference that I can think of is in the past, uhm, obviously I was probably playing the French Open, you know, about two weeks before or a week before I was starting on grass. And I think the adjustment was something that took me a little bit longer. By the time that I felt that I was, you know, feeling comfortable on clay, you know, we were moving on to different surface, grass. I think maybe it took me a little bit longer.
I think now, not being in Paris, was frustrating, but I think maybe it’s helped me to adjust a little bit faster on grass.

Q. Having that in mind, do you think it does make some sense to have a fifth set tiebreak like the US Open?
ROGER FEDERER: I think it’s perfect the way it is. It’s unfortunate these guys are going to be a little bit tired tomorrow and the next day and the next week and the next month. I’ve been following this as closely as I could. I walked on court at about 11 All in the fifth. They’re still going. This is absolutely amazing, yeah.
I mean, in a way, I wish I was them, in some ways I wish I wasn’t them. So this is a very special match. I hope somehow this is going to end. I don’t know. They’ll be fresh again tomorrow, I guess. If they have to come back, it’s unbelievable. I don’t know what to say.

Q. Kim says she likes being at Wimbledon because you can set up a family home and go around.
JUSTINE HENIN: Yeah. Yeah, I love. But I see this differently than in the past. I don’t know. It’s like I really open my eyes now. In the past, after the French, usually I’ve played well at the French, and emotionally I was coming here with a lot of pressure. I was No. 1 also at that time.
Now I see really things differently. I mean, I’ve played on Court No. 2. I thought it’s beautiful court and a lot of things have changed. But the atmosphere is just fantastic. You really feel the passion of the game.
It’s true, being at home, that gives something different. At the middle of the season, that’s what you need because it’s already a few tournaments behind you. It’s good that you feel, yeah, with my family also. My sister arrived today, so it’s a nice feeling.

1. Venus Williams

Posted by Brodie under: SW19, Venus

20 Jun 2010

Weapons: Somehow becomes graceful on grass, gigantic serve, makes the long reach work.
Weaknesses: Getting old?

It’s been said a million times. Venus’s game seems strangely awkward, being tall and lanky, and with sometimes less than stellar movement. But on grass, it somehow becomes graceful. The huge, fluid serve, the long reach… everything just works. And when she starts getting on top of the ball, she gets hammering it into the ground, and without much of a bounce, you’re way back on your heels without a shot in hell. And that’s not just the service game. The returning is nutso too. To boot, Venus is having a fantastic 2010, and is a top contender for her sixth Wimbledon title.

6 Jun 2010

Q. I think we could tell by your emotions afterwards that it was a really, really special day for you. How special was it?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah. Very important victory for me. I think one of the most important victories in my career, I think.
Yeah, I told you 100 times, but was a difficult year for me the last year. So after this tournament last year was a difficult year, and I worked a lot to be here. I was very nervous during all the tournament, because I know before that that I was ready to try to win another time, and I saw the chances there.

Q. You got Roland Garros title again and return to No. 1 ranking. So right now, which is more important for you right now?
RAFAEL NADAL: For me, I told you too, no, yesterday and a lot of times, I think that for me it’s Roland Garros. This is the most important thing for me, no? (Pointing to trophy.)
After the No. 1 is there, yes. But I was No. 1, and believe me, I am very happy. When I was crying after the match, the last thing I was thinking was on the No. 1.

Q. No party?
RAFAEL NADAL: I gonna have time, eh? At the summer at home after Wimbledon, Mallorca is unbelievable celebration to do. (Laughter.)

Q. What kind of objectives do you have for Wimbledon?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think I’ll be top seed in Wimbledon, because that’s a tournament I am very comfortable with. But please let me enjoy this day before I start talking about Wimbledon. Please give me that time to savor the moment, because it’s really a special moment for me.
Tomorrow when I start practicing in Queen’s, then we can start talking about Wimbledon. But first, let me appreciate the day. I was very fortunate my friend Marc accepted to play the doubles with me. So I’ll prepare to get ready for the tournament in Queens.

Q. Well, the crowd cheering for you.
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: Ah, si, si, si, si. They’re all my family or the person that work with me, and/or my friends from when I was two, three years old.
So I’m so, so happy. When I saw them now, I say, What are you doing here? Oh, we took a car. We came 10 hours. I said, You’re crazy. You didn’t pay us the flight, so we had to take the car. Yes, was fantastic.
And to go to the net, yes, was my tactic to keep going, to press her on the backhand, and when I had the chance to go on the forehand, because she’s very strong. My goal was to do that one and to be aggressive and to go inside.

Q. The second question: Somebody has given you your cellphone and you were on the cellphone. Can you tell us who was calling?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: Presidente de la Repubblica. (Through translation.) Come se dice? Si.

Q. What did he say to you?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: Ah, Congratulations. Enjoy this moment. It was an honor for Italy.

Q. I know you feel no matter where you play you are going to win the match, but was there something inside you when you came to Paris that told you you were going to do this?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: The true, in the true, maybe not. But inside, yes. I really always dreamed this tournament. It’s strange to say it, but when I call my daddy, he say to me, I remember you that you always dream this one. Every morning that you wake up, you work to do something like this.
So maybe it was far away in the reality, but here never far away.

Q. You said yesterday that the most intelligent will win the final, so you are. (Laughter.)
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: Yes, I am. (Laughter.)
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Mommy Say, Mummy Do

Posted by Brodie under: Kimmy, Miami, Venus

3 Apr 2010

Kim took it to a distant, struggling Venus today, 2 and 1. There are days where Venus struggles, and there are days when she really struggles. She really seems to lose focus sometimes, especially in 3 setters, and today it was like she never really could focus in.

And of course, when things are going well for Kim, they really go well. Being one of the best at getting into rhythms (for better or worse) it never really was a match. And Kim was able to just push Venus around and drive her into the ground.

Solid, solid tournament for Kim, who really only had problems with Justine. The win cracks her into the top 10.

As for Venus, she had a Serena like wrap on her right leg and a knee brace thing on the left, which might have had something to do with it. In fact, it wasn’t a whole lot unlike last year’s final with Vika and Serena, though maybe a little less hobbling. Venus wasn’t one to make excuses, though:

Q. Physically today how far off from 100% were you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Today wasn’t my best day physically. To fight errors and not feel your best, it’s a really mental battle.
But, um, mentally and physically you have to fight out there at all times.

Mad props Vee, you rule.

Planets Aligning

Posted by Brodie under: Miami, Venus

1 Apr 2010

The Venus Train just keeps on rolling, and it seems she’s only getting better as the tourney goes on. Some typical Venus concentration laps, particularly on the first serve (and some forehands into the net) but she was able to really control big points. She played aggressively the whole match, coming in all the time, and that’s when you know her game is on, and she’s feeling good. She showed off some great hands off slow, low balls from Mono that she calmly half volleyed back over to take the point. Mono played well, but just rushed a bit too much at points, and couldn’t deal with an aggressive Venus when trying to hold serve.

This sets up a great final, which will be a total slugfest either way. I’m more of a Kim fan, so clearly rooting for her, especially after the total mindfuck that was their match at the USO last year which had 2 bagels. At this point, I’m liking Venus’ chances against either. Should be a great semi tonight, and final on Saturday.

2 Mar 2010

Venus took home the BJK Cup, er… vase, last night, with an entertaining 3 sets win over Kim at Madison Square Garden (and collects a pretty $400k to go with it.)

The event was much less hyped and not as well attended as last year’s event, I think partially because of Serena not being there, but mostly because it wasn’t advertised as well and wasn’t this “big new shiny tennis exhibition in downtown New York.” I mean, Bill Clinton came last time. This year we got David Duchovny.

Two things. WHY are we not still having the YEC at MSG? Such a great, historic venue and… guh, I realize they want to grow the WTA and the game in other places, but give them a tourney. We’re talking the YEC, the players deserve a big stage, and it’s too bad it’s still not MSG.

And how about Venus? She’s one the last three things she’s entered if you include this. Seems someone might be responding to the whole “Venus is on the decline” thing…

1 Mar 2010

Damn straight people. As the Olympics end, so does a week with a billion tournaments, leaving us with an absolute lull in action. And you know Nole is excited. So excited he just wants to reach out and hug Sven. Just a bit more reach there man.

It was extra painful for him, as the final was delayed on Saturday due to rain, and resumed on Sunday. Nole being up a set naturally dropped the second one just to make sure things were extra dramatic, but pulled out the third against The Iron Commander and successfully defended his title. Good job Number 2.

Why Venus, an American, who hates clay, and is a Williams, continues to play this small Mexican clay tournament is beyond me. What’s even more beyond me is how she actually seems to really enjoy it… and you know, win it. You could teach your sister a thing or two, methinks.

Solid win by Ferru too. The real props go to both him and JCF though, who have made the finals of both the last two week’s clay tournaments, and won one each. Holy. So much for these guys being old, or on the decline, or… anything. They suddenly become guys to watch for the clay season.

CURLS. Representin’. First ATP title. Over a 31 year old Ivo. Bitches.

Aaaand the Sweaty Ponytail over Elena in Malaysia. So… yeah. See you in Bali or something.

Mind The Racket Podcast:

Episode 7 – US Open Week 2 Wrap-Up