Saturday, 26 June 2010

Catch Up

Well court 18 is what its all about- the 17hr epic Mahut Isner first, now Hanescu (no idea) fined for spitting towards the crowd and purposefully double-faulting to lose the game, and then retiring 'injured'.  Thats about £10,000 in fines BTW. 
Ive seen the footage, and unsolicited projectile bodily fluids are always disgusting, and this is no exception.
Roddick, Federer, Nadal, Murray are through, Sharapova, Williams(s), Henin, Clijsters, as well.  And a bunch of others. who knows.
Im quite pleased I saw my lovely Murray, J play, alas he has shaved his sexy beard and was cheered on my his girlfriend.  Where do the Murray men meet these pretty ladies? At least her hair is much less annoying than Kim, bleuh.  But he lost in both the mens and mixed doubles.  Shame.  I still love him, I have not lost hope. 
He was close to beating the mens top seeds the other day, who ended up losing to Brtis Eaton and Ignot (or something), lots of Brits playing mens doubles these days.   How lovely.
I think the tournaments going quite well so far.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

The longest match finishes

Gosh, Isner finally won 70-68 in the 5th.  Crazy.  Poor Mahut, looked devastated, Im sure the interview and photos next to the score board cheered him up no end. Well they were both given crystal bowls and 6 crystal champaign flutes, what every young male athlete that has just played an 11hr match wants to lug off court. 
Mahut, who actually never looked tired unlike Isner, was back out later playering doubles with Clement, against Brits Flemming and Skupski- Flemski as they like, for some reason, to be called took the first set on tie break before it was called for bad light.  Da ja vu

My true love (Mahut is just a phase) Jamie Murray also played his mens today with Johnny Marray but lost 15-13 in the 5th (pfft, goalposts have been shifted, by which I mean if it doesnt take 3 days to finish the match youre all pussies) to the top seeds- shame, so close.  I dont know if hes playing in mixed doubles, but I hope. 

Also, heres what happens when you make everyone wear white- they all dress the same, even the ones that dress up:
So far, so tennisy.  Much better than that silly clay one. 

Wednesday, 23 June 2010


Grass is much more technical a surface, so we are told, so there are only a handful of players that know how to play on it.  And yet the quality of these first round matches at Wimbledon, the quality of the tennis and the drama are much more impressive than the other grand slams.   At the French Open it really didn’t get interesting until the fourth round, with most matches extremely on sided.  Here we have already seen Federer pushed to 5 sets by Falla, and right not I’m (we’re) watching Frenchie Mahut against the giant John Isner.  They’re two sets all, and 21-21 in the 5th.  The last set has been on for over 2 hrs, over 5hrs for the whole match.  Poor johnny looks truly exhausted dragging his gorilla arms around the court but keeping himself in with a giant serve. 
The reason IMO that we get these dramatic matches at wimby is because the grass season is short- if youre good at clay you have several tournaments to win points and get the old ranking up, then youre not gonna play another high ranked player in the first round at the French Open.  But players ranked 96 in the world may really be around top ten on grass, and you can take on the big guns and win (or give them a headache at least).  Sucks for them.  Great to watch. 
All the Brits are out apart from Andy Murray, shame for the ladies.  Heather Watson, Anne Keothothong, Elena Baltachea all had winning positions in their matches but lost anyway.  Seems like Anne and Elena are haunted by the baggage of all the matches they played and lost here (Anne’s played 11, won 1), and seems like giving the 18 year Heather wild cards into major events where she is unlikely to win (at this stage in her career) is only going to perpetuate this trend.
Venus Williams, you’ll be pleased to know, is wearing a more appropriate dress.  Although I believe this is more to do with the white colour code at Wimbledon than anything else, as it still looks like a flapper dress to me.  Jelana Jankovic is wearing a nice simple white dress with a similar wafty bottom element, and I liked the colour of Michele Larcher de Brito (or whatever her name is)- had a blue piping.   Serena’s outfit has red piping but is awful, haven’t seen Sharapova or what Federer is wearing this year- everyone else is bound to be boring. 
The Isner- Mahut match is at 23-23 now, broken the record for longest match here, and they have each served 17,000 aces.  Mahut has something of a chance though, got to deuce so Isner aced, but Mahut lobbed (over the head) the 6ft 9” American.  To which Isner Aced.  Then faulted (right into Mahut’s special place if you know what I mean, not the first time Isner’s hit Mahut), but wins the next point and Isner wins the game.   Ok its 28-28 now, and its just getting silly.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010


Well Mardy Fish lost to Sam Querry in the Queens Club final much to my disappointment.  Nerves rather got the btter of him, but hs has moved up 20 places to number 70 which is nice. Started showing ads for wimbledon and much to my dismay I felt a stirring excitment about the worlds foremost middle class tournament, same as I had felt during Queens Club- that it was lovely to see the grass.  Just seems to signify summer in so many ways.  And from next monday I will be tennising crazy.
See you there.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Queens Club- Aegon Blue this year

Well my dream of  Roddick v Gasquet final has come to nothing (alright so being in the same half they couldnt reach the final), as Roddick is put out by Sella.  Dudi Sella, the Israeli number something or other who became a super star last year when he helped his country reach the Davis Cup Semi Finals for the first time.  He played rather well and really there was not much shame for Roddick, although it is the first time he hasn't reach the semi-finals here. The most dissappointing thing, for those of us who habour hopes Roddick may win Wimby sometime, he's just not playing quite as well as last year.  Also his attitude is showing on court. Tsk.

Gasquet looked rather magnificant, sure to raise his artificially low ranking, but pulled out with a back injury.  Hope he's ok for the big one. 

All the Brits are out of course, well Murray may be a surprise (defending champ and all) but not if you saw him play- pretty miserable.  Taken out by Mardy Fish who is ranked 96 but either Castle or Lloyd said he's top 10 on grass.  Love that serve volley style of his, dancing all over the court.  Of the other Brits only Bogdanovic had a chance, and when I say a chance I mean he should have won. Never become a Bogo fan, so frustrating.  You watch him play and think simultaneously he should be in the top 20 and how on earth does he ever win matches.

Djockovic and Nadal also went out in the third round- whats happening to these top seeds, youd think it was a womens even or something.  On that subject Anne Keothothong and Laura Robson won their round matches but failed in the second in Egbaston.  Baltachea won a satellite event last week but had to pull out with sickness.  Shame. 

Well Lopez v Fish and Schuettler v Malisse in semis tomorrow...
See ya there.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Et final-ly...

Probably the weekend of chances... neither final filled up with big draw or expected names (apart from Nadal of course).  The womens final was the most interesting match up with Schiavone against Stosur.  Stosur went in the favourite, with the best form, and had chances early on when she broke Schiavone.  The Italian broke back though as Stosur faltered, Stosur looked better in the second set, although she was broken she broke back and it went to a tie break.  But it was too little too late really, as the first Italian women to win a grand slam, first Ittalian women to enter the top ten, and first women since the 1930s to win the title from outside the top ten seed Schiavone was on a roll, looking like the champion from the start of the tie break.  She won in straight sets.  It was a good match, not a great one as it would have been if Stosur had played her best and fought it out to three sets.  But offering more interest than the usual Williams Vs Williams.  And Schiavone gave a nice, happy, friendly speech afterwards that did not reference any sponsors at all. 

In the mens, and Nadal was the heavy fave but going up against the only man to beat him at the French Open Soderling, a competitive match was expected.  And so it started with Soderling having some chances on Nadals serve early on.  He didnt take them though (half Nadal's brilliance and half some frustrating errors), and it was Nadal who broke first.  Soderling didn't go away but Nadal took the first set 6-4.  The second set had a similar pattern with a competitive start and chances for Soderling but again it was Nadal that broke first, unfortunately for Soderling his impressive serving was down at 41% for this set and he was broken twice.  It would take something spectacular from Soderling now, but he didnt have it in him.  And lost in three sets.  Thats 5 French Opens for the just 24 yr old Nadal, this one without dropping a set.

So a slightly more competitive and interesting womens final, and a less competitive mens.  Federer V Nadal may be predictable but it certainly gives the crowd their moneys worth.  Hmm, I'd like to see some new names around the place personally.  
Queens Club next, tomorrow in fact.  See ya then.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Et whatevs...

I dont know what it is, but at this point in the tournament I start to get rather bored of it.  Perhaps 15 days of non stop tennis is too much? Or perhaps because my faves always lose in week one? Hard to pick between Stosur or Schiavone in tomorrows womens final, Im edging for Stosur but I couldnt tell you why.  And Soderling who beat Berdych in 5 long sets of topsy turver tennis against Rafa Nadal who surprised no one by winning against Meltzer (got to feel for the guy, 29 years old, never made it past the third round of a grand slam before now in Semis and he plays Nadal), although did surprise though commentating devils when he failed to serve out the match in the third set and allowed Meltzer to take it into a tie break, which Nadal won. 
Soderling is still the only man to beat Nadal in the French Open ever, so not sure if he exactly qualifies as the underdog? But he has more underdog potential than Rafa so I'm leaning for him.  Although its hard to dislike Nadal, he makes it so hard, and Im pretty good at disliking someone.  Compare his polite 'merci merci merci' to the ball boy getting him water and Andy Roddick's sarcastic 'its so hard to get right' to the poor french hcild who had misunderstood his english requests. Also today when asked about the final, he replied (and I'm paraphrasing here) if Soderling wins just congratulate him.  Which is just so darn nice, although may be a mistranslation?
Anyway, roll on the weekend so we can all get back to our lives...until Queens club...

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Et trieze...

Well, top seed Serena Williams (and favourite for the title after Henin was taken out by Stosur) was taken out by Stosur in the quarter finals.  Dumped out if you read the papers, of course you don't your sophisticated people of the e-world, but I'm not sure why the surprise as she had taken out some rather good players with some rather good play.  And moving into the Semis she also took out 4th seed Jelana Jankovic (shame, her pretty, sunny, yellow dress couldnt help her.  It has a matching jacket too).  For once the four women in the semi finals were not past grand slam winners, which meant it was a great opportunity for each of them.  But it rather got the better of Jelana who hasnt been in a semi since 2008 US Open when she got to the final. 
She didnt have a lot of time to prepare for her match though as the previous semi finished rather early. 

Dementieva who had beaten Petrova in the quarters looked in charge of the first set against Schiavone, who had taken out third seed Wozniaki in the quarters.  She was up a break when the poor serving came and she lost her way, and the set.  Then she retired.  All a bit of a surprised.  Turns out it was a thigh problem.
Still it will be Stosur against Schiavone.  Who would have thunk it?

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Et dix..

Well well well...
Stop the presses, or the e-presses as more appropriate...
Federer has a record of 23 consecutive grand slam semi finals, meaning his has not lost before a semi in a grand slam since 2004, well until now.  He also had a record of 12 wins and no losses against Robin Soderling, until now.  Soderling, who beat Rafa Nadal in last year's French Open (Rafa's first loss there ever) just beat Federer in four sets.  Soderling lost the first set looking like he would be swept aside fairly quickly but came back serving and hitting big and long (oh yeah, just how I like it).  Fed wasn't able to do any of the fancy schmancy stuff he's known for and as a result looked definately second best.  The better player won.
Im pleased, Feds rather tiring me, all that hanging around with Anna Wintour that did it. 
Anyway, Dementiava, Berdych, and Schiavone also won.

Et neuf...

Yes, it sounds like enough.  But theres still a week to go.
So yesterday, what happened...
Nadal won against Belucci but Belucci is a name to remember from the looks of it, and possibly for me to learn how to spell properly.  Im not sure Nadal looks anything like as good as a few years ago, but he remains the favourite for the title.  Serena Williams beat a blonde chick whos name Ive forgotten, then impressed the crowd with some lines of rehersed french (J'adore Paris, that kind of thing, not sure how impressive it is to memorise that, and she still remains the women that threatened to kill a line jugde at the US Open), and she looked good and will probably win.  Sigh. 

Novak Djokovic looked very good, apart from his terrible serve which keeps costing him entire sets and how exhausted he looks, and won against his guy whos name Ive also forgotten.  Big time drama as Stosur beat Henin, who hadnt even lost a set since 2004 (although she hasnt played since 2008) until her match against Sharapova (who I though should have won that match). She also hadnt looked that inspiring, although lady commentator said she looked good in practise.

The match I was waiting for was Jelana Jankovic, my fave a few years ago but I hadnt seen her play in ages.  She won 6-4 6-2 so I was pleased, and I thought she played very well.  She's all about defence though so for her its about not making many errors, rather than lots of flashy winners.  I rather liked her dress too.  Very yellow like the sun, with a nice ra-ra frill on the bottom without being inappropriately frilly. 
Oh, its like I was right there taking the picture.
Nope I got it online, and searching for Jelana Jankovic on google got me wondering if Ill ever find a female tennis player who hasnt down sports illustrated swimsuit photos (because the readers of sports illustrated are just a bunch of gals wondering whats new in swim wear this season?), or rather strange pictures of them lounging on sofas, or by tennis courts, in tiny shorts, or just full on nudity (a la that American lass that did Playboy... damn, I went swimming this morning and the chlorines eroded my memory).  Or for that matter a male tennis player whose girlfriend/wife hasn't done sport illustrated (Andy Roddick's wife Brooklyn Dekker) or Maxim (James Blakes wife whos name I dont know) etc.  Venus William's entirely embarrassing dress was an atempt to make tennis sexy (a totally appropriate and necessary goal I'm sure).  Tennis was once a staid, polite, clean, dull sport.  Aquaint British past time, and really rather stuck in the past.  Now its raced into the 21st century with sports psychologists and electrolyte drinks to catch up to the flashier sports, and just to make sure its totally modern its decided to reinforce some ancient gender stereotypes too.

Maybe they'll be an ugly girl in the top ten soon?