Roddick, Sharapova Stunned on Shocker Saturday at US Open
by Sean Randall | September 6th, 2009, 10:45 am
  • 272 Comments

I thought the fun would be over for the top seeds this weekend, I didn’t think it would happen literally! Yesterday at the US Open we saw another flurry of stunning upsets. Melanie Oudin, the story of the tournament, shocked 2005 US Open champion Maria Sharapova. Then it was another Georgian’s turn, 6-foot-9 John Isner, who won a 5-set tiebreak nailbiter over 2003 champ Andy Roddick.

Also in the day session both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic struggled and at times appeared to be heading for the exits. Early on Lleyton Hewitt had a lot of chances but lost in four, and the same for Jesse Witten who quickly captured the American crowd going up and early set on Djokovic but the Serb managed to scrap out a very tough four-set win.

In the evening both favorites fell. James Blake was bundled out in straight sets by Tommy Robredo and Dinara Safina finally went down, losing a third set tiebreak to Petra Kvitova. (Dinara Safina will remain No. 1 following the US Open! So too will Roger Federer.)

And I haven’t even gotten to the five set win by Fernando Verdasco over Tommy Haas and Sam Querrey’s four-set loss to Robin Soderling.

What a remarkable day, question is will be get another? My guess is no.

Today the Williams sisters and Rafael Nadal take over on Ashe center court and I like both Serena and Venus to come out in front – Venus beating Kim Clisjters in the best match of the day.

Nadal should get past fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagaro and at night I think Andy Murray beats my new favorite player, Taylor Dent.

Also today I like Gilles Simon over Juan Carlos Ferrero and his countrymen Jo Tsonga and my man Gael Monfils to join him in the fourth round advance. And I think we can put Juan Martin Del Potro in the win column as I don’t see Daniel Koellerer upsetting the Argentine.

The best match on the men’s side is probably Fernando Gonzalez v. Tomas Berdych. I think I picked Gonzalez into the semifinals at the start so on the fast court and given Berdych’s history of coming up short in big matches I’ll stick with the Chilean.

Back to yesterday, first looking at the women’s draw in the top section one of the following will be in the US Open semifinals: Kvitova, Wickmayer, K. Bondarenko, Dulko. Incredible! And that lucky player will meet in that semifinal maybe Kuznetsova, Oudin or Wozniacki (sorry Petrova!). That’s a great opportunity especially for Oudin who could easily end up in the final here if she stays composed – does anyone actually think Petrova or Kuznetsova could keep their wits against the 17-year-old from Georgia? No way!

And despite her loss Safina will hang on to No. 1 even if Serena wins the title (remember Serena won a year so she is defending all those points), and that’s complete rubbish if it plays out that way.

For the men, how many more tough losses can Roddick digest? There was the Federer epic at Wimbledon, Del Potro got the American twice over the summer (once in a third set tiebreak) and now this. Four heartbreaking losses in a span of 60 days or so. That’s going to weigh on him, it has to.

And full credit to Isner who didn’t shy away or back down from taking it to Roddick. Isner kept serving bombs, kept rolling the dice as Roddick said and it came up big in the end.

Federer’s poor play is starting to gain attention, luckily the Swiss only has Robredo tomorrow. Djokovic will also need to improve his game otherwise Stepanek will take him out tomorrow.

So I’ll say today we an catch our breath and then maybe Monday we can look forward to more upsets!


Also Check Out:
Shocker as Sharapova Withdraws from Miami, Fine on the Way?
Nadal Stunned in Bangkok; Wozniacki Takes Tokyo
Furious Roddick Gets Rocked by Igor
Shocker! US Open Listens to Players, Moves Men’s Final To Monday
Sharapova Shrieked-Down by Azarenka in Miami Final

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272 Comments for Roddick, Sharapova Stunned on Shocker Saturday at US Open

Gannu Says:

“Federer’s poor play is starting to gain attention”???
Sean – you can’t be serious!!!!…gain attention by whom? You mean other players are seeing this and feeling they have a chance or are critics thinking that Fedex is playing poorly and he has little chances of winning..We all know what happened to Del potro in Aus open post the disaster with Berdych!!! and he was down a break against Ferrer(of all the people) in the final set in Cincinnati and he went on to win that and destroy the so called nemesis(es) Murray and Djokovic.. Fedex just has to play better than the opponent and thats it.. In my opinion yesteday’s play will have zero bearing on how fedex plays for the rest of the tournament and of any fool thinks that they have a chance just because fedex played bad against hewitt and he is out of form.. Trust me they will be in for a rude shock.. That doesnt mean fedex is unbeatable.. the only point is yesterday’s match against hewitt has no implications at all!!!!


Rick Says:

Fed was playing more like an all stop train yesterday. Well, he gotta plays better than he did last night. Everyone are expecting him to win this US Open. Especially, he has an easier draw than the rest. All the current best players that you could name are on Murray’s draw. He used mono as excuse previously. Or perhaps, he could uses his twin daughters kept him up all night as an excuse for playing bad yesterday.


Voicemale1 Says:

The truth is Federer hasn’t looked all that sharp in any of his matches here. His serve has been losing the range for significant patches in all three matches he’s played – he’s dropped serve 6 times already in the first week. And against Hewiitt the “step slower” movement from most of last year and the spring this year made a reappearance. His feet were often scrambling to get into position, and he shanked a lot of shots as a result, especially the Forehand. The good news for him is that he still has time to right the ship, and if he has designs on #6 he’ll have to. His incredible summer run would have to come back to earth at some point. But again, you don’t win 15 Majors without figuring out how to fix what isn’t working.

As for Roddick, seems what really eats away most at every player is apparently starting to feast on him too: the Heartbreaking Loss. Those 4 Set Points from the Wimbledon Final’s 2nd Set Tie-break evidently are still lingering. He’s been in a host of tight matches since then and hasn’t been able to come through many of them. And winning tight ones is about being mentally tougher than the other guy. In 2007, Nadal basically sleepwalked in his matches for nine months after losing that 07 Wimbledon Final, letting 4 break points slip away in the 5th that day. Ditto Federer in losing to Simon, Karlovic and Blake after dropping the 08 Wimbledon Final – and again struggling this year until Madrid after losing in Australia. It may take a while for Roddick to get back where he was before the 09 Wimby Final.


Gallivanter Says:

I think you can catch the live action outside of USA at a site called Total Sports TV. I’m not a huge fan of Fedex, but that’s simply because I like to see underdogs win for a change. :-)

Go Isner!!


Kimo Says:

I only want two things from this US Open:

1. See Roger win his 16th major and 6th consecutive Us Open, which would be the longest streak in a single slam in the Open Era.

2. See a first time GS champion on the Women’s side, whoever she may be. Now that Safina is out, I can honestly say that all of the girls remaining in the draw are very talented.


Kimo Says:

You got a good webpage there, Gallivanter :)


margot Says:

von: I’m so sorry, I really thought Andy M had a shot at the title. As I believe you said, disappointment doesn’t really do it does it?
On another topic, I think it’s the age of my computer that’s the issue here, v. v. slow and the stream keeps freezing at crucial moments. You can imagine how frustrating that is! Trouble is I am not of the throwaway generation and while the old love still works…..Fortunately both matches, I’d be interested in, Andy M’s and Kim’s, are on so late for me, I don’t even have to try!
jane, jane: what can I say? Such eloquent, not to say elegant defence of Andy M. So it’s his teeth now we’re having a go at already. Didn’t realise that tennisx was now a beauty pageant but, since it is, I must say that Fed’s choice of handbag was just sooooo last season……BTW v. interesting article by Cheryl Murray on tennistalk, basically she says, of course Fed’s schedule wasn’t fixed but he has certainly been “coddled.”
grendel: re a draw, yes, during many matches I’ve watched I’ve thought the only just result is a draw. Even daughter, who can’t stand Fed,thought Wimbledon final 2008 merited one.
mindy: if you think Rafa’s been criticised have you READ some of the comments about Andy M?


Rick Says:

If Isner isn’t feeling his mono, he might takes a set or two from Fed too!


PietjeP Says:

Von;
Sorry to see A-Rod lose. I was in shock too! I expected him to go really deep this USO. But he will have some more good runs a la Wimbledon in the future.

Sean;
What worried me most about Fed was his footwork yesterday. Those crazy forehand shanks came from that I believe. He just didn’t miss some by an inch, but by half a mile! Interestingly; I think Rafa has a good shot this year. None of the previous thought favourites (Fed, Djoke, Roddick, Murray) has played on top level.

How do you fancy Rafa’s chances after this first week?

To all Safina bashers… it’s not her fault the women’s tour is a joke. Come on please! And I never heard anybody about the complete lack of respect Serena showed towards here in this topic. Those pressers where she talked about number 1 were a disgrace.
If she wants to be number one, then she should play more tournaments and do well and go deep in those, opposed to freewheel almost all year around except the slams. The women’s tour is somewhat strange with women retiring at 25/26 (?!?) because of no motivation, then coming back and beating top players (Clijsters now, will Henin follow?). The Williams sister’ freewheeling. Sometimes I feel they are just a bunch of money grabbers with no real love for the game.


Cindy_Brady Says:

In reality, Federer should have beaten Hewitt in straight sets yesterday. He was up a break in the 1st set and let it slip away with a ton of unexplainable errors. Not so much what Hewitt did but Federer didn’t do. A loss of concentration or concern about Hewitt.

As expected, Federer got his act together and began to dictate play the rest of the match. Cleaned up the errors to winners ratio and that’s all she wrote, folks

As far as Blake goes, I’ve never felt he was a very intelligent tennis player. As a Harvard man you would think he could formulate a higher % way of playing and getting better results. His game reminds me of that episode of the twilight zone where time stops and nothing ever changes.

As a result, he is slowly falling in the rankings and becoming less relevant month by month. But who really cares? Not me!


Shaky Says:

Rick… I’m not sure where you’re going with this mono thing. I had mono in undergrad and I basically had to pass/fail all my classes because I could barely get on my feet for a month. It’s pretty case by case but it can leave you physically weak for a long time. Maybe you should read a little bit.

I agree with Sean that Kim-Venus is going to be a good one, but I could see Dent-Murray being a better match than it looks on paper, especially if he can steal the first set and get the crowd in it: they love this guy. Dent could make it interesting if he can protect his serve. If he can get to tiebreaks he’s got a shot, right?

Also, the guy looks like he could play pro rugby. Maybe some collisions at the net and a bump on the crossover could push him over the top, he looks like he has 40 pounds on Murray. j/k


Andrew Miller Says:

Poor James Blake. If Blake had a little Robredo in him, he’d be in the 4th round. If a player is always going for a million dollar shot when a $1.50 shot will suffice, which is the Blake way of playing, the results will be spotty.

Robredo once beat Federer at the Hopman cup round robin in 2001. Overall he is zero for eight against the Roger!


Kimo Says:

PietJep:

It’s true that it’s not Safina’s fault that the women’s tour is weak, but why is she trying to ram her undeserved no.1 rank down our throats all the time? Maybe if she doesn’t speak that much about it, we’ll let it slide.

Last night she bitched about how it’s unfair she got moved to Armstrong when she’s no.1 in the world?

Well, guess what Dinara, your game sucks and no one wants to watch.


Gannu Says:

Voicemale1,PietjeP

Look… if there is a strcutural problem with the footwork (say mono affecting his footwork etc) it would deifnitely take time for fedex to come back.. but it cnat be that he has a bad footwork (or he is slower) now , wa sperfectly fine in cincy when everyone was going gaga over fedex form and then again this US open in 3 matches he seems to have lost his footwork.. i guess it is just that days form.. and I mean since this is not a strcutural issue i dont see any reason why fedex doesnt play to his full abilities when required.. fedex himself said that he unncessarily doesnt want to go for seemimgly ungettable shots and would like to conserve his energy.. Better to lose a set 6-4 in 30 mins rather than fight tooth and nail and win a set 7-6 after 1 hr…

Anyways I agree that he was very patchy in his performance against Hewitt… But still strongly believe that one shouldn’t extrapolate the past 3 matches.. In my opinion fedex was too casual in his first two matches and hence didnt mind losing his serve..


Cindy_Brady Says:

Kimo,

I didn’t know Safina Bitched about being moved. Good Grief!

All the more reason to dislike her game and personality.


Shaky Says:

Andrew Miller–Yeah I think Blake is wearing down a lot of his fans (me too, almost) with his inconsistency and, to be honest, his delusions. He was on the Sports Guy podcast this last week and he said all the right things about his upcoming opponent (Rochus, who btw nearly had him dead), but he seems delusional. He was even talking about how hard he’s been working this summer, and how he feels he’s near the top of his game and has several years of top play in him… it really disappointed me that he had this false confidence, this has been a very very bad year for him.

I love James Blake, I won’t hide that. The guy’s all class, exceedingly good with fans, and has an inspirational comeback from injury story that in my opinion is matched only by seles in my tennis memory — the guy’s been through a lot. I know he’s had little injuries this last year, and I want to see him do well… but he needs to get a Stefanki-type coach to kick his butt and make him understand that he can be more.


i love fed Says:

“It’s basically five matches in eight days,” Murray said. “The scheduling can be tough here. It’s worse for the guys who play [their
first match] on Wednesday because, in theory, they’re playing seven matches in 12 days, while the guys who play on Monday are playing
seven matches in 14. And I would sign up for the seven in 14 days.”
http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/murray-out-to-dent-taylors-..

Murray showing his potential as an A class whiner.Sounds like murray’s worried he’s going to run out of steam. i’d be worried too if i were him…


PietjeP Says:

Kimo;

Well she is nr 1 isn’t she? Maybe her bitching comes from everybody talking about it and putting her down. Come on; everybody is talking negative about her.

I think it got kick started again with those disgracefull press conferences from Serena after Wimbledon. Why don’t you hear anybody about that. I’m sorry but if you have some respect for your sport you keep that to yourself. Serena knows how it works. She knows the ranking, so she should shut up.


Kimo Says:

PietJep Said:

“Why don’t you hear anybody about that.”

Because most poeple feel Serena has a point and Safina doesn’t.

And I’ve said before on another thread that I don’t think Serena deserves to be no.1 either.


PietjeP Says:

It’s not what Serena said. It is that you just don’t say those things about your colleagues and sport… Shows zero personality and zero respect


jane Says:

Voicemale1 says “As for Roddick, seems what really eats away most at every player is apparently starting to feast on him too: the Heartbreaking Loss.”

I think you make a valid, even excellent, point here; it may be that such feelings are working at a subconscious level, or not, but when a player has had a string of close losses — like the list you gave with Rafa, Fed and Roddic, and I’d add Djoko’s losses on clay this spring, esp the infamous Madrid semi — then the player must either be haunted by those losses on an ongoing basis or they must affect play when the going gets tough in a match. All those niggling doubts come back and the player could have any number of reactions: play too passively, play nervously and make to many errors, go for too much as not wanting to risk loss again. And so on.

There is no doubt an effect, and I think you are correct to at least raise the possibility. Good post!


Kimo Says:

PietJeP:

She’s frustrated. Wouldn’t you be frustrated if a co-worker who isn’t as good as you gets promoted and you don’t?


Lenny Says:

I think Safina had a point about the change of court. Let’s leave aside arguments of whether or not she deserves to be No. 1 – the fact is, she is. Honestly, if she were American, or Blake weren’t, does anybody think that would’ve happened?


Cindy_Brady Says:

Serena should be #1. She wins the events that “historically” count – The slams. If someone were to view Safina’s record and Serena’s record 100 years from now, what would they think?

They would say what? What were they thinking? The ranking system is as flawed as Safina’s game and attitude. Adjustments should be made so it doesn’t look so bogus. Next Saturday, if Serena Williams wins and the announcers keep stating Safina is still #1 but yet Serena Williams is holding the champions trophy, yet again – How ridiculous does it all look??


PietjeP Says:

Kimo;

Exactly my point… Serena knows how it works. Maybe the Williams sisters need to show more respect to the tour and try more tournaments and take them seriously, instead of some freewheeling? They are contributing to the joke the women’s tour is! Serena knows how the ranking system works, hence she should shut up.

Or in your work; maybe that co worker is doing a lot more work. Trying to contribute a lot more. Instead of coming to the office a couple of hours a week……


sar Says:

Jane:
here is a new video of Novak in NJ giving a tennis lesson and a new imitation of McEnroe at around 7:45. Funny

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0dldQUtRbo


i am it Says:

rafa is playing much better today. he looked shaky and step slower in the last match. after watching that match i had given up all hopes on him.

in another match simon appears to be in danger zone.


Andrew Miller Says:

I agree with Shaky and with Mr. Dan Martin on James Blake.

It is impossible to be a contender without playing like a contender (not just hitting awe-inspiring shots). I am amazed by the sheer speed of James Blake and the out of this world shot making. At the end of the day, Blake doesnt win the matches he’s supposed to win. He’s not consistent in the sense that he puts the ball in play repeatedly.

He’s consistent in the sense that he always goes for far more than he needs to win points and therefore loses a lot of winnable points; he is consistent in that he plays a lot more like Ernest Gulbis (go for broke) than he does like Nicolas Davydenko (get the ball in play and work the point). He is consistent in that he is, more often than not, against a surprising variety of players, down 0-30 or 15-30 in most actual games he plays, without any apparent reason.

I think Shaky is one hundred percent right. James Blake has the game of a contender: there is nothing in James Blake’s tennis strokes that does not have “phenom” written all over it. It has to do with his choices on the court. He makes bad choices. He should be through with any Rochus in three sets with at least three breaks of serve.

But because he thinks nothing is wrong (sorry James Blake…nothing’s wrong with your tennis strokes, but something is dead wrong with your match strategy), all the opponent does is work the point a little and James Blake will self destruct.

He does need Stefanki! Or Cahill. Or someone at the USTA who will help him re-gear his match strategy and practice combinations that dont slash the tires prematurely.


Lenny Says:

As for the rankings, I have to agree with PietjeP. Is the ranking system flawed? Sure it is. Isn’t every system? But Serena has the option of making it work for her. If she wants to concentrate only on the tournaments that “matter”, that’s her choice, but then she can’t complain about it. Do you see Rafa complaining that he shouldn’t be No. 3 coz he wasn’t able to defend some of the points that got him to No. 1? Nope. Coz that’s the way the cookie crumbles. You have to live with it.


jane Says:

PietjeP,

Imagine if Nadal went around in every press conference and said “we all know who the REAL number 2 (or even 1) is! It’s only because I was injured that Federer and Murray moved up, etc, and so on” LOL! As if we could ever imagine him saying that.

Even when Djok in the past, Murray more recently, and JMDP too, have talked about moving up in the rankings, about their goals to do better, they get attacked. And really, there’s nothing wrong with them working to do just that! Nor is it Fed or Murray’s fault that Rafa wasn’t around to defend Wimbledon or lost early at the FO due to his bad knees.

That crap about Safina being a “terrible” player is simply unfounder. Otherwise, HOW COULD SHE GET TO #1 in the first place? She must’ve done something right?

Oh yeah, she competed in tournaments, not only slams, ahem, and she won a bunch of them; plus, until this event, she has gotten deep in every slam, the AO (finals), French (finals, Wimbledon (semis), so it’s not like she’s sitting around. Nor is it like she’s entering a ton of small scale tournaments to accumulate points.

I already told Kimo that Safina has only played 2 more events than Serena all year, it’s just that she’s won non-slam events, whereas Serena is 0 for 16 at her last WTA non-slam events in terms of titles.

Safina is not even a favorite of mine, yet I can’t help but think this endless bashing of her is pointless. She doesn’t talk abut the number 1 thing all the time -THE JOURNALISTS do! Anyone with any savvy can figure that out.

Safina is tortured about it, and I think it even affects her results because every time she walks on the court she feels she has to prove herself. Not only that, she really is a bit of a choker on the big stage.

But how many slam champions have been chokers? On the womens and mens tours? But then have overcome that?


Lenny Says:

Whoa Jane! Looks like we made the same point at the same time. :)


i am it Says:

i agree with the author that the best match of the day is gonzalez-berdych’s.


i am it Says:

simon retired. ferrero advances to the 4th round.


jane Says:

blah, so sad that Simon had to retire. I like JCF, but I was hoping for your sake Simon might get that JMDP rematch here; I also think he would’ve had a better chance at pulling off an upset against him. I hope you can find someone else to cheer on!


jane Says:

Lenny, cool – great minds and all.


i am it Says:

rafa and almagro broke each other 4 times in 8 games. that’s insane.
almagro is hitting twice as many winners. can rafa match his aggression? we will find out.


jane Says:

sar, thanks. Nice to see Djoko having fun anyhow, come what may. It was also great to see him tough out that win yesterday. He certainly was not playing well, but he dug deep when it mattered. Hopefully, too, it was a bit of a “wake up call” and he plays well against Step. If he gets through that, it only gets tougher from there.


i am it Says:

now 5 times in 9 games?


Kimo Says:

Ferrero is reinventing himself this year. He’s playing his role as an elder very well. Good for him.


PietjeP Says:

Meanwhile a very strange match between Almagro and Nadal… looks like serving is a disadvantage :)


jane Says:

Wow – what is with Rafa and Amagro’s serving?


i am it Says:

and 6 times in 10 games. that means each has held his serve only twice.
i was mistaken about rafa. he might exit today if he does not serve a little better.


i am it Says:

7 times in 11 games and counting.


Lenny Says:

Geeez! Are they gonna find any excuse to reference “that French Open match” Every. Single. Time. Rafa steps on court now?! Sample of the amazingly insightful commentary.

“6 breaks of serve. Is that unusual?”

“Yeah. Especially in a men’s match, and for Rafa.. I mean, he does occasionally get broken – like by Soderling at the French – but he generally holds pretty often”

They PAY these guys to commentate???!! * Rolleyes *


Veno Says:

PietjeP,

you’re combining 2 differing subjects here imo.
1) Safina’s nr 1 ranking
2) Serena’s lack of committing to the smaller tourneys

Both subjects are rightfully discussed but
fact remains, Serena’s lack of respect aside, Safina is a joke as number 1, even if she has a good point that she doesn’t make the ranking system.

You can defend Safina all you like, and it’s good a lot of people do, fact remains if you’re a global number 1 in anything, you can expect to come under scrutiny. Especially when you’re a controversial number 1 to say the least.

What’s truly cooking my noodle is the way she handles herself through the ordeal. She has to have a masochistic personality because she herself exacerbates and magnifies all her hardship to a large extent. Not only on the tennis court(oh my, prime example yesterday yet again) but also through the media.

Safina said the following, which maybe isn’t the smartest thing to say in reply to the whole number-1 ordeal she’s going through…

“Nobody will take it way from me,” Safina said of the ranking. “There are so many players who won a Grand Slam, and where are they now? Nowhere.

“Some of the players, you don’t even know that they won a Grand Slam. You look and say like, ‘Oh my gosh, she won?’ ”

Why oh why does she insist on making things even harder for herself! So are we to believe she doesn’t care if she wins a Slam because she is number 1 and nobody can take that away from her?
Remarkable!


Shaky Says:

Looks like Nadal is actually going for shots, like that backhand down the line at love — he’s usually the guy who relies on consistency and the other guy screwing up, so this is kind of weird to see him blowing easy shots.


i am it Says:

it is going to be 8 out of 12?
if rafa cannot serve out the set, he is in serious risk of elimination.


i am it Says:

rafa finally holds.


i am it Says:

back to berdych-gonzu match.


Veno Says:

1 break-0 breaks or 5 breaks to 4 break…still the reults of the set is that Rafa is 1 set up.

But indeed weird to see women-like scorelines lol


jane Says:

Veno,

“1) Safina’s nr 1 ranking
2) Serena’s lack of committing to the smaller tourneys”

These two things are inextricably connected though, for a couple of reasons (1) becayse Serena made them so when she kept talking about the “real number 1″ since post-AO and all year since, and (2) because if your number 2, Serena’s lack of committment, were to change, then likely #1 would chance. In other words, if Serena committed herself to winning a couple of Masters Series events, she would likely be number 1 and all this would be for naught.

As for Safina’s personality, she’s a tortured soul, like her brother, but not as “naturally” talented, so she’s doubly tortured because she has to work so hard to do well. And those comments to the press? No wonder she’s getting testy by now. There’s no doubt it can and probably will backfire, and the comment with the “my gosh” in it was dumb, but I think she’s just being defensive after the sh*t she’s taken all year.


jane Says:

p.s. Veno – hi!


i am it Says:

gonzu is duper explosive going for broke on every return and it’s paying off. gonzu is slightly better than berdych in defense. that should give gonzu the win.


jane Says:

I’d lean towards Gonza in that one too, esp. since he’s up a set. He may just over-power Berd.


Veno Says:

Hi Jane, true, Safina could use some positive backing around her and some external love too.
Intricable or not, Safina is the only one who can do something about it.
You think Serena loses any sleep over the critique she geta for not respecting Safina or the smaller tourneys? I can tell ya, she sleeps like a rose.

So unless Safina herself can turn things around, and I hope she does, she’ll have to endure all this hardship. But to repeat myself, why are people feeling so sorry for her? I don’t.

She should have a sit-down with Roddick and let him explain to her that although it’s tough(in his case losing a heartbreakr at Wimby) life is pretty good if you’re a pro tennis player.


Veno Says:

Gonzu? Gonza?
Hmm, I’ll pick Gonzo….
Anyone want Gonzi or Gonze?


Veno Says:

Mean while Johnny Mac and his sidekicks Carillo and Robinson are starting to annoy the bejeezers out of me again.

I can talk a good game of jibberish, but sheesh, the nonsense coming out those three……


Cindy_Brady Says:

Jane,

You know how Safina can get everyone off her back.

WIN A SLAM. Simple as that.

Until then, she deserves all the sh*t she is getting. No one forced her in the public eye to become a famous tennis player and make millions. She decided that. The price you pay for putting yourself in the public eye.

She is a #1 joke and an embarrassment to the WTA. But I guess, they are stuck with it since they put the system in place. Fantastic system you have there WTA. One woman wins all of your major premiere events and is ranked #2 – AND the woman who wins all the warm up events is #1.

Outstanding!!


Veno Says:

oh god, it’s even worse…It’s Dick Enberg!!!


PietjeP Says:

No Veno… you are wrong. Appearantly they belong together in all discussions lately between ranking, slams, Serena and Safina.

Point of focus is a slam win. If Safina had won 1 slam, albeit 10 years ago, and she choked even now. Would people then shut up? I think no…

Let’s leave a slam win out of the discussion. Because if that is the main requirement; then all ranking systems should stop per tomorrow and ranking should be made only by results in the 4 tournaments per year.

Who else, besides Serena, has more ranking points from the last 4 slams then Safina? I think no one. Fact. So she is clearly the 2nd best player in the world, judging solely by slams. So that narrows the discussion down between Safina and Serena.

Are the ATP & WTA tour more then just 4 tournaments? Answering that question will close topic I think…


Veno Says:

Rafa will get it in straights…off to the Gonzo match!


PietjeP Says:

Maybe the focus should change onto Serena… about her being a freewheeler and not putting enough serious work and effort into it. Because if she would; she would be number 1 now. She has the game and everything to sweep most tier 1 tournaments.

How about that for a swing :)


jane Says:

PietjeP “Let’s leave a slam win out of the discussion. Because if that is the main requirement; then all ranking systems should stop per tomorrow and ranking should be made only by results in the 4 tournaments per year.”

Exactly right – if none of the other tournaments counted then this conversation would be moot.

How is the WTA system different than the ATP?

Murray deserves to be #2; Safina has earned #1. They have won enough events/points and consistently gone deep in the majors, and hence are where they are in the rankings.

Kuzy used to always choke, but she has two slams now. Or what about Lendl, or Novotna, or …

And there have been other women tennis players at number 1 without having won a slam – for instance Mauresmo.

Anyhow I think I am off this one for a while…


Kimo Says:

People shouldn’t feel sorry for any no.1, man or woman, and the fact that people feel “symathetic” towards Safina is a big part of the problem.

People didn’t feel sorry for Sampras, Agassi, McEnroe, Lendl or even Roddick when they were no. 1. They sure as hell didn’t feel sorry for Nadal and Federer when they were no.1 (Fed still is). So why should we feel sorry for Safina? Because she tries so hard? so what? All no.1 players try hard, including the effortless Fed.


Shaky Says:

Best Dick Enberg-CBS moment today:

“Rafa doesn’t hit a lot of aces, only 2 today as you can see.”

(graphic pops up simultaneously that shows both players at 4 aces)

… did I see incorrectly, or am I right to wonder if Dick may need to be put to bed?


grendel Says:

Often, I get enraged with Berdych, because he beats himself. Today, however, Berdych is being beaten by the better player. Berdych not doing bad. Gonzalez inspired at the critical moments.


Veno Says:

PietjeP, I don’t agree.

The media and we as tennisfans combine both issues.
We use the 1 in argumentation against the other and vice versa. Still 2 different issues though.

1 being Safina’s controversial number 1 postion not winning a Slam.
2 being Serena only committing to only the Slams and winning the last 3 but not taking the smaller WTA events seriously.

We infere that they’re non-mutually exclusive

Fact remains that Safina’s a joke number 1, in small part due to the ranking system, but ever so more because she’s a just above average player getting the most points possible through hard work and trying to get everything out of her mediocre talent and feeble mentality.

She won Rome, Madrid and Portoroz(!) this year.
And getting far or being consistent in Slams just doesn’t cut it my friend. Winning in Slams is all that matters. Ask any champion or “just-not” champion.

Did you see her match yesterday? The 72nd ranked player was by a mile the better player. More variety, more skill, better technique.
She made the whole match. Through winners and UE.
Safina looked at unease, scary, with a “I see dead people” expression on her face.

And furthermore, she does NOT enjoy herself on a tennis court whatsoever. And please, don’t start by saying that’s because of the pressure and the media crap she has to deal with.
If there’s one place she can forget about all that IS on the tennis court. Tennis isn’t really a thinking exercise. Just getting out there and do what you love!

All Safina did was retrieve, retrieve, retrieve. Admitted she is very good at it, but it’s all she can do. She’s too heavy, has zero touch, no variety. I applaude her fighting spirit, but I expect more than only a fighting spirit from a number 1.

Safina was the one on the ropes the whole match, even in the second set which the Tsech totally blew(Safina had 3 winners to win a set 6-2 after trailing 2-0)

And we’re talking a 3rd round match playing against Kvitova, or Ova-Kitten as Jane calls her. Who do you say? In Safina’s quarter all other seeded players were OUT by round 2. Well, time for her to pick up the bat and capitalize!!! What does she do? The opposite…

Cut her some slack? Hell no. What the hell is everybody’s problem, sentimentally feeling sorry for a millionaire tennis player who is average at best? Are you kidding me?

Furthermore, I think Serena could handle herself better too in the media, but hey, She’s an 11 time Slam winner, who grew up in Compton, LA.

What the Williams sisters, mainly because of Richard, have done is REMARKABLE to say the least. And they are both true champions, not only in tennis, but in life!

And to blame Serena because Safina is a joke number 1? I won’t join in, no thank you…

Now, discussing Serena’s lack of commitment to the WTA and the smaller tourneys is another matter


Andrew Miller Says:

Shaky: I agree on Enberg.

In fact, the sooner he exits the sport, the better. I am still shocked at how Dick Enberg gets to be in the commentator booth – I am absolutely sure that he pays to be there.

It’s certainly not talent: Enberg doesnt have the skill to call a tennis match, and he has done it poorly year after year.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Jane,

Mauresmo won Wimbledon and the Australian. She had far more credentials than Safina does.

Who cares about the other smaller tournaments during the year. They are mere warm up events leading to the slams.

I’ll assure that Pete Sampras would trade all his master series events wins for 1 French victory.

That’s how important they are.


jane Says:

“a just above average player getting the most points possible through hard work and trying to get everything out of her mediocre talent and feeble mentality.”

And this is bad why?

She is NOT trying to get “the most points possible” either; please people, have a look at the WTA rankings and see which players have played more events? I’ve brought this up numerous times and NO ONE who is putting down Safina ever addresses it.

Those who have entered more tournaments than Safina would be the likes of Jankovic, Dementieva and Wozniacki, to name a few.

The other question that arises, and the reason I am making this post after sayinf I’d leave the topic, is this – according to the ATP AND WTA ranking systems what does it MEAN to be number 1 in tennis?

1. The player with the most natural talent, or the hardest working and most committed?

2. The player with the most slam wins?

3. The player who is most consistent throughout the tour and/or all events entered?

4. The player with the most points? Which is tantamount to point 3.

How or why is Safina a “joke” number 1 if she wins Masters Series and gets to finals and semis of slams? Surely she can’t be that bad? She’s just a choker and hasn’t found her way outta that yet. BUT I listed a number of previous champs who were chokers but overcame it.

I just don’t get the wrath and/or put downs.

I don’t feel “sorry” for her personally. Obviously her life is not too freaking shabby. However, I do feel the press harass her a lot, perhaps incited by Serena;s comments. And I am merely defending against the bashing. It seems unfounded.

We will see if Safina ever wins a slam. I am betting she will. But she needs a better coach first.


Kimo Says:

Veno, a usual, a very well-written post :)

You said everything I wanted to say much better than I could.


jane Says:

But Cindy Mauresmo won those AFTER she became number 1. Maybe Safina will win a slam too. And it’s not that I disagree with you that she needs to do so. It’s just that it’s not her freaking fault her consistent wins and deep runs have taken her to number 1.


Kimo Says:

jane, you make very good points, but the fact remains that Safina is a mediocre player. Like Veno said, yesterday she was playing the no.72 player and she was outplayed in every single category.


jane Says:

Safina has a counter-puncher, defensive style of play; yes, she could add more attack, a better serve and sounder focus.
BUT I repeat, if people have an issue with her as a player it is really a SEPARATE issue from her ranking based on the way the ranking systerm works.

All she has done to get there is be consistent, win, get deep, work hard. That’s not so bad.

To me, this is a matter for the WTA / ATP ranking systems – NOT the player herself.


Shaky Says:

“Who cares about the other smaller tournaments during the year. They are mere warm up events leading to the slams.

I’ll assure that Pete Sampras would trade all his master series events wins for 1 French victory.”

You can’t believe this. If this were true we wouldn’t give two licks about anyone’s head to head record outside slams (and I don’t just mean Fed-Nadal, though that’s an obvious one), because we would just view them as a meaningless sideshow.

This attachment to the slams is, especially on the women’s side, a total figment. Realistically it’s just one of many metrics for comparing people against a standard. (Even this is imperfect because the slams themselves have changed (particularly surface-wise).) Just something that was conjured up to increase interest, to get media and public attention. Saying they’re the only important thing because… they are… is not making an argument for why they are.

Even if you believe it is “understood” that does not make it so, ESPECIALLY on the women’s side where they still play best of 3. What exactly makes the grand slams more important on the ladies’ side? The fact that they get an extra day of rest between rounds and therefore any fitness disadvantage is leveled?

The slams are worth more points by a not insignificant margin, but the idea that this makes them manifold more valuable to a female tennis player’s legacy is kind of puzzling when you think about it.


Andrew Miller Says:

Sorry, but Safina earns her ranking points.

The Williams sisters are welcome to be the top ranked players after they win the same number of points.


jane Says:

Kimo says “yesterday she was playing the no.72 player and she was outplayed in every singl”

Ah and this has NEVER happened in the ATP – the number 1, lets say Fed, has NEVER been beaten soundly by someone ranked considerably lower than him? Hmm… I wonder!

It happens. Sometimes people who are lower ranked play a good match and people who are higher ranked play like crap.

That;s a separate issue.


Kimo Says:

jane, Safina has a lot to add.

She needs to add more attack, better serve, better touch, more variety, better strategy, coping with different styles of play, and the swagger and ego of a no.1. By ego I don’t mean she shuold be arrogant, but she shuold be confident that if she is on her game she can beat anyone.

With her current game, if she thought like that, she would only be kidding herself.

And btw, I don’t like Serena’s arrogance, but by winning slams, she has shut me up.


jane Says:

Excellent point Shaky – the women play best of 3 in ALL events, and get MORE REST at SLAMS. LOL! Hence maybe the better players are actually the ones who win the masters events. LOL!!


Kimo Says:

jane said:

“Ah and this has NEVER happened in the ATP – the number 1, lets say Fed, has NEVER been beaten soundly by someone ranked considerably lower than him? Hmm… I wonder!”

Well, his current record at slams since Wimbledon 2004 agianst players outside the TOP FIVE is 122-0.I rest my case.

Like I told u before, don’t bring Fed into the discussion if u wanna defend safina, it only makes her look worse.


Shaky Says:

Did not mean to submit that so long. My point is: the womens’ game’s connection to the slams is sort of funny, and the arguments for slams being soooooo much more valuable legacy wise (well beyond the point differential) are kind of unsatisfying.

If Serena were half the professional she likes to think she is, she would be at least competitive in the week-to-week fields she enters, not just when she gets to cavort around NYC on her off days.

The WTA and ATP rankings are about a body of work, and the slams only have an especial meaning attached to them for legacy reasons — I can see why for the men because an intense 5 hour match is a completely different animal. But for the women?


Kimo Says:

Don’t u think Fed had crappy days during those 122 matches. Not a single one? Of course he has, but he dealt with it like a no.1.


Lenny Says:

Wow! Scores of the Rafa-Almagro & Gonzo-Berdman matches IDENTICAL.


blah Says:

“jane Says:

blah, so sad that Simon had to retire. I like JCF, but I was hoping for your sake Simon might get that JMDP rematch here; I also think he would’ve had a better chance at pulling off an upset against him. I hope you can find someone else to cheer on!”

Looks like Simon’s knees issues were pretty serious. Next person on my root for list is actually Djokovic, lol. Here’s to hoping he gets through and beats Fed.


PietjeP Says:

Veno; I’m sorry but you’re wayyyyyyyyyyy off in my opinion. You’re blaming a player who cannot help the whole WTA tour is a big joke.

She is number one, because the ranking system is what it is. She has been the 2nd best player, point and result wise, in the last 4 slams. And by a distance the most consistent player in non slam events.

I just don’t get the big issues people have. Appearantly, interpretating your own words, if she had won 1 slam, just 1, even in 1996, she wouldn’t be a big a joke as she is today.

I’m sorry but that just doesn’t cut it for me. For me the topic is closed. Hell, I don’t even like women’s tennis… :)


jane Says:

blah, hopefully Simon’s knees get well soon. Was also sad to see Roddick go out.

——————-

Kimo, in non-slam events Fed was beaten by the likes of Fogini and Canas!!! Best of 3. It happens. Even to the best of em. They can be, on the day, simple outplayed.

I don’t love Safina, and don’t hate Serena – it’s the principle of attacking the player when it’s really the ranking system that is the issue that bothers me.

Safina has done nothing but work hard at her career.

——————-

Scary about Rafa’s gut; he’s winning but pointing at it , which is unusual for him.


Kimo Says:

I’m not wathcing Rafa’s match. What’s wrong with his gut?


jane Says:

Kimo he’s playing really well, but he gestured at his stomach at one point, and he began the match by losing serve a gazilion times; the first set was almost WTA-like, lol. But Rafa had something wrong with his gut muscles at Cincy I guess. So it could be aggravated, or lingering.


Ty Says:

Wow, I am going to have to start muting the television during the post-match on court interviews. I swear they always asked the stupidest questions.

“So rafa, what did you think of the fan reaction when you took your shirt off. DID EVERYONE LIKE THAT?”

Cringe….


Von Says:

Voicemale1:

“As for Roddick, seems what really eats away most at every player is apparently starting to feast on him too: the Heartbreaking Loss. Those 4 Set Points from the Wimbledon Final’s 2nd Set Tie-break evidently are still lingering. He’s been in a host of tight matches since then and hasn’t been able to come through many of them. And winning tight ones is about being mentally tougher than the other guy. In 2007, Nadal basically sleepwalked in his matches for nine months after losing that 07 Wimbledon Final, letting 4 break points slip away in the 5th that day. Ditto Federer in losing to Simon, Karlovic and Blake after dropping the 08 Wimbledon Final – and again struggling this year until Madrid after losing in Australia. It may take a while for Roddick to get back where he was before the 09 Wimby Final.”

I had mentioned something similar to this after his loss in DC, but was silenced as ‘sour grapes’ and making ‘excuses’. Roddick is reliving that Wimby final and it shows every time he’s at match point or serving out for a set. I’d like to see him consult a sports psychologist to try to work out these issues or else he’ll deteriorate further. People look at him playing and say ‘he’s over it’, but in essence, Roddick’s far from over that loss, however he puts up a brave front. The mind is very powerful, and it controls everything, and unless Andy can work through that Wimby loss and come to terms with the positive aspects, he’ll continue to lose the close matches.

Lindsay Davenport talked last night about the amount of years it took for her to win a second GS after her the first one. I’ve also on another occasion, heard her mention her Wimby loss to Venus and how much the memory of it remained with her for a long time, which was one of the reasons she got disinterested in tennis and the thought of having a family became more important. To reiterate, I’m hoping Roddick can work through his losses, and begin playing again with the spark and determination he had prior to his Wimby loss.


Veno Says:

jane Says:

“Kimo says “yesterday she was playing the no.72 player and she was outplayed in every singl”

Ah and this has NEVER happened in the ATP – the number 1, lets say Fed, has NEVER been beaten soundly by someone ranked considerably lower than him? Hmm… I wonder!

It happens. Sometimes people who are lower ranked play a good match and people who are higher ranked play like crap.

That;s a separate issue.”

Jane, my dear, here you’re really goin off the boil imo.
You really comparing Fed losing to a lower ranked player on a bad day?
When was the last time exactly Fed lost in a Slam third round to a lower ranked player? When do you say? When was that? Come again? When?

And that lower ranked player really really was the better player in all categories?
Really? When? I wonder…..

And Jane, my dear, haven’t I begun my post in saying that I wasn’t going to talk about the WTA ranking system? Nor did I say Safina isn’t the number 1 following the ranking.

I talked about Safina, the tennis player, and she looked merely like an average top 100 player last night in more aspect than 1, in stead of the top ranked woman. And mind you, against the number 72nd in the world! And of you ever heard about the girl before last night?

Kimo Says:

“Don’t u think Fed had crappy days during those 122 matches. Not a single one? Of course he has, but he dealt with it like a no.1.”

On the money there Kimo!

Fed was only outplayed in all categories once since becoming number 1 and that was by number 2 Rafa Nadal in Paris last year. The scoreline of yesterday’s match is flattering to Safina’s performance to say the least!


sensationalsafin Says:

Wasn’t Fish ranked 99 when he beat Fed in Indian Wells?


Von Says:

PietjeP and margot:

Thank you for your kind words with respect to Roddick’s loss last evening. I’m very disappointed, but I hope Andy can bounce back and do better at the other tourneys. I don’t know if that’s a possibility though, because with each new disappointment it’ll get tougher and he could possibly stop fighting, which would definitely break my heart. I hope Isner puts his win to good use and don’t lose in the next round.


Cindy_Brady Says:

The William sisters understand how historically important the slams are. Venus and Serena could dominate the weekly events if they wanted to. They just use them more as preparation tools for the slams. To test the state of their games and make adjustments for the real thing. They want to be healthy and peek for the slams.

They wisely understand winning the slams is what separates good tennis players from great ones. Everyone plays at the slams. Not everyone plays in these week to week events. The fields are often weak. At the slams, Everything is on the line. Stakes are the highest. The best survive and win.

Both Federer and Sampras understood this.

Safina understands it too but lacks the mental toughness and talent to do anything about it.

Oh and I see Von’s cackling about Roddick again.

Boo Hoo…


Kimo Says:

Is usopen.org down or something? I can’t get to it.


Kimo Says:

sensationalsafin said:

“Ah and this has NEVER happened in the ATP – the number 1, lets say Fed, has NEVER been beaten soundly by someone ranked considerably lower than him? Hmm… I wonder!”

Mono.


Kimo Says:

oops..wrong quote..I meant “Wasn’t Fish ranked 99 when he beat Fed in Indian Wells?”

Mono.


sensationalsafin Says:

Uhhh, doesn’t everyone play in Miami? And Montreal? And Rome? And the other Tier 1 events? How can someone say the Slams are harder to win than a Tier 1 on the woman’s side?


sensationalsafin Says:

I don’t really believe in the mono excuse but that’s not the point. I’m just saying, Fish was ranked pretty low. I’m sure Fed beat some higher ranked players on the way to that semi.


Veno Says:

PietjeP says: “I just don’t get the big issues people have. Appearantly, interpretating your own words, if she had won 1 slam, just 1, even in 1996, she wouldn’t be a big a joke as she is today.”

The above is exactly what I’m saying! If she had, she wouldn’t be in this mess. And also, I couldn’t care less if she wins one or not. For her sake I hope she does, but I am a tennis fan, enthusiast and spectator and it’s us who make their living possible.

So this gives me and every other fan the right to call it as we see it. Tough luck if players will have to endure criticism from fans like me.

Again, I emplore you to watch Andy Roddick deal with this. Talk about a true champ!

And it’s not Safina-specific. If I have a criticism or want to put footnotes to a player’s results or behaviour on and off-court, I will do. Also if it’s my fave Federer!

We agree to disagree and that is fine. I respect differing opinions. You and Jane keep talking about points, rankings and number of tournaments…
I don’t, cause that’s irrelevant for me in assessing or have an opinion on an issue. I see it and call it the way I see it, I don’t jump bandwagons. What you read is how I see it. Even if 15 million other tennis fans and/or experts see it differently.

It’s one of the things I truly love about Von! Never ever will she go astray or deviate from her predestined path or back off her opinions and views, even through all the crap she and her Andy get here.

I don’t agree with her on many a thing but I respect her mucho as I do the majority of the posters on these threads.


Kimo Says:

sensationalsafin said:

“How can someone say the Slams are harder to win than a Tier 1 on the woman’s side?”

They can’t, but slams are slams. That’s how it always was and always will be.

And don’t forget that these players are pros. Slams are double the prize money of a teir 1 tourny.


sensationalsafin Says:

The WTA makes me so angry for so many reasons. I’ve always been against equal prize money. And it’s not that I’m sexist or anything, I just don’t see how they deserve it. Unbelievable.


Veno Says:

BTW, the last time Fed lost in a 3rd round was in the French Open ’04. He lost in straights to Guga who apparently only won the French 3 times! And he was ranked what? 42nd? And he made 10 UE in the whole match….


jane Says:

Veno,

I am not saying Fed and Safina as players are comparable; I am merely saying that top ranked players get beaten, outplayed, whatever (by a nose, or three lengths, a win or a loss, is a win or a loss…) by surprises and lower ranked players. For whatever the reason, at whatever the event.

You did say she was a “joke” #1 so were addressing that.

Anyhow, hon, I guess this is one we’ll never meet in the middle on eh? Shall we move on?

My guess is Murray/Dent tonight will be the match of the day,
and possibly Venus/Clijsters.
——————————————

Cindy, historical importance or not, Shaky made a great point about slams for women being the same as all other events, @ best of 3, only with ADDED bonus of more rest between matches. LOL! Not much different than a masters at which the top seeds are entered then is it – in some ways, the slams are easier. Ha! I find that quite amusing.


Veno Says:

BTW Hi Von!

How are you hon? Andy will be fine and bounce back from this! 100%

Did you see Rafa play? Am worried as his stomach problem played up again. Hope he’s fine


Veno Says:

Jane says: “Anyhow, hon, I guess this is one we’ll never meet in the middle on eh? Shall we move on?”

Yes we shall :)

I’m tucking in early tonight. Long working days ahead and I have lost plenty of sleep this weekend….


Veno Says:

Oh my, 4-0 to Kimmi against Venus. Is it me or does Venus seem to be moving slow there?


jane Says:

Clijsters is kicking Venus’s butt. Afternoon bagel snack??

Delpo is cruising too.


Veno Says:

Kim going to bagel Venus?


Andrew Miller Says:

Kim clijsters playing pretty fiercely out there. Up 5-0 on V. Williams in the first set. Venus seems a little surprised.

Andy Roddick to his credit came back from 2 sets down to push the fifth set – it took the final moment to take him out of the tournament. I cant say the same for some other players (James Blake! My man, James Blake is one of my favorite players. And he played poorly against his evil Spanish twin, Tommy Robredo).

Nothing to be ashamed of. I’d rather lose at the very last moment of a fifth set that I made sure I was in, than after three sets of sub-par tennis.


Andrew Miller Says:

So that’s one thing you can count on from Roddick: these days, if he’s going out, you must beat him. That used to be reserved only for Federer and Nadal, but it applies to Roddick also. Someone must play exceptionally, in most cases, to oust Roddick from anything. He always gives the fans their money’s worth.

I cannot say the same for Marcos Baghdatis, or Richard Gasquet, or Monfils or any other player outside of the Nadal-Federer-even Andy Murray.

It’s fair to say only a few players on the ATP tour fight until the very last second. Roddick is one of them.


Veno Says:

Don’t forget Rusy Andrew!!! Has been doing it for a decade!

But I agree Roddick is up there too. There are few players(actually only those 4) who leave so much on court every single time.


Veno Says:

*Rusy is Rusty of course(Lleyton Hewitt)


Andrew Miller Says:

Kim Clijsters seems to be picking on V. Williams’ movement. Usually a bad idea, but she seems to know what she’s doing.


Veno Says:

Venus breaks…We have a match…

Anyone watching Tsonga?


jane Says:

Tsonga’s match with Benneteau is on serve but Tsonga may break to 7-5. At love-30.


Andrew Miller Says:

True – my appreciation for Lleyton Hewitt is growing! He plays until the last ball.

Venus Williams seems to be ready to return the favor against Clisjters and get a 6-0 set.


Mary Says:

I’m watching Tsonga. He’s about to break Bennetueau to take the first set. um… or not.

The first week of the USO has featured some of the worst play ever on both the men’s and women’s sides.
I’ve been able to see most of the matches and most seem to feature lackluster play and gamesmanship issues.


jane Says:

Hilarious – Venus going for bagel revenge!


Kimo Says:

Mary said:

“The first week of the USO has featured some of the worst play ever on both the men’s and women’s sides.”

True, but it hasn’t been short on drama. IMHO this was the best first of any slam in quite a while in terms of shocking wins and losses.


Veno Says:

Kim began extremely focussed and sharp in the match, probably hoping to be able to get a good start and keep up with Venus. Then she bagels Venus. Sits in the chair and suddenly reality sets in…Totally different match the second set.
Venus playing better and Kim’s level dropping significantly


Kimo Says:

A possible 6-0, 0-6 scoreline?

Can’t recall ever seeing that.


Veno Says:

Venus about to donate the bagel Kim baked her back to her LOL


jane Says:

Both girls wanted a bagel lunch first – getting ready for the 3rd set match. LOL!

Benneteau holding his own in the tiebreak.

Mary – I thought some of the early round matches at Wimbledon and the French and AO were more exciting than the early on ones here, but things are heating up as of yesterday, which is good.


Mary Says:

Two sets in 50 minutes.
Kimo: um, no, that scoreline is something new to me.


Veno Says:

in 27 minutes…Kim bagels Venus, 23 minutes later she gets it back LOOOL


Gordo Says:

About those womens rankings -

Why doesn’t the WTA do the following…

Make each Grand Slam worth 10,000,000 points
and all the other tournamants worth 25 points each.

Then Serena would be #1 by a long shot.

BUT no one would care about the other tournaments and they would not be well attended by players and with no stars at them the attendance would drop and the entire sport would suffer because the sports machine that is tennis can not survive having only 4 tournaments a year that the world’s best compete in.

Yes, we have an anomaly with the way Safina has wound up #1 without winning one of the Grand Slams. So what? If you honestly believe that tennis rankings should be based solely on the Slams you are quite frankly an idiot.

There are 63 tournaments on the 2009 WTA calendar of which one’s ranking is based on the top 16 results, including the 4 grand slams and what the WTA calls “Premier Mandatory events.” Each player is expected to play the premiere events. If you are too busy designing clothes, hanging out with the Hiltons, taking acting lessons or recuperating from injuries – too bad.

You win a slam you get 2000 points, runner up gets 1400 points – just like the ATP. You win a “Premiere Mandatory” and you get 1000 points,and the runner up gets 700 – similar to the ATP Master’s 1000.

So what is the difference? Frankly there is hardly any.

Safina has played these events and won (W) or made the final (F) in the past 12 months -

Tokyo (W), Sydney (F), Australian Open (F), Stuttgart (F), Rome (W), Madrid (W), French Open (F), Porotoroz (W), Cincinnati (F).

Now let’s compare the same 12 month period for Serena Williams where she won or made the final – US Open (W), Australian Open (W), Miami (F), Wimbledon (W).

Now for some REAL fun – Below are the same two comparisons, only this time in a square bracket [ ] I have put how far the other went in the same tourney. DNP means did not play.

First Safina

Tokyo (W)[DNP], Sydney (F)[Semis], Australian Open (F)[W], Stuttgart (F)[R-16], Rome (W)[R-32], Madrid (W)[R-64], French Open (F)[Semis], Porotoroz (W)[DNP], Cincinnati (F)[R-16],

Now Serena
US Open (W)[semis], Australian Open (W)[F], Miami (F)[R-32], Wimbledon (W)[Semis].

So as you can see from the above, maybe Safina does deserve to be number one. She certainly does NOT deserve to be labelled a “joke” by some American Russian-hater who always makes sure she will not let facts get in the way of a good prejudice.

=========

It is this ignorance of the facts that has people thinking that Emerson’s grand slam total is significant when he won all of his slam titles as an amateur, and he had hardly any competition. In each one of the 12 slam titles Emerson won Laver was not eligible to play because Laver had turned pro. Laver was 2 years older than Emerson. When Emerson finally turned pro in 1968 he defeated Laver once in 15 matches.

But gee – he has 12 Grand Slams to Laver’s 11 – so I guess Emerson was great.


Veno Says:

Kimo, actually happens frequently in the WTA lol.
Have seen it at least 8 times this year alone…


Mary Says:

Jane: I agree. There is just so much sloppy play on both sides. I know the top players usually pick it up the second week.
What in God’s name was that Nadal match earlier?! I am looking forward to the night matches today!

Tracy Austin is like “you are on the edge of your seat for who knows.” Poor WTA.


Veno Says:

Tsonga took the breaker 1st set…
Mary how does Jo-Willy look?


Veno Says:

Kimmi’s FH has gone for a walk and is taking too long to get back home I’m afraid


Ty Says:

Clijsters needs to rethink those short little shorts.


Mary Says:

Veno: It’s not a bad match for either Tsonga or Benneteau. I like watching two countrymen play.

Evil Mary wants a third bagel set.


Ty Says:

Isn’t it a bit redundant at this point to have to say “well, it hasn’t been the highest quality match up to this point” during a top womens match?


Mary Says:

Ty: Good Point. The announers have been really harsh on both sides of the draw this tournament.

Tsonga needs to stop with the “give me some manual relief” handaction afer big points. Oh, dear god in heaven, please don’t let that be the new reason players can call trainers out on the court!
I knew it was a short hop from asking trainers opinions on drinks to just this depravity.


Veno Says:

Gordo says(or is quoting not sure) “So as you can see from the above, maybe Safina does deserve to be number one. She certainly does NOT deserve to be labelled a “joke” by some American Russian-hater who always makes sure she will not let facts get in the way of a good prejudice.”

HEY HEY I take offence to that! I am neither an American nor a Russian hater and I call her a “joke” number 1!!!

Whatever way you look at it, both at WTA as at ATP, the number 1 ranked player in the respective systems constitutes one thing. It is why these ranking have been formed. Let’s call it Matrix-wise “The function of the one!” Which is: The representation of the respective tours by their best player!
Need I say more?


Mary Says:

DelPotro has just dropped the second set, so he now needs a trainer and medical timeout for his arm. He ran into a wall, a literal wall.


Veno Says:

Tx Mary. I like watching countryman play each other too.

Looks like Kimmi’s FH came home after walking the dog…2-1 up. Lets’see how things develop…

JMDP at 1-1?


Kimo Says:

Finally, after an hour of play, both Kimmi and Venus win games in the same set. LOL


Veno Says:

J-Mac and Carillo making fun of Enberg


Gordo Says:

Veno – you may not need to say more, but could you say it in a different way for those of us who are not familiar with the Matrix?


Veno Says:

You’re right Gordo…
I apologize,

“May the force be with Safina” She sure could use it.


Kimo Says:

Why is everyone on Emerson’s case? Yeah he was an amateur, but he must have had game to win 12 slams, even if it was against a weak field.

In every sport, tournamants are not all created equal. In Tennis and Golf, you have slams. In Soccer and Rugby, the World Cup. In Athletics and swimming, the olympics. That’s just how it is. Would Phelps or Bolt be called great if they never won an olympic gold or broken a world record, no matter how successful they are in other tournaments? No they wouldn’t.


Veno Says:

Enberg: “Clijsters making quite a statement here in her return.”

Carillo: “Not afraid to do some hard work.”

What the…………


Kimo Says:

Oh and I’m not an American or a Russian hater. I love Safin and Sharapova.


Von Says:

“I just don’t get the wrath and/or put downs.”

“I don’t feel “sorry” for her personally. Obviously her life is not too freaking shabby. However, I do feel the press harass her a lot, perhaps incited by Serena;s comments. And I am merely defending against the bashing. It seems unfounded.”

jane: I don’t know what to say when I see some of the stuff you write. I remember originally how gung-ho you were with Safina because a few posters were touting her. Then recently you jumped on the bandwagon of putdowns, and now you’re back defending her, but then you go on to say you don’t feel sorry for her because her life ‘is not too freaking shabby’. which way are you going?

Last evening I noticed you mentioned I stated Safina’s posture was the reason she is heavy in the middle, but then agreed with someone she looks as if she has gained weight. And, I believe you again, took the posture thing of context, as you did with your reference to the Venus’ ‘sugary’ comment, both of which were said about a year ago,. I’m kindly asking you not to include my name in this sort of stuff because I think I take enough pounding for things I don’t even say, or are misinterpreted, and a new Safina fan or Venus fan might take this kind of stuff the wrong way.

jane, this is how I see your insertion of my name and other posters’ names also with respect to your references, whereby you use our remarks on some issues. You most probably like some of what we say, and find value in it for you to use the information as a basis for an argument, but not wanting for you to take the heat for that topic, you put my name and the other posters name in front. You did the same with respect to the time of day Fed plays by subtly quoting tenisbebe’s information on Fed’s televised matches, and the Cincy final with respect to the amount of time Djoko got to recover. To me, you wanted to reinforce an already worn out topic, to state that Djoko lost that Cincy final match due to insufficient recovery time.

Maybe, you view including other posters’ names as giving them credit, but I don’t see it that way. I see it as your wanting to start and/or continue a topic you deem to be volatile, but not wanting to take the heat for it yourself, so why not put Von or another poster out there to take the heat. Then I/we’ll be bashed and you won’t. However, I don’t see you doing the same when you use my quips and other stuff/words which are funny, as your own. I hope you see the difference.

“Kimo he’s playing really well, but he gestured at his stomach at one point, and he began the match by losing serve a gazilion times; the first set was almost WTA-like, lol. But Rafa had something wrong with his gut muscles at Cincy I guess. So it could be aggravated, or lingering.” — jane

What a pity you didn’t choose to remember this when I was being pounded by the poster ‘Toodle Pip’ on that stomach issue in Djoko/Nadal’s match; you remained mute. Instead, Veno and Gordo rose to my defense. As a matter of fact, Gordo was not fully acquainted with the matter, but he saw fit to nullify it, whereas you knew full well what had transpired, but remained mute. I spoke up for you earlier this week when you were being pounded, and I’ll do so again if the need arises, but I do feel at times you could be a wee bit more vocal on some matters and not so much with others.

jane, I’m somewhat uncomfortable pointing out the above, and I hope you’ll understand that I’m not trying to attack you but I feel a few things needed to be mentioned. I hope you know by now that I’m not one for holding onto unpleasant emotions, but wanted to clear the air on some things that you might not be awre of and how they come across to me. Anyway, onward and upward ……


Kimo Says:

Veno Said:

“Enberg: “Clijsters making quite a statement here in her return.”

Carillo: “Not afraid to do some hard work.”

What the…………”

LOL


Von Says:

Veno:

Hello to you too! Thanks for asking how I am. I’m fine, just not too tennis savvy today that’s all. BTW, did Nadal win his match? I haven’t watched anything today due to my sleepy head problem. Mental work is killing me, and I’m thinking of finding a job digging ditches or something else. LOL.


Von Says:

Gordo: Please give the Americans a break hon, we’re not all bad. LOL. There are only a handful of Americans posting on this site and we’re outnumbered by the Canadians and the Europeans


Kimo Says:

….and I’m not European either.


Gordo Says:

Kimo – I’m not on Emerson’s case – he was a great amateur, but he does not deserve to be spoken of in the same breath as Federer, Laver, Sampras, Borg or even Nadal or Agassi when it comes to talking about who was TRULY one of the world’s great tennis players, because all of these boys were playing against the world’s best at the time. Emerson was winning within a depleted grand slam field that had no professionals and arguably 8 of the top players in the world at that time did not enter. Or – could not to be accurate.

If you had 5 years of tournaments where Federer, Murray, Nadal, Djokovic, Roddick, Del Potro, Simon and Tsonga could not play someone might emerge and win a ton of these tournaments, but I think you would put his victories in perspective. That’s all I am trying to do with my comments about Emerson.

He was great – but he played Grand Slams in an era of a vastly depleted field.


Kimo Says:

Gordo, ok…I can agree with that last post. :)


Veno Says:

You’re welcome Von!

Rafa won 5,4 and 4. Strange match, womenlike scoreline. Lots of breaks. Rafa did enough, not impressed by Almagro at all.
Couldn’t hold once after breaking Rafa. Rafa’s movement looked hindered by the stomach/abdominal tear from Cincy playing up again(oh, I remember Toodle Pip’s idiotic attack on you)

Hope Rafa is fine.
Can imagine you taking a small break from the tennis. I’m about to crawl under the covers. Have been missing too much sleep(it’s a good thing I’m single) and have a couple of long days at work ahead of me….


Kimo Says:

Now that JMDP has dropped a set too, I must say that none of the contenders looked very sharp in this tournament, and I’d also say that by comparison, Fed is relatively the sharpest guy out there.

I can’t wait for the Murray-Dent match to begin.


Veno Says:

The commentator’s Dynamic Duo Carillo-Enberg hybrid is mind bogglingly annoying me yet again…….


Veno Says:

Wow, the crowd is behind Kimmi…


Veno Says:

The big question is…..

Will Kimmi choke like she used to or will she serve it out!


sensationalsafin Says:

Carillo and Edberg are awful. Absolutel awful.


Veno Says:

Edberg? I thought he was a pretty good tennis player…


Von Says:

Veno:

“Have been missing too much sleep(it’s a good thing I’m single) and have a couple of long days at work ahead of me….”

Thankfully, my other half travels a lot, or else I’ll be in a lot of trouble for blogging on tennis. This way, at least my time’s accounted for. LOL. I’m probably getting too old for so much mental work, because I’m so tired at nights and weekends nowadays.

If you leave when I’m not around, have a good night and I’ll catch ya manana. I will attempt to watch a few matches now.

I’ll probabaly


Veno Says:

wow, no choking there….

good win for Kimmi


Veno Says:

Night Von, take care hon!


Kimo Says:

Veno, how did it end?


Veno Says:

Kimmi served for it at 5-4 and Venus got to 15-40, but Kimmi kept her cool, served 4 1st serves and won 4 straight points to take the match


Kimo Says:

Good for Mama Kimmi :)

But just between you and me, I’m sure she’s crossing her fingers Henin doesn’t come back. ;)


Gordo Says:

Sometimes I think the crowd senses something special. If there ever was a woman on the tour who has class it is Kimmi. – Good win, and good on her. I am already drooling, looking forward to – and boy am I going out on couple of limbs here – her semi-final match against Pennetta!


Veno Says:

Imo there is no way Henin comes back…
She was totally done with tennis…


Veno Says:

That Koellerer guy is somewhat of a clown, but in a nice way! Nice player to watch.
Already broke DelPo 5 times with a chance for a 6th time now…


Ty Says:

Do these announcers ever shut up? Seriously.


Veno Says:

And a Clijsters-Oudin final?

You think Pennetta will close out Serena?
Bold prediction my friend.

Am afraid both Pennetta and Kimmi’s charge will be stopped by Serena.

I doubt there is anyone who could give her trouble this tourney in this form.

It was 2-2 against Dani Hantu and she riles off 10 straight games…


Cindy_Brady Says:

I watch the broadcasts with the volume muted.

Who needs to hear the commentators obnoxious repetitive input. Easy to see what is going on.

Don’t know who is worse, Justin Gimelstob or Brad Gilbert.

I wish an Alien would explode on to both their faces and shut them up permanently.


Veno Says:

Nite all! Enjoy the matches!

Kiss for you Von.
Good luck Margot for Andy M tonight.
Jane, talk to you later…
Kimo and co…always a pleasure.

Bye


Veno Says:

I’ll take Brad over Gimmel, but only for his quips


grendel Says:

That last game of Clijster’s was monumental. She was 15-40 down, and it just seemed inevitable that Williams would break and then win. But Clijster’s clawed her way back, and finished off with a terrific wide serve. All I can say is, her nerve is much stronger than mine. Can’t see her beating Serena, but still, not bad getting to the semi of a slam so soon into her comeback (though Na Li may have something to say about that).

I realise it’s a bit late in the day, but this #1 business. Clearly, as jane says, Safina cannot be blamed for racking up more points than anyone else. There isn’t, it seems to me, really a problem. It is quite evident to everyone that Serena Williams is by far the best woman player in the world. She choses not to exert herself in non-slam tourneys, so she isn’t #1. That’s all.

It seems untidy, unsatisfactory in some sense, that the #1 and the best player are not one and the same player. But after a while, you get used to it. It’s a very unusual situation. But then, Serena and Venus Williams are absolute one offs, not just in tennis but in sport generally. Their like will never be seen again, it is reasonably safe to predict. So it is not perhaps surprising that we have a slightly contradictory position with respect to who is the best. And, given the uniqueness of Serena Williams in particular, perhaps this “muddle” is appropriate.


jane Says:

I missed the end of Venus/Kim as had to run out – but WOOT! Kim what a great win! Hope she can carry on.


Mary Says:

I wish Venus/Kim played the entire match like they did the last few sets. I’m so happy Kim is back. She was/is my fave player.

Safina should take comfort in Kim’s career. Kim was also ranked number one a few years before she won her first slam.

Is Serena the best player because she only seemingly puts effort into the slams?


jane Says:

Von,

I have never jumped on a bandwagon to knock Safina, I have defended this same issue previously. And I mentioned after Veno thought she looked like she’d gained weight that *you* had mentioned it may be posture in the past because it seemed relevant. But who knows, she may’ve gained weight – I dunno. Who am I to say? It certainly wasn’t obvious to me or even a point I brought up, so I simply said she “may have” – it wasn’t bashing.

Sometimes, it seems like, to me, that you have a problem with anything I say that seems to contradict in your opinion, like I have to go “one way” or the other, choose sides, or whatever, but I don’t see it that way. To me, there is no problem with the things I’ve said about Safina.

I can NOT “feel sorry” for her on a personal level because she’s rich and young and doing what she wants to do for a living – hence her *life* is not too shabby overall.

AND

I can feel that the putdowns about her ranking and the way the press handle her are worthy of defending because it is not her fault she is number 1. Nor is it necessary for people to knock her for it, since all she’s done is work hard.

The two positions are by no means mutually exclusive.

And the other issue, about mentioning comments you’ve made about Venus and Safina – “Maybe, you view including other posters’ names as giving them credit, but I don’t see it that way. I see it as your wanting to start and/or continue a topic you deem to be volatile, but not wanting to take the heat for it yourself, so why not put Von or another poster out there to take the heat.”

This did NOT even occur to me – I do not think so deeply about my posts. I merely mentioned it because of Veno’s comment! It had nothing to do with heat or no heat. LOL. I’ll take heat if I need to – no worries there. Same your comment about tenisbebe and the Cincy schedule – she worked at Cincy so had firsthand knowledge about how things work there, so I feel she knows a heck of a lot more than me and am quoting her almost as an “expert” or “insider”

But suffice it to say, I respect your wishes, and I will not do it again with your name.

And if any other posters ask the same or mention the same concern, I’ll certainly respect their wishes. I wouldn’t want anyone to feel “heat” from the other posters because of something I write. That is, was, nor ever has been my intention. So, apologies if it bothers you.

Finally as to the troll “Toodle pip”, you should know by now I almost NEVER respond to any trolls – roddick is a donkey, toodle pip, whomever. Moreover, I hadn’t read anything about that stomach issue except here on the blog. So I stayed out of it. There are many times on this blog that I have defended either yourself (last night, with Kimo, when he said you couldn’t dislike a player, I took him on for quite sometime) or Roddick (many times), so I hope you notice that too.

Anyhow, onward and upward – airs clear on this end. :)


Mary Says:

I was listening to ESPN Deportes and rumor is Nadal may quit the us open because of his stomach.

Seriously, his bailing on Wimbledon was pathetic, but this would hit a new low.


grendel Says:

Rum game, tennis, eh? Monfils is 3-4 down to Acasuso,and 15 -30. Acasuso is looking dangerous and powerful, and one senses a shift in momentum. Resignedly, one accepts that soon it will be one all in sets. Then Monfils (you beautiful man, you) knocks in 3 aces!. Four all. Acasuso serves, and there is some phenomenal defence from Monfils which seems to have the effect of enhancing that attitude of Acasuso’s you feel is never far from the surface, a sort of “well, this all very well, but frankly, does any of this actually matter?” Anyway, Acasuso plays some really sloppy tennis, and Monfils breaks.

He calmly serves it out, it’s 2-0, and quite frankly, match over. And just a few minutes ago, a 5 setter seemed on the horizon.

Yep, rum game, tennis. And some rum (but delightful) people play it, too.


Mary Says:

Grendel: “Rum” game?! haha


jane Says:

And just one last point Von: you say, “I do feel at times you could be a wee bit more vocal on some matters and not so much with others.”

I can post only based on my own time (which will be lessened drastically when work begins next week), opinions, instincts, and so on.

In other words, I can’t please everybody all the time. Sometimes I don’t even read the whole thread when I choose to chime in so it’s very possible that I miss things that you feel I should have spoken up about or whatever, although it is my choice whether or not to speak up. Maybe I don’t have the time or energy based on other things in my life, non-tennis related.

But seriously, I feel like I am in a bit of a bind here – if I say too much on one issue or don’t say enough on another issue, in your opinion, I am not sure what I am supposed to do? How can this be fixed?

I agree with you that it’s not good to hold onto negative emotions, and it comes as a surprise I was causing you any. So please, when the issue is ongoing, do pipe up so you and I both feel better about it.


Cindy_Brady Says:

I am now going out on a limb and picking Federer and Serena to win.

That is all.


jane Says:

Cindy, that’s a shaky limb, so please, hold on. LOL

Mary, I hope that is not the case with Nadal – where did you read or hear this, that he may withdraw due to his stomach?


Mary Says:

Mary: ESPN Desportes says it’s the rumor. oohh. Unless he is ready to die, and even then, Nadal needs to stick this Open out.

The Zonareva/Pennetta match is really entertaining.


jane Says:

I hope he sticks it out too – even if he loses the next round or whatever. The rest of the season he has little to defend, so finish the slam and then take some time to heal. I hope the rumor is wrong.

Yes, this ladies match is close. Zvonereva has match point as I write though.

Also surprised to see Cilic finally taking a decisive lead from the start; has he picked the right time to peak or just run into a weaker opponent? Guess we’ll find out next round.


jane Says:

Mind you I hate to see players try to play injured, on the other hand, as those matches can be tough to view, and many players have pulled out at slams in the past due to injury. In fact, I think Haas pulled out of Wimbledon 2007 due to a stomach tear. So it’s gotta be a tough injury to play with.

If a player can barely move, why play and potentially make the injury worse? But if he can get through another match even if winning is unlikely, then maybe it’s worth it to go that extra mile.

It’s a case by case thing, really. I am sure Nadal and his team will make the right decision.

I thought pulling out of Wimbledon was the right thing to do, as he hadn’t even began and thus he made a spot for a different player rather than trying to play, collecting the points and cash, and potentially losing round 1.

This is different because he’s already in R16, so he’ll have to weigh his options.


Mary Says:

OMG that Zvon/Pennetta set was insane! Pennetta saved six match points. The play is excellent.


jane Says:

Pennetta fought off how many match points? At least 6. So now on to a third set, and Murray and Dent will have to wait.

Mary I think those reporters you heard were wrong; I googled Nadal and injury and have found nothing like it. Here’s a bit of what I read from an article post presser:

“”I know everybody want to talk about the injury. I really don’t want to talk about that. That’s the thing,” said the world number three, who was sidelined during June and July with tendonitis in both knees.

Not satisfied with the Spaniard’s answer, he was prodded again for an explanation but politely replied: “I said I don’t want to talk about injuries. Sorry. I am a little bit tired to talk about injuries.

“I am here to try my best every day. I won the match in three sets, so happy for that. I’m going to try my best next round. That’s all.” …

“”I am playing here. I’m always gonna play here. No one wants to miss another grand slam,” said Nadal.”

From this, it seems like he intends to continue playing. Sure hope so!


Mary Says:

Espn deportes was reporting it as a rumor, not gospel truth.

Zvonereva is breaking down.


jane Says:

Gotcha re: rumour.

Zvonereva keeps mucking with that knee tape and it’s distracting her, but there has been a momentum shift. Gotta feel crappy after wasting 6 m.points.

Who do you pick to win Mary?


Mary Says:

I have no idea who will win this match! Now momentum is favoring Pennetta.

Your guess?


jane Says:

Pennetta likely, unless Zvonereva pulls it together soon.


fadingis Says:

hi i´ve been reading the arguments for a while and just one coment on serena i don´t see any nice tennis from her i just see brutal power (for woman)distroing players that come from a mediocre era of female tennis


fadingis Says:

but on the other hand i never saw a more miserable top seed match.


grendel Says:

5 match points I think, jane. And although I agree, Mary, that the “play is excellent”, I just feel Zvonereva is a mite predictable.

A valiant defender, she has seemed to me to rely a bit on Penetta making mistakes; she is quite cautious where she places the ball, rarely going for the lines, and when she does angle the ball, she doesn’t hit the ball quite hard enough for a decisive winner.

Pennetta, whilst not particularly adventurous, is nevertheless more adventurous – especially on those match points (including one on the Russian’s serve), where she aggressively took control of the point. I’m beginning to see why she has done so well.

Zvonereva, b.t.w., nearly reverted to one of those meltdowns we used to see. A good bit of trembling of the lower lip, and not surprisingly, she lost her cool at the very end of the set, kind of hitting wildly and hoping for the best.

Still, it’s very late here, and I’ll have to catch the rest of this match, plus Dent/Murray on highlights.


jane Says:

Looks like it’s over anyhow grendel. And yeah, Pennetta has hit more winners in the match, so the less cautious one. And now they’re about equal on UEs after Zvonereva went off the boil.


Mary Says:

Does Zvonereva have some sort of brace on her back?
It was a hard fought match.


i am it Says:

it’s so sad to see my zovonareva lose like that after having 5 match points. it’s not pennetta who beat zvona. it’s zvona who lost.


Cindy_Brady Says:

fadingis,

To be fair, I would hardly call this era of tennis mediocre. The woman are better conditioned now than ever before. They are fitter and stronger. The field is also much deeper.

It used to be in woman’s tennis the top seeds would hardly lose a game in the first few rounds. It was all so predictable to the point of boring.

I do think you mean, the artistry is gone. This is true. No serve and volley players. No players who mix both finesse with power. Justin Henin was the last of that breed. We have an army of “hit the ball as hard as you can” players who hope to hit more winners than make errors. Isn’t just Serena. All of them do it. It’s the blue print for winning these days.

Actually, I think Monica Seles started it. The Williams sisters took it to another level.


jane Says:

Well, Murray/Dent now, which should be good … i think? Hope Murray comes through, although I sure admire Dent.


jane Says:

Yep sad, but at least Zvon stuck it out even when she clearly lost concentration, energy, will and accuracy after that second set tiebreak. The upshot is the less injured and fresher player moves on.


Cindy_Brady Says:

I would be shocked to see Dent make a Dent in Murray’s game. Pardon the pun. I think it will be a short night for Taylor Dent. Just don’t see him troubling Murray once Murray get’s a handle on his serve and Dent misses a volley or double faults. Murray will break him repeatedly, imo.


i am it Says:

nice to see cilic winning in straight.


Ty Says:

Man, this is a terrible terrible match up for Dent. What were they thinking at the scheduling there? Lol. A night match? Come on. This is going to be very ugly.


vared Says:

Come on, Dent


jane Says:

Bad start for Taylor; if his serve isn’t working, this could be over quickly.


Ty Says:

Murray has got to be grinning those beautiful teeth when he saw this match. He loves a target and he is an excellent returner. Dent is going to have to bring everything he’s got to make this competitive.


i am it Says:

dent will go down in straight. i’ll be surprised if he steals a set off murray.


i am it Says:

how did dent break back? why did murray let that happen?


blah Says:

love watching serve and volley, even if Dent goes down in straights.


i am it Says:

does dent play tennis or what?


blah Says:

Dent needs to start making first serves and Murray needs to stop being passive.


jane Says:

blah I agree with you re: watching serve & volley; it’s nice to see a different style. And once he gets up there, Dent covers the net well. He’s honed that skill for years.


jane Says:

Murray will win though, imo. He’s got more stamina, variety, better groundstrokes, and as Ty points out, he loves a target, so Dent’s volleys will have to be A-1 quality throughout, put aways basically, for him to stay in it and keep it tight. Anyhow we’ll see. Should be fun to watch.


i am it Says:

all murray needs is get dent into long rallies. serve big and vary shots. don’t shy away from hitting winners as occasions arise.


blah Says:

Yeah Jane, That’s the one of the very few complaints I have about today’s men’s game. They have different styles but have very few true serve and volleyers like the game had in 90s. Ivanisevic was probably my alltime favorite player to watch so I’ll take any serve and volley I can get.

If Murray falls asleep for a set here, it could be dangerous. Dent has the intensity and will to go long, and the crowd will get into it. I guess that’s what I am hoping for, lol. would love two see two completely different style players go five sets.


Ty Says:

Come on Dent. Keep proving me wrong buddy.


i am it Says:

and murray cannot afford to return short balls. he’s gotta paint baseline.


Andrew Miller Says:

they say that taylor dent’s game is high risk – I dont think so. I think it’s clear and straight forward. Patrick Rafter, who no one mentions these days, played a more athletic version of the same game, but it was the same game nonetheles.


blah Says:

i am it Says:

“all murray needs is get dent into long rallies. serve big and vary shots. don’t shy away from hitting winners as occasions arise.”

The first thing Murray has no problem with, but his serve can be questionable sometimes and he also has a tendency to become passive, so it’s not as easy as you make it sound, lol. He needs to make sure Dent doesn’t get breaks; Murray has the edge if sets go into tie breakers.

Andrew Miller- I remember Rafter! More athletic and crafty, but Rafter did not have the same power/huge serve as Dent.


i am it Says:

has any s&v player won a slam since sampras?


Andrew Miller Says:

Dent is not just a target – he has quite a solid volley. It’s undeniable: Taylor Dent has a skill that many other players do not.


i am it Says:

that’s it for dent.


jane Says:

Patrick Rafter is a great comparison to Dent, Andrew: same kind of build and playing style.

Yes, Murray should keep his shots deep: returns & groundstrokes.

Dent needs more 1st serves. That’s why he got the break.

Anyone listening to the Tennis Channel? I’ve never heard Connors commentate before but that’s the streaming I found. Ted Robinson, Connors and I think Gimel (but am trying to tune out that voice, lol)


Andrew Miller Says:

One thing that is clear: Taylor Dent has “the volley instinct”. If he hones in a little more, I see him having a chance at winning a set off Murray.


jane Says:

*got broken, I mean


Andrew Miller Says:

On USOPEN.org it’s one of the Murphy brothers, who I will take ANY DAY over Dick Enberg and Gimelblob.


i am it Says:

dent is good at the net. that’s his weapon. but his net game won’t win him the match.


blah Says:

I guess you could say Dent’s game is high risk because his first serve needs to click for him to have success against top players. Rafter didn’t need to rely on big first serves but Dent needs it to make it a match.


jane Says:

Almost reverse in Winner and UEs.

Taylor: Winners =5 / UEs= 11
Murray:Winners = 12/UEs = 4


jane Says:

No Enberg tonight Andrew; Robinson and Gimel are Connors’ side kicks. I can’t get USO.org in Canada unfortunately, or the ESPN 360 one.


Andrew Miller Says:

I am impressed by Andy Murray here. I think he enjoys playing tennis, I appreciate the intelligence of his game. I think the Andy Murray serve is not a work of art, but it is good enough.


i am it Says:

two 145 mph serve from dent. that’s something.


Andrew Miller Says:

If Andy Murray had Taylor Dent’s volley, he’d have made the Wimby Final.


i am it Says:

it could be over for dent pretty quickly.


i am it Says:

for dent to make the match competitive he’ll have to deaden his returns. that is not help murray with pace.


jane Says:

I think Dent has met his match, so to speak.


i am it Says:

match is over in next 30 minutes. no dent miracle.


Andrew Miller Says:

It could definitely be over for Dent very quickly.

Andy Murray is dialed in on the ball.


jane Says:

margot, in this one, Murray is focused and making sure. You should feel happy about his play.


i am it Says:

31 min. a set. total match time under an hour and half. not exciting match but that saves murray’s energy for the next match. good for murray for long term.


jane Says:

Who’s the unhappy looking long-haired lady they keep showing? Is it Dent’s wife/girlfriend? If so, it wouldn’t hurt her to try to smile or look encouraging, though it must be difficult.


Colin Says:

Dent has this huge serve, but look at the stats:Murray has served 7 aces to his 2.


i am it Says:

for tomorrow i like roger, novak, robin, and verdasco’s chances.


Mary Says:

Here’s tomorrow’s schedule:
http://www.usopen.org/en_US/scores/schedule/schedule14.html

Stepanek will be bringing the sexy in the evening! Happy Labor Day indeed!


blah Says:

Dent’s not making his first serves tonight and Murray is returning well. Plus Dent’s not much of a returner. This is what ends up happening.


i am it Says:

that woman’s name is jenny. dent’s wife.


blah Says:

90% of serve returns is just too good..the best net skills in the world won’t save you on that one…


Cindy_Brady Says:

Maybe this is why serve and volley tennis is no more. Racket technology and return skillz are too good these days.

Even the best volleyers don’t stand a chance. Maybe the man’s game should go back to wooden rackets. Like baseball.

Just kidding, bloggers


jane Says:

Wooden rackets and short shorts. LOL.

Murray was too good tonight. He moves on and I think meets Cilic next? He should get through that to meet JMDP in the Qs…


scineram Says:

Isner is american or what? He should be on Ashe, Robredo on Armstrong.


blah Says:

Roger’s a bigger draw than Isner. And honestly, Isner is not that talented; he will never make it inside the top ten.


Ashleigh Says:

wow… where to start? 1st of all, why all the Safina Haters? Kim Cljisters was a finalist FOUR times in Grand Slams before she finally won her lone title, Mauresmo was a multiple finalist before she won her 1st of 2 Grand Slams, & the same can be said for many other GS Champs, so why pick on Dinara for being a runner up twice? Give Dinara a break! All that pressure and lack of kindness toward her has truly hampered her game…

As for people talking about Federer and the rivalry with Rafa, well, it’s stupid… Rafa has never been good enough to play very often in Finals on Roger’s best surfaces (hard & grass), so the numbers are skewed, because Roger has had the misfortune of being very good on Rafa’s best surface (clay), so Roger losing to Rafa more on clay speaks to the fact that he’s been good enough on Rafa’s surface to get far enough along to play him, while Rafa has NOT been good enough to play Roger on his best surfaces very often… so the 7 wins for Roger & 13 wins for Rafa are imbalanced… Take the clay stats away, and it would be a different story! Roger shouldn’t be put down for being good enough to compete at the top level on clay… Had he been a much poorer player on clay, he would not have played Rafa much at all, and the “rivalry” would look to be in Rogers favor… Or if Rafa had played better on grass or hard courts to play Roger on those surfaces more often than he has, Roger’s numbers would be way different than they are now!


margot Says:

jane: thanx for your reassuring words about Andy M. Good luck to Djko. I think Andy will beat Cilic, the big test will be JMDP and that’s too close to call. Must try and watch that whatever the time. Wouldn’t a Djko-Murray final be fab?
Thanx to all who blogged in fact, reading your comments on the match this a.m. is my only take on it so far!
Andrew Miller: nice comments about Andy. Makes a change on this blog. Cheers!
grendel: Kim won. Wow! However, c u saw match, u must be in a different time zone from me!


Casey Says:

Sharapova won it in 2006, not 2005 as the story says.


jane Says:

margot: such a final would indeed be fab, but I don’t see Djok getting that far based on last rounds play, and also who awaits in the semi. Murray has a good shot though; I agree he should get by Cilic, and then JMDP will be more of a test. But he has a pretty good record against him, will just need to come out firing, and no lapses. He looked so strong against Dent last night; I think he likes playing at night. Like you, I was happy for Kim. Hope she continues her comeback run.


jane Says:

Bob Green’s summary of week one is full of interesting stats, quotes, and tidbits:

http://www.tennisgrandstand.com/archives/5025


Cindy_Brady Says:

People are on Safina’s case because unlike Kim Cljisters and Mauresmo she is a chronic choker. She lost when she was overwhelmingly favored to win. Cljisters and Mauresmo lost to better players and were not favored.

Dinara Safina doesn’t emote a champions quality.

Infact, now she down plays winning slams by slamming those who have won those titles by saying “where are they now?*

She is a #1 tool.


margot Says:

jane: yes, Andy M loves playing at night in front of NY crowd. In interview said atmosphere was fantastic and didn’t mind a bit that crowd was 100% for Dent! So I hope match with JMDP, if he gets past Cilic of course, is at night, should fire him up. Saw an interview and he’s got a suntan!! This must be a first.
Did you see, Rafa looked terribly grumpy/angry after his match with Amalgro? Beeb were able to show a bit of that but not Andy M! All is definately not well, I fear.


been there, done that Says:

“Then Monfils (you beautiful man, you) knocks in 3 aces!.”

lol. I tell ya, Dr.Ivo would have been proud of him. His coach seems to have calmed him down on the excessive acrobatics & now they come more naturally, & he seems to be more focussed. Hopefully the discipline doesn’t desert him when he steps onto centre court for his next match.

I must say that these french men bring the je ne sais qua on to court. The Tsonga-Banneatue match was filled with plenty of aaahhh, ooohh shots in it. Only problem they are always plagued with injuries.

Pity Tsonga & Gonzalez have to fight it out. Not sure whom to support here. But it’ll be a good match for sure.


grendel Says:

margot

You’re just going to have to get digital telly, Margot! If you get Virgin, you get Eurosport, and you can rent Skysports for just a month, say. If you get Sky, then you get Eurosport anyway, plus obviously skysports. Perhaps you know all this, but just don’t fancy getting sky -or perhaps you have other committments. Must be frutrsting, though, depending on streaming and the occasional BBC offering. I admire your tenacity! Clijsters for the semi, but I reckon it stops there. Serena will be in top flight mode – I think Henin could sometimes handle that, nobody else.

Been there, Done that: yes, Tsonga/Gonzalez looks an explosive offering. Hard to say who’ll come through that. I think I hope Tsonga, because I’d like to see him at the top of his form in the latter stages of a slam again. I suspect his career might be cut short by injury, so need to make the most of him. Monfils/Tsonga would be an intriguing quarter!


been there, done that Says:

Re Safina, Serena, Real#1, WTA:

I don’t think the WTA ranking system is bad…only that Serena won’t bother too much in non-slam & a few chosen premier events. What makes WTA look bad is that Serena & Venus are still winning slams (singles & doubles!!) easily at age 27, 29 when there ‘nemesis’ compatriots (Henin, comeback clijsters,….I forget others) have retired, while challengers such as Dementieva, Jankovic, Mouresmo & Safina are rather inconsistent in slams.

I know Serena is too mouthy at most times but I get the feeling that despite all her ‘true # 1′ talks, she actually knows why she’s not #1 despite her 3 slams in the last four. She does it for the show…part of her job is an entertainer, on & off-court. She loves the showbiz that comes along with tennis & will twist the knife & dig it in just to create a story. She knew that her statements regarding real#1 would create controversy….along with the t-shirt she wore at the wimby presser (wanna see my titles? lol). Her mission has been accomplished ‘coz now all the commentators & WTA fans talk about is ‘what serena said’.

She’s recently dialed down on the #1 talks….’coz she doesn’t really care about rankings…all she cares about is not being booted out early in a slam, & even if she is, she’s still going deep in the doubles. Wasn’t she ranked#81 when she won AO ’07? All Serena cares about is slams….and I can’t blame her…..at 27 with on/off injury issues, she’s gotta be wise on scheduling her tournaments & that’s what she does. Also, having been on tour for so long, I don’t expect her to be consistently doing well at all tournaments anymore…she did so when she was younger….now, it’s all about ‘how many slams will Serena have in the history books?/Can I do another Serena slam?’…..sometimes, I think the William sisters (or specifically Serena) enter tournaments to avoid fines…they do what they have to do to preserve themselves. If they had a choice, they’d probably skip as many tournaments as they can get away with, turn up at slams and still do well….they after-all have a many other interests out of tennis & have represented the WTA quite well in all these years.

Serena’s my gal but here, she was just being a bully. She knew exactly what she’s doing….she fueled the fire regarding Safina’s #1. Nonetheless, I agree with other posters regarding Safina….no silver platters at GS. I turn the argument regarding Serena’s recent non-performance out of GS…….the opposite can be said for Safina, if she can do it in regular tournaments, she should also do it in slams….all this controversy is solely in her hands….either she wins a GS or like her bro, tell us ‘haters’ to go hang. For sure, no one’s gonna take #1 away from her…..am glad she said so…some fighting spirit! She’s only 23, & I haven’t heard her announce a retirement….she’ll win a slam whenever it is that she wins a slam, whether it’s next yr, or when she’s 30yrs old….& if she doesn’t, well, she’s doing what she’s enjoying,& $millions$ in the process.

On the men’s side, Federer & Nadal are special…similarly, on the women’s side, not all can be a Venus or Serena…..they just gotta make the most out of their talent.


margot Says:

grendel: ta 4 the advice but it’s a no no for Mr Murdoch besides Sky v. expensive if you’re only interested in the tennis. Like other sports but they tend to be on the beeb. Mr Branson, weellll hm, bit of a u know what isn’t he? Besides have you EVER been on a virgin train, doesn’t inspire confidence. The US is the most difficult to view. Beeb covers others. Love Monfils on song too BTW. I think he’ll defeat Rafa at this rate.
re Serena, she wears a T shirt saying “Vicious, Ambitious, Deicious”!! How can u not love this woman?? Come on you Americans if she were British she would be a National Treasure and a Dame by now. That’s not to say I agree with every word she says of course.


jane Says:

been there, done that:

“I must say that these french men bring the je ne sais qua on to court”

This is so true; there are so many good and talented French players, and it’s a little sad that you can’t count on them to win a little more! Tsonga, Monfils, Gasquet – all these guys, you’d think, should have a slam. I remember when Safin practiced with Monfils last year at Monte Carlo, he said he could not believe that with his athletic ability and shots that he wasn’t winning more; I believe he even told him he should be #1 one day, though I am recalling this on the spot so could be off. Anyhow, like em all and would love to see some success there.

Agree that Gonza/Tsonga should be a good one.

And finally, you make a lot of good points @ 10:51 re: WTA, and I especially find your points about Serena the “entertainer” thought-provoking, esp. since she’s writing her own script so she can star in her own movie! She is a character, that’s for sure.


grendel Says:

jane – trivial point: seems you were right, and Zvonereva had 6, not 5 as I thought, match points.

Margot: I well remember the days when Murdoch was deemed so unpalatable that one had to pretend he did not exist. I dunno, seems the world has changed, and it feels a bit self-defeating refusing to look at Sky just because of one fat billionaire. One interesting point, though. You know when England won the ashes in 2005, 8 or 10 million watched the last test on Channel4. When England just won ‘em again, under half that number watched on Sky. Doubt if that was a protest against Mr.Murdoch, though….


Giner Says:

Cindy_Brady Says:

“People are on Safina’s case because unlike Kim Cljisters and Mauresmo she is a chronic choker. She lost when she was overwhelmingly favored to win. Cljisters and Mauresmo lost to better players and were not favored. ”

You have GOT to be joking. At least twice or thrice in a GS final Kim Clijsters choked away a lead. A couple of times against Justine Henin, and once against Serena Williams. She may have even had match point in one of those.

When you include semi final chokes, there are too many to list.

As for Mauresmo, just look at her French Open record. Even at the other slams, she’s made lots of early exits. True, her late stage losses were against better players, but she’s had a LOT of early losses to lesser players (especially in Paris), which is worse than you can say about Safina.


been there, done that Says:

Re: French players

“….I believe he even told him he should be #1 one day,….”

For Tsonga & Monfils, a large part of their stalling in ranking is injury. Monfils for example pulled out of Wimby ’09 while Tsonga missed at least two GS (I think)last year due to injury….not to mention the masters missed in between. However, no big deal is made about them ‘coz they aren’t a Nadal or Federer. Talent wise, they are right up there with the top5….so who knows what could happen if they were injury-free throughout the yr.

Injury issues aside (‘coz they plague all players.)….imo, the biggest problem with these french players is their on-court attitude. When things are going well, oh, it’s a joy to watch. give Tsonga or Monfils centre court and it’s mini rock concert atmosphere….but when things start going wrong, they are like wounded dogs with no fighting spirit. They lack that Nadal figthing spirit….even Fed has it though it’s underrated ‘coz of his endless talents. This really annoyed me when watching Fed vs Tsonga in Montreal. Set 1=Tsonga & he’s on song, all fine. Set 2=Roger, still ok. Set 3, 5-1 to Fed, & at that point watching Tsonga, he only had negative emotions to display. Granted, Tsonga won…partly ‘coz Fed self-destructed…..a win is a win, but I can hardly say that it was due to his fighting spirit. He’s not gonna get too many of these opponent self-destructing chances in the future, especially not at a GS.

The likes of Tsonga, Monfils, & Bannauteue need to display that french-flare even when things are going wrong….borrow it from Nadal & Hewitt & fight till the end. As for Gasquet, I don’t even know where to begin….I’d write a whole mini-book….he does what Roger did to himself at Montreal vs Tsonga….only at more regular & consistent basis! Not to mention the lack of self-belief when he’s in a winning position….confidence issues perhaps.


Giner Says:

Cindy_Brady Says:

“Maybe this is why serve and volley tennis is no more. Racket technology and return skillz are too good these days.

Even the best volleyers don’t stand a chance. Maybe the man’s game should go back to wooden rackets. Like baseball.

Just kidding, bloggers”

No, S&V players say their game doesn’t work due to the slowing of the court. Racket technology actually helps them by allowing to serve bigger, making it hard for the opponent to make a good return, and thus easier to volley a winner. S&Vers depend on pace, which the rackets provide.

Return skillz have nothing to do with technology. The court can blunt a serve, but that’s countered by the new rackets and improved athleticism and brawn of today’s players.


Giner Says:

Choking doesn’t only mean a loss to a lesser player. Even if you lose to a better player, if you held a commanding lead and blew it like Clijsters did against Williams, that’s still a choke.

Memorable chokes are often against better opponents.


jane Says:

been there, done that,

Good point about injury and the Frenchies, it’s very true with both Tsonga and Monfils, and that blunts any momentum.

Also agree with and like the way you phrased this point: “give Tsonga or Monfils centre court and it’s mini rock concert atmosphere….but when things start going wrong, they are like wounded dogs with no fighting spirit. ”

————————————

Giner: Kimo linked an article on the newer thread that says that the new technology has in fact helped the return tremendously. He linked it for Scottish re: the women’s game, but it covers the ATP in some detail as well.

————————————

grendel, no worries. I had thought 6, but you lose count of these things after a while. LOL. Quite the meltdown for Zvon last night.


jane Says:

Giner,

Here’s a quote re: returns and technology:

““As the equipment changed,” Annacone says, “the serve and return have evolved together. The returns got better, which kept people from volleying as much, but to get any kind of edge you need a serve that can at least move your opponent out of position and stay out of his strike zone. If you can’t do that, the guy who’s returning is going to be all over you.””

And here’s the link to the article in case you’re interested; it mainly focuses on serving though.

http://tennisworld.typepad.com/thewrap/2009/09/a-leap-ahead.html


Kimo Says:

You guys said it, Clijsters choked “leads”. Safina is already choked before the coin toss.

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