Posted: January 25th, 2013 | Author: Maria | Filed under: WTA, WTA: Australian Open, WTA: Victoria Azarenka | No Comments »
Vika’s history with pull outs and extreme injuredness did not help her last night. I won’t speculate how bad or not bad her breathing problem / panic attack / nerves (is she from LA?) were because no matter how much we ask and try to come up with answers, she’s the only who really knows. The timing of it all, however, merits all this outrage. According to Vika, her rib started to hurt and she had trouble breathing at 4-2 in the second, yet she didn’t call for the trainer until 5-4, which was 2 TV change overs later. At that time, Sloane was gaining life having just saved 5 match points. It was “bad timing,” she said. OH, REALLY?! You don’t say.
Vika isn’t the first tennis player to call a questionable MTO and probably won’t be the last. So much for that “gentleman’s game” reputation, huh? Not so noble moves are being made. Perhaps it’s time to throw that notion out the window.
Lena D sums up my feelings about Vikagate.
Image © Getty Images
Posted: January 17th, 2013 | Author: Maria | Filed under: WTA, WTA: Australian Open, WTA: Samantha Stosur | No Comments »
I’ve seen a 5-2 lead in a set disappear too many times in my career as a tennis fan. We all saw it yesterday when Sam Stosur led by that scoreline in the 3rd set against Jie Zheng before she collapsed in front of her home crowd (where else?), 4-6 6-1 5-7. Although a 5-2 lead can be misleading sometimes, a player can lead by that much with only one break of serve, that wasn’t the case in this one. Sam was ahead 2 breaks and had all the momentum. She was asked about the c-word in her presser and didn’t disagree.
Q. How much of it was mental as opposed to physical?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Oh, I think it’s a hundred percent. I think, yeah, that’s what it was. I got tight and then you start missing some balls. You probably think a little bit too much. You do it over and over and over again, and then, yeah, you start not wanting to miss rather than wanting to, you know, make the winner.
Q. Do you think you choked?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I don’t know. Whatever word you want to put on it. At 5 2 up in the third, double break probably is a bit of a choke, yeah.
Oh, Sammy, why are you so scared of Australia?
Image © REUTERS/Daniel Munoz
Posted: January 15th, 2013 | Author: Maria | Filed under: WTA, WTA: Australian Open, WTA: Serena Williams | No Comments »
The entire tennis community stool still when Serena Williams took a tumble on court today and didn’t move for what felt like an eternity. She rolled over her right ankle while reaching for a forehand during her first round match against Edina Gallovits-Hall. Thankfully, a trainer visit and an ankle re-tape was enough for Serena to play on. Post-MTO, she made it a point to whack the crap out of the ball to end points quickly. She hit clean winner after clean winner and served her opponent 2 lovely bagels.
After the match, Serena said only “something fatal” will stop her from competing.
Q. So Thursday is too early to call, whether you can play Thursday?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I’ll be out there. I mean, unless something fatal happens to me, there’s no way I’m not going to be competing.
I’m alive. My heart’s beating. I’ll be fine.
Serena’s got a day off tomorrow which should help her recover—she and Venus are not on doubles duty yet. But however severe the injury, she seems determined to play on. She’s won this tournament before while nursing injuries (yup, more than one) so, you know, just do it again.
Q. Would you rather not know what the exact damage is and just play with the pain for the rest of the tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Honestly, yeah, really, because I would really rather not know. I know one year I won this tournament and had two bone bruises in both knees. I had no idea. I just knew I was in pain.
I think sometimes what you don’t know cannot hurt you.
Image © Getty Images
Posted: January 14th, 2013 | Author: Maria | Filed under: ATP, ATP: Andy Roddick, ATP: Australian Open, ATP: Grigor Dimitrov, ATP: Juan Monaco, ATP: Julien Benneteau, ATP: Nicolas Almagro, ATP: Novak Djokovic, WTA, WTA: Ana Ivanovic, WTA: Australian Open, WTA: Daniela Hantuchova, WTA: Maria Sharapova, WTA: Mona Barthel, WTA: Samantha Stosur, WTA: Venus Williams | No Comments »
The first day of a slam. It’s all so exciting and you make plans that it’s going to be such a fun and relaxed day of tennis-watching. Two hours go by and suddenly everything is happening at the same time, you can’t keep up and it is now super stressful. We fumble with our keyboards trying to flip streams because Twitter said a good match is going on at Court 18. What if it ends up becoming an epic? No one wants to miss out on an epic. *fumble* *fumble* *bufferiiiiiiing…* “Goddamnit!” Also, World No. 547 is leading the 12th seed over on MCA. “Wait, he was but not anymore? Is my stream delayed?” No. 22 is getting routined over at 4. Your sometimes favorite is in a deciding set against some dangerous floater. There’s an upset alert on Hise… RaaaaaaaaaahIlovetennis!
I tried to absorb as much as I could on Day 1 of the Australian Open. I tried so hard that my brain was starting to tap out before the day session ended then nodded off 2 games into the Hewitt-Tipsarvic match. WEAK. In no particular order, here’s what I remember most about the first day:
- You don’t engage in a long rally with a “rusty” Maria Sharapova because she’ll come alive.
- Venus Williams is looking sharp early on and is on course to meet Sharapova in the 3rd round.
- Sam Stosur won her first match of the year! Phew.
- Agree with Andy Roddick, Novak Djokovic is still good at tennis.
- Patrick McEnroe’s seemingly ridiculous prediction almost came true. That’s what you get for laughing, tennis world. And me, too.
- Grigor Dimitrov flames out to veteran, Julian Benneteau. Kid still has a lot of work to do on the tennis court. *winkyfaceemoji*
- What happened, Juan Monaco? And who is Andrey Kuznetsov?
- Sad we won’t be seeing more of Mona Barthel’s wide array of outfits.
- Ana Ivanovic scored a good win over Melinda Czink.
- Yung-Jan Chan def Daniela Hantuchova 6-1, 1-6, 6-1. Yeeeaaaap, this is Dani’s life these days.
I’m sure I’m forgetting a few notable matches/results because I don’t think this is even 1/4 of the Day 1 happenings. Aaah! Let’s do it again!
Image © Getty Images
Posted: February 2nd, 2012 | Author: Maria | Filed under: ATP, ATP: Australian Open, ATP: Novak Djokovic, WTA, WTA: Australian Open, WTA: Maria Sharapova, WTA: Victoria Azarenka | No Comments »
I went from Day 2 highlights to wrap. So much for daily blogging!
Vika finally got her Grand Slam title! At the start of this year’s Australian Open, I refused to pick Vika despite her great run in Sydney because she’s only been to a Slam semifinal once and does not have a great history with the Australian summer heat. “No way,” I thought, “she’ll get it but not this early.” Championship day came and I still refused to believe she’d do it. (Hilarious because I should know Maria better.) Vika was nervous for a whole minute and then decided to run Maria over. It felt like she didn’t miss after 0-2 0-30 in the first set and took control of all the points in that match. Vika handed a 6-3, 6-0 beat down to the 3-time Grand Slam champion. (Giiiirl, what’s is hapz?)
With this title, Vika is now the new Number 1. Phew, the tennis world can finally stop whining about a Slamless One.
This guy. Nole needed almost 11 hours and 10 sets to win his semifinal and final matches but he fought hard—blood and everything—to get the wins. He won’t lose, not if he can help it. This is his third straight Grand Slam title and joins Rod Laver, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as the only men who have gone on this run. That’s some serious company and with the way he’s play now, he more than deserves to be among the elite.
Can Nole make it four in a row, complete his Grand Slam and go on a Nole Slam at Roland Garros? It’s going to be an exciting tournament and it will be hard to pick against him with the way he’s playing and willing himself these days.
Images © Getty Images
Posted: January 17th, 2012 | Author: Maria | Filed under: ATP, ATP: Andy Murray, ATP: Australian Open, ATP: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, WTA, WTA: Australian Open, WTA: Jarmila Groth, WTA: Samantha Stosur, WTA: Sorana Cristea | No Comments »
Match of the Day: Sorana Cristea defeated Samantha Stosur 7-6(2), 6-3
“Probably the whole country hates me now…. Everyone was focusing on her and maybe they forgot about me.” – Cristea after her win over Stosur
Absolutely. Well, I sure did. I looked at the draw and didn’t highlight this as a first round to watch. “Sam’s got a good first round,” I thought. Way to make me feel stupid, Sorana Banana.
Sori was clear on her gameplan against Sam—take cracks at the serve and constantly attack her backhand—and executed it close to perfection. Sam was supposed to counter with her signature forehands and serving variations but instead her forehand collapsed and her serve was easy for Sori to read. Sam never plays well Down Under and that will most probably never change.
Most top seeds cruised through to the second round except for Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who both needed 4 sets to dispatch their tricky opponents.
Fancy a little therapy session read? Please check out Jarmila Gajdosova’s press conference. You can’t help but feel for her and then develop an urge to slap everyone around her.
Image © Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
Posted: January 16th, 2012 | Author: Maria | Filed under: ATP, ATP: Australian Open, ATP: Bernard Tomic, ATP: Fernando Verdasco, ATP: Nikolay Davydenko, ATP: Rafael Nadal, ATP: Roger Federer, WTA, WTA: Agnieszka Radwanska, WTA: Australian Open, WTA: Bethanie Mattek-Sands, WTA: Caroline Wozniacki, WTA: Na Li, WTA: Victoria Azarenka | No Comments »
Match of the Day: Bernard Tomic defeated Fernando Verdasco 4-6, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 6-2, 7-5
The match started with Fer looking like he was going to routinely beat Bernie, who seemed to be hobbling a set and a half in. For a match so hyped up, it was turning out to be a disappointment. But like everything else Tomic-related, he did something that no one anticipated. He stole that third set then went on to comeback from the dead to win the match. It was all assisted by Fer’s implosion, of course. Bernie so wanted to tap out in the third set but Fer just wouldn’t let him.
Update: Bernie actually pretended to tap out. Amazing.
Q. Was there any time in the match when his body language showed you something that you focused on?
BERNARD TOMIC: Um, yeah, in the third set. He thought I had a feeling he knew I was going to go away. I eased off, as well, I think on purpose. I eased off and seemed I didn’t care, and I think that’s what drawed him a little bit tonight. He thought he was going to win that third set, and when the right time came, I broke him.
You know, after that the third set, you know, he started getting a little bit tight and not hitting his shots.
Q. So you set him up a little bit?
BERNARD TOMIC: In that third set, yeah. I knew if I lifted my game early, he would have lifted as well and he wouldn’t have let go. I pretended a little bit in the first few games in that third set to not be there as mentally, but in a way to still be there.
Title contenders, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Victoria Azarenka, Li Na and Caroline Wozniacki, notched easy first round wins.
Agnieszka Radwanska survived the always-streaky, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, in 3 sets. New year, same ninja skills.
Just 2 years ago, I thought he was going to breakthrough in Melbourne and win a slam but Nikolay Davydenko seems to be moving further and further away from his good years. He was defeated in 5 sets by Flavio Cipolla, his second straight first round exit at the happy (not) slam.
Image © Mark Dadswell/Getty Images