Polona Hercog successfully defended her title in Bastad after she defeated Mathilde Johansson in the final 0-6, 6-4, 7-5. Going into the tournament, Polona hadn’t won a match in almost 3 months, her last win came at Estoril last April. A nagging back injury had been bothering her for most of the year but she appears to have turned the corner in Switzerland. Hercog notched good wins over Julia Goerges and Mona Barthel en route to her second career WTA title.
Dominika Cibulkova defeated her good friend Marion Bartoli 6-1, 7-5 in the Carlsbad final to win her 2nd WTA career title. She, of course, did not drop a set en route to the title.
Whenever Pome plays, it is never not mentioned how amazing it is that, at her size, she can hit the cover off a ball. She’s been on Tour for 7 years now yet we all still get shocked at the sight of her pouncing on a ball. So, I have concluded that it will forever be a phenomenon.
Thomaz Bellucci upset world No. 8 and top seed Janko Tipsarevic 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-2 in the Gstaad final to win his 3rd career ATP title. It’s a (good) surprise to see Bella beat a top guy in a final. We all know he can do it on a more regular basis but he’s completely oblivious of that fact. Perhaps this can be the start of… errr, I should know better than to finish this statement.
After a whole week of hard work in Hamburg, Pico was awarded a few bottles of Coronas to celebrate. Tennis: Doing it right since 2010.
In the most physically unattractive final ever, Juan Monaco defeated Tommy Haas 7-5, 6-4 to claim his 3rd ATP title of the year. Pico moves into the Top 10 for the first time in his career with this win.
Andy Roddick says to his fellow Weekend Warriorees: Put all your titles together and it still won’t equal half of how many I got. (I totally made this up.)
Andy won his 32nd ATP career title after he defeated Gilles Muller 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-2 in the Atlanta final. Following a terrible start that included a shoulder injury scare, Andy hung tough (as per) and fought his way through the second set to win it in a tiebreak. He then cruised in the deciding set as his opponent went away completely.
[Maria: Howdy, my sister volunteered for the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford last week and here she talks about what she saw, observed and did not touch.]
For the Stanford tennis tournament, I decided to become a volunteer. I had a lot of fun doing it. The only problem for me about volunteering is that I have to stand there for the longest time but I dealt with it. I got to enjoy the tennis without having to spend so small price to pay.
Day 1 (Tuesday):
Before my shift, I got kind of lost and somehow ended up in the player box. I sat because it was a nice spot (shaded and all) during Sabine Lisicki’s match. I did not realize it was the player box until I saw the players. A few games on, Julia Goerges and her team came in and sat a few seats away from me. I wanted to sit next to her and touch her but thought she might get freaked out.
Then, Team Serena (without Serena) walked in and sat even closer to me! AND THEN Sam Stosur walked in, sat a few seats away from Julia. I told myself, well, they would have to drag me out when security realizes I’m not supposed to be here. But I saw Masha practicing behind me and I left. [Ed note: LOL, loser.]
I then had to do my duties and usher after Masha’s practice. I had to deal with people not listening to me when I said that they were not allowed to walk in the stadium!
Day 2 (Wednesday):
I worked at night. Unfortunately, Masha was playing at the same time. I couldn’t cheer or scream at her. I was dying inside and kept talking to myself while trying to remember to let people in during the changeover. That was a tough night.
Day 3 (Thursday):
I had to work at a place called hospitality, the only place at the tournament where people could drink! I had to make sure drinks were not taken out of the area. I thought it was kind of boring because there was no tennis to be seen but a few minutes into my shift, Maria Kirilenko arrived with her team! She came to warm up before her match against Serena at the track right behind me. Not so boring after all. She and her team discussed what she had to do during the match. She is the cutest person I have ever seen in my life. Thankfully, I succeeded in stopping myself from touching.
After hospitality, I was then assigned to the player box [Ed note: Big mistake.] during the MaKiri/Serena match. There, I was face to face with Dominika Cibulkova, Julia Goerges and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. I was again of touching distance! While trying to distract myself, I overheard some coaches playing a guessing game: What was going to happen next during the match? Thomas Hogstedt, Masha’s coach, was there but not part of the game. He was in serious mode, scouting Masha’s next opponent. I also kind of spoke with Richard Williams, Serena’s dad, he kept telling me that he’s gonna go smoke and went in and out during changeovers.
Later on at night, I was waiting outside the media center, when out of nowhere Sabine walks by me! I heard her say to this staff person that she did not know where she was going for her press conference. I thought that was cute!
Day 4 (Saturday):
My last shift was Saturday morning. I had to explain to people about the Dominika semifinal situation so that wasn’t fun.
[Maria: I especially like how this blog post was ended. Domi was involved and it wasn’t fun. *mic drop*]
* No tennis players were harmed in the making of this adventure.
Day 5 is where we begin to see seeds meet each other. It should be a lot more fun than yesterday’s snorefest. Venus Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Justine Henin, Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych will all be taking the courts against seeded players. Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Maria Sharapova, Li Na and Fernando Verdasco will not be facing seeds yet but will be tested by pretty tough opponents.
You have to catch almost all matches today!
Caroline Wozniacki  vs Dominika Cibulkova 
Justine Henin  vs Svetlana Kuznetsova 
I really hope Sveta shows up.
Stanislas Wawrinka  vs Gael Monfils 
I’m not a fan of either player so it’s nice to know that one of them will leave today. Well, preferably Stan because Gael is just… Gael.
Venus Williams  vs Andrea Petkovic 
Hopefully, Vee’s got the psoas straightened out. And also the outfit.
Viktor Troicki  vs Novak Djokovic 
Vik, Nole, bring it.
Julia Goerges vs Maria Sharapova 
For obvious reasons.
Kei Nishikori vs Fernando Verdasco 
All right, Fernando, this is your second chance at AO life. Don’t screw it up.
Tomas Berdych  vs Richard Gasquet 
May or may not be fun to watch. It all depends on Richie.
Caroline Wozniacki is the top seed at this year’s Australian Open. With her new tennis racquet in tow, can she finally breakthrough and win a major? She’ll have to get through a barrage of tough opponents. In her quarter is last year’s Roland Garros champion, Francesca Schiavone . Caro has a potential fourth round match against Marion Bartoli  while Franny will try to get past Justine Henin . I would not bet on a Caro/Franny quarter here.
Possible draw ruiners:
Gisela Dulko likes to take out top seeds in slams and she’ll try to do again in Melbourne in the first round against Caro!
Dominika Cibulkova  isn’t exactly a push over and she could be a threat to Caro (again!) in the third round.
Yanina Wickmayer  and recent Hobart champion Jarmila Groth will face off in a must-watch first round battle. Whoever will win will give Bartoli a run for her money in the third round.
If, and that’s a big if, Svetlana Kuznetsova  shows up, as in her game shows up, in her potential third round date with Justine then… it could be fun. (Note: Fun = Sveta in more and more pressers)
Venus Williams comes in as the 4th seed with Victoria Azarenka  in her quarter. Vee has not played a tour match since the US Open last year but played 2 exhibition matches in Hong Kong a few weeks ago. I’m not sure if she’s physically and mentally ready to survive her stacked quarter. But there’s one thing sure of about the Williamses, they don’t need to warm-up. Vee has a potential fourth round match against former Australian Open champion (wa wa wa!), Maria Sharapova , and Vika has Li Na . Anyone else want to see a Masha/Vika quarter here?
Possible draw ruiners:
Andrea Petkovic  has been on a steady climb up the ranking and was the finalist at Brisbane just a few weeks ago. She could be tough one for Vee in the third round.
Kaia Kanepi  is one of those names you just don’t want your favorite to meet early. She has a possible third round date with Masha. BUT @luciahoff pointed out to me today that Thomas Hogstedt used to work with Kaia so he should have a nice game plan for Masha going in.
Aravane Rezai  is a potential third round opponent for Li Na. Aravane prefers clay but she can be tough on any surface on a good day. She’s been to the second week of both Roland Garros (2009) and the US Open (2006).
Kim Clijsters is the 3rd seed and heavy favorite to lift the trophy in two weeks in Melbourne. Kim showed some really good form early in Sydney this past week but imploded in the final against Li Na. She blew a 5-0 lead in the first set and eventually lost the match. That said, I’d still pencil (not permanent marker!) her in to get through this crazy and unpredictable cluster in the draw. Jelena Jankovic  (you read that right, Top 8 bitches!) anchors this quarter. Kim has a potential fourth round against Nadia Petrova  and JJ has Agnieszka Radwanska .
Possible draw ruiners:
We all know Dinara Safina’s been struggling but I’m not counting her out yet. She has a big date with Kim in the first round. ALL EYES ON THIS MATCH.
Ana Ivanovic has a potential third round match against Nads and there’s a big chance she’ll take out the 13th seed. Nads has been losing to everyone while Ana’s been on a nice run since the end of last year. Hopefully Ana’s stomach injury won’t be a problem.
Kimiko Date-Krumm is invincible and she’ll be a tough first round match for Aga. Also, Aga’s just coming back from an injury so things are tricky at Camp Radwanska.
If Aga survives Kimiko and the second round, Alisa Kleybanova  will be waiting to blast her off the court in the third round.
2nd seed and greatest person ever, Vera Zvonareva, has a pretty easy draw to the quarters. I think. A perfect opportunity for her to go a few rounds further than last year. Or perhaps match her best showing in Melbourne, semifinals in 2009. Homegirl, Samantha Stosur , is in her quarter. They both have very winnable fourth round matches. Sam has Shahar Peer  and Bepa has Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova .
Possible draw ruiners:
Everyone is picking Petra Kvitova  as a sleeper or whatever but I think Sam will be able to show her the door in the third round.
Flavia Pennetta  over Shahar in the third round is a possibility. Except not really because Shahar has won their last two meetings, both last year (Indian Wells, US Open). But Flavi is awesome and this is the only major where she has not been to the second week yet so, you know, forza!
Hey, sorry I disappeared for a second there. I couldn’t bring myself to watch tennis yesterday, Day 9, because of the recent development that is Caroline Wozniacki. I just didn’t want to hear about it. Pardon my moment of weakness.
I did, however, hear about (and later saw) Fernando Verdasco’samazing match point against David Ferrer. Then, I read that Kim Clijsters and Sam Stosur played a match that started off with high quality tennis but ended pretty poorly. With that, it’s hard to bet against Venus Williams now.
Day 9 results: Quarterfinals
Kim Clijsters  def. Samantha Stosur  6-4, 5-7, 6-3
Venus Williams  def. Francesca Schiavone  7-6(5), 6-4
Round of 16
Rafael Nadal  def. Feliciano Lopez  6-3, 6-4, 6-4
Fernando Verdasco  def. David Ferrer  5-7, 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-3, 7-6(4)
Mikhail Youzhny  def. Tommy Robredo 7-5, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
Stanislas Wawrinka  def. Sam Querrey  7-6(9), 6-7(5), 7-5, 4-6, 6-4
Day 10 was pretty uneventful. The wind made it hard for everyone. It was hard to play under those conditions and it was hard to watch the pros play under those conditions. The favorites all came through relatively easily. Straight sets on tap.
Day 10 results: Quarterfinals
Caroline Wozniacki  def. Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 7-5
Vera Zvonareva  def. Kaia Kanepi  6-3, 7-5
Roger Federer  def. Robin Soderling  6-4, 6-4, 7-5
Novak Djokovic  def. Gael Monfils  7-6(2), 6-1, 6-2
Day 8 sucked! Svetlana Kuznetsova and the rest of the world was stunned by Dominika Cibulkova. My only favorite left in the draw was ousted by Caroline Wozniacki.
Guess I can’t give Caro shit anymore this summer, can I? She shut down Maria Sharapova in their R16 match and was definitely the steadier player out there today. True to her game, she got all of Masha’s balls back and forced the error. Caro’s first serves were also very effective and I think that threw Masha off. I’m still puzzled why Masha allowed very long rallies to happen but she did and they weren’t pretty.
Ah, well, Masha will learn and better never lose to Caro again.
Day 8 results:
Caroline Wozniacki  def. Maria Sharapova  6-3, 6-4
Vera Zvonareva  def. Andrea Petkovic 6-1, 6-2
Dominika Cibulkova def. Svetlana Kuznetsova  7-5, 7-6(4)
Kaia Kanepi  def. Yanina Wickmayer  0-6, 7-6(2), 6-1
Roger Federer  def. Jurgen Melzer  6-3, 7-6(4), 6-3
Novak Djokovic  def. Mardy Fish  6-3, 6-4, 6-1
Robin Soderling  def. Albert Montanes  4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3
Gael Monfils  def. Richard Gasquet 6-4, 7-5, 7-5
Day 6 was relatively tame. There were two upsets; Victoria Azarenka, who made the quarterfinals last week, and Flavia Pennetta, all-around bad ass.
Rafael Nadal was taken to 5 sets again for the second straight round here in Wimbledon. He called for the trainer a few times during the match to treat his knee. All these long matches are not doing him any favors but then again he probably wouldn’t need 5 sets to take these guys out if he were 100%. Rough.
Q. How much are you worried about your knee? Is there a risk you should skip the Davis Cup tie after Wimbledon?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah. Well, sure, I am a little bit scared about the knee. But, you know, it happen. I had a treatment after Monte‑Carlo. So I had the problem. I didn’t say nothing before, but you know, guys, how is everything. I had the problem against Roddick in the semifinals of Miami.
I don’t like to say nothing in that moment because when you lose, always looks like an excuse. But I can say now I had the problem after I played in Monte‑Carlo with a little bit of pain on the knee, on the left knee, because that’s what happened there.
After Monte‑Carlo, I didn’t play Barcelona because I had to do a treatment, new treatment. You know, I tried to play the clay season perfect because in that moment the right knee was better than the left. But at the same time I know the knees are not hundred percent recovered. But playing on clay and maybe on grass, if is not very long matches, can work well.
But the last treatments I did between Monte‑Carlo and Rome was perfect. I didn’t have no one more problem on the left knee. But just I did one time, and I need to do three times.
I didn’t have time to do it at the right knee before because I had to play. The clay season was my main goal of the season. After here I gonna do it another time, no? My goals for me is a big disappointment not be in the Davis Cup on France, you know. Some confrontations, if you play at home against some country, maybe you cannot play this one. But playing in France for me is a very special confrontation and a very big motivation for me.
But I talked with the captain, I talked with the president of the Federation a few days ago, and I said, Guys, I never arrive to the US Open with my hundred percent of conditions. I had last year broken abdominal, two years ago playing crazy here. After Olympics, I did arrive very tired. And I really want to try to go there with my best chances, no, to play, to play my hundred percent.
So I need to do this treatment after here. If I play Davis Cup, I don’t have enough time to recover and play tournaments, Cincinnati. Everything was perfect for me last few months, and I need to be ready to finish the season well. My goal is try to keep having the chance to be No. 1 for the rest of the season. That’s gonna be difficult. But if you are not in hundred percent of condition, is going to be impossible.
Day 6 results:
Serena Williams (1) def. Dominika Cibulkova 6-0, 7-5
Caroline Wozniacki (3) def. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (29) 7-5, 6-4
Agnieszka Radwanska (7) def. Sara Errani (32) 6-3, 6-1
Na Li (9) def. Anastasia Rodionova 6-1, 6-3
Klara Zakopalova def. Flavia Pennetta (10) 6-2, 6-3
Petra Kvitova def. Victoria Azarenka (14) 7-5, 6-0
Maria Sharapova (16) def. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 7-5, 6-3
Kaia Kanepi def. Alexandra Dulgheru (31) 6-1, 6-2
Rafael Nadal (2) def. Philipp Petzschner 6-4, 4-6, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 6-3
Andy Murray (4) def. Gilles Simon (26) 6-1, 6-4, 6-4
Robin Soderling (6) def. Thomaz Bellucci (25) 6-4, 6-2, 7-5
David Ferrer (9) def. Jeremy Chardy 7-5, 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 7-5
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (10) def. Tobias Kamke 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1)
Sam Querrey (18) def. Xavier Malisse 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 6-2, 5-7, 9-7
Julien Benneteau (32) def. Fabio Fognini 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3
Paul-Henri Mathieu def. Thiemo De Bakker 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (8-6), 6-7 (8-10), 6-4