Posted: May 27th, 2013 | Author: Maria | Filed under: ATP, ATP: Fashion, ATP: French Open, ATP: Gael Monfils, ATP: Julien Benneteau, WTA, WTA: Fashion, WTA: French Open, WTA: Sloane Stephens, WTA: Svetlana Kuznetsova | No Comments »
We’re all thrilled for Gael and his big 5-set win over Berdych in the first round of Roland Garros today. However, no one was thrilled to suffer through this eye-injury inducing shirt combo. Contrary to what his top suggested, Gael’s performance was composed and business-like. Is this a new era—crazy on the outside but all business on the inside? We’ll have to wait and see. He’s got an interesting (read: gonna be nutty and has relapse potential written all over it) second round meeting with Ernests Gulbis.
This kit is not new. But I was hoping it was going to go on an early retirement.
I’m not sure what Lacoste is trying to do here. It’s like a black, blue and white color-blocking thing except it’s black, blue and white.
Is it even legal to wear something that is the same color as the ball? This yellow number by UA was so glaring that I felt like the camera needed a polarizing filter.
Images via Getty, AP, FFT
Posted: May 27th, 2013 | Author: Maria | Filed under: WTA, WTA: French Open, WTA: Urzula Radwanska, WTA: Venus Williams | No Comments »
First of all, HI GUISE!
Venus’ on-court struggles continued in Roland Garros thanks (but no thanks) to a lower back injury she’s been suffering for over 2 months. She lost to Ula Radwanska in the opening round in a tight, not really pretty, 3-set match. This comes a year after Vee lost to Ula’s big sister, Aga, in the second round here. I’m thinking she’ll want to be far away from the name Radwanska in the draw next year. And, perhaps, Serena close to it for revenge reasons.
You know what else Vee should want to be far away from? That outfit. It’s, like, the opposite of a trophy-hoister kit.
Image © FFT
Posted: June 12th, 2012 | Author: Maria | Filed under: WTA, WTA: French Open, WTA: Maria Sharapova | No Comments »
Took a minute for me to process this. Much like Masha (LOL, I’ve clearly lost my mind), I’ve been rendered speechless.
“She finally fucking did it!” was the first text message I sent out last Saturday after the women’s final. Through all the losses, setbacks and the Fallshortpovas, I never really doubted that this day would come. Okay, there might have been a moment of weakness or two but they quickly passed. I’m not sure how I developed so much faith in someone I only really know through a TV screen but I did.
Masha’s been written and re-written off in the last 3 years, most recently after the Miami finals, and I’ve been advised to spare myself the pain and let it go. Ummm. First of all, don’t tell me what to do. Second, you don’t give up on someone who doesn’t know what giving up means. And finally, remember slow and steady? Told ya… kinda.
For many, the championship match was a foregone conclusion before it even began. A 3-time champ against a first time major finalist was easy to call. However, if you remember what happened the last two finals said 3-time champ played against a first time major finalist, it becomes complicated. Top that with everything that was at stake—new No. 1 and career Grand Slam—and a collapse wouldn’t have been so shocking. But Masha, of slow and steady progression, finally figured out how to just play in a big match. Much to my surprise, there was no panic and no going for the back fence or bottom of the net when her opponent challenged her to raise her level.
Funny how things worked out. After repeatedly falling short in the last year or so, and getting crucified in the media for it, she finally got over the hump when the stakes were at their highest. (Biggest troll in the universe!)
A speech and a half from Sharapova during her press conference after the win:
“I proved that no matter how many punches I took in my career, I’ve always gotten back up. I never made excuses for me, not to myself, not to people. I always relied on my own talent, on the help of my team.
“At the end of the day, that’s really what gets me through and gets me up. I have a tremendous amount of belief and pride in what I do. I love my work. I’ve always said this: I love playing tennis.
“I had so many outs in my career. I could have said, I don’t need this. I have money; I have fame; I have victories; I have Grand Slams. But when your love for something is bigger than all those things, you continue to keep getting up in the morning when it’s freezing outside, when you know that it can be the most difficult day, when nothing is working, when you feel like the belief sometimes isn’t there from the outside world, and you seem so small.
“But you can achieve great things when you don’t listen to all those things.”
(This makes me not part of the outside world. Soooo, I’m on the inside world then? #jokez)
The amount of work that Masha has put in to accomplish this career slam cannot be praised enough. From the shoulder rehab all the way to the improved defense, it’s very impressive. That dedication to her craft, patience to push through impossible times and perpetual desire to become better is something everyone should strive for. Hard to demand for more from the new World No. 1.
AND NOW SOME OF MY FAVORITE PICTURES!
Images © Getty Images / mariasharapova.com
Posted: May 24th, 2012 | Author: Maria | Filed under: ATP, ATP: Andy Murray, ATP: French Open, ATP: Novak Djokovic, ATP: Pablo Andujar, ATP: Rafael Nadal, WTA, WTA: Ana Ivanovic, WTA: French Open, WTA: Maria Sharapova, WTA: Petra Kvitova, WTA: Samantha Stosur, WTA: Serena Williams, WTA: Victoria Azarenka | No Comments »
Are you ready for the second slam of the year? I’m not. But maybe you are. The draws come out tomorrow and for us who are not in Paris, we will mindlessly stare at our Twitter timelines and pretend to understand what’s happening as they pick out and place the players’ names.
Roger is in Nole’s half again… duh.
First round is… Rafa vs Nalby. WOT? Why do the tennis gods do this?
Hold on, nevermind. It’s actually Nalby vs Qualifier, I get confused which lines play each other.
Milos vs Murray third round. LOL. I think. I don’t know anymore!!!!
Every. Damn. Slam. I get quite the kick out of it.
Here are some must-reads/sees (according to me) as we look ahead to Roland Garros:
In not really RG-related but kinda…
Image via Roland-Garros
Posted: June 6th, 2011 | Author: Maria | Filed under: ATP, ATP: French Open, ATP: Rafael Nadal, ATP: Roger Federer, WTA, WTA: French Open, WTA: Na Li | 3 Comments »
I didn’t doubt that Li Na was going to win last Saturday. If Nails says she knows what to do, she knows what to do.
Q. So you reached the Australian Open final and you didn’t have success. How will you approach this final differently than Australia mentally or emotionally?
NA LI: You know, because Melbourne is first time to the final, you didn’t have any experience before. So you didn’t know what happened, what I should do on the final. But this time, I mean, is second time to the final. Of course, you know what you should do. I know it’s different surface, but you play six matches already. So, yeah, this time I know what I should do in the final.
Plus, I thought, if you beat Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova en route to Championship Day, you’re surely going to be all right. Ha, dumb. Francesca Schiavone is a completely different player compared to those three, no? But I didn’t really realize that until after Nails had been crowned the first Asian Grand Slam champion. Then, “wow, how did Nails finish that in straight sets?!”
Li Na is a Grand Slam champion, y’all. In the many many many years that the sport has been around, no other Asian has won a major before. Ever. Asia is not a place where few people live. Contrary to popular belief, Nails’ country alone has 4 times as many people as the United States. It’s weird to me that no one before her has reached such greatness but she’s here now and I am proud (I think way more than I should be) to be seeing this.
Never before in my life have I pulled for Rafael Nadal so much until this Roland Garros. I was so over seeing him pouty and sad facey on a Sunday! It was awlookathimsosadcuuuute in the beginning then it became ffffnovakdjokovicyourebreakinghim.
I wanted to see a Rafa and Novak Djokovic final in Paris. Could Nole dethrone Rafa there? How deep is that Rafa-RG connection? But, as you all know, Roger Federer had other plans. RF played very well to beat the unbeaten Nole in the semis and deserved to have another shot at Rafa on La Terre Bateau. RF again played very well in the finals and according to many, the best he’s played Rafa on clay. It still wasn’t enough. I think “clay” with “Rafael Nadal” is RF’s worst nightmare.
We always hear players say, “I worked my way through the draw.” This was the most “work” I have seen from a champ in a while. If Rafa had not found his stride and confidence midway through this fortnight, if he had struggled to get past Robin Soderling in the quarters, RF would have dirtied all over him. But Rafa found his game at the perfectest of times and strutted his way to that trophy.
Rafa has now equaled Bjorn Borg’s record of 6 Roland Garros titles. When all is said and done, I think Rafa’s going to own new records for the future stars to break.
Thank you for a great clay court swing, tennis gods. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I don’t say that often about this season. Until next year!
Images via Getty
Posted: June 3rd, 2011 | Author: Maria | Filed under: WTA, WTA: Francesca Schiavone, WTA: French Open | No Comments »
Standing O for Francesca Schiavone please. I have to admit, I have not seen all of Fran’s matches before her semifinal so I was still pretty shocked she got that far. Then, I watched it and thought no one deserved more to be there than her. Watching her play on the dirt is such a pleasure. The trick shots, those ridiculous shots, are so much fun to watch and most of the time, they come out of nowhere. Only Fran! Again, so much fun.
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: Last year when I won French Open, the percentages of the people that sign in the tennis, tennis club, the young, the kids, are much higher than before. So that’s good. Of course, we are not millions and millions like in China. So it’s big difference, but we are Italian. We have big hearts.
That you do, Frank.
It should be a cracker of a championship match between her and Li Na!
Image via Getty
Posted: June 2nd, 2011 | Author: Maria | Filed under: WTA, WTA: French Open, WTA: Maria Sharapova, WTA: Na Li | No Comments »
When the Roland Garros draw came out, I had Maria Sharapova in the quarters against Kim Clijsters. Maybe she can pull off a win there but probably not because… well, as @Nolanovic puts it, we can never have nice things. Then, for sure Masha’s going to lose to Victoria Azarenka in the semis. Wah wah wah. Kim didn’t make the quarters and Masha got through it pretty easily over Andrea Petkovic. Vika’s not in the semis and… holy shit, is this going to happen?
Masha came out very shaky in her semifinal match against Li Na and fell behind early. She tried to claw her way back but her serve let her down, threw in 5 double faults, and Nails was just too steady. Masha was up for most of the second set but couldn’t hold on to the lead as the serving issue resurfaced at crunch time. She served another 5 double faults, including one on match point.
Q. After you have been probably at your best during the tournament, today something seemed to go wrong, maybe too many double faults or some type of unforced mistakes. Was it her hard game that led you to try to hit harder and make mistakes? How did it go today? What made that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, she played a very good match. She certainly played a lot better than I did and a lot more solid, and, you know, she played the crucial points better. I had some chances in the first set on her serve, a couple of games that went to deuce and I had a couple of break points. I felt like I had a short ball and just didn’t step in and then just made an unforced error.
You kind of give your opponent confidence. Then, at times I didn’t serve well and was rushing more than maybe I had to. Considering the conditions, maybe I was just trying to go for, you know, too big of second serves, especially.
Those big seconds are sweet when they’re landing inside the box but when it’s crazy windy out and you’re tight, might help to serve a little bit more conservatively. Question is, does Masha know how to serve conservatively? Because I think she doesn’t.
This has been the closest Masha’s come to a big one post-surgery and I think that stressed her out quiiiite a bit. Being the most accomplished of all the quarterfinalists, the pressure was all on her. Obviously, she didn’t handle that one well today but I’m hopeful she’ll be better ready when the next opportunity comes. (I’m always f-ing hopeful, man.)
Image via Getty