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.
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.
I would prefer to not move on from Roland Garros. I’d like to bottle that tournament, put it in my back pocket and end my run as a tennis fan. But, much like in years past (US Open 2006 was one of the best ever for me), I know I won’t be able to help myself. Plus, there are people who I can’t possibly stay away from in this sport (faves and friends, alike) so I “play” on.
However, before I completely wash off the virtual dirt stuck on the soles of my shoes and dream of rolling around the pristine grass at SW19, let me revisit, for the last time on this blog, the moment from Paris that I’ll draw inspiration from for… ever?
When you score a Sharapova tribute to Beyonce, you’ll have me.
“I always listened to my own voice, and it always told me that for some reason I’m meant to be better. I’m meant to succeed again. And I did.”
My thoughts after Maria’s win were summed up nicely in the last paragraph of this blog post (which had nothing to do with me or tennis) by a fellow photographer, James Nord:
“The old man cast his line out one more time, this time impossibly far into the ocean and as I turned around I imagined him pulling in a fish he would talk about for the rest of his life because we all deserve a brush with greatness to remind us to strive for it.”
And with that, it’s time to move along.
Ready? P… NEVER. Question though, is the women’s draw wide open at this Major? Is it?!
Lindsay Gibbs talks Andy Roddick. And the h-word. (After his Eastbourne win today, Andy has now won at least 1 title for the last 12 years. He’s definitely given fans reason to always h…)
The annual WTA pre-Wimbledon party in photos! Oh, here’s a gallery just for the Williamses. And, oh, for the World No. 1. Swag away, ladies. I certainly don’t disapprove of you having your own galleries. #oh
3 of the Top 4 players on the ATP World Tour have entered the doubles draw in Indian Wells. Novak Djokovic will play with Viktor Troicki, Andy Murray with his brothers Jamie and 2010 Indian Wells doubles champions, Rafael Nadal and Marc Lopez, will team up once again.
Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka, who played doubles with all those three teams last year, have yet to enter. What gives? That Davis Cup incident still stings a bit, Stan? A rematch of that Fedal doubles showdown last year would have been fun. Oh, well, let’s hope the draw gods give us some Rafole doubles. Maybe Rafa can finally get a win, yes?
Other notable entries are: 2009 champions, Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga with Julien Benneteau.