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Archive for the ‘beijing’ Category

Beijing: Oversized Trophies and Stuffed Somethings For All!

Posted by gauloises1 on October 12, 2009

So after making heroic efforts to wake up for the men’s final in Beijing (8.30 a.m. on a Sunday is beyond heroic for me, OK?), I only saw four games of it before it was rained off and then had to go out just as it resumed. Upside: I did get to see the Nadal-Cilic match during the rain delay, and wow, Marin played seriously well. That was something.

Sadly not the same fortune for him today. He lost to Nole, 62 76(4). On the other hand, I seriously love Nole, so I’m still happy. Multiple faves FTW!

beijing atp novak djokovic china open 2009

beijing atp marin cilic china open final 2009

Still a great tournament for Marin; he’s now got wins over two of the top four (are we still calling them the Big Four?) and made the finals of a 500. All-round encouraging signs.

beijing atp marin cilic novak djokovic china open trophy ceremony

Doesn’t China know never to wear gold and silver together?

beijing atp novak djokovic china open trophy2

beijing atp novak djokovic china open trophy

And nice for Nole to get a title in the week that he took back the no. 3 spot, as well. Happy faces all round.

In the WTA final, which I also missed, Svetlana Kuznetsova lived up to expectations and beat Agnieszka Radwanska 62 64 for her third Beijng title. Nice, and it also affords an opportunity to enjoy some hilarious Svetlana stylings with the trophy.



beijing wta svetlana kuznetsova china open trophy 2009

beijing wta svetlana kuznetsova china open trophy

And Andy Roddick salvaged something from the week, making the doubles final with his partner Mark Knowles. Unfortunately they were beaten by the Bryans, but still. And Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai took the women’s doubles trophy. Good stuff.

beijing atp mark knowles andy roddick china open doubles

beijing atp andy roddick bob bryan china open 2009

beijing wta hsieh su-wei peng shuai

Posted in agnieszka radwanska, andy roddick, beijing, bryan bros, hsieh su-wei, marin cilic, mark knowles, novak djokovic, svetlana kuznetsova, titlists | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Sunday’s OOP

Posted by gauloises1 on October 11, 2009


Center (from 13.00hrs)
1. ATP: Knowles/Roddick vs. Bryan/Bryan
2. ATP: Cilic vs. Djokovic (NB 15.30hrs)
3. Singles Final: Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova (NB 19.00hrs)


Centre (from 11a.m.)
Ross Hutchins/Jordan Kerr vs Julian Knowle/Jurgen Melzer
Mikhail Youzhny vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (NB 1.30 p.m.)

Shanghai (qualifying & main draw)

shanghai oop

Posted in beijing, shanghai, tokyo | Leave a Comment »

Beijing: My Feelings Are Always Wrong

Posted by gauloises1 on October 10, 2009

I didn’t blog yesterday, but if I had, it would have included an admission of error on my part for persistently implying that Dementieva would win this tournament. She lost to Radwanska in the quarterfinals, who then beat Bartoli in straight sets today to make her first final of the year. Did not see that coming. She’ll face Kuznetsova, who has made it to the final every time she’s played the China Open. Must be something in the air.

China Open Tennisbeijing wta svetlana kuznetsova china open

This finals showing keeps Radwanska’s Doha hopes alive, and also ensures a return to the top 10, displacing Flavia Pennetta. And Kuznetsova eclipses Caroline Wozniacki for the no. 5 ranking.

Posted in agnieszka radwanska, beijing, svetlana kuznetsova | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Beijing: Marin! That Is All.

Posted by gauloises1 on October 10, 2009

Baby Jesus bless him and all who sail in him. While I was sleeping, he backed up his win over Kolya in the quarters with a straightforward demolition of Rafa, 61 63. I am kicking myself for not getting up at 5 a.m. to watch this match, especially as most people who actually did see it just seem to be mumbling “too good, too good” or words to that effect. It sounds like Rafa had his chances to get back into it in the second set and didn’t take it. But regardless, this is just a fantastic result for Marin. I couldn’t be happier.


Rafa has been demoted to the WTA, apparently.

Or is that promoted, sexists?

beijing atp marin cilic china openbeijing atp marin cilic china open2

Actually love him.

So it’ll be Cilic-Djokovic in the final, after Nole beat Verdasco and then battered Soderling 63 63. Nole is 3-0 up on Cilic, but I’ve seen Marin play him pretty close sometimes. And weirdly, they’re both going for their third title of the year (Nole’s are admittedly better). Exciting stuff! (I’ll sleep through it.)

beijing atp novak djokovic china open

With this win, Nole will definitely move back to no. 3 next week, taking over from Andy Murray. Great for him, but … oh, I don’t want to be negative today. Great for Nole, whom I love very much. There.

Posted in beijing, marin cilic, novak djokovic, rafael nadal | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Marat Loses, Gets Creepy Stalker Collage

Posted by gauloises1 on October 9, 2009

Video of Marat’s goodbye ceremony after losing to Rafa in Beijing – featuring Rafa, Nole and Dinara:

Posted in beijing, marat safin, rafael nadal, video | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting …

Posted by gauloises1 on October 9, 2009

Robin Soderling and Yanina Wickmayer learned some kung-fu at a promotional event in Beijing this week, in a turn up for the books which simply cries out to be youtubed.

wickmayer kung fu

A teacher and some of his students from the Shaolin Temple, the most famous in China, put on a display before Soderling and Wickmayer arrived. They showed off different skills in kung fu, with some of them even breaking small metal rods over their heads. One of the students had blood streaming down his head on his face after breaking two pieces of metal over his forehead.

Should’ve used Youzhny …

soderling kung fu

(photo courtesy of HCFoo)

Apparently, Soderling performed his moves with “a certain lack of grace”. I think he looks all right, don’t you?

Posted in beijing, robin soderling, yanina wickmayer | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

Friday’s OOP

Posted by gauloises1 on October 9, 2009


Center (from 11.00hrs)
1. ATP: Davydenko vs. Cilic
2. ATP: Verdasco vs. Djokovic
3. Peng Shuai vs. Nadia Petrova (NB 15.00hrs)
4. Elena Dementieva vs. Agnieszka Radwanska
5. ATP: Nadal vs. Safin (NB 19.00hrs)
6. Kudryavtseva/Makarova vs. Yan/Zheng

Court 1 (from 12.00hrs)
1. Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
2. ATP: [Soderling or Robredo] vs. Ljubicic (NB 15.00hrs)
3. Kleybanova/Schiavone vs. Hsieh/Peng (NB 19.00hrs)
4. Marion Bartoli vs. Vera Zvonareva (NB 21.00hrs)


tokyo oop

Posted in beijing, tokyo | Leave a Comment »

Beijing: Who Are You and What Have You Done With the Real Marat Safin?

Posted by gauloises1 on October 9, 2009

Something weird is happening, people, because Marat Safin won another match, knocking out Gonzo in straights to advance to a meeting with Nadal in the quarterfinals.

marat safin beijing china open 2009

Does anybody else think that’s weird? And does this answer sound anything like Marat to you?

Q: Any extra motivation to play Nadal tomorrow knowing there may be fewer chances to play one of the best right now?

A: I know I will play better tomorrow. Nadal is going to be the favorite. I have no pressure; I’m just going to play my game, go for it, be aggressive and then we’ll see. It’s going to be my biggest match in a long time so I’m pretty excited.

Has he had a lobotomy or something? Not that it would be either premature or superfluous if he had. Anyway, Nadal dropped a set to Blake, which confuses me slightly. Perhaps the reports that Blake has dropped long-time coach Bob or Bill or Brian Barker for new blood are true and he’s having that coach-switch bump some people get. Still, Nadal came through in three.

rafa nadal china open beijing 2009

Elsewhere, Ljubicic took three sets to subdue Lukasz Kubot – zombie kill of the week, anyone? – and Soderling rolled over Robredo 63 63. So the Beijing quarterfinals will be Nadal-Safin, Davydenko-Cilic (nice knowing you, Marin), Soderling-Ljubicic, and Djokovic-Verdasco (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, NOLE, PLEASE WIN). Not bad.

Singles – Second Round
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d J Blake (USA) 75 67(4) 63
[6] R Soderling (SWE) d T Robredo (ESP) 63 63
[WC] M Safin (RUS) d [7] F Gonzalez (CHI) 63 64
I Ljubicic (CRO) d [Q] L Kubot (POL) 76(6) 46 64

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[2] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d N Davydenko (RUS) / I Kunitsyn (RUS) 76(3) 75
L Dlouhy (CZE) / P Kohlschreiber (GER) d L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT) 63 64
J Benneteau (FRA) / J Chardy (FRA) d J Blake (USA) / A Ram (ISR) 57 64 10-4

Posted in beijing, marat safin, rafael nadal | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

Beijing: Vera, Agnieszka, Marion Into Quarterfinals

Posted by gauloises1 on October 9, 2009

These matches got a bit overshadowed by the drama that was Williams-Petrova, but they did happen, I saw them with my own eyes. Well, not the Marion one, that was a bit early, but she beat Zhang Shuai of Dinara-defeating fame 61 64 to book her place in the quarterfinals.

bartoli beijing china open 2009

Bartoli will face Vera Zvonareva, who defeated Flavia Pennetta in a three-set match that was fairly classic Vera – meaning that she served for it three times, once in the second set, before actually getting it done. And cried. Pennetta required treatment for a back injury in the third set and was I think 52 down, but she didn’t seem to believe that she could lose the match – possibly because of what happened when they played at the US Open. I didn’t see Vera getting it done either, but she did (albeit helped out by some dodgy line-calling in the final game, although the calling was generally terrible throughout the match for both players). Usually I’d say she didn’t have much of a chance against Bartoli, but their H2H is 8-1 in favour of Vera, with Marion’s sole victory coming back in 2006. So there’s that.

Agnieszka Radwanska had a bit of a let-off against Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, who was up a set and 4-0 before completely imploding. Agnieszka didn’t play her best, but matches like that really do confirm that she doesn’t so much win matches as wait for her opponent to lose them. And she’ll be up against Dementieva and my feeling thereof, so we’ll see how that goes …. 

Singles – Third Round
(13) Nadia Petrova (RUS) d. (2) Serena Williams (USA) 64 36 76(5)
(7) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) d. (10) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 63 57 75
(12) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. María José Martínez Sánchez (ESP) 46 64 62
(14) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. (WC) Zhang Shuai (CHN) 61 64

Doubles – Quarterfinals
Kudryavtseva/Makarova (RUS/RUS) d. (4) Llagostera Vives/Martínez Sánchez (ESP/ESP) 26 76(8) 107
Kleybanova/Schiavone (RUS/ITA) d. (1) Black/Huber (ZIM/USA) 36 76(5) 119
(5) Hsieh/Peng (TPE/CHN) d. Pavlyuchenkova/Wickmayer (RUS/BEL) 63 61

Posted in beijing, marion bartoli | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Beijing: She Really *Should* Be No. 1

Posted by gauloises1 on October 9, 2009

So Serena’s been the official no. 1-in-waiting for like a day, and she’s taking to it like a duck to water. Which is to say that she lost.

serena williams china open beijing 2009

serena williams china open beijing 2009

serena williams beijing china open 2009

I must confess, I was watching Zvonareva and Pennetta and only even keeping a vague eye on the score for most of this one, and only saw from I think 4-4 in the third set on. What I did see impressed me greatly; the overall quality of the tennis, especially the serving (couldn’t have been a bigger contrast from Vera-Flavia), and of course Petrova’s performance. I’ve never been able to be a big fan of her game, although she seems like such a nice woman, but the tennis I saw was just stunning. She was also mentally rock solid, and I can’t believe I just typed those words. Even after going from 5-0 to 5-4 in the tiebreak, she continued to go for her shots and made them. Serena said after the match that she “ran into a girl today that has never played so good in her whole life”, and that seems about right to me. Well done Nadia Petrova.

nadia petrova beijing china open 2009nadia petrova china open 2009

nadia petrova china open beijing 2009

It’s Peng Shuai next for Petrova. Interesting to see whether either or both will sustain the red-hot form of their last matches. Although if Petrova keeps playing the same way she did today, she could win this whole shebang. What depth!

As for Serena, this brings up the interesting situation where on Monday she and Dinara Safina will be just 5 points apart in the rankings. I don’t believe either is scheduled to play any tournaments between now and Doha, although theoretically, there’s no reason why Dinara couldn’t nab herself a wildcard into, say, the Kremlin Cup in Moscow. So potentially, it could all come down to who does better in Doha, right? Be interesting if the whole Year End Championships actually settled the year end no. 1 spot for once.

Serena was obviously asked about the ranking in her press conference:

Q: With no more tournaments to go before Doha and with only five points leading in the ranking, what do you think about the competition between you and Safina for No. 1?

A: My goal is just to do well, and I tried to do well tonight but that didn’t work out so well. I can be No. 1 for a week on this tour, but it doesn’t matter how many Grand Slams you win. It’s more about how many Grand Slams you don’t win. My goal is just to do well in Doha.

…. I have no idea what that means. Anyone speak Serena? Anyone?

Posted in beijing, nadia petrova, serena williams | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »