New Balls, Please

"Climbing the Comeback Mountain with the Tower of Tandil."

  • Recent Posts

  • Unhealthily Obsessed With

    agnieszka radwanska alize cornet amelie mauresmo ana ivanovic andy murray andy roddick aravane rezai ATP ATP week ahead australian open beijing belgrade british tennis bstaad caroline wozniacki cincinnati daniela hantuchova david ferrer david nalbandian davis cup dinara safina doha dubai elena dementieva ernests gulbis estoril fed cup feliciano lopez fernando gonzalez fernando verdasco flavia pennetta francesca schiavone french open gael monfils gilles simon image is everything indian wells jelena jankovic jo-wilfried tsonga john isner juan carlos ferrero juan martin del potro juan monaco julien benneteau justine henin kim clijsters kuala lumpur li na lleyton hewitt los angeles madrid marat safin marcos baghdatis maria kirilenko maria sharapova marin cilic marion bartoli melanie oudin miami mikhail youzhny montreal munich nikolay davydenko novak djokovic paris masters philipp kohlschreiber queens radek stepanek rafael nadal richard gasquet robin soderling roger federer rome sabine lisicki samantha stosur sam querrey serena williams shahar peer shanghai sorana cirstea stuttgart svetlana kuznetsova sydney the withdrawal method thomaz bellucci titlists tokyo tomas berdych tommy robredo us open venus williams vera zvonareva victoria azarenka video wimbledon WTA wta week ahead WTFs yanina wickmayer
  • Categories

Archive for the ‘doha’ Category

Djokovic, Zvonareva Winning in the Gulf

Posted by gauloises1 on February 28, 2011

Novak Djokovic d. Roger Federer, 63 63

You can’t spell “hat-trick” without “ha”.

Late to the party, I know, but what can we say except that Djokovic was outstanding in the final, and after a less than stellar route there, absolutely dismantled Federer? I don’t think Federer was on top form, but I really don’t think the match was about him. From the beginning, Djokovic was all over him with the return, that lethal forehand of death, and kept putting the ball in fairly impossible positions. No wonder Federer butchered a couple of shots. That’s Djokovic’s third Dubai title, and he’s now been unbeaten for fifteen matches. You may, you know, worship him.

Vera Zvonareva d. Caroline Wozniacki, 64 64

Pretty impressive for Vera Zvonareva in Doha, who hasn’t won a trophy in … ages, and beat Wozniacki 64 64 in a straightforward final. Wozniacki has had a good two weeks, picking up the Dubai title and beating a couple of former bugbears in Jankovic, Peer and Bartoli, so she was a bit fatigued and reportedly ill, but Zvonareva’s game had more than a little to do with a petulant final performance, so well done to the world no. 3.

Posted in doha, dubai, novak djokovic, titlists, vera zvonareva | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

WTA Week Ahead: Acapulco, Doha

Posted by gauloises1 on February 21, 2011


International, Venus Williams defending (but not); draw here.

Top 8 seeds: Julia Goerges, Polona Hercog, Greta Arn, Gisela Dulko, Simona Halep, Arantxa Parra Santonja, Carla Suarez Navarro, Olga Govortsova

Points of interest: Polona Hercog and Simona Halep disappointed me in Bogota. Will they do it again?! Probably, and Polona was a finalist here last year, so she’ll have no excuse. Melanie Oudin and a literal pair of Pliskovas (transitioning juniors, thigh tattoos) are also bimbling about in the draw.



Premier, defending … well, this tournament hasn’t been played since 2008, when Maria Sharapova won it before it was superseded by the Year-End Championships, so she’s sort of defending; Alisa Kleybanova also won a tournament this week last year; draw here.

Top 8 seeds: Caroline Wozniacki, Vera Zvonareva, Francesca Schiavone, Li Na,  Jelena Jankovic, Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska, Shahar Peer

Points of interest: This is basically Dubai-lite with no number 1 ranking on the line. Still a pretty good draw with some exceptional first-round matches: Flavia Pennetta-Zheng Jie, Lucie Safarova-Agnieszka Radwanska, Alisa Kleybanova-Marion Bartoli, Svetlana Kuznetsova-Shahar Peer (who probably still won’t be allowed to play where people can see her), Azarenka-Hantuchova. It’s going to be insanity from day one. Enjoy.

Posted in acapulco, doha, maria sharapova, venus williams, wta week ahead | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

I’ll Have What He’s Having

Posted by gauloises1 on January 10, 2010

Picking up right where he left off at the WTFs, Nikolay Davydenko defeated Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal back to back to take the trophy at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open.

Nikolay Davydenko d. Rafael Nadal, 06 76(8) 64

I sky-plus’ed this one and am watching it back right now, and Nadal is entirely dominating in the first set. I must confess, I have no idea how Kolya is going to come back and win this one …

Would this be a bad moment to say I love Rafa’s outfit?

Reportedly, Rafa said he felt like he played his best tennis for five months in this tournament, and although he and his fans will obviously be crushed that he lost the final after leading so commandingly, he’s looked pretty sharp this week and should be in excellent shape for the Australian Open. Ongoing trophy drought notwithstanding.

There’s no denying that this is an enormously impressive result from Kolya, though. Quite apart from recovering after such a beatdown in the opening set and fighting off two match points before stealing the match from under the nose of one of the best closers in the game, he’s now improved to a 5-4 H2H over Nadal and won their last four hard court encounters (although he benefited from a retirement in the second of those meetings). He’s also become the second player after David Nalbandian to twice beat Roger and Rafa in the same tournament. Many of those who were vaguely condescending towards his WTF win as an end-of-season fluke will now have to seriously consider whether he is a strong contender for the Open. And he’s adorable.

Kolya kontemplates whether he might get a racquet endorsement now …

… and decides he doesn’t care.

I’m about one-thousandth as much in love with them as they seem to be with each other. It’s still a lot.

What is that Rafa’s got? Antelope? Ibex? Chimaera?

Kolya surveys his future, and finds it good.


Posted in doha, nikolay davydenko, rafael nadal, titlists | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

Saturday OOPs (and an apology)

Posted by gauloises1 on January 8, 2010

So … sorry for the unscheduled lack of updates this week. It turns out that this blog, much like the British transport infrastructure, doesn’t function too well in sub-zero temperatures. I have now made it home, but we’re still buried under about eight inches of snow, have almost run out of food and most worrying of all, are down to our last bottle of red wine. And there’s a hole in my left welly boot.


Centre Court (from 13.00hrs)
1. Doubles Final: Black/Huber vs. Grandin/Granville
2. Singles Final: Flavia Pennetta vs. Yanina Wickmayer (NB 14.45hrs)


Pat Rafter Arena (from 11.00hrs)
1. ATP: Monfils vs. Stepanek
2. ATP: [Roddick or Gasquet] vs. Berdych (NB 12.30hrs)
3. ATP: Blake/Roddick vs. Chardy/Gicquel (after suitable rest)
4. Singles Final: Kim Clijsters vs. Justine Henin (NB 19.00hrs)
5. Doubles Final: Hlavackova/Hradecka vs. Czink/Parra Santonja


Stadium (from 5.10 p.m.)
1. Janko Tipsarevic v Marin Cilic
2. Dudi Sela v Stanislas Wawrinka
3. Yen Hsun-Lu / Janko Tipsarevic v Somdev Devvarman / Sanam Singh
4. Colin Fleming / Ken Skupski v Marcel Granollers / Santiago Ventura


Center Court (6.30 p.m.)
Nikolay Davydenko vs Rafael Nadal

Hopman Cup
9.30 a.m. local
Great Britain v Spain

Posted in auckland, brisbane, chennai, doha, hopman cup | 4 Comments »

I Thought Puberty Was Supposed to Come Before Prostitutes?

Posted by gauloises1 on January 4, 2010

Meet Kevin.

Posted in doha, ernests gulbis | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

Doing Not Very Much In Doha

Posted by gauloises1 on January 4, 2010

Random photoage from Doha …


Rafa with a gaggle of urchins.

Roger, meanwhile, is a beautiful butterfly …

… who organises children with military precision.

Kolya and the missus, meanwhile, continue adorable.

Posted in doha, nikolay davydenko, rafael nadal, roger federer | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Tuesday’s OOP: Auckland, Brisbane, Chennai, Doha, Hopman Cup

Posted by gauloises1 on January 4, 2010


Centre Court (from 11.00hrs)
1. Francesca Schiavone vs. Stéphanie Cohen-Aloro
2. Alizé Cornet vs. Marina Erakovic
3. Kaia Kanepi vs. Li Na
4. Alberta Brianti vs. Elena Vesnina
5. Tatjana Malek vs. Maria Kirilenko (NB 19.30hrs)
6. Craybas/Spears vs. Vesnina/Zalameda

Court 4 (from 11.00hrs)
1. Shahar Peer vs. Polona Hercog
2. Virginie Razzano vs. Monica Niculescu
3. Pennetta/Schiavone vs. Gallovits/Peer
4. Cibulkova/Wickmayer vs. Mirza/Ruano Pascual

Court 6 (from 11.00hrs)
1. Carla Suárez Navarro vs. Edina Gallovits
2. Stefanie Voegele vs. Sania Mirza
3. Elena Baltacha vs. Ioana Raluca Olaru
4. Coin/Pelletier vs. Uhlirova/Voracova




Hopman Cup

Day session (starts 10 a.m. local)

Australia vs. USA

Night session (starts 5.30 p.m. local)

Spain vs. Romania

Posted in auckland, brisbane, chennai, doha, hopman cup | Leave a Comment »

ATP Brisbane, Chennai, Doha: Gasquet Mans Up

Posted by gauloises1 on January 4, 2010

Loads going on but not too much to report, although I really enjoyed the match betwen Jarkko Nieminen and Richard Gasquet in Brisbane. Both played really well but Gasquet was outstanding and – despite the seemingly unavoidable wobbles – kept it together in the end for a solid 63 46 64 win.

Also winning in Brisbane? Defending champion Radek Stepanek, Nose Job, and Andy Roddick – who didn’t take the Gasquet route of removing his cap, but seemed to have forgotten to remove something from his cap.

Sadly Jeremy Chardy fell by the wayside at the hands of Alejandro Falla, seemingly setting fair to make 2010 as inconsistent as 2009.

In Doha, with the big guns relaxing, two lesser seeds were knocked out; Ernests Gulbis is on track for a second-round loss, having beaten sixth seed Albert Montanes, and Sergiy Stakhovsky knocked out Mikhail Youzhny.

And in Chennai, Marin Cilic opened his title defence with a straightforward victory over Igor Kunitsyn, 62 64. Get in.


Singles – First Round
[1] A Roddick (USA) d P Luczak (AUS) 76(5) 62
[2] R Stepanek (CZE) d [WC] J Millman (AUS) 64 60
A Falla (COL) d [7] J Chardy (FRA) 64 64
[8] T Bellucci (BRA) d J Chela (ARG) 63 36 61
R Gasquet (FRA) d J Nieminen (FIN) 63 46 64
W Odesnik (USA) d A Clement (FRA) 64 76(2)
M Gicquel (FRA) d P Petzschner (GER) 63 61
H Levy (ISR) d M Llodra (FRA) 62 60

Doubles – First Round
A Fisher (AUS) / S Huss (AUS) d [WC] K Hensel (AUS) / B Tomic (AUS) 46 63 10-6
J Melzer (AUT) / P Petzschner (GER) d M Damm (CZE) / F Polasek (SVK) 62 62


Singles – First Round
[2] M Cilic (CRO) d I Kunitsyn (RUS) 62 64
[4] J Tipsarevic (SRB) d [WC] C Moya (ESP) 63 76(2)
J Hajek (CZE) d [6] S Greul (GER) 36 62 64
T de Bakker (NED) d [8] R Ram (USA) 61 61
S Giraldo (COL) d B Phau (GER) 64 67(6) 63

Doubles – First Round
[2] M Granollers (ESP) / S Ventura (ESP) d M Kohlman (GER) / R Schuettler (GER) 76(5) 63
[WC] S Devvarman (IND) / S Singh (IND) d [4] R de Voest (RSA) / S Lipsky (USA) 62 75


Singles – First Round
S Stakhovsky (UKR) d [4] M Youzhny (RUS) 76(11) 62
[5] V Troicki (SRB) d D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) 61 75
E Gulbis (LAT) d [6] A Montanes (ESP) 62 75
[7] I Karlovic (CRO) d F Fognini (ITA) 64 64
O Rochus (BEL) d [WC] A Hajji (QAT) 61 60
M Chiudinelli (SUI) d P Lorenzi (ITA) 75 63
P Starace (ITA) d F Gil (POR) 62 60
E Korolev (RUS) d M Vassallo Arguello (ARG) 62 63

Doubles – First Round
[2] F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK) d [WC] R El Amrani (MAR) / M Ghareeb (KUW) 60 60
[4] C Kas (GER) / D Norman (BEL) d S Bolelli (ITA) / A Seppi (ITA) 63 36 10-6

Posted in andy roddick, brisbane, chennai, doha, richard gasquet, sergiy stakhovsky | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

A Whole New World …

Posted by gauloises1 on January 3, 2010

Roger and Rafa, a.k.a the kids whose mum does use new improved Daz Ultra for whiter whites, made an appearance at the Souq Watif in the historic centre of Doha to promote the Qatar Exxon Mobil Open.

They played tennis. On a carpet. In the air. Edward Said is probably turning over in his grave, if he’s dead.

Hands up who isn’t mentally recreating this with our heroes. (Bonus points if you’re thinking of this version.)

Posted in doha, rafael nadal, roger federer | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

ATP Week Ahead: Brisbane, Chennai, Doha

Posted by gauloises1 on January 3, 2010


Draw here.

Top seed Andy Roddick has a nice ride for his newly-recovered knee and should sail (to mix a metaphor) through to the quarter-finals, where he should meet either Richard Gasquet or Jurgen Melzer. The second quarter is a little less predictable, with Tomas Berdych and the unbelievably seeded Nose Job mixing it with Fish, Baghdatis and Llodra, but I don’t se any of them troubling Roddick unduly this early in the season. The third quarter features an all-American first round clash between Querrey and Blake, but if Gael Monfils can avoid being upset by Taylor Dent in the first round, I see him coming out on top. And defending champion and second seed Radek Stepanek has perhaps the easiest quarter, with the toughest opposition likely to come from quixotic Jeremy Chardy or a possible meeting with swine-flu survivor and wildcard Bernard Tomic. My money is on Roddick to win the title, though.


Draw here.

Definitely looking a little underpowered in comparison to the other tournaments this week, Chennai still offers the potential for a clash between Robin Soderling, the top seed, and defending champion Marin Cilic in the final. I’d be astonished if the newly mentally-solid Soderling didn’t make the final, with his toughest test likely to come in a potential Abu Dhabi rematch with third seed Stanislas Wawrinka. Marin, on the other hand – bless him – isn’t quite as reliable and has a trickier quarter with the likes of Rajeev Ram, Rainer Schuettler, last year’s finalist Somdev Devvarman, Janko Tipsarevic and wildcard Carlos Moya knocking about, all of whom are capable of both the sublime and the ridiculous (often within the space of a single match). Soderling for the title.


Draw here.

This is where the big boys are hanging out this week, presumably lured by the climate or something. Roger, Rafa and Kolya are the top three seeds, with a definitely perceptible drop to the likes of Troicki, Montanes and Karlovic. Hard to feel a big sense of suspense about this, really. Can Kolya overcome Dr. Ivo and repeat his WTF victory over Federer? Probably not. Will anyone, up to and including Mikhail Youzhny, stop Rafa? Probably not. Will Ernests Gulbis make it to the second round? Probably not. Will Daniel Koellerer refrain from being a dick? Probably not. You see my dilemma. Rafa for the title.   

Posted in andy murray, ATP week ahead, brisbane, chennai, doha, marin cilic, radek stepanek | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »