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Archive for the ‘florian mayer’ Category

The Mystery of Marin & Other 250 Tales.

Posted by gauloises1 on February 5, 2011

Marin didn’t exactly got his revenge on Florian Mayer today. Instead, he notched up his second straight-sets loss to the German in a year, 63 64. I watched, and it was dreadful.

Marin himself said that he made a lot of unforced errors and couldn’t find any rhythm, which is a pretty accurate summation. I’ve been making light and making fun of Marin’s downward spiral for a long time, but I may have just reached the end of my tether. I intend no disrespect to Mayer, who is an incredibly improved player over the last year and making himself dangerous to all sorts of people. But it was the same match that Marin has basically been playing for a year now and I have just had enough.

What is going on?! This is the man who has been tipped for the top since forever, because he’s always looked to be nothing but upside. This is the man who made the quarterfinals of the 2009 US Open by beating Murray, blasted Rafa off the court in Beijing, then went straight on to the semifinals of the Australian Open. He struggled his way through Zagreb afterwards through sheer willpower, and then … what? I don’t know. OK, so he’s had his moments – finals of Munich, semis in Washington, round of sixteen at Roland Garros – but that is the very least he should be accomplishing, and those moments should not be interspersed with losses to the likes of Andreas Seppi and Andreas Haider-Maurer. And I just don’t understand it. He hasn’t had any major injury problems that have been reported in the press, and it’s a fact that he didn’t forget how to serve, hit his forehand or approach the net. He just became unable to do any of them on a consistently successful basis, for no apparent reason whatsoever.

Watch him these days and he’s a wreck of a player. Even when he’s winning, he’s still a bundle of nerves and errors being held together by sheer strength of will that’s always liable to shatter. The Marin of two years ago would have at least made a concerted effort to take it to Rafa in Melbourne. And the kind of errors he routinely made against Mayer were simple flinching at the moment of potential victory, like choking on a point-by-point level, and I just … don’t … understand … why!

Personal problems? Injuries or illnesses we don’t know about? Or he’s tired and burnt out after his first major semi-final, so he has a couple of random losses, and that combined with the unprecedented pressure combines to rock his confidence, and he feels like he can’t play freely, and it just gets worse and worse and worse and every time he thinks he’s getting out of it, he starts thinking too much and loses and it gets worse again?

I have literally been wondering about this for a year, and I’m fed up with it. I don’t care what it is any more. I just want him to stop it. Like, now. Because the way he’s going, he’s going to end up Joe McDisappointment and he is far too good for that. He should be a challenger. He should be a contender. He should be in the top ten. He’s good enough. I know he’s good enough. Honestly, I could just grab him and shake him and yell that into his face until he gets that through his divinely-moulded Croatian head.

…. But then, I know about twenty people who want to do the same thing to me. OK, they wouldn’t call my head ‘divinely-moulded’ – or Croatian, come to that – but the general gist would be the same. You’re good! You can do things! Believe! And frankly, it would just make me want to prove them wrong so they would leave me alone. And then I could go to bed. With a bottle of gin. And a pie. All right, I just talked myself out of being angry with Marin. I suppose I’ll just keep hanging on until he starts winning again, however long it takes. And in the meantime, if he wants to join me in bed with a bottle of gin and a pie, I suppose that would be OK as well.

Er … where was I?

Well done Florian Mayer.

There was a bit of a big-name exodus in Zagreb today in fact. Ivan Dodig took out compatriot Ivan Ljubicic in straight sets, and Richard Gasquet retired after seven games (being in the quarterfinals after Arnaud Clement retired against him).

So Michael Berrer is through to the semi-finals, along with Mayer, Dodig and Garcia-Lopez. Well done all round.

Johannesburg semi-finals, meanwhile, are mainly populated by people you’ve sort of heard of, but only sort of. Two locals, Kevin Anderson and Izak Van der Merwe, are through along with Adrian Mannarino, who’s a yummy Frenchman in a fey sort of way, and Somdev Devvarman, who beat another local, Rik de Vroest.

And in Santiago, Interior Minister-meeting defending champion Thomaz Bellucci lost to certified living Ken doll Fabio Fognini in a fairly thrilling three-set match. Fognini led 4-1 before Bellucci fought back to take it to a tiebreak, only to be taken down by Foggers’ superior speed. Fognini will be joined in the semi-finals by compatriot Potito Starace (yes, Potito Starace has had a better week than Marin), who beat Nalbandian’s conqueror, the suddenly-relevant Horacio ‘Onion’ Zeballos. Also hanging around? Hot Santi Giraldo and Vanilla Robredo. So it’s still a bit sexy.

… And that is what has been happening on the ATP tour.

Posted in florian mayer, ivan ljubicic, johannesburg, marin cilic, richard gasquet, santiago, santiago giraldo, somdev devvarman, zagreb | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

Mixed Fortunes For Marin.

Posted by gauloises1 on February 3, 2011

Don’t look now – I SAID DON’T LOOK!!! – but Marin won a match in Zagreb, where he’s the two-time defending champion, beating Igor Kunitsyn 76(3) 62. He’ll be facing Florian Mayer in the quarterfinals after Stupid Flowery Girlie Girl beat Radek Stepanek in three sets. Mayer, let us not forget, is the man who dismissed Marin in straight sets at Wimbledon last year before the horrified eyes of yours truly, and he recently beat Nikolay Davydenko in the first round of the Australian Open.

This isn’t going to end well for the Mariners, is what I’m saying.

Marin fared slightly worse in the doubles, as he (somewhat bizarrely) teamed up with sometime(s) coach and tournament director Goran Ivanisevic to lose to Filip Polasek and Ivan Zelenay in straight sets, in a match that was mainly memorable for (i) Goran’s inability to get a serve in the court, (ii) Goran cracking Marin up on changeovers, and (iii) this ridiculous pair of trick shots by Polasek, which you can watch here.

But have some photos anyway, because it’s been scientifically proven that there is nothing more pictorially engrossing than a pair of lanky Croatians playing doubles. Also … Marin actually makes Goran look a little bit fat, or at least three-dimensional.

 

 

Elsewhere, Johannesburg has been mainly notable for the exploits of a couple of Canadians; Milos Raonic, who beat second seed Yen-Hsun Lu before losing to Simon Greul in the second round, and Frank Dancevic, currently ranked 234, who knocked out defending champion Feliciano Lopez in a rain-interrupted match that went to 10-8 in a third set tiebreak.

And in Santiago, the hotness of the tournament took a blow when Juan Monaco lost to hermano Maximo Gonzalez in the first round, but is still ensured after David Nalbandian beat Carlos Berlocq in three and Thomaz Bellucci, defending champion, is into the quarterfinals after Rui Machado. As a reward, he got to meet the Chilean Minister of the Interior.

He looks pretty happy about it, I suppose.

Posted in florian mayer, goran ivanisevic, johannesburg, marin cilic, santiago, thomaz bellucci, zagreb | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

Wimbledon Daze: Upsets

Posted by gauloises1 on June 23, 2010

Stick with me while I attempt to catch up on everything that I missed at Wimbledon while I was there. (And yes, I know I may be stretching the definition of ‘upset’ somewhat with some of these …) This is who we’ve lost so far that we wouldn’t have expected to …

Sam Stosur and Francesca Schiavone crashed out to Kaia Kanepi and Vera Dushevina respectively. That’s an entire French Open final gone right there. You’d almost think it was played on a different surface or something.

Verdasco lost to Fognini in five. And still needs a haircut.

Damn Croatians. You’re supposed to be the reliable one, Marin! Although why anyone thinks that, I don’t know. Anyway, I watched this match. It made me sad.

Oh, Boss.

Please don’t let that be your last Wimbledon, OK?

Grass is not Shahar’s best ever surface, it must be said. She lost to Angelique Kerber in three. Still, I’ve been vaguely touting Kerber as a thing-in-waiting, so there’s that.

Big win for bronzed god Daniel Brands, who took out Kolya in straights. Kolya is another one who doesn’t thrive on the grass at all, though. Plus that whole fractured wrist thing.

If a result doesn’t upset anyone, is it still an upset? I’ve decided that this qualifies on the basis that Robin Haase did the upsetting, which means he actually won a match. Shock face.

Not sure what’s the bigger not-really-a surprise, Mel losing in the second round or the fact that she made it.

And how about a big hand for our upsetters …

What depth.

Posted in angelique kerber, daniel brands, fabio fognini, fernando verdasco, florian mayer, francesca schiavone, james blake, jarmila groth, juan carlos ferrero, kaia kanepi, marin cilic, nikolay davydenko, robin haase, samantha stosur, vera dushevina, wimbledon, xavier malisse | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

AO Day Five: Be Careful What You Wish For

Posted by gauloises1 on January 22, 2010

Well, I’m getting what I wanted; another AO fourth-round match between Juan Martin del Potro and Marin Cilic after both advanced in four sets but very contrasting fashions.

Marin, for me, put in one of the most impressive performances of the tournament so far over Stanislas Wawrinka, winning 46 64 63 63. Despite dropping the first set, he was calm and authoritative throughout against Wawrinka (who I thought was playing really well) and generally exuded a confidence which belied Lleyton Hewitt’s remarks the other day that he struggles against players he’s supposed to beat. Defending his Chennai title by defeating Wawrinka for the first time seems to have been good for him, and he was vastly more impressive than against Tomic. He’s got momentum and it’s going in the right direction.

Del Potro, on the other hand … I’m not sure where he’s heading. Dropping a set against an inspired opponent in your first match of 2010 is one thing; getting taken to five by James Blake is the same sort of thing; getting bagelled by Florian Mayer, albeit in the midst of a four-set victory, is quite another.

Very nearly the face of your nightmares.

I have only had time to squint hastily at the match, but even so I didn’t particularly like what I saw. Whether it was the result of the wrist problem or just a lapse in concentration, that second set was basically unforgivable, and for much of the rest of it he seemed to be relying on his serve to keep him afloat. More worryingly, he doesn’t seem to be striking his forehand at all well, and given that the previous meetings between him and Cilic have been mainly decided by who can land the most winners off that side …

Ah well. Apparently Pico came to watch and he had a bee on him at some point. Both of these things are cute.

Posted in australian open, florian mayer, juan martin del potro, marin cilic | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »