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Archive for the ‘horacio zeballos’ Category

Image is Everything: D Cup Quarter-finals

Posted by gauloises1 on July 12, 2010

Because nothing generates quite so much fantastic photoage as Davis Cup. You know it to be true.

sorry but ive to say i fcking won davis cup!omg

Pretty sure I could snap him like a twig. A twig.

Marin’s left arm makes a desperate bid for freedom.

Get the man a Big Mac, a big drink and a big vuvuzela.

“Did I leave the gas on …?”

This is not the face I’ve missed.

This is the face I’ve missed.

Put it away, Nole. Or I will come to Serbia and show you where to … never mind.

“Mr. President. What the hell.”

Nothing beats a good old-fashioned Serbian love huddle.

Eduardo Schwank looking in no way ridiculous.

Eduardo Schwank being no way ridiculous.

Kind of impossible to dislike Gael when he finds himself on this planet long enough to win a big match.

Tipsy wants a cuddle. No-one on this earth can blame him.

They shoot horses, don’t they?

Premature celebrating.

Yeah, Youzh better run.

Having beaten Spain at tennis, France take them on at the art of the manly hug. And win.

Have him caramelised and sent to my room.

Nole Major and Nole Minor.

Look who showed up to ‘help’.

“I’m a little lamb who’s lost in the woods …”

Kolya contemplates the many tragedies of life.

Shamil contemplates finding another job.

You’re not helping.

Homoerotic celebrations: must try harder.

Posted in david ferrer, david nalbandian, davis cup, eduardo schwank, gael monfils, gilles simon, horacio zeballos, igor andreev, ivan ljubicic, janko tipsarevic, julien benneteau, marin cilic, markko djokovic, michael llodra, mikhail youzhny, nenad zimonjic, novak djokovic | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

D Cup: Russia 2 – 3 Argentina

Posted by gauloises1 on July 11, 2010

Yes, you read that right. Argentina, without their #1 and #2 players Delpo and Pico, are in the Davis Cup semi-finals. How did that happen? Five words: Gervasio Esteban David Ezequiel Nalbandian.

A legend in his own lunchtime.

With no realistic chance of Mayer or Schwank winning a singles point for Argentina, this tie was always going to rest on David’s broad shoulders, and I didn’t think he could do it. Who did think he could do it? He hasn’t played since Monte Carlo, for god’s sake. How could he possibly turn up and beat Davydenko and Youzhny?

By being David Nalbandian, that’s how.

No, seriously, Kolya was looking pretty rusty in Friday’s match and although it wasn’t the highest quality from either player, David’s willingness to be aggressive really made the difference. It was nervy, with lots of breaks and rebreaks, and Kolya had plenty of opportunities to find his feet, including an early break in the first, serving for the second and breaking David’s serve when he was serving for the match, and then having two set points in the third. Still, David pulled off some amazing shots when he had to, kept taking risks and it paid off. Never one to mince words, he called the performance a ‘disaster‘ afterwards, but honestly I thought it was pretty incredible given his lack of matches in the past, well, year.

Tito approves.

Sadly Horseface had a ‘mare against Youzhny, evening the tie at 1-1. Tito decided (wisely, as it transpired) to rest Nalbandian and tapped Zeballos and Schwank for the doubles against the seemingly-dead-on-their-feet Kolya and Kunitsyn. I had my doubts about Horacio reproducing the doubles form he showed with Nalbandian against Sweden, especially without an old hand by his side, but I was so wrong. He was absolutely brilliant for almost the entire match, kept Schwank going and with the exception of one small wobble was the better half of the better team. Well deserved win.

With Schwank as expected unable to do much against Kolya in the fourth rubber, it all came down to a live fifth between Youzhny and Nalbandian. I thought this would go to a headcasey five with David running out of legs. I was so happy to be wrong.

David was, and I’m sorry to be repeating myself here, quite brilliant. OK, the first set was edgy and the second set maybe even more so, but David kept himself in it with great serving and huge returns, almost visibly growing in confidence so that the third set was almost a foregone conclusion. You could almost see Nalbandian at something like his best resurfacing, with that laser-like backhand and assurance at net that he never gets enough credit for. Sigh. I am a fangirl today.

Nalbandian seemed almost incredulous to have won and played so well, and frankly, so was I. After such a protracted absence from the tour and his many aborted attempts to return, to show up and do what he did in a situation like that is both staggering and indicative of the fact that Davis Cup brings out the best in David Nalbandian.

Now please please please bring some of this to the tour.

So Argentina, wildly unfancied (well not strictly unfancied, but you know what I mean), are in the semi-finals where they’ll face France away in September (which Pico should be back for). Amazing stuff. Drinks all round.

R1 – D.NALBANDIAN (ARG) def. N.DAVYDENKO (RUS)
6-4  7-6(5)  7-6(6)
R2 – M.YOUZHNY (RUS) def. L.MAYER (ARG)
6-3  6-1  6-4
R3 – E.SCHWANK / H.ZEBALLOS (ARG) def. N.DAVYDENKO / I.KUNITSYN (RUS)
7-6(7)  6-4  6-7(3)  6-1
R4 – N.DAVYDENKO (RUS) def. E.SCHWANK (ARG)
4-6  6-3  6-1  6-4
R5 – D.NALBANDIAN (ARG) def. M.YOUZHNY (RUS)
7-6(5)  6-4  6-3

By the way, as usual VamosDavid have match reports, highlights, quotes and all sorts. Check it out.

Posted in david nalbandian, davis cup, eduardo schwank, horacio zeballos, mikhail youzhny | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Hand of David.

Posted by gauloises1 on July 8, 2010

Let’s see how Argentina’s Davis Cup squad are preparing for this weekend’s tie against Russia, shall we?

Actual training footage.

Let’s not lie, the Argies are up against it and unsurprisingly much of the focus is on whether David ‘El Rey’ Nalbandian, the bad daddy of Davis Cup, can pull off another amazing rescue. Except this time he hasn’t played since Monte-Carlo and will have to face Nikolay Davydenko, Mikhail Youzhny and probably play the doubles as well.

Quietly confident, I assure you.

Anyway. Let’s all look at pictures of the Argies. Quick, before they start having to cry and recriminate.

Fine body of men.

If nothing else, he’s improving his fanboying immensely.

I swear to god, I just want to stick my face in his stomach and keep it there for an hour or so. In other news, here’s some words he said.

Bonus peeled Onion in video form:

Heading to the official dinner.

David does some practice in between sledging with Safin.

And the boys doing some serious physical work (David’s reaction at the end killed me):

As usual, I can only recommend you visit the amazing VamosDavid, who do a great job covering these ties. I’ll just be over there, looking at this photo and sighing a lot.

Posted in david nalbandian, davis cup, eduardo schwank, horacio zeballos, leonardo mayer, video | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Argentina Win Wrong World Cup

Posted by gauloises1 on May 23, 2010

Team Argentina, led by Pico and Horacio Zeballos, won the ARAG World Team Championship in Dusseldorf at the weekend. OK, so it’s not the Davis Cup, and it’s a made-up thing that defies all reason and logic, but still, it’s rough times for the Argy-lovers among us. We’ll take it.

Anyway, I like the celebrations.

Posted in dusseldorf, horacio zeballos, juan monaco, titlists | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

ATP: Ignoring Dusseldorf

Posted by gauloises1 on May 21, 2010

Judging on Nice, the men aren’t too much more stable this week than the women. The only seed living up to his obligations is Fernando Verdasco, who beat Sergiy Stakhovsky 64 in the third to set up a semi-final with Horseface, who scored an excellent and scandalously unphotographed win against Baggy. On the other side of the draw, it’s a semi-hilarious semi with Gasquet against Potito Starace – the man, the myth, the name – who beat Gael Monfils in straight sets.

Deal with that for a minute.

I’m not even going to pretend to understand what’s happening in Dusseldorf. Just have a picture of Pico and the Onion.

See? Two Argies, only one visible bandage, and no signs of imminent withdrawal/collapse. I told you this tournament makes no sense.

Posted in dusseldorf, gael monfils, horacio zeballos, juan monaco, nice | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Stan’s the Man, Sam Not So Much

Posted by gauloises1 on April 12, 2010

Stanislas Wawrinka d. Victor Hanescu, 62 63

If you like that sort of thing.

Stanislas Wawrinka and Richard Gasquet teamed up last week to make a fool of me, with Gasquet losing a three-set quarterfinal to Victor Hanescu when I picked him for the title and Stan crushing Hanescu in the final when I specifically didn’t. Ah well. Can’t win any of them them all. Well done to Stan.

Speaking of Hanescu, I found his unrelentingly serious ATP Uncovered adorable:

Juan Ignacio Chela d. Sam Querrey, 57 64 63

Hmmm. I know I had a pretty busy weekend, what with inventing sci-fi themed cocktails and trying to keep my unco-operative cat alive and everything, but … Chela? Winning? Is that still a thing? Was that ever a thing? I rather thought Sam Querrey had this one sewn up after he finally defeated everybody’s least favourite player, Wayne Odesnik, in the semis:

Querrey reportedly said “I refuse to lose to that guy”, and refuse to lose he did. So … what happened in the final? Anyone?

All joking aside, that’s a startlingly good run from Chela. A cursory glance at his playing record suggests that the last time he won consecutive main draw matches was in Kitzbuhel last year. So something major must have been working for him this week.

Meanwhile, props to another Argy, Horacio Zeballos, for reaching the semi-finals and defeating Gonzo along the way:

Love it.

Posted in casablanca, fernando gonzalez, horacio zeballos, houston, juan ignacio chela, sam querrey, stanislas wawrinka, titlists, victor hanescu, wayne odesnik | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Casablanca et al: Thursday’s Results, Friday’s OOP

Posted by gauloises1 on April 9, 2010

The (mildly hilarious) shock of the day has to be Kim Clijsters losing to 258th-ranked Spanish qualifier Beatriz Garcia Vidagany, who is playing her first WTA tour tournament ever – so that consistency thing remains a work in progress, eh, Kim? Simona Halep had another good win, this time over the slumping Sorana Cirstea, and lucky loser Varvara Lepchenko is making the best of things in Ponte Vedra Beach. On the men’s side, Stan Wawrinka survived a bagel from a qualifier and Official NB Pick For Casablanca Champion Richard Gasquet put in another crushing win. Lleyton Hewitt was not so rusty in his first match back after hip surgery, and Zeballos and Gonzo will be playing in a frankly hot quarterfinal. That is all.

Full Results – ATP

Casablanca

Singles – Second Round
[1] S Wawrinka (SUI) d [Q] M Klizan (SVK) 64 06 64
[3] V Hanescu (ROU) d [Q] J Nieminen (FIN) 26 63 62
[WC] R El Amrani (MAR) d J Hajek (CZE) 63 26 62
R Gasquet (FRA) d A Golubev (KAZ) 61 61

Doubles – Semi-finals
[3] R Lindstedt (SWE) / H Tecau (ROU) d [2] M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) 64 63
R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK) d P Marx (GER) / I Zelenay (SVK) 63 64

Houston

Singles – Second Round
[1] F Gonzalez (CHI) d [Q] K Anderson (RSA) 64 46 64
X Malisse (BEL) d [2] J Isner (USA) 76(3) 67(7) 76(3)
[3] S Querrey (USA) d B Kavcic (SLO) 62 61
[4] [WC] L Hewitt (AUS) d [LL] S Devvarman (IND) 16 60 76(2)
[6] H Zeballos (ARG) d D Sela (ISR) 63 62
W Odesnik (USA) d M Kukushkin (KAZ) 61 75

Doubles – Semi-finals
[3] S Huss (AUS) / W Moodie (RSA) d H Zeballos (ARG) / M Zverev (GER) 63 63

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[WC] N Healey (AUS) / L Hewitt (AUS) d D Istomin (UZB) / A Motti (ITA) 64 76(5)

WTA

Marbella

Singles – Second Round
(1) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (WC) Estrella Cabeza Candela (ESP) 62 64
(2) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. (Q) Laura Pous Tio (ESP) 62 62
(Q) Beatriz García Vidagany (ESP) d. (3/WC) Kim Clijsters (BEL) 75 46 64
Sara Errani (ITA) d. (7) Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) 61 76(1)
(8) Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) d. Polona Hercog (SLO) 64 76(2)
(Q) Simona Halep (ROU) d. Sorana Cirstea (ROU) 64 76(4)

Doubles – Quarterfinals
Kondratieva/Shvedova (RUS/KAZ) d. Domínguez Lino/Parra Santonja (ESP/ESP) 60 64

Doubles – First Round
(2) Ruano Pascual/Shaughnessy (ESP/USA) d. Malek/Sfar (GER/TUN) 26 75 1210

Ponte Vedra Beach

Singles – Second Round
(4) Elena Vesnina (RUS) d. Julia Goerges (GER) 63 62
(8) Melanie Oudin (USA) d. Peng Shuai (CHN) 26 75 75
Olga Govortsova (BLR) d. (Q) Anna Tatishvili (GEO) 62 62
(LL) Varvara Lepchenko (USA) d. Angelique Kerber (GER) 61 61

Doubles – Quarterfinals
(1) Mattek-Sands/Yan (USA/CHN) d. (WC) Cibulkova/Morita (SVK/JPN) 62 61
Borwell/Kops-Jones (GBR/USA) d. Goerges/Zahlavova Strycova (GER/CZE) 63 36 108

Today’s OOP is brought to you by Gonzo’s poorly knee.

Casablanca

Houston

ORDER OF PLAY – APRIL 9, 2010
Stadium Court – Start 12:00 noon
Nicolas Massu (CHI) vs (3) Sam Querrey (USA)
(4) Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) vs Juan Ignacio Chela (CHI)
Wayne Odesnik (USA) vs Xavier Malisse (BEL)
Not Before 6 p.m.
(1) Bob Bryan (USA) & Mike Bryan (USA) vs Nathan Healey (AUS) & Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)
(1) Fernando Gonzalez (CHI) vs (6) Horacio Zeballos (ARG)

Marbella

Centre Court (from 13.00hrs)
1. Tatjana Malek vs. Carla Suárez Navarro
2. Simona Halep vs. Flavia Pennetta
3. Victoria Azarenka vs. María José Martínez Sánchez
4. Sara Errani vs. Beatriz García Vidagany

Court 1 (NB 13.30hrs)
1. Lefèvre/Niculescu vs. Ruano Pascual/Shaughnessy

Ponte Vedra Beach

Stadium (from 11.00hrs)
1. Varvara Lepchenko vs. Olga Govortsova
2. Elena Vesnina vs. Melanie Oudin (NB 13.00hrs)
3. Aleksandra Wozniak vs. Dominika Cibulkova (NB 15.00hrs)
4. Dekmeijere/Schnyder vs. Chuang/Peng
5. Caroline Wozniacki vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (NB 19.00hrs)

Posted in casablanca, fernando gonzalez, horacio zeballos, houston, lleyton hewitt, marbella, melanie oudin, ponte vedra beach | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

D Cup: Argentina 3 – 2 Sweden

Posted by gauloises1 on March 8, 2010

Guess who’s back.

That’s right. El Rey is in the house.

I’m still grinning like a fool about how this worked out, so can I recommend that you visit VamosDavid for their excellent match reports? I’ll  just be doing the hyperbole and silly picspams as per usual.

Now we’ve got that sorted out … The day didn’t start out too well for Argentina as Leonardo Mayer was first up against Robin Soderling, facing the difficult (and as it turned out, nigh-impossible) task of clinching the tie after the doubles left Argentina with a 2-1 lead. It didn’t work out so well.

One actually can’t blame Leo for throwing his toys out of the pram. I thought he played really well and kept the match very close as the scoreline shows. That said, the gulf in class clearly showed in key moments, and Robin was really impressive despite carrying the burden of keeping the tie alive. He’s turning into a great Davis Cup player and it’s a shame in some ways that he doesn’t really have anyone to back him up.

But you couldn’t fault Leo for effort. He was virtually crying as Robin served the match out in emphatic style, and left the court broken-hearted – without even any shirtless cuddling to make him (and us) feel better.

So that left the tie poised at 2-2 with one match to decide two nation’s fates. A tricky situation, delicately balanced between triumph and disaster, agony and elation. The kind of moment when you really need someone to step up and be the hero, someone who’s done it all before, who knows what it’s like to win and lose big, someone capable of bringing a bit of class and magic to the court … someone, not to put too fine a point on it, not Eduardo Schwank.

Well hello there.

It wasn’t, to be frank, Nalbandian’s best performance. Apparently he only decided ten minutes before the match that he was actually going to play, having felt some pain after the doubles yesterday, and he started off distinctly rusty and seemingly unsure of his tactics. Vinciguerra, in fact, missed several opportunities to impose himself at the beginning of the match which could have changed the course of the whole thing. As it was, Nalbandian seemingly won the first set through grim determination more than anything else.

After that he loosened up and almost at times looked like the Nalbandian of old (had anybody else forgotten a bit just how good that is? His ball-striking is basically the sex), outclassing Vinciguerra throughout the second set and might have won in straights had he not taken a tumble diving for an unexpectedly stinging cross-court forehand when he was serving to stay in the third. The fall seemed to jar him a bit (hopefully doing no lingering damage, please god) and the third set unexpectedly slipped away.

But when he came out for the fourth, he had a look on his face which said pretty clearly that he had no intention of losing it, and so it proved. 75 63 46 64, and still the bad daddy of Davis Cup.

We bow before you.

I don’t want to make it seem like Nalbandian won this tie single-handed. Leo Mayer did incredibly well to recover and win against Joachim Johansson, without which Argentina would have had no chance. Horacio Zeballos really impressed in the doubles and was probably the best player out there. But quite apart from the crucial fifth rubber, you can’t underestimate the value of experience and inspiration, and it seems like Nalbandian risked his playing health to provide both this weekend.

OK, I’ll stop gushing now. Who wants happy hugging Argies?

Russia next …

R4 – R.SODERLING (SWE) def. L.MAYER (ARG)
7-5  7-6(5)  7-5
R5 – D.NALBANDIAN (ARG) def. A.VINCIGUERRA (SWE)
7-5  6-3  4-6  6-4

 
 

Posted in andreas vinciguerra, david nalbandian, davis cup, horacio zeballos, leonardo mayer, robin soderling | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

Stakhovsky, Melzer, Ljubicic Capture Titles

Posted by gauloises1 on November 2, 2009

Finals galore today. Well, three. I don’t know what the galore threshhold is.

First up, congratulations to qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky, who beat Argentine Horacio Zeballos 26 76(8) 76(7) for the St Petersburg title. It’s the Ukrainian’s second title, the first coming in Zagreb 2008. Commiserations to Zeballos but it’s been a great week for him, too, backing up some solid results on the Challenger circuit. And I can now almost pick him out of a lineup.

horacio zeballos

I’m not a huge fan of Stakhovsky, in terms of either his game or his personality (this will be a theme in today’s titlists), and mainly remember him for being Andy Murray’s defeated opponent in the US Open juniors. But given that his game had completely fallen away after a strong start to the year, it’s a great result for him to be back in the winner’s circle.

sergiy stakhovsky st petersburg

sergiy stakhovsky st petersburg

And well done to Flemski, the British duo of Colin Fleming and Ken Skupski, who took their second ATP doubles title by defeating Chardy and Gasquet 10-4 in the super tiebreak. Wonder if they’ll be able to talk their way into first class this time … I doubt it.

In Lyon, despite the prevalence of French players, the title went to grumpy old baldy Ivan Ljubicic, who kicked it old school by defeating Michael Llodra 75 63 for his first title since 2007.

michael llodra lyon 2009

ivan ljubicic lyon 2009

ivan ljubicic lyon 2009

And in Vienna, Jurgen Melzer irritated me exceedingly by beating Marin Cilic 64 63 for the title. From what I saw of the match (my stream was very poor quality), Marin was as usual defeated by his own inconsistency, but Melzer was extremely solid. Well done to him; it’s nice for him to win a title on home soil after his last final in Kitzbuhel when a certain JMDP beat him during the halcyon summer of 2008. Good times.

marin cilic vienna 2009

jurgen melzer doha 2009

jurgen melzer vienna 2009 trophy

Congratulations to all …

Posted in horacio zeballos, ivan ljubicic, jurgen melzer, lyon, marin cilic, michael llodra, sergiy stakhovsky, st petersburg, titlists, vienna | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »