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Archive for the ‘miami’ Category

Miami: A Good Week’s Work

Posted by gauloises1 on April 5, 2010

Andy Roddick d. Tomas Berdych 75 64

I want to tickle underneath his chin.

Ten years after appearing in the Sony Ericsson Open for the first time at the age of 17, courtesy of a wildcard, Andy Roddick won his second title in Miami after beating Nadal on the way. Nice work. I’ve only seen highlights from the final, but it looks like Roddick did a nice job of keeping Berdych discombobulated and on the back  foot, not really allowing him to build any rhythm.

He may not have been really in the final, but Berdych did brilliantly to get there against the opponents he faced and mastering the trick of actually stringing big wins together. Still, the story is Andy this week. It’s true that with Delpo and Kolya injured and Murray, Djokovic and Federer losing early, the only higher-ranked opponent he faced was Nadal, but with the way Rafa was playing earlier in the week, that was a huge win. And it’s fantastic to see someone who has repeatedly been written off or marginalised proving, once again, that he deserves to be in the conversation.

His pressers, as always, are down to earth and charming, too:

Q. Could you talk a little bit perhaps about the maturing that you’ve undergone? 
ANDY RODDICK:  I get a lot credit.  I’m not that mature.  I get a lot credit for it right now for like the last six months.  I went from the most immature person on the planet to maturity.  I like it. 
 
Q. It’s fairly commendable, though. 
ANDY RODDICK:  Thank you.  Your turn.

[…]

Q. You hadn’t won a Masters Series event since 2006.  Did you ever doubt you could win another one, and is this a big relief for you?
ANDY RODDICK:  There’s always any athlete who says they don’t have a “what if” moment probably isn’t being too honest with you.
I’ve certainly what my share of them throughout the course of my career. You know, I talked about this a lot after Wimbledon last year, but even after ’08 Wimbledon I openly talked to Brook and wondered if the best of it was gone.
I didn’t know. I honestly didn’t know. But I knew there was a way to find out, and that was to kind of go back to the drawing board and give myself every opportunity to succeed. 
Luckily, that’s given me some good days.

[…]

Q.  Given the in past year you’ve been known for your many achievements outside of tennis, do you feel that maybe the fates were with you, that you also won because today is Easter Sunday and we’re in the middle of Passover? 
ANDY RODDICK:  Hadn’t thought about it.  But I’ll take some divine intervention any time it wants to help me out.  I’m not above it.

source

And oh yeah, he also found time this week to appear alongside Gonzo, Jim Courier and Guga Kuerten in a charity exhibition which raised $125,000 for victims of the Chilean earthquake:

So yeah. I think we can call that a full week.

Posted in andy roddick, fernando gonzalez, miami, titlists, tomas berdych | Tagged: , , | 11 Comments »

Miami: “Kimpressive”, To Quote Brad Gilbert

Posted by gauloises1 on April 5, 2010

Kim Clijsters d. Venus Williams, 62 61

This match took 58 minutes. That’s probably all you need to know. It was also the only match I got to see in the latter stages on either side, so you can guess it was kind of a letdown. Kim was very impressive; Venus was terrible, although it’s hard to tell how much her knee injury played into that, especially as she was her usual communicative self in her presser:

Q.  Your power is a great asset.  With the clay coming up there’s a premium on consistency.  Is that a concern with your groundstrokes at this stage?
 VENUS WILLIAMS:  Should it be a concern of mine?

 Q.  Well, that’s up to you to answer.  Depends how well you felt you were hitting it.
 VENUS WILLIAMS:  I was just wondering what you thought.

 Q.  Well, overall.
 VENUS WILLIAMS:  Overall, I believe in me and my game.  So no matter what the surface, I’m ready to play.

Thanks for that. So Kim nabs her second and biggest title of the year and goes some way to regaining the momentum lost after her Australian Open defeat, Venus is fine or possibly not, we’ll never know, and still nobody’s sure what the narrative really is this season. Business as usual in the WTA. And congratulations to Kim.

Posted in kim clijsters, miami, titlists, venus williams | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

The Many Faces of Tomas Berdych

Posted by gauloises1 on April 3, 2010

I am constantly amazed by how Tomas Berdych can go from ‘cute’ to ‘animatronic puppet of a serial killer’ in the click of a shutter. Observe.

Cute.

Freaky.

Cute.

Liver-eater.

Chucky.

Posted in miami, tomas berdych | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

Miami: Someone Teach These Ladies How To Fake It

Posted by gauloises1 on April 3, 2010

Kim and Justine played another three-set epic in the semifinals of Miami, with Kim eventually triumphing 62 67(3) 76(6). Apparently it was something of a clusterfuck. Much like this hug.

Seriously. Pick a side and go for it.

Posted in justine henin, kim clijsters, miami | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Miami: Quite a Lot Like Indian Wells

Posted by gauloises1 on April 3, 2010

So correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this all oddly familiar?

Rafa, the only member of the top four still standing, loses in the semifinals after looking well-nigh unbeatable earlier in the tournament.

Robin Soderling bashes and batters his way to the semifinals, only to then lose in straight sets quite tamely.

Andy Roddick is in the finals, a bit surprisingly, and will play an even more surprising opponent, in this case Tomas Berdych, who started this tournament at 125-1.

I’m pretty sure I can see nostril hair.

Posted in andy roddick, miami, rafael nadal, robin soderling, tomas berdych | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

This Just In: Boss Is Dreamy

Posted by gauloises1 on March 30, 2010

To be honest, I listened to absolutely nothing he said. I just looked.

Except it’s adorable how he pronounces ‘Australia’. And that he wants to be an architect, just like Delpo. Sigh.

Posted in juan carlos ferrero, miami, video | Tagged: | 9 Comments »

The Apotheosis of Adorable

Posted by gauloises1 on March 30, 2010

Ovaries on red alert …

Why yes, that is Jo cuddling some sort of wallaby-type animal. In a fluffy blanket.

You may now die.

Posted in jo-wilfried tsonga, miami | Tagged: | 14 Comments »

Miami: Monday’s Results, Tuesday’s OOP

Posted by gauloises1 on March 30, 2010

Full Results

Men’s Singles – Third Round
[1] R Federer (SUI) d F Serra (FRA) 76(2) 76(3)
[5] R Soderling (SWE) d P Petzschner (GER) 61 62
[7] M Cilic (CRO) d [25] M Baghdatis (CYP) 63 64
[9] F Gonzalez (CHI) d [22] J Monaco (ARG) 67(4) 64 62
[10] F Verdasco (ESP) d [23] J Melzer (AUT) 36 76(4) 61
[13] M Youzhny (RUS) d [19] S Wawrinka (SUI) 16 76(5) 75
[16] T Berdych (CZE) d H Zeballos (ARG) 64 75
M Fish (USA) d [29] F Lopez (ESP) 75 63

Women’s Singles – Fourth Round
[13] M Bartoli (FRA) d [1] S Kuznetsova (RUS) 63 60
[2] C Wozniacki (DEN) d [22] A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 62 62
[3] V Williams (USA) d [19] D Hantuchova (SVK) 16 75 64
[14] K Clijsters (BEL) d [4] V Azarenka (BLR) 64 60
[6] A Radwanska (POL) d Y Shvedova (KAZ) 61 64
[9] S Stosur (AUS) d [7] J Jankovic (SRB) 61 76(9)
[WC] J Henin (BEL) d [11] V Zvonareva (RUS) 61 64
[12] Y Wickmayer (BEL) d T Bacsinszky (SUI) 60 61

Men’s Doubles – Second Round
N Almagro (ESP) / T Robredo (ESP) d [1] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) 46 62 10-5
[3] L Dlouhy (CZE) / L Paes (IND) d T Bellucci (BRA) / M Lopez (ESP) 46 63 10-8
F Lopez (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) d [6] S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS) 61 76(3)
A Clement (FRA) / J Tsonga (FRA) d [7] F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK) 63 60

Women’s Doubles – Second Round
[4] L Raymond (USA) / R Stubbs (AUS) d L Dekmeijere (LAT) / P Schnyder (SUI) 26 75 10-7
[8] E Makarova (RUS) / S Peng (CHN) d K Peschke (CZE) / K Srebotnik (SLO) 64 63

Today’s OOP is brought to you by Pico and the art of stretchy, flamboyant despair.

Order of Play

STADIUM start 11:00 am
[[8] J Tsonga (FRA) vs [12] J Ferrero (ESP) – ATP

Not Before 1:00 PM
[3] V Williams (USA) vs [6] A Radwanska (POL) – WTA
[6] A Roddick (USA) vs B Becker (GER) – ATP
[15] D Ferrer (ESP) vs [4] R Nadal (ESP) – ATP

Not Before 7:00 PM
[13] M Bartoli (FRA) vs [12] Y Wickmayer (BEL) – WTA

Not Before 9:00 PM
[1] R Federer (SUI) vs [16] T Berdych (CZE) – ATP

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
[33] N Almagro (ESP) vs [27] T Bellucci (BRA) – ATP
M Fish (USA) vs [13] M Youzhny (RUS) – ATP
[9] F Gonzalez (CHI) or [22] J Monaco (ARG) vs [5] R Soderling (SWE) – ATP
[10] F Verdasco (ESP) or [23] J Melzer (AUT) vs [7] M Cilic (CRO) – ATP

COURT 1 start 3:00 pm
[8] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) vs I Andreev (RUS) / M Youzhny (RUS) – After suitable rest
M Kirilenko (RUS) / A Radwanska (POL) vs G Dulko (ARG) / F Pennetta (ITA) – After suitable rest

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
J Isner (USA) / S Querrey (USA) vs [4] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Mirnyi (BLR) – ATP
[5] A Kleybanova (RUS) / F Schiavone (ITA) vs [4] L Raymond (USA) / R Stubbs (AUS) – WTA
[3] N Petrova (RUS) / S Stosur (AUS) vs J Coin (FRA) / V King (USA) – WTA
E Butorac (USA) / R Ram (USA) vs [2] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) – ATP
M Damm (CZE) / F Polasek (SVK) vs B Becker (GER) / M Kohlmann (GER) – ATP

Posted in jelena jankovic, juan monaco, miami | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

A Collective Noun of Belgians

Posted by gauloises1 on March 30, 2010

Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters joined Yanina Wickmayer in the quarterfinals last night after solid wins over Vera Zvonareva and defending champion Victoria Azarenka respectively.

And speaking of Justine, Kim and Yanina (see how smoothly I did that?), I thought this was pretty interesting from The Times on the relationship between the three, Yanina and Fed Cup and Kim’s changing dynamic with the press:

There is plenty of news and conflict to occupy Belgian nibs. […] But what is convulsing them more are the latest twists in the relationship between Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters and Yanina Wickmayer, the women ranked, respectively, No 33, No 16 and No 14 on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. There was a frisson when Henin and Clijsters crossed rackets and their contests were always vivid for more than simply to discover who would be the better player, for Henin is from the French-speaking quarter, while Clijsters is Flemish through and through. Having Wickmayer in the mix has added more than a dash of spice to the story.

The choice of Henin and Clijsters as the No 1 and No 2 picks for the Fed Cup team to play against Estonia in a month’s time has angered Yanina’s father Marc, who, with some justification, thinks his daughter deserves to be one of the two singles players. He has said he does not want Yanina to attend just to be the water carrier.

Further piquancy is provided in that, during Henin’s ‘retirement’ from the sport, M. Wickmayer attempted to persuade Carlos Rodriguez, her coach since childhood, to come and work with his daughter. Rodriguez spent some time with Wickmayer but decided not to work with her full time, much to the Wickmayers’ disgust. There are rumours of legal comebacks. But there was a sizeable get-out for Rodriguez the moment that Henin announced said she would return to the tour, as she did in January. Rodriguez was not going to work for anyone else.

All three girls have a remarkable story to relate. Henin’s travails against the backdrop of the premature death of her mother, family splits, recriminations and reconciliations, her marriage and divorce, are part of the sport’s folklore. Clijsters, so happy-go-lucky by comparison, was a committed competitor, before she decided to stop playing, had a daughter, lost her father and mentor, Leo, to cancer, returned to the tour and won the US Open in fairytale style.

Wickmayer is a no less driven character, having lost her mother at the age of nine after which her father uprooted from Belgium and landed in America, building a new life. Suddenly, late last year she discovered that her name was high among those who had missed targeted doping dates. She left for the Australia circuit in 2009 and was supposed to fill out her whereabouts forms for the Flemish anti-doping authorities but thought they were only for top 50 players, which she was not at the time. That was an initial violation. As she was away from home for a long period, letters sent to her reminding her of her liabilities under the anti-doping programme were returned to the sender. The same thing happened again later in the year – three strikes and she faced a year-long suspension.

She had never missed a doping control on site, had never tested positive and here she was – out of the game for a period that could have seriously damaged her career. “There was ten years of hard work to get me to No 16 in the world and it was all being taken from me,” she said. “I don’t know whether that was humane for them, but it wasn’t for me. I could only practise, but with no purpose. I was only 19, I didn’t know all the rules, and if I could not have played for a year, I didn’t know how I would react.”

Eventually, the court’s ruling was overturned and Wickmayer was allowed to continue, to where she has become the highest-ranked of the trio. Nonetheless, given her father is such a strong character, expect more of the current frictions to continue.

And even Clijsters is not – according to the Net Post’s colleagues in the Belgian press – as affable and approachable as she used to be. She does not relish it when they come to watch her practise, their time with her is limited, they do not get the kind of access to her current coach, Wim Fissette, as they did to her previous coaches, Carl Maes and Marc Dehous, both of whom now work on Belgian TV. They are more than a touch rattled by that.

Interesting times.

Posted in fed cup, justine henin, kim clijsters, miami, yanina wickmayer | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Poor Dani

Posted by gauloises1 on March 30, 2010

You have to feel for Daniela Hantuchova. Well, I don’t know if you have to, but I do. She came into yesterday’s match 0-9 down against Venus, played probably some of the best (and toughest) tennis I’ve ever seen her play against a patchy and inconsistent opponent … and still lost, 64 in the third.

It’s harsh, but there were some really encouraging signs that working with the Adidas Player Development Programme and Darren Cahill in particular might really pay off for her. I’ve always felt like she had much more to give.

As for Venus, she’s up against Agnieszka Radwanska next, who’s stealthily been on good form of late. One suspects, however, not good enough …

Posted in daniela hantuchova, miami, venus williams | Tagged: | 1 Comment »