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Archive for the ‘rome’ Category

Standing With Scissors

Posted by gauloises1 on April 28, 2010

Roger and Raf a took part in the inauguration ceremony for the new centre court in Rome today, and at least one of them was rocking some very unfortunate hair:

Meh. Give me dressed-down, chilled-out, Nole-bromancing Rafa any day.

Posted in rafael nadal, roger federer, rome | Tagged: , | 12 Comments »

Rome: Tuesday’s Results, Wednesday’s OOP

Posted by gauloises1 on April 27, 2010

While Murray stunned the nation by winning a match and some other guy lost, Novak Djokovic’s crushing win over Jeremy Chardy went somewhat unnoticed, but win he did, 61 61. In encouraging news, his serve looked particularly good.

Juan Monaco, meanwhile, suffered another disappointing defeat, going down in straights to Victor Hanescu. I don’t know how much the wrist is bothering him, but his results certainly don’t seem to justify postponing the surgery.

Obligatory disbelieving look over the net.

I’ll bet that some martyred, long-suffering pleading with the umpire was involved as well.

The unseeded Wawrinka and Lopez both had thorough straight sets wins and were apparently looking very good, while Nose Job prevailed over Horseface and Lleyton Hewitt had a tough win over Mikhail Youzhny in three.

David Ferrer beat Evgeny Korolev to face Andy Murray in the second round, and last week’s girl Thiemo de Bakker was forced to retire in the third set against Viktor Troicki.


Singles – Second Round
E Gulbis (LAT) d [1] R Federer (SUI) 26 61 75
[2] N Djokovic (SRB) d J Chardy (FRA) 61 61
[4] A Murray (GBR) d A Seppi (ITA) 62 64
V Hanescu (ROU) d [16] J Monaco (ARG) 76(4) 64

Singles – First Round
L Hewitt (AUS) d [9] M Youzhny (RUS) 64 46 63
[13] D Ferrer (ESP) vs E Korolev (KAZ)
N Almagro (ESP) d L Kubot (POL) 67(3) 62 63
S Wawrinka (SUI) d J Melzer (AUT) 61 62
F Lopez (ESP) d B Becker (GER) 64 63
V Troicki (SRB) d T de Bakker (NED) 36 61 10 ret. (groin)
T Bellucci (BRA) vs [Q] L Mayer (ARG)
[WC] S Bolelli (ITA) d [LL] S Greul (GER) 64 61

Doubles – First Round
G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) / A Montanes (ESP) vs M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL)
I Ljubicic (CRO) / M Llodra (FRA) d J Knowle (AUT) / A Ram (ISR) 64 63
P Cuevas (URU) / J Monaco (ARG) d J Benneteau (FRA) / J Chardy (FRA) 36 75 10-8
J Isner (USA) / S Querrey (USA) d J Tsonga (FRA) / S Wawrinka (SUI) 46 62 10-7
[WC] S Bolelli (ITA) / P Starace (ITA) d I Andreev (RUS) / M Youzhny (RUS) 64 62
N Almagro (ESP) / M Granollers (ESP) d F Lopez (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) 62 76(3)

Wednesday’s OOP is brought to you by the seductive pout of Jeremy Chardy.

CAMPO CENTRALE start 1:00 pm
[WC] P Lorenzi (ITA) vs [5] R Soderling (SWE)
[3] R Nadal (ESP) vs P Kohlschreiber (GER)
[6] F Verdasco (ESP) vs [WC] S Bolelli (ITA)

Non prima delle 20:30
[13] D Ferrer (ESP) or E Korolev (KAZ) vs [WC] P Starace (ITA)
F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK) vs [2] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA)

[WC] F Volandri (ITA) vs J Benneteau (FRA)
[10] T Berdych (CZE) vs S Wawrinka (SUI)
[7] J Tsonga (FRA) vs V Troicki (SRB)
F Lopez (ESP) vs [8] M Cilic (CRO)

CAMPO 5 Inizio 13:00
G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) vs L Hewitt (AUS)
[WC] Y Allegro (SUI) / R Federer (SUI) vs [6] S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS)
[14] J Isner (USA) vs T Bellucci (BRA) or [Q] L Mayer (ARG)

CAMPO 6 Inizio 13:00
[Q] M Llodra (FRA) vs [Q] S Giraldo (COL)

Non prima delle 15:00
[11] I Ljubicic (CRO) vs N Almagro (ESP)
[1] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs P Cuevas (URU) / J Monaco (ARG) or J Benneteau (FRA) / J Chardy (FRA) – To Be Arranged

Posted in jeremy chardy, juan monaco, lleyton hewitt, mikhail youzhny, novak djokovic, rome | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Rome: Something To Smile About

Posted by gauloises1 on April 27, 2010

Andy Murray won a match. An actual match. In a tournament. Against a human. A fully-grown human male who knows how to play tennis.


OK, I’m not getting ahead of myself here. God knows he should be beating Seppi et al precisely as routinely as he did. And god also knows he will be losing to Ferrer in the next round, probably in straights. But after the long drawn-out (or short and sharp, thank you, PEHK and Robin) agony of watching him since the Australian Open, this was a tonic. He looked like he wanted to be out there, he was focussed and a bit feisty, his backhand was back on song and he even hit a few forehand winners. By which I obviously mean that he pushed the ball weakly across the net and his opponent managed to fall over his own feet and missed it, because we all know that’s what he does.

Anyway. I loved it.

More please.

Posted in andy murray, rome | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Ernie Beats Federer, Still Not That Into Tennis

Posted by gauloises1 on April 27, 2010

Biggest shock ever/mildly surprising result (depending who you ask) in Rome today as Ernests Gulbis came back from a set down to hand Roger Federer his earliest defeat at this event in seven years.

I didn’t see the match and I’m not really sure what to think about it. I do find the fact that Ernie apparently squandered six match points, including two double faults, before serving it out to love, somehow delightfully reassuring. He said afterwards:

“I couldn’t put a serve in […] I was shaking. I didn’t know what to do. It was a terrible feeling.”


Or, according to possibly more frank sources on twitter, he admitted to “shitting his pants”. Which Roger won’t be doing.

“You cannot be 100 per cent all the time,” Federer said. “Sometimes it takes a loss like this to wake up and shake your mind. It can be that things are too simple, and days like this make you realise how difficult it is to dominate the tour. I didn’t feel safe at any time today, my game wasn’t up to its normal standard. Of course Roland Garros is in the back of my mind but I have two tournaments to get the wins I need. And I’m still in the doubles.”

As for Ernie, I’m feeling more and more like he’s destined to be a dangerous floater; the guy who drives his fans to distraction, but who none of the top seeds want to see in their part of the draw. I’m not convinced yet about his ability to put together back-to-back wins with enough frequency to be, say, a fixture in the top 10 despite all his talent, but there are more deep runs at Slams in his future. What do you think?

Anyway, I was amused by this quote from him:

“I just started concentrating more on tennis, treating it more like my job,” Gulbis said. “Last year I didn’t take it as a job. It was more like a hobby. I didn’t have a system.

“Before I was practicing maybe three days and then going out with friends two days. I’m still not a big tennis freak … but I have a better system. My team is perfect now. It’s my coach, my fitness coach and my father.”

Imagine what he could accomplish if he ever became a ‘big tennis freak’. The mind boggles.

Eye of the tiger.

Hair of a mad geography teacher.

Ernests Gulbis, ladies and gentlemen.

Posted in ernests gulbis, roger federer, rome | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

Rome: Monday’s Results, Tuesday’s OOP

Posted by gauloises1 on April 26, 2010

Say hello to Santiago Giraldo, the reason you won’t be seeing Boss this week.

Apparently he played a really impressive match, but Boss seemed rather out of sorts. I hope he’s not injured.

Anyway, after that disappointing result, most of the rest was business as usual. Ljubicic, Isner, Kohlschreiber and Llodra all flirted with defeat before coming through in three, earning in Kohlschreiber’s case the dubious reward of a meeting with Rafa in the next round.


Tomas Berdych, also in Rafa’s quarter, won in straights and Ernests Gulbis fairly demolished Marcos Baghdatis to set up a meeting with … Roger Federer. Sigh.


Singles – First Round
[10] T Berdych (CZE) d [Q] M Granollers (ESP) 63 63
[11] I Ljubicic (CRO) d P Mathieu (FRA) 75 67(1) 60
[Q] S Giraldo (COL) d [12] J Ferrero (ESP) 60 63
[14] J Isner (USA) d H Zeballos (ARG) 46 76(5) 75
J Benneteau (FRA) d [15] S Querrey (USA) 76(6) 36 76(2)
[16] J Monaco (ARG) d I Andreev (RUS) 76(4) 75
E Gulbis (LAT) d M Baghdatis (CYP) 62 62
[WC] P Starace (ITA) d [Q] J Hajek (CZE) 62 62
[WC] F Volandri (ITA) d [Q] P Luczak (AUS) 64 63
[WC] P Lorenzi (ITA) d A Montanes (ESP) 26 64 63
P Kohlschreiber (GER) d P Cuevas (URU) 67(1) 61 64
G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) d [Q] J Chela (ARG) 62 62
[Q] M Llodra (FRA) d A Beck (GER) 62 36 64

Doubles – First Round
J Kerr (AUS) / F Polasek (SVK) vs F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK)
[WC] Y Allegro (SUI) / R Federer (SUI) d J Brunstrom (SWE) / J Rojer (AHO) 64 76(4)

Tomorrow’s OOP is brought to you by Potito Starace’s victory face. As you can see, he hasn’t had much opportunity to use it lately. It’s been metaphorically crumpled up at the bottom of his wardrobe.

CENTER COURT start 1:00 pm
[WC] S Bolelli (ITA) vs [LL] S Greul (GER)
J Chardy (FRA) vs [2] N Djokovic (SRB)
[1] R Federer (SUI) vs E Gulbis (LAT)

Not Before 8:30 PM
A Seppi (ITA) vs [4] A Murray (GBR)
G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) / A Montanes (ESP) vs M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL)

PIETRANGELI start 1:00 pm
L Hewitt (AUS) vs [9] M Youzhny (RUS)
N Almagro (ESP) vs L Kubot (POL)
T Bellucci (BRA) vs [Q] L Mayer (ARG)
[13] D Ferrer (ESP) vs E Korolev (KAZ)

COURT 4 start 4:00 pm
I Ljubicic (CRO) / M Llodra (FRA) vs J Knowle (AUT) / A Ram (ISR)
P Cuevas (URU) / J Monaco (ARG) vs J Benneteau (FRA) / J Chardy (FRA) – After suitable rest

COURT 5 start 1:00 pm
J Melzer (AUT) vs S Wawrinka (SUI)
V Hanescu (ROU) vs I Andreev (RUS) or [16] J Monaco (ARG)
J Isner (USA) / S Querrey (USA) vs J Tsonga (FRA) / S Wawrinka (SUI)
I Andreev (RUS) / M Youzhny (RUS) vs [WC] S Bolelli (ITA) / P Starace (ITA)

COURT 6 start 1:00 pm
B Becker (GER) vs F Lopez (ESP)
V Troicki (SRB) vs T de Bakker (NED)
F Lopez (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) vs N Almagro (ESP) / M Granollers (ESP) – After Suitable Rest

Posted in juan carlos ferrero, philipp petzchner, potito starace, rome, santiago giraldo | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Rome: Big Kids

Posted by gauloises1 on April 26, 2010

So, life’s been quite dispiriting of late if you’re an Andy Murray fan. First there was the loss to Federer and the tears that followed. Then the Davis Cup debacle and the endless questions. Turning up to photoshoots in his pyjamas. Admitting he’d lost his passion for tennis. Being forced to hang out with Ian Bell for no reason. And the losses, oh, the losses. I’d say ‘Mardy Fish‘, but I don’t want to.

All of which means that when you actually see him smiling and having fun on the court, it’s a huge relief.

Now I’m not saying that this will actually translate into winning any matches. That could be a step too far at this juncture.

But at least I feel like he might not be actively contemplating cliffing himself. And that’s progress.

(thanks to Al/Noleksa for the last photo)

Posted in andy murray, rome | 6 Comments »

ATP Week Ahead: Rome

Posted by gauloises1 on April 26, 2010

Draw here.

Quarters: Federer-Cilic, Nadal-Soderling, Murray-Tsonga, Djokovic-Verdasco

Sunday’s Results

Singles – First Round
V Hanescu (ROU) d M Berrer (GER) 62 67(5) 63
J Chardy (FRA) d J Tipsarevic (SRB) 64 64
A Seppi (ITA) d F Fognini (ITA) 60 63

Monday’s OOP

CENTRE COURT start 1:00 pm
[Q] S Giraldo (COL) vs [12] J Ferrero (ESP)
M Baghdatis (CYP) vs E Gulbis (LAT)
[Q] J Hajek (CZE) vs [WC] P Starace (ITA)

Not Before 8:30 PM
[WC] F Volandri (ITA) vs [Q] P Luczak (AUS)
J Kerr (AUS) / F Polasek (SVK) vs F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK)
PIETRANGELI start 1:00 pm
[14] J Isner (USA) vs H Zeballos (ARG)
I Andreev (RUS) vs [16] J Monaco (ARG)
[10] T Berdych (CZE) vs [Q] M Granollers (ESP)
[11] I Ljubicic (CRO) vs P Mathieu (FRA)
COURT 5 start 1:00 pm
[WC] P Lorenzi (ITA) vs A Montanes (ESP)
J Benneteau (FRA) vs [15] S Querrey (USA)

Not Before 5:30 PM
[WC] Y Allegro (SUI) / R Federer (SUI) vs J Brunstrom (SWE) / J Rojer (AHO) – Possible Court Change
COURT 6 start 1:00 pm
P Cuevas (URU) vs P Kohlschreiber (GER)
G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) vs [Q] J Chela (ARG)
[Q] M Llodra (FRA) vs A Beck (GER)

Posted in ATP week ahead, rome | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Safina Beats Kuznetsova for Rome Title, Is Hilarious

Posted by gauloises1 on May 9, 2009

Dinara Safina d. Svetlana Kuznetsova 63 62


A ruthless performance from Dinara. Svetlana didn’t play a bad match by any stretch of the imagination, but she failed to step up on the big points (2 of 8 on break point conversions) and got very down on herself in the second set. Dinara had her competitor’s hat on, converted 50% of break points, and served out the match despite a slight wobble. She got into Kuznetsova’s head and set up house there.

A really great win for the world no. 1, and a great week for Kuznetsova too. Beating Jankovic and Azarenka back to back is no small ask. If these two maintain their current form, the next few weeks could be really fun.

Almost as much fun as the match was the trophy presentation, in which Dinara giggled uncontrollably, swore, credited her mother’s breast milk for the win, and publicly asked if Zeljko still wanted to work with her after being “pissed” at her during the match with Zheng. I really hope it turns up on youtube. Fucking hilarious.

More pics to come later …





Posted in dinara safina, rome, svetlana kuznetsova, titlists | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Rome Results: Kuznetsova, Safina Win

Posted by gauloises1 on May 8, 2009

Two really good matches in Rome today, and at the end of all things, we have an all-Russian final.

Svetlana Kuznetsova d. Victoria Azarenka, 62 64

Azarenka played a really good first set, but Svetlana played a sublime one. Her forehand was on and she really exposed Azarenka’s problems moving on clay (which she needs to sort out ASAP). Then early in the second set Victoria got a bad line call (and it was a bad call – umpire looked at the wrong mark) and exposed her other weakness for all to see – difficulty controlling her emotions. She completely fell apart.


Sveta, in contrast, was a picture of composure. Apart from a brief wobble serving for the match, where she lost it momentarily and had to break for it in the end, she was totally focussed and playing great tennis. Where has this Sveta been?! I don’t know, but it’s great to have her back.


This match was totally eclipsed by the one after it, however.

Dinara Safina d. Venus Williams, 67(3) 63 64

Three hours and ten minutes of ridiculously intense, high-quality tennis. I still don’t know how Dinara won that match. Venus came out playing amazingly and Dinara looked like she was going to get rolled. But she hung in there and somehow clawed her way into a tiebreak. Which she lost.


But in true classic Dinara “the cockroach” Safina style, she came back. She worked harder, used every opportunity to really hit out on her forehand, ran miles, and … just kept coming back. Even after she broke – twice – and was broken back each time in the third set, she didn’t give up. Nor did Venus, by the way.


Dinara finally got the break for 5-4. But even then, it wasn’t straightforward. She faced four (I think) break points, had three double faults, and really struggled to serve it out. It was agony to watch, and then so good when she finally got it. A landmark win for the world no. 1, and her first ever victory over Venus.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m a great fan of Venus. But this match encapsulates what I find so compelling about Dinara. She isn’t the great natural talent. She doesn’t even seem like a natural winner. And she’s not playing the kind of tennis that she was playing this time last year.

But somehow, she renders that irrelevant by the sheer strength of her will. Her resilience, her willingness to endlessly work, her audacity and her resolve manage to overcome not just players who are objectively better than she is, but who are almost playing better tennis on the day. Point after point, she drags all the pieces of her game together and when it’s not working, she forces it to work, to be effective. She makes the match about her and her tennis, and she never gives up, especially when it comes to situations in which a sane person would despair.

I suppose what I’m saying is this: what more could you ask for in a world no. 1?


Davai, Dinara.

NB: I seem to have misplaced my irony. Don’t worry, it’ll be back later. 

Posted in dinara safina, rome, svetlana kuznetsova, venus williams, victoria azarenka | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

OOPsydaisy: Rome, Estoril, Munich, Belgrade

Posted by gauloises1 on May 8, 2009


Stadio Pietrangeli (from 11.00hrs)
1. Hsieh/Peng vs. Senoglu/Shvedova
2. Kuznetsova vs. Azarenka (NB 13.30hrs)
3. Safina vs. V.Williams (NB 16.00hrs)
4. Hantuchova/Sugiyama vs. Llagostera Vives/Martínez Sánchez


Central (from 11.15hrs)
1. Groenefeld vs. Makarova
2. ATP: Fish vs. Davydenko (NB 13.55hrs)
3. ATP: Serra vs. Blake (NB 16.15hrs)
4. ATP: Damm/Lindstedt vs. Moodie/Norman

Centralito (from 11.30hrs)
1. Peer vs. Wickmayer
2. ATP: Hernández vs. Capdeville (NB 13.00hrs)
3. ATP: Simon vs. Montañés
4. ATP: Butorac/Lipsky vs. Cermak/Mertinak

Court 1 (from 11.00hrs)
1. Diatchenko/Dzehalevich vs. Fichman/Marosi
2. Coin/Pelletier vs. Kops-Jones/Spears


12:00 noon K.Vliegen (BEL) vs L. Kubot (POL)
Not before 2:00 PM F. Cipolla (ITA) and I. Karlovic (CRO)
A. Seppi (ITA) vs M. Daniel (BRA)
Not before 8:00 PM N. Djokovic (SRB) vs V. Troicki (SRB)
M.Djokovic (SRB)/D.Madjarovski (SRB) vs J.Brunstrom (SWE)/J-J.Rojer (AHO)
1:00 PM R.Wassen (NED)/I.Zelenay (SVK) vs S.Aspelin (SWE)/P.Hanley (AUS)
Not before 2:00 PM S.Huss (AUS)/R.Hutchins (GBR) vs M.Granollers (ESP)/S.Ventura (ESP)

5:00 PM N.Ciric (SRB)/D.Savic (SRB) vs L.Kubot (POL)/ O,Marach (AUT)

Munich can be found here.

Posted in belgrade, estoril, munich, rome | Leave a Comment »