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Posts Tagged ‘maria-jose martinez sanchez’

RG Day One: Oh, Bum

Posted by gauloises1 on May 23, 2010

Three players from whom much was expected bit the dust today at Roland Garros on the very first day. Ernests Gulbis, two sets and a break down to Julien Benneteau, was forced to retire in the third after pulling a hamstring (or what looked very much like an arse muscle, whatever you call that) sliding for a wide ball.

In Ernie’s own words:

 “When I returned a serve, 2 1, second set, I stretched my leg, my hamstrings, and I heard two cracks. I don’t know what is it, so I’m going to go to MRI to hospital in 20 minutes and check it. I hope it’s nothing serious, because it can be anything, but it’s for sure like a little bit stretch of the muscle, but I hope it’s not here. So we’ll see. Of course I’m disappointed. I prepared really good for this tournament, but it’s okay. It’s a Grand Slam, it’s a big tournament. But I have maybe nine more, eight more years of my career, I will have 20 Grand Slams in front of me, and if I concentrate on one, which wasn’t that good, I will get nothing, but it’s okay.”

It’s really bad luck that he got injured and I hope he gets better soon. But I don’t think the result would have been that much different had he not been hurt, because Julien ‘Lamb’ Benneteau was having one of his occasional days when he plays like a top 10 player. He’s beaten Roger and played Nole close before, and from what I saw, Ernie would have had to have been serving at least 15-20% better to really impose himself on the match. Just my opinion and a well-deserved win for Benneteau.

It was a sad day too for Rome champion Maria-Jose Martinez Sanchez, from whom much was expected especially given her position in the weaker bottom half of the draw. She strained her back during the warm-up and went down tamely to Akgul Amandurova, 62 64.

And in what was technically but not actually the biggest upset of the tournament so far (all one day of it), Victoria Azarenka lost 61 62 to Gisela Dulko. I thought this would be the outcome as soon as I saw the draw, frankly; not only is Vika no clay-courter, she’s retired three times since Miami – the last time in Madrid – and has barely had time to get her feet under her. It’s a good win for Dulko, but she didn’t really have to do that much.

Now for god’s sake rest up for Wimbledon, Vika.

Posted in akgul amandurova, ernests gulbis, french open, gisela dulko, julien benneteau, maria-jose martinez sanchez, victoria azarenka | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

It’s Chica Time

Posted by gauloises1 on May 9, 2010

Maria Jose Martinez-Sanchez d. Jelena Jankovic, 76(5) 75

I totally meant to blog about this last night and, revisiting it now, I’m surprised it was actually a straight sets match. It felt like such a hard-fought contest that in my mind I’d expanded it to three sets. Anyway, it was a really fun match and a proper clash of styles, with MJMS’ slightly whacky serve-and-volley tennis pitched against JJ’s counterpunching, and although MJMS was unquestionably the better player – some of her gets and pickup volleys were literally amazing – I was really impressed with JJ’s fight and the way she set herself to solving the problem in front of her, determinedly taking herself out of her comfort zone to keep it as close as it was. I still think it was a great week for her and I wouldn’t mind an early loss in Madrid if it means she can rest up and bring this kind of tennis to Roland Garros.

But it was Maria Jose’s day as she picked up the biggest title of her career at the age of 27 – and after having given up competing because she wasn’t enjoying her tennis any more. And how great is it to see one of the Spanish women making themselves a presence on the big stage, for a change? Great stuff.

Oh, lord. She’s a biter.

Posted in jelena jankovic, maria-jose martinez sanchez, rome, titlists | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Thanks For Clearing That Up

Posted by gauloises1 on May 8, 2010

Jelena Jankovic d. Serena Williams, 46 63 76(5)

To quote a good friend of mine: JJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am really gutted I missed this match (I have a job, OK?) because it sounds like it was a cracker. After splitting sets, Serena was 5-2 up in the decider before getting pegged back to a tiebreak which JJ just edged – and which had its fair share of drama. First of all, JJ complained to the umpire that she wasn’t ready for one of Serena’s serves (somewhat inexplicably); then served to Serena when she had her hand up to signal that she wasn’t ready, and threw a hissy fit when the umpire called her on it. After match point, Serena held JJ back at net to explain  that she wasn’t trying to screw JJ out of the point, and said something that sounds suspiciously like “I would never treat you like that … I’m not Justine Henin.” You can relieve the whole glorious episode below.

Serena, of course, later tweeted that “today was the ULTIMATE choke” and explained that she played the match as if she had been off the tour since “January 1942“. On the Serena sportsmanship spectrum, I’m really not sure where this whole match falls.

But I am sure that JJ is doing fantastically well. I know it’s their weakest surface and her strongest, but back-to-back victories over the Williams sisters – one a simple exercise in domination, one a hard-fought and lengthy struggle – is a huge achievement. If she can triumph in the final, she’ll have won two of the biggest titles on tour in 2010 and gone through the best players to do it. And on a personal note, after a largely dreadful 2009, it just feels so good to be excited about the way JJ’s playing again. I love it.

So this afternoon she’ll be taking on Maria Jose Martinez-Sanchez (a name I like to spell and punctuate a little differently every time I use it), who beat Ana Ivanovic in straight sets. Again I didn’t see the match, but I do know that Martinez-Sanchez is a fantastically tricky and creative player who basically puts your soul in an acid bath of frustration every time you have to watch her play your favourite. So I’m just going to assume that she tied Ana in knots, because that’s what she does. This is a career accomplishment for Martinez-Sanchez, though, and a good chance for her biggest title yet – this from a woman who semi-retired a few years back because she wasn’t sure she wanted to be playing any more. Great stuff.

As for Ana, she gets a bye in Madrid as a result of reaching the semis and will face JJ in the second round, which … oh my god the final’s starting now! Laters.

Posted in jelena jankovic, maria-jose martinez sanchez, rome, serena williams, video | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

WTA Week Ahead: Bogota, Memphis, Dubai

Posted by gauloises1 on February 15, 2010

Bogota

Draw here.

Top Seeds: Gisela Dulko, Carla Suarez Navarro, Sara Errani, Polona Hercoq

Dubai

Draw here.

Top Seeds: Caroline Wozniacki, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Venus Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Elena Dementieva, Jelena Jankovic, Agnieszka Radwanska, Li Na

Memphis

Draw here.

Top Seeds: Maria Sharapova, Melanie Oudin, Kaia Kanepi, Lucie Hradecka 

Posted in bogota, caroline wozniacki, dubai, maria-jose martinez sanchez, memphis, venus williams, victoria azarenka, wta week ahead | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hopman Cup: 1588 Not So Much

Posted by gauloises1 on January 10, 2010

Congratulations to Tommy Robredo and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain, who beat Andy Murray and Laura Robson 2-1 to win the 2010 Hopman Cup.

Timlet and starlet Laura Robson got things off to a good start for Team GB, choosing an excellent time to record her first singles win of the tournament by defeating Martinez Sanchez 61 76.

 

One might have expected that Andy Murray would clinch the tie, but then one never expects Tommy Robredo. He played a blistering match to even it up, 16 64 63.

Brilliant stuff.

I’d still hit that.

As is always the best in Hopman Cup, the title came down to the mixed doubles and again the Spaniards were too strong, winning in straight sets 63 75.

So a bit of a disappointing anticlimax for Team GB, especially after Robson – who’s been a delight and a revelation this week, to me at least – put them in a seemingly unassailable position after her singles win.

No diamond balls for you, losers.

All credit to Team Spain though. They’ve been brilliant all week and it was nice to see the oft-overlooked Robredo get some glory. Great stuff.

Posted in andy murray, hopman cup, laura robson, maria-jose martinez sanchez, tommy robredo | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Spain 3, USA 0

Posted by gauloises1 on January 3, 2010

Day two of the Hopman Cup saw Team America get shut out (or in, I can never remember which one it is) by Spain after multi-named tricky lefty Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez beat last year’s girl Melanie Oudin 64 64 to kick off the tie.

Partner and former champion Tommy Robredo did his bit by recovering after the loss of the first set to clinch a tough match against John Isner – who, in case you didn’t know, is very tall – 67 63 76(4).

‘When I was a little kid my mother told me not to stare into the sun …’

We have noted in the past Robredo’s poetic aspirations and he did not disappoint, describing facing Isner’s serve as ‘a bit like the casino, red or black’.

Not just a pretty face.

All of this meant that the mixed doubles was a dead rubber, giving everyone plenty of time to concentrate on the real matter at hand, i.e. the difference between Isner and Oudin’s heights.

 

Despite averaging out at the height of one normal person, Isner and Oudin lost to Robredo and Martinez-Sanchez 46 57 – who between them probably average out to one person whose boobs don’t disquiet me vaguely.

All of which makes Tuesday’s Spain vs. Romania clash quite intriguing, no?

Posted in hopman cup, john isner, maria-jose martinez sanchez, melanie oudin, tommy robredo | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Bali Day Two: Rezai Into Semifinals

Posted by gauloises1 on November 6, 2009

Give it up for Aravane Rezai, who won her second round robin match today, defeating Melinda Czink 63 75 to solidify her position as the Group D semifinalist.

aravane rezai

Sadly this means that Licky’s last match of the season will be a meaningless round-robin against Czink tomorrow, but them’s the breaks.

None of the other groups have a semifinalist yet, meaning that there’s a lot riding on the final day of round-robin play. Magdalena Rybarikova is out of Group A after losing to Shahar Peer in straight sets today. Peer will face Bartoli to decide the semifinalist. 

magdalena rybarikovashahar peer

Similar situation in Group B, where Agnes Szavay lost her second round-robin match to Maria-Jose Martinez Sanchez, 46 64 60. Martinez Sanchez (who won the doubles title last week in Doha) will take on Samantha Stosur tomorrow.

maria jose martinez sanchez

In Group C, the situation is a bit up in the air after Kimiko Date-Krumm pulled off the upset against Anabel Medina Garrigues today.

kimiko date krummanabel medina garrigues

Date-Krumm and Wickmayer both have one win, and Wickmayer has a match in hand, so if she (or alternate Vera Dushevina, quite possibly) can beat Medina Garrigues tomorrow, then into the semis Wicky/Vera will go. If Medina Garrigues wins, then … well, then maths of some fashion is done, I believe.

Round Robin – Day 2
Group A: Shahar Peer (ISR) d. Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 61 76(4)
Group B: María José Martínez Sánchez (ESP) d. Agnes Szavay (HUN) 46 64 60
Group C: (WC) Kimiko Date Krumm (JPN) d. Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) 64 63
Group D: Aravane Rezai (FRA) d. Melinda Czink (HUN) 63 75

Posted in anabel medina garrigues, aravane rezai, bali, kimiko date-krumm, magdalena rybarikova, maria-jose martinez sanchez, shahar peer | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Spanish Lullaby

Posted by gauloises1 on November 2, 2009

Forgot to add congratulations to Maria-Jose Martinez Sanchez and her pint-sized partner, Nuria Llagostera Vives, who beat Cara Black and Liesel Huber for the Doha doubles title 10-7 in the tiebreak. And celebrated fabulously.

llagostera vives martinez sanchez doha doubles

doha doubles llagostera vives martinez sanchez

llagostera vives martinez sanchez doha doubles

Nice to see some Spanish ladies grabbing some glory. And Martinez Sanchez is also in the lineup for Bali, so she’s having a really solid year. Well done.

 

Posted in doha, maria-jose martinez sanchez, nuria llagostera vives, titlists | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

USO Day Five: Crampgate Rematch!

Posted by gauloises1 on September 5, 2009

Serena Williams will meet Daniela Hantuchova in the round of sixteen. Whenever these two names are coupled (I so nearly wrote ‘crippled’) together, I’m irresistibly reminded of Dani’s inability to close out Serena at Wimbledon 2007 when Serena was basically on one leg. Classic Dani.

Anyway, I was expecting her to choke on Arthur Ashe today, but actually she did very nicely, taking out Stosur-slayer Vania King 62 62.

dani2

So rocking the Adidas.

vk

See you, tiny little Vania King person.

Serena already took care of some revenge business, beating Maria-Jose Martinez Sanchez 63 75 in what was by all accounts a fairly scorching match. I only saw a very little bit of it, there being Elf, Boss and Marin-style action happening on other courts (why do they let me have match choice? I do not use it wisely). But Martinez Sanchez certainly didn’t roll over for Serena. She made her work for it, and that’s no small achievement.

serena2

serena3serena

US Open Tennis

See you, many-named cheater-type person.

Posted in daniela hantuchova, maria-jose martinez sanchez, serena williams, us open, vania king | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Saturday Titlists: Many Names, One Surprise

Posted by gauloises1 on July 12, 2009

Unseeded and superfluously-surnamed Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez beat top seed Caroline Wozniacki 75 64 for the Catella Swedish Open title in Bastad today.

mjms2

Not what I would have expected, but a great result for Martinez Sanchez. It’s her second title of the year after Bogota, I believe. And yes, I could check, but that would take all the fun out of you correcting me, wouldn’t it?

caro

I didn’t see a whole lot of this match – like the SEXIST! I am, I was concentrating on Davis Cup – but from what I did see, Martinez Sanchez was simply better; more aggressive, going for her shots and executing well, and drop-shotting Caro to death. For Caro’s part, she seemed to be misfiring wildly on the backhand return of serve, which cost her a lot. In fact, it cost her a shiny pink disco trophy.

mjms

And Gisela and Flavia had a good day too, upsetting the top seeds to take the doubles trophy.

gisela flavia

Have I said I love Flavia’s dress? I love Flavia’s dress.

Posted in bstaad, caroline wozniacki, flavia pennetta, gisela dulko, maria-jose martinez sanchez, titlists | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »