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Posts Tagged ‘somdev devvarman’

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 »

D Cup: Russia 3 – 2 India

Posted by gauloises1 on March 8, 2010

And finally, the least-photographed tie of the weekend; Shamil Tarpischev’s men once again took care of business in Moscow to progress to a quarterfinal against Argentina. Not to make Somdev Devvarman feel worse, but really the tie was lost when he failed to capitalise on an early lead against Kunitsyn on Friday and he lost once again today to Mikhail Youzhny who closed out the tie in straight sets.

And that’s really all I’ve got.

Even Mischa doesn’t seem that excited.

R4 – M.YOUZHNY (RUS) def. S.DEVVARMAN (IND)
6-2  6-1  6-3
R5 – R.BOPANNA (IND) def. T.GABASHVILI (RUS)
7-6(5)  6-4

Posted in davis cup, mikhail youzhny, somdev devvarman | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

D Cup: All To Play For

Posted by gauloises1 on March 7, 2010

And now for a quick (who am I kidding, mammoth) round-up of the ties still left to be settled on Sunday.

Spain 2 – Switzerland 1

Not the start that Spain wanted, as Nicolas Almagro lost a tough five-set match to Switzerland’s (in Davis Cup parlance) no. 1, new daddy Stanislas Wawrinka. Luckily Davis Cup warrior David Ferrer was on hand to steady the ship, dismissing Marco Chiudinelli in straight sets to even things up heading into the doubles.

I thought that if Switzerland could win the doubles, they would have a nice chance of nicking the tie come Sunday. But there’s that damned depth again. Perennial Davis Cup bridesmaid Marcel Granollers teamed up with Tommy Robredo to defeat Yves Allegro and Stanislas Wawrinka in four sets, leaving Switzerland 1-2 and with a fatigued top singles player heading in to Sunday. Nicely done, Spain.

Russia 2 – India 1

With Nikolay Davydenko out with an injured wrist and Igor Andreev suddenly sidelined with a knee injury, Igor Kunitsyn (who looks like he’s in the last stages of Shelleyesque consumption, but apparently isn’t) was hurriedly pitchforked into the team and did a nice job, grabbing a four-set win from India’s Somdev Devvarman before Mikhail Youzhny put Russia 2-0 up over Rohan Bopanna.

It’s not quite over yet, though, as Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi once again put aside their history of falling out and teamed up to flatten Russia in the doubles, 63 62 62.

Shamil despairs. Like a fox.

Sweden 1 – Argentina 2

Things didn’t start off well for Our Heroes, as Eduardo Schwank was dismissed in straight sets by Robin Soderling.

Taxi!

But an unlikely hero stepped up in the form of Leonardo ‘horseface’ Mayer, who came back from a set down to give Argentina their first point against Joachim Johansson.

Actually the best photo of him I could find.

And then who should hove into view (can you ‘hove’? did I make up that word?) but El Rey himself, David Nalbandian, who teamed up with Horacio Zeballos to take the doubles from Soderling and Lindstedt in straight sets.

Understandably, Nalbandian will get a lot of the credit for this win, but I really have to highlight the brilliant performance of Horazio Zeballos. The Zebutante really impressed on his first Davis Cup outing, staying cool and frequently producing fantastic shots under pressure. I’ve never really watched him play before, but he must have produced close to if not his best tennis on this occasion, a hard thing to do in Davis Cup especially with a legend-in-his-own-lunchtime next to you on the court. Great stuff. If Argentina lose this tie (they will), it won’t be his fault.

I’m told his nickname in Argentina translates to ‘onion’. Do with that information what you will.

Serbia 2 – United States 1

Well, well. Serbia looked well in control after Friday’s singles play against the next generation US team, with Troicki edging John Isner in four tight sets and Djokovic taking care of Querrey, also in four sets.

Things looked pretty rosy for the Serbian team when the news broke that Mike Bryan was suffering from food poisoning and would be replaced by John Isner for Saturday’s doubles. But it didn’t quite work out that way, and a lot of the credit has to go to John Isner. Despite enthusiastic (and sexy) support from the bench …

… the US won in four sets, 76(8) 57 76(8) 63, helped slightly by a controversial call in the third-set tiebreak but mainly by the level head of Bob Bryan and some really impressive work from John Isner. It takes serious, er, mental toughness to bounce back from a disappointing singles debut and put in the kind of performance he did in an unfamiliar milieu on his least favourite surface, against hostile crowd no less. Impressive.

Chile 2 Israel 0

After a day’s delay (and a minute’s silence for the victims of the Chilean earthquake), the postponed tie got under way today with singles action and both Nicolas Massu and Fernando Gonzalez performed for their country, winning in four sets and (in Gonzo’s case) with the due amount of theatrics.

Fuerza Chile!

Posted in davis cup | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Player ‘Fashion’ Shows. Always Good for a Laugh.

Posted by gauloises1 on January 4, 2010

I know these photos are tiny, but I enjoyed them too much not to share. The players strut their stuff in Chennai …

Gangliest, awkwardest model ever.

Psst, Marin. There’s a girl next to you? Oh, never mind.

Robin gets his Daddy Cool on.

Somdev working some epic hair.

Yuki working some epic eyebrows.

Why does this look work on Tipsy?!

Posted in chennai, janko tipsarevic, marin cilic, robin soderling, somdev devvarman, yuki bhambri | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Image is Everything: D Cup Sunday

Posted by gauloises1 on September 20, 2009

I can’t believe it’s time for my final Davis Cup picspam. God, I love this event so much. It should be played every weekend.

czech republic

“My work here is done,” he seems to say.

belgium3belgium4

Happiness is a champagne-soaked Belgian.

france2

I’m a sucker for behind-the-curtain photos.

france5

I’m also a sucker for Jo.

netherlands

Back to the dustbin of tennis history with you, Thiemo de Bakker.

france3

Allez Les Bleus.

TENNIS-DAVISCUP-GBR-POLAND

Murray searches for an escape hatch to another country.

89848171CR023_GREAT_BRITAIN

Pole dance.

serbia

That’s pretty much how I reacted to the GB-Poland results.

Except without the laughing. And my hair’s not as shiny.

serbia2

If there was a Crazy Cup, Serbia would win it hands down.

sweden6

I feel as if I’ve interrupted Robin’s dance routine.

sweden5

Gratuitous ass shot #1.

switzerland2

Gratuitous ass shot #2.

india5

Bless you, Somdev.

SOUTH AFRICA INDIA DAVIS CUP TENNIS

Yuki’s eyebrows really deserve a picspam of their own.

Posted in andy murray, christophe rochus, davis cup, janko tipsarevic, jerzy janowicz, jo-wilfried tsonga, julien benneteau, michael llodra, michel przysieny, nenad zimonjic, novak djokovic, olivier rochus, robin soderling, roger federer, somdev devvarman, steve darcis, thiemo de bakker, tomas berdych, viktor troicki, yuki bhambri | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

D Cup Sunday: Who’s Staying Up, Who’s Going Down

Posted by gauloises1 on September 20, 2009

So what was the craic today? In the dead rubbers remaining of the semi-finals, both defeated nations salvaged some pride and a point, with Lovro Zovko defeating Lukas Dlouhy and Feliciano Lopez losing to Harel Levy in a result I deem genuinely Harel-arious.

israel

Andy Ram thinks it’s funny.

The other nation who were 3-0 up, Serbia, humourlessly crushed Uzbekistan 5-0 courtesy of Troicki and Bozoljac, showing a Federeresque lack of mercy. Speaking of Federer, he did his bit for the land of cuckoo clocks, overcoming a rain delay and the awesome powers of Potito Starace to seal the deal for Switzerland 3-1. Fognini won a dead rubber, by which point Fed was presumably in a hot bubble bath. Quite right too, as after the match Roger revealed he has been struggling with a leg injury since the US Open final. Hopefully nothing a little time off won’t fix.

switzerland

France won their tie with the Netherlands 4-1. And by my calculations, at least 2.5 of said points were contributed by a certain Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. He backed up victories in Friday’s singles and yesterday’s doubles with a four-set victory over the bizarrely inspired Thiemo de Bakker to take the tie 3-1, with Jezza popping up handily to make it 4-1 over Huta Guleng. All of which is good, as it would be both sadness and madness for France not to be in the World Group.

france

A hearty “well done” to Belgium, who held off a very determined challenge from the Ukraine. After Stakhovsky beat Malisse (yeah, he still plays, apparently) 63 36 06 61 63, it was all up to Steve Darcis, who delivered a comprehensive beatdown on Sergiy Bubka 62 61 60 to keep Belgium in the World Group. Like it. I mean, how often does Steve Darcis get to be the hero? I’m betting that even if you include his self-penned comic book series, The Heroic Exploits of Steve Darcis, the answer is still “rarely if ever”.

belgium2

Robin Soderling was the hero for Sweden, beating Hanescu 75 61 60 to bounce Romania out of the World Group.

sweden7

I wish Mats was proud of me.

Huge congratulations have to go to India, though. They’ve been out of the World Group since 1998, and now they’re back, thanks to a victory by Somdev Devvaman, who beat Rik de Voest of South Africa 36 67(3) 76(5) 62 64. Devvaman came back from two sets and a break down in a match that lasted nearly five hours, and Davis Cup virgin Yuki Bhambri put the cherry on top by winning the dead rubber in three sets. Great stuff.

india

india3

india6

I don’t know why this makes me happy, but it does.

Oh wait – the ‘boks lost. That’s why.

As of now, it looks like Ecuador will also be in the World Group, with Nico Lapentti just one set away from securing the tie against Marcos Daniel. Jurgen Melzer has split sets with Massu in his bid to keep Austria’s chances alive. Fun scoreboards still.

Posted in andy ram, davis cup, gael monfils, jo-wilfried tsonga, julien benneteau, michael llodra, potito starace, robin soderling, roger federer, somdev devvarman, steve darcis, yuki bhambri | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

USO Day One: Quality

Posted by gauloises1 on August 31, 2009

Let’s hear it for two qualifiers who notched up good wins today. First up Somdev Devvarman beat Frederico Gil, 63 64 63.

somdev

He can turn it on at times, can this kid.

Then Marsel Ilhan of Turkey defeated Belgium’s Christophe Rochus in five sets, 36 63 36 75 75. This is all the more impressive because Ilhan is the first ever Turkish player to win a main draw match at a Slam. He’d already become the first Turkish player to ever reach the main draw after coming through qualifying. Here at New Balls, we like our milestones.

marcel ilhan

How do you say ‘come on’ in Turkish?

Posted in marsel ilhan, somdev devvarman, us open | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

DC: Elf Through, Marin Out

Posted by gauloises1 on August 5, 2009

OK, first of all, what’s with dropping a set to Lu? What exactly is up with that? Oh, well. At least he won.

elf

Washington Tennis

And WHAT is up with that “cut here” line across his chest? It’s like the groping shirt, but if you want to dismember him. Much less fun.

Boss beat Nico Lapentti in three sets (including a bagel) and Ernie maintained his proud streak of second round losses. The big shock of the day was Somdev Devvarman knocking out my man Marin in straight sets. Somdev Devvarman. Straight sets.

somdev

I blame the girlfriend.

Singles – Second Round
[2] J Del Potro (ARG) d Y Lu (TPE) 46 63 62
[Q] S Devvarman (IND) d [6] M Cilic (CRO) 75 64
[8] T Berdych (CZE) d E Gulbis (LAT) 62 76(6)
[10] T Haas (GER) d F Dancevic (CAN) 61 46 64

Singles – First Round
[Q] S de Chaunac (FRA) d D Istomin (UZB) 63 76(7)
B Becker (GER) d R Ginepri (USA) 76(3) 67(1) 76(4)
J Ferrero (ESP) d [LL] N Lapentti (ECU) 64 67(5) 60
R Schuettler (GER) d L Mayer (ARG) 61 36 76(5)

Doubles – First Round
[2] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) d J Coetzee (RSA) / J Erlich (ISR) 43 ret. (Erlich – right arm)
[3] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Knowles (BAH) d M Mirnyi (BLR) / A Ram (ISR) 76(6) 26 10-7
[WC] C Guccione (AUS) / L Hewitt (AUS) d [4] B Soares (BRA) / K Ullyett (ZIM) 46 75 12-10 – saved 2 M.P.
M Damm (CZE) / R Lindstedt (SWE) d L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT) 75 75
F Gonzalez (CHI) / T Robredo (ESP) d [WC] J Isner (USA) / S Querrey (USA) 36 76(5) 10-6
S Huss (AUS) / R Hutchins (GBR) d [Alt] M Melo (BRA) / A Sa (BRA) 61 64

Wednesday’s OOP here. Roddick plays his first match against Becker, Tsonga plays Isner, and Boss plays Robredo. Fun stuff.

Posted in juan martin del potro, somdev devvarman, washington | Tagged: , | 38 Comments »