Monthly Archives: October 2010

Thomaz Bellucci vs. Brazilian Tennis Federation… Ready, set… fight!

So apparently Thomaz Bellucci has been involved in some drama with his tennis federation in recent weeks and months. Seems like it has all come to a hea dover the last few weeks;

“Actually there’s a lot going on with him (Bellucci) here in Brazilian tennis scenario. He gave a polemic interview last week saying that the country has no good coaches except for Larri Passos and João Zwetsch, also that former players don’t do anything for the national tennis to grow. Then he fires his coach Zwetsch in the following days and receives some harsh answers from important people of Brazilian tennis.

It was made a really big deal of it, now he has to handle it. Carlos Alberto Kirmayr, former player, coach of Gabriela Sabatini when she was numer 1 in the world and now working with women’s tennis said he was an “irresponsible child” and that he should start practicing volleys instead of giving press conferences.”

And that, my friends, is what you call the shit hitting the fan. I guess if he isn’t getting any support in his home country then it would be best to look abroad for coaching. He recently joined the Adidas team so maybe he could look into joining the Adidas Development Program or something. He’s such a talented player, so lets hope that these problems don’t spill over into 2011.

Posted in Controversies, Thomaz Bellucci | 4 Comments

Les Deux Mousquetaires

I must be just about the only person on the planet who is actually happy with this result, but in the second battle of the French Musketeers this week, Gael Monfils took out Jo Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 2-6 6-4 to advance to the final in Montpellier. There he will face Ivan Ljubicic who defeated Montanes 6-3 7-6 in the other semi. Will be interesting to see if Gael can finish this thing off now. He has such a dreadful record in finals, so we’ll see what happens.

Touched on this a couple of months ago, but it really is good to see Gael finishing the year well. He has been pretty solid (bar a few results) in the second half of the season. If he can finish well in Paris (where he is defending finals points), he’ll set himself up well for a possible run to the top ten in 2011.

Posted in Gael Monfis, Other ATP Events | 1 Comment

Dinara Safina and Nastya Myskina react to Elena Dementieva’s Retirement

Well not really, I believe she was attending a Russian Ice Hockey game. Probably looking new boyfriends - after all, those WTA women looooove their hockey players. Nice to see Nastya there too, didn’t even *fucking* recognise her.

Posted in Dinara Safina, Nastya fucking Myskina, Picture post | Leave a comment

And Then There Were Four…

So the semifinals are set. Kim Clijsters vs Sam Stosur, followed by Caroline Wozniacki vs Vera Zvonareva.

As we know, yesterday Kim Clijsters and Vera Zvonareva faced each other. It was quite an interesting situation as both were already through, but their semifinal opponent would depend on who won the match. It comes as no surprise that Kim looked like she couldn’t care less. Before the match she said that she was just treating it as a practice match, and that is exactly what she did. On the other hand Vera played her hardest from the very first point, and that was exactly what I expected.

After the match a lot of people were condemning Kim for “bad sportsmanship”. But is it really? I remember a couple of years ago at the ATP World Tour Finals when Andy Murray played Federer in the final rubber. Though he was already through, pushed himself and beat Fed in three sets. He would lose in the semifinals and many people blamed that tiring match against Federer for that loss, and so Kim did the right thing. Not to mention the fact that Kim is the queen bee of this tournament. I’m sure she didn’t care about who she has to face in the semis. I know I wouldn’t be, if I were her. It’s the others who should be afraid of her. She’s just that much better than them.

That’s not to say that Sam doesn’t stand a chance in their match. She does, but Kim will undoubtedly go into the match as the clear favourite. For Sam to win, she will have to be decisive, sharp and play to her strengths time and time again. Serve and forehand, serve and forehand. She will need to use all the angles of the court, and then look to finish points off at the net. And when I say finish, I mean finish. She may be a former doubles number one, but her net game just isn’t good enough to withstand the endless resources of Kim Clijsters. So she will need to pick her moments and then commit fully.

As for Kim, she will undoubtedly look to move Stosur around and expose her movement. To the forehand side, she should look to employ acute angles - not only does Stosur move poorly to her forehand side, but on the run her forehand is extremely ineffective on the run. To the backhand side, she will look to use her wide array of shots - giving the backhand different paces, spins and trajectories to deal with, and exposing her poor technique. It should be an interesting match, but as I said before, one that Kim should win.

The second semi-final will be between the top two players in the world. This will be far more of a toss-up, and will of course be decided by Vera rather than Wozniacki. Vera should look to play aggressive, outmanoeuvre Wozniacki and then finish points off at the net. That’s how she has beaten Wozniacki this year. The big question is if she can hold her nerve against the steely consistency of Wozniacki when the shit really hits the fan. If this was a final, I would say “no” without a second’s hesitation, but it isn’t. And so I’m going with Vera.

Lets hope our girls put on a good show.

Posted in Caroline Wozniacki, Kim Clijsters, Sam Stosur, Vera Zvonareva, WTA Championships Doha | 1 Comment

Quotable Quotes

You don’t have to be perfect, but you have to try very hard, and I did all the time.

Elena Dementieva.

Posted in Elena Dementieva, WTA Championships Doha | 1 Comment

Flashback: 2009 Wimbledon Semifinal - Elena Dementieva vs Serena Williams

Over the years Elena Dementieva has been involved in her fair share of battles. Battles with Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Justine Henin, Lindsay Davenport… everyone. So many became instant classics, showcasing everything that made Elena Dementieva such an incredible tennis player and character. There was the good; her courage, her resilience, her incredible athleticism, her unrivalled fitness, her goofy celebrations, those legendary one-way arguments with Mommy Vera and, of course, that trademark Full-body Rotation Screaming Forehand of Death. And there was the bad; that thing (also known as her serve) and of course her well-documented mental fragility. So many of these classics ended in complete heartbreak and bitter disappointment for Elena, but not many came close to the agony of last year’s Wimbledon semi-final.

Throughout the years, the one surface that Elena struggled to conquer was grass. Between 2000 and 2007, she made the quarterfinals only once – her serve holding her back on the hallowed lawns of Wimbledon. However, as the years went by she finally seemed to master the serve that had troubled her for so long. In 2008 she reached her first ever Wimbledon semi-final. She would eventually lose to Venus Williams in straight sets, but that was okay, it gave her the preparation she needed to go that one step further next year. And she did… almost.

In 2009, serve improving with every match, she again raced into the semifinals, where she would take on Serena Williams. This time, she was ready. She sent a message down the court from the very first game, immediately breaking Serena to take an early lead. As the match wore on, the rallies raged. The pace they were bludgeoning the ball at was impressive, but not more impressive than the pure athleticism that both players exhibited. They both broke boundaries that day, reaching balls that so few could reach and turning defence into offence in the most unlikely and unbelievable positions.

Eventually the pair found themselves tied at a set all and 4-4. At this point, though the score was so painstakingly close, it was Elena whose groundstrokes were by far the more reliable and impressive of the two. She held, and then at 5-4* she fought her way to 30-30 and finally, she had a chance. The Russian took it with both hands, and after a lengthy rally she smashed down a trademark crosscourt forehand winner. And suddenly she was one point away from her first ever Wimbledon final.

She may have lost confidence in her misfiring groundstrokes, but there is a reason why Serena Williams is the greatest player of her generation. Rather than panicking, Serena attacked and then moved forward to the net, forcing Elena to come up with the goods to win the match from her. As we all know, Elena couldn’t. She ended up taking the backhand pass far too low, and had no choice but to roll it crosscourt. Serena pounced on the volley, and that was that. Serena would go on to win the match 6-7 7-5 8-6, while Elena would be left distraught.

She may have lost the match, but she put on an incredible show. She wowed hourdes of fans with her game, and charmed the rest with her personality. Just as she did wherever she went. And that’s precisely why we will all miss her.

Posted in Elena Dementieva, Flashback, Serena Williams, Wimbledon | Leave a comment

Doha Picture(s) Of The Day

Posted in Elena Dementieva, Picture post, WTA Championships Doha | 4 Comments

Elena Dementieva Retires From Professional Tennis

Earlier on this month at Tokyo, Elena Dementieva was asked whether she thought she would ever win a slam. The answer was “no, not really”. For a professional tennis player of her calibur to say something like that is pretty serious, and from that point on I had a small hunch. Would this year be the last we see of Elena Dementieva?

Turns out that hunch was right. Following her 4-6 2-6 defeat to Francesca Schiavone in the final rubber of her group, Elena Dementieva announced her retirement from tennis. The secret was kept so well that only seconds before the players and officials took to the court for the final presentation did rumours of her retirement begin to spread. Even then it was still completely unreal. All available players, singles and doubles, took to court and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as she thanked those closest to her including, of course, Mommy Vera. Sad, sad times.

Posted in Elena Dementieva, WTA Championships Doha | Leave a comment

Fighting Back

Over in Montpellier, Gilles Simon defeated David Nalbandian in the second round. It made for pretty interesting watching. David dominated the earlier exchanged; his silky groundstrokes and deft touch just too good for a frustratingly passive Gilles. The rallies raged on and as David continued to penetrate the defence of Gilles, Gilles became visibly frustrated, chatting (read: bitching) to himself throughout the match.

This all continued til 6-4 *5-4 when the pair found themselves in a number of extended rallies. Finally a switch flicked in Gilles’ head as he began to work his web, cunningly using Nalbandians strokes against him by deflecting and redirecting them to various points and angles on the court. He broke back and eventually he stole the second set on the tiebreaker. The third set followed a similar plan as Nalbandian went up a break early on, however Gilles pegged him back and eventually would go on to finish him off 7-6 in the third.

This was certainly a missed opportunity for Nalbandian, but also a reminder that Gilles is still fighting his way back to the top. Two years ago he was winning these matches all the time, and he was easily one of the most mentally strong players around. I haven’t seen that kind of competitiveness from him since the knee injury but it’s great to see it’s still there. With more wins like this, his confidence will only rise until he is be able to step in and play with the skill and aggression that took him all the way up to #6 in the world.

Tomorrow he’ll face Tsonga. It may only be the quarters of an ATP 250 match, but it will be a massive deal for both. After all, the Davis Cup finals are in a month’s time and both will want to make a statement. Should be fascinating.

Posted in Gilles Simon, Other ATP Events | 3 Comments

All Hail Queen Wozniacki!

It’s over. She did it. Miss Karolina Wozniacka will end the year as the World Number One. The Queen Bee. The top-ranked player in the world, after she defeated Francesca Schiavone 3-6 6-1 6-1.

Francesca came out all guns blazing and before our Queen new it, she was down a set. There was no way she would have reached that level, but she didn’t panic and she didn’t need to. By the end of the second set, Schiavone’s level had dramatically dropped. There were still a bundle of thrilling points (including one of the best points of the year) throughout the match, but from the second set onwards Wozniacki just had to keep the ball in court and watch as Schiavone imploded before her eyes. The double breadstick sets also mean that she has all but clinched her place in the semifinals.

Now we must bow down her.

Posted in Caroline Wozniacki, WTA Championships Doha | Leave a comment