Thursday, September 6, 2007

The US Open - The Home Stretch

With all the talk about cup cake draws and why they exist I came across this post by "forehander" on
Mens Tennis Forums

Ever since the draw came out I thought to myself. This would be a perfect draw for Federer if he is able to get through it.

1st Round = easy (warm up)
2nd Round = easy (warm up)
3rd Round = moderate
4th Round = moderate
quarter-finals = hard
semi-finals = hard
finals = ?

The draw that Roger goes through gives him a very very strong confidence boost if you think about it. First two rounds he played unknown qualifiers to warm up. Then third round was the stage he had to make a transition because Isner is a huge serve and you need to be extremely focused to win. Defeating a huge server like Isner or Karlovic is always a huge relief. 4th round he plays Lopez where Lopez has a strong left hand serve and pretty general good play. Then quarter finals it gets tougher, another HUGE SERVER, Andy ROddick. But Roddick is not that much of a serve and volley (though he does more now), he likes baseline rallies. So you're starting to see this transition of playing players who only knows how to serve to players who plays baseline rallies. Then of course it comes to the SEMI-FINALS, there he'll play Davydenko, the machine of baseline rallies. So his draw is like a transition from playing Huge serves to extreme baseline players. Though it's tough, but there's no better preperation for the finals than this draw Federer will clinch this US Open with super high confidence!

You can argue about how to rank Roddick, Davydenko and the man Federer will face in the Final in terms of degree of difficulty now that the one man who could have beaten him is out of the tournament. Andy played very well tonight but still lost in straights. I don't see Djokovic beating Roger again unless he's hired the Tanya Harding Special Ops Team.

The Women of the Open

The Final Four

Venus Williams

Svetlana Kuznetsova

Anna Chakvetadze

Justine Henin

May the best woman win.

Seen Around

Andre Agassi and John McEnroe in the broadcast booth 9/5/2007

Boris Becker and his new lady

Actress Natalie Portman and friend 9/5/2007

Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David 9/5/2007

Fashion Statements of the Tournament

That one woman fashion disaster Bethanie Mattek was out and about.

Words fail me.

Hot Topics This Week:

Justine and Carlos

  • No Carlos has not left his family for a life of debauchery with Justine. It seems that while I was out at Arthur Ashe watching the matches Tuesday night USA Television showed how on every play Justine looked to Carlos for guidance about what to do.
Justine is the WTA number one player. Shouldn't she be able to think her way through a match without her coach telling her what to do? I can understand occasionally looking to your box for guidance in a sticky situation but every play?!
What happens when Carlos doesn't know what to tell her to do? Marion Bartoli played the Wimbledon Final didn't she?

I don't think there is anyone who would say the quality of tennis played by the women of the WTA the last week and a half has been anything but low. Venus and Jelena played a good match today but aside from that one match what have we seen? I've argued that the women should play best of five but after the sorry show I saw this week I'm rethinking my position. Here's a novel thought. Let's make sure Larry Scott has nothing to do with the draw next year so we avoid having an exhibition event taking place alongside a Slam. I know. I haven't seen any flying pigs either. And about that equal pay thing. Better product WTA. Better product.

  • I'll say it again. Yes Serena was bitchy. I agree that maybe she should have postponed the interview or taken the fine. Is a bitchy tennis player the cause of all evil in the world? Somehow I don't think so. When they go after players like Maria Sharapova and ask how she could possibly have lost when her draw was noting more than a warm up for her appearance in the final I'll be impressed. Many people don't remember how nasty Pova was to the press last year when they pressed her about the banana and the brown bottle.Until all the women of the WTA become "golden" all this is just so much sound and fury signifying nothing.

In Other News:

Famed Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti has passed on after a long illness. If you're not familiar with him please find a young Pavarotti singing "Nessun Dorma" from Turandot. Thank you "jjnow" on Talk About Tennis for recommending this piece.

He was a great singer. May he rest in peace.


Helen W said...

Luciano Pavarotti is probably the only opera singer since Caruso that managed to become an icon to the general public, not just to classical music afficionados. He will be missed.

His voice can make the hair stand up on my arms and the back of my neck.

Rest in Peace.

Savannah said...

He was a great one.