Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Seen and Heard Around

by Savannah

Anne Keothavong who has fought hard this year to improve her both her ranking and play was injured last evening at Stanford. She ran into a wall going after a ball and injured her knee. Reports are she was taken from the court in considerable pain. The above picture appeared on Twitter where Anne said she was taking a scan today but she pretty much knew what the result would be. Here's to a speedy recovery.

US Open Series

The men are on their second tournament while the women kicked things off in Stanford. There was a much anticipated exhibition match held between Pete Sampras and Marat Safin which surprise of all surprises Marat won. He then followed up with a win over Robby Ginepri and faces Ernests Gulbis in the next round. I'm hoping Marat stays focused for another round or two before the bright lights seduce him away from the tennis courts.

Meanwhile the WTA started off with a bang. A powerhouse draw featuring most of the top ten and not a bye in sight lived up to expectations. Last year Alexandra Wozniak of Canada won this event. She's already out. Li Na, whose coach/husband made it sound as if she were on her last legs just a few days ago came back from a first set drubbing at the hands of Serena Williams to force the World #2 into a second set tiebreak that Williams won 8-6. Think Serena wanted it?

Maria Sharapova was taken to three sets by Sugiyama Ai before winning her opening round match. She next plays Nadia Petrova.
Venus Williams won in straight sets over Stephanie Dubois of Canada while promising American junior Melanie Oudin won her first round match over Hillary Barte also of the United States.

The WTA Ranking System

During a recent presser Marat Safin roused himself to give a spirited defense of his sister's ranking indicating that she needs time to grow into being the top ranked player. This week essays on the subject are appearing.

There was a lot of stage whispering last week about Dinara Safina's choice to play Portoroz bypassing Stanford. She is scheduled to play Los Angeles next week. What's the difference in the two events? Neither Williams sister is scheduled to play L.A. After Dinara the next highest ranked player is number seven rankedVera Zvonareva who is just coming back from an injury. Nicole Vaidisova has made it into the Main Draw thanks to withdrawals. It's going to be very interesting to see what the MD will look like.


Rafael Nadal has made it clear that while he sincerely hopes to be able to play Montreal he has still not started the hard work he needs to in order to test out his knees. The Canadians do not appreciate top players not showing up for their tournaments. I'd be careful of dark vans and shifty looking characters if I were Rafa.

Speaking of Montreal I haven't heard a peep out of The Monogram's camp as to whether or not he'll appear there. I have to admire how he and his wife managed to keep things a secret until after their daughters were born. I may snipe at and criticize the public man he is to be commended on keeping his private life just that. Of course there may be some magazine that has the exclusive rights to the first pictures and that is fine given the Monogram's stature in the sports world. Maybe that will give bored younger fans something else to obsess about other than the strength of the Monogram's seed in siring twins. I wish I was kidding about that last bit. I guess the little buggers either went on a search and destroy mission for that second egg or they were strong enough to blast one egg in two. Again, I wish I was kidding.

I repeat that the Canadians do not like it when the top players don't show up. Beware of vans and shifty looking characters Mr. Federer.

When your shorts are so baggy it takes more than one glance to figure out if you're a male or female player they're too baggy. Frank Dancevic is the man pictured above. His ponytail didn't help much either.

Novak Djokovic and his brother Markko Djokovic got a wild card into the doubles draw at Umag this week. They crashed and burned in the first round. Is it still the new racquet that's being blamed for the issues there?

I'll end with this quote by the one and only Elena Dementieva.

When asked about the WTA Roadmap and Jelena Jankovic’s contention that she wants more flexibility to be able to play more tournaments, Elena Dementieva said with a laugh, “ I don’t know what to say. It looks like she's playing every week. If she can play six tournaments in a week she’ll do it.”

Source. Scroll all the way down.


TopSpin said...


Hey Savannah

I just put up a post on Frank's shorts a couple of hours back!

Great minds think alike and all that...

Karen said...

LOL - I just cannot stop - beware of dark vans and shifty eyed men indeed. I dont think Roger will play Montreal and I dont think Rafa should play Montreal. I think both guys need to take some time off, one to deal with his new responsibilities and the other to ensure that he is fully fit before venturing out into the hard court season. It helps no one and it certainly does not benefit the game when the top 2 are out. I tell you the girls are over a week old and not even as much as a stolen picture. What I like about Roger and Rafa's camp is that no one speaks out of turn. Everyone marches to the tune of the player and nothing else. That is as it should be.
For the record I think his seed split the egg into 2. I think the girls are probably identical.

Savannah said...

For the record I think his seed split the egg into 2. I think the girls are probably identica

Karen LOL.

Karen said...

LMAO - cannot stop laughing about the men in vans. Just hilarious.
Rafa's knee injury reminds me of Serena's surgery in 2003. It took her almost 4 years to really recover from the surgery, and even today she has to play a very limited schedule to ensure that she has some amount of longevity. I guess in the long run camp Nadal will have to prioritise - what do you want most of all, history, or be remembered for retiring at a young age. I tell you one of the things I have admired about Roger is the way how he keeps his body healthy and plays a very selective schedule. He has been blessed in that he has not had many injuries, either that or he has the best darned injury prevention team in tennis. One of the more poignant things that I read in the Nadal interview was his fear of playing as a result of the pain in his knee. The question that will be asked is whether or not he will be mentally tough enough to put the recurring theme of the pain out of his mind and play freely. Only time will tell in that regard.