Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday, Monday

by Savannah

"...can't trust that day..."

One of the great songs given to us by the short lived supergroup known as the Mama's and Papa's.

The Beijing tournament ended today since both of it's singles finals matches were rained out on Sunday. Of course I have no idea what time it is with these twelve hour time differences so if I'm wrong be kind.
Novak Djokovic won his second title of the year defeating Spain's David Ferrer in the men's final.
Bob and Mike Bryan continued their strong second half of the year winning the men's doubles crown.
Newly minted WTA #1 Caroline Wozniacki defeated seemingly perennial brides maid Vera Zvonareva in the women's final.
Olga Govortsova and Chuang Chia-Jung played together for the first time and came away with the title in Beijing.
Meanwhile in Japan the men's tournament had an exciting conclusion.
Rafael Nadal won his seventh tournament of the year defeating Frenchman Gael Monfils.
Eric Butorac and Jean-Julian Rojer won the doubles crown in Tokyo.
Congratulations to all the winners.

Despite photographic evidence of a pretty good sized scar there are those who insist that Serena Williams is faking the seriousness of her injury and are using her attempt to try and play Linz as proof of her, what I don't know. Personally I thought all the ballyhoo about her playing in Linz was just so much hype, an attempt to sell tickets by the WTA. I never expected her to play there and the release saying her attempt to come back to soon aggravated the injury which is still not healed inside rings true. In a tennis world where people believe players have mono because they say so it amazes me that a legitimately injured player gets such a hard time from so called "purists" who think she shouldn't be on track to fulfilling the prophecy her father made about her years ago. I guess haters are going to hate and there's nothing to be done about that. I'm hoping that Serena takes the rest of the year off and comes back strong in January.
I wish the WTA would get rid of on court coaching. I've said this before but I'm more convinced of it's damaging effects after watching the women's final from Beijing. There was Vera Zvonareva playing on her own with quiet support from her coach while everytime Little Miss Sunshine got in trouble you saw her father Piotr chomping at the bit like a horse in the gate waiting for the race to start. It seemed as if he was at her chair before she could finish walking off the court. His first visit resulted in Caroline suddenly able to reel off five straight games and win the first set. His second visit wasn't so productive (or so it would seem), since Vera won the second set. During the third set a suddenly revitalized Caroline was able to break at the beginning and coasted. Does Vera need to be more confident when playing a final? Yes she does. She did better here than in New York but more people saw her in New York and came away with a dismal impression of her.
As for Little Miss Sunshine the hard sell is on. It was as if she were on court by herself since all the commentator could talk about was how much tennis she'd played and all the commitments she has and how at a young age she seems to be balancing her career quite well. There were no graphics of her record against top ten players to mar the event this time and the trips by her father were called "pep talks".
It occurred to me that all that coaching, er, sorry, those pep talks, is why she can't win a major. She needs them. Without them well, just remember Justine Henin when Carlos Rodriguez had no answers for her against Marion Bartoli a couple of years ago at Wimbledon and you get the picture. Some are saying she will not play so many tournaments next year but to me she has to. How else will she stay at the top? There's no way in hell she wins a major if all the Big Babes come back healthy next year. They will out think her on court just like they do now.
I was proud of Bepa today. She lost but she didn't call her coach down to assist her one time. She was trying to work things out for herself and not waiting for Big Daddy to come to her rescue.

End Notes
Tennis Channel made sure all of the tennisheads had to rely on live streams to see the Beijing finals live. I guess they couldn't get the rights for the Monday play. Pity because their coverage has been pretty good for the Asian swing. They are showing the early rounds in Shanghai, something American tennis fans usually never get to see. I got to see Fernando Verdasco lose to Thiemo de Bakker and Juan Monaco play Florent Serra as well as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's return to the tour.
Thank goodness both tours will be returning to Europe. The time difference is much more manageable.


vw said...

I didn't watch the match but I'm sick and tired of Sunshine already and she's only twenty. What are we going to do, Savannah?

Savannah said...

I'm trying to make sure I watch because I don't want it said I'm dogging the girl without ever watching her matches. Today/yesterday was just awful in terms of the on court coaching.

kraa said...

I didn't see the match, but according to accounts on message boards it was one of the best matches this year (let's ignore on-court coaching for the moment, ok?)

As for Wozniacki, I new she will be important (how important remains to be seen) years ago. Her game is somewhat lacking, but she has the right mentality. It's very rare particularly among women (no one else in her generation has it)...

P.S. I remember reading this blog a year or two ago and you liked her just fine. Why such a change? Winning too many matches?

Savannah said...

A couple of things. It started with the fake cramping episode last year and then how her father got away with what I thought was match fixing when he told her to throw a match. Yes she was supposed to be hurt and all that but if Richard Williams had given similar advice to one of his daughters and had it broadcast live on world wide television there would've been a scandal the likes of which we'd have never seen before.

That is what turned me off Kraa. That, and the fact that I don't like to be told who I'm supposed to like.

Christian said...

Amen, Savannah!

Helen W said...

vw I'm with you all the way. I simply cannot stand her. It's so rare for me to feel this way about a tennis player, but ....

Zehra said...

I'm surprised you can bear to watch tennis, when you seem to be unable to stand 90% of the players.

Savannah said...

I love tennis Zehra. It's why I call bullshit when I see it.

Don't be a stranger.

TennisAce said...

I became a fan of Wozniacki before she became Little Ms. Sunshine. I like her on court demeanour and her ability to remain strong mentally when faced with impossible tasks on the court. I have noticed however that she has recently begun showing signs of some deep seated anger especially when calls go against her. I think that needs to be nipped in the bud.

However, even though I am a big Serena fan, I have to give props to the Dane. She has played well and the winning record that she has amassed post Wimby is to be commended. A lot of it is due to the court side coaching and I agree that that will be her detriment when it comes to performing well at the majors.

As to the Serena injury issue. I agree that tennis writers are quicker to discount Serena's injury than they are to discount many other players who have indicated that they are injured. As a matter of fact the silence was deafening when one Roger Federer played his first 2 rounds at this year's Wimby with heavy strapping on his right leg. Not one question was asked about that in his post match pressers and I notice that not many bloggers mentioned it. It is the narrative that is being written in tennis about certain players. Humility, arrogance, poor sportsmanship, warrior, childlike, humanitarian, etc, the list goes on and on. As a fan we have to realise that everyone tennis writer out there has their own agenda and will posit their own views. It is up to us to look at the evidence and form our our opinions.

My take: most of us who discount injury talk about players are using our own lowered standard in the workplace when we call in sick and know that we really are not sick.

jo shum said...

i just can't stand sunshine. too cute, too smily, too nice. the game is somewhat lacking but she gets all the credits. i haven't watched much of WTA after wimbledon. the best is still with justine and serena.