Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Heard Around

by Savannah

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga says the domination of the men's tour by two players is over

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands: Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Tuesday sauntered into the second round of the ATP Rotterdam Open after a 6-4, 6-4 defeat of Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov and declared the era of domination from Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal is over.

The eighth-seed who lost the 2008 Australian Open final to Novak Djokovic said that the Serb's victory in Melbourne little more than a week ago over Andy Murray marked a gate-crashing of the private party enjoyed by the Swiss and Spaniard for the last half-decade.

"Federer and Nadal are not alone (at the top of the rankings) any more," said Tsonga, who fired 11 aces in his 75-minute win over the 19-year-old Dimitrov.

"Maybe on clay, things (Nadal's victories) are still the same, but not on other surfaces.

"Djokovic and Murray are beating Nadal and Federer very often, all the players are improving their games. It's not just about Nadal and Federer any more."

Tsonga said that his present world ranking of 18 after an injury-marred 2010 season, which saw him fall out of the Top 10, was not a reflection of his present form.

"I've also improved my game but my ranking has gone backwards," he said. "I feel that I'm playing better than two or three years ago.

"I'm in good shape and taking the matches here step by step - but I still feel I have a chance to win the title," said Tsonga, who has won five ATP titles.


American Sam Querrey continues his charm campaign. After losing to Lukas Lacko 7-6(6), 6-3 at San Jose last evening Querry is reported to have "nearly walked from his press conference," by one source and to have blown the press off by others. I'm not sure what his problem is. Well, I do. It's a syndrome often seen in those who feel they're above everyone else due to their social status. Very often these types hate being called for their shit and become whiny babies when it happens. I guess he'll be riding that Porsche more and more if things keep up the way they have for him on the tennis court.

Meanwhile Juan Martin del Potro won his first round match at the SAP Open.

Yanina Wickmayer may be doubtful for Paris after a wall fell on her leg. It seems she was signing autographs after Fed Cup and a fan surge ended up with the wall falling.

The ITF has announced the draws for the Fed Cup World Group Playoffs to be held April 16-17.

WORLD GROUP PLAY-OFFS

Germany v USA
SPAIN v France
SLOVAK REPUBLIC v Serbia
AUSTRALIA v Ukraine

WORLD GROUP II PLAY-OFFS

Belarus (*) v ESTONIA
Japan v ARGENTINA
Slovenia (*) v CANADA
SWITZERLAND v Sweden

Home teams listed first
Seeds in capitals
(*) = choice of ground decided by lot

Gee I wonder what surface Germany will choose?

Staying with the WTA Melanie Oudin got a good win (for her) over Vera Dushevina in Paris yesterday. The indoor surface plays very fast and she has done well in the past at the GDF Suez.

The most talked about person in tennis right now has to be Kim Clijsters. Most of the talk is about her ascension to the WTA #1 spot as preordained and what it means for women's tennis. Everyone is looking forward to Serena Williams return - her form will be closely scrutinized at that March 8 Nike exhibition - but I don't think anyone expects her to storm the ramparts and immediately reclaim her top ranking. Yeah I remember Australia and #81 but the Serena coming back is older and has suffered through a debilitating injury. Yes she's been practicing from her walker/wheelchair but the latest pictures taken at the Super Bowl show she is still wearing the boot on her foot.
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Do I detect the whiff of desperation in the frenzied talk about Clijsters? Is that an acknowledgement that the current computer ranked #1 while the type of what the WTA wants in a top player is not a representative of what women's tennis wants to be about? Kim has now won a Slam outside of the United States and some are predicting she may do well at Wimbledon. Looked at in terms of accomplishments Clijsters has now won four slams and it would be good for the WTA to have a Slam winner sitting on top of the heap. I can't argue with that.
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Do I like Clijsters game? No. Do I think she's a glorified, more experienced pusher? Yes. But she does have those Slams now. I guess I'll have to get used to turning the volume down when the commentators start worshipping at the altar of Saint Kim, the only woman on the planet ever to give birth.

Li Na just signed big contracts with Rolex and Haagen-Dazs.
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Knowing the battles Li has fought in the past does this mean she gets to keep the proceeds or will she have to kick back a percentage to her tennis federation? I haven't seen any discussion about this. Also for clarification the Chinese custom is for the last name to go first. I try to respect that and call her Li Na. Na is her first name.

8 comments:

TennisAce said...

So funny that everyone is talking about Clijsters getting to NO. 1 and in the same breath they are hoping for the return of Serena. One has to think that one has something to do with the other?

You and me both on the "Only Woman Ever to work and have children schtick" I am so over that and I wish she would keep talking of having more children and leaving the Tour and retiring and her husband and the size of his penis and everything that has to do with her family out of the press conferences and just talk about tennis. Jeepers.

Savannah said...

She answers the questions to probative media asks her. I would love to hear her respond to questions about the matches she plays but all they want to talk to her about is being a Mom.

The good thing though is Kim doesn't pretend to raise her daughter alone. She admits to having a nanny. I'm sure the tennis media would go wild if a picture of Kim barefoot, in a faded and worn cotton shift falling off of one shoulder with Jada on her hip while she stirs a pot of vittles surfaced.

lilac said...

As I have written before. I feel cheated. Clisjters was second tier in her era; never able to beat her rivals, Capriati, Serena, Venus, Henin for a trophy. Each is either retired or on the downside of their careers; and she's returned after a long rest to compete in a women's field with no great champions. Like I told Craig Hickman -- hey, if you can't win in your era, just wait and come back in a less competitive one to pick up slams. I'm no fan of Davenport, but I think it sucks that Clisjters has surpassed her in slam titles. Booo.

TennisAce said...

hehehehehe barefoot and stirring vittles - that is a wonderful picture to have in my head - LOL

Savannah said...

Lilac I love your comment.

TennisAce Can't you see it? I guess the tennis racquet would be in the corner...

TennisAce said...

Lilac, I said the same thing you said recently on another blog and I was drawn and quartered for it. Lots of people are judging Clijsters based on her second career. How about her first one when all she could garner was a bunch of lower tier titles. Now she is competing in an era when all of her generation are on the downside and all of a sudden she is a champion.

I don't care if she surpasses Davenport, Sharapova, Henin, Venus etc. The fact will remain that in their heyday she could not compete with them. She faltered at the finish line every step of the way and now she is the media darling and her coach coming out and saying that no one on Tour can beat her if she is playing her best. Somebody shoot me. Please

And yes Savannah, the image is still stuck in my head. LOL

Mad Professah said...

@lilac That is simply bullshit. Where are those players whom Clijsters couldn't beat NOW? The name of the game is winning majors and Clijsters now has more majors than Davenport and Capriati. She may end up tying Venus by the time she's done--those two have always had epic matches.

It's not Kim's fault that HER ERA Spans Davenport/Capriati to Wozniacki/Zvonareva.

I bet you gonna be complaiing i Sharapova comes back in 3 years (she'll only be 27) and starts beating kids like a drum. As far as I am concerned, you play the field which shows up. If you win, you're the champ. END OF STORY.

No, coulda woulda.

Now, what was that Kmmie said about the size of her husband's penis? Inquiring minds wanna know....

Savannah said...

What did she say about her husband's penis Mad?

Don't forget that Clijsters came out of retirement in the middle of the season after everyone was already battered and bruised from playing winter/summer hardcourt, clay and grass.

I understand you want to defend a fave but facts are facts. Kim has come back at an opportune time for her and her style of play. There is no getting around that.

And why would she be commenting on her husbands penis in public?