Sunday, February 13, 2011

Weekend Update 2/13/2011

by Savannah

"What I know is that I deserved to be the world number on in 2010, obviously, my results clearly show it. I mean, I've been the one who won more matches and more tournmaents on the WTA Tour than anybody else."

"I think that in every slam, I miss a little bit of luck and experience. It's not a big secret to play well seven matches in a row to win the title. And I learnt through my career that it's not that easy at all. But I'll do everything I can this year to work it out"

Caroline Wozniacki in Dubai as reported by French Eurosport. Fan translation by "MiiMo".

The French Open Will Remain in Paris

The USTA made $90 million at the gate for the 2010 US Open. Ninety million smackers just on ticket sales. That's not counting the overpriced and dreadful food, programs and other crap that's on sale during the US Open. What national tennis organization wouldn't see those figures and salivate?

That was the idea behind moving the French Open from it's present site near the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. Bigger site. More modern site. More people. More money.
Today the victory went to the traditionalists as the Fédération Française de Tennis (FFT) voted to keep their Grand Slam in Paris and update the site.

While many of us outside of France see this as a victory many French don't seem to think it is. They look at the money the USTA makes on the US Open and want to cram more people into their tournament.

The French Open and Wimbledon remain the most fan friendly of the Slams in terms of how tickets are sold and providing fans with a venue made for watching tennis. I've ranted about the horrors of the stadium named for the late great Arthur Ashe in the New York City borough of Queens in the past so I won't go into them now. Let's just say that the FFT made the right decision.

The Weekends Winners

I think we can safely say it's time to pay serious attention to Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic. She got on a lot of people's watch lists last year but being as she's part of the WTA that means nothing in the wider scheme of things. Blondes with long braids are a dime a dozen in the WTA and they've mostly turned out to be flashes in the pan.

That all changed today. Playing against a hostile French crowd - I know there's no other kind but it still has to be said - Kvitova held her nerves together and didn't allow the newly anointed WTA #1 Kim Clijsters to get into a rhythm and dominate the pace of the match. Clijsters had no answers for Kvitova's serve and groundstrokes and since Petra was not about to beat herself Kim once again showed that she is not much more than a glorified pusher. As I've said before she's just better at it than Wozniacki.
I watched the match online on Eurosport2 and the British commentary was full of St Kim adulation and pictures of her husband and daughter. I don't know if eating crow is done in Europe but I hope it was cooked to their liking.

Despite all the pomp and ceremony in Paris Clijsters can be passed by the Deserving One (see above) if she reaches the semifinals in Dubai. It's still the WTA kids. But watch out for Ms Petra Kvitova.
Flanked by Bahian priestesses Nicolas Almagro (r) and Aleksandr Dolgopolov pose with their trophies. Almagro won the crown at Costa do Sauipe.
Robin Soderling successfully defended his crown in Rotterdam. He defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
Rotterdam doubles champions Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner flank Tournament Director Richard Krajicek.
It seemed as if Daniela Hantuchova was tuning up to sing her swan song. After all her game seemed anachronistic and she'd always been considered physically fragile. Besides she hadn't won a title of any kind in four years. That drought has ended as she defeated Sara Errani of Italy in Thailand. Some found fault with her commenting that the semi final against Vera Zvonareva was a "mini final" but truth be told it was. I can't speak for everyone but I didn't expect her to win that match. I understand that Vera got very upset about a call and that was it for her.

That leads me to wonder why there are still tournaments - some majors as we saw in Paris this week and during Fed Cup play last week - being played on courts without HawkEye. It's expensive but it makes for much cleaner matches and less conspiracy theories from people like me. Oh well. Guess I'm shoveling shit against the tide again.

End Note

The highly anticipated match between Milos Raonic and Fernando Verdasco at the SAP Open will be played later today. Raonic got a walkover from an injured Gael Monfils into the final while Verdasco routined Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 6-4 for the chance to defend his title. Needless to say I hope to be watching and Tweeting about that match and posting about it later. I can't wait for Brad Gilbert to pronounce the young Canadian's name. On second thought I can.


Fred66 said...

Hi Savannah, it's been a while, but I'm back in the land of the living. Regarding Clijsters, I know she's not the most agressive player by nature, but least she really goes for winners when she's given half the chance, as opposed to Wozniacki. I saw the match today, and she looked exhausted more than anything, and I'm not taking any credit away fron Kvitova, who'll be in the Top 10 soon enough.
Regarding Hantuchova, this is actually her 4th title. She won Indian Wells in 2002 and 2007, and Linz in 2007 as well. And in spite being very thin, she's never been considered physically fragile; as a matter of fact, she's probably played more marathon 3-set matches than any other player in the top 50. She has always been mentally and emotionally frail though. That's probably why she never managed to hold on in the Top 10.

Savannah said...

Welcome back Fred66.

I meant to say she hadn't won a title in four years. I'll correct the post.

Dani's thin frame has always been cause for concern and led to rumors about an eating disorder. That is why I said she was physically fragile.