Monday, June 30, 2008

Would you like some whine with those strawberries and cream?

Apparently, Venus and Serena Williams took some exception to being relegated to Court 2 for their fourth-round matches. Their mom theorized that officials "wanted to put them on the jinx court so they could lose." First of all, I don't like to call anyone crazy, but Oracene, you done lost yo' Krusty-the-Clown-hair mind. Second of all, has anyone noted that Jelena Jankovic, ranked number 2 in the world, played on Court 18, otherwise known as the ghetto of Wimbledon?
Although, she might as well have played on the graveyard court. Once again, Jankovic was undone by ... drumroll ... an injury. Seriously, what is her deal? Mark my words: Jankovic will be the first player to see if someone can play tennis in a full-body cast.
In other matches, how about Richard Gasquet v. Andy Murray? Wow. I know Murray gets hell for being arrogant, but he sure had a reason today to flex those pale muscles. (Dude, don't they have tanning salons in Scotland? Yeah, they do. It's right next to the dentist's office.) That was some comeback, being down two sets and a break to win. As for Gasquet, it looks like he's getting his groove back. To his credit, he played well to the end. Murray just took that match. Unfortunately, any progress Gasquet might have made mentally will probably be completely erased, and he'll spend the weeks before the U.S. Open cowering in a fetal position under his bed.
Back to the Williams sisters: I really can't believe they're still hanging around. Looks like Wimbledon's taking place in some sort of alternate universe, where Venus and Serena look overwhelmingly like the favorites and the Sharapovas, Ivanovics and Jankovics of the world are early losers. Even Rod Serling right now is looking down and wishing he'd thought of this one for the Twilight Zone.
Tomorrow begins the quarterfinals, and first up is a rare match-up: Russian v. Russian. But we're kickin' it old school with Elena Dementieva against Nadia Petrova. Petrova had a good Wimbledon warmup this season, and it's nice to see her having some good results. And Dementieva's got a strong ground game. Her serve's starting to come around, too. Tough one to call, but I'm going to give Dementieva the edge based on more Grand Slam experience.
Next! Aggie Radwanska against Serena Williams. Serena's capable of mopping the court with Radwanska, but it really depends on how cleanly she wants to play. Radwanska's a strong player and if Serena's off, Radwanska could take advantage. However, having to play right after a huge upset of Svetlana Kuznetsova could be a lot of ask for someone so young. But I'm sticking with my upset pick, and Radwanska outlasts Serena.
Then there's Venus against Tamarine Tanasugarn. I could sit here and try to analyze this setup, try to act as though Tanasugarn would have beaten Jankovic if she weren't hobbled. But I want to go to bed. Venus wins.
Then we have "Mini" Jie Zheng against Nicole Vaidisova, who got past Anna Chakvetadze in a tough match. Hmm. You know, given Vaidisova's recent struggles, I would have been surprised to see her get this far, so I could see her easily melting down against Zheng.
Now, if Vaidisova really wants to shake Zheng, she could have her piece of man-meat, Radek Stepanek, sit as close to Zheng's changeover chair as possible and attempt the stare-down. I don't know about you, but that'd scare the hell out of me.


R.C. French said...

Jankovic would make playing tennis in a full body cast look good. She'd totally work it.

Matthew said...

I love your blog but have to defend Venus here. All the press specifically says that Venus did not complain about playing on court 2.

Naf said...

Ha, ha, Rowan. Especially if her face were covered, too! Just kidding. I do think she'd still play well in a full body cast, but she'd be complaining the whole time -- calling a trainer to adjust the gauze, etc. Serve might improve, too. :)

Naf said...

Matthew, you got me. Venus didn't complain, although her sister and mother did. I'm guilty, GUILTY, of the same thing I always rip people for -- lumping the sisters in together. My bad. If they're more consistent, they might never have to worry about ending up on the back courts. Thanks for reading! Come on back, now!

Mashimaro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
van said...

Hey Naf, didn't Serena play on Court 2 earlier in the tournament, too? Anyway, I'm glad they just concentrated on the tennis out there.

Jodi said...

I would be frightened of the stare of Radek Stepanek too. Actually, I think I would have to join Richard Gasquet cowering under the bed. ;)

Naf said...

Yeah, your girls are taking care of business now, Van, and they could be playing on a basketball court and dominate right now.
Jodi: I saw Stepanek in the stands watching Vaidisova yesterday, and all I can say is "Love is quite clearly blind."