Wednesday, July 02, 2008

"... Andy has a big hands and is very difficult beat him, no?" Rafa Nadal

I can't even begin to figure out what that means. I sure hope that's not code for something.
Seriously, how can you watch Nadal right now without being impressed? The man's on a mission and his game's showing it. He looked almost perfect against Andy Murray today. Gosh, even his shanked balls are landing in. Don't tell me Roger Federer's not looking over at this half of the draw and breaking a slight sweat. (Fortunately, he has his cardigan to keep him warm. I can't quite put my finger on what it is, but every time I see Fed warming up, I have the urge to ask him to be my neighbor.) Fed looked great today against Mario Ancic, too, but Ancic is nowhere near the quality of player Murray is. For one thing, I'd like to think Murray wouldn't engage in the half-hearted serve-and-volleying crap Ancic was doing. Are those volleys, Mario, or are those semi-lobs? It was hard to watch Ancic ambling into net off of weak volleys, as though that was putting pressure on Fed. Fed gets more pressure in Nike commercials.
And then there's Marat Safin, pulling another one out. I think I've figured him out. Basically, when he has a big win, like the Australian Open, he needs about four years to recover. So right now, he's rounding into shape. He hasn't had a lot of success against Federer since Australia in 2004, but who knows? He's playing with a lot of confidence right now. Unfortunately for him, so is Federer.
More on that later. Let's talk women's semifinals. First up is Venus Williams against Elena Dementieva. I would be floored if Venus manages to lose to Dementieva. Dementieva's got a lot of good things going on. One of them is not stability on the court. She said yesterday that all the pressure is on Venus since she's defending champ. Really, Elena? Then let's see you hit a real serve. That's what I thought. Because Venus is not in top form yet, I'll say she'll win in straight sets, but it'll be tight.
Speaking of top form, Serena Williams is looking pretty darned solid. Her match against Aggie Radwanska was a rarity for Serena, keeping her shots under control and not going for more than she needed. Giant-killer Jie Zheng's going to have a tall order. Hard to see her having much success against Serena. Zheng's talented, but she's come up against players who are good, but are mentally unprepared for her. I don't see Serena making that mistake. Straights! Don't blink or you'll miss it.

6 comments:

Jodi said...

"Andy have a good comportation, too, no?"

That one was my favourite. It can't NOT be code.

imelda said...

Wow & Hello Naf.. What a GREAT blog. I hope to visit more often.

I hardly DARE to hope that Rafa will prevail this year.

Can't imagine that Venus will not lift the (aptly-named) trophy, but Serena is looking determined as well.

(Can't see ED getting by Venus, and as you said, Zheng has not been up against someone of Serena's calibre.)

In the meantime? Happy watching.:-)

van said...

It looks like Jie is fighting more in the second, but the rain has brought things to a halt. If they both make it to the finals, I hope it's a better final than the ones in the past have been.

Naf said...

Jodi, I almost used the comportation quote! Bless him. He's still learning the English.
Hey, Van! I know, I'm scared about that final already. I'm really impressed with Zheng, I have to say. Hopefully, she'll be back, and she won't have to play a Williams sister.
Welcome, Imelda! I really want Rafa to win. He looks like he can do it right now. Plus, Nadal gets Schuettler next. Fed's got to fight off Safin! Thanks for stopping by!

paula said...

I just have to agree with you that the Williams come back and prove everyone wrong whenever all that doubt from the newscasters starts creeping up. It´s great.

Naf said...

Hi, Paula! They're somethin', aren't they? Wimbledon's just a different animal for them. I'd just like to see them play consistently every tournament. We'll see. Thanks for stopping in!