Tuesday, July 01, 2008

"What are you on?" -- Serena Williams

Looks like the Williams sisters finally accepted the TWA challenge, which was, in essence -- DO SOMETHING!
Just when you're ready to write them off, Venus and Serena continue their march through the draw. As expected, Venus handled Tamarine Tanasugarn, and Serena took down Aggie Radwanska. If I say so myself, it was pretty bold for me to stick with my Radwanska upset special. Others might call it foolish. Whatever. Radwanska probably has a lot of success coming her way, but it looked like she was deflated toward the end of the first set, and she spent the second set walking from deuce to ad side, watching the aces and winners fly. Someone's got some maturing to do.
And how about Elena Dementieva trying to give her match to Nadia Petrova, who refused to take it? She opens up a 5-1 lead in the second set and gave it all away before winning, 6-3 in the third. You know, anyone who loses to someone side-arming a powderpuff serve like that should be ashamed of themselves. Ahem, Petrova ... (And does Venus pay Petrova for wearing her gear on court?)
More on the women's draw later. Tomorrow's Gentleman's Day at the All England Club. Let's check these fellas out:
Roger Federer v. Mario Ancic: Did anyone else know that Ancic has a law degree? I have to consider this factoid more impressive than the fact that he was the last person to beat the Fed on grass. Why? Two reasons: (1) Since when are jocks smart? and (2) OK, it really means nothing anymore. Go ahead; take Ancic's business card in case you ever get into a pickle, but don't pick him for this match. Fed in a yawner.
Andy Murray v. Rafa Nadal: Very enticing match-up. I'm curious to see how Murray comes back from that thriller against Richard Gasquet. The other question mark is Nadal's knee. If it's not 100 percent, clearly Murray has enough game to exploit that. However, all things equal, this should go Nadal's way. If he can take care of Murray, he can pretty much punch his ticket to the final, because he'd get the winner of ...
Rainer Schuettler v. Arnaud Clement: Yeah. Because I saw this quarterfinal coming. You should have seen me last week filling out my draw, salivating over this matchup. Schuettler took down Blake in the second round, then Janko Tipsarevic, who beat Andy Roddick to get the quarters. Meanwhile, Clement has taken down such "heavyweights" as Jonas Bjorkman, Benjamin Becker and Jurgen Melzer. Hey, someone had to come out of that part of the draw, right? Schuettler, straights.
Marat Safin v. Feliciano Lopez: First thing's first: Those Wilson racquet commercials have got to stop. Absolutely got to. The Federer one was a little corny. The Djokovic one was ridiculous. The Lopez commercial would be laughable if it weren't so painful to watch. I almost would pick against him just because of that commercial. But I have extra reason. That's right: my man, Safin! Still can't believe he's still in the draw. And really, there's no way to know which Safin shows up for this match -- the one who beat Djokovic, or the one who keeps food on the tables of the employees over at Head by busting as many racquets as possible. This is a real toss-up for me, but I unfortunately have to give Lopez the edge. He's got a 4-1 lifetime over Safin, including a win on grass. If Safin weren't such a head case half the time, I'd say he could overcome that, but I'm afraid I can see this one unfolding, and it involves a lot of broken racquets.


yogahz said...

Naf - this is becoming one of my favorite tennis blogs - great writing. I especially like your take on league tennis. (I'm our singles player too but will play doubles if needed. We just lost in the semis at playoffs.)

Anyway - I agree with your picks - except I'm sticking with Marat. He's held it together this long, I think he'll be able to keep his head together. Hopefully the insight that Dinara had on her on-court attitude was shared with Marat.

Naf said...

Doh! Yeah, our league loss has us tied with the team we're playing next. Should be interesting ...
So, Safin's up, 2 sets to 1. I want to believe, yogahz. I hope he can pull it off. And don't lose hope on the Safin Shrine. I'm trying to figure out how to get it online. Especially if he wins!
Thanks for reading and the kind words!