Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The week in review

A brief recap of the week in tennis:

1. Venus Williams did something she hasn't done since Wimbledon -- close out a match. She won her second (yes, that's it) tournament of the year at the Zurich Open, beating her nemesis Flavia Pennetta in the final. In the semis, she played Ana Ivanovic. Judging from previous performances from both of them recently, it could have been an ugly match, but both played well. Ivanovic showed this week she's still got game, but it remains to be seen whether she can get -- and keep -- her mind right.
I have to admit to agreeing with Corina Morariu on the Tennis Channel, which is rare only because I can't stand her voice. I can't explain why. Anyway, as Morariu says, Venus insists on standing inside the baseline to receive serve, no matter how hard it is. Because nothing is as intimidating as standing just inches behind the service line and screwing up every single return. Imagine what would happen, Venus, if you *gasp* stepped back a foot or three? You might have room to, oh, I don't know, SWING!
2. Speaking of intelligence, I gotta give it up to Gilles Simon. He fought off something like twenty-eight match points during the week and played a great match against Rafael Nadal in the semis. And here I thought he was just a pusher. That's some pusher, changing spin, direction and speed whenever he wants. He finally encountered a match point he couldn't shake, though. And how about that Andy Murray? (I gotta ask: What is that gigantic blotch on the back of Murray's leg?) Looks like his U.S. Open run was no flash in the pan. Just when you thought things were heating up at the top of the men's game, you've got to make room for more. A Scot, no less. I'm going to guess that one day, Murray will do a little better than Tim Henman at Wimbledon. And the Open. All of them.
3. Roger Federer is relegated to world No. 2 for the rest of the year. Can we agree that he might be the second-best world No. 2 EV-ER?


~Babz said...

I agree. Definitely second best number 2. :)

Isn't it frustrating to watch a match when we could see a player's mistake so glaringly? When we know it's winnable but... oh hell what am I saying. I don't know jack s*** about tennis in practice.

It's just frustrating to watch sometimes. Period.

Naf said...

Hi Babz! It's always easier to spot everyone else's mistakes, isn't it. It's certainly more fun.

TopSpin said...

Hey Naf - It was good to see Ivanovic's return to decent form; great to see Venus bag a second title too, but long overdue IMO.

Murray is certainly part the top 4 now however, it will be interesting to see how he copes with any dips in form next year. He also needs to prove himself on clay - not his favourite surface.


Naf said...

I think he'll be fine mentally, TopSpin. I think he's gotten past that stage. He's already been wishy-washy and he'll handle the success. Clay? Well, I guess we'll see about that. I personally have never been able to understand why players can't play well on all surfaces, especially men. Why are women never labeled as "clay-courters"?

TopSpin said...

A lot of women on the tour nowadays (with noteable exceptions of course), play a very similar style of game - and so in playing against each other mostly cancel out the effect the surface might have had.

You're right about the men - different surfaces will always favour certain styles of play, but I'll never understand why for instance Davydenko has such an apalling record on grass nor why Safin never performed well on it up until this year.