Sunday, July 05, 2015

Just another Manic Monday ... at Wimbledon

Let's just run down the Wimbledon schedule tomorrow by way of a preview:

1. Serena Williams v. Venus Williams: OK, like almost everyone else, I want Venus to win. Here are the cold hard facts that kinda refute that outcome:
     a. They are not playing dubs together. Some might consider this a sign that Serena is not in top shape, which is not hard to sell after her French form. But it makes more sense that it's Venus trying to save her energy. She's looked OK during her matches so far, but one thing she has never shaken is this idea that she has to swing for the fences no matter what. I've never seen anyone go for more crazy shots with an open court except Gael Monfils. Can she stay consistent during a match with the best player possibly ever? Even at Wimbledon? Like I said, I wish she could.
     b. Serena is basically not going to lose until she passes out on the court. Look, she really should have lost to Heather Watson. Aaaand she should have lost to that Friedlander chick at the French. Also Bacsinszky. Yet, here she is, walking into Wimbledon with allll the Grand Slam swag. Someone on Twitter shared this today and it really says why I don't see Serena getting all sentimental tomorrow:
From Wimbledon 2008 final press conference (Serena lost to Venus, 7-5, 6-4)
Q. Have you talked at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I saw her. I mean, we weren't involved in a big conversation. 

Q. You don't look happy at all. 
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't? I wonder why. 

2. Ivo Karlovic v. Andy Murray: I know rants aren't very ladylike. And I know this is Wimbledon. So let's just commence with the rant. I don't think you should be allowed to play tennis if your primary (read:only) weapon/shot is your serve. Nothing against Karlovic (OK, that's not true), but damn if Jo-Jo Tsonga shouldn't be playing this match instead. I mean damn. Tsonga played great, and he loses to the serving machine. NOT FAIR
Andy in three. Also, Amelie Mauresmo's "Make Your Own Luck" shirt makes her the most bad-ass pregnant lady EVer.

3. Roberto Bautista Agut v. Roger Federer: Fun fact: Roger Federer doesn't appear to have a middle name. Any ideas out there for a good middle name for Federer? It's the only thing he's lacking. He's got looks. He's got game. He's got two sets of twins. He's got Nadal out of the tournament. Let's get Roger a middle name by the time he wins his match tomorrow, 'k?

4. Maria Sharapova v. Zarina Diyas: Haven't really had opportunity to see/hear Sharapova play yet this tournament. Don't know much about her opponent either, but she has beaten Andrea Petkovic AND Flavia Pennetta already. The Pennetta win is particularly troubling if you're a Sharapova fan. Pennetta is basically a backboard, and if you beat her, it probably means you can run down shots for diyas, er, days. On the other hand, there almost isn't anyone else who wills herself to victory the way Sharapova does. So I guess I'm gonna go with her in three.

5. Stan Wawrinka v. David Goffin: I'll eat this terrible dinner I made for myself if Goffin even wins a set.

6. Novak Djokovic v. Kev: NEXT.

7. Richard Gasquet v. Nick Kyrgios: So someone needs to educate me here. Is there a reason Kyrgios is wearing the koozie on his nondominant arm? At first, I thought he was wearing it to mock Milos Raonic, but then he wore it in doubles, too. Like, whaaa?
Boy, I have no idea how this match is going to shake out. Kyrgios is definitely a shotmaker, moreso than the aforementioned Monfils, but he is not terribly disciplined on when to go for these shots. If you have problems picking your moments to go for shots, Gasquet is not the guy you really want to mix with. Their last encounter went five with Kyrgios coming back from behind. My thought, though, is that Gasquet actually would have been the one to come away from that match having learned something. We'll see.

8. Caroline Wozniacki v. Garbine Mugaruza: Wozniacki can beat almost anybody, but she can also lose to anybody because she has no other real weapons other than her fitness. It's crazy, but it's true. I'm actually thinking an upset here -- Muguruza's young, a big hitter, and seems real comfortable so far on the grass. Mugu in three.

9. Tomas Berdych v. Gilles Simon: I hope Simon wins because I love watching that guy play. He looks like a werewolf with that facial hair, but whatever. I would just say the closer to the evening they play, the better for Simon. Kidding. Kinda. I really think he's going to win, but not because he's really a werewolf, but because his retrieval skills will probably irritate the crap out of Berdych. It's easy to hit through that in set one. Set two? Set four??

10. Coco Vandeweghe v. Lucie Safarova: I'm not buying Vandeweghe. She hasn't really had a challenge yet. Sam Stosur played terribly, so that doesn't count. Safarova, on the other hand, is pretty much killin' it right now unless she's playing Serena Williams. She'll keep that up here, too.

11. Agz Radwanska v. Jelena Jankovic: I can't say at all where this one is going, but I'll be setting the alarm clock for this sucker. This is just gonna be pure tennis, people. No big serving, no crushing forehands. Just four and three-quarter hours of straight shotmaking, everybody

12. Marin Cilic v. Denis Kudla: As long as Cilic plays the way he finished against Isner, not seeing any real problems for him here.

13. Vasek Pospisil v. Victor Troicki: Who wins the battle of the 'I-can't say-that-name-can-you? players'? I have to give the edge to the Serb (that's Troicki). I mean, James Ward isn't bad (and I'm only saying that because it's Wimbledon and he's British), but why did Pospisil have such a hard time with him? So maybe a more seasoned player will expose that wishy-washiness. Troicki in four.

14. Victoria Azarenka v. Belinda Bencic: I'ma go with Azarenka here. Since returning from injury, her game has been on the slow track to the upswing. Sure, she's seeded 23, but how many women ranked above her can at least approach controlling her own destiny against Serena like she can? Like, two or three, that's how many. Vika in two.

15. Olga Govortsova v. Madison Keys: Just the slightest of edges to Govortsova. Beating Alize "Rope A Dope" Cornet in three sets is a big deal to me.

16.  Timea Bacsinszky v. Monica Niculescu: It's a little surprising to see Niculescu this far in a major, although someone who relies so heavily upon slice probably should do well at a place such as this. It probably is enough to annoy some players, but I don't know if Bacsinszky is one of them. She's big and strong, and smart and will cruise here. Also, incidentally, helluva backstory: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/04/sports/tennis/timea-bacsinszky-reaches-her-first-french-open-semifinal.html