Monday, October 15, 2012

Wk.41- Serb Sinks Steady Scot, Steals Shanghai

G'Day Y'all. Galileo here.

So my two least favorite players took to the courts to contest the fourth Rolex Masters event in Shanghai, China. They basically just rely on the opponents making errors (both tactical and unforced) and then play the typical counterpunching game which involves them making very few errors. I always preferred the more swashbuckling and offensive -- but woefully inconsistent -- players like Fernando Gonzalez, Tsonga, Kuznetsova, Goerges, Stosur, Federer, James Blake, etc. etc. Anyways, this week I got out my old "Star Wars" box sets - on VHS, as it should be -- and watched the original trilogy. Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker is my favorite movie character ever and, even better, a whole six films are based on and around him. Yay! Now, I'm sure y'all have heard of Chaka Kahn. What I like about her is her versatility -- she can sing R & B, Rap, Pop, Funk Jazz etc. etc. And she has a wonderful cover of a Fleetwood Mac song on her greatest hits. So here it is , Chaka Kahn's cover of "Everywhere":

When the Djoker was just a young-un he wasn't so bad. Then as he started to get better he got a little bit more arrogant and it still wasn't too bad. Then he became the permanent world #3 and still it was OK. Then he started to retire a lot, then be fine next match -- something which Vika copied off him and has made her own -- and that was a little bit annoying, too. But then, he retired when two sets down to Nadal at the French in 2006 and said afterwards he felt he could win. That really annoyed me and from then on I didn't like him very much at all. Then he beat Federer at the Australian Open in 2008. That was the exact moment he turned arrogant. I don't mind him beating the Fed, but the arrogance and the look-at-me and the attention-seeking. *Shudder*.

And throughout 2011 he was becoming more and more unbearable, and the moment Fed snapped his streak at the French was so satisfying because to see a counter-puncher go on such a big win streak almost physically hurt me. I am a lover of true aggressive, all-or-nothing tennis. And -- yes I can see how and why they win -- I just don't like their style. It is such a low way to win a match. For example, against Wozniacki, I've seen players completely outplay her in a rally and then she hits a moonball and gets back into it and then another moonball and another and another and then a flat backhand up the line to finish. And it just got repetitive and dull. And the same goes for the Djoker. Gets everything back any way he can, then just hits an amazing backhand out of nowhere. To his credit, he is at least capable of being offensive. We all know what happened last time Wozniacki decided to hire a more offensive coach. In some ways, Piotr is like a lesser Robert Radwanska, who in turn is like a lesser Damir Dokic. I mean, come on Piotr, let her have some freedom. Ok, tangent over. Sorry about that.

S: Novak Djokovic/SRB d. Andy Murray/GBR 5-7/7-6/6-3
D: Paes/Stepanek d. Bhupathi/Bopanna

...he didn't lose a set against all the inferior opposition he played -- although Tommy Haas is good, he just isn't in Djokovic's league -- and in each match he played he won at least one set by the scoreline 6-3. And then he finally played someone closer to his level, the Scot... sorry, the Brit. He should have lost, but he has an amazing ability to win matches he should lose and he never ever ever ever dies, just like the alien from "Alien" the movie. I mean if anyone out there has seen that movie, they'll know just how insane that creature is. I mean it took out an entire crew. Ok, so only one and a half of the crew were even thinking properly, but still. Man, that thing's difficult to kill, not to mention its acid blood, so that when you do finally slay the goddamn thing it destroys your ship with its insane alien blood. Sorry,back to the Djoker. Where was I? Ahh yes, he is very difficult to put away. Five match points came and went for Andy. Some of them he blew and some the Djoker played excellently and saved. And once he won the Tiebreak, you could see Andy was gone. It was all over. And so he won another Masters titles. Nadal has two -- both red clay court titles, Federer has three and Djokovic has three, too. So the Paris Masters will decide who has the most unless someone completely surprising wins it -- by surprising, I mean Tsonga, Berdych, maybe not some random guy -- but I think whoever wins Paris will likely do well at the WTF.
RISER: Tomas Berdych, CZE
...a so-so Asian swing has yet again forced us to question his ability to stay up top and whether he could be a threat at the tour finals. He's been at number six, or around that number, for a while now without doing anything particularly spectacular, but now he may finally be ready to step up and choke play on the big stages. He came through the challenge of tricky Italian Super Seppi and then faced off with Big Sam Querrey. A few years ago, he would have crumbled in spectacular fashion after losing a tight second set but he recovered and won in a gutsy performance 6-4 in the third. Then he subdued flashy Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in two straight sets. Overall, a very impressive performance although he was outclassed by the Djoker in the semifinal.
...I can't even write half his story if I decided to use the entire article, but it's well worth reading. He came back and put Almagro away after coming back from being down, then put Robredo to bed with little fuss before ousting Tipsarevic 6-2/6-1. I mean the guy is 34. In tennis terms, that like 115 - Date-Krumm being the exception, of course -- but he didn't show it until he was put to the sword by Djokovic. I love Haas and wish him all the best and I think he can plausibly be seeded to reach the fourth round at the '13 Aussie Open. He's number twenty now, so four spots in 2 months. That's really do-able.
VETERAN: Daniel Nestor, CAN
...the lefty -- two handed backhand -- has won the French Open four times (all this is doubles not singles :) ) and Wimbledon twice, plus a US and an Aussie Open. He has been a doubles player for a very long time and is now number two, but has been number one. He's played over 1160 matches, which is an all time record. Born in Belgrade but living in the Bahamas, the forty year old must be near retirement.
COMEBACK: Roger Federer, SUI
...Federer ensured another week at number one in his first tourney back since the exhausting Davis Cup. He always seems to play badly against Murray, and when he plays well he has no difficulty in beating him. It wasn't a great performance by Fed, but the semifinals of a Masters is not to be sniffed at.
NEW FACE: Marin Cilic/Ricardo Melo, CRO/BRA
...they beat the surprise half of last week's surprise finalists, Berlocq and his partner Seppi, in three and then beat the fifth seeds -- Polish duo Frystenberg/Matkowski -- and beat upset kings Butorac/Petzschner, both in straight sets. Then they were hammered 6-0/6-2 by the fourth seeds Paes/Stepanek. But still a good week.
DOWN: John Isner, USA
...this is not acceptable form. When you have a big serve and a powerful forehand you shouldn't lose matches so easily. Struggled past Anderson then lost to Stepanek, who was admittedly on form. Still, if he wants to be America's number one he has to perform and play better.
...yes, a Belarusian won that isn't named Azarenka. He beat the second seeded Italian Cipolla -- despite being whitewashed in the second set tie breaker -- and then two rounds later he beat the top seed Lukas Lacko -- who's bageled Nadal! -- in two straight sets in the final. The Tashkent challenger is played on hard courts in Tashkent.

1. Shanghai 2nd Rd - Baghdatis d. Raonic
7-6 6-7 7-6
...this was an amazing match and another in which the ever-dangerous Baghdatis pushed a younger, higher-ranked opponent. Impressive to watch and a great match.
2. Shanghai 2nd Rd - Isner d. Anderson
7-6 6-7 7-6
...another epic, but this one had two big servers and you know if this was a win by two games it would still be going on now.
3. Shanghai Final - Djokovic d. Murray
5-7 7-6 6-3
...a classic, and one of the matches of the year without doubt. But I don't like thier styles, so that's why not MOTW.

#1 Dolgopolov d. Bellucci 4#
Sijsling d. Troicki #3
#1 Dolgopolov d. Sijsling

...I think Sijsling is poised to do well at an event, and he is very strong on indoor hard.

#1 Tsonga d. Goffin
#2 Berdych d. Nieminen
#1 Tsonga d. Berdych 2# isn’t that strong a field, though it is filled with players who were good five or ten years ago but have faded a little bit.

#1 JMD Potro d. Paire 7#
#3 Haas d. Tipsarevic 2#
#1 JMDP d. Haas 3#

...yes, I may be blinded by my love for Haas's gorgeous game and his style, but the draw is gifting him a passage through to the final match.

Now, since there's a big election in the States coming up, our feel good moment is Obamatastic. *ahem*Anyways, here it is:

That'ss all, and don't forget to check out WTA BACKSPIN.

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