Monday, September 23, 2013

Wk.38- (Hello) Asian Swing

Hey Y'all. Galileo here.

I did actually live in China for a year when I was very small and my first words were in Chinese. I've always loved that part of the world. Anyway, we are now in the Asian swing. The WTA Champs are surprisingly soon, too. While there are likely to be a few withdrawals from the men's and women's side, there is such quality and depth now it shouldn't hurt the tournaments too much. Murray is out with a back issue and is unlikely to be at the WTF, likewise for Sharapova with a shoulder injury. Yes another shoulder injury. If history is anything to go by, she will come back in a year and a half, look rusty, serve double faults and be written off before eventually winning a major and make it back to number one. Anyway, with Murray out, the race to London is open.

I'm no expert and it has been proven my picks in grand slams and day to day tournaments always go wrong no matter how much logic or thought go into those picks, but I shall attempt to pick the year end championships in order of race ranking for both the ATP and WTA, leaving out Murray, Sharapova and Bartoli.

Serena, Azarenka, Radwanska, Li, Errani, Kvitova, Jankovic and Stephens.

Nadal, Djokovic, Ferrer, Del Potro, Berdych, Federer, Wawrinka and Gasquet.

I'm probably wrong but then again I didn't actually think Wawrinka or Gasquet would be doing this well come the end of the season, mind you it does seem to be a time of renaissance, or a last hurrah as some cynics are putting it, for the gorgeous one-handed backhand.

Also in the tennis headlines, Gulbis won his second title of the year.

S: Gilles Simon def. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4/6-3
D: Brunstrom/Klaasen d. Mahut/Tsonga

S: Ernests Gulbis def. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 3-6/6-4/6-0
D: Marrero/Verdasco d. Inglot/Istomin

...The mega-rich Latvian -- he literally used to fly his own helicopter to tournaments -- won his fourth title and second this year with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 victory over Garcia-Lopez now referred to as GGL. He won eleven games in a row from 3-6, 1-4 to win. Seeded sixth, the Latvian smashed Elgin love and one before coming through against Zopp 6-3,1-6,6-3 to set up a clash with Agut. He won that 6-1,6-2. He then beat Przysiezny 6-3, 6-3 and came back from the dead against Lopez to win the St Peterburg Open. He has gone up to 27th in the rankings, a jump of nine places. His next tournament is likely to be either in China or Japan, but it is hard to tell what Gulbis will do from one minute to the next. He has not had a great year at the slams, but that may be down to some bad luck. Also, he is 4-0 in finals which is pretty good percentage wise.
RISER: Gilles Simon and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, FRA
....Simon had injury and illness issues and so withdrew from the Open. He took a wild card into the event where his more celebrated compatriot Tsonga was also returning from injury after missing the Open. Simon beat de Schepper 6-2,6-3, Querrey 4 and 6, and Mahut 3 and 6 to make the final. Tsonga had more troubles. He won through by beating Roger-Vasselin 6-3,6-4, Kamke 4-6,6-3,6-4 and Mayer 4-6,6-2,6-3. In the final, Simon was too consistent and won 6-4, 6-3. Simon has one of the best percentages in finals out of active players who have reached at least ten finals. He is third now, but the percentages haven't been updated on the records page. Anyway, out of active players, he is right up there. He lost the Eastbourne final to Lopez and is also defending final points in Bangkok this week. He has won a title every year since 2007.

Tsonga falls to 10-8 in finals, but keep in mind his first ever final was the Aussie Open back in 2008. Since then, he has won a title every year except 2010 and so far this year, too. He next plays in Japan.

Simon and Monfils do battle with Monfils going 0-2:

SURPRISE: Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, ESP
...GGL came through playing his usual flashy tennis. He eased past Biryukov before beting US Open quarterfinalist Youzhny 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. He then beat Istomin, who also had a good US Open, 6-2, 6-4. He then thrashed another surprise, Sousa, 6-1, 6-1. He is now 2-3 in finals and 0-2 in finals this year. He isn't booked in to play in Malaysia or Thailand. He has risen thirteen spots to 61 and is still only the Spanish number ten. Mannarino is ranked one place below him at 62. He is also the French number 9.
VETERAN: Fernando Verdasco, ESP
...This story is getting old - much like Verdasco is, unfortunately. He isn't winning matches consistently. That serve-forehand combo is amazing. When he plays, you watch but he, apart from glimmers here and there like at Wimbledon, seems to be on a big slope. If he had beaten Nadal at the Aussie in '09, I think his career would have changed. He was the better player on that day, as well. Had he played anyone but Nadal he would have won.

Highlights with French commentary of Verdasco. Watch him play- it is beautifal to watch. He is so fluid and so powerful.
...Karatsev and Khachanov are rising stars and both did well with Karat taking a set off Youzhny and Khach winning a round.
DOWN: Fabio Fognini, ITA
...Seeded first, all Fognini had to do was put in a consistent week and he probably had the title. But no, instead he chose to do this:


1. St. Petersburg Final - Gulbis d. Lopez
Gulbis completed an unlikely comeback against Lopez. He really showed that he has some metal, some steel to him. He had a good week and came through challenges and tests to win his fourth title. In the final, his opponent really did seem to have his number but through a mixture of composure and clever play, he ran through eleven games in a row to win.
2. St. Petersburg 2nd Rd. - GGL d. Youzhny
.An upset, but Youzhny has looked rather shaky this year especially, despite some moments of brilliance here and there. In this match, Youzhny lost the momentum he had from winning the second set and crashed out 6-3 in the third.
3. Metz SF - Tsonga d. Mayer
Tsonga ground out an entertaining three set win over German Mayer.

Berydch [1] d. [4] Simon
Gasquet [2] d. [3] Raonic
Gasquet [2] d. [1] Berdych

Ferrer [1] d. [7] Pospisil
Wawrinka [2] d. [5] Benneteau
Ferrer [1] d. [2] Wawrinka

Thanks all and visit WTA BACKSPIN.

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