Wimbledon day 7

29 06 2010

It was the round of 16 yesterday and as expected it was fantastic. The most anticipated match was that between Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin. I missed the first set because I had to help my sister at her berry farm but because of the heat and the world cup soccer I  saw most of the second and third and it was so nerve-wrecking I had heart palpitations as times. Clijsters had a bad first set and make many unforced . Justine fell in the beginning of the match but played great in the games after the fall so it probably did not do her that much damage. Clijsters started to play with more aggression in the second set and her strokes penetrated the court often leaving Henin to make bizarre swings on her shots .In the third Henin just made too many errors  and Kim won 2-6 6-2 6-3, but if Kim wants to beat Venus or Serena her serve has to be better as well as her movement. On hard court it is such a weapon but yesterday she looked a tad bit sluggish at times to me. I also like to see her going to the net a bit more, she is a fabulous doubles player so on grass she needs to be that a bit more. The other great match-up was between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, both former champions and it was a match on a high level. Sharapova has not played great in a while but yesterday there were glimpses of the former champion with great serving at times as well(something she did not do much since her shoulder injury). She had 3 set points in the first set but could not convert and suffered an early break in the second losing 7-6 6-4. Serena’s serve and mental game were A+. Venus also had a tough match against Jarmila Groth from Australia but won, a little lucky,  6-4 7-6. Jelena Jankovic had to retire in her match against Vera Zvonareva being down 1-6 0-3. Zvonareva finally playing great again, when she is on she has one of the best groundstrokes on tour. Bartoli lost surprisingly against Pironkova and Na Li beat Agnieska Radwanska.

Zvonareva





Wimbledon day 6

27 06 2010

Again there was no 3 set match in this part of the bracket and so far the tournament did not have memorable matches yet but that might start in the round of 16 that will feature some classics! Yesterday Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki all won their matches easy. Unfortunately that was not the case for my favorite Flavia Pennetta, the number 1o seed. She lost against Klara Zakopalova, someone who seems to be having 1 good tournament a year and this time it is atMarion Bartoli Wimbledon. Outsider Vika Azarenka lost surprisingly as well 7-5 6-0 against Petra Kvitova. Azarenka played horrible and this really is a missed chance for her.

Round of 16 matches will be Serena -Sharapova, Li- Radwanska, Wozniacki- Kvitova, Zakopalova- Kanepi(lucky Wozniacki with that draw!!) Clijsters-Henin, Zvonareva-Jankovic, Pironkova-Bartoli, Venus-Groth. I pick Serena, Wozniacki, Clijsters and Venus in the semis. With my predictions for the last 16 , I had 10 right. Hope only Kim is right this time!!





Wimbledon day 4

25 06 2010

Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki and Viktoria Azarenka all won thier second round matches fairly easy in two set. Biggest upset was the loss of Svetlana Kuznetsova against former Russian and now Australian Rodionova. Rodionova, one of the biggest bitches on the tour,

Wozniacki

has a good game for the faster courts but a Kuznetsova in good form should beat her simply. That Kuzzie has not shown up in almost a year, so it was a tough 3 set loss yesterday. One fav, Daniela Hantuchova lost in typical mental crazy matter while another ,Flavia Pennetta won in 2 sets. Other players losing were lady in form Aravene Rezai and former semi-finalist here, China’s Jie Zheng.





Wimbledon day 2

23 06 2010

It has been a disastrous 2 days for British women’s tennis. All 5 ladies bowed out in the first round. Youngsters like Watson and Robson played decent and will have plenty of time in the next few years. Baltacha and Keothavong though, who are both top 75 level choked away their matches, Baltacha being up a set and 5-3 on monday and Keothavong 4-0 in the third yesterday. Media will have a field-day with them. Being in the final of Roland Garros was not a good sign here either, Schiavone lost monday and yesterday it was Samantha Stosur. Her game just does not translate well to grass, mainly her forehand. On clay it is a huge weapon, here in London is was a liability. With her big serve and net-game you would think she could play well on grass but no… Kanepi played very well to beat her though. Only other seeded player that lost was Safarova but against Cibulkova that was not a huge surprise. Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Vika Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki all won in straight sets. A fun match was Kuznetsova against giant Amanmuradova. With her manly build and way of playing Amanmuradova can beat a lot of players on grass. She hit tons of aces and made it very difficult for Svetlana to pass her at the net. Kuzzie is not in great form lately but scraped by 6-2 6-7 6-4 and I hope she will do good at Wimbledon for a change this year. Her serve is good and so is her game at the net. Maybe too much spin on the forehand like Stosur but also mentally better. she could make the quarterfinals.





Justine wins on the grass

20 06 2010

At the only dutch female tournament on the WTA tour, Justine Henin was the best of the field. The Belgian beat German Andrea Petkovic in an exciting finale. 6-3 3-6 6-4. The tournament in Rosmalen is one of only 4 tournaments on grass and a great preparation for Wimbledon.It is close to the Belgian border so most people watching were Belgians. The Netherlands had to play their second match at the World cup so most people were somewhere else. In Eastbourne Russian qualifier Makarova was the surprising finalist with wins over Pennetta, Petrova, Kuznetsova, Stosur and Azarenka in the final. A sign that on grass anything can happen. Tomorrow Wimbledon starts and I just had a look at the draw. My predictions for the round of 16 will be Serena Williams- Maria Sharapova, Na Li- A Radwanska, Wozniacki- Azarenka, Penetta(Rezai)- Stosur, Clijsters-Henin!!!, Wickmayer-Jankovic, Bartoli-Schiavone, Ivanovic-Venus Williams. I bet many will be wrong because that is the thrill of Wimbledon.





Roland Garros day 8

31 05 2010

Flavia Pennetta4 whole women’s matches and a set were played yesterday and I watched almost all. Every single one except 1 went as planned for my taste. Flavia Pennetta unfortunately could not beat world number 3 Caroline Wozniacki. She could and should have though. Against a boring retriever like Wozniacki all you can do(except for overpowering which skinny Pennetta never can) is making angles and waiting for your chances to go for winners. Pennetta did just that, only in the execution she made some errors and failed to close out the first set after having a set point and lost 6-7. She won the second 7-6 but after doing all the work for 3!!hours she was exhausted in the third, losing 2-6. Great clay-court match though. Better player lost.  Justine Henin and Maria Sharapova had to finish their match that was suspended saturday night for darkness. By then Justine had won an easy first set in the rain with 6-2 but in the second set the rain got less and ” Giant” Sharapova played fantastic, putting a lot of pressure on “ant” Henin and won that set 6-3. In the third on sunday Sharapova overpowered Henin big time and lead 2-0 40-0 but then Henin’s class and great mental strength came in to play and she won the game and the set /match 6-3. Sharapova(self-proclaimed “cow on ice” on clay) played pretty damn good though and on other surfaces she probably would have beaten Henin. Venus was out-hit by Nadia Petrova and once again showed she is just mediocre on clay. She will definitely be back at Wimbledon though. My personal favorites Francesca Schiavone and Elena Dementieva both made it the last 8, the first by playing some fabulous tennis. Great spin and angles and went for the net successfully a lot as well. Dementieva did not play that well but had number 142 of the world Scheepers as an opponent. She seriously needs to get those double-faults down though, if she wants to have a change against Petrova.





Roland Garros Day 6

29 05 2010

It was a busy day yesterday in Paris with both second and third round matches to be played. Justine Henin and Maria Sharapova both won their matches easy and will play each other tonight. I think Henin should win, definitely after the rain that makes the court a bit slower. But who knows, Sharapova on a good day… Both top chinese players lost yesterday, I do not like them at all so I was happy. Jie Zheng lost against Pivovarova in round 2 and Na Li against my fav Fran Schiavone in round 3. My other italian fav Flavia Pennetta also won her third round match and will play Wozniacki next. The 2 top russians both a hard day at the office. Dementieva played decent enough and fought very hard to beat Canada’s Wozniak 6-7 6-3 6-4. Title defender Svetlana Kuznetsova lost against Maria Kirilenko 3-6 6-2 4-6, and will be out of the top 10 for the first time in 10 years.





Roland Garros day 3

26 05 2010

Henin, Sharapova, Hantuchova, Wickmayer and Bartoli were easy winners in their first rounds at Roland Garros. One match certainly was the highlight of the day and not because the level was so high, but it sure was dramatic. Kimiko Date Krumm, the 40-year old veteran from Japan beat last year’s finalist Dinara Safina in three sets. The first set was a quick 5-0 for Safina who on the set 6-3.In the second set Safina lead 2-0, but it went downhill from there. Safina has been seriously injured for the start of the year and came back only weeks ago but hitting so many errors is a shame. She even lead 4-2 in the third eventually losing 6-3 4-6 5-7. In the last game Safina hit 4 unforced errors in a row against a Date who injured herself on her calve and could barely walk. This Date comeback is getting better and better though, she plays so extremely smart. A nice counter-balance to the tons of ball-bashers on tour right now.





Sports, Jankovic wins Indian Wells, Kramer World Champion speed skating

22 03 2010

Not Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova or Justine Henin won the crown at the big tournament in Indian Wells the last fortnight, but surprisingly it was Jelena Jankovic. She beat Caroline Wozniacki in the finale with 6-4 6-2. It was the first big win of Jankovic in ages and I am happy for her, always liked her. Sharapova is injured and Clijsters and Henin desperately need more match rhythm, that combined with the absence of the Williams’ sisters makes this not so likely to be repeated by Jankovic in Miami this week.

At the last tournament on the speed skating calendar in a sold out stadium in Heerenveen, the Netherlands(the only place to get a full stadium in a tournament after the Olympics) Sven Kramer became World Champion Allround. This is a two-day tournament over 4 distances. Jonathan Kuck from the U.S was the big surprise at number 2, number 3 was Havard Bokko. With the ladies Martina Sablikova from the Czech Republic was the best, before Canada’s Kristina Groves and dutch Ireen Wust was number 3.





Australian Open day 1

18 01 2010

The roof in Melbourne is normally used for the heat but today they used it against the rain. On courts with no roof many matches were stopped or cancelled all together. Biggest upset of the day was Maria Sharapova losing against fellow country woman Maria Kirilenko(number 55 in the world) after a 3.5 hour battle 6-7 6-3 4-6.  At times Sharapova played good but overall it was pretty erratic again with 77 unforced errors. The service is still not working and basically has not worked since she came back from injury last May. From a weapon it has turned into a liability. Kirilenko, arguably the prettiest girl on tour, can play great tennis and she showed that for a change again in a major match. Kim Clijsters, Justine Henin and Elena Dementieva all won fairly easy in 2 sets leading up so a Dementieva-Henin second round match up. Way to early in the tournament because with Clijsters and Serena Williams they are the top favorites for the title in my opinion, but Henin is not seeded so that is why. I think Dementieva will win because she seems in great shape after an easy 2 sets win against Serena Williams in the finals at Sydney this weekend.