French Open 2012: 7th Day

In Caroline Wozniacki, French Open, Juan Monaco, Kaia Kanepi, Maria Sharapova, Mikhail Youzhny, Milos Raonic, Paul-Henri Mathieu, Petra Kvitova, Rafael Nadal, Richard Gasquet, Tennis, Tommy Haas on June 3, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Things are thinning out now and we are heading for the second week. There is a popular saying in the world of tennis when it comes to majors. You cannot win a major in the 1st week but you sure can lose one then. We will start with the ladies as per the norm: GHW started things off against Russia’s Nina Bratchikova and after the 1st set you swore things were going to be easy for the Czech as she took it 6-2. However, as has become common place, the world’s number 4 did a walk about. She was down 1-5 in the 2nd set before she knew how to play tennis again and tried to get back in front. However, she lost the set 4-6. Fortunately for her, she was playing a lower ranked inexperienced player and she was able to impose her will on the Russian to win the match 6-1 in the 3rd. If GHW thinks that this sorta form will help her against Shriekapova, she might as well make preparation for her Wimbledon defence because her time in Paris will be up.

GHW not only means Grand High Witch but also Grand High Waist! P90X or Pilates. BTW Foot fault!

Shriekapova continues to look like the one to beat here at Roland Garros she as just ripped Shuai Peng apart 6-2 6-1. Through 3 rounds of tennis, Shriekapova has just dropped 4 games. She is looking like the 2008 Australian Open Shriekapova. Defending champion LiNaLi started off shaky against American Christiana McHale who remains the brightest hope in American women’s tennis future. However, I have long called in question, McHale’s mental toughness, which was suspect in this match. McHale won the 1st set 6-3 but only won 3 more games from the Chinese. She went down as if the 1st set were an aberration. If McHale’s wishes to continue up the ranking, she has to learn how to protect a lead and put her foot down on an opponent and keep it there. Other winners include Zakopalova who took out Fattychunkova in straight sets 6-3 7-5, Shvedova, a sort of doubles specialist, who took out Lady Hobbit from Spain 6-4 7-5 and Arantxa Rus (apparently it is pronounced roose and not rue) continued to show fine form in this tournament by knocking out Julia Goerges 7-6 2-6 6-2. Zakopalova, Rus and Shvedova are all unseeded and moved into their first Round of 16 in a major, CONGRATULATIONS ladies. Interestingly enough none of these ladies were on anyone’s radar. We all expected the Serenenator to be clearing out this field.

Yaroslava Shvedova from Kazakhstan. Tears of joy for her win

There were two stand out matches of the day on the ladies side: Kaia Kanepi vs Caroline Wozniacki (I am so use to call her Danish Biscuit, I almost forgot how to spell her name) and Varvara Lepchenko vs Francesca Schiavone. Lepchenko just played cool, calm tennis. She did not panic when Schiabone took the 1st set 6-3. She just continued to plug away in the 2nd and was rewarded with a break in the 8th game to serve out the set 6-3. Schiabone is no stranger to fight and it has almost become common place for the Italian to have one of those long matches where she is screaming and fighting back to win. Lepchenko did not allow any of this to both her game. She broke early in the decisive set only to lose the next three games 1-3. She then won the next 4 games to be up 5-3!

Here comes the asthmatic death rattle

The Italian served to stay in the match and won the next 3 games to deny the American the chance to serve out the match. Schiabone was up 6-5 and Lepchenko now had to serve to stay in the match; she did. She held her ground and broke Schiabone to go up 7-6 and then served out the match 8-6! This was very impressive stuff from her and I am particularly pleased with her win so as not to hear Schiabone’s asthmatic death rattle for the rest of this tournament. She was denied a chance to get to a third consecutive French Open final. With this victory, the American put herself back into contention of being on the Olympic team. She joins her countrywoman Sloane Stephens in the Round of 16. Who would have thought two American ladies are in the round of 16 of a major and none of their names were Williams. Looks like there might be talent in the American camp after all and might just have a future in the game.

Varvara Lepchenko. Gurl…what got you so hot and bothered :-)! That boy Schiabone turning you on?

The other stand out match; Telly Monster’s sister and Danish Biscuit was far more interesting and if not problematic for the WTA. The WTA is enjoying a bit of a PR issue. It seems that most of their recent stars are not really stars after all. See back in the days of Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova etc, PR was not really a big deal. These girls and I use that term in the loosest possible sense, were very much concerned about tennis. There was no real possibility of any of the female rising up the ranking and being number one having not won a major. It was almost impossible. The tour also enjoyed a very deep field with many players capable of winning majors. However, the game and the world have changed tremendously and perhaps because juniors are not regular features on the main tour, there are a lot of anomalies that are cropping up. One of the major ones is that there are number-one ranked players who seemingly do not stand a chance of winning a major. Caroline Wozniacki seems to embody that phenomenon. Even more so is the fact that the Dane illicit such strong opinions about the matter and has attracted much venom and hate not hateration, actual hate for her accomplishments. I do not hate on her game as oppose to hating on her outfit.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Can someone put Stella McCartney’s forays into fashion to rest please? Whatever, you want to design for socialites, go ahead but you are not a sportswear designer. Not in the least but I digress.  Now, I am going to be clear. I take absolutely nothing away from Danish Biscuit. She is a good player. She is a very darn good player. She deserved the No 1 ranking. She worked hard. She played the tournaments and she won. Yes she did not win a major. However, 2+2 will always = 4 unless, New Math become more comprehensive for the average man. She get big points for getting far in draws. Martina Hingis, the Bride of Chunky, remained high on the rankings for ages when in truth an in fact, 1997 was her best year ever. After that year, she won two more majors the 1998 and 1999 Aussie Open championships. Yet no one called into question her status as the number one player. Lindsay Davenport last won a major in 2000 if I am not mistaken (1998 US Open, 1999 Wimbledon and 2000 Australian Open) yet when she continued to be a top the ranking NO ONE questioned this. The last time Maria Shriekapova has won a major was in 2008 yet by just making the finals, she’ll be number one. The Williams sisters have shown that they are dangerous from nearly any ranking and lethal enough to win majors yet, they have called the top ladies even when the ranking does not reflect this. I do not understand really and truly why people make a big issue about rankings.

Nothing makes a bad outfit worse than bad accessories! STELLLAAAAAAA NOOOOOOOOO Just wrap that shite in the jacket, stuff it in the bag and tosh it in t

I mean the rankings are never an indication as to how things should go. There is no guarantee with rankings and there has never been anything inherent about the system to imply that in the least. They are just a way of classifying players because humans always love to rank. There should be a tournament where players are just thrown all over the draw and let the best man win. I mean there is something to said about a system where the top players play very low ranked players and only face their equals in the latter stages of the tournament. Of course, you will remain on top. However, mix things up and perhaps D’Joker would be number 1 if faced a Berdych in the 1st round became of the computer generated non ranking draw. I am just saying. Anyway, I digress. My real point is that I do not appreciate those cheap shots at the Dane. Those cheap shots have resulted in the premature end of Dinara Safina’s career and the downward spiral of Jelena Jankovic. Albeit that Safina being a Russian as well as the sister of Marat Safin might have something to do with the matter. Fivehead Jungle Witch, well perhaps this has something to do with the fact that God does not like ugly. Hmmmm

I am not even going to talk about what they are wearing. Anyway, boo, he has a major, you don’t!

Anyway, what I would welcome into the discussion about the Danish Biscuit is how flaky her game is against the top players. She has an abysmal record against top ten players and perhaps this is so because often the players in the top ten LOSE inexplicably early or just do not show up when the Dane is playing. The truth however, is that the Dane has no weapons. She brings a stick to a sword fight; a knife to gun battle which is short leaves her outmatched, outgunned and out of the big tournaments. Her serves are target practice, her forehand and backhand are often returned bigger than her own stroke and though she is very fit and quick around the court, at the end of the day, being able to run a marathon will not help you in a 100m dash! You just have to have the big guns for these types of battle. It does not help that the Dane is crazy loyal to her father (as can be expected) However, as is often the case with parent-child coaching relationships, neither party wants to leave. A sorta strange secretive thing develops that can be a PR nightmare as it receives a lot of media attention. You are not just firing your coach, you are dismissing a parent. I can appreciate the difficulty. In my opinion, I really think both parties need to communicate openly and honestly. This has been a problem even for the Williams sisters. The many problems with the Crackhead’s play could have easily been rectified if they were willing to have another person on board. It is clear that Richard and Oracene’s directions work better for the Serenanator than they do for Ebony Starr. Yet, the Williams’ camp refuses to take on board another full time coach. However, at this point, I think have all decided that they do not care the cost, they are sticking together. I can appreciate this as they are not fussing about the matter and the sisters’ tennis talents far exceed that of many.

Another reason for the Dane’s decline. She’s studying the boy who if you ask me looks a lil sweet

Anyway, when it comes to the Danish Biscuit, is more than apparent that the collaboration is not working out well. Interestingly enough, they have more than welcomed others to join their fold. However, they treat newbie like an invited house guest who you cannot wait to leave. Anyway, to this particular match. Kanepi is a talent but is a talent that is often not consistent. However, yesterday, she was on like a boiled corn. She was just smacking winners left, right and center. She made every single aspect of the Dane’s game look mediocre. It was as if she was sending a message in each point: You are not ready yet! In no time, Kanepi was up 6-1 5-1! Then Kanepi had some sorta….hmmm I am not quite sure how to say this….Kanepi started to choke and play shit (Could not say it any other way). She served for the match three times and had like three match points in the 2nd set. She failed on every try. It was like a joke or some alternate reality. There is no way a player could allow herself to go down like this. Telly Monster’s sister looked like she was trying to find herself back to Sesame Street instead of winner’s row. Everything that she was doing to win the big points, she did the opposite and this gave the Dane a measure of belief and this was all she needed.

I was on and then I was off and then I was on and then I was off

The Dane was not going to mess around, she continued to fire away and soon she won the 2nd set 7-6 and we are tied. I gave up hope on Kanepi. I was done and I thought of how I was going to rip her to piece on RealzTenisFanz. However, Kanepi silenced me. She kept herself together and she was soon up to 5-1 in the 3rd. And you know what the Estonian did? She pulled out the shite playbook again. She got broken serving for the match for a 4th time. Surely, if she cannot win it on her serve, she would try and win it on the Dane’s. Nope, from 5-1, it became 5-3 and it started to feel like the 2nd set all over again. Even the Dane looked relaxed as if she knew she was not going to lose this match today. However, Telly Monster’s sister got her life together and completed the upset 6-1 6-7 6-3. There is nothing good that the Dane should take away from this match because she won the 2ndset because the Estonian choked. Had she come up against the likes of the Serenanator or Shriekapova, in that type of form, she would have been dismissed with two bagels and a cup of coffee for good measure. Anyway, there has been a total shake up of the draw and yet Shriekapova looks stronger than ever! She is even playing better on clay than she did at the regular tour tournaments.

Can’t stop the tears from falling!

You have me playing a beast. What do you expect?

Things were more in order on the men’s s draw. Lochness Monster was in great form as he dispatched his Colombian opponent, Giraldo. However, it was Fiery Ferrer who was blazing on court early on. He dropped just 4 games as he took out Mikhail Youzhny.  He will join his countryman Nicolas Almagro and of course Divadal who is still not blinking on court. There is no doubt that Divadal is the perennial favourite. Enough cannot be said of how dominant this guy is on this surface. I mean I hardly ever root for him but there is no doubt that he is the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) on this surface bar none. I mean most men on tour barring the Americans are very good on clay but they all look like amateurs on the surface when ranked against Divadal. Anyway, he is through to the 4th round as can be expected.

Divadal sliding to his 7th French Open title

Richard Gasquet had a tough 1st set against Tommy Haas who I think came through qualifiers to get into this tournament. Yes, I just checked. The former no. 2 (if I am not mistaken) has to play qualifier in order to get into a major. Head and Shoulders has the worst luck of a player as he is always plague by injuries. Anyway, he won the 1st set 7-6 but then I do not know what had happened because suddenly Haas became possessed by some alien force and won three more games for the rest of the back. He got doubled bageled by Richard Gasquet. I mean seriously?? 6-7 6-3 6-0 6-0 Gasquet!.

No neck and apparently no brains

Janko Tipsarevic aka Sexsarevic came through against Benneteau, which was a really good match up for the Serb. He did not allow himself to get frazzled by the French crowd, which is just short of being a bunch of hooligans with French accents. Anyway, the Serb is through to his first Round of 16 at the French Open. There were two 5 set matches that saw Paul-Henri Mathieu trying to pull off the heroics of his 2nd round match against BFG. However, Crunchy Granola had other designs on this match. He had a two set lead and he allowed the Frenchman some measure of belief by dropping the next two. But in the 5th set, the Spaniard was just ready to take charge of the match as he just took charge of the match dropping just one game. 6-4 6-4 4-6 1-6 6-1 Marcel Granollers; He will play Fiery Ferrer in the next round. Baby Jesus aka Juan Monaco played rising star Milos Raonic aka Dennis the Menace.

Holy Jesus

Now, there is no question that Dennis has what it takes to be a top ten player but a real true contender, I have my doubts. He took the 1st set 7-6 dropped the 2nd 3-6 and then won the 3rd 7-6. See the thing is that Raonic did not break Monaco’s serve in the match and for that reason, Baby Jesus won in 5, taking the final two sets 6-3 6-4. Milos might be able to get away with this sort of play on regular tour, but at the majors, you need to be able to break your opponent’s serve no matter how good your serve is. The law of average says that if your opponent keeps making the effort to return your serve, he will get lucky enough to get a game. Everyone talks about Pete Sampras’s serve. However, people forget that he was a darn good returner and consolidated the breaks with his excellent serves. Anyway, at the end of today’s play, we move into the business end of the tournament: Round of 16 match ups!!!

It’s bad enough you are out there playing bullshite tennis. It is another thing when you are trying to apologize and your spelling is bullshite too. Youzhny, next time, write it in Russian


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