US Open 2013: Day 3

In Andy Murray, Carla Suarez Narravo, Daniel Brands, David Goffin, James Blake, Jie Zheng, Juan Martin Del Potro, Marcos Baghdatis, Slaone Stephens, Tennis, Urszula Radwanska, Venus Williams, Victoria Azarenka on August 29, 2013 at 8:08 am
The rains ruled the day on Day 3 of the US Open 2013

The rains ruled the day on Day 3 of the US Open 2013

So it's raining... what to do? Get a drink

So it’s raining… what to do? Get a drink


Oh what a day! My head is still reeling from yesterday’s events. I am not even sure how to deal fully. Venus Ebony Starr Williams, you have done it yet again. You have inexplicably pulled me into your matches and have my emotions run high. Every single time I promise myself that I would get wrapped up into your matches because I know how much I get worked up afterwards. Yet I still go all in. You know, truth be told, Venus, you are not the crackhead, it is I. I am an addict and I am addicted to you and the pain/torture of watching your matches. Needless to say fanz that Venus lost yesterday to the likes of Jie Zheng 3-6 6-2 6-7 (7). I do not care what people want to say about how Jie Zheng got to two major semifinals (Australian Open 2009 and Wimbledon 2010 if I am not mistaken) The thing is that Zheng barely makes a squeak on the WTA tour and then all of sudden she is always trying to muck up the Serenanator and Venus Williams’ plans. I think what made yesterday’s loss even more difficult was the fact that Venus kept trying to stay alive  but in the end gave away the match with two careless errors. It was bad…real bad.


Oh Venus... you slay me every time

Oh Venus… you slay me every time


Anyone who has followed this blog knows how much drama Venus Williams has caused Realz. On this blog forum, she has been buried, resurrected, renamed, I think shunned and at some point redeemed. It is tough being a Venus Williams fan. Very very tough. She never makes anything easy. I understand about the disease and everything, however, for her fans, what we see out on court is really a lack of effort. Maybe things might be hurting but we do not care. We want Venus to do well and to do doing well, very well. Honestly, I cannot be too mad at Venus. Actually, as I am writing this now, I am already over her lost. This is sports. Venus is a wounded animal and all her opponents know this. They already feel that they have a 65% shot of winning the match anyway and with Venus’s ability to hit errors/double faults/wayward shots in quick and repeated succession, their winning chances increase to almost 80%.

With that 6 heads of yours, you couldn't come up with a way to win that match? SMH

With that 6 heads of yours, you couldn’t come up with a way to win that match? SMH

However, when I get into these dark places (and I mean dark dark places in my mind. You do not know how I was going in on Venus last night in my head. I was ripping her new one; the hair, the nails, the clothes. I didn’t hold back) with Venus Williams, I go back to time when I was calmer and more rational. I remember when in 2010, she lost to Kim in the semis and my ensuing reaction to write the following. This was a year before it was announced that she had Sjogren’s Syndrome. I think much of what is being said below here still applies. And since 2010, Venus has done a lot to be proud of.

A pixie took out a giant

A pixie took out a giant

In Act 4, Scene 1 of the opera Aida by Giuseppe Verdi, Amneris, the Egyptian princess, is at world’s end. She has just lost her best friend Aida whose whereabouts are unknown and the man that she loves, Radames, former head of the Egyptian guards, awaits death for committing treason. Radames adamantly rejects Amneris’s offer for clemency as he refuses to renounce his love for Aida and marry Amneris. As Radames walks away in the clutches of priests to his pending execution, Amneris realized that all is lost and sinks to the ground…..She laments “Ohimè! Morir mi sento” (Oh how I feel like dying)  By Saturday evening, I almost sank to the floor of my apartment and felt very much the same way as Amneris. My pain was so great; my thoughts reverted to Italian opera verse. Roger Federer and Venus Williams, my picks to win the single titles, did not make it out of the semifinals. They both went the distance but came up short.

Venus Ebony Starr Williams has done me in once more. Yes, I have referred to her by her given name. I know not what else to do. After winning the first set 6-4, Venus was down in the second set 3-5. Mommie Dearest served for the set but was broken by the ever-resilient Venus. For those who are familiar with the Williams sisters, they know that they are made of Teflon and are the type of fighters you want on your side during a battle. They seemingly never gave up. There was joy in my heart. Venus leveled the set at 5-5 and held serve again whilst Mommie Dearest did so as well. They moved to a tiebreaker. My heart caught a fire for I know Venus is often fabulous in tiebreakers. She would never let this opportunity to close out the match in straight sets be wasted. I almost fell off the treadmill, as Venus did not win a single point on her serve. How could this be? The woman with the fastest serves on tour, double faults as if it were the object of the game.

She lost the second set. I figured that she would make it back. There was no way she would give up this opportunity easily but alas, I was wrong, as I have been all year long about Venus Williams. She lost the third set 4-6 after getting broken early in the set, breaking back to even things at 4-4 games and getting broken again. It was not so much so that she lost the match that nearly killed me but it is the fact that Venus failed to show any of the tools she had employed in her winning the previous 11 sets of tennis she played. Her serve was on, the forehand was on, she was coming to net, her second serve was not vulnerable and her deadly backhand was as solid as ever. Her killer instinct was on full displayed as she was not being rattled by the crowd or an inexplicable loose service game. Yet in the last two sets against Kim on Friday, she simply went away.  

Where is the resilience and strength of the Venus of old who saved 11 match points against Jennifer Capriati? Where is she? It was heart breaking to see Mommie Dearest be on her way for a third US Open title at the expense of Venus. EVERY SINGLE TIME SHE HAS WON THIS TITLE, VENUS HAS HAD KIM ON THE ROPES ONLY TO RELINQUISH HER HOLD. It is simply devastating to continue to watch. I tried to be brave in the end and watch the match but I almost had my chest cracked open as the 110 barbell nearly slipped out of my hand as I was bench pressing. I do not know what else to say about Venus.

This lost caused sheer panic and hysteria for Venus Williams Fans. One fan, Mr. Brown, a faithful subscriber to this publication went onto Venus Williams’ facebook page and lambasted her. He stated that she should retire, go play doubles and get a sports psychiatrist to deal with her mental crackish ways. However, I have had much time and trauma to think about the enigma that is Venus Williams and I have to say that I am now at peace with the situation. The problem is that fans of Venus Williams live vicariously through her more so than they do other tennis players. See, backing Venus Williams is not some trivial gesture or some effort to always be on the winning side but it is a wholehearted commitment. Venus Williams represents the awkwardness and triumphs of all her fans.

Here you have a 6’1” skinny black girl from the “projects” making it big. Now, this Cinderella story is hardly one that I decry but understand that the attraction to Venus Williams is not a mere love for rags to riches. See Venus is that awkward stage all of us experienced throughout school…always being teased for standing out because of physical attributes…always being told you do not measure up to the accepted standard….never fitting in…never being allowed to fit in or be included. Yet, she rose above all of that to become top tennis player, triple Olympic gold medalist, 7 time major champion, entrepreneur, fashionista, activist, and philanthropist. Venus Williams makes the case for dancing to a different beat even though others think you look stupid. And where are the boys and girls who were hating on her in the past…who knows and who cares, unless they are the one serving at the local DMV. Fans adore the manner in which Venus carries herself across the court….there is a certain strut, poise, elegance, command of attention as if to say, “I am here now…deal with it.”

For her fanz, Venus Williams is not the ultimate rags to riches story but the ultimate ugly duckling turning to the beautiful swan. (Now don’t get all technical on me saying that an ugly duckling cannot grow up to be a swan as they are two different species. I bet many of you never thought of that) This comparison can easily be applicable to Serena but somehow, one can never see Serena as ever being shy. No it is Venus who appears more vulnerable, requiring more care and thus elicits more sympathy and admiration from her fanz. In the story of the Ugly Duckling, the narrator never tells us what happens after this wonderful transfiguration (a duckling to swan is no mere transformation, it has to be a transfiguration and Professor McGonagal is in on it [Harry Potter reference])but we are left to assume that everything is happily ever after.

However, we know too well that in real life that no such thing exists. The fans of Venus Williams are experiencing the life after the transfiguration. They have come to expect sheer brilliance from the Swan each and every time she takes to the “pond.” They would accept nothing short of this for her triumphs are their triumphs and conversely, her failures are their failures. What is more devastating for her fans is the fact that Venus is apparently very complacent with her “poor performances” For the fans this is the ultimate slap in the face for they feel almost personally insulted. People lose matches everyday and it not possible for her to win every time she plays, but her fans expect nothing but victory. Never has Venus lost a match and her fans accept it as a mere lost. For them her losses are epic, disastrous and should not have happened in the first place.

Leontyne Price, the great and glorious American opera singer, once commented about her fans. She said (I am paraphrasing here) that the voice is such a unique thing, individualized to us all. It is such a wonderful thing as well that it causes certain emotions and reactions unique to each person and as such, people may claim “ownership” of sorts to another voice. So strong is this sense of ownership that people are personally affronted if “the voice” that they hold in high regard does anything which is not to their liking. It is this same sense of proprietorship that Venus Williams fanz has and it is what has driven us to sheer madness and emotional lows.

However, in retrospect, there is much to be proud about with Venus. She has been on the tour since 1994/1995 and still at the top of her game. She made it to the US Open semifinals and was very much in the thick of things without any match play since early July at Wimbledon. She has kept  her nose clean…there are no scandalous photos or tapes of Ms. Williams around…she has not been involved in any sort of drugs and despite all the injuries she has suffered, she is soldiers on for the sport of tennis. Yet we are disappointed when she does not win. She made it to the Round of 16 or better in every tournament she played this year….as a matter of fact, other than the French Open where she lost in the Round of 16, she has made the quarterfinals or better and she did it all being an old gal at 29/30. Serena, Kim, Maria, Justine, Carolina cannot make this boast. So perhaps we should not be so harsh on Venus anymore. Perhaps we need to make her life not our perspiration but our inspiration. We should not act as if it is us who is out on court working each point (I assure you watching her matches, I feel every single stroke, points won and/or lost) but use it to fuel us towards our own pursuit of excellence.

I know people talk about the fact that she has not won a major outside of Wimbledon since 2001…but Nadal has 9 majors, five of which are from the French….NO ONE GETS IN HIS FACE about that. As for Kim, all the potential she has, she has only won at the US Open and she has choked at so many majors, they are too numerous to count. Therefore, we here at RTFN would like to resurrect Venus Williams…bring her back from the dead…reinstate her true name and wish her continued success on the tour as long as she wishes to play. (I know it is mighty big of me but I tell you, I have ran out of hateration for her so I might as well show some love.)


Anyway, we shall move on to other news. The rain seriously affected play and this is why I think the US Open should really adopt the French Open policy of play on the 1st Sunday. This way, all 1st round matches would be wrapped up by the end of Tuesday’s play. Now today is the 4th day and ladies’ 2nd round matches yet to be completed and Men’s matches have not started. Andy Murray was slated on Ashe to play is 1st round match on Wednesday night. WTF?? Anywho, I guess we might as well deal with the other ladies matches. Of course because of the rain, most of the matches were not completed. Aga Radwanska made easy work of her opponent as did LiNaLi. The results were as followed:

Slaone Stephens was just sticking... as in breadsticking it to Urszula Radwanska... she could barely see straight

Slaone Stephens was just sticking… as in breadsticking it to Urszula Radwanska… she could barely see straight

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (32) def. Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 6-0;
Li Na (5) def. Sofia Arvidsson 6-1, 6-1;
Carla Suarez Navarro (18) def. CoCo Vandeweghe 6-3, 6-4;
Agnieszka Radwanska (3) def. Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor 6-0, 7-5;
Laura Robson (30) def. Caroline Garcia 6-4, 7-6 (5);
Zheng Jie def. Venus Williams 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (5).
Sloane Stephens (15) def. Urszula Radwanska 6-1 6-1

LiNaLi is looking quite confident at these championships

LiNaLi is looking quite confident at these championships

On the men’s side, I think all of the 1st round matches were completed. There were no real surprises were for that matter expect I guess from two Americans. That Rajeev Ram (who I think is perhaps one of the most unprettiest man on tour….I am not being a real hater here) beat Fabio Fognini, the 16th seed, in straight sets and in such a convincing manner was totally unexpected. It was a breadstick and two two-piece meals. The other American was James Blake. Now James Blake is set to retire after this US Open. To be honest, I have not always been a great fan of his. I met him once and thought he was kinda cocky and rather cold. That is okay. However, the thing was that his on court antics were very much brattish at times. I know he has been plagued with injuries but for the most part, he, I felt, was very lazy. He became that typical American male player with that sense of unjustified entitlement. He had a lot to learn if he wanted to really succeed and he learnt very little. Also he grew up in a tennis era when the likes of Mr. Federer, Divadal, Djoker and Lochness Monster are/were at their peak.  So he is not the only player who has not had major success. Anyway, James was up 2 sets on Ivo Karlovic and then lost the match. WTF? WTMFF?? In the final two sets, they played tiebreakers and James only won 4 points altogether. Come on James!!

Goodbye James, I am not sure if you would be missed.

Goodbye James, I am not sure if you would be missed. Meanwhile, Mary-Jo what the hell are you wearing?

Meanwhile, 3rd seed Lochness Monster knocked out Michael Llodra 6-2 6-4 6-3 and begins his title defense. In other results:

Marcos Baghdatis def. Go Soeda 6-4, 6-3, 6-1;
Alexandr Dolgopolov def. David Goffin 6-2, 6-4, 6-4;
Kevin Anderson (17) def. Daniel Brands 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3;
Mikhail Youzhny (21) def. Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (4);
Somdev Devvarman def. Lukas Lacko 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4;
Tim Smyczek def. James Duckworth 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-1;
Andreas Seppi (20) def. Xavier Malisse 6-3, 3-6, 7-5, 7-5;
Peter Gojowczyk def. Igor Sijsling 7-6 (7), 2-6, 6-4, 6-1;
Juan Martin del Potro (6) def. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (7);
Lleyton Hewitt def. Brian Baker 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4;
Stanislas Wawrinka (9) def. Radek Stepanek 7-6 (2), 6-3, 6-2;
Evgeny Donskoy def. Jurgen Melzer (29) 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (3);
Leonardo Mayer def. Victor Hanescu 7-6 (4), 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (4);
Marcel Granollers def. Jurgen Zopp 6-1, 3-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4;
Rajeev Ram def. Fabio Fognini (16) 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.

Juan Martin Del Potro is my dark horse to win this if Mr. Federer cannot

Juan Martin Del Potro is my dark horse to win this if Mr. Federer cannot

Look who is back and lurking around in these parts... Marcos Fatdatis

Look who is back and lurking around in these parts… Marcos Fatdatis

As I look out the window right now, the sky is overcasted with those grey smoggy looking clouds so I am not sure how much play might get on its way today. Anyway, I hope you all have enjoyed this entry. Do not forget to COMMENT PLEASE (Good, bad and ugly. Just not offensive/racist/illogical) and SPREAD the word.

Utter nonsense!

Utter nonsense!

I do not understand why the USTA do not invest in tarp to cover the courts when it rains. I mean this is ridiculous. It will cut down the drying time significantly

I do not understand why the USTA do not invest in tarp to cover the courts when it rains. I mean this is ridiculous. It will cut down the drying time significantly and get play on its way quicker

Oh lookie, it's Lochness Monster. The tennis bag looks cool. (I am trying to accentuate his positives)

Oh lookie, it’s Lochness Monster. The tennis bag looks cool. (I am trying to accentuate his positives)

What did you say Judy? I said stop hogging the camera you gold digging trifling tart.

What did you say Judy? I said stop hogging the camera you gold digging trifling tart.

I think Dani' Lochness Monster's hitting partner is kinda cute and he can definitely get it BUT it won't work out because I do not like his employer

I think Dani’ Lochness Monster’s hitting partner is kinda cute and he can definitely get it BUT it won’t work out because I do not like his employer

Can we just look at this one more time? I mean I swear this skirt is a one of Red Foo's boxers that she removed the crotch.

Can we just look at this one more time? I mean I swear this skirt is a one of Red Foo’s boxers that she removed the crotch.

Yes, go up further...the cramp is definitely further up.... yeahhhhhh that feels real nice.

Yes, go up further…the cramp is definitely further up…. yeahhhhhh that feels real nice.



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