Monday, June 9, 2008

Into The Green

Well, I'm back, to quote Samwise Gamgee. A little older, a little wiser, but I'm back. I don't know if I'm fully recovered from that devastating loss - I am a big enough Federer fan that it will take a while yet - but we're working on it.
In the future, I intend to profile some players and stuff here before Wimbledon - do a bit of the ol' human interest, if you know what I mean - but for now, it's late, so I'm not going to say too much. Suffice to say that I still love Roger Federer quite a lot... and now the grass court season is here, which is his time to shine.
The grass court season is strange for we Fedfans. It's great because, hey, our boy never loses on it - his last loss on a grass court was in 2002 in the first round of Wimbledon to Mario Ancic. He was 21- younger than I am. Younger than Rafa is now. But grass is hard as well, because there's so much added pressure. No one really expects Roger to win on clay. That's Rafa's playground. But grass... if he lost there, the fan would fall from the ceiling there'd be so much shit flung at it, if you catch my drift.
Not that I think Roger will lose on grass, because he is the mighty mighty grass king. But I still remember the palpitations from last year's Wimbledon final. Thanks for that one, Rafa. You might have made me real sad laying that beatdown on Roger in the Roland Garros final a couple of days ago, but you damn near killed me nearly taking him out at SW19 last year.
Roger's playing Halle this year, which I think is a good thing. He won Wimbledon last year, as he has for the last five years, but he looked less secure than when he had played Halle as a warm up (which he did not do.) Also, strange as this might sound, it gives him an opportunity to lose. I don't want him to, obviously, but if his grass court streak HAD to be broken, I'd far rather it were in Halle that at Wimbledon. It's a win-win situation, in some respects: if Roger wins Halle, he goes into Wimbledon very confident with grass court matchplay, if he loses somewhere in there, he doesn't have the pressure of that insane streak riding above his head. Although if he were to lose... not only would I cry quite a lot, but can you imagine the press? They'd be circling like vultures.
All this Federer speak and he hasn't even played this week! We have five major tournaments this week - Queen's, Halle, Warsaw, Birmingham and Barcelona. The first three are ATP, the latter two WTA. I have no way of watching any of them, so I don't know how much actual tennis commentary I'll be doing... hence the human interest stories in the lead up to the big ol' Slam. I mentioned a lot of players I liked the look of during my Roland Garros blog - and, indeed, my Australia blog. We're talking Alize Cornet, Ernests Gulbis, Eduardo Schwank... the lot. Let's see what dirt I can dig up on them... and, obviously, expect a heavy Federer focus, because that man is what began it all for me.
Today's Results
Artois Championships (Queen's Club, London)
Jonas Bjorkman def. Igor Kunitsyn, 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-4
Kei Nishikori def. Alejandro Falla, 2-6 6-4 6-2
Marat Safin def. James Ward, 4-6 6-1 6-4
Joseph Sirianni def. Alex Bogdanovic, 6-3 6-3
Robby Ginepri def. Vince Spadea, 6-4 7-6 (7-4)
Chris Guccione def. Yen-hsun Lu, 604 6-7 (2-7) 7-5
Ernests Gulbis def. Kristof Vliegen, 6-4 7-5
Sebastien Grosjean def. Rik de Voest, 7-6 (8-6) 6-1
Mario Ancic def. Nicolas Lapentti, 7-5 6-3
Fernando Verdasco def. Hyung-taik Lee, 5-3 retired
Viktor Troicki def. Dudi Sela, 6-4 6-4
Marin Cilic def. Jurgen Melzer, 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-5)
Lleyton Hewitt def. Joshua Goodall, 6-4 6-4
Janko Tipsarevic def. Ivan Navarro, 7-6 (7-2) 6-4
Roko Karanusic def. Flavio Cipolla, 6-4 6-3
Gerry Weber Open (Halle)
Philipp Kohlschreiber def. Julien Benneteau, 6-4 6-1
Robin Soderling def. Philipp Petzschner, 6-4 4-6 6-4
Tomas Berdych def. Thomas Johansson, 6-3 7-5
Mischa Zverev def. Jarkko Nieminen, 2-6 6-4 6-2
Andreas Beck def. Marc Gicquel, 6-7 (4-7) 7-4 (7-4) 6-3
Benjamin Becker def. Denis Gremelmayr, 6-4 6-2
Warszawianka Sport Club (Warsaw)
Jiri Vanek def. Carlos Berlocq, 1-6 6-2 7-6 (7-5)
Evgeny Korolev def. Victor Hanescu, 6-4 6-2
Potito Starace def. Dawid Olejniczak, 6-2 6-3
Marcos Daniel def. Filippo Volandri, 6-3 6-4
Florent Serra def. Guillermo Coria, 6-3 retired
DFS Classic (Birmingham)
Sunitha Rao def. Petra Kvitova, 7-6 (10-8) 6-4
Naomi Cavaday def. Jill Craybas, 6-0 6-4
Yaroslava Shvedova def. Akgul Amanmuradova, 6-3 6-1
Katie O'Brien def. Alla Kudryavtseva, 6-0 3-6 7-6 (7-2)
Tatiana Poutchek def. Ioana Raluca Olaru, 6-0 7-6 (8-6)
Yanina Wickmayer def. Youlia Fedossova, 6-1 6-4
Aiko Nakamura def. Tzipora Obziler, 7-5 6-3
Sorana Cirstea def. Ayumi Morita, 6-2 6-0
Melanie South def. Anna Fitzpatrick, 6-4 6-4
Tamarine Tanasugarn def. Monica Niculescu, 6-3 6-4
Bethanie Mattek def. Jarmila Gajdosova, 7-6 (7-1) 6-2
Aravane Rezai def. Amanda Elliott, 6-3 2-6 7-6 (10-8)
Ekaterina Makarova def. Elena Baltacha, 7-5 7-6 (7-1)
Angelique Kerber def. Olga Puchkova, 6-4 6-3
Campeonatos Internacionales de Tenis Femenino de Espana (Barcelona)
Eloisa Compostizode de Andres def. Emilie Loit, 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 7-6 (7-5)
Varvara Lepchenko def. Rossana de los Rios, 7-5 6-2
Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez def. Aleksandra Wozniak, 6-4 6-1
Pauline Parmentier def. Sanda Mamic, 6-2 3-6 6-2
Magdalena Rybarikova def. Maria Elena Camerin, 6-1 6-2
Klara Zakopalova def. Karolina Sprem, 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 6-2
Nuria Llagostera Vives def. Shahar Peer, 7-5 6-2

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