My sucky run at the bracket challenge continues. I got a few more right than I did yesterday, but still nothing to write home about. I'm usually pretty decent at making predictions once we get to the quarter finals, etc, but the first round... well, stands to show it's pretty bad. No major upsets or anything. Just me picking wrong among the little guys.
Though some of these first round matches were hardly matches of the little guys. How often have you seen Jarkko Nieminen and Tomas Berdych play in the first round of a major event? That might just be to the left side of never. There is real depth in men's tennis when these two can meet in a first round. That one was a tall order.
Berdych was the one that walked away the victor - obviously, I picked Nieminen. I should just start picking the opposite of who I think is going to win and then maybe I'll do better. I really hope this is the beginning of a return to form for Tomas - who is this week's ATP blogger - because I really think he has an excellent game, even if he is, as discussed here at length, a perennial underwhelmer.
Meanwhile, what has happened to Carlos Moya? To my eyes, he's had a pretty ordinary year, but he's still floating about at #28, so he can't be doing that badly. But #28 or not, looks like he got a bit pulverised by Tommy Haas. Haas has been looking quite good lately - maybe he's going to make a run for it in this tournament. Let's have a look at his draw... he's up against Davydenko next round. Sensible people would put their money on Kolya, but I could see Haas coming through it if he plays like he did today. Indeed, I have picked him to come through in my bracket... which is probably a sure sign he is going to lose. But let's say that I actually manage to get one right and he does - he would face the winner of Kiefer and Youzhny, which one would think would be Youzhny. That could be an interesting match up indeed...
Another player impressing me of late - well, of last week - is Gilles Simon, who won in Indy and who won his first round match against Donald Young pretty handily, but I don't see him coming through the second round... he's up against the big man, R-Fed. And we all know how I'm cheering there.
My semi final pick Soderling made it through, as did Igor Andreev. I also picked the minor upset victory of Feliciano Lopez over Radek Stepanek, which I was pleased about, because we all know Stepanek is kind of weird. One second round match which I think is going to be very intriguing is Tommy Robredo against Marin Cilic... Robredo is a good player and all, but I think I like Cilic to come through this one. He has impressed me a whole lot of late. And considering Ernests Gulbis went out in the first round, I have to have one young gun to follow, and he really is the only one left, as Thomaz Bellucci went out as well. Meanwhile, Philipp Kohlschreiber just lost to Alexandre Kudryavtsev in straight sets. First, I would like to say, who? Is he some relation to Sharapova-slaying tuxedo-hating Alla Kudryavtseva? And secondly, I really need to stop overestimating Philipp Kohlschreiber, as I invariably get disappointed.
Not a whole lot of doubles action today - actually, they only had one match yesterday and two today. How are they planning to squeeze it all in? Two teams I had talked about as intriguing both went out - the French duo of Gasquet and Mahut to the Murray brothers, which was hardly surprising... oh, I bet Richou loved that. He must hate Andy Murray so much now after Wimbledon. And then Nieminen and Ferrer went out to Mathieu and Youzhny. Quite why Mathieu and Youzhny are playing together is beyond me, but they obviously seem to have something going for them.
Rogers Cup (Toronto)
Feliciano Lopez def. Radek Stepanek, 4-6 6-3 6-4
Andy Roddick def. Nicolas Mahut, 6-1 6-7 (6-8) 6-3
Alexandre Kudryavtsev def. Philipp Kohlschreiber, 6-2 7-6 (9-7)
Fernando Verdasco def. Thomaz Bellucci, 1-6 6-3 6-2
Tomas Berdych def. Jarkko Nieminen, 6-3 6-1
Tommy Haas def. Carlos Moya, 6-3 6-2
Igor Andreev def. Gael Monfils, 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-3)
Gilles Simon def. Donald Young, 6-1 6-3
Marin Cilic def. Lukas Dlouhy, 6-3 4-6 6-3
Jesse Levine def. Peter Polansky, 6-2 6-4
Robin Soderling def. Guillermo Canas, 7-5 6-1
Thomas Johansson def. Andrey Golubev, 7-6 (7-4) 6-1
Jonas Bjorkman def. Arnaud Clement, 6-3 3-6 6-0
East West Bank Classic (Los Angeles)
Nadia Petrova def. Alina Jidkova, 6-0 6-4
Flavia Pennetta def. Aleksandra Wozniak, 6-1 6-0
Dominika Cibulkova def. Monica Niculescu, 6-4 6-3
Peng Shuai def. Julie Ditty, 6-4 6-2
Regina Kulikova def. Elena Vesnina, 6-4 4-6 6-2
Banka Koper Slovenia Open (Portoroz)
Maria Kirilenko def. Nika Ozegovic, 6-1 6-1
Katarina Srebotnik def. Sanda Mamic, 6-2 6-2
Camille Pin def. Marina Erakovic, 7-5 5-7 6-3
Sara Errani def. Maria Elena Camerin, 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-1
Roberta Vinci def. Alberta Brianti, 6-1 6-3
Julia Goerges def. Ekaterina Bychkova, 6-4 6-3
Mara Santangelo def. Yanina Wickmayer, 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4
Karolina Sprem def. Evgeniya Rodina, 4-6 6-3 6-3
Elena Bovina def. Tatiana Perebiynis, 6-3 6-4