Well, the good ship Rafa seems to be on course. I wouldn't call it a demolition - not with Rafa, who knows all about demo jobs - but he pretty handily dismantled Jesse Levine. I mean, Levine is hardly a top ten player, but a good player is a good player. Rafa's looking good. This is when he normally starts to fade off - but things have been different for the Raf this year, what with the - oh, don't make me say it - Wimbledon victory. Maybe he can keep it up. Who knows.
I like Rafa, and I like him a lot, but I like Federer more, and so I'm hopinh against hope that the traditional fade starts to kick in. Not that Federer can't overcome Nadal, but it would be nice if Nadal sort of overcame himself. Rafa's got the winner of Andreev and Berdych in the next round - they're neck and neck in the third at the moment, so whoever it is might be a little tired, I suppose... but let's get real. If any tennis player is all fatigued after a three set match there's something a little amiss. In Slams I can understand if you back up on huge five setters - kind of like Djokovic (spit spit) in Wimbledon last year, with the Hewitt/Baghdatis double. Either Andreev or Berdych should give Rafa a better game than Jesse 'who?' Levine, methinks... though I still like Rafa to win. My bracket says so! Beware of Ferrer, remember. That's when the problems will start. Mark my words.
And... watch Rafa go on to win the tournament. And he'll face Andreev in the third round, who just pulled it out over Berdych. Guess it's bye bye to blogger boy... he's not playing doubles, is he? But it is another victory for the Jodi Bracket!
But things are looking up vis a vis my bracket. I mean, I still suck, but as we go a little deeper into the tournament, I'm getting better at picking. And you heard it here first - Cilic over Robredo. Did I not say that would happen? And did it not happen just as I said? That would be 6-3 6-4, wham, bam, thank you ma'am. The bracket is looking better. Jodi says Cilic is a Star of the Future. Watch him start to shine. That's my boy Marin. And my semi-final pick Soderling just upset Nando Verdasco. Maybe I'm not so dumb, eh?
Actually, I did really well on the Davydenko/Blake quarter - I only got one wrong, where I picked Ancic over Dancevic... and then Djokovic beat Dancevic, going through to the third round, just as I predicted. Here's hoping I can keep up my good run.
There's actually not a whole lot of matches to write about, as there was six hours of rain delay before play started. The meat of the matches are going on now as I write this, at about 9am Australian time. Still, it means I get to watch the scores (oh, what a treat) and feel like I'm at the cutting edge of tennis... at least until my boss gets here.
Oh, before I go... kudos to my Russian boys. Dmitry and Marat are both looking good! Dmitry we knew was good, what with the Indy final last week, but Marat is always the question mark. Querrey is a dangerous player, and Marat took care of business in straight sets like a real champ. And speaking of dangerous players, Dima just took out Feliciano 'Fidgiano' Lopez in straight sets! Davai, boys! And also to Dinara, who won her match in LA. See, look, women's tennis! I mention it... occasionally.
Rogers Cup (Toronto)
Rafael Nadal def. Jesse Levine, 6-4 6-2
David Ferrer def. Robby Ginepri, 6-4 6-4
Marin Cilic def. Tommy Robredo, 6-3 6-4
Dmitry Tursunov def. Nicolas Lapentti, 6-3 6-4
Marat Safin def. Sam Querrey, 6-3 6-3
Novak Djokovic def. Frank Dancevic, 6-4 6-4
Igor Andreev def. Tomas Berdych, 6-4 3-6 6-4
Robin Soderling def. Fernando Verdasco, 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-4
Dmitry Tursunov def. Feliciano Lopez, 6-3 7-6 (8-6)
Richard Gasquet def. Alexandre Kudryavtsev, 7-5 6-3
East West Bank Classic (Los Angeles)
Dinara Safina def. Peng Shuai, 6-2 6-2
Ai Sugiyama def. Patty Schnyder, 6-4 7-5
Victoria Azarenka def. Chan Yung-Jan, 6-1 6-3
Nadia Petrova def. Akgul Amanmuradova, 6-1 3-6 6-1
Bethanie Mattek def. Nicole Vaidisova, 6-4 6-0
Sybille Bammer def. Stéphanie Dubois, 6-3 7-5
Samantha Stosur def. Regina Kulikova, 7-6 (7-4) 7-5
Melanie South def. Petra Kvitova, 6-4 6-2
Melinda Czink def. Olga Savchuk, 6-4 2-6 6-4
Banka Koper Slovenia Open (Portoroz)
Caroline Wozniacki def. Karolina Sprem, 6-1 6-1
Anabel Medina Garrigues def. Julia Vakulenko, 6-4 6-4
Petra Martic def. Klara Zakopalova, 6-3 4-6 7-6 (7-3)
Vera Dushevina def. Katie O'Brien, 6-3 6-2