Monday, August 25, 2008


How about Bjorn Phau? He's what, five hundred years old in tennis terms, a real journeyman, and though the score might not quite reflect it, he gave Rafa a bit of a run for his money. I bet that Rafa wasn't really very pleased about spending three hours on court in the first round, not with the amount of tennis he's played of late. If Rafa's going to win this tournament, he really is going to have to get the job done quicker than that, or he's just going to burn out. I know he's, like, the God of Fitness, but no one can play that much tennis and not feel it. He said he was tired going into Beijing, which is why he dropped that set to Potito Starace - so even though he's had a week off, imagine how he must feel now. Poor guy must be buggered.
That's the price of being good, I guess. You win lots of tournaments in a row = you play many, many matches. You can't win by not playing. If Rafa insists on going on these hots streaks, he'll just have to pay the price.
Both Rafa and Roger have come out and talked about the sheer insanity of the schedule. I mean, they have no control over the Olympics and that schedule, but really, it's pretty tough to have a one week turn around from such a huge tournament. It's worse than the turnaround between Roland Garros and Wimbledon, and that's pretty crazy too. Both Roger and Rafa played a hell of a lot of matches in the Olympic week, what with both going deep in singles and doubles, so I hope it isn't too hectic for them. Roger will be all right, I think - never thought I'd count those early losses in the Masters Series events as a sort of blessing! - but Rafa has played pretty much non stop since April. So, moral of the story is, Rafa, get the job done fast as you can. I know you did it in straights, but it still took you three hours, and that is just a bit crazy.
But all credit to Bjorn Phau. Rafa was making uncharacteristic errors, sure, but Phau exploited them. He got in there and had a go. He didn't get intimidated by the situation or the opponent, and he gave it his all - and damn can he hit hard! 'Phau' (Pow) is right. (And I apologise, once again, for the terrible tennis pun which is the title of today's blog. I am helpless in the face of puns.)
There were no major upsets - at least, not yet. The day isn't quite finished yet! Rafa won, Murray won, so did Ferru and Stan and Headbandian. The only male seed to lose was Juan Monaco, who lost to fast-rising Nishikori from Japan. I've never been particularly impressed with Monaco, so I wasn't especially surprised. Oh, and Lopez lost as well, which was a bit sad... but Wimbledon is his place for success, I think.
In the women, we did have one that was sort of big - Anna Chakvetadze lost to Ekaterina Makarova, one of the other Russians. The only other seed to fall was Shahar Peer, who went out to Li Na. Li seems to win all the time - how is she not seeded? One of those mysteries of the women's game that I will never understand. Oh, and Kirilenko went out to Paszek. Otherwise, everything seems to be going to plan - Jankovic is on court right now putting the beatdown on Coco Vanderweghe, and sentimental favourite Davenport won as well.
So no major upset stories so far... which is not necessarily a bad thing! But an intriguing beginning nonetheless.
Today's Results
US Open (Flushing Meadows)
Men's Draw
Rafael Nadal def. Bjorn Phau, 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 7-6 (7-4)
David Ferrer def. Martin Vassallo Arguello, 7-6 (7-1) 6-2 6-2
Andy Murray def. Sergio Roitman, 6-3 6-4 6-0
Gael Monfils def. Pablo Cuevas, 6-4 6-4 6-1
Andreas Beck def. John Isner, 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 7-6 (7-3)
Stanislas Wawrinka def. Simone Bolelli, 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-3
Jiri Vanek def. Stephane Bohli, 3-6 6-3 6-2 7-5
Ryler de Heart def. Olivier Rochus, 7-6 (7-4) 5-7 6-4 3-6 6-4
Roko Karanusic def. Ryan Sweeting, 7-5 7-5 3-6 6-2
Wayne Odesnik def. Fabio Fognini, 2-6 6-0 4-6 6-3 6-4
Jurgen Melzer def. Feliciano Lopez, 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 2-6 6-4
Evgeny Korolev def. Robin Soderling, 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 7-6 (11-9)
Michael Llodra def. Teimuraz Gabashvili, 6-3 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-4)
Andrey Golubev def. Brendan Evans, 6-4 6-3 6-2
Gilles Simon def. Marcel Granollers, 6-4 6-3 5-7 6-2
Viktor Troicki def. Carsten Ball, 7-6 (7-3) 6-0 6-1
David Nalbandian def. Marcos Daniel, 6-1 6-2 6-4
Philipp Kohlschreiber def. Luis Horna, 6-2 6-3 6-2
Kei Nishikori def. Juan Monaco, 6-2 6-2 5-7 6-2
Jose Acasuso def. Michael Berrer, 6-4 6-2 6-2
Juan Martin del Potro def. Guillermo Canas, 4-6 7-6 (7-0) 6-4 6-1
Thomaz Bellucci def. Oscar Hernandez, 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 7-5
James Blake def. Donald Young, 6-1 3-6 6-1 4-6 6-4
Steve Darcis def. Denis Gremelmayr, 6-1 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-4) 6-4
Women's Draw
Elena Dementieva def. Akgul Amanmuradova, 6-4 7-5
Lindsay Davenport def. Aleksandra Wozniak, 6-4 6-2
Jelena Jankovic def. Coco Vandeweghe, 6-3 6-1
Ekaterina Makarova def. Anna Chakvetadze, 1-6 6-2 6-3
Svetlana Kuznetsova def. Shuai Zhang, 6-4 6-2
Li Na def. Shahar Peer, 2-6 6-0 6-1
Caroline Wozniacki def. Ahsha Rolle, 6-2 6-1
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova def. Vania King, 6-2 4-6 6-2
Virginia Ruano Pascula def. Petra Kvitova, 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-2
Francesca Schiavone def. Nuria Llagostera Vives, 7-5 7-5
Yvonne Meusburger def. Lourdes Dominguez Lino, 6-1 6-2
Maria Elena Camerin def. Emilie Loit, 6-0 6-2
Katarina Srebotnik def. Yanina Wickmayer, 3-6 6-0 6-3
Patty Schnyder def. Anastasia Pivovarova, 6-3 3-6 6-3
Jie Zheng def. Shenay Perry, 6-2 6-3
Tatiana Perebiynis def. Mariya Koryttseva, 6-1 6-4
Victoria Azarenka def. Klara Zakopalova, 6-2 6-1
Iveta Benesova def. Karin Knapp, 6-0 6-3
Sofia Arvidsson def. Yan Zi, 6-2 6-4
Pauline Parmentier def. Marina Erakovic, 6-3 7-6 (7-2)
Sara Errani def. Jelena Kostanic Tosic, 6-4 6-2
Magdalena Rybarikova def. Gisela Dulko, 6-4 6-0
Anne Keothavong def. Alexa Glatch, 6-2 6-2
Tamira Paszek def. Maria Kirilenko, 6-3 3-6 6-4
Aravane Rezai def. Asia Muhammad, 6-2 6-4
Marion Bartoli def. Galina Voskoboeva, 6-2 6-3
Anabel Medina Garrigues def. Tsvetana Pironkova, 6-4 7-5
Vera Zvonareva def. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, 6-4 6-3
Sybille Bammer def. Aiko Nakamura, 6-4 6-2
Ekaterina Bychkova def. Anastastia Rodionova, 6-1 6-3
Sorana Cirstea def. Lucie Safarova, 6-4 4-6 6-2
Alisa Kleybanova def. Carla Suarez Navarro, 6-2 7-5

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