Monday, August 11, 2008

Kicking Kolya Out Of The Kitchen

One thing I have to say about the Beijing Olympics. Their Opening Ceremony was fantastic, it all seems to be very well organised and running smoothly and all, but their tennis livescoring system is really, really bad. Like, dreadful. It's a pretty sad state of affairs when the 32-draw Legg Mason 'I'm not good enough/too wussy to go to the Olympics' Classic has a better system than the greatest sporting event on earth.
Other than that, Beijing did a great job of squeezing something like 65 matches into a day, even if it was terribly hard to follow them. Of course, here in Australia, we saw absolutely no tennis, as Australia stands pretty much no chance of doing well and they're hardly going to show anyone else, but I kept up to date what was going on. The most important match from my perspective was, of course, Federer against Tursunov. Not seeing the match, I can't comment adequately on it, but it seems like a pretty decent win for Roger to me. I saw some reports which were all 'vintage Federer!' and others that said that he did enough to win but wasn't that impressive. Still, no matter which way you look at it, a straight sets victory over a talented big-hitter like Tursunov ain't nothing to sneeze at.
Federer next plays Rafael Arevalo, whom no one has heard of - including Federer, by all reports, who was apparently frantically Googling him to find out some stuff. What I did find out is that Arevalo is ranked something like #447, so you'd think Federer would be a dead cert bet... but we all remember the Ruben Ramirez-Hidalgo incident. I don't think Roger will underestimate him, which would probably be the biggest pitfall.
I'm not sure if Rafa did some underestimating or whether he's just tired, because he'd normally never drop a set to someone like Potito Starace. Still, he came through. I'm sure there'll be some reports of how the pressure of #1 is getting to him, but everyone drops a set now and again. I don't think it's really much to worry about for Team Rafa. Though Team Spain clearly has something to worry about - three of their four guys went out yesterday, which was not so good. And Rafa dropped a set... maybe they all had food poisoning! Or not. Maybe they just got beaten.
Ferrer lost to Tipsarevic, who looks more and more dangerous every time he plays. Seppi beat Robredo and Monfils beat Almagro. Strange, isn't it, that Spain left all these awesome players behind - players like Nando Verdasco - and then most of them lose. At least you can pretty much always count on Rafa.
Djokovic had a pretty handy win, but there were a couple of upsets - not just Ferrer, but Murray as well. Yen-hsun Lu played the match of his life there! I remembering watching him play at the Hopman Cup this year, and he really has a lovely playing style, so good word to him. As those hideous cackling commentators on Channel 7 might say, 'onya!' And on the women's side, my gold medal pick Svetlana Kuznetsova went crashing out to Li Na. That means I have to revise my gold medallist, and I'm revising it straight to Dinara Safina. Don't know why I didn't pick her in the first place. She is easily playing better than anyone else right now.
For a limited time only - ie. the duration of the Olympics - Tennis From The Backseat will also be covering doubles... mostly because I'm really, really excited about Team Fedrinka! I think they stand a great chance! How many other teams boast two top ten players? I know that's not the only consideration for doubles, but I think they could just be fabulous. And they WILL be fabulous!
They face a Russian team next - Tursunov and Youzhny - who knocked out Gonzalez and Massu, who won the gold medal in Athens, so that was a good win. If you want a tough team, I don't know if you can go further than those boys, so that should be a good match.
...though speaking of Russians, did anyone else see that article about Davydenko? I was totally disgusted. I think it's on Eurosport, if anyone else wants to look: basically, he was whinging about how he has no motivation, and how he's going to play at the Olympics, but he isn't really going to try and how he doesn't expect to do well and how he just finds it so hard to pick up a racquet.
If I were Ernests Gulbis, who was knocked out by Davydenko in the first round, I would be feeling so offended right now. What kind of attitude is that for an elite sportsman? For the first time, I think I understand - just a little - why Justine Henin retired. I don't understand WHY she had no motivation, but once she recognised that she did, she was at least respectful to her opponents and stepped aside. Sport is about giving your all. Isn't that, like, the Olympic thing? Faster, higher, stronger, or whatever the motto is? If you're not prepared to try, get out. If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Kolya, I hope you get destroyed in your next match - because with an attitude like that, you have absolutely no right to be here. None whatsoever.
Today's Results
Games of the XXIX Olympiad (Beijing)
Men's Draw - Singles
Roger Federer def. Dmitry Tursunov, 6-4 6-2
Rafael Nadal def. Potito Starace, 6-2 3-6 6-2
Novak Djokovic def. Robby Ginepri, 6-4 6-4
Janko Tipsarevic def. David Ferrer, 7-6 (10-8) 6-2
Lu Yen-Hsun def. Andy Murray, 7-6 (7-5) 6-4
David Nalbandian def. Zeng Shaoxuan, 6-2 6-1
Stanislas Wawrinka def. Frank Dancevic, 4-6 6-3 6-2
Gilles Simon def. Robin Soderling, 6-4 6-4
Gael Monfils def. Nicolas Almagro, 6-4 3-6 6-3
Mikhail Youzhny def. Jiri Vanek, 6-4 6-1
Nicolas Kiefer def. Max Mirnyi, 6-3 6-1
Michael Llodra def. Radek Stepanek, 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 11-9
Thomas Johansson def. Jarkko Nieminen, 4-6 6-4 6-4
Andreas Seppi def. Tommy Robredo, 6-4 4-6 8-6
Paul-Henri Mathieu def. Nicolas Lapentti, 7-6 (7-4) 6-2
Victor Hanescu def. Simone Bolelli, 7-5 3-6 6-4
Olivier Rochus def. Ivo Minar, 6-3 3-6 6-3
Igor Andreev def. Sam Querrey, 6-4 6-4
Dominik Hrbaty def. Thomaz Bellucci, 2-6 6-4 6-2
Marin Cilic def. Juan Monaco, 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-3
Agustin Calleri def. Devin Mullings, 6-1 6-1
Rainer Schuettler def. Kei Nishikori, 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-3
Lleyton Hewitt def. Jonas Bjorkman, 7-5 7-6 (7-2)
Nicolas Massu def. Steve Darcis, 6-4 7-5
Kevin Anderson def. Komlavi Loglo, 6-3 6-2
Rafael Arevalo def. Hyung-Taik Lee, 4-6 6-3 6-4
Jurgen Melzer def. Marcos Daniel, 6-7 (9-11) 6-1 8-6
Women's Draw - Singles
Jelena Jankovic def. Cara Black, 6-3 6-3
Li Na def. Svetlana Kuznetsova, 7-6 (7-5) 6-4
Serena Williams def. Olga Govortsova, 6-3 6-1
Elena Dementieva def. Kateryna Bondarenko, 6-1 6-4
Dinara Safina def. Mara Santangelo, 6-3 7-6 (7-1)
Venus Williams def. Timea Bacsinszky, 6-3 6-2
Agnieszka Radwanska def. Chan Yung-Jan, 6-1 7-6 (8-6)
Vera Zvonareva def. Yan Zi, 6-2 6-0
Daniela Hantuchova def. Ai Sugiyama, 6-2 7-5
Zheng Jie def. Agnes Szavay, 4-6 6-3 7-5
Victoria Azarenka def. Tatiana Perebiynis, 6-4 5-7 6-4
Patty Schnyder def. Jill Craybas, 6-3 6-2
Kaia Kanepi def. Flavia Pennetta, 6-2 7-6 (8-6)
Alizé Cornet def. Nicole Vaidisova, 4-6 6-1 6-4
Dominika Cibulkova def. Pauline Parmentier, 6-1 7-5
Shahar Peer def. Sorana Cirstea, 6-3 5-7 6-0
Virginie Razzano def. Eleni Daniilidou, 6-3 6-3
Alona Bondarenko def. Milagros Sequera, 3-6 0-1 retired
Sybille Bammer def. Anabel Medina Garrigues, 6-2 4-6 6-4
Casey Dellacqua def. Gisela Dulko, 6-3 6-4
Peng Shuai def. Carla Suárez Navarro, 7-5 7-6 (7-2)
Iveta Benesova def. Sania Mirza, 6-1 2-1 retired
Sofia Arvidsson def. Tamarine Tanasugarn, 6-2 6-1
Lucie Safarova def. Maret Ani, 6-4 6-2
María José Martínez Sánchez def. Alicia Molik, 6-1 6-1
Nuria Llagostera Vives def. Klara Zakopalova, 2-6 6-3 7-5
Men's Draw - Doubles
Federer/Wawrinka def. Bolelli/Seppi, 7-5 6-1
Almagro/Ferrer def. Anderson/Coetzee, 3-6 6-3 6-4
Nadal/Robredo def. Bjorkman/Soderling, 6-3 6-3
Andreev/Davydenko def. Blake/Querrey, 6-3 6-4
Aspelin/Johansson def. Hanley/Kerr, 7-6 (9-7) 6-3
Murray/Murray def. Nestor/Niemeyer, 4-6 6-3 6-4
Darcis/Rochus def. Canas/Nalbandian, 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-5) 6-3
Tursunov/Youzhny def. Gonzalez/Massu, 7-6 (7-5) 6-4
Guccione/Hewitt def. Calleri/Monaco, 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 18-16
Legg Mason Tennis Classic (Washington)
Tommy Haas def. Rik de Voest, 6-4 4-6 6-1
Dudi Sela def. Vince Spadea, 7-6 (8-6) 6-3
Somdev Devvarman def. Taylor Dent, 7-6 (7-3) 2-6 6-1
Florent Serra def. Uladzimir Ignatik, 7-6 (7-3) 6-3
Bobby Reynolds def. Marc Gicquel, 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-4
John Isner def. Marcel Granollers, 6-3 6-7 (6-5) 7-6 (7-1)
Western and Southern Financial Group Women's Open
Katarina Srebotnik def. Amanda Fink, 6-3 6-3
Sabine Lisicki def. Anna Tatishvili, 5-7 7-5 6-0
Camille Pin def. Ekaterina Makarova, 6-2 6-0
Petra Cetkovska def. Tamira Paszek, 4-6 6-3 4-1 retired
Nathalie Dechy def. Olivia Sanchez, 6-2 6-2
Julie Ditty def. Yuan Meng, 2-6 6-1 6-4
Maria Kirilenko def. Hsieh Su-wei, 6-2 7-5
Stéphanie Dubois def. Evgeniya Rodina, 6-2 7-6 (7-3)

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