Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Starlight, Starbright

I must admit, I was very disappointed that Fabrice Santoro couldn't do a bit more in the beating-Andy-Roddick sort of way. I like watching him play (the Harry Potter of men's tennis) and we all know how disenchanted I am with A-Rod right now. But I suppose we can't have it all our own way. If I had my druthers, Clement would have taken out Djokovic as well. But it was not to be. I will have to be satisfied with that crushing Roger victory from yesterday - which was AMAZINGLY satisfactory!
I caught absolutely no tennis today, so I don't have that much to discuss that doesn't come directly from the scores. One thing I was very satisfied with was the performance of Ernests Gulbis, who took out ever-wily Olympic silver medallist and former Slam champion Thomas Johansson. What really surprised me was that the match was played on Armstrong - surely neither player is high-profile enough for that? I wonder why it was put there - on whose recognisance, I mean. I know Gulbis is good, and he's going to be great, but surely he doesn't have that kind of pulling power yet - and surely Johansson is no longer that high-profile? Nevertheless, it is a match I would have loved to watch, and maybe it's good that the US Open organisers put them there, so more people can start waving little Latvian flags and joining Team Gulbis.
And another star performer was Mr. Marin Cilic - even though, unlike Ernests, it took him five sets to get past his opponent, one Julien Benneteau. Great as it was to see Marin win that tournament this week, I hope it hasn't worn him out too terribly - five tough sets can hardly be helping! Here's hoping he gets a little time to recover, because I really would like to see him do well. Gulbis has made it to the quarters before - and perhaps can do so again. I'd like to see Marin match him. Indeed, wasn't Ernests vs. Marin one of my quarter final picks? Wouldn't that be a fabulous match to see?! I'd willingly walk dozens of kilometres on the treadmill at the gym if it meant I could watch that one!
Eduardo Schwank, on the other hand, lost. I'm afraid he might be one of those Stars who only does well on clay. It does occur to me that he is probably the oldest Star in my fold - not that he's past it or anything, but if one of my Stars does make the bigtime, it probably won't be him. Nevertheless, he didn't seem to leave much in the locker room against Tursunov - four tight sets. So nice try, Eduardo. Better luck next time... aka better draw!
It was a bit sad to see Tipsarevic retire, but nonetheless I found myself breathing a guilty sigh of relief... I would prefer he didn't meet Roger in Slam tennis for a little while, not after what happened in Australia! And speaking of the ol' homeland, there was a good win for Chris Guccione. I completely forgot he was in the draw and thought Jessica Moore was our last hope... not that either of them are great chances of making it to the third round, but still, it's nice to have one or two still there, even if the second week is completely unheard of for Australians these days.
Oh, and good work to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for winning his first match back. And Kolya Davydenko also won, but I can't say that brought me much pleasure. Stupid Kolya.
Over in the women's, Jelena Jankovic is not looking so hot. I know she's been #1 and is seeded #2 and all, but I really don't like her chances of making it to her first Slam final. Same goes for her countrywoman Ana Ivanovic, actually. At least one, and maybe both of them is at some point going to run into the chainsaw that is Dinara Safina, and they'll be decimated. Even if everyone else wasn't playing rubbish, I'd still be backing Dinara, and everyone really sort of is. The Serbian girls are shaky. Kuznetsova is a bit unsteady too. Sharapova isn't even there. Dementieva is doing all right, but do you think Dinara's going to let her beat her twice in a row? No, no, I love Dinara's chances - and if she's not the odds on favourite, she should be.
Oh, and before I go, one match people should keep an eye on tomorrow, if they possibly can - Juan Martin del Potro against Thomaz Bellucci. That would be two of my Stars, and though you'd probably pick del Potro to win it what with his current record, I wouldn't be surprised if Bellucci gave him a little trouble...
Today's Results
US Open (Flushing Meadows)
Men's Draw
Andy Roddick def. Fabrice Santoro, 6-2 6-2 6-2
Novak Djokovic def. Arnaud Clement, 6-3 6-3 6-4
Ernests Gulbis def. Thomas Johansson, 7-5 6-1 7-6 (7-3)
Robby Ginepri def. Amer Delic, 6-1 6-2 7-6 (7-5)
Nikolay Davydenko def. Dudi Sela, 6-3 6-3 6-3
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def. Santiago Ventura, 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-2 6-3
Robert Kendrick def. Nicolas Mahut, 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 5-7 7-5
Marin Cilic def. Julien Benneteau, 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-7 (7-9) 6-2
Agustin Calleri def. Austin Krajicek, 6-2 6-2 6-1
Nicolas Almagro def. Frank Dancevic, 5-3 6-4 7-5
Carlos Moya def. Aisam Ul-Haq Qureshi, 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-2) 6-2
Victor Hanescu def. Albert Montanes, 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 2-6 6-3
Radek Stepanek def. Potito Starace, 7-5 6-3 6-1
Sam Warburg def. Janko Tipsarevic, 6-2 1-0 retired
Chris Guccione def. Jesse Levine, 6-3 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (8-6)
Dmitry Tursunov def. Eduardo Schwank, 7-5 4-6 7-5 7-6 (7-5)
Women's Draw
Svetlana Kuznetsova def. Sorana Cirstea, 7-6 (7-3) 6-1
Lindsay Davenport def. Alisa Kleybanova, 7-5 6-3
Jelena Jankovic def. Sofia Arvidsson, 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 7-5
Elena Dementieva def. Pauline Parmentier, 6-2 6-1
Patty Schnyder def. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-3 6-3
Caroline Wozniacki def. Maria Elena Camerin, 6-1 6-2
Katarina Srebotnik def. Yvonne Meusburger, 6-1 6-3
Victoria Azarenka def. Iveta Benesova, 6-2 6-3
Anne Keothavong def. Francesca Schiavone, 6-2 306 6-4
Magdalena Rybarikova def. Tamira Paszek, 6-1 6-2
Ekaterina Makarova def. Ekaterina Bychkova, 3-6 7-5 6-3
Tatiana Perrebiynis def. Vera Zvonareva, 6-3 6-3
Jie Zheng def. Anabel Medina Garrigues, 6-1 6-4
Li Na def. Sara Errani, 4-6 6-2 6-0
Sybille Bammer def. Aravane Rezai, 6-1 7-5
Marion Bartoli def. Virginia Ruano Pascual, 6-4 6-2

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