Saturday, March 28, 2009

Jekyll and Hyde

It's not looking like a particularly happy week for my Stars, from what I can tell. Not only did Ernests Gulbis crash out early, to my great displeasure, both my girls are gone as well. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, last week's Cinderella, went out to bad-tempered teen queen Victoria Azarenka, and Sabine Lisicki went out today to Iveta Benesova. But that's why they're Stars of the Future, I guess... they aren't quite in the present yet. And Marin Cilic is still in the mix...
It's mostly plain sailing again in both sides of the draw, though Andy Murray certainly had to work for his win over Juan Monaco. But there was one upset, and it was a nasty one - David Nalbandian got absolutely whaled on by Viktor Troicki.
Troicki is not without ability. I've seen him play in the flesh - twice, actually, though one time (against Robredo at the year's Aussie Open) he really had his tail between his legs. He had set points against Rafa Nadal in the first round of the same tournament last year, though Rafa went on to win in straights. So he doesn't suck (I mean, as if any of the top hundred do! they're there for a reason). But he really shouldn't be a match for David Nalbandian, longtime nemesis of the great R-Fed: the big Argentine who has been to the semis of all four Slams and might be one of the most talented players on the tour never to have actually won one (largely courtesy of the Hispano-Suisse domination machine). But Troicki absolutely destroyed him - Headbandian only got four games.
I've discussed the phenomenon of GoodDave and LameDave numerous times - he is perhaps the most Jekyll and Hyde of any player on tour. The stats tell the story - Dave only got 30% of his first serves in, and then only won 57% of the time on it. You'd want to hope that signals 'injury' not 'I am a total headcase and will never, ever recover from those five match points I had last week before I got bagelled'. I'm not a huge fan of Nalbandian personality-wise, but I think he's necessary on the tour - he fulfils a particular function, plays a particular role, the ever-dangerous veteran snake in the grass. The one who can beat anyone if he only has his day. And when he's losing to Viktor Troicki so tamely... it's not just David that suffers, but the whole dynamic of the tour. I think.
Today's Results
Sony Ericsson Open (Miami)
Men's Draw
Andy Murray def. Juan Monaco, 4-6 6-3 6-2
Fernando Verdasco def. Benjamin Becker, 6-3 6-4
David Ferrer def. John Isner, 6-3 3-6 6-2
Fernando Gonzalez def. Igor Kunitsyn, 6-4 6-4
Viktor Troicki def. David Nalbandian, 6-1 6-3
Stanislas Wawrinka def. Andreas Seppi, 7-5 7-5
Radek Stepanek def. Bobby Reynolds, 7-5 6-7 (3-7) 6-2
Igor Andreev def. Yen-hsun Lu, 7-6 (7-4) 6-3
Frederico Gil def. Ivo Karlovic, 6-4 6-4
Nicolas Massu def. Mardy Fish, 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 6-2
Janko Tipsarevic def. Jurgen Melzer, 6-4 6-3
Feliciano Lopez def. Sam Querrey, 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 6-2
Bjorn Phau def. Albert Montanes, 6-4 2-0 retired
Women's Draw
Serena Williams def. Alexa Glatch, 6-2 6-3
Nadia Petrova def. Michaella Krajicek, 3-6 6-4 6-2
Agnieszka Radwanska def. Tamarine Tanasugarn, 4-6 6-3 6-2
Alizé Cornet def. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, 6-4 7-6 (7-4)
Zheng Jie def. Julia Goerges, 6-4 6-2
Anabel Medina Garrigues def. Alla Kudryavtseva, 7-6 (7-3) 6-4
Kaia Kanepi def. María José Martínez Sánchez, 4-6 6-4 7-5
Ekaterina Makarova def. Ai Sugiyama, 6-3 6-4
Iveta Benesova def. Sabine Lisicki, 6-2 6-4
Li Na def. Aleksandra Wozniak, 7-5 6-3
Anna-Lena Groenefeld def. Sara Errani, 6-4 6-3
Peng Shuai def. Mara Santangelo, 7-5 6-3

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