Now, I could do another post about yet another inductee to the 2009 Club of Lost Souls (I was going to beat on Alize Cornet this time) but then that might just get monotonous. So let's talk about something else.
The big guns are largely through in Rome - Djokovic went through yesterday, and Nadal and Federer both went through pretty comfortably today - with one notable exception: Andy Murray, who went down in a tight three-setter against Juan Monaco. Now, this might just be my imagination, but Juan Monaco seems to be popping up a bit lately. I can't pinpoint where, but I know his name's been around for doing... something. (Maybe I was beating on him for being not good enough - we all know that's my wont!) This is a good win for him - maybe the biggest one of his career.
Now, if Nadal, Federer or even Djokovic had taken this loss, I can guarantee that it would be cause of huge concern and there would be massive press and coverage and whatever. As it is, I don't think it's going to be too much of a worry for Murray. He's already greatly exceeded expectations on clay, which is NOT his best surface, and so I think one early loss probably isn't going to be too much of a concern. If anything, it might do him good to have a week off and a bit of a rest.
Nikolay Davydenko also went out, but considering his recent comeback and good showing in Barcelona, I'm also prepared to show clemency. And I'm even going to be nice about Ernests Gulbis, despite my ranting about his not winning enough - he had a fabulous, fabulous win in the first round against Nicolas Almagro (who is definitely AWOL this year - the Prince of Clay is not in the building) before going out in a tight three sets to Richard Gasquet. Not too bad, not too bad.
In fact, I don't think there's a single result today which is totally, totally disappointing... in Rome, anyway. There are definitely a few choice words I could say about various people in Fes and Stuttgart. But today is a day for clemency - I'll beat on them tomorrow.
Internazionali BNL d'Italia (Rome)
Rafael Nadal def. Andreas Seppi, 6-2 6-3
Roger Federer def. Ivo Karlovic, 6-4 6-4
Juan Monaco def. Andy Murray, 1-6 6-3 7-5
Fernando Verdasco def. Mardy Fish, 6-4 5-7 6-3
Jurgen Melzer def. Nikolay Davydenko, 7-5 7-6 (7-5)
Stanislas Wawrinka def. Mikhail Youzhny, 6-3 7-6 (7-5)
Fernando Gonzalez def. Janko Tipsarevic, 6-4 6-4
Tommy Robredo def. Philipp Kohlschreiber, 6-2 7-6 (7-5)
Marin Cilic def. Christophe Rochus, 6-0 5-7 6-2
Robin Soderling def. Victor Crivoi, 6-1 6-7 (2-7) 6-1
Mischa Zverev def. Paul-Henri Mathieu, 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-0
Radek Stepanek def. Feliciano Lopez, 6-2 6-1
Gilles Simon def. Fabio Fognini, 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 6-3
Richard Gasquet def. Ernests Gulbis, 6-2 1-6 6-4
Juan Martin Del Potro def. Viktor Troicki, 6-3 6-1 6-3
Richard Gasquet def. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 7-6 (7-2) 6-4
Paul-Henri Mathieu def. David Ferrer, 6-3 2-6 6-2
Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (Stuttgart)
Gisela Dulko def. Victoria Azarenka, 6-4 6-3
Jelena Jankovic def. Dominika Cibulkova, 6-1 6-1
Svetlana Kuznetsova def. Andrea Petkovic, 6-4 5-7 6-1
Nadia Petrova def. Zheng Jie, 6-4 5-7 6-4
Flavia Pennetta def. Anna Chakvetadze, 6-2 6-0
Daniela Hantuchova def. Alizé Cornet, 6-3 6-1
Sabine Lisicki def. Patty Schnyder, 6-4 6-3
Grand Prix de SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem (Fes)
Anabel Medina Garrigues def. Klara Zakopalova, 1-6 7-6 (7-1) 6-3
Alisa Kleybanova def. Jarmila Groth, 6-4 6-1
Melinda Czink def. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 7-6 (7-1) 3-6 6-3
Ekaterina Makarova def. Akiko Morigami, 6-0 6-1
Polona Hercog def. Roberta Vinci, 6-2 6-4
Lucie Hradecka def. Shahar Peer, 6-4 6-1
Lourdes Domínguez Lino def. Anne Keothavong, 4-6 7-5 6-3
Marta Domachowska def. Eva Fernández-Brugues, 6-4 6-4