Monday, May 11, 2009

The Serena Slide

Guess who lost again in the very first round. Oh yes. That would be my dear friend Ernests Gulbis. Sigh.
He lost to a qualifier. Sure, the qualifier was Tommy Haas, but still. Ernests, Ernests, Ernests.
The big worry, however, is not in the men's section at all - I think it's fair to say that it largely played out the way it was supposed to overnight. No, our concern has got to be for the women... and especially for one Serena Williams, who retired one set down in her match against Francesca Schiavone with a knee injury. Now, with Roland Garros around the corner this is a serious, serious problem.
If one counts a retirement as a loss, Serena is now on a four match losing streak. Not so hot, for the self-proclaimed best in the world. Thing is, I do believe Serena is the best in the world at the moment, and I'm totally bemused. Is this is a chronic knee injury that's been hampering her ability to play? If so, first I've heard of it. Or did it happen in the match against Schiavone? You'd want to hope that Serena isn't off injuring herself with a Slam just round the corner. She's on a two Slam streak - a three final streak - is Roland Garros going to be the place where it snaps in two?
I bet Dinara Safina isn't complaining. And to an extent, it opens the door for unorthodox but effective claycourter Venus to step up. She's risen to #3 by dint of some pretty excellent play of late - what will this mean for her?
And what will it mean for the WTA?
Today's Results
Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open (Madrid)
Men's Draw
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def. Marat Safin, 6-4 7-5
Stanislas Wawrinka def. Marco Crugnola, 6-2 6-0
David Ferrer def. Guillermo Canas, 6-2 6-2
Oscar Hernandez def. Martin Vassallo Arguello, 6-3 6-3
Mardy Fish def. Janko Tipsarevic, 7-6 (7-3) 6-4
Florent Serra def. Rainer Schuettler, 6-2 6-4
Ivan Ljubicic def. Teimuraz Gabashvili, 6-3 6-2
Robin Soderling def. Ivan Navarro, 6-4 6-2
Simone Bolelli def. Juan Ignacio Chela, 7-5 7-6 (7-3)
Tommy Haas def. Ernests Gulbis, 6-2 5-7 7-5
Philipp Kohlschreiber def. Nicolas Almagro, 6-3 6-4
Juan Monaco def. Feliciano Lopez, 6-4 7-5
Women's Draw
Nadia Petrova def. Anna-Lena Groenefeld, 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-5)
Patty Schnyder def. Aleksandra Wozniak, 6-2 6-4
Anna Chakvetadze def. Samantha Stosur, 1-6 6-2 7-6 (7-4)
Elena Vesnina def. Virginie Razzano, 7-5 6-3
Francesca Schiavone def. Serena Williams, 6-4 retired
Caroline Wozniacki def. Shahar Peer, 5-4 retired
Amélie Mauresmo def. Ai Sugiyama, 6-2 6-4
Peng Shuai def. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-1 7-6 (7-2)
Daniela Hantuchova def. Gisela Dulko, 7-6 (9-7) 6-1
Roberta Vinci def. María José Martínez Sánchez, 4-6 6-2 6-4
Varvara Lepchenko def. Magdalena Rybarikova, 7-6 (14-12) 5-7 6-1

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