Friday, September 4, 2009

Comebacks in the Not-Golden Age

Nothing as major as the seed bloodbath we saw yesterday, but another big women's name made the long journey out of the tournament today - Victoria Azarenka, one of the widely touted next best things, goneski. Now, readers of this blog will know I am pretty much totally anti-Azarenka due to her repellent attitude, but this really is a shame. This means that over half the women's top twenty seeds are out. What kind of tournament is that?

This is why comeback makers like Clijsters and Sharapova have such a chance at this tournament. The players that are theoretically the top players are sweeping themselves under the carpet before they even come close to playing these comeback queens. (That said, Clijsters vs Venus in the round of sixteen is totally mouthwatering, and I am coming out right now and saying that Kim Possible is going to take it. Oh yes.)

Then we look at the blokes, and the top ten is totally intact (Rafa is still battling Nicolas Kiefer as I write this, but he's looking in decent shape), and we've only lost two top twenty seeds en route to the round of thirty two (that I noticed, anyway - Ferrer and Wawrinka). The dudes are stepping up to the plate like they should. This is testament to the totally different places men and women's tennis are in at the moment. Men's tennis is in a Federer-led golden age, where we have incredible depth and talent floating around (any world where someone who is playing as sharp as Roddick is right now can be ranked less than #1 is a pretty amazing world). And women's tennis... is not in a golden age.

To say the least.

That said, I think the result of the US Open on both sides is going to be very interesting. I think there are six major contenders on the men's side (some more major than others) and they are ranked one through six in the world. On the women... Serena has to be the favourite, and then there's Venus, and it's trendy to leave Dinara out of the mix, but after my post yesterday we all know I'm a Safina believer, and she's still there, which is more than can be said for some of her compatriots... maybe C-Woz, and definitely Sharapova and Clijsters. There are contenders... just not the usual suspects.

Bit of a change of subject now... one guy - who I don't think will win the US Open, but who put in a tremendous effort today - who deserves a shoutout is Taylor Dent. His game is boring as hell but he fought tooth and nail against Ivan Navarro today and came out on top. Though I hate fifth set breakers. They seem so... arbitrary. Give me an epic fifth set any day of the week.

Today's Results

US Open (Flushing Meadows)

Men's Draw

Andy Murray def. Paul Capdeville, 6-2 3-6 6-0 6-2
Juan Martin Del Potro def. Jurgen Melzer, 7-6 (10-8) 6-3 6-3
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def. Jarkko Nieminen, 7-5 6-3 6-4
Gilles Simon def. Thomaz Bellucci, 6-3 6-2 6-4
Fernando Gonzalez def. Josselin Ouanna, 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4
Gael Monfils def. Andreas Beck, 6-3 7-5 6-3
Marin Cilic def. Jesse Levine, 4-6 2-6 6-0 6-3 6-0
Tomas Berdych def. Horacio Zeballos, 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-2) 6-2
Jose Acasuso def. David Ferrer, 6-3 3-6 1-6 6-3 6-2
Juan Carlos Ferrero def. Philipp Petzschner, 1-6 3-6 6-4 6-2 6-4
Julien Benneteau def. Viktor Troicki, 6-1 3-6 6-1 6-0
Nicolas Almagro def. Robby Ginepri, 6-7 (9-11) 6-2 6-3 4-6 6-4
Taylor Dent def. Ivan Navarro, 6-4 5-7 6-7 (1-7) 7-5 7-6 (11-9)
Denis Istomin def. Nicolas Lapentti, 2-6 6-4 4-6 7-5 7-6 (7-4)
Daniel Koellerer def. Pablo Cuevas, 3-6 6-2 6-1 6-4

Women's Draw

Serena Williams def. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, 6-3 7-5
Venus Williams def. Magdalena Rybarikova, 6-2 7-5
Vera Zvonareva def. Elena Vesnina, 6-2 6-4
Francesca Schiavone def. Victoria Azarenka, 4-6 6-2 6-2
Flavia Pennetta def. Aleksandra Wozniak, 6-1 6-1
Li Na def. Maria Kirilenko, 6-4 6-2
Daniela Hantuchova def. Vania King, 6-2 6-2
Kim Clijsters def. Kirsten Flipkens, 6-0 6-2

No comments: