It is, I believe, official, or as good as - Dinara Safina is no longer going to be the world #1. Instead, that title will pass to the much-belaguered-of-late Serena Williams. This is, in my opinion, a Good Thing for Dinara. A very Good Thing indeed - and I'm sure I'm not the only person who thinks this way. The last thing Dinara needs at the moment is that kind of pressure. Maybe this will inspire her to better play. Who knows?
At any rate, I'm not giving up on Dinara just yet. I may be the last person clinging to the bandwagon, and I may only be clinging to it by a fingernail, but I'm going to keep the faith. She's never been someone that wins pretty, and she's never lost prettily either. The rest of this year has to be a write-off from her perspective - I wouldn't blame her if she skipped the end of year championships and just went off and worked with Zeljko for a while on that serve of hers. I think it would do her the world of good. And then maybe next year we can see her winning ugly again instead of losing hideously.
Speaking of #1 seeds losing, I bet Juan Martin del Potro's filthy with himself. Talk about coming back from a massive title without a bang. He went down in straights in the first round of Tokyo to qualifier Edouard Roger-Vasselin - not the kind of match he wants to be losing. I mean, I'm sure we can forgive him a stupid loss or two - he did prove himself in rather spectacular fashion by winning in the US - but I've got my eye on you, Juan. Don't keep this up.
The top seed in Beijing is one Rafael Nadal, and he did not lose today - onya, Rafa. However, he did go to three, and the man that stole the set was Marcos Baghdatis. I've missed smiley happy Marcos, and to see him back on court and pinching sets from the top blokes is very nice indeed. Keep it up, amigo!
China Open (Beijing)
Rafael Nadal def. Marcos Baghdatis, 6-4 3-6 6-4
Lukasz Kubot def. Andy Roddick, 6-2 6-4
Nikolay Davydenko def. Igor Kunitsyn, 6-1 6-7 (6-8) 6-2
Fernando Verdasco def. Robby Ginepri, 6-7 (7-9) 6-1 6-2
Robin Soderling def. Jeremy Chardy, 6-3 4-6 6-2
Fernando Gonzalez def. David Ferrer, 7-5 6-4
Marat Safin def. Jose Acasuso, 6-4 6-2
James Blake def. Florian Mayer, 6-3 3-6 6-3
Ivan Ljubicic def. Paul-Henri Mathieu, 7-6 (10-8) 4-6 6-1
Viktor Troicki def. Fabio Fognini, 7-6 (7-5) 7-5
Marion Bartoli def. Alisa Kleybanova, 6-2 6-3
Flavia Pennetta def. Kateryna Bondarenko, 3-6 7-5 6-3
Vera Zvonareva def. Francesca Schiavone, 6-3 6-0
Elena Dementieva def. Melinda Czink, 6-4 6-3
Agnieszka Radwanska def. Patty Schnyder, 6-4 6-1
Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez def. Vania King, 6-4 6-4
Shuai Peng def. Jelena Jankovic, 4-6 7-5 6-2
Maria Sharapova def. Victoria Azarenka, 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 7-5
Nadia Petrova def. Daniela Hantuchova, 6-1 2-6 7-5
Serena Williams def. Ekaterina Makarova, 6-3 6-2
Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships (Tokyo)
Edouard Roger-Vasselin def. Juan Martin del Potro, 6-4 6-4
Gilles Simon def. Takao Suzuki, 6-3 6-4
Tomas Berdych def. Go Soeda, 6-2 6-4
Lleyton Hewitt def. Tatsuma Ito, 6-1 7-5
Jurgen Melzer def. Leonardo Mayer, 7-6 (7-4) 6-3
Fabrice Santoro def. Andrey Golubev, 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-2) 6-2
3 weeks ago