Three More Thoughts After the Last Three Days

So now I would say there are officially two people left in the draw who can stop a Williams/Sharapova final, those being Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova themselves, and I honestly don’t see either of them doing it.  So guess that final’s going to be a boring one.

But while most of my predictions have gone kaplooie again, but well, recalling my crazy prediction about Belinda Bencic for Wimbledon, I’m suddenly wondering if maybe I was on the right track, just one slam off.  Hey, she could make the semis now.  If she can take out Angelique Kerber, I can’t help but feel she can take out Jelena Jankovic, and she can certainly take out whichever of Safarova or Peng makes that quarterfinal.

On the men’s side, my views have changed on nothing so far, expect that next year John Isner and Philipp Kohlschreiber really need to be on opposite sides of the draw, or at least in different quarters, because this is just getting cruel to poor Isman.

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Three Thoughts About the US Open So Far

Between watching them both play so far and Mandy’s crazy leg issues, I would say I think this is going to be another Fedole final, except that I suspect that if I did, one or both of them would then have a bad day and crash out, and given some recent history they both have, it definitely seems too early to predict that yet.

I would also say that if this Catherine Bellis person reached the round of 16 and then beat Eugunie Bouchard in it, I was going to laugh, except I don’t think she needs the hype she’d get hit with then, especially when her ability to deal with that kind of pressure is as yet a complete unknown.  Though I suppose it would be nice for her to just reach the round of 16 anyway.

I will say I’m really sorry Serena and Kvitova are in the same half.  I think that might just have made for a very competitive final, provided neither got shocked beforehand.  Although perhaps Serena-Radwanska or Serena-Halep, could work, provided again Serena doesn’t get shocked, and Maria Sharapova doesn’t take out both the Pole and the Romanian.

Three Thoughts on the US Open Draw

I’m sorry, but Andy Murray landing in Novak Djokovic’s quarter just isn’t right.  Except that maybe it’s the tennis gods demanding a bit of payment out of Nole for his so often getting the cakewalk.  But then again, given their recent records, I wouldn’t assume they both make the quarters anyway, especially with poor Mandy having to get through Tsonga first!

My first reaction on hearing about the Serena-Taylor matchup was, of course, “Poor Taylor,” but now I’m reconsidering that.  Even after all else we’ve seen you can’t imagine Serena going down in the first, especially after doing so well in the US Open series, but at the same time, it doesn’t seem impossible.  At the very least, I think Townsend’s got a good shot at taking her to three sets and having a match she can be proud of.

Though when it comes to which first-round match will provide the most drama, my money is on Berdych-Hewitt.  Though Cilic-Baghdatis has potential too.

Officially not happy with ESPN

Okay, I admit, I do kind of like Eugenie Bouchard.  She’s easy enough to like, if you’re willing to forgive modern teenage music tastes, and don’t mind your female athletes hyper-prioritizing winning, and I’ve always found Maria Sharapova okay enough(they’re right to drawn the comparisons between the two of them).  When this tournament began, I certainly didn’t think it likely I’d be cheering against her.

But ESPN’s hype.  Crossed the line sometime between when she won her semi-final and things started going downhill for her today, and then kept going.  I was actually out for much of the final for real life business that couldn’t wait, but when I followed on my phone the final score and time of the match felt like a comeuppance.  The guard is slow indeed to change in tennis, and ESPN seems to make an idiot of itself every time the remote possibility emerges that a young blonde white player from North America might become the next big thing.  Which Bouchard actually shows more probability of being than anyone else has in recent years, but that just makes the whole thing worse.  But then I come home to ESPN showing her press conference, and, well, really?  This day ought to have been about Petra Kvitova rising again from her post-win slump and returning to the pinnacle she’d once stood on, all while playing the tennis of her life.  Had she been North American, I doubt ESPN could’ve gotten enough of that storyline.  Instead, watching the ABC rerun later, I found myself almost counting how much the commentators were talking about Bouchard struggling, as opposed to Kvitova being brilliant.  There was much more dwelling on the former than the latter.

At least tomorrow we’ve got the old guard Swiss and Serb, and the one of them ESPN usually favors is arguably the best tennis player in history anyway.  It’ll probably be a more even match too.  I hope.

A few scattered conclusions on Wimbledon

Has the guard been changed yet?  On one hand, the ladies semifinalists are all young, and Murray and Rafa both went out to much younger opponents.  On the other, not only is Nole still around but so is old man Federer, and I’d still pick one of them to win it, especially with Stan now out too(I would also pick Kvitova to pick up a second Wimbledon, though there, really, who knows?). And it’s not like the two guys out haven’t both shown indications of trouble recently, and I want to see how both their conquerors follow up on Wimbledon.  Dmitrov, especially; he has now finally undisputedly arrived, but will he stay? But this whole year has been about guard changing, so we probably will get the answer to that question in New York.

Should we stop anticipating potential matchups for Serena?  It doesn’t seem to go well.  First everyone buzzes about her and Venus in the 3rd round of the French, and then neither of them reach said round.  Here, everyone was waiting for her and Sharapova’s quarterfinal, and then, somehow, neither of them makes that one either!

They should’ve had a People’s Sunday, if only to get the lineups for a normal crazy second Monday.  I’m still confused as to why they didn’t.

At least the World Cup hasn’t kept much of the country from seeing anything like the end of a the marathon match the way it did last time around.

So Wimbledon starts tomorrow

Ready? It’s time!

Ready? It’s time!

And I’m probably going to miss most of it this year since ESPN only comes on half an hour before I have to go to work(suddenly the stopping of play on the Middle Sunday seems to be aristocratically insensitive!), but a few scattered thoughts anyway.

So now apparently Rafa’s thrown his back out, at least according to Chris Fowler?  And they still think he can win?!  Granted, one underestimates an injured/struggling Rafael Nadal at one’s peril, but really?  Though I’d be more shocked if Rosol is the one who defeats him again; I’d worry more about Karlovic, especially after his recently shown ability to break.

Looking at Roger’s draw, I can’t help but feel it’s all or nothing for him here, like he’ll either go out in the second round again or he’ll win the whole thing.  Which one he’ll do at this point is anyone’s guess…

Poor Maria Sharapova.  Dodges a Serena quarterfinal in one slam, and then promptly gets drawn into her quarter again!  And Serena ain’t gonna lose early for the second slam in a row when that slam’s Wimbledon.  I know we’ve had some shocking losses sometimes in history, but still, I can’t believe that one.

Bold prediction: Belinda Bencic will come out of Halep’s quarter.  Well, maybe Halep will take her down, but enough of that quarter feels like a free-for-all that I’m feeling a shock semi-finalist, and she’s just the one that feels like the one with the most potential for it.

Got the sinking feeling Maria Kirilenko’s going out in the first round again…Ovi will probably never make it to Wimbledon at all this year.

A few other scattered questions

If Roger Federer must enter that phase of his late career where he starts losing earlier and to players outside the top ten, why does it have to be to sexist assholes like Sergei Stakhovsky & Ernest Gulbis.  Especially when he’s supporting equal prize money even when the other top guys aren’t(yeah, he’s married to a former member of the ladies’ tour, but still…).  Although losing to Dmitri Tursonov in the last round wouldn’t have been very good from that perspective either.  Maybe there are simply too many assholes to be avoided, but that thought’s just sad.

Speaking of which, Djokovic is going to take Gulbis out, right?  He’d better.  At this point, I think I wouldn’t mind at all if he won the whole thing.  After the floods that hit the Balkans, it would make for a good story anyway.

Can we now assume Maria Sharapova has declined to lose and hand her the trophy, or should we wait another round?

Is anyone else vaguely creeped out by Katsalapov’s way of talking about Sinitsina?  Although it could just be the translation, and certainly they look good enough on the homevid I watched from the show they did together this week.

Happy as I am to here Lubov I is back, is she in position to be a partner worthy of Dylan Moscovitch at this point?  She’s going to need to be a hell of a lot better than she was by the time she split from Maisuradze.  Also, will the Federation release her now?  This fall will be three years since her last international medal, a senior B bronze.  But apparently they may be letting Riazanova go, so surely they must let her go too, right?

How bothered should I be reading about the Marvel Ant Men drama?  All I know about the movie is it’s supposed to explain where Hawkeye was during the events of TWS, which hopefully it can still do fine, but who knows.