So at the Olympics so far

This was pretty:

So was this:

And also, I was happy to see Andy Murray carrying the British flag, but there’s a bit of gloom about it too, because you have to wonder what flag he’s going to be walking in under in Japan in four years time(won’t be the Scottish one; I don’t think they could get an NOC together in time, but it might be the Olympic flag).
Meanwhile, Koreans are scarily good at archery, but we already knew that one, and the bicycle race went a bit crazy. So just your typical Olympics really. So far.

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When it comes to the French Open…

Is the time to win it, in our day and age, inevitably when Rafael Nadal is injured?  It was the knees, after all, that were no doubt crucial in that famous fall to Robin Soderling in 2009, which of course gave Roger Federer his.  Yeah, Novak Djokovic has shown the ability to beat him at Roland Garros, but beating him and then winning the final is another matter.  Much easier to win the French Open when he doesn’t have to do both.  It’s definitely looking like this is the year, especially with Roger out already and Andy Murray having two five-setters already-even if he fixes whatever caused those quick, there’ll still be the physical toll they took.  Not the way he wanted to win it, but it may be the only one, plain and simple.  Just remember there’s no such thing as asterisks.  Also that Rafael Nadal will still fight to come back from injuries as long as he’s able.   This is sad, but I still don’t think he’s won his last slam.

I wish I could say the same about Roger.  Hell, I’m not sure about Murray.  Yeah, he’s winning clay masters now, but that’s always been what he’s done, won masters and then faltered at slams.  His ability to beat Djokovic at them, even when it’s fled, has never been far away.  Of course, it’s not like either man needs to win any more slams, but until either Rafa’s playing better, or a few more of these young up and comers have reached the level of our old Big Four, you’d like them to stay in play.

I also wish I could say I’m certain Maria Sharapova is innocent of any intentional wrongdoing.  But with all these claims going around about the Russians, and now the blatant disrespect they displayed of saying she’s going to be on the team from the start, even before they really started talking about forgiving everyone who tested positive for meldonium in January…just leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Citi Open on Wednesday

My sister and I went to the Citi Open Wednesday, getting our tickets just after Andy Murray was confirmed as playing his first match on that day.  The tournament is pretty familiar stomping ground for us now, but this year the appearance of one of the Big Four brought about huge crowds beyond what the tournament usually sees on a weekday.  Although Murray was hardly the big name in the field, although he was the biggest; DC was also a stop on Lleyton Hewitt’s farewell tour, and while Viktoria Azarenka had to pull out, Samantha Stosur is currently having quite a run in the women’s field.

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Week One of Wimbledon

I must say, as well as all its other benefits, it’s nice that moving the tournament back a week means that here in the States, we have a national holiday taking place when ESPN is still showing Wimbledon the entire day.  Since it seems there will never again be a People’s Sunday, we need all the days off from work in which we can actually watch live that we can get.

Although at least they had the sense to use the roof today, and make sure everything was done in time for the big day of tennis Monday.  Still, one did worry about if the gambit failed to get the match completed before curfew, and we instead had Gael Monfils and Gilles Simon coming out to play two games Monday instead(and when Monfils would’ve thrived on a People’s Sunday too, I bet).  Quite frankly it was a relief when Simon didn’t have much trouble with the last set.

Today was definitely an odd one, in ways.  Petra Kvitova going out even felt more of a shock than Rafa Nadal had Thursday; after he went down at the French, one almost feels like anything could happen to poor Rafa anyway.  A bizarre episode involving medical timeouts begs the question as to whether it is proper to give someone who’s thrown you off with a medical timeout a taste of his own medicine, or, if that was not Andy Murray’s motivation, just how alarmed we should be about these back/shoulder issues.  And James Ward losing, though it was a match that didn’t draw the attention or drama of Serena and Heather Watson yesterday, is kind of more heartbreaking than the latter.  After all, Heather is still on the up, and did we really want her triumph to come at the expense of Serena’s possible calender slam, and a good all-Williams grass battle?  But who knows if James Ward will ever again get anywhere near the chance he couldn’t grab today, and when the matchup he would’ve prevented would’ve been no great loss(seriously, why couldn’t Dustin Brown had followed up?  I want more of that guy); hey, we might have even seen an all-British quarterfinal!(talk about the crowds going crazy…).

And now the question is, do we dare start believing in Madison Keys now?  Or will she now get overhyped and then crash and burn, just like every other young North American woman who has shown promise recently?

Three More US Open Thoughts Post Labor-Day Weekend

Yep, Serena is definitely going to win this.  Though really, the only time we didn’t know that was when we weren’t sure which version of her was going to show up in Flushing Meadows, so…

Since everyone else had lost already, I’m inclined to overlook this lapse on Eugenie Bouchard’s part, but the hype still makes it amusing.  But meanwhile, while I previously thought Bencic could definitely beat either Peng or Safarova, now I’m wondering.  Peng has essentially been doing the same thing as Bencic, after all.  In any case, it’ll be interesting to see if whichever of them wins that quarterfinal can beat whichever of Errani or Wozniacki wins their quarterfinal.  Wozniacki might be easier in that regard.

On the men, on the other hand, I’m just waiting for that Fedole final, and I will be severely disappointed if it fails to happen for any reason other than Murray winning tomorrow(and then I really hope the Scot delivers something worth watching in its place).

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.

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.