Monday, 30 July 2012

First round action complete

Apologies for the delay in updating this blog. I wasn't aware that play started on Saturday. Anyway, some casualties already in the first round.

Venus Williams def. Sara Errani 6-3 6-1

Well, not really a surprise as Sara is not a good grasscourt player, at all. As a top 10 player, you shouldn't be losing a golden set to anyone. So Venus must be very happy with her draw knowing she had a weak seed. Now the question is, how far can Venus go and when will her autoimmune disease strike? Let's hope Venus gets a good showing here because she deserves it for working so hard to be even playing.

Julia Goerges def. Agnieszka Radwanska 7-5 6-7 6-4

The Wimbledon finalost gets unceremoniously bundled out in the first round by a wildly inconsistent Julia Goerges. Well, Julia played well, firing down 20 aces in the match but she is prone to making silly mistakes. Radwanska is capable of driving anyone crazy but she was oddly listless in this match. Maybe her arms are tired from carrying the Polish flag? Whatever the reason, this is a massive fail for the world number 2. It won't be long before people start questioning if she deserves her ranking ala Caroline Wozniacki if she continues to under-perform in major tournaments.

Daniela Hantuchova def. Li Na 6-3 3-6 7-5

I guess Li's days as a top player are over. She is losing in early rounds ever since her failure to defend her Roland Garros title. Being China's only reasonable medal hope, Li must be feeling immense pressure from her country, who likes to scrutinize her every match. If only she can play without that burden. This is a sad way to end her Olympics career after almost winning a medal in Beijing. Daniela will be pumped as this win signals her return to form and she will be looking forward to dealing more damage as her games suits the grass.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Olympics draw out!

Wimbledon part 2! Finally, after the lull of Wimbledon, we return back to London for one of the year's most important event! The Olympics! This once every 4 years event is definitely something special and you can see a lot of players planning their year around this. Should make for great drama and tennis! :)

Azarenka (BLR) - Begu (ROM)
Martinez Sanchez (ESP) - Hercog (SLO)
Tatishvili (GEO) - Vogt (LIE)
Zheng (CHN) - Petrova (RUS)
Errani (ITA) - Williams, V. (USA)
Erakovic (NZL) - Wozniak (CAN)
Voskoboeva (KAZ) - Babos (HUN)
Cetkosvka (CZE) - Kerber (GER)

Williams, S. (USA) - Jankovic (SRB)
Barthel (GER) - Radwanska, U. (POL)
Schiavone (ITA) - Zakopalova (CZE)
Arvidsson (SWE) - Zvonareva (RUS)
Li (CHN) - Hantuchova (SLK)
Cornet (FRA) - Paszek (AUT)
Medina Garrigues (ESP) - Wickmayer (BEL)
Keothavong (GBR) - Wozniacki (DEN)

Stosur (AUS) - Suarez Navarro (ESP)
Clijsters (BEL) - Vinci (ITA)
Szavay (HUN) - Baltacha (GB)
Mchale (USA) - Ivanovic (SRB)
Lisicki (GER) - Jabeur(TUN)
Halep (ROM) - Shvedova (KZa)
Martic (SLO) - Safarova (CZE)
Peer (ISR) - Sharapova (RUS)

Kvitova (CZE) - Bondarenko (UKR)
Hsieh (TPE) - Peng (CHN)
Cirstea (ROM) - Pennetta (ITA)
Pironkova (BUL) - Cibulkova (SLK)
Kirilenko (RUS) - Duque Marino (COL)
Soler espinosa (ESP) - Watson (GB)
Lepchenko (USA) - Cepede Royg (PAR)
Goerges (GER) - Radwanska (POL)

Interesting first round encounters between Hsieh and Peng... Chinese Taipei and China is not exactly on peaceful term. Let's hope the fans don't get too carried away in that match. A lot of walking byes featured in this tournament due to some dodgy wildcard decisions. So expect Kirilenko, Tatishvili, Baltacha and Lepchenko to cruise through.


Victoria Azarenka vs. Angelique Kerber
Serena Williams vs. Li Na
Kim Clijsters vs. Maria Sharapova
Petra Kvitova vs. Agnieszka Radwanska

Victoria Azarenka vs. Serena Williams
Maria Sharapova vs. Petra Kvitova

Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova

Venus Williams will sadly bow out to the steady Kerber even though this is Williams' best surface. The unpredictable Julia Goerges may have a chance of upsetting the 2nd seed, but it's highly unlikely. A potential rematch of Sharapova vs Lisicki in the 3rd round and I fully expect Maria to take revenge for her shock loss in Wimbledon. And finally, the grand finale should be the 2 biggest names in women's tennis fighting it out for the gold medal. Given the stakes, we can be ensured nail-biting drama if this happens! Let's hope for a wonderful event at the Olympics! :D

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Baku: The tournament that no one cares about

Still wondering why is there a tournament in Baku, especially when Azerbaijan isn't really a rich country and not a big tennis nation. Anyway, tomorrow's matches:

Julie Cohen vs. Magdalena Rybarikova
Mandy Minella vs. Olga Puchkova
Bojana Jovanovski vs. Aleksandra Krunic
Nina Bratchikova vs. Alexandra Panova

Julie Cohen vs. Magdalena Rybarikova

Julie Cohen should be awarded for being the most hardworking player of WTA. In the past year, she has played a whooping 40 tournaments all around the world. However, her results are not too spectacular as she has never broken the top 100 before. One must wonder where she gets her money from that allows her to travel from place to place suffering early round exits week after week. Anyway, this match shouldn't be a problem for Magdalena. The Slovak's serve will be enough to win this match.

Pick: Rybarikova in straight sets

Bojana Jovanovski vs. Aleksandra Krunic

Clash of the Serbians here and it's not Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic. The lesser known Serbians are battling it out here while their better known compatriots are preparing for the Olympics. Anyway, I have never seen Krunic play before so I cannot comment much on her game. But I believe as the more experienced and higher ranked player, Bojana should win this easily. Also, Krunic is a qualifier, so fatigue might also be a factor.

Pick: Jovanovski in 2 sets

Sure win bets: Magdalena Rybarikova, Bojana Jovanovski
Upset alert: Alexandra Panova

Baku anyone?

This week, there is one WTA tournament in Baku... What? Where the hell is that???! If anything, it looks like a glorified ITF event. Anyway, if anyone's interested with the results:

Singles - Second Round
(2) Alexandra Panova (RUS) d. Sandra Zaniewska (POL) 46 76(6) 63
(3) Mandy Minella (LUX) d. Marta Domachowska (POL) 64 75
(5) Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) d. (Q) Valeria Solovieva (RUS) 62 63
(6) Nina Bratchikova (RUS) d. Estrella Cabeza Candela (ESP) 60 ret. (abdominal strain)
Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) d. Tamarine Tanasugarn (THA) 61 60
Julia Cohen (USA) d. Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) 61 64
Olga Puchkova (RUS) d. Alberta Brianti (ITA) 36 76(2) 61
(Q) Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) d. Laura Pous-Tio (ESP) 76(5) 63


Olga Puchkova (RUS) d. Alberta Brianti (ITA) 36 76(2) 61

How can you go from almost upsetting the top seed in Roland Garros to losing to somebody ranked well outside the top 100? Alberta Brianti should be penalised for total lack of effort after losing that second set. Well, in the first place, she's not supposed to lose many games. Puchkova was a top 50 player about 4 to 5 years back but her best years are over and she's languishing well outside the top 150. And since you've already made the trip halfway round the world, why not put some effort into it? A real disgrace from the old Italian. Maybe she will bid farewell after this year but sadly, not many will miss her.

Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) d. Tamarine Tanasugarn (THA) 61 60

Make no mistake, Tamarine wasn't supposed to win this. But winning just one game off Rybarikova is just sad. It is just awful that she's losing these matches in a lopsided way. It is almost certain that Tamarine will hang her racket after this year and maybe this loss will hasten her decision. Whatever Tamarine does, I wish her all the best and you are the pride of South-East Asia.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Dominika preys on another Premier title where nobody entered


Dominika Cibulkova derf. Marion Bartoli 6-1 7-5

Dominika wins another loosely defined Premier title as she preys on another weak field to win her 2nd career title. No doubt Cibulkova can upset anyone on a good day, but these few weeks before Olympics have been extremely disappointing with almost no top players playing. Marion is not playing well but still manages to reach the finals, scraping through her matches like her life depended on it. It wasn't going to be enough to take out Cibulkova. Thank goodness she lost because had she won, it would mean just show how sad the current state of WTA is.


Polona Hercog def. Mathilde Johansson 0-6 6-4 7-5

Polobna Hercog went from walking bye to winning a title! What a turnaround for her. Being absolutely pathetic for the first 8 games, she suddenly woke up and won the 2nd set and even led 5-1 in the 3rd set. She then proceeded to lose the next 4 games but as usual, the customary Johansson choke came in and Hercog won. You have to wonder if Johansson will ever win a title with her frail mental game. I think Mathilde will even lost a title match if she's facing some retired veteran. Polona defends her title and continues to hang on to a top 100 ranking. Congrats I guess.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Jankovic wins a match!?!


Singles - Second Round
(2) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. Marina Erakovic (NZL) 62 64
(3) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. Melinda Czink (HUN) 26 64 64
(5) Christina McHale (USA) d. Misaki Doi (JPN) 46 64 64
Urszula Radwanska (POL) d. (LL) Melanie Oudin (USA) 62 61


Singles - Quarterfinals
Mathilde Johansson (FRA) d. (5) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 64 60
Johanna Larsson (SWE) d. (6) Klara Zakopalova (CZE) 20 ret. (viral illness)
(7) Mona Barthel (GER) d. Sofia Arvidsson (SWE) 63 64
Polona Hercog (SLO) d. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 36 75 64

Singles - Second Round
Johanna Larsson (SWE) d. (3) Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) 64 64
(6) Klara Zakopalova (CZE) d. (Q) Mariana Duque-Mariño (COL) 60 61
Sofia Arvidsson (SWE) d. Arantxa Rus (NED) 64 75
Mathilde Johansson (FRA) d. Shahar Peer (ISR) 62 36 62


(3) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. Melinda Czink (HUN) 26 64 64

Ouch... Melinda Czink should be slapping herself for losing this match. Out of 24 break points, she only won 4. FOUR. That is a conversion rate of 16.7%. And given Jankovic's fragile mental state, that is piss poor. Jankovic finally breaks her losing streak here after losing her last 3 tournaments in the first round. Will she make another random run? Seems unlikely... She was totally lucky to escape a loss.

Johanna Larsson (SWE) d. (3) Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) 64 64

Wow... What an unexpected loss from Anabel Medina. Sure, Johanna is playing at home but I expected a tougher fight from the Spaniard. She seemed to specialise in winning these smaller clay events. But it seems like she's struggling to win matches here as well. She's nearing the twilight of her career and I wonder if this loss will put the final nail in the coffin for her at the end of the year.

Mathilde Johansson (FRA) d. (5) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 64 60

Pavlyuchenkova is taking the right step here by entering weaker tournaments to regain her opponents. But this collapse is worrying. Mathilde is infamous for her weak delivery but not breaking her in the 2nd set is totally unacceptable. If this continues, Pavlyuchenkova will be out of the top 50 in no time. To think that last year she reached the quarter-finals of French Open and US Open. 

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Another early exit for Jankovic?


Urszula Radwanska vs. Melanie Oudin
Misaki Doi vs. Christina McHale
Marina Erakovic vs. Dominika Cibulkova
Jelena Jankovic vs. Melinda Czink

Anabel Medina Garrigues vs. Johanna Larsson
Arantxa Rus vs. Sofia Arvidsson
Mariana Duque-Marino vs. Klara Zakopalova
Mathilde Johansson vs. Shahar Peer

Match focus:

Jelena Jankovic vs. Melinda Czink 

It seems like no matter who Jankovic is facing, she will lose. Melinda is a flat hitting veteran who was forced out of the game a few years ago due to injury. Now she's back and steadily rising up the ranks again. Jelena's game is a hot mess now and Melinda's flat strokes should be enough to subdue her. It's a pity watching Jankovic struggle so mightily as her game is quite entertaining when in full flow.

Pick: Czink in 2 sets

Urszula Radwanska vs. Melanie Oudin

Due to smart scheduling and gain in confidence, Urszula Radwanska went from barely in the top 100 to top 50 in about 2 months. She faces American lucky loser Melanie Oudin for a place in the quarter-finals. Although playing in her home-country, Melanie's form seemed to fluctuate wildly as evidence by her crazy win over Stephens. Radwanska is more steady and will continue to apply pressure at the American. When Oudin finally believes, it might be too late.

Pick: Radwanska in 2 sets

Anabel Medina Garrigues vs. Johanna Larsson

It's hard to believe Johanna Larsson was last year's finalist. Afterall, she did lose to Melanie Oudin in this year's French Open. Anabel is an accomplished clay-courter and she will not hestitate to take out any clay pretenders (just look at Laura Robson). So sadly, the hometown girl's going out of the tournament sooner than expected.

Pick: Medina Garrigues in 2 sets

Arantxa Rus vs. Sofia Arvidsson

Another Swedish player is under the pressure again. Sofia Arvidsson faces tricky Arantxa Rus who had great results on the Parisian clay. Sofia can only hope Arantxa is unsettled by the biased home crowd support that Sofia will be receiving. If Sofia can attack Rus's weaker 2nd delivery and keep her game clean, she should be able to win this.

Pick: Arvidsson in 3 sets

Bartoli disaster


Singles - Second Round
(1) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. Vania King (USA) 64 57 64
(4) Nadia Petrova (RUS) d. (Q) Alexa Glatch (USA) 64 63
Varvara Lepchenko (USA) d. (8) Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) 64 62
(Q) Chan Yung-Jan (TPE) d. Heather Watson (GBR) 63 76(2)


Polona Hercog d. (2) Julia Goerges 7-6(4) 6-2

(1) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. Vania King (USA) 64 57 64

Marion Bartoli serves 18 double faults and still manages to win. No idea how this girl is still in the top 10 playing such horrendous tennis. Maybe's frustrated at being left out of Olympics and is trying to vent her anger by serving 2 first serves? Just puzzling from the girl who snapped Victoria's winning streak in the beginning of the year. Maybe she's been cursed. Anyway, if your opponent serves this badly, you should be able to win. But Vania manages to screw it up. She needs to learn how to close matches because she can always give fits to top players but is almost never able to close them out.

(Q) Chan Yung-Jan (TPE) d. Heather Watson (GBR) 63 76(2)

One step forward, 2 steps back for this British lass. She seemed to be content with reaching 2nd rounds throughout her career. Look at this amazing stat: 0 out of 7 break points saved. Just ridiculous from Heather as Chan is not known for her massive returns. Another walking bye in the Olympics I'm afraid.

Polona Hercog d. (2) Julia Goerges 7-6(4) 6-2

Dear Julia, do yourself a favour and stop playing these meaningless clay events! Playing them for cheap points is shameful enough, playing them and losing early is going to crush your already fragile confidence. Polona Hercog has been on a 5 match losing streak and only Goerges can manage to screw this up. And with the surface transition to grass in Olympics, she's going to lose early if she's not used to it. Just stupid and silly scheduling from the German.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

That's all?


Watson vs. [Q]Chan
Scheepers vs. Lepchenko
[Q]Glatch vs. Petrova
Bartoli vs. King

Wow... Look at the schedule. Barely any matches are scheduled for play.Very interesting planning from the tournament.

Match focus:

Bartoli vs. King

Marion Bartoli has been struggling with her form recently. She faces a pesky opponent in Vania King in this 2nd round encounter. Vania is a double specialist who has a very good net game. If Vania can sneak into the net, Marion's chances of winning the point is slim. So Vania needs to vary her shots and always come to the net to disrupt Marion's rhythm. With her lack of confidence, an upset is very possible.

Pick: Bartoli in 3 sets

Scheepers vs. Lepchenko

2 girls with very similar games here. Both have an adequate serve and hits flat both sides. It's difficult to choose from these 2. Chanelle did well to beat Coco in her first round and will be looking to beat another American. However, the fans will be firmly behind Varvara. I expect a close and even match with the American edging Scheepers.

Pick: Lepchenko in 3 tight sets

Sure win bets: Heather Watson, Nadia Petrova
Upset alert: Chanelle Scheepers

(Bastaad has already started play so there are no matches to review.)

Sloane disappoints again


Singles - First Round
(5) Christina McHale (USA) d. Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) 76(5) 75
(Q) Chan Yung-Jan (TPE) d. (7) Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 76(6) ret. (low back injury)
(8) Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) d. (WC) Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 62 76(4)
Marina Erakovic (NZL) d. Anne Keothavong (GBR) 64 60
Vania King (USA) d. Chang Kai-Chen (TPE) 61 64
Heather Watson (GBR) d. Eleni Daniilidou (GRE) 63 63
Melinda Czink (HUN) d. (Q) Sesil Karatantcheva (KAZ) 62 46 75
(LL) Melanie Oudin (USA) d. Sloane Stephens (USA) 16 76(6) 60


Singles - Second Round
(5) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. Sílvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP) 64 60
(7) Mona Barthel (GER) d. Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) 62 75

Singles - First Round
Mathilde Johansson (FRA) d. (LL) Jill Craybas (USA) 64 61
Johanna Larsson (SWE) d. Olga Govortsova (BLR) 76(6) 43 ret. (viral illness)


(LL) Melanie Oudin (USA) d. Sloane Stephens (USA) 16 76(6) 60 

I think I jinxed Sloane by picking her to go far in Stanford. She lost early in Stanford and now, lost to Melanie Oudin despite winning the first set comfortably. Not to forget Oudin is a lucky loser and Sloane's fellow American. This loss will definitely hurt. Sloane needs to keep her head in the game after losing a tight set and not give up just like that. Professionals fight to the bitter end. I'm sure her coach will give her a good scolding after this disappointing showing.

(8) Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) d. (WC) Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 62 76(4)

Another American falls. This time, it's last week's finalist, Coco Vandeweghe. Can anybody say 'fluke run'? Sadly, I think Coco's career will feature these kinds of meltdowns. Her style of tennis is too hit and miss and with her extra weight, she will not make it to the upper echelons of the game. She needs to find a middle ground and also work on her fitness. The strokes are there, but it's little improvements that sets the top players from the journeywomen.

Marina Erakovic (NZL) d. Anne Keothavong (GBR) 64 60

I'm sorry but how is Anne Keothavong the top-ranked British? Her results are utterly disastrous for a top 100 player. Leading 4-2, she proceeds to lose the next 10 games. Not sure what is wrong here. Maybe she wants to get back to London for the Olympics? Anyway, with her form, she is the player that everyone is looking forward to drawing. As good as a walking bye. Sorry British fans, place your bets on Laura or Heather cause Anne's going to be shown the door in no time.

Monday, 16 July 2012


As expected, Serena Williams and Sara Errani claimed their titles in Stanford and Palermo respectively. Well, committed players should be rewarded. ;)


Sara Errani def. Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova 6-1 6-3

Title number 4 this year for this diminutive Italian. All of them on clay, all of them 2nd tier events. Sara is making the most of her abilities and if this continues, she might find herself in the YEC this year. Well, she's not a star player but it will be nice to see some new faces in YEC to give the top players some easy wins. :p


Serena Williams def. Coco Vandeweghe 7-5 6-3

Title number 4 this year as well for Serena Williams and title number 43, tying her with her big sister Venus Williams. Impressive stuff from Serena who isn't exactly known for being the most committed player on tour. After winning Wimbledon, she hauled herself back to the States for this smaller event and will jet back to London for Olympics. The former Serena would have withdrawn upon reaching the 2nd week of Wimbledon. Anyway, good showing from Coco as she had a 5-3 lead in the first set. But once Serena raised her level by a teeny bit, Coco is history. Well done GOATrena. :)

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Special article: Jennifer gets her moment

Jennifer Capriati has just been inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame this week. Let's take a look at why she deserves to be in it.

Jennifer Capriati is one of the first few female players who introduced the hard-hitting game into women's tennis. Debuting all the way back in 1990 at the age of 13, she was already beating top players like nobody's business. In her first 3 tournaments, she reached the finals of 2 of them and claimed 2 top 10 wins. If she's not a child prodigy, nobody is. Her powerful game style which consists of taking the ball early was revolutionary to the game and almost everybody is doing the same now.

Even before she was of legal age to smoke, drive or pretty much do anything, Jennifer has already set numerous records for being the youngest to achieve almost everything. In her impressive first career, she has already won the gold medal, defeating the great Steffi Graf for the medal in the final at the age of 16. It is not wonder she felt suffocated by tennis and her subsequent burnout was well chronicled.

After bombing out early in US Open 1993, Jennifer took a hiatus from tennis and that's when her troubles  began. She experimented with drugs and was caught with possession of marijuana. She was also caught be shoplifting a $15 dollar bracelet. This infamous mug shot shows a totally different Capriati compared to the jovial and smiley Jennifer that the public is used to. That's when everybody started to write Jennifer off. They claimed her to be a burn-out and has-been. But Jennifer would prove them all wrong.

Jennifer made her return to professional tennis in 1996. But her stellar results are gone. She will make an occasional quarter-final or semi-final appearance, but nothing like the title winning ways she was used to. Nobody believed that Jennifer was a factor anymore and I think even Jennifer doubted herself. Nevertheless, Jennifer continued her hard work and slowly but surely climbed back up the rankings. Then, a miracle happened. Seeded 12 in Australian Open 2001, Jennifer clinched the first Grand Slam of the century by defeating top seed Martina Hingis in the finals. She also defeated world number 2 Lindsay Davenport in the semi-finals. With this win, Jennifer's ranking rose up to number 7, her first top 10 appearance since 1993. An unbelievable 8 year gap. She followed this success by clinching yet another Grand Slam in Paris, becoming the 5th woman to win both Australian and French Open in the same year.

Her final win over Kim in 2001 was the longest third set in the history of French Open. It was also this match where I saw Kim for the first time. I guess I have to thank Jennifer for that. Her winning streak in the slams was broken after she lost to Justine Henin in the semi-finals of Wimbledon. At the end of the year, she reached at least the semi-finals of all the slams and finished the year at number 2. But she would start the next year in style by defending her Australian Open title and reaching the number 1 ranking. Her win over Martina Hingis was one of the most dramatic finals ever played and the meltdown of Hingis was the beginning of the Swiss's downfall.

However, Jennifer started to struggle with injuries as she had problems with her shoulder and wrists. It prevented her from playing her best but she was always in the latter stages of tournaments. The most heartbreaking losses were from US Open in 2003 and 2004. In both semi-finals, Jennifer lost narrowly to Justine Henin and Elena Dementieva respectively. Jennifer was 2 points away from winning the match numerous times but they were all saved by Justine's breathtaking tennis. And despite being bagelled by Elena in the first set, Jennifer fought back to level the match and produce one of the most crazy rallies in women's tennis.

Although she won that point, Jennifer lost that match in what would be her last appearance in her home slam. A pity for her as she was so close yet so far from winning her home slam. Later that year, Jennifer suffered her worst loss in her professional career in the hands of Vera Zvonareva in Philadelphia. After that loss, she took a break to recover from her physical ailments. Sadly, she never came back. Jennifer changed how the game is played today and she will be remembered as one of the greatest female tennis players ever to have played the game. We can learn precious lessons from her and implement them into our lifes.

No matter how tough the road or how many twists and turns you take, if you continue working hard and strive for your goal, you can achieve it. 

Take a look at her induction speech here:

Thank you Jennifer and it was a pleasure to watch you play tennis. You gave me wonderful memories and made a difference in my life. :)

Just give the titles to Serena and Sara!

Serena Williams vs. Coco Vandeweghe

No need for analysis here. Serena has a bigger serve, bigger ground game, bigger booty... Oops. The only thing that Coco has is bigger is perhaps her... belly. Alright, that was mean. But hey, you've got to look the part don't you. Being a professional means being in tip-top shape everytime you step on court. No wonder the men are critisizing the women for getting the same pay. Anyway, Serena will wallop Coco, give her a few mercy games. If Coco manages to win more than 4 games in the first set, Queen Serena might feel charitable and gift her the title. Who cares? Serena's heart is already in London. Let this minion have her moment.

Pick: Williams in 2 sets.

Sara Errani vs. Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova

Another title for Sara, that's for sure. Barbora had a good run as she almost had no wins for the past year. Sara will be too high a mountain to climb. Unlike Laura. Sara will not self-destruct. Besides. the whole stadium will be behind Sara. Barbora will be happy to win a few games and add precious points to her ranking.

Pick: Errani in straight sets

Money back please


Serena Williams def. Sorana Cirstea 6-1 6-2

Sorana Cirstea should refund everybody who paid for their tickets yesterday in her semi-final match because she was absolutely horrific. Serena Williams was just hitting the ball back and Cirstea will send it out immediately. Besides, Serena only landed 38% of her first serves in and it was enough to win this match in about an hour. What was Sorana thinking? And how the hell did she reach the semi-finals? Maybe the aspect of facing Serena was too intimidating that Sorana thought she might as well hit herself out instead of being demolished. Serena already has played 3 matches below her normal level and won all of them comfortably. Shows how piss poor this tournament is. I expect Serena to play sloppily in the final too; and win it in straight sets.

Coco Vandeweghe def. Yanina Wickmayer 6-2 3-6 6-2

Yanina Wickmayer has her best chance of reaching a Premier final and she screws it up majorly by losing to Coco Vandeweghe. Yanina should be better at this ball-bashing game then Coco; and she should be more confident after beating Marion in the quarter-finals. Coco is making the most of her lucky loser place in the main draw as she reaches her first finals of her career. Hopefully she gets a few games in the finals. Also, Yanina needs to work on her attitude and game. This attitude will gain her no fans and it's tough to win a match when nobody is rooting for you.


Sara Errani def. Irina-Camelia Begu 6-4 6-1

No surprises here as Sara Errani cruises to another clay mickey mouse finals. She is gaining cheap points from all these smaller tournaments and she's not ashamed of it. Why? Why slug it out with the big guns when you can feel superior among the commoners right? Watch Sara cruise to another title tomorrow against Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova def. Laura Robson 2-6 7-5 6-2

Well, just look at this statistic. 17 double faults. Tells the whole story. Crazy sloppy serving from Robson when she is know her her delivery. Why can't she just put it in? Barbora isn't really known for her explosive returns anyway. Leading by a set and serving at 5-6, Laura commits 4 double faults. If that isn't an invitation to win the match, I don't know what is. What a horrific way to end her breakthrough week. I suspect Laura will be prone to these breakdowns throughout her career. Perhaps too much is expected of her too soon. Let's hope she doesn't always break British hearts for the next few years.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Will Serena show up?


Sara Errani vs. Irina-Camelia Begu
Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova vs. Laura Robson


Serena Williams vs. Sorana Cirstea
Yanina Wickmayer vs. Coco Vandeweghe

Match Focus:

Serena Williams vs. Sorana Cirstea

Being the only top player in action this week, I won't blame Serena if she pulls out of this semi-final match. After all, there is the Olympics 2 weeks later and she already has 2 matches under her belt. Despite being less than enthusiastic in her approach to both matches, she won them both easily. If she somehow loses the first set to Sorana, I guess it's sayonara Stanford and hello London for Serena. Still, I think Serena should be able to cruise through this match, even if she is playing at 30%.

Pick: Williams in 2 sets

Yanina Wickmayer vs. Coco Vandeweghe

Oh wow... I didn't know Coco Vandeweghe is... plus-sized. Oops! Anyway, Yanina should be high on confidence from beating Marion Bartoli. I don't see how Coco will trouble her. Yanina will almost definitely exploit Coco's lack of movement on court. If Yanina keeps it clean, it should be a straightforward affair for the Belgian.

Pick: Wickmayer in 2 sets

Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova vs. Laura Robson

Laura Robson is in her first semi-finals of a WTA event. What's more, it's on a clay court. If this doesn't give her confidence, nothing will. She took out 2 very experienced clay court players and if she continues her form, I don't see why she cannot do the same to Strycova. However, Strycova will most definitely make Laura hit a lot of balls. So Laura needs to be patient and wait for the right opportunity to strike. If not, Strycova can get on your nerves with her defense and her antics.

Pick: Strycova in 3 sets