Thursday, 30 August 2012

Day 4 US Open: Serena injury scare?

Schedule of play:

Match focus:

Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez vs. (4) Serena Williams

Serena Williams turned her ankle in her doubles match yesterday and she received medical timeout for that. However, the sisters did not seemed troubled as they romped to a quick win. Still, it's going to be a factor for Serena as she might be cautious with her movement. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez has a tricky game and Serena needs to be on her toes for this match. Also, these 2 have some previous beef as Serena labelled Maria Jose a cheater. I'm sure Serena will be very motivated to demolish the Spaniard and rest that ankle.

Pick: Serena Williams in 2 sets

(6) Angelique Kerber vs. Venus Williams

If there's a god, Venus Williams will win this. After losing to Kerber on clay and grass, Venus Williams will get another chance to take out Kerber. Signs are looking good for Venus as the scoreline is closer with every match they played. And Venus was in imperial form against Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Kerber will not go without a fight that's for sure. Venus needs to feed of the American crowd and hope that her illness goes on a holiday today. I also get the feeling that Kerber might be a bit drained from such a breakthrough year.

Pick: Venus Williams in 3 sets

Carla Suarez Navarro vs. (2) Agnieszka Radwanska

Radwanska showed that her shoulder is not bothering her with her demolition of Bratchikova. Will she do the same to Suarez Navarro. The Spaniard had an unfortunate history of injuries which didn't allow her to fulfil her potential. Radwanska shouldn't have many problems with Carla as the Spaniard cannot outhit Agnieszka. Straightforward victory for the Pole.

Pick: Radwanska in 2 sets

Sure win bets: Sloane Stephens, Sara Errani, Maria Kirilenko
Upset alert: Roberta Vinci

Day 3 US Open: End of an era

Singles - Second Round
(1) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (Q) Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 62 62
(3) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Lourdes Domínguez Lino (ESP) 60 61
(5) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. Alizé Cornet (FRA) 64 63
(7) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. (Q) Edina Gallovits-Hall (ROU) 63 60
(9) Li Na (CHN) d. Casey Dellacqua (AUS) 64 64
(11) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. Romina Oprandi (SUI) 62 16 75
(15) Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 63 46 62
(WC) Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) d. (17) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 61 62
(19) Nadia Petrova (RUS) d. Simona Halep (ROU) 61 61
Laura Robson (GBR) d. (23) Kim Clijsters (BEL) 76(4) 76(5)
Pauline Parmentier (FRA) d. (25) Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 76(5) 63
(28) Zheng Jie (CHN) d. (Q) Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 63 61
(31) Varvara Lepchenko (USA) d. (Q) Anastasia Rodionova (AUS) 62 62
Anna Tatishvili (GEO) d. Sorana Cirstea (ROU) 67(5) 61 62
Mandy Minella (LUX) d. (Q) Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) 64 64
(WC) Mallory Burdette (USA) d. Lucie Hradecka (CZE) 62 64

Laura Robson (GBR) d. (23) Kim Clijsters (BEL) 76(4) 76(5) 

Kim's last tournament ended with a whimper as she was ousted by an on-fire Laura Robson in 2 tight sets. Despite leading 5-2 in the first set, Kim lost her serve and 3 set points and let the young teen take the first set. Laura was not intimidated by the event and played better and better. These 2 went toe to toe until Laura set up a match point with a brilliant running forehand winner. After an unreturned serve, Robson ends the singles career of the legend. It's heartbreaking to see your favourite player go like this but it's also time. Kim was obviously a step slower and it wasn't fun to see her struggle with injuries. So, I'll like to formally thank Kim for the ups and the downs. She has made tennis so much more interesting to follow and I'll never ever support another player like I did with you again.

(WC) Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) d. (17) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 61 62

Despite dispatching dangerous floater, Daniela Hantuchova convincingly in the first round, Pavlyuchenkova falls unexpectedly to Mladenovic in a crushing manner. Kristina has never won a main draw match until this week and she certainly knows where to pick up her first victories. Maybe it's time that she finally fulfils her full potential after years of failed hype around her. Pavlyuchenkova should be very disappointed at not being able to capitalize on her good form and for losing her quarter-finalist points. She needs to get fitter if she wants to challenge for the top.

(WC) Mallory Burdette (USA) d. Lucie Hradecka (CZE) 62 64 

My kiss of death strikes again as Hradecka loses easily to Mallory Burdette. Hradecka is one crazy player who can play world class tennis one day, and club level tennis another. Burdette's rapid rise is good for American tennis as they prepare for the imminent retirement of the Williams sisters. With Sloane Stephens and Christina McHale, these 3 form the future of American tennis. I just hope that Burdette will not regret her decision to go back to college. College can wait but if you are out of the game for too long, you lose your competitive juice.

Anna Tatishvili (GEO) d. Sorana Cirstea (ROU) 67(5) 61 62

As expected, unpredictable Sorana Cirstea bombs out against Tatishvili after beating Sabine Lisicki in the first round. Whoever is Cirstea's coach need to let her know that there's more to tennis than just hitting the covers off the balls. With no variety and no plan B, Cirstea will forever be plagued by these kind of puzzling losses. But I guess some players are just content with being a journeywoman. 

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

US Open day 3: Smooth sailing for seeds


Match focus:

Laura Robson vs. (23) Kim Clijsters

Laura Robson will try to stop the Kim Clijsters show at this US Open in the 2nd round. However, Clijsters' game is perfect for big hitters with limited movement capability. Just ask Daniela Hantuchova. I do not expect Kim to experience much trouble with Laura and the British lass is too inexperienced to handle the pressure of ousting a legend. Leave it to veterans like Li Na and Maria Sharapova to do the dirty job. LOL!

Pick: Clijsters in 2 sets

Mallory Burdette vs. Lucie Hradecka

Who is Mallory Burdette? This Stanford senior came from nowhere and won a match against Bacsinszky to reach the 2nd round. With only 4 events to her name, she is already in the top 200, with a 100K challenger title to boot. However, she has already made the decision to go back to college after this. So it's pretty clear where her priorities lie. I don't expect any problems for Lucie to beat this part time player, who is more than satisfied with her showing here.

Pick: Hradecka in 2 sets

(3) Maria Sharapova vs. Lourdes Dominguz Lino

This should be a nice practice session for Sharapova. Well, Sharapova might be pushed harder during a practice match than this. Totally weaponless Lourdes miraculously won a round here (by boring her opponent to death I'm sure) but her journey stops here. Sharapova will rip her to shreds, maybe giving her one mercy game. ;)

Sure win bets: Samantha Stosur, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Victoria Azarenka
Upset alert: Zheng Jie, Yanina Wickmayer

US Open day 2: CaLOLine

(2) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Nina Bratchikova (RUS) 61 61
(4) Serena Williams (USA) d. Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 61 61
(6) Angelique Kerber (GER) d. Anne Keothavong (GBR) 62 60
Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) d. (8) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 62 62
(10) Sara Errani (ITA) d. Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP) 63 67(6) 61
(12) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. (Q) Elina Svitolina (UKR) 63 62
(13) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. Johanna Larsson (SWE) 67(5) 62 60
(14) Maria Kirilenko (RUS) d. Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) 62 61
(20) Roberta Vinci (ITA) d. Urszula Radwanska (POL) 61 61
Kiki Bertens (NED) d. (21) Christina McHale (USA) 64 46 63
Sloane Stephens (USA) d. (22) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 63 64
Andrea Hlavackova (CZE) d. (24) Klara Zakopalova (CZE) 64 64
Ayumi Morita (JPN) d. (26) Monica Niculescu (ROU) 62 63
Olga Govortsova (BLR) d. (29) Tamira Paszek (AUT) 63 64
(30) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) 61 62
Elena Vesnina (RUS) d. (32) Peng Shuai (CHN) 76(5) 61
Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) d. Ksenia Pervak (KAZ) 75 12 ret. (right thigh injury)
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. (LL) Eleni Daniilidou (GRE) 61 64
Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) d. Vania King (USA) 64 62
Venus Williams (USA) d. (WC) Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 63 61
Sofia Arvidsson (SWE) d. Kimiko Date-Krumm (JPN) 64 62
Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) d. Camila Giorgi (ITA) 63 64
Sílvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP) d. (Q) Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) 63 62
Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) d. Mona Barthel (GER) 46 75 62
Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) d. Arantxa Rus (NED) 61 63
Vera Dushevina (RUS) d. (Q) Nastassja Burnett (ITA) 60 63
María José Martínez Sánchez (ESP) d. Mirjana Lucic (CRO) 63 75
Greta Arn (HUN) d. Agnes Szavay (HUN) 64 32 ret. (low back injury)
(Q) Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino (ESP) d. Shahar Peer (ISR) 64 76(5)
(Q) Tatjana Malek (GER) d. Akgul Amanmuradova (UZB) 46 62 64
(Q) Olga Puchkova (RUS) d. Irina Falconi (USA) 76(5) 67(2) 63
(Q) Johanna Konta (GBR) d. Timea Babos (HUN) 62 75


Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) d. (8) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 62 62

Just when you thought Caroline cannot sink any further, she proves you wrong by crashing out against unknown Irina Camelia Begu, winning a mere 4 games. It is hard to believe that this is the same player that started the year at number 1. Sure, she is injured and didn't have the best preparations. But champions find a way to win matches, adapt another game plan, or withdraw to prevent further injury. Caroline needs a new coach pronto and ditch her sorry money-faced father if she wants to regain her form. Just look at her attitude after her loss; no explanations, can only hope for the better in the next tournament. That's a wrong mentality. Champions find what's wrong with their games and improve it, rather than stagnating and feel sorry for yourself. If Marion wins her 2nd round match, it's bye bye top 10 for Wozniacki. Good riddance.

Andrea Hlavackova (CZE) d. (24) Klara Zakopalova (CZE) 64 64

9 appearances for 9 years at the US Open and zero wins. That's how badly Zakopalova's record is. You've got to pity Klara as she only needed one win to break into the top 20, her highest ranking ever. It's a tough question to answer why she sucks so much at US Open. But with her nonchalant attitude towards tennis, don't bother asking. Maybe she just can't be bothered.

Olga Govortsova (BLR) d. (29) Tamira Paszek (AUT) 63 64

One surface wonder Tamira Paszek crashes out in the first round against one of the most brainless ball bashers on tour, Govortsova. She must be thinking why can't all the tournaments be held on grass. Tamira is just one out of six lower seeds (21 to 32) in action yesterday to be bounced out of the first round. This shows how chaotic the rankings are from 20 to 50. Players who seem to have done nothing for the entire year are still there (eg. Monica Niculescu) and players who seem to be playing well throughout this year are also there (eg. Venus Williams). Maybe it's time for a review of the ranking system because these "upsets" are not really surprising anymore.

Sofia Arvidsson (SWE) d. Kimiko Date-Krumm (JPN) 64 62

Not really a shocker here but it's good to see Kimiko still trying her best. However, it is also sad to see Kimiko lose to second grade players like Sofia Arvidsson easily. Maybe it's time to call it career Kimiko, and you can sure be proud of what you have achieved in your tennis career. 

Greta Arn (HUN) d. Agnes Szavay (HUN) 64 32 ret. (low back injury)

It's heart-breaking to see Agnes Szavay trying her best to come back, but be thwarted by yet another injury. Szavay first broke through here 5 years ago but has been derailed by unfortunate injuries. Her back injury can end careers, just ask Dinara Safina about that. With this injury, I think it's official: Szavay cannot play top level tennis without injuring herself. Sad to see a player whose potential isn't fully fulfilled.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

US Open day 2: Early exits for Caroline and Agnieszka?

Injury clouds loom over 2 of the seeds in action today, Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska. Will they make it out unscathed?


Match focus:

Nina Bratchikova vs. (2) Agnieszka Radwanska

A less than 100% Radwanska opens her US Open campaign against Nina Bratchikova. Will she be able to perform to her best? Or will she go out in a whimper like she did in New Haven? Bratchikova isn't the most talented player on tour and although she can hit a good ball, Radwanska guile and variety should be able to guide her through this match. I don't expect a lot of service winners from Radwanska with her fragile shoulder so Nina needs to go for it on the returns. Anyway, Radwanska will have too much game for the Russian to handle.

Pick: Radwanska in 2 sets

(22) Francesca Schiavone vs. Sloane Stephens

An unprepared Schiavone faces young upstart, Sloane Stephens in this tough first round match. Stephens had plenty of preparations for this major and it will be an advantage against the veteran, who came in without much match play. Besides, with the American crowd behind her, Stephens' confidence will be boosted; and we all know that Stephens has the game to take out big names. I expect the American to show the veteran the door and go far in this tournament.

Pick: Stephens in 2 sets

(8) Caroline Wozniacki vs. Irina-Camelia Begu

Wozniacki has had a horrid year and will be eager to prove that she is still a top player. However, after injuring her knee last week in New Haven, she should think about proving the doubters wrong next year. Even though she will most definitely get through Begu, she cannot go far without her biggest weapon -  her movement. That said, Begu has nothing to hurt Wozniacki so I expect a 50% Caroline to win easily.

Pick: Wozniacki in 2 sets

Vania King vs. Yaroslava Shvedova

Former doubles partners clash in this intriguing first round match. Yaroslava plummeted down the rankings and Vania King had to abandon her as Yaroslava couldn't gain direct entry for the singles main draw. Now that Shvedova is back and better, she will face the dilemma of playing her best doubles partner. I have always enjoyed watching these 2 players banter on court and go on with their games with a smile. Sad that these 2 had to meet this early. Shvedova has been riding on a wave of confidence for the past 2 months so she should come through here. On a sidenote, I hope these 2 consider pairing up again as their chemistry as a doubles partner is unrivalled.

Pick: Shvedova in 3 sets

(30) Jelena Jankovic vs. Kateryna Bondarenko

Is Jelena Jankovic really out of her slump? Jankovic surprised everyone and maybe herself by reaching the finals of Dallas last week. However, her form is still suspect despite the good showing as she seemed so uninterested at times. Bondarenko had prior success in US Open 3 years ago so she should be a good gauge if Jelena's back. Jankovic's draw is painfully easy if she gets past Bondarenko; so let's hope the victor of this match grab this opportunity to go far in this tournament.

Pick: Jankovic in 3 sets

Sure win bets: Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Angelique Kerber
Upset alert: Monica Niculescu, Silvia Soler-Espinosa, Shahar Peer

US Open Day 1: Scheiße day for Germans

What an utter flop for the Germans all all of them crashed out today to lesser opponents. Other than that, all the other top seeds cruised to straightforward victories.

Singles - First Round
(1) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Alexandra Panova (RUS) 60 61
(3) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Melinda Czink (HUN) 62 62
(5) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. Polona Hercog (SLO) 76(6) 61
(7) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. Petra Martic (CRO) 61 61
(9) Li Na (CHN) d. Heather Watson (GBR) 62 63
(11) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. Jamie Hampton (USA) 63 76(5)
(15) Lucie Safarova d. (WC) Melanie Oudin (USA) 64 60
Sorana Cirstea (ROU) d. (16) Sabine Lisicki (GER) 46 62 62
(17) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 64 76(1)
(Q) Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) d. (18) Julia Goerges (GER) 76(4) 61
(19) Nadia Petrova (RUS) d. Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) 63 76(3)
(23) Kim Clijsters (BEL) d. (WC) Victoria Duval (USA) 63 61
(25) Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. (Q) Julia Glushko (ISR) 75 62
Lucie Hradecka (CZE) d. (27) Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) 63 63
(28) Zheng Jie (CHN) d. Virginie Razzano (FRA) 46 62 ret. (right hip injury)
(31) Varvara Lepchenko (USA) d. Mathilde Johansson (FRA) 63 36 75
Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) d. Alexandra Cadantu (ROU) 60 63
Alizé Cornet (FRA) d. (WC) Nicole Gibbs (USA) 75 63
Simona Halep (ROU) d. Iveta Benesova (CZE) 75 76(5)
Romina Oprandi (SUI) d. Andrea Petkovic (GER) 62 75
Anna Tatishvili (GEO) d. Stéphanie Foretz Gacon (FRA) 62 60
Lourdes Domínguez Lino (ESP) d. Sesil Karatantcheva (KAZ) 64 61
Mandy Minella (LUX) d. (WC) Olivia Rogowska (AUS) 62 36 63
Laura Robson (GBR) d. (Q) Samantha Crawford (USA) 63 76(6)
Pauline Parmentier (FRA) d. Michaella Krajicek (NED) 62 64
Casey Dellacqua (AUS) d. (Q) Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 62 63
(Q) Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) d. Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) 63 26 63
(Q) Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) d. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) 63 36 63
(Q) Edina Gallovits-Hall (ROU) d. (Q) Stefanie Voegele (SUI) 75 64
(Q) Anastasia Rodionova (AUS) d. (WC) Julia Cohen (USA) 63 60
(WC) Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) d. Marina Erakovic (NZL) 75 64
(WC) Mallory Burdette (USA) d. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) 64 63


Sorana Cirstea (ROU) d. (16) Sabine Lisicki (GER) 46 62 62

Battle of the 2 ultimate brainless ball bashers on tour and the end result is the same: viewers will suffer. Sabine fought well to take the first set but was totally off in the last 2 sets. Errors after errors just kept flooding in and there's no plan B at all. Sorana isn't that good either as both players competed to see who can hit the most errors. Just a shame for WTA to showcase such talentless ball bashing. Lisicki needs to find a middle ground for her big game or else she's going to fall very fast once her confidence is gone.

(Q) Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) d. (18) Julia Goerges (GER) 76(4) 61

Oh Julia... How can you go from beating the world number 2 in the Olympics to losing to someone outside the top 100? I will never ever try to predict the match outcome of any Goerges match because she is just too unpredictable. Like Lisicki, she doesn't have a plan B to fall back on and just keeps hitting those errors like she didn't care. This attitude needs to go as soon as possible. If this continues, Julia will never fulfil her true potential.

Romina Oprandi (SUI) d. Andrea Petkovic (GER) 62 75

I am going to give Andrea the benefit of the doubt here. Oprandi is a nightmare player to face for someone who's not match fit and just beginning her comeback on tour. Petkovic obviously has the tools to beat Oprandi easily but it's too early in her comeback to do that. Once Andrea gets back into the groove, I'm sure she will continue to rise up the ranking. She is such a hard worker that it's hard not to root for her. Let's just hope she can stay injury free for the rest of the year.

(Q) Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) d. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) 63 36 63

Kirsten Flipkens was just outside the top 250 before Wimbledon but is rapidly rising back up the rankings. She took out feisty Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in 3 sets for her first win in a grand slam since Wimbledon 2010. Strycova should be disappointed with herself as Flipkens has been losing in 25K challengers before this tournament. Maybe the fast surface was too much for the Czech player to handle.

(WC) Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) d. Marina Erakovic (NZL) 75 64

Overhyped player, Kristina Mladenovic finally gets her first main draw win over Marina Erakovic. Many heralded Kristina as a future top player as she dominate the junior circuit a few years back. But after struggling for many years, she still hasn't broken through and isn't even making it as a journey-woman. This shows that the huge difference between the junior and senior circuits. Erakovic is rumoured to be injured but still played on anyway, making the result inevitable. Anyway, whoever gets Mladenovic should be expecting at least a 3rd round showing.

Monday, 27 August 2012

US Open day 1: Kim begins her farewell tournament

US Open starts today and I must apologize for the delay in updating of this blog. Just came back from a short trip overseas and barely had time to rest. Anyway, the last Grand Slam of the year begins and Kim will play her last official tournament here. It's tough to maintain the unbeaten streak but it has to stop somewhere...

Schedule of play can be found here:

Match focus: 

Sorana Cirstea vs. (16) Sabine Lisicki

Sabine Lisicki faces a tough opener as Sorana Cirstea can upset anyone on a good day. However, she can also blast herself off the court on a bad day. Lisicki enters the US Open with zero preparations on the American hardcourts while Cirstea had plenty of warm-up on this surface. Will it be an advantage? If Sorana can get into Sabine's head with her pesky play, Sabine might self-implode. But knowing Sorana, she will self-destruct first before that happens.

Pick: Lisicki in 3 sets

Daniela Hantuchova vs. (17) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 

Daniela is one of the dangerous unseeded floaters and she faces Pavlyuchenkova in the first round. After a disastrous start to the season which saw Anastasia almost falling out of the top 40, she played herself back to form recently and even upset Caroline Wozniacki in Cincinnati. Form wise, you have to favour the Russian as Daniela had several early exits in her warm-up events. But if Daniela can play clean first-strike tennis, Pavlyuchenkova may be in trouble.

Pick: Pavlyuchenkova in 3 sets

Romina Oprandi vs. Andrea Petkovic

Petkovic is back from her injury! After an injury plagued year ruined her year, Andrea is fighting hard to participate in the last Grand Slam of the year after missing the first 3. She did win a match in New Haven but Oprandi can drive players nuts with her crazy junk. Petkovic needs to be patient and not get riled up by Oprandi's tricky shots. I hope the German wins this because she is such a hard worker and is plain unlucky with injuries.

Pick: Petkovic in 2 sets

Lucie Hradecka vs. (27) Anabel Medina Garrigues

I have no idea how Anabel Medina Garrigues manages to keep herself in the top 30 despite not doing much for the whole year. After losing spectacularly against Stosur, I don't fancy her chances against another big serve in Lucie Hradecka. Lucie has a huge game and will have too much firepower for Anabel. It's a pity that she prefers to concentrate more on her double career because if she wants to, she can be a great singles player as well.

Pick: Hradecka in 2 sets

(31) Varvara Lepchenko vs. Mathilde Johansson

If there is a late bloomer, it will be Varvara Lepchenko. Despite being on tour for about 7 to 8 years, she's only making some impact now. Guess what, her hard work has paid off and is seeded for the first time in a Grand Slam. She will face an unprepared Mathilde Johansson in the first round. You have to favour the newly converted American as she is high on confidence now and Johansson didn't play any warm ups.

Pick: Lepchenko in 2 sets

Sure win bets: Samantha Stosur, Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova
Upset alert: Anabel Medina Garrigues, Julia Cohen, Romina Oprandi

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Titles for Vinci and Kvitova

Dallas final:

Roberta Vinci def. Jelena Jankovic 7-5 6-3

Roberta Vinci caps off an impressive week by beating Jelena Jankovic for her first title of this year. She has now won titles on all surfaces, although all of them came from smaller tournaments. It seems that Serbians have a problem with playing Vinci. After humiliating Ivanovic and Jovanovski with double bagels, she conquers the former world number 1 in straight sets. Jankovic just couldn't capitalize on her opportunities and her break point conversion is abysmal. Well, she did reach the finals instead of losing in the first round; so it's an improvement for her.

New Haven:

Petra Kvitova def. Maria Kirilenko 7-6(9) 7-5

Petra clinches the US Open series with this win, capping off an impressive American hardcourt season this year. Kvitova didn't have much success on the American hardcourts before so it's a nice surprise for her. She took revenge on Kirilenko, who upset her in the Olympics quarter-finals. After fighting through a tough tiebreaker, Kvitova was down 2-5 with Kirilenko serving for the set. However, she refused to give in and eventually won the next 5 games to clinch the title. It's nice to see Kvitova finally winning titles again after such a successful year last year. Even though she is consistent this year, she just couldn't reach the finals of a tournament until Montreal. With this win, Kvitova will be the one to watch in US Open together with Li Na; both of them winning the biggest warm-up titles. Well done Petra!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

New Haven and Dallas Day 3: Please rest Aga

New Haven:

Second Round
(Q) Olga Govortsova (BLR) d. (1) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 60 21 ret. (right shoulder injury)
(4) Sara Errani (ITA) d. Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) 64 63
(5) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. Sloane Stephens (USA) 61 06 63
(7) Maria Kirilenko (RUS) d. Mona Barthel (GER) w/o (GI illness)

First Round
Zheng Jie (CHN) d. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 75 62


Second Round
(2) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. Arantxa Rus (NED) 76(5) 62
(3) Roberta Vinci (ITA) d. Polona Hercog (SLO) 62 63
(Q) Casey Dellacqua (AUS) d. (4/WC) Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 64 63
(6) Peng Shuai (CHN) d. (Q) Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 64 62
(7) Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) d. Marina Erakovic (NZL) 64 76(3)
(8) Sorana Cirstea (ROU) d. Alizé Cornet (FRA) 61 75
Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) d. (Q) Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) 62 62
(WC) Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) d. (Q) Mirjana Lucic (CRO) 76(5) 62


(Q) Olga Govortsova (BLR) d. (1) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 60 21 ret. (right shoulder injury) 

I have no idea what Agnieszka Radwanska is doing by playing here. After showing off her mummified shoulder in Montreal and Cincinnati, she still insists on playing her. I'm so glad she was shown the door by a total scrub in Govortsova. If you're not healthy, don't play. Simple as that. What's the point of risking further injury that could jeopardize your entire career? Someone needs to talk some sense in to Radwanska. Maybe she knows that she can never win a Grand Slam, so that's why she's whoring up all the cheap points from smaller tournaments. Well, tough luck lady. I expect Radwanska to bundle out of the US Open unceremoniously in the early rounds.

(5) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. Sloane Stephens (USA) 61 06 63

Despite serving Bartoli is bagel in the second set, Sloane Stephens manages to lose a 3-0 lead in the third to lose this match. What Sloane needs now is experience. She has the game to trouble the top players, but just lacks the finishing touch. Bartoli is obviously not in top form but Sloane was unable to take advantage of that. With more losses like this, I am sure Sloane will be able to win these kind of matches. Bartoli now clinches a rare win and faces Sara Errani in the quarter-finals. These 2 are struggling quite a bit in the past few months so I guess it will be a contest of who sucks lesser.

(2) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. Arantxa Rus (NED) 76(5) 62

WHAT???? JANKOVIC WINS 2 MATCHES IN A ROW????? After snapping her losing streak with a hard-fought victory over Shvedova, Jankovic wins 2 matches in succession to reach her first quarter-finals since Birmingham in June. I thought Jelena has lost interest in tennis and is just touring the cities after losing to almost anyone across the net. Maybe her funds are running out, so she needs some more prize money to go sightseeing? Or maybe Shvedova and Rus just sucked more than she did. Next up for Jankovic is Cirstea, which is actually winnable given how crazy this Romanian chick is. Look out US Open, Jankovic may be back.