Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


3 Days, 3 Shockers (or “How my men’s team died”)

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

First day, first shocker.  Davydenko lost to Florian Mayer in 4 sets.  OMG!  Admittedly, Mayer had just beaten Delpo in his first match since his return to tennis, but that was easily dismissed.  Davydenko had never had trouble with Mayer before.  Mayer had rarely if ever shown the sort of tennis necessary to beat a player like Davydenko.  So the first round looked easy.

If form held, Nikolay’s first seeded opponent (3rd round) would have been Verdasco.  Nice.  Davydenko has a career mark of 7-1 against Verdasco, the only loss coming in ’05 on clay, and including a 5-set victory in last year’s Aussie Open.  I like that for an over-16 seed!

What’s more, Nikolay’s record against Berdych, clearly his probable R16 opponent, is 9-1, with Berdych’s only win coming on grass at Wimbledon in ’09, a surface Davydenko famously hates.  So Nikolay looked — after the draw and before the tourney started — like a near lock to be in the quarters against Djokovic.  Or so I thought.  Oops, no Davydenko.

I picked my unseeded male player by starting with the top ranked unseeded player and checking his first round and probable second round opponents.  Very important to have a weak first round opponent because of the big penalty for first round losses.  So who looked like the worst player in the draw?  Bernard Tomic.  The 18 year-old Aussie was 5-11 lifetime in ATP events, including 0-2 this year.  He tried to qualify for this tourney but was beaten in the first round of the quallies.  T more »


The Perfect Men’s Team

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Who could have possibly guessed (though part of it is obvious)?

Nadal & Federer (obviously), Djokovic, Youzhny, Verdasco or Soderling , Wawrinka, Monfils and Gasquet or Robredo.

Perfect.  Obviously, the only choice that makes a difference above is if Verdasco beats Nadal or Soderling beats Federer.  Don’t hold your breath.

Perfectly, you also picked a Nadal/Federer final with the eventual winner winning.  Nicely done, champ! more »


Various Goings On in Europe

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Attentions this week are split three ways, with major tournaments going on in Belgrade, Portugal, and Munich for the men’s tournaments.


When you’re one of Serbia’s biggest stars, winning a tournament in your hometown must be a special moment. Winning in your hometown in a tournament your family now own and run is even more special. Goran Djokovic, Uncle to world no. 2 Novak Djokovic, is the Serbia Open’s director, and after the popularity of the tournament in Belgrade last year has increased the capacity of the stadium in Belgrade. The calibre of players has increased slightly from last year too, and the Djokovic family are hoping it will go from strength to strength in the coming years. Needless to say, Nole is hoping for his second win in his family’s tournament’s second year. He has currently booked a place in the quarter final after beating Italy’s Fabio Foginini.


Roger Federer started the tournament in Portugal with a children’s clinic at the Estoril stadium. The kids got to have a knock up with the world no. 1, and I imagine there are a number of very jealous fans around the world at seeing that opportunity. Today he got through to the semi-final, beating Arnaud Clement 7-6 (9-7) 6-2 for the spot. Looks like the champ hasn’t let his shock exit in Rome hamper the rest of the season; well, did anyone really expect it to?


At the BMW Open in Germany, Marin Cilic is top seed, with M more »


Predictions for the year ahead…

Monday, February 1st, 2010

·         Roger Federer will get one more Grand Slam: one is as far as I am willing to go. After del Potro beat him in the US Open and Andy Roddick came so close at Wimbledon last year, I get the feeling there are too many strong competitors to the Grand slam titles for him to comfortably get the next three.

·         Juan Martin del Potro will get a Grand Slam, and will get a girlfriend by the end of the year: I’ll go out on a limb with this one and say either the French or the US Open. Radical, I know. I just don’t think we’ve seen the end of this guy, despite all the murmurs afte more »



Thursday, December 31st, 2009

It’s probably quite obvious as to why it has taken me at least two weeks to write this rather bulky blog. The clue is in the title: this is a look back at the year 2009. Writing a ‘Looking back’ blog in sport is rather like writing about the history of a country with a 1000 word deadline. I.e. impossible. That is why historians write books that are around about 5 tombs in length and need a crane to get them off the shelves. A similar feat would be needed if I were to write an in-depth story of the past year in tennis.

So, how am I going to do this? By choosing ten highlights of the year as a way of looking back.

1) Federer cries at Aussie open

I know, this one has been done to death. But it just shows how perceptions of others’ emotions can be wrong. The world saw Federer dissolve into tears as Nadal took the Australian Open trophy from him after a gruelling final match, and they decided that it signalled the end of a shining career. It was soon obvious that this was not the case. Federer has hardly had a slump of a year, winning the next two Grand Slams in surprising finals.

2) Soderling takes out Nadal

We all know this one. ‘Pulling a Soderling’ is now in our tennis-related vocabulary. Soderling is now the one to watch at any tournament. And he recently topped this fantastic year with a finals appearance at the ATP World Tour Finals after Andy Roddick dropped out.

3) Serena blows up at referee, accuses opponents of cheating…

…and generally behaves a more »