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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Andy Murray: Is It Your Turn?

Photo Titled Murray on top

Andy Murray just churned out a flawless three set match against his quarterfinal opponent, Feliciano Lopez.  Andy was just firing in all cylinders, never giving the Spanish any leeway and the chilling scoreline showed that.  Because of it, it got me thinking, will Wimbledon 2011 be the time that Murray finally makes history?  He looks like he can do it with the way he is playing now!

I'm not sure yet if Nadal has already gone through.  Based on the TV coverage, he is still slugging it out with Mardy Fish, who took a set out of him. 

We will know in a while, but for now, Andy looks like he can win the prize, finally, for Britain!

Tsvetana Pironkova: The Coolest and Most Poised Player Award

Photo Titled Tsvetana Pironkova

No one can beat Tsvetana Pironkova in the cool and composed department here in Wimbledon 2011.  She looks fragile because of her slim figure, but she is very poised even when she gives those funky hits of her, those strange returns of serves which she does in impossible angles.  Her opponent in the quarterfinal, Petra Kvitova, who was really powerful, had to deal with all those and I personally thought Kvit would push Pironkova off the court!  But that did not happen.  They had to fight in 3 sets and Pironkova kept coming up with shots that allowed her to be a contender, till the last point.

Pironkova also holds the enviable record of winning over the legendary Venus Williams twice - and in Wimbledon, to boot!  Not everyone can boast that!

Sabine Lisicki: Can She Be the Next Steffi Graf?

Photo Titled Sabine into the semis

Sabine Lisicki sent shock waves around SW19 when she dispatched Li Na, who was just fresh from her French Open championship in the second round.  Then she reaches the quarters, where she dispatched Marion Bartoli, a former Wimbledon finalist in three tough sets allowing her to reach her first semifinal of her very young career.  Sidelined for a few years because of an injury, it's such a joy to watch Sabine play. She has a fearsome serve (like the Williams sisters) and very powerful groundstrokes (like Elena Dementieva). 

Now, if she only stays healthy throughout the year, she should be in the Top 10 because she plays like one!  It's going to be a long climb though since everyone near the Top 10 is hungry but I won't be surprised if Sabine does it in less than a year.  On a good day, she could beat any of the players, including the other three left in the draw.  Question is, does she have the mental state to not be nervous at the most critical moments of a match.

Tamira Paszek's Quarterfinal Appearance A Rejuvenation!

Photo Titled Paszek power

She defeated Schiavone in the third round, then Ksenia Pervak in the fourth round, which made her earn her first quarterfinal appearance in a Grand Slam!  When I first saw her play years ago in Wimbledon, I really thought that that was the beginning of Tamira's ascent in women's tennis.  But it took some time for her to be back in the swing of things again - and her impressive quarterfinal appearance here in Wimbledon should remind her of what she is capable of doing.  She has the game that can threated everyone in the Top 5 and she needs to build her confidence that she can do it week in, week out.  I just really hope she does not falter again after Wimbledon, like she did before.  Barbara Schett was the last Austrian woman I remember to reach the Top 10.  It's not impossible for Tamira to do just that!

Azarenka Finally Shows Her Chops! And Boy Does She Grunt!

Photo Titled Azarenka on Centre Court

We may have the noisiest ladies final in the history of Wimbledon if both Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka win their respective semifinal matches later today.  But I'm happy for Vika!  She's the highest ranked player left (at #5), and on paper, should win the title, that is, if Maria Sharapova would allow it.

Also, Vika has to contend with Petra Kvitova first in their semifinal match and Kvit has been serving and playing very well - and she has been to the semi's last year - so in a way, she is experienced with these things.

Vika played impressively though, against Tamira Paszek and if she continues to play that way - who knows what will happen.  For now, she should just enjoy her first Grand Slam semifinal - and at Wimbledon at that - and just play her best!

Jeson Patrombon: A Filipino in Wimbledon!

I am so happy to see Jeson Patrombon play in Wimbledon this year.  I did not see him in the draw of the French Open so it was great to see him play here.  He did win his first round match against German Julian Lenz in 3 sets.  He fell in the second round though to Belgian Kimmer Coppejans.  Since he lost the first set tie break, his game in the second round just crumbled, hence, the loss.

Anyhow, I am happy to see that he is seeded, at #13.  I hope they continue to support his career and I'd love to see him in the main draw very very soon!

Bartoli Runs Out of Steam But A Quarterfinal Appearance Is Not So Bad

Photo Titled Bartoli blast

She was almost booted out as early as the second round (by Dominguez Lino) and again in the third round (9-7 over Flavia Pennetta in the 3rd set), but she kept fighting on. She had several match points against Serena Williams before she sank the tigress in the second set.  By putting 3 more hours in the court over her quarterfinal opponent, Sabine Lisicki, Marion Bartoli had the disadvantage, especially that they had to do a third set, where it was obviously clear that Marion was losing steam.

Anyhow, it was great to see her back in the quarters and that title in Birmingham really helped her stead.  Now, she can rest a bit and then prepare for the hard court season and the US Open in September.

Caroline Wozniacki: Should She Really Be #1

Photo Titled Wozniacki swing

A #1 tennis player should at least reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament, otherwise, it will put his or her ranking in question.  Well, the rankings has been a bit of contention in the women's game since they have several #1 players who have never won a Grand Slam.  It used to dog Jelena Jankovic and Dinara Safina before, but at least, for them, they were able to reach the semi's or the finals of the Grand Slams, when they were #1. 

Now, enter, Caroline Wozniacki.  She plays in many tournaments and wins several titles a year - but for tournaments where not all the best players are participating - and the world is not watching.  On paper, she's #1 - for consistency - but in a world stage like a Grand Slam, especially Wimbledon, which is arguably the most famous among the four Slams - it is imperative that she at least reaches the semifinals.  But she fails again, this time, going down in the fourth round.

It's not a good reflection on the women's game when their #1 player fails to reach deeper into the tournament, especially when the whole world is watching.  It happened in the French Openand now in Wimbledon.  Caro has to prepare harder for the US Open and redeem herself.

Dominika's Wimbledon Quarterfinal: Another Step-Up!

Photo Titled Dominika under pressure

Well, her quarterfinal match against Sharapova was not something she can be proud of but to be able to reach the quarters, well, that's something which should help her confidence a lot.  Moreover, she defeated world #1 Caroline Wozniacki, in achieving this, and included up-and-coming German player, Julia Goerges, among her victims.  Her performance here should help her cause to reach the Top 20 in the rankings.

Maria Sharapova: A Second Wimbledon Title Within Arms Reach

Photo Titled Sharapova the moon

Looking at the draw now, this is the best time for Maria Sharapova to win her second Wimbledon title.  None of the remaining players have even reached a Grand Slam final so it will be something new to them, something which Maria can exploit.  However, Lisicki, Kvitova and Azarenka are all playing amazingly so I think it will boil down to how they can control their nerves at such a big occasion in their very young careers.

I first predicted that Maria might win this tournament.  Now, it may come into fruition.  But first, she has to deal with big-serving Sabine Lisicki tomorrow and neutralize her powerful serves and groundstrokes.

Can Novak Take It All the Way?

Photo Titled Novak focused

Now that Tsonga has taken care of Federer, Djokovic doesn't have to meet Federer, but Tsonga in the semi's.  Can Novak take it all the way to the finals this time around?  Tsonga played really well against Roger, especially in the last 3 sets where he was flawless.  So I think, Novak has to step up immediately lest Jo-Wilfried finds the same game again in their match.

Aside from the incentive of finally winning a Wimbledon title, a #1 ranking is another incentive for Novak - so that should really perk him up!

Bernard Tomic: Finally an Australian Male Player Steps Up to the Plate

Photo Titled Bernard backhand

I just learned that Djokovic defeated Australian boy wonder, Bernard Tomic (and in four sets, mind you!), but this quarterfinal appearance by Tomic is impressive in itself, considering that he's ranked #158 in the world prior to Wimbledon. That lowly ranking should improve rapidly when rankings are released next week.

Tomic is definitely one of the players to watch for the remainder of 2011.  At last, Australia has someone to be proud of in it's men's game, since Hewitt has faded into the shadows in the last part of this decade.  Let's see how he develops his game in the next few months and a good performance in the US Open should be a good springboard for Melbourne next year.

Bravo Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for the Win over Federer!

Photo Titled Tsonga dives

Tsonga is one of the most talented up-and-coming players in the men's tour but has languished in the fringes of the Top 20 for the past few years after making that fantastic run to the finals of the Australian Open a few years back.

Finally he's back again today and delivered a win from behind against Roger Federer - and this is on grass!  I was watching the match while doing other stuff and I realized by the third set that something special was happening.  All of Tsonga's returns were in!  I thought, well, maybe for the third set. Yet, he sustained it in the fourth set - and in the fifth set, he won his final game against Federer's serve!  Incredible! 

Well, he's off to his first Wimbledon semi-final, so we wish him luck!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Michael Llodra Having His Best Wimbledon Ever

Like Russia on the women's side, France also has a deep bench in its men's game - and it's Michael Llodra who completes the triumvirate of Tsonga and Gasquet, as the three Frenchmen into the fourth round of Wimbledon.  Llodra is a surprise fourth round entry as he is currently ranked #35 in the world.  He has had to win over Lu of Chinese Taipei (#57) in the third round, Ricardo Mello of Brazil (#89) in the second round and James Ward of Great Britain (#192) in the first round.  His next opponent is still being decided between Djokovic and Baghdatis, both very tough opponents.

Spain's Poster Boy for Tennis Feliciano Lopez into another Wimbledon Fourth Round

While doing my research, I was very surprised to find out that Wimbledon has been the best place for Feliciano Lopez to show his skills.  He reached the quarters here in 2005 and 2008 and the fourth round in 2002, 2003, and again this year.  Feliciano had to defeat #10 seed Andy Roddick to get to the fourth round again, and counts veteran Rainer Schuettler and Michael Berrer as his second and first round conquests, this time around.  He has a good chance of reaching the quarters again (for the third time perhaps?) since his next opponent, Lukasz Kubot has a ranking twice than his, so on paper, Lopez should win.  Anyhow, let's see if Lopez rises again to the occasion!

The Rejuvenation of Xavier Malisse in Wimbledon 2011

One of the underachievers in the men's tour, Xavier Malisse is finally into his third fourth round appearance here in Wimbledon.  His last appearance was in 2004.  He was a semifinalist here in 2002.  Malisse has a good chance of making it into the quarterfinals since his opponent in the fourth round is ranked #158 in the world, Australian qualifier Bernard Tomic.  However, Malisse has to play a very good game when they do meet since Tomic looked very impressive in his match against Soderling.

Lukasz Kubot of Poland: Surprise Fourth Round Appearance in Wimbledon 2011

Lukasz Kubot of Poland has reached the fourth round of Wimbledon 2011.  This is the second time Lukasz gets to the fourth round of a Grand Slam.  Last year, he did just that in the Australian Open.  This is also by far, his best performance in Wimbledon.  That's a great achievement for a player currently ranked #93 in the world!

In the first round, Kubot had to win over veteran Arnaud Clement of France (#143), then he tamed the big-serving Croat Ivo Karlovic (#144) in the second round, then had a sensational 4-set victory over #8 seed Gael Monfils.  In the fourth round, he will meet #44 Feliciano Lopez of Spain.  Both have a good chance of making it into their first Wimbledon quarterfinals!

Wimbledon 2011: Breakout Male Player - Bernard Tomic

Bernard Tomic of Australia (#158) who had to go through qualifying, is my awardee for Breakout Player in this Grand Slam.  Tomic has had impressive scalps to get to the fourth round.  He won over Nikolay Davydenko (#27) in the first round, then Igor Andreev (#79) in the second round, and his biggest victory yet, over #5 Robin Soderling in the third round! His opponent in the fourth round will still be determined between Malisse and Melzer, opponents which Tomic can handle.  It would be fun if he makes it to the quarters!  Imagine that!

Wimbledon 2011: Elite Men's Team Country Award

Every Grand Slam, I pick the country with the most entries into the fourth round and award them, the Elite Men's Team Country Award.  For the men's game, the rivalry for this award has always been between the powerhouse countries of Spain and France.  For Wimbledon 2011, the awards goes to Spain who is led by the defending champion Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez.  These are the other countries who have fourth round entries -

France - 3
Argentina - 1
Australia - 1
Belgium - 1
Czech Republic - 1
Great Britain - 1
Poland - 1
Russia - 1
Serbia - 1
Switzerland - 1
USA - 1

Surprise Fourth Round Appearance for Czech Petra Cetkovska

Ok, I do try to follow the WTA tour as religiously as I can, but this is the first time I've encountered the Czech player, Petra Cetkovska, who makes a surprise fourth round appearance!  The Czech Republic has been producing some really good players these past few seasons and actually has two players in the fourth round, the other one being Petra Kvitova. 

Cetkovska is currently ranked #81 (she's the third player ranked in the 80s that has reached the fourth round!) and she has some really remarkable scalps as she went through each round.  She defeated Kristina Barrois of Germany (#75) in the first round, then shocked Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland (#11)  in the second round, and then scalped a Grand Slam champion, Ana Ivanovic of Serbia (18) in the third round!  In the fourth round, she will meet German Sabine Lisicki, herself ranked #62, so on paper, that should be a close match.

Venus Williams and Tsvetana Pironkova In Another Grand Slam Encounter

If I'm not mistaken, Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria (#33) is one of the few players which has a 2-0 record over Venus Williams in a Grand Slam.  It is tough enough to beat Venus in a lower tier tennis tournament, it is even more difficult to defeat her in a Grand Slam - and one of those victories for Pironkova came in last year's quarterfinals! 

Well, the luck of the draw puts them back in a rematch and this time, Venus will have a chance to make a dent in their head-to-head.  Pironkova is playing well though, disposing of Vera Zvonareva in just two sets.  Venus also hasn't had much play but her match against Date Krumm should've helped her find her way back in the court. 

Well, I still do think Venus has a chance to win here.  Venus in three sets.

Getting To Know Ksenia Pervak

As if Russia needed another good player, Ksenia Pervak shows how deep that country's bench is in women's tennis.  Ranked #89 in the world, she's the lowest ranked player in the draw to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon 2011 - and one good thing going for her is that her fourth round opponent is just ranked 9 places ahead of her, Tamira Paszek.  Tamira though has one advantage.  This is her second time in the fourth round so she already knows how it feels to be in this stage of the tournament.

It was a tough road for Ksenia as she had to defeat Shahar Peer of Israel (#22) in the first round, Pauline Parmentier of France (#74) in the second round and Andrea Petkovic (#13) of Germany in the third round - players all ranked higher than her.  Since Tamira and she have almost equal rankings, it would be interesting to note who would take it a notch higher.

I am actually counting on Ksenia to do that since Tamira must be tired now after her almost four hour match against Schiavone. Anyhow, let's see who of these two girls want that quarterfinal slot the most!

The Resurrection of Tamira Paszek in Wimbledon 2011

Photo Titled Paszek power

Tamira Paszek reached the fourth round during her debut here in Wimbledon in 2007.  Four years later, she returns to the fourth round after a tough 3 hour plus match today against French Open champion Francesca Schiavone.  Her tenacity and tough groundstrokes helped her to the end since Schiavo ran down all the balls that she gave to her. 

Interestingly, her opponent in the fourth round is ranked even lower than her, #89 Ksenia Pervak of Russia, so on paper, Tamira has a very good chance of reaching her first Grand Slam quarterfinal!  Finally, the future of Austrian tennis is showing some really good results!  Let's see if she really rises to the occasion!

Wimbledon 2011: Breakout Female Player

I normally give this award to the lowest-ranked player in the draw that reaches at least the fourth round and the player must currently rank outside the Top 100.  For Wimbledon 2011, the award goes to veteran Melinda Czink who is currently ranked #262 and she reached the third round.  She had remarkable wins though over #10 Samantha Stosur and #100 Anastasiya Yakimova before falling to Peng Shuai (#20) in the third round.
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Wimbledon 2011: Elite Women's Team Country Award

Every Grand Slam, I award the country with the most entries in the fourth round, the Elite Women's Team Country Award.  For Wimbledon 2011, the award goes to Russia, as she has three players in the fourth round - led by Maria Sharapova, Nadia Petrova and Ksenia Pervak.  Eleven other countries have entries in the fourth round.  They are the following -

Czech Republic - 2
USA - 2
Austria - 1
Belarus - 1
Belgium - 1
Bulgaria - 1
China - 1
Denmark - 1
France - 1
Germany - 1
Slovakia - 1

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Second Round Matches I've Seen: Sabine Lisicki vs. Li Na

Photo Titled Lisicki force

I've been a fan of Sabine Lisicki since she reached the quarterfinals here a few years back, and when she won Birmingham a few weeks ago, I knew she would be performing well in this year's Wimbledon.  What I did not expect though was how well she played today!! It was not that Li Na played poorly.  Li Na almost actually won the game when she was up one set 53 in the third set for 2 match points but Lisicki blasted 2 powerful serves to wipe them out and showed incredible mental and physical tenacity to stay on and finally win the match.

The last time I watched such a high quality women's match in Wimbledon was between Serena and Elena Dementieva during their semi's a few year's back.  This Lisicki-Li match was just as high in quality in ground strokes and the service was very crucial!  This was the first tim I've seen Sabine serve and they're just as powerful as those of the Williams sisters!

It was a toe-to-toe match from the start of play until the end.  In the end though, someone had to win and Sabine clinched the third set at 86.

Interestingly, if Lisicki continues her form, she may actually meet Serena (if she also holds her end of the draw) in the quarterfinals! Now that's a mouthwatering match!

Wimbledon 2011 Featured Player: Tamarine Tanasugarn

Tamarine Tanasugarn Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand plays a forehand during the women's singles final match against Arantxa Parra Santonja of Spain on Day One of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 22, 2009 in London, England.

Veteran Thai player Tamarine Tanasugarn (#121) has always favored the grass of Wimbledon, and this year, she wins her first round match against Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan (#123).  However, she falls to Russian Maria Kirilenko in the second round 75 75. 

Wimbledon Featured Player: Eleni Daniilidou

Eleni Daniilidou of Greece, currently ranked #121, is on a comeback trail and has used her wildcard entry here in Wimbledon to good use.  She won her first round match against Coco Vandeweghe 64 64, but fell to Ana Ivanovic in the second round, 63 60.  At least with her win here, she could at least ease up the rankings.

Wimbledon 2011 Featured Player: Misaki Doi

Misaki Doi of Japan, currently ranked #133, is causing a stir in Wimbledon 2011, as this qualifier has now reached the third round!  In the first round, she upset the Lady Gaga of women's tennis, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, ranked #31, 64 57 75, and today, she comprehensively defeated Zheng Jie of China, ranked #84, 61 63!

Her next opponent though is Sabine Lisicki of Germany, who today, upset French Open champion Li Na, so it's going to be a tough round for her.

Even then, her success here should push her into the Top 100 in the next few weeks.

Wimbledon 2011 Featured Player: Melinda Czink

Melinda Czink Melinda Czink of Hungary plays a forehand in her second round match against Jie Zheng of China during day four of the 2009 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 22, 2009 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Melinda Czink

Melinda Czink of Hungary, currently ranked #262, caused a stir, as she defeated #10 player, Samantha Stosur 63 64.  Czink is already a veteran of the tour so she is used to the ups and downs of this sport.  She has been in the Top 100 before and has reached as high as #37 in the world in 2009. 

Today, she defeated Anastasiya Yakimova of Belarus, ranked #100, 75 63, which puts her into the third round of Wimbledon, the farthest she has ever been in this tournament.  Her opponent will still be decided between Brit Elena Baltacha and Peng Shuai of China.

Her success her should help catapult her ranking up.

Wimbledon 2011 Featured Player: Laura Robson

Laura Robson of Great Britain is currently ranked #254 but she has reached the second round of Wimbledon 2011.  I think she was allowed into the main draw because she's British and she didn't have to go through qualifying.  Anyhow, she made good use of that opportunity and promptly won her first round match against Angelique Kerber of Germany, 46 76(4) 63, who is ranked much higher than her, at #77.

However, her opponent in the second round - Maria Sharapova - is more daunting.  Even then, at least she would get the chance to play with a Grand Slam champion, something she won't experience in the ITF circuit.  I'm sure she would learn a lot from that experience.

Analyzing the Men's Draw of Wimbledon 2011: The Fourth Segment of the Draw

Novak Djokovic is the player to beat in this side of the draw.  Currently ranked #2, his most likely opponent in the semifinals would be Robin Soderling.  I don't know though what his mental state is now, following his loss in the French Open semi's to Roger Federer, who cut short Djoko's fantastic winning streak.  When I saw the match, I could just see Novak fold and surrender as Roger just upped his game.  I haven't seen Novak play ever since so it would be interesting what he does here.  There are good players in his side of the draw though, including Kevin Anderson, Marcos Baghdatis and compatriot, Troicki - so it would be interesting how Novak negotiates them.

Wimbledon 2011 Player Profile: Ryan Harrison

Every Grand Slam, I feature players who are currently ranked outside the Top 100 but have reached the second round.  That is not an easy feat to do since to be outside the Top 100, you'd have to qualify first and then have a little luck in the draw for the first round so that you can have a chance to reach the second round.

Ryan Harrison, currently ranked #122, defeated Ivan Dodig of Croatia in the first round.  Dodig is currently ranked at #37.  In the secound round, he meets a tougher , to make it to the second round for the first time - his opponent, David Ferrer, who is currently ranked at #6.  Hopefully, this win in the first round should help Ryan move up in the rankings.

Wimbledon 2011 Player Profile: Fernando Gonzalez

Every Grand Slam, I feature players who are currently ranked outside the Top 100 but have reached the second round.  That is not an easy feat to do since to be outside the Top 100, you'd have to qualify first and then have a little luck in the draw for the first round so that you can have a chance to reach the second round.

Former Top 5 player, Fernando Gonzalez of Chile, is slowly on a comeback trail as his ranking has dipped to #478 - and we can see that he may be back in form as he defeated #24 ranked Alexandr Dolgopolov in four sets in the first round of Wimbledon 2011.  He may also have a good chance of winning his second round match against Rik De Voest of South Africa.  His first test should come in the third round where his potential opponent could be Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.  Gonzalez is a former Wimbledon quarterfinalist so he's familiar with the pressures as he goes to the next round.  His successes here should catapult his ranking soon.

Wimbledon 2011 Player Profile: Karol Beck

Every Grand Slam, I feature players who are ranked outside the Top 100 who have reached the second round.  That is not an easy feat to do since to be outside the Top 100, you'd have to qualify first and then have a little luck in the draw for the first round so that you can have a chance to reach the second round.

Another player who reaches the second round, but is ranked outside the Top 100 is Slovakia's Karol Beck, who is currently ranked #125. Beck had to qualify to reach the main draw and then was able to draw Carlos Berlocq of Argentina in the first round, who is ranked #70.  They had a tough five-set match where Beck had the upper hand.

In the second round, he will meet #41 ranked Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, so expect another tough match for Beck.

Wimbledon 2011 Player Profile: Rik De Voest

Rik De Voest Rik De Voest of South Africa in action against Ivan Navarro of Spain during day one of the South African Tennis Open at Montecasino on February 02, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images/Getty images) *** Local Caption *** Rik De Voest

Every Grand Slam, I feature players who are currently ranked outside the Top 100 but have reached the second round.  That is not an easy feat to do since to be outside the Top 100, you'd have to qualify first and then have a little luck in the draw for the first round so that you can have a chance to reach the second round.

The first player I'll feature is actually a veteran already from South Africa, Rik De Voest.  Currently ranked #147, he had to go through qualifying to get his slot in the main draw and he was lucky to get Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo of Spain as his first round, who is currently ranked #121, so in a way, they were not too far in current performance, singles wise.

He wins their first round encounter 62 63 62.  His second round opponent though is the dangerous floater, Fernando Gonzalez of Chile.  I would pick Gonzalez though he's more experienced.

However, De Voest's performance here should help his ranking go up a little bit.  His highest ranking ever was in 2006 when he reached #110.

Analyzing the Men's Draw of Wimbledon 2011: The Third Segment of the Draw

Roger Federer is now only the #3 player in the world, but gauging from his play in the first round, he could still give #s 2 and 3 a run for their money.  In his part of the draw though, Roger should not have any problems with anyone, and I predict that Tsonga will be his opponent in the quarters.  He does have possible heavyweight opponents on the way though, like David Nalbandian, who has beaten him before, and John Isner, the marathon man of Wimbledon.

Peppered around the draw are other competent players like David Ferrer, who is on a roll this year, Mikhail Youzhny, a former Top 10 player and Fernando Gonzalez, who is slowly working his way back in the rankings. I was shocked to discover that he is now ranked #478 in the world! He has now reached the second round so his ranking should slowly go up soon.

So for this part of the draw, Roger Federer is the easy pick for the semi's.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Analyzing the Men's Draw of Wimbledon 2011: The Second Segment of the Draw

It's that time of the year again when Andy Murray has to endure another round of spotlight from the local English press.  Well, he may have good news to deliver to them as in his part of the draw, his major opponents would most likely be Gael Monfils, who has been playing really great recently.  Other than him, there may be Andy Roddick and Richard Gasquet.  Even then, these are players that Andy can handle, so on paper, he should reach the semifinal part of his draw without much problems.  His biggest problem would be how to handle the pressure and expectations of a whole nation, if he really gets deeper into the tournament.

First Round Matches I've Seen: Kuznetsova Gets A Scare

Zhang Shuai is one of the four Chinese women in the Top 100 today, and gauging from how she played today, I won't be surprised if she starts to challenge the Top 50 soon enough. She gave 2-time Grand Slam champion, Svetlana Kuznetsova such a scare that the champion had to raise her level of play at different times during their 3-set competition just to fend Shuai away.

Sveta has more dangerous opponents waiting for her on her side of the draw.  Potential opponents include Yanina Wickmayer, Petra Kvitova and Vera Zvonareva.

Analyzing the Men's Draw of Wimbledon 2011: The First Segment of the Draw

Rafael Nadal will have a challenging Wimbledon ahead of him, as he defends his title this year.  He's had a very good workout in the first round against Michael Russell but his potential competition could include Milos Raonic, the up-and-coming Canadian player; fellow Grand Slam titlist Juan del Potro; and last year's finalist, Tomas Berdych, his most likely opponent in the quarterfinals.

Other contenders in this part of the draw are Mardy Fish, Gilles Simon and Fernando Verdasco.

Monday, June 20, 2011

What Venus Williams Wore On Court Today

Photo Titled Venus Williams
Photo Titled Venus Williams

It's a good thing Wimbledon organizers ask the players to wear white.  At least we'll have a rest as to what strange color Venus Williams is going to wear on court.  But true to form, she wore another strange looking blouse or was that a jumper to court today, in her first round match against Uzbek Akgul Amanmuradova.  At least she decided on another strange looking cure which had both plunging necklines in the front and back.  That cloth that drapes on her shoulders though might bother her from time to time but at least she gets to have full motion with her hands.

Hmmm...I wonder what she'll wear on the next round!

Wimbledon Player's Party Fashion According to Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Bethanie Mattek-Sands has been playing well these past few months and that can be gleaned from her #30 seed this Wimbledon.  She's also one of the more flamboyant players on tour.  During the Wimbledon player's party last Thursday, she became the Lady Gaga of tennis by wearing this flamboyant dress designed no less than Lady Gaga's designer, Alex Noble.

It looks quite interesting and since you're in England, you have to have a headress.   At least now, some of the ladies on tour are wearing their colors on their sleeves!