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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Wimbledon 2012: Elite Women's Team Country Award

This is the grass in Wimbledon but it is very surprising to find Italy win the Elite Women's Team Country Award this year!  Their players are not really known to be that proficient on grass.  But not anymore.  This award proves that these Italian women can play in all types of surfaces!

I don't remember Italy ever winning this award!  Three Italian women have entered the fourth round of Wimbledon 2012!  Incredible!  They are lead by 23rd seed Roberta Vinci, 26th seed and French Open champion Francesca Schiavone and surprise, surprise, 145th seed Camila Giorgi, who also wins the Breakout Player Award for Wimbledon 2012.

Bravo Italia!
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Finally Michael Baker Can Shine

I was watching the second round match of Michael Baker and Gilles Simon during the French Open this year.  At that time, I had no idea yet who Michael Baker was and while watching the match, Gilles, won the first two sets without incident.  Suddenly, Baker came alive - and I think won the next two sets - and you can really see that he can play well, really well, on clay!  Well, he lost the fifth set  though, but in a way, it introduced me to the wonderful story behind this guy!  

Well, he's already in the fourth round of Wimbledon - and may even go deeper, since Rosol took out Nadal, Baker can capitalize on the situation, especially that he is ON THE SIDE of Nadal's draw!  Lucky devil!  If he just plays within himself, he might just reach his first Grand Slam semifinal!!

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Game Really Changes When the Wimbledon Roof is On

They had to put the roof on to finish the match between Rosol and Nadal yesterday.  I think they did that too in Sharapova and Paszek's match yesterday.  It just really changes the game and although I'm just watching it on TV, the changes are pretty discernible.  There's the more audible acoustics and then the atmosphere looks caved in as the cheers of the crowd are louder and in a way, what was once an outdoor match becomes a closed indoor match.  Well, it's just one of the quirks that the players have to deal with this Wimbledon season.
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And the World Discovers Lukas Rosol!

I blog about tennis almost everyday and I can't believe I don't even have a single article about Lukas Rosol!  Where has this man been hiding?  I am currently watching his game now (a replay haha - I did not finish watching his game last night because I thought he would really just fold after Nadal beat him in the first set tiebreak!) against Rafael Nadal and I am amazed at Rosol's abilities - his aces and his powerful groundstrokes!  He has really just come out of nowhere and shell shocked Rafa.  I rarely see an alpha male player like Nadal get a dose of his own medicine.  Also, it's very rare that balls just whiz through Nadal - in a normal game, he just gets everything back!  But not in this match.

I guess aside from his latent abilities, what worked for Rosol was his ability to concentrate throughout the grueling five-setter and just go toe-to-toe with Rafa.  Also, he was never afraid to take charge and dominate - which is not easy if you're playing Nadal - who, everyone knows, deliberately plays at his own pace - much to the chagrin of many of his foes.  I did read somewhere that Nadal tried to make Rosol lose his concentration - which is par for course in a sporting match - but Rosol did not take the bait.

Well, it's always exciting to discover a gem in the rough - which I think Rosol is.  It's only the second round and it's still a long way to go - but if he just continues to play this way, he could really go deeper into this tournament.  Of course, he only has a day or two to deal with the euphoria and bottle everything in and go back to business.  I would really love to see him play a few more matches because his game is well suited for grass.
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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Anastasiya Yakimova: Player Who Reached the Second Round of Wimbledon 2012

Belorussian Anastasiya Yakimova, currently ranked #110 in the world, won her first round match here in Wimbledon against Mindy Minella of Luxembourg (#83 in the world), 46 63 63.  She lost today though to German Julia Goerges (#24 in the world) 67(3) 26.

She also reached the second round of Wimbledon last year.
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Tin Bikic: Jelena Dokic's Arm Candy!

I haven't seen Jelena Dokic's name in the Wimbledon draw this year, but still, I am writing this since I chanced upon the name of his boyfriend, Tin Bikic, a Croat.  He's such a looker!   I guess he's good for Jelena since she's had some success in her potracted career.
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The Popularity of Wimbledon - at least According to my Blog Stats

Based on my tennis blog, Wimbledon is more popular then the Australian and French Open.  My highest number of views for the Australian Open was 514 while it was 450 for the French Open.  

Yesterday, my pageviews reached 1405 when Tamira won over Caroline.  And it was only the fourth day  but the number of readers is three times more than the other two slams.  When Tamira Paszek won yesterday, I saw the highest readership since Li Na won in 2010.  

Blogging is a good tool to know who the world wants to know more of - at least among the up-and-coming tennis players......
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Guillaume Rufin: Player Ranked Outside the Top 100 Who Reaches the Second Round of Wimbledon

This is Frenchman Guillaume Rufin's first Wimbledon tournament and despite being ranked #168, he manages to get to the second round, by defeating Belgian Steve Darcis, ranked #63, in the first round, 64 36 57 64 64.

He lost to Spanish Nicolas Almagro (ranked #11), 26 75 26 46, in the second round today.
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Players I'm Watching This Wimbledon

I haven't seen the draws yet today but there are players whom I'd love to watch this Wimbledon.  They may not be the Federers or Sharapovas of the game but because they also play so well on grass, it's fun to see how deep they can go into their respective draws.

This list includes David Goffin, Brian Baker, Ernests Gulbis, Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikor in the men's side and Tamira Paszek, Arantxa Rus, Yaroslava Shvedova, Nadia Petrova and Christina McHale in the women's side.

Oh well, here's wishing each of them the best!
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Me Gusta Tsvetana Pironkova

Aunque Tsvetana Pironkova perdió son partido contra Maria Sharapova esta noche, 76 67 60, aún ella es una de mis jugadores favoritos en los juegos de mujeres.  Me gusta la manera ella juega especialmente en el pasto donde destaca mucho!  Cada vez ella juega en Wimbledon, siempre veo su partido.  La vi venció Venus Williams dos veces aqui y estaba muy contento cuando ella alcanzó el semifinal y cuarto de final alli antes.

Es una pena que haya llegado Sharapova temprano en este torneo.
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Tamira Paszek Finally Shows the World!

Tamira has always thrived on grass!  On her debut here in 2007, she reached the fourth round.  Last year, she made the quarters!  This year, she won Eastbourne before coming here to Wimbledon but drew former world #1 Caroline Wozniacki on the first round.  Tough luck!  However, as I was watching her last night, you could really see that she was playing very well!  It's good that Wozniacki, although still in the Top 10, is not really considered an aggressive player. She can play defense very well, but lacks the killer instinct still, to dominate an opponent.  She did show some signs of those in the second set, but in the deciding third set, Paszek groundstrokes were just immaculate!  Still Wozniacki gave her a hard time before finally conceding.

It's great to see Tamira move deeper into the tournament!
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