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Sunday, August 31, 2014

My Tweet on Tennis TV!


OMG! My tweet appeared on TV - and they read it aloud!! Americanized lang nga ang pagpronounce nila ng Fabe (Fe-yb)! Ang babaw ng kaligayahan ng lola mo!

Yun lang, wrong grammar akech! Hahaha! I guess I was too excited to edit my tweet before I sent it. 

I will know in about 2 hours whether it'd be Maria Sharapova or Caroline Wozniacki who'll advance to the QFs.

Elite Women's Team Award US Open 2014: Russia



In a hotly contested Elite Women's Team Award for the US Open 2014, Russia wins the award this year - as Maria Sharapova and Ekaterina Makarova's combined rankings of 24 give the country the award.

This website awards the Elite Women's Team Award to the country who has the most players through to the fourth round of each of the grand slams.  If an eventuality of a tie, the current weekly ranking of the players into the fourth round, for each country, is added up, and the country with the smallest sum wins.

Italy was a close second with a sum of 26.  Sara Errani and Flavia Pennetta make up the Italian team.  Serbia was in third place with a sum of 153.  Jelena Jankovic and Aleksandra Krunic make up the Serbian team.

Female Breakthrough Player US Open 2014: Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia


Serbian player Aleksandra Krunic, currently ranked #143 is my Female Breakthrough Player for the 2014 US Open.  She had to qualify for the main draw and she has made the most of it.  She's now into the fourth round of a grand slam for the first time.

She dismantled Katarzyna Piter of Poland in the first round, currently ranked #111, 64 61. She then surprised American Madison Keys in the second round, currently ranked #28, 76(4) 26 75.

She then made her biggest scalp by defeating current Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the third round, 64 64.

She will next meet the runner-up for the last two years, Victoria Azarenka in the fourth round.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Under the Radar: Mirjana Lucic-Baroni Into the 4th Round of the US Open for the First Time


Finally, after toiling under the shadows, former teen prodigy Mirjana Lucic-Baroni finally reaches the fourth round of the 2014 US Open, for the first time since reaching the third round of the 1997 and 1998 seasons.  Her best performance in a grand slam was a semifinal appearance in Wimbledon in 1999.

I knew that she would be able to make a comeback one of these years, and just being in a right draw would help her.  She actually had to qualify for the main draw, and I think the early matches helped clean her game.

She defeated Spanish player Garbine Muguruza, currently ranked #26, in the first round, 63 76(4).

In the second round, she defeated veteran Israeli player Shahar Peer.  Although currently ranked #155 in the world, the Israeli player had a wealth of experience in the grand slam. Lucic-Baroni won over her, 67(6) 63 62.

She then shocked current world #2 Simona Halep of Romania, 75 62 in the third round.

She will next meet Italian Sara Errani, currently ranked #12, in the fourth round.

She really has a good chance of making it as far as the quarters, if she continues to play well.   

Under the Radar: Cici Bellis Into Surprising Second Round Appearance in a Grand Slam


Currently ranked #1211 in the world, American Cici Bellis would've been an easy opponent for veteran Slovakian player Dominika Cibulkova, currently ranked #13.  However, Cici defeated this year's Australian Open finalist 62 46 64.

She lost her second round match though to Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan, currently ranked #46, 63 06 62.


Under the Radar: American Nicole Gibbs Into First Third Round Grand Slam Appearance


Performing really well in this year's US Open is American Nicole Gibbs, currently ranked #136.  She has defeated two noteworthy opponents in the main singles draw - Caroline Garcia of France, currently ranked #42, 26 62 63.

She then proceeded to dismantle Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, currently ranked #24, 64 67(6) 63.

She will next meet Italian Flavia Pennetta, currently ranked #12.

Under the Radar: Sam Groth Into First Second Round Grand Slam Appearance


Australian player Sam Groth, currently ranked #104, reached the second round of the 2014 US Open for the first time by defeating Albert Ramos Vinolas of Spain, currently ranked #95, 63 76(5) 63, in the first round.

It's also the first time he got this deep in any grand slam.  He will next meet tennis legend Roger Federer in the second round.

Under the Radar: Hot and Cute Borna Coric Into First Second Round Appearance in a Grand Slam






Only 17 years old, would you believe Borna Coric had to go through qualifying this year, even if he were the US Open juniors champion last year.  There, he was able to defeat players who were much older and definitely bigger than him!

Soon as he got to the main draw, he dispatched Lukas Rosol, currently ranked #27, the Czech player who upset Rafael Nadal in Wimbledon in 2012.  This time, it was Rosol's turn to be dispatched by this tough yet hot-looking Croatian player.  Currently ranked #2014, Coric won his first round match 64 61 62.

He lost his second round match though to Dominican Republic's 67(2) 64 46 26.  Victor is almost twice Borna's age and is currently ranked #80 in the world.

Impressed With Misaki Doi


One of the lower-ranked players that I was impressed with this week was Japanese Misaki Doi.  Although ranked in the 90s, she showed a lot of spunk and grit as she fought former world #1 Victoria Azarenka!  Her groundstrokes were so solid and they hit the mark, especially in the first two sets.

Hopefully, her rankings improve as she gets to more tournaments. I think she can really do damage, at least with the players in the top 50.  Other diminutive players like Zheng Jie and Sara Errani have reached the semifinals and the finals of grand slams so anything is possible!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Under the Radar: Shahar Peer Into Second Round Appearance For the Seventh Time


(Under the Radar features players currently ranked outside the top 100 who reaches the second round or deeper in any grand slam.)

Veteran player from Israel, Shahar Peer, currently ranked #155, reaches the second round of the US Open, for the seventh time, as she defeats, Brit Johanna Konta, currently ranked #121, 62 63.

Her best performance here was as quarterfinalist in 2007.

She will next meet another veteran, Croatian Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, currently ranked #119, in the second round.

Under the Radar: Veteran Anastasia Rodionova Off To A Good Start


(Under the Radar features players currently ranked outside the top 100 who reaches the second round or better in any grand slam.)

Australian veteran Anastasia Rodionova, currently ranked #219, reaches the second round of the US Open, for the 6th time, by upsetting Camila Giorgi of Italy, currently ranked #38, 16 75 63.

Rodionova has actually reached the third round here in 2006 and 2009.  She will next meet Italian Sara Errani, currently ranked #14, in the second round.

Under the Radar: Aliaksandra Sasnovich's First Second Round Appearance in a Grand Slam!


(Under the Radar features players ranked outside the top 100 who reaches the second round or deeper in any of the grand slams.)

Belorussian Aliaksandra Sasnovich, currently ranked #125, reaches the second round of the 2014 US Open for the first time, by defeating Slovakian Anna Schmiedlova, currently ranked #66, 64 63.

She will next meet the Dane, Caroline Wozniacki, currently ranked #11 in the world, in the second round.

Under the Radar: Madison Brengle Into First Second Round Appearance in a Grand Slam


(Under the Radar features players currently ranked outside the top 100 and reaches the second round or deeper of any of the grand slams.)

Madison Brengle, currently ranked #123, reaches the second round of the 2014 US Open by defeating Julia Glushko of Israel, currently ranked #101, 63 62.

It's her first time ever in the second round of any grand slam.

She will next meet Sabine Lisicki of Germany, currently ranked #27, in the second round.

Under the Radar: Qiang Wang Makes First Second Round Appearance in a Grand Slam!


(Under the Radar features players ranked outside the top 100 who reaches the second round or deeper of any of the grand slams.)

Qiang Wang of China, currently ranked #139, reaches the second round of the 2014 US Open by defeating Paula Kania, currently ranked #159.

It's her first appearance in a grand slam singles draw. She will next meet Casey Dellacqua of Australia, currently ranked #30, in the second round.

Under the Radar: Michael Llodra's Last Hurrah!


(Under the Radar features players ranked outside the top 100 who reaches the second round or deeper in any of the grand slams.)

Veteran French player Michael Llodra, currently ranked #193, reaches the second round of the 2014 US Open by defeating Daniel Gimeno Traver of Spain, currently ranked #101 in the world, 64 63 75.

This is the seventh time he reaches the second round and his best performance here was 10 years ago, when he reached the 4th round.

He will next meet Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany, currently ranked #25, in the second round.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Under the Radar: Zheng Saisai Into First Second Round Appearance in a Grand Slam


(Under the Radar features players currently ranked outside the top 100 who reaches the 2nd round or deeper of any grand slam.)

Chinese doubles player Zheng Saisai reaches her very first second round appearance in a grand slams singles draw by beating Swiss player Stefanie Voegele, currently ranked #67, 16 62 62.  

As a doubles player, she has reached the semifinals of the Australian Open in 2013.

She will next meet Czech player, Lucie Safarova, in the second round, currently ranked #15.

Under the Radar: Alla Kudryavtseva Back Into Good Form in A Grand Slam


(Under the Radar features players currently ranked outside the top 100 who reaches the 2nd round or deeper of any grand slam.)

Russian player Alla Kudryavtseva, currently ranked #137, defeated fellow qualifier from China, Ying Ying Duan, currently ranked #161, 26 62 64 to reach the second round of the 2014 US Open.  She has reached the third round of the US Open in 2011, and her best performance in a grand slam was a 4th round appearance in Wimbledon in 2008.

She reached a rank of #56 in 2010.  She will next meet German player Angelique Kerber, currently ranked #7, in the second round.

Under the Radar: Peter Gojowczyk Into 2nd Round of US Open for the 2nd Time


(Under the Radar features players ranked outside the top 100 who reaches the 2nd round or deeper in the grand slams.)

German player Peter Gojowczyk, currently ranked #124, defeated compatriot Benjamin Becker, currently ranked #59, 62 64 62, to reach the second round of the US Open for the second year in a row.

Gojowczyk reached as high as #99 in the world earlier this year.  He will next meet Milos Raonic of Canada, in the second round, ranked #6 in the world.

So Much Respect For Kimiko Date-Krumm!


Kimiko Date-Krumm just won the first set 6-2 in her first round match against another veteran, Venus Williams. This is amazing because we're the same age!

Take note ha! She was playing her match at 1:30PM in New York at a temperature of 31 deg C!!  Joskoday!! Ang init!! Against a player pa who can really whack a tennis ball!! Her stamina is amazing!

Here I am having days when I have to limp whenever my right knee does not cooperate and Kimiko is still playing in the main draw of a grand slam!!  

Alam mo, she should write about her fitness and her nutrition routine!  I bet it's going to be a bestseller!!  I'm sure everyone my age and older would want to know her secrets!

I have so much respect for athletes in their 40s who are still actively competing, especially in sports like tennis which is so grueling! 

Friday, August 22, 2014

US Open 2014 Women's Draw: Venus Williams Has A Good Shot at A Semifinal Appearance


Venus Williams is in a tough part of the women's draw in this year's US Open, yet I feel that she has a good chance of reaching her first semi-final of a grand slam in so many years.  Her fierce performance at Wimbledon a few months ago coupled with her win against her sister Serena, in Montreal shows that she can still slug it out with today's top 10 players.

Her draw includes Simona Halep who is currently ranked #2 in the world today, Maria Sharapova, and Caroline Wozniacki, who has had a wonderful run this summer.  Add to that mix, Roberta Vinci, Andrea Petkovic and Sara Errani, and you have this great host of players who have a good chance of making the semi-finals in this side of the draw.

However, I feel it's time again for Venus to reassert herself and she is in the "right" part of the draw where she has the firepower to slug it out with her potential opponents.  I'm very excited to see her play!

US Open 2014 Women's Draw: Agnieszka Radwanska My Pick On Her Side of the Draw


Agnieszka Radwanska's draw is not really easy, it's just that it is populated by many good players who haven't really performed well lately in the US hard courts although they have solid US Open credentials.  That's the reason why I picked Agi to top her side of the draw since in terms of grand slam performance, she's currently the most solid and the most consistent in this group.

Her drawmates include Angelique Kerber, who was a semifinalist here in 2011 but has shown some inconsistency sometimes in the grand slams.  There's also Jelena Jankovic who was runner-up here but that was way back in 2008.  Added to the mix are Roberta Vinci, who's a solid hardcourt player, Lucie Safarova, who just reached the semi-finals in this year's Wimbledon, a few weeks ago, and Sloane Stephens, who is a bit of an underachiever, but still potentially dangerous.

As I said, any of these women are potential semifinalists and each has a good chance of getting there, but for me, Agi should be able to weather everyone else.

US Open 2014 Women's Draw: Petra Kvitova Should Dominate Her Side of the Draw


There are many good players in Petra Kvitova's side of the draw.  First is Canada's wonder girl, Eugenie Bouchard, who has reached all the other three grand slam finals this year. However, after losing badly in the Wimbledon final, she hasn't figured much in the US hardcourt season, that's why I haven't chosen her as my favorite on this side of the draw.

Second, there is Victoria Azarenka, who was runner-up the past two years in this event.  She isn't the top seed anymore this time around but due to her wealth of experience in this event, she should be able to cause some damage.  Third is Ekaterina Makarova who performed really well this US hardcourt season, reaching the semi's of Washington DC and Montreal.

Add to that mix a host of really good hardcourt players like 2004 US Open champion Sveta Kuznetsova, who won Washington DC this summer, tough hardcourt specialist Flavia Pennetta and this year's Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova and you have a really strong group of women fighting for that lone semifinal slot in this side of the draw!

There are so many landmine players in this side of the draw that choosing THE player to represent this side of the draw is a tough job, because any of these women has the chops to win this side of the draw.

Anyhow, I am choosing Petra Kvitova mainly because she looks like she has renewed confidence in her capabilities, especially coming from that Wimbledon win a few months ago.  If she does well in New Haven, where she is already a semi-finalist, that's a good omen and preparation for her!

US Open 2014 Women's Draw: Serena Williams Still The Player to Beat


This year, every time a grand slam came along, Serena Williams would always undoubtedly be the player I would pick to win the grand slam tournament, something which she has not done yet this year, as the past three grand slams went to Li Na, Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova.

However, with Serena's stellar performance in this year's US hardcourt season by winning in Cincinnati and Stanford, she once again shows everyone else that she is still the player to beat, in this year's US Open.  She won this title the past two years and is a five-time champion.  Once again, the prospect of winning a sixth US Open title is as bright as ever for her.

Her draw is certainly going to help her, with only Ana Ivanovic as her greatest threat, and which incidentally, she defeated twice this summer season.  Samantha Stosur, who beat her in the finals of the US Open 2011 is also another potential threat.  She is in great form and I don't see anyone in her part of the draw that could upset her in the early rounds.

US Open 2014 Men's Draw: All Eyes On Roger Federer As He Creates Path for His 18th Grand Slam Title


With Rafael Nadal out of the tournament due to injury and with Novak Djokovic performing below his usual level in this year's US summer season, all eyes are once again on Roger Federer as he carves out a great run in the US summer season, ending it with a title in Cincinnati!

Although he's admittedly in the last few years of an amazing career, Federer always has that ability to be in the mix of things especially when a grand slam comes along.  Helping him along is what we call the luck of the draw, and he has that in this year's US Open.  None of the other three greats are in his side of the draw, and with only baby Fed (Grigor Dimitrov) as the major threat on his side of the draw, it should pave the way for Roger to reach, yet another grand slam semi-final.

What makes the prospect even more delicious for prognosticators like me, is that none of the other three greats are in his side of the bigger draw, which makes him a favorite for a finals slot on his side of the draw (with David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych as probably his biggest threats).

So the next two weeks are going to be exciting times for many fans of Roger as he has a very good chance of snatching an 18th grand slam title, which could really cement his status as one of the sports greatest athletes!  Tsonga and Raonic are possible threats to the title, and Novak is also in the mix, but admittedly, all eyes and most likely, sentimental support, will be on Roger.  Let's see how all the stars align these next two weeks in Flushing Meadows!

US Open 2014 Men's Draw: Best Chance for David Ferrer to Show Hard Court Prowess


Although still without a grand slam, in my opinion, outside the current four greats, David Ferrer is the player that has been consistently chipping in his way in each grand slam, finding that chance to reach a semi-final, even a final, considering how very consistent the four greats have been this past decade.

He has, in fact, reached a semi-final in the US Open in 2012, losing to Novak Djokovic.  He also reached the quarters last year.  This year, because of that thing we call, luck of the draw, David Ferrer stands to reach his second US Open semi-final, if everything goes his way, at least on paper.  Potential opponents include Tomas Berdych, who has had a lackluster American summer, the always dangerous Croatian, Marin Cilic and the crafty Frenchman Gilles Simon, who is a former top 10 player.

This year, based on the draw he has, is actually David's best chance of reaching another grand slam semi-final, something which I won't be surprised he'd take advantage off, considering he has had a good run in the US summer season, losing to Federer in both Cincinnati and Toronto.  Interestingly, Federer also looms large on his side of the draw, but he will most likely only meet him in the semi-final, at least on paper.

US Open 2014 Men's Draw: Milos Raonic Is Ready for Another Great Grand Slam Performance


For the past decade, it has been very rare for me to feature a male tennis player who is not part of the current great four players in the men's draw (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray) during the grand slams.  

The aforementioned four players have had such a stranglehold on the draws of the grand slams that it has only been once in a while that a player outside of the four is featured whenever the draws for the grand slams comes out. That's how consistent those four are!

However, on rare occasions, like this year's US Open, the first two players I picked from the draw as favorites for this particular tournament, are not part of the four greats!  Tsonga is my pic for the top upper half of the draw, and I choose Milos Raonic to top the bottom upper half of the men's draw!

Just like Tsonga, Raonic had a great US summer season, winning Washington DC and performing well in both Toronto (quarters) and Cincinnati (semi's).  So it's definitely time for him to step it up a notch in this year's grand slam in Flushing Meadows, especially that he made giant steps as well in this year's French Open (quarters) and Wimbledon (semi's).  The next logical step in his arc of improvement is to give a creditable performance at this year's US Open, a semi-final appearance, at least.

His potential opponents include this year's Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka, up-and-coming Japanese player Kei Nishikori and giant player upsetter  Lukas Rosol.

It would be interesting to see how Milos handles the expectations now that he is really part of the limelight in men's tennis!

US Open 2014 Men's Draw: It's About Time Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Steps Out of the Shadows of the Greats


For the top upper half part of the draw, it is a toss-up between number one seed Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and this time, I'm cautiously going for the Frenchman, who, undeniably is one of the more talented men's players out there and I think this particular slam is the best chance for him to finally get out of the club of underrated yet talented players who yet has to win a grand slam!

With Nadal out of this year's Open due to injury and Novak performing below his usual best self, it is Tsonga and Roger Federer who are looking out to be the top two favorites if we are to use their US summer season as a barometer for this year's US Open success.

Tsonga's commanding performance at Toronto, which is a master's tournament, showed that he is ripe to go one step better, and finally achieve a title on the grand slam stage.

He has some pretty tricky potential opponents though which may include two former US Open champions, Murray and Djokovic - and Roger has won this title five times already so Tsonga has to be mentally tough and be in top physical shape if he wants this particular grand slam this year!  If he can repeat his brilliance in Toronto in the much bigger stage at Flushing Meadows then he has a fighting chance.