Wednesday, August 29, 2007

US Open: Day 3

Hats off to Tiger Tim Henman today, as he pulled through his first round match, one in which he was a pretty big underdog, against the Californian Russian Dmitry Tursunov. This is a good win for Henman.

Another big match on the men's side today was the highly anticipated first round match-up of mental case Marat Safin and up and comer Frank Dancevic. This match also gets my Insane Score Award, with Safin coming through in three sets at 7-5, 7-6, 7-6. I was wishing I had TV today, so I could have watched this match.

Also winning today, but also raising some doubts, was Rafael Nadal. He won his match against WC Alun Jones, but he dropped a set in doing so. He also received treatment on court for his knees. This is not a problem you want during a hard court event. Johnny Mac reported on USA that Nadal looked 'wobbily' and had trouble stopping. I think Nadal must be waiting to slide, and the slide doesn't come on a hard court. He is going to have a tough road ahead of him.

That brings us to Fernando Gonzalez. Amazing at the Aussi, and pretty much absent since. He dropped his first two sets to Gabashvili before fighting back, only to lose in the fith and final set. *shaking head* What is going on in his camp?!?

A mini-upset - Korolev is out, losing in five sets to none other than Stanislaw Wawrinka, who continues his strong recent hard court play. Other winners on the men's side today include Disco Tommy, Youzhny, Moya (whoot!), Ginepri (who handed out a bagel), Tsonga (hopefully we'll get a glimpse), Tipsarevic (hopefully we'll get much more than a glimpse!), Fish (looking strong), and none other than Latvian Ernests Gulbis, who took out a seeded player in Italian Potito Starace.

Federer is yet to play, and Isner is up a set and a break. A third round match-up between the two is looming, and will be much anticipated by most hard core tennis fans. We don't expect Isner to win, but it will be interesting to see how he handles The Serve.

No major upsets occurred (so far) on the women's side. Serena is currently on court, having a tough first set with Maria Elena Camerin (a fiesty Italian, I like her), but is now up a break in the second set. Something of note, though..Asha Rolle made good on her first round upset of Golovin by defeated Knapp in three sets to go into the third round. Definitely the best results we've seen from her...ever.

Some of the double are finally taking to the court today, and I noticed some interesting match-ups while perusing the schedule. In mixed, Wimbledon champ Jamie Murray is teaming with Leizel Huber, one of the best doubles players on the women side. No offense to Jelena, but this is a step up for Jamie. I expect them to go far. Natalie Dechy and Andy Ram are teaming up again, and they thrashed the team of Maria Kirilenko and Igor Andreev, 6-1, 6-0.

Women's doubles includes, of course, the top teams (Black/Huber, Raymond/Stosur) but also winning today was the team of Daniela Hantuchova and Martina Hingis. Since Daniela is out, and Martina will probably not get too deep...maybe these guys could pull a doubles upset? They are both strong doubles players with quite a few doubles GS titles between them. They will be a team to keep an eye on.


My own play continues to slump. The change of grip on my forehand is making a difference, but it isn't there in match play yet. It could also be that for this league, which doesn't count toward ratings, is just not a priority for me right now. I goof off in matches, and don't concentrate or focus. I almost feel like I'd rather forego the matches for now to work on improving/changing things in my game. I'm giving serious thought to skipping the next short season (the fall season that will go October to December and includes some mixed play) and doing just that...working on the game and the technique problems that I know I have.

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