Friday, September 7, 2007

US Open: Women's semis, Men's doubles final

Again, I missed most of today's action, but I've skimmed through what I had recorded. First up, men's doubles.

The final was contested betwen Dlouhy/Vizner anad Aspelin/Knowle. Aspelin and Knowle, who took out the Bryan Brothers and Ram/Erlich, were teaming up for the very first time at the Open. I find that utterly amazing! How can this 'hodge-podge' team beat such established partnerships? I wish we could have seen some of the earlier matches, but you've heard me comment on the upsets as they happened...they just kept falling until the final was played between two teams that were never under consideration or even on the radar. This, as they say, is why they actually play the matches!

Some of the commentators mentioned the current break ups and shifting around of teams during this match. It was reported during the French Open that Knowles/Nestor were breaking up...a change initiated by Nestor so he could team up with Nenad Zimonjic, who was partnering with Fabrice Santoro at the time. But then, they won the French! They stayed together for Wimby, and then I never heard anything again. I even wrote into Jon Wertheim to ask what he knew, but he never answered. As a matter of fact, he's never answered any of the questions I've written in! *hmph* Ok, anyway, it turns out they will stay together for the end-of-year championships, but then they are done. I'm not sure if Nestor is still going with Zimonjic or not. But I did like how one of commentators compared all the moving around to an episode of Desparate Housewives. Though, for Knowles and Nestor to break, that's big. They were in each others' weddings for crying out loud?!? I think they mentioned Hanley and Ullyett to break up, too, but I'm not sure if I'm remembering correctly, and I didn't write it down, so don't go to the bank on that one.

Did I mention that Aspelin/Knowle won?

The first women's semi pitted youngster Anna Chakvetadze against 2004 US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova. I had picked Chakie to win. I was wrong. I was also forewarned that this was an ugly, ugly match. And it was indeed. Chakie took the first set and then seemed to suddenly remember where she was and that if she kept playing well (and Kutzie kept donating points) that she would be in the final. That was it, she was undone. Kutzie won the next two sets at 6-1. Hopefully, the next time we see a youngster in a big moment, they will rise to the occasion, instead of folding like we saw from Chakie today, and from AnaIvo at the French final. I do not put Marion Bartoli's Wimby final in that category, because I think she did fight back the nerves and believed that she could win it right up until she didn't.

This match was widely regarded as a stinker, and Peter Bodo even posted about it here. He took offense at not only the tennis, but also Sveta's visible struggles with fitness in her appearance. One wonders, with how well she moves now, how much better she would move if she could lean out a bit. But again, not everyone is 'blessed' with the lankiness of Sharapova or Hantuchova, a body type that is aesthically more pleasing to many people, but not without drawbacks in the movement department as well.

Mary Carillo and Mary Jo Fernandez were commentating in the booth for this match, which I thought was interesting since they rarely put them together. I guess because the women were playing the put the girls in the booth. Whatever. I like each one individually, especially MC, but I don't think they play against each other very well. MC had a slight gaffe when she said A-Rad was still alive in the girl's singles. I gasped, as I knew that she wasn't even entered!!! MC quickly realized her mistake and corrected is U-Rad, the little sister and #2 seed, who is still alive in the juniors. I knew that already, and I'm not paid anything to know it and I don't have a research department. *sigh* Some people get all the best jobs!

MJF ticked me off a bit when, after it became clear that both girls were choking something fierce, she said that there isn't anything to be done in that situation. Bullshit. It is a freakin' Grand Slam semi-final!!! You pull yourself together and start remembering all the time, practice, blood, sweat, and tears you have put in to get where you are and start playing some tennis! I don't care if it is easier said than done, but I'm willing to get Chakie got more money to lose today than I make in a year, and at that level, you *have* to be able to pull it together. Unless, of course, the entire tour is riddled with headcases and chokers. Oh...wait a minute...

Some days it is real hard to defend the WTA tour, as much as I am a fan.

The 'winner':

The second semi, Venus Williams and Justine Henin, was being touted as the 'de-facto' final. Which is kind of funny, because until JH beat Serena, *that* match was being called the 'de-facto' final. Did they not think the reigning Wimby champ would make it this far? They should have, especially after seeing how she started the tournament. But hey, understandably, Venus's wheels can come off anytime, but JH can also be stricken with 'fatigue' and 'tummy-ache' at any time as well.

At least this appears to have been a quality match. I've watched a bit, but I already know JH won 7-6, 6-4. When I got home I had turned on the TV and saw that they were still playing (well after my DVR had quit) and it was 5-3 in the second. I don't know what the difference was that made the match for JH, but regardless, Venus had a great tournament and set a good example for little sis to follow, though I doubt Serena would make the effort or even see the need for her to do so. Rumor has it she is pregnant (Serena). God help us...I hope it is just a rumor. The thought of her being a parent is completely frightening.

I think, when she smiles, that JH is actually pretty:

She is to meet Kuznetsova in the final tomorrow. She is going to win.

While all this was going on, Djokovic decided to take a visit into the city and get some culture. A trip to a rehearsal at the Met apparently ended up with him trying out a few notes on stage. Evidently, he shouldn't give up tennis anytime soon.

How can anyone not love this guy? He is a great player, will probably still get much better, and such a great personality. Let's hope he sticks around for a good, long time.

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