Saturday, June 30, 2007

Rain, rain go away...

Today's been a wash on the grassy lawns at Wimbledon, but Sharapova and Mauresmo made it through. Tradition's all good and grand, but come on! Play on the middle Sunday! A retractable roof's not gonna prevent a backlog of matches. Wimbledon organizers (in case there's a slight miracle you might see this) give the people what they want -- more tennis!

You know, say what you will about her commercials, the dad coaching her from the stands, the "hot" factor, I don't think there's a female tennis player I root for more than Sharapova. All that other stuff aside (well, the coaching from the stands is crappy and I'm sure after today, Sugiyama would disagree with me), she's as gutsy as they come. To make it to the semis of the French was impressive, especially with her bum shoulder, and she's getting through Wimbledon. (Keep going, I have you picked to make the finals! Make me look good!)

On the men's side, things seem to be going pretty much to plan. I'm still not totally convinced about another Nadal final appearance. I think he'll get knocked off by a big hitter in the quarters (namely Berdych). If Nadal ever wins Wimbledon, then that should be a sign that things need to be changed there. Baseliners have won there in the past 15 years (Agassi and Hewitt), but those guys have flatter strokes than Nadal.

One more men's note before I wrap up this posting: I can't be more disappointed in James Blake's performance. I thought he would at least get to the fourth round, but it's kind of sad that I had my man Kohlschreibber getting through out of that part of the draw. This is a bold statement I'm about to make here: At the U.S. Open, if he's not in Federer's half of the draw and fails to make it to at least the semis, then he will never get that far at a major in his career. Faster-surface slams are the time to shine (as Roddick knows).

Oops, actually one more men's note: So long (this year, at least) Timmy! I really hope you pull it off at Wimbledon one day, or at any Slam, actually. (How awesome would that have been if you would've beaten Coria in the French semis a few years ago? Then knocked off Gaudio?)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Timmay! (That's supposed to be in my "South Park" voice)

I spent so much time watching tennis today and doing stuff later that I'm just now getting to post. Real quick because I'm getting up in the morning to play tennis, but congrats Tim! Keep it going (at least until the quarters, where I picked you to end up!)

I'm gonna write about that Fish/Nadal match in the morning. That was my upset pick for the tournament, but I guess I blew it.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Why would anyone pick Kohlschreiber?

It was crazy, I know, but he did just make the semis in Halle, which was the best grasscourt result of anyone in that section of the draw. Heavy hitters Blake and Gonzo are in that section, but I always think those two are vulnerable for an upset and I thought my man Phil could've pulled it off. I'll take the knock on my quarterfinal picks, but unofficially I'll go with Gonzalez in that section.

Now watch him lose to Falla in the next round!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Quarters, semis and winners, oh boy!

Here's my pick for the quarters on in both draws. I'll go through the men first:

Federer vs. Kolschreibber (I don't think Kolschreibber even think he's gonna make it to the quarters!)
Roddick vs. Henman (The last hurrah for Henman. Someone's gotta carry Britain's hopes with Murray out!)
Baghdatis vs. Hewitt (I think both of these guys lucked up with an easy draw.)
Berdych vs. Fish (This is Mardy Fish's last stand as far as I'm concerned. If he doesn't beat Nadal in the first round and really make a statement, then that's it. He'll never be a top player.)

Federer vs. Roddick, Baghdatis vs. Berdych

(I can't believe I'm typing this) RODDICK over Baghdatis!

On the women's side, I have no upset picks whatsoever and I think all eight top seeded women will make the quarters. I just don't think the contenders outside the top eight (V. Williams, Hingis, Petrova) are in good enough match shape.

So I'll just go from the semis on:
Henin vs Jankovic, Ivanovic vs. Sharapova

And the finals, Henin over Sharapova.

There you go.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Hop on the Booty and Stretch bandwagon!

The Croatians came through for me in my final-round picks with Lubey and Ivo winning their first grass-court titles. I don't have either one of them making the quarters at Wimbledon (I'll make my quarterfinal picks tomorrow; I can't do it now, I'm at work!)

As far as the Eastbourne final and what resulted from it, I still think Henin'll go deeper than Mauresmo. As for the Netherlands result, I guess with a score that close it could've gone either way, but Chakvetadze came through.

However, the most interesting result on finals weekend to me was "Booty" and "Stretch" winning the Nottingham doubles for their third title. You've read it here first: I think Eric Butorac and Jamie Murray are stars in the making. It's pretty rad to see a new young team doing good things. I'll definitely be writing more about them in the future!

(Props to Coetzee/Wassien, Raymond/Stosur and Chan/Chuang for bagging doubles titles, too.)

Men's and women's quarterfinal picks for Wimbledon coming tomorrow.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Warmups before the big one

Well, the Wimbledon warmups are wrapping up this week. And since the finals are tomorrow, I'm gonna go ahead and make my picks:

In Nottingham, I'm going with Karlovic over Clement, even though Clement got him last week at Queen's.

In The Netherlands, on the men's side, I'm going with Ljubicic over Wessels (the Wessels story is kind of neat. Whatever happened to that guy? I remember watching him win Newport years ago, and thought he would have a decent career.)

For the women, Jankovic over Anna Chakvetadze. But I think Jankovic should slow down. Racking up titles can leave you a little tired for majors (not that I've ever played in a major, but still!)

In Eastbourne, Mauresmo over Henin, but I don't think this will mean much when it comes down to Wimbledon. I think Mauresmo will bow out kind of early, and Henin (especially saying how much she wants this one) will make a deep run.