Monday, May 26, 2008

Well, it wasn't a complete wash


Despite the scene above, more than a few matches were played today, with my pick for the whole shebang, Roger Federer, getting a nice workout in.

His opponent today, Sam Querrey, was going to be tricky enough to let Roger get a feel for the tournament off the bat with his big serve and forehand. And with his recent attitude adjustment about playing on clay, I'm sure Sam thought he'd be able to push R-Fed, but such was not the case, obviously. One down, six to go for Rog!

Other thoughts, musings, opinions, what have you about the tennis today:

• Blowing a Gasquet: Richard Gasquet, France's (fingers making quotation marks with MUCH sarcasm) best player dropped out with knee pain. I do hope it's nothing serious, like that case of the summer sniffles at the U.S. Open last year. That was rough! Just kidding, because it would really be nice to see him legitimately get in the mix of players doing big things. His game's great, it's just the mental part.

• Venus Rose: Venus Williams got off to one of her typical Slam slow starts but eventually won in three against a player I can't even think of pretending I know anything about, 35-year-old (that's older than me, and I'm old-34!) Tzipora Obziler. It's good that she tightened up the ratchets, but she's gotta be on top of her game this tournament since it's going to get way tougher.

• So long, "Willies": Now Guillermo Coria I would have expected to lose with his comeback trail kind of kicking off this year, but Guillermo Canas? To Wayne Odesnik, no less. But to Odesknik's credit, he did play well in World Team Cup last week. Nevertheless, it's a great feat.

Matches of the day for tomorrow:
I'll try this again since I apparently goofed with my match picks yesterday: I don't think Stanislas Wawrinka and my man Phil Kohllschreiber got on the court — or were even supposed to! Sorry for the goof; they make the list today!

• Rafael Nadal vs. Thomaz Belluci: Just for the sake of watching Rafa destroy an opponent.

• Aravene Rezai vs. Nadia Petrova: Remember a couple of years ago when Petrova had that career season? For whatever reason — injuries, lack of motivation — it's a thing of the past. I'm going with Rezai for the upset.

• Robin Soderling vs. Juan Monaco: Up until just this weekend, I thought all Swedes nowadays hated playing on clay (no Bjorn Borg wannabes in this bunch). That is until they won the World Team Cup, led by Robin Soderling. This could be an upset here, and if so, I think it could be beneficial to R-Fed down the road, who was drawn to play Monaco in the round of 16.

(Photos: Getty Images)

6 comments:

John said...

It's a very dissapointing day of Argentine tennis. Especially after the great start in Day 1.

Coria anticipated comeback to an end while Canas surprise defeat to Odesnik.

This was followed by Roitman going down to Lopez.

So what is your thought about the tournament as a whole...

http://mundoalbiceleste.blogspot.com/2008/05/roland-garros-early-exit-for-coria.html

Tennis Talk, Anyone? said...

Hello John, thanks for the comment. It's definitely not over for the Argentinean males, with Nalbandian capable of going far. I've been on the Eduardo Schwank bandwagon myself for a couple of months now, and I think he'll definitely make his presence felt here.

I always find it hard to get a gauge on a tournament that gets plagued by rain at the beginning. I just hope they get more matches in!

Shelia said...

What happened? I was depending on Canas to bring some upsets. After his return he quickly became one of my absolute favorite players on tour (minus those ugly shorts of course). I am truly sad to see him go out so unceremoniously.

Jodi said...

As a dedicated Federer fan, I'm glad that you think this year his year. I do too. :)

And good call on the Soderling match - Soderling is in form, as shown in Dusseldorf last week.

And although I think Nadal is going to take out Belluci in straights, I wouldn't count out the Brazilian too much... he's won four Challengers on clay this year!

Thanks for stopping by my blog - yours is likewise very interesting and I'm going to keep reading!

van said...

• Hey Sheila. I saw this story that explains why Odesnik had been playing well on clay. Evidently, he's working with Felix Mantilla:

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/notebook?page=notebook/tennis05262008

• Thanks Jodi for checking out the site! The way Soderling destroyed Monaco, Federer's going to have to be on his game if they meet in the round of 16, but he should be OK.

Shelia said...

Thanks Van, interesting. Sounds like Mantilla has Odesnik in a "mind over matter," "if you believe it you can achieve it" mentality. And there ain't a thing wrong with that.

For each thing that did not work, he summoned the belief to do the next thing and it did work.

Fortunately he's American, or I'd be royally ticked about the whole beat up on Canas thing :).

This was a brilliant move on his part. Most of the players and their coaches simply attempt to switch gears and practice their current game on clay court. Hiring Mantilla literally tailor makes his game for the clay courts - I'm impressed.