Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Better late than never

So, as I was a wee bit preoccupied last weekend, I didn't get to comment on the results of last weekend, as there were definitely some pretty impressive results all around.

• First, I have to give a shout out to Venus Williams for bagging Zurich, just like I practically begged her to do at the end of my post about the most frustrating players on the WTA tour. She took out her recent nemesis, Flavia Panetta, in straights. You know what? On any surface or in any quick conditions, that should always be the case for Williams against pretty much anyone. Anyway, congrats to Williams.

• How about that Andy Murray? He picked up his second Masters shield of the year by winning Madrid, with a victory over Roger Federer in the semis along the way. I don't think there should be any doubt that the men's tour is ruled by a big four now.

• And speaking of Madrid, how about Murray's finals opponent, Gilles Simon? I guess Murray had the right idea: take him out in straights, because if you get into a third-set tiebreak with him, it's a wrap! I really wasn't that convinced about Simon, despite the year he's had, but that was a nice, gutsy run he put together. It would be nice to see him go deep in a Slam now.

Now that the look back is done, it's time to come back to the present. There's plenty of action going on this week, with the men in Lyon, St. Petersburg and Basel, while the women are in Austria and Luxembourg. The season's winding down, but what I do like about this time of the year is that those players with a chance are scrambling to get into the end-of-the-year championships. Good luck to them!

(Photos: Williams, AP; Murray, Getty Images)


TopSpin said...

Hey Van - and Congrats once again!

Venus: And about time too!

Plaudits are also due to Ivanovic for a convincing return to (a seemingly more varied) form.

Murray: We do indeed have a top four but I want to see him perform on clay just as strongly as Djokovic does.

Simon: His match against Nadal was very impressive, and although I don't see him as an enduring top tenner, he's earnt his place there.

BTW Blake is looking very convincing in Basel - I'm sometimes amazed at just how flat he hits his single handed backhand; even the best SHBers in the world seem to impart more topspin...

heyheyhey said...

I'm going to predict right now that Murray passes Nole in the rankings in 2009. Also that Simon and Gulbis make it into the top 10 and stay there. Ferrer, Roddick, Davydenko, Nalbandian are all going downhill fast. I think that trend will continue also.

van said...

• Hey Topspin, thanks again!

Those were big wins for both Venus and Murray over the weekend. I felt that all through last clay-court season about Andy, too. I think he tends to get into playing the counterpuncher too much on the dirt and it ends up not working for him. There's no reason he can't do better.

I hope Blake gets pretty far in Basel: I haven't looked at the draw to see if he's on opposite sides from Federer, but if he is, I think that would make a good final.

• Hey Heyheyhey! I predicted before this year that Gulbis would be in the top 15 by the end of '08, but it didn't happen. Maybe next year? I'm in total agreement with the other points you made!