Nothing like a little love from the home crowd to pull you through!
Amelie Mauresmo had a great Valentine's Day yesterday, knocking off Jelena Jankovic in the semis in Paris. She goes on to face Elena Dementieva who got through via walkover when Serena Williams couldn't play.
I knew Mauresmo had some fight left in her as far as her career goes. I think if she stays healthy and relaxed (which are always the two keys for her) she can do some damage this year. I wrote something about this a few months ago in a moonlighting excursion for that site you all know and love, On the Baseline. You can catch it here. (Excuse the plug!)
Also, around the globe:
• Tommy Robredo won the Brasil Open over against Thomaz Belluci for his first title of the year. Now this is something that kind of intrigued me earlier this year: I read in some interview before the Australian Open that Robredo said he liked his chances going in. Really? With the Big 4 playing there? Come on! But you know what? He gave a great effort there, getting to the round of 16 before falling to Andy Roddick. It's nice to hear a player saying they have just as much a shot as anyone else and fighting to make that happen.
• Radek, not Roddick, will be playing for the San Jose title today against Mardy Fish. Stepanek beat A-Rod and Fish beat good buddy James Blake. A Roddick-Blake final was probably the tournament organizer's dream, but Stepanek-Fish shouldn't be bad.
• Vera Zvonareva won Pattaya City today, beating Sania Mirza in the final. Two things on this: Zvonareva has to stop playing these smaller events. She pads her resume with these titles, which I don't think help her when she gets to the big tour stops when she has play fellow top-tenners in the later rounds. Then again, I said that when she went into Dubai last year and look what happened! And also, watch out for Mirza. She just won the Aussie mixed and now a runner-up showing at a tournament. Good results in a short stretch.
• And don't think I forgot about the main event going down today: Rafael Nadal vs. Andy Murray in Rotterdam. I think Rafa wants to take Murray down a notch in this one. But it's funny: Even if Murray wins, I don't think it's going to count much. Here's what I mean: Murray was supposed to win the Australian, but lost pretty early, while Rafa went on to win. Beating Nadal at Rotterdam would be a decent result, but having not made a strong showing at the Australian was still a setback that he probably won't get to overcome until Wimbledon. You have to get it done at the Slams. As it is, I'm back to thinking Murray is further behind Rafa than he was a few months ago.
An old friend of mine and I used to talk tennis for hours, whether it was our own games or what was happening in the pros. I've started Tennis Talk, Anyone? to, well, talk tennis with an even broader crowd! My name is Van Sias and I've been playing for 20 years now, and not only am I player, I'm a huge fan of the game as well: pro, amateur, you name it. I'll post links to news items related to the sport, and offer my own personal opinion, predictions and hopefully get some of yours as well.