Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Clay achin'

What can I say? I've really been into "American Idol" this season!

Anyway, the clay-court season—the real one, not the teaser Latin American one earlier this year—kicked off this week and already there's been some pretty interesting happenings.

I guess the biggest thing is Serena Williams losing today to Klara Zakopalova (huh? who?) in the first round in Marbella, Spain. And not only did she lose the match, she also lost the number-one ranking to Dinara Safina, who'll take over the top spot next week. I have a couple of thoughts on this: 1) Why did Williams even go out there if she just got through playing the finals in Miami and is scheduled to be in Charleston next week? I think any tennis realizes that's a pretty ambitious schedule for her. And 2) Her losing the top spot is almost as bogus as bogus gets. 'Nuff said on that—for now.

At the U.S. Clay Court Championships in Houston, the top four seeds—James Blake, Mardy Fish, Jurgen Melzer and Jeremy Chardy—are all out before the quarterfinals. Over at (shameless cross-promoting plug) VANtage Point on Down the Line! this week, I predicted Blake would lose in the first round. Pretty smart, huh? But right on the flip side of that, I picked Chardy to win the whole thing! Great call, Van!

There's a minor thing going on right now that I'm kind of happy about at one of the stops this week. In Casablanca, Juan Carlos Ferrero has made it to the quarterfinals and looked good doing it. He's been too good a player in his career to have not won a title in years. I hope he gets it done this week.

I think this week so far could be a microcosm of what could shape up into an interesting clay-court season.

(Photo: AP)


hcfoo said...

Well I think Serena is cool about losing her first match on clay this season and losing her no.1 rank.

The season is still very long and we're not going to have a player who's dominating WTA any time soon.

As for American Idol, I'm kinda addicted to it too :D I'm rooting for who else but Adam Lambert

Shelia said...

"an interesting clay-court season"

Based upon what has happened already, that's an understatement to say the least.

Hc Foo I totally agree on Serena's loss. I don't think holding the top spot at this point has the same appeal to Venus and Serena as it does the other players who are still aspiring.

van said...

• Hey HCFoo! Adam all the way!

• Hey Shelia. What can I say? I guess I have a gift for the understatement! : )

You know, I kind of wish Serena was more obsessed with being number one. I like it when there's a dominant player on tour.

Kim said...

I have box seats for the finals in Houston on Sunday and have no idea who to pull for. I really wanted to see Jurgen Melzer there!

freakyfrites said...

Hi Van!

I think SErena must be in deep with Andalucia tourism authorities! Or else they have deep pockets :) If anything else but money was on the line, why wouldn't she have rested and then played Charleston, right? Oh well, don't blame her for wanting to pad her bank account now days.
What do you think of Gisela Dulko as this clay court season's new star? She's had a pretty good 2009 so far. . .

Deborah Chapman Crawford said...

I hope to see Dinara finally win a slam this year to back up her ranking. If she's able to keep up her serve for 7 matches straight, I'd bet on it!
Nice blog again Van ;)