Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Just thinking …

There's been a ton of tournament action going on and all of it has gotten my old mind mind churning. Here's some of what's been running through my head about this old sport of ours called tennis:

• Marat Safin actually rallied to win a match for the first time in what seems forever over in the L.A. tournament! It's so crazy to think that if he wanted to, he could easily be a top 10 player instead of retiring.

• I know he's just a kid and has plenty of years ahead of him, but I'm just not that high on Ernests Gulbis.

• Speaking of L.A., Tommy Haas, ranked 20th, is the top seed there. Remember when L.A. used to have top 10 players galore competing there? And speaking of Haas, I wonder if he'll go down as the best player, male or female, to never make a Slam final? I have him locked in that spot so far.

• In my previous post, I talked about Dinara Safina playing Slovenia. She ended up winning, but wouldn't it be great if she were in California this week facing real competition?

• And while I'm taking a quick glance at last week, how about Robby Ginepri winning in Indy over Sam Querrey? By my calculations, Ginepri has now joined the ranks of active U.S. men with three titles or more, bringing that list up to five. That's a far cry from the Agassi, Sampras, etc., days!

• I'm glad Maria Sharapova is out there winning some matches. I'm not sure about the rest of this year for her, but I really think 2010 will be good for her.

• Nikolay Davydenko always surprises me. He can go the whole summer season without playing a hard-court event then make the semis at the U.S. Open. I wonder if winning Hamburg last week will set him on a roll. I guess we'll see after Umag!

• Where's Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro? I know Djoko made a cameo doubles appearance in Umag, but why isn't he and those other guys playing? Wimbledon was a long time ago.

• Glad to see the Williams sisters out in Cali. But why are they playing doubles? That's more time than they're usually on the court. Hope they hold steady.

• I don't know why I'm still thinking about Marat Safin, but did you know he's only won one tournament in the U.S.?

• The tall boys, John Isner and Sam Querrey, have been playing pretty well this summer season.

• The ATP's new Web site kind of confuses me!

• Nic Kiefer is over in Europe playing one of the clay-court events. I wonder why is he there instead of L.A. on a surface he's competed best on in his career.

• Speaking of guys named "Nic," I see Massu has made it to the quarters of Umag. Why did he fall off a cliff rankings-wise, I wonder?

Anyway, I could go on, but I think I'll stop there. Just wanted to share some random thoughts!

(Photo: Getty Images)


Audrey said...

" In my previous post, I talked about Dinara Safina playing Slovenia. She ended up winning, but wouldn't it be great if she were in California this week facing real competition?"

Ohmigod, this is getting so idiotic. Dinara's playing 3 US Open warmup tournaments (LA, Cincinnati, Toronto) just like pretty much everyone else. So who cares if she played in Slovenia instead of playing a fourth USO Series tournament? So she went to a smaller tournament. So what? Almost all the top 10 players have at this point in the season.

If you want to pick on Dinara, fine. But at least find something real to pick on her about.

freakyfrites said...

Hey Van!

Love the random thoughts! The US Open series tries to tie things together but those European clay court events and the crazy Euro vs. US schedule just makes everything wacky. It really is a random time on tour.

I agree about the new ATP website, by the way - it is crazy confusing. I actually don't visit it much anymore because I can't figure it out. Probably not what they had in mind.

In the press conference Safin mentioned that he doesn't have a coach anymore because it's a waste of money in his final year. That made me sad, for some reason. There's still so much unfulfilled potential there! has a good post up right now about the LA tournament's weak draw and Pete Sampras's take on that. Basically, none of the Europeans want to extend their stay in the US by that extra week and unlike the nineties, the roster of American players is not so star-studded. Also the hierarchy of 250s vs. 500s makes LA a tough sell. I guess we're no Slovenia! (Could you imagine if Roger or Nadal ever came to play L.A.?)

TopSpin said...

Nice post Van, I'm prone to the odd braindump myself now and then!

Not high on Gulbis myself, maybe I'll feel differently if I see him go deep in a Slam/Masters more often.

You can never say with Maria, given the length of her spell out of the game - it's all been a little stop-start, but I have a good feeling about the Open.

I'm really glad to see Nikolay back in the top ten - I'd go as far as to say he's more deserving of it than one or two French players I won't mention.

Yeah, where are Andy, Novak, and Juan? I agree - neither of them are of an elevated Fedal status, and neither should consider such events beneath them.

Am I the only one that likes the new ATP site!? Particularly like those ranking line graphs that appear next to each player!

van said...

• Hi Audrey, thanks for your comment! I think four would be too much, actually. I just don't see how winning such a meager tournament could benefit her heading into the Open. I like Safina, I just don't know about the preparation plans heading into the last Major of the year. And check out what freakyfrites said at the end of her comment.

• Hey FF! Yeah, could you imagine if Safin just really wanted to go out with a bang this year? He probably could pick up a title or four! Hopefully, he decides to put a little bit more into the season.

• Hey TopSpin, how are you? That site is just too confusing! I like it, too, that Davydenko is getting back into form. Wonder how Umag will end up working out for him?

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