Peter Bodo's TennisWorld - Kim Time?
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Kim Time? 01/05/2010 - 1:54 PM

95583687 by Pete Bodo

I've been thinking about Kim Clijsters a fair amount these past few days; I think she's going to have a big -- a very big -- 2010. So she's my choice as the most likely player of the year on the women's side; later this week, I'll also choose a potential male PoY for 2010.

My feelings about Clijsters didn't really crystallize until I read and thought about the return of Justine Henin. Yes, these two Belgians are joined at the metaphorical hip, and have been for a long time. And one reason I think Clijsters will do well is because 2010 represents a great opportunity for her finally to escape from Henin's shadow. I'm sure she wouldn't mind at all if she also puts Henin into her own. Payback. It's an itch.

The Clijsters saga, despite all those elements that could be stitched onto a sampler pillow, seems so artfully constructed that Kim or her advisers couldn't possibly have dreamed it up. In 2007, when she "retired" (it's a prettier word than "quit"), she had one Grand Slam title to her credit, and a long history as a talented but woefully choke-prone competitor. She was 1-5 in major finals, and 12-10 against her nemesis, the dynamo Henin. But keep in mind that from 2001 to 2003, Clijsters dominated Henin, including in some major events; from 2003 on, the tables were dramatically turned. The turning point came in Berlin, in 2003, where Henin squeaked out a win, 7-5 in the third. A few weeks later, the Sister of No Mercy surrendered just four games to Clijsters in a brutal Roland Garros final, winning 6-0, 6-4. That opened the floodgates: from that point on, Henin was 8-3 (4-0 in major finals) against Clijsters.

Clijsters also suffered at the hands of Venus Williams, although a few wins late in their rivalry helped Clijsters build the H2H to a respectable 5-6. Champagne Kimmy was less successful against Venus's sister, Serena, who was 7-1 (and 2-0 in majors) against Clijsters at the time the latter took her break from tennis. Clijsters did manage to wave good-bye with a positive H2H against Maria Sharapova, 4-3, although she was 1-1 against Maria in Grand Slam semis. Clijsters was a narrow 8-7 with Amelie Mauresmo, but hey - she owned that other Grand Slam champ, Svetlana Kuznetsova (7-1)! Didn't everyone?

Given all this, you might be inclined to think that Clijsters was totally bummed out when she heard that Justine Henin was following her out of seclusion, but the operative word there is "following." Henin is the one doing the following now, which is a 180-degree shift, and symbolic in a larger sense of where the two women stand in relation to each other. Given the way Clijsters stole the summer headlines in '09, the message seems clear: Clijsters has re-invented herself (that cute little kid of Clijsters is, among other things, a convenient distraction, although Clijsters certainly doesn't see it that way). The problem for Henin is that there was nothing to re-invent; she just faces the challenge of getting back to what she once was. She's burning a different form of emotional fuel.

The other day, in my post at ESPN, I went into the reasons that Henin might have a tougher row to hoe in her comeback than did Clijsters. I wrote that because her game is rooted in finesse and versatility, it may take her a long time to find her timing and turn her on-court decision-making into an instinctive reaction. But there's a little more to it than that. When I compared Clijsters to a four-wheel drive pick-up truck and Henin to a Ferrari, I was also thinking about where the game is, in general, and what it takes to win - on both tours.

Men's tennis has become, over recent years, a much more physical game. Pure power no longer reaps enormous benefits in the form of aces or winners the way it once did; it now pays off in long-haul stamina. Not just the ability to run for a long time, but the ability to maintain racket-head speed, quick-start muscle reactions, consistency of stroke. The relatively new polyester strings have played a part in this evolution; the harder you swing now, the more confident you can feel that the shot will go in. This has had a huge impact on the game (although we've seen that mostly in the men's game - so far).

A racket isn't a very heavy object, but when you have to swing it accurately, with something like full force, for two-and-a-half hours or longer, it can feel like an anvil. This will be an increasingly big factor in the women's game, too - just as serving power and efficiency is a new frontier that the women are finally beginning to explore.

Clijsters is well-positioned to take advantage of these developments, because she's an exceptionally physical athlete. A few weeks ago, Caroline Wozniacki told me (she was talking about her U.S. Open final against Clijsters): "That was the first time I’ve played her. She’s hitting a heavy ball. Every time you play short, she takes another step forward and wants to be the first to attack. She’s a good runner, too, and a fighter. I wouldn’t call it a different level from the other girls, but she was fresh and relaxed. She’s accomplished all she wanted already, so she’s just playing for herself and her family. I could feel she was relaxed and enjoying the game."

With all due respect to Caroline, I'm thinking it might be a different level.

We all love to watch tennis matches, and sometimes we get in too wrapped up in the details of the game - how someone hit the ball on a certain day against a certain opponent. We can learn a lot from that, but there's a forest-and-trees element at play, because so much of what happens in any specific match is determined by form of the day. We get a better understanding of the game if we look at how a player's fundamental profile fits into the gestalt. To me, the game is becoming more and more physical, and Wozniacki's experience puts into perspective the threat Clijsters represents to her peers and rivals.

If you want to read a counter-point, check out the piece Tom Tebbutt wrote for ESPN on this subject. Tom is a tennis aesthete who worships at the altar of Federer, irretrievably in love with "beautiful" tennis. And with Henin back and Roger Federer in command of the men's game until someone says otherwise, fans of pretty tennis are experiencing glory days. I'm not sure how much longer that will be sustainable, though. Last year's men's U.S. Open final was telling to me, in that it represented the first time that someone other than Rafael Nadal was able to play the game on his own terms on a big stage and get the best of Federer. Against Juan Martin del Potro in that final, Federer took his familiar position: Play any way you want; I'll still find a way to beat you. Del Potro responded with: Okay, its power tennis, with the emphasis on physicality.

In that match, Federer was banking on his formidable abilities to transition from defense to offense - to absorb del Potro's most punishing blows and use them roughly the way wise Yoda used The Force in Star Wars. Yoda, of course, was much older than Federer (Yoda was 900-plus years when he died; that's older than Jonas Bjorkman!) and his complexion was considerably greener than that of the olive-skinned Swiss. But in the end, Federer was unable to turn del Potro's power against him, and he spent most of the match futilely chasing rockets. Even when he did catch up with them, they were too hot to handle and fire back.

For different reasons, Clijsters took a similar, Federer-esque attitude into her U.S. Open semifinal with Serena Williams, but she came away with a different result (the match was close enough before the bizarre ending to draw that conclusion, no matter what might have happened at the end in a more conventional scenario). And she was one of the very few women who managed to resist Serena's shoving and pressing and athletic bullying.

95509212 The first time around, Clijsters suffered some injuries that hampered her effectiveness and probably contributed to her disappointing results in the late stages at some big events. But her game, specifically her physical attributes and abilities, were never in question. Like the lion in the Wizard of Oz, the thing she most needed was a heart. Other players, including Pete Sampras and Martina Navratilova, have faced and conquered a similar shortcoming. There's no reason Clijsters can't do it as well. If she's managed to banish her demons and her smoldering resentment of the way Henin once stole her thunder, she's positioned to flourish.

Now that the Williams sisters are nearing the finish line of their careers and appear to be in some stage of physical decline, Clijsters moves up is an ideal specimen for an increasingly physical game.


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Posted by Jackie 01/05/2010 at 06:42 PM

Kwaku, I don't know. :( Pete and I did 'em together last year, and he's been so swamped of late that we haven't had a chance to discuss. The submissions are still safe in my e-mail, though, and I have my fingers crossed that we'll be able to get to them sooner rather than later!

Posted by Diane(Atlanta) 01/05/2010 at 06:43 PM

Jackie, get me at dianefrancini@yahoo.com...can't get myself back to blue!

Posted by Mr. X 01/05/2010 at 06:44 PM

Now, it's well-known that i like the Hott Woz as much as anybody around here (with one honorable exception), but putting her in the same league as the sisters, the Belgians and Masha is too much, no matter how you look at it.
One more thought about the post. I thought that in their USO match, Kim not only took everything Serena was throwing at her, but she outplayed her, IMO. She was the better player throught the whole match, even though that fact has been mostly forgotten because of what happened at the end.
As for Fed and Delpo, Fed kept absorbing punishment, more and more, till the bombs coming from Delpo were so many and so big that he just couldnt keep up with it anymore. Obviously, the absence of his serve as the match advanced was also an important factor, but in the rallies, he just reached a point where he couldnt handle those FH bombs, time after time.

Posted by Kwaku 01/05/2010 at 06:47 PM

I would never put Caro in the same league as multiple slam winners before she becomes one (which may well never happen). What was that about taking into account only the players' achievements, and not what one thinks those could become?

Posted by Jackie 01/05/2010 at 06:50 PM

E-mail sent! Thanks, Diane. :)

Posted by Samantha Elin, supporter of all things Scandinavian 01/05/2010 at 06:53 PM

I stand by what I have always said if Serena plays her best and her serve, the best in women's tennis is on and Kim plays her best, you come away with a Serena win. Their H2H is no accident. The Serena I saw against Kim was far from Serena when she brings her A game. If you break down their game and look at first, second serve, return of serve, I still say Serena is the better player and ONE match isn't enough to change that fact. Two slams vs 11 slams tells me more than one match.

Posted by Kwaku 01/05/2010 at 06:54 PM

AM, your explanation was beautiful.

Posted by Kwaku 01/05/2010 at 06:57 PM

Jackie, can you please post a link to last year's awards?

Posted by Samantha Elin, supporter of all things Scandinavian 01/05/2010 at 07:00 PM

The Serena I saw at the YEC in which she didn't drop a set to all the top players in the world is the one that I firmly believe would beat Kim. If her serve takes a walk on her as it did at the USO, then yeah Kim can win it. But for the most part, her serve is fairly consistent.

Posted by observer 01/05/2010 at 07:02 PM

I will make no predictions backed up by explanatory reasons as to who the player of the year will be at this point (for the record: I want/hope/think it will be Sharapova and otherwise I would say Serena or Henin), but this has me thinking about something I often think about these days in the WTA: the 'elite' players, the ones whom we're comfortable picking as guesses for player of the year.

The general consensus of the WTA's elite (aside from one post from a user who can't tell the difference between thinking Wozniacki is and wanting her to one day be part of the group) is Serena, Justine, Venus, Sharapova, Clijsters. My question is if everyone actually thinks Clijsters belongs in that group on her merits. It seems like whether a player is in the elite depends on two closely-related things: accomplishments, and talent. Obviously, Serena, Venus and Justine are elite on accomplishment alone. Sharapova has won 3 grandslams and been number 1, which is great, especially given that only 3 active players have more slams, but is it elite? I think she gets into the group on talent almost as much as accomplishment, since there are many who believed she was good enough when at her best to beat anyone and would step up to a Serena-level of dominance at some point. She hasn't done that yet, but the beginning of 2008 pre-injury suggests she has the game to be in this group of people. So what about Clijsters? Do people think she was/is good enough and has accomplished enough, or has her surprise victory at the USO 09 made everyone forget that she was never as good as the other 4 and that she has accomplished less?

That sounds snarky in a way, but it's not entirely meant to be. It just seems weird to me that after one surprise grand slam victory during the end of a crazy year when everyone else could have been worn down, it has suddenly become The Williams sisters, Sharapova and "The Belgians." Granted, winning another slam does a lot for her resume, but I don't think anyone thought of the elite as including plural Belgians until recently, and in my opinion she has a lot to prove this year to be in this group, game-wise and accomplishment-wise.

Posted by Jacko 01/05/2010 at 07:04 PM

oh...the joy of living in a time when the world's number 2 is considered a second string player along with the world number 5

Posted by Kwaku 01/05/2010 at 07:08 PM

Good observations, observer.

Posted by Samantha Elin, supporter of all things Scandinavian 01/05/2010 at 07:10 PM

Observer, I see your point, that if you look at achievements, Kim doesn't belong in the elite group. She has been around almost as long as Justine and the Williamses and only has two slam. I think an argument can be made that she doesn't belong there. Caro is clearly the elite and the best of all the new players.

Posted by Jacko 01/05/2010 at 07:13 PM

bserver...i would consider Kim an elite player for her overall achievements in both singles and doubles....she is the only active player i believe to have held the number one ranking in singles and doubles...
I would also consider sharapova an elite player due to her age.......before she turned 21 she had been ranked number 1 and won 3 Slams....which i believe was the same for Serena (may be off by one slam) at that age....
but an interesting point is that in most "athletes of the decade" lists...Svetlana Kuznetsova featured higher than sharapova....strange considering she's achieved far less in about the same amount of time....so must she therefore be considered elite??

Posted by Master Ace 01/05/2010 at 07:14 PM

"This is the way I see the WTA, you have the elite players, the Williamses, Sharapova, Caro, Justine, Kim."

Samantha Elin,
I can not put Caroline and Kim in that sentence yet. Kim makes the elite if she wins another Slam. If you put Kim in the elite, you have to put Svetlana in that class also as both ladies have 2 Slams(Kim - 2005 and 2009 USO and Svetlana - 2004 USO and 2009 FO).

In my opinion, the WTA elite are Serena, Justine, Venus, and Maria. Maria is in the group due to her winning 3 Slams and making deep runs in Slam play consistently before her shoulder started to affect her.

Posted by Jacko 01/05/2010 at 07:15 PM

but if she is the elite of the best players......can she be put in the list of overall elite players??

Posted by Master Ace 01/05/2010 at 07:19 PM

Jacko,
Good point about Kim in singles and doubles but I still can not put her in the elite group.

Hantuchova and Szavay to start in approx. 12-15 minutes.

Posted by mcakron 01/05/2010 at 07:21 PM

Thanks, Arun! Good to see the names, old and new too.

Posted by observer 01/05/2010 at 07:26 PM

Jacko, the question about Maria/Kuznetsova and the decade-ending lists of athletes is a valid one, since the "elite" is all about general consensus. But for my own part I just can't see how Kuznetsova should be ranked higher than Sharapova on those lists (I didn't read them and am not sure which ones you mean but will take your word for it that they exist). Sharapova has more grand slam titles (3 to 2), more tour titles (20 to 12), has been number one, and until her injury I believe she had a much more consistent ranking in the top 3, top 5, etc than Kuznetsova. She also is 2 years younger and has been playing for three fewer years professionally. So unless those lists know something I don't (a distinct possibility), I would say that Maria's inclusion doesn't mean Sveta must be included also.

Posted by observer 01/05/2010 at 07:27 PM

Peer already through (d. Rybarikova) in Auckland, Wickmayer also steamrolling through match v. Raluca Olaru currently.

I hope Kaia Kanepi can build on her 1st win this year. She seemed too good to me to have lost in the first round so many times at the end of last year (WTA says 1r Auckland was her 1st victory at tour level in 8 months--wow.)

Posted by Jacko 01/05/2010 at 07:29 PM

Schiavone just bagelled Mirza and Flavia through 2 and 2 over CSN.....
I hope she can too observer she hits the ball so clean.....but she's playing Makiri...whom I also want to have a good year...*torn*

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/05/2010 at 07:34 PM

I have Brisbane International starting day session

Very humid and overcast,with the chance of showers

This is a womans match first up on Pat Rafter Arena

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/05/2010 at 07:39 PM

Well I have to go to Medibank and pick up my uniform

Back later

Carsten Ball is playing Andy Rodick later.Hopefully Cartsen can give a good performance.I dont expect him to win at all.Pity I dont think I will be back in time to watch the match.He has been under a injury cloud with his back and was given a w/card into this tournament.

Posted by Diane(Atlanta) 01/05/2010 at 07:42 PM

Ah Master Ace, what would we do without all your wisdom about the wta.....Vee, Serena, and Maria(if her serve holds up are my elite picks.

Sveta, Caro, Kim and Justine still need to prove their worth to move to elite status. Of course, Justine was there before but can she return?

Posted by karin1492 01/05/2010 at 07:44 PM

Schiavone played some excellent tennis in the first set and has started missing shots she made in the first set which is why Mirza is up a break in the second.

Posted by Master Ace 01/05/2010 at 07:49 PM

Diane,
I would still put Justine in that elite class despite being out. If you are not putting Justine in that class, you can say that about Maria as she has had shoulder issues and dropped in the rankings as a result of it.

Posted by Master Ace 01/05/2010 at 07:56 PM

40-40 Agnes BH wide
A-40 Daniela nets FH return
40-40 Agnes BH wide
40-A Daniela BH winner set up by angled FH
40-40 Daniela FH long
No challenge system in Brisbane
40-A Daniela BH return hit the tape and bounced over for winner
40-40 Daniela nets BH return
A-40 Daniela nets BH
Agnes consolidates as Daniela BH return sails long

Daniela to serve 0-2

Cahill looking on

Posted by Master Ace 01/05/2010 at 08:00 PM

30-40 Daniela forces short ball but hit FH long
40-40 Daniela service winner wide
A-40 Daniela FH DTL effective that Agnes could not handle
Daniela holds as she get to Agnes volley and hit lob for winner

Agnes to serve 2-1

Posted by Master Ace 01/05/2010 at 08:01 PM

Francesca leads Sania 6-0,4-2 and Maria K leads Kaia 6-2,2-0.

Posted by karin1492 01/05/2010 at 08:01 PM

Mirza has no backhand to speak of. All she does with that side is try to keep the ball in play. If you get her off balance on that side, she gives you an easy ball to hit. That's why she's a low ranked as she is, even with a great forehand like she has. An all around type player like Schiavone can take advantage of that weakness, which is why it's no contest really in this match.

Posted by Diane(Atlanta) 01/05/2010 at 08:02 PM

Yes, Master Ace, you are correct about Justine....guess it's just the fact that she was never one of my favs so I left her out of the elite list.
Her behaivor on several occasions left me cold, the Aussie Open final with Amelie and the hand up, oh no I didn't do it serve thing with Serena. Of courese I don't know her personally so how can I be so judgemental, well I just can't warm up to to her from those displays of poo9r sportsmanship!
Now I am sure I will hear from Samantha E but we are all adults here and have our own opinions.

Posted by Diane(Atlanta) 01/05/2010 at 08:06 PM

Wow, sorry about the last post and all the type o's, my laptop is about to die and the keyboard goes wacko at times , guess I need to check before I hit post!

Posted by Master Ace 01/05/2010 at 08:06 PM

Daniela not happy as linesperson called out but umpire called in and gave Agnes the point for 15-30. Daniela is still arguing with the chair and the umpire keep saying that Daniela did not make an effort to hit the ball and Daniela saying the call out came as she was in motion.

Reason why Brisbane(all tournaments) need challenge system

Daniela breaks anyway at 15. Daniela to serve 2-all

Posted by Master Ace 01/05/2010 at 08:08 PM

Since the argument, Daniela has won the last 6 points. Agnes to serve 2-3

Posted by mcakron 01/05/2010 at 08:11 PM

Observer@7:02 -- I think yours is a valid point, but I also think you may be arguing past results vs. current/future projections. Clijsters bona fides are, of course, not in the same league as Henin's or the Williams sisters. But she's far from a one-time Slam wonder. She appeared, I believe, in seven Slam finals over the years, not to mention more than a few Slam SFs.

Arguing she is not elite in comparison to Justine and the Williamses is somewhat akin to arguing that Delpo, Djoker and Roddick aren't in the same league as Fedal. A true enough statement, but given the right surface, Kim and the non-Fedals mentioned are more than legitimate threats to pick-up some hardware.

Also about Clijsters: to the naked eye (or at least the owner of the two that are helping to type this response), she often appeared capable of beating anyone, especially on HCs and clay, and though she had her moments of mental fragility, she never had any prolonged, nightmarish meltdowns. Might not seem like the most ringing endorsements for a champion, but if we compare her to, say, an Ivanonvic, who never impressed me in a million years that she could beat a Williams sister on the biggest stage, or a Safina, whose meltdowns take up entire weeks of Slams ... well, guess what I'm trying to spit out is that if Clijsters ain't one of the "elites", she is about as close as one can get. IMV anyway.

Posted by karin1492 01/05/2010 at 08:12 PM

I've always felt that if Schiavone moved a little bit better and believed in herself more, she would have had some fantastic results on the women's tour. She has a solid all-court game, similar to Henin or Federer but she plays with a lot more top-spin on her shots and doesn't flatten the ball out as often as Henin or Federer does. She got to number 11 a couple of years ago, but couldn't win the big matches. She had Henin on the ropes in the final of Sydney in 2006, but couldn't serve the match out in either the second or the third set when she had her chances. All in all, I think Schiavone has underachieved given her talent, especially when it comes to the Slams.

Posted by Master Ace 01/05/2010 at 08:15 PM

15-40 Daniela volley winner set up by making Agnes hit short ball
30-40 Agnes BH winner
Daniela breaks as Agnes nets BH

Daniela to serve 4-2

Posted by Diane(Atlanta) 01/05/2010 at 08:32 PM

Master Ace, can you post a link fot the match, been scrolling but can't find one.

Posted by Diane(Atlanta) 01/05/2010 at 08:42 PM

never mind Master Ace, I found one...atdhe.net

Posted by tennisesq. 01/05/2010 at 08:46 PM

karin1492,
I think Frannie should just pretend every match is a Fed Cup match. She's a different player when she plays for Italy.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 01/05/2010 at 08:54 PM

mcakron, 8:11.

What I would have written, but much more elegantly postulated.

Getting back to Caro, can we all agree that she in the elite of all players (men and women) who have been born in Poland and reached one majors finals?

Posted by Jamaica Karen 01/05/2010 at 09:11 PM

CWoz and JJ are for now in the same boat - one is the current US Open finalist the other is a former US Open finalist

Posted by Jamaica Karen 01/05/2010 at 09:13 PM

Watching Hopman Cup on TC - Robson and Sabine. Sabine is serving well. The commies said that Sabine was hitting LenaD off the court in her match. Very rare for anyone to hit LenaD off the court. Sabine has some really strong legs. She has a Serena type body which is why her serve is so good as she uses her legs a lot in her serve

Posted by Jamaica Karen 01/05/2010 at 09:20 PM

what in heavens name is Rezai wearing? She gets broken after being up 40-love on her own serve

Posted by mcakron 01/05/2010 at 09:21 PM

Thanks, MSF.

Posted by Ruth 01/05/2010 at 09:51 PM

IMHO Wozniacki is, based on what she has accomplished over the past season, simply the best of the younguns -- from Azarenka to the Rads to Lisicki et al -- who promised much at the beginning of the season. Whether she can or will ascend to true "elite" status will be determined soon enough, I'd guess.

Posted by Master Ace 01/05/2010 at 10:02 PM

30-40 for Dominika as Aravane nets BH
Dominika breaks as Aravane nets BH

Dominika will serve for the match 6-3,5-4

Posted by Master Ace 01/05/2010 at 10:02 PM

Jamaica Karen,
How Hopman Cup going b/w Sabine and Laura?

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 01/05/2010 at 10:07 PM

Is there a stream for Hopman Cup?

Posted by Master Ace 01/05/2010 at 10:08 PM

0-15 Dominika nets BH after a blazing FH return by Aravane
15-15 Aravane nets BH return
30-15 Aravane nets BH
30-30 Dominika nets BH
40-30 Dominika BH winner after retrieving Aravane's strokes on a long rally
Dominika wins the match as Aravane nets BH

Dominika Cibulkova defeated Aravane Rezai 6-3,6-4

Virginie Razzano and Kimiko Date-Krumm next...

Posted by Arun 01/05/2010 at 10:10 PM

Pspace: http://www.freedocast.com/forms/PopOut.aspx?sc=5311428631E9213B109B

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 01/05/2010 at 10:11 PM

Tx, Arun. Ah...Sabine on my screen ;-)

Posted by Master Ace 01/05/2010 at 10:14 PM

Sabine breaks as Laura FH sails wide. Sabine to serve 7-6,1-0

Posted by Master Ace 01/05/2010 at 10:17 PM

Sabine consolidates at 15 as she aces wide. Laura to serve 6-7,0-2

Posted by Master Ace 01/05/2010 at 10:23 PM

15-40 for Sabine as her BH return is too hot for Laura to handle
30-40 Laura service winner - Sabine should have challenged as ball was out
40-40 Sabine BH return long
40-A Laura nets FH
40-40 Laura FH winner behind Sabine set up by BH to deuce side that stretched Sabine wide
40-A Sabine blazing BH return winner
40-40 Laura BH winner on ad sideline
A-40 Sabine nets BH
40-40 Sabine FH winner that was set up by drop shot that Laura came to net and got but was scrambling the rest of the point
A-40 Sabine BH return long
Laura holds as she aces at the T

Sabine to serve 7-6,2-1

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 01/05/2010 at 10:24 PM

I wonder if Robson's atrocious fh is a British thing or a WTA thing. Yikes! After seeing Rafa and Nando crack those super fhs, this lefty forehand is....

Posted by Master Ace 01/05/2010 at 10:28 PM

Sabine holds at 30 as Laura BH return sails long. Laura to serve 6-7,1-3

Posted by Master Ace 01/05/2010 at 10:30 PM

0-40 for Sabine as she hit drop shot winner
Sabine breaks as Laura nets BH

Sabine to serve 7-6,4-1

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 01/05/2010 at 10:34 PM

Did anybody see the end of fed's match? did he hit with a little kid too or was that just a spontaneous thing after rafa's match?

Posted by Master Ace 01/05/2010 at 10:34 PM

30-40 for Laura as Sabine nets FH
Laura breaks as Sabine BH sails long

Laura to serve 6-7,2-4

Posted by Jamaica Karen 01/05/2010 at 10:37 PM

Sorry MA, I switched to the Good Wife (one of my favourite shows). Laura is so poised for someone so young. I really admire that about her. Sabine needs to slow down the way she plays. She takes less than 10 seconds between first and second serves - she plays a bit like KimC - fast

Posted by Master Ace 01/05/2010 at 10:38 PM

Laura holds at 30 as Sabine drop shot did not cross net. Sabine to serve 7-6,4-3

Posted by Master Ace 01/05/2010 at 10:40 PM

Jamaica Karen,
As you know Sabine game is high risk and high reward. Other than WS, she has the best serve in the WTA.

Sabine holds at love as Laura FH return sails long. Laura serving to stay in match 6-7,3-5

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 01/05/2010 at 10:43 PM

Ok. Lestat time! C'mooooon Ahndeeeee!

Posted by Master Ace 01/05/2010 at 10:43 PM

0-30 for Sabine as her BH is too hot for Laura to handle
0-40 Laura FH long
Sabine wins the match as she hit drop shot for winner

Sabine Lisicki defeated Laura Robson 7-6,6-3

Andy Murray and Philipp Kohlschreiber next...

Posted by Master Ace 01/05/2010 at 11:01 PM

Tennis action going on and it is a quiet night(or Wednesday) at TW. Know Aussiemarg is gone to Sydney on tennis business. Therefore, good night TWibe as the day job calls.

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 01/05/2010 at 11:23 PM

Gah! Stream just went crazy. Commentary for Muzz but Razzano vs Date-Krumm on video.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (A Complete Bobblehead) 01/05/2010 at 11:24 PM

WOW it is offically the start of the tennis season if Jacko and Samantha have started sparring already, good to have both of them back. How's the shopping going Samantha?

Posted by Angel of the Surf (A Complete Bobblehead) 01/05/2010 at 11:26 PM

Spacie Happy NY matie. Glad you get to watch Lestat. I am at work so therefore can't. Looks like Licky played well to win in straight sets.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Summer in Oz Tennis 01/05/2010 at 11:27 PM

I am back from Medibank just in time to see Andy Roddick v Carsten Ball

Carstens dad is talking to Johanna Geigs

May I say I hat Floppy hats and also the tee shirts are sooo bloody big??

I hope noone recognises me

Double Embarrassement what more can I say

Posted by manuelsantanafan 01/05/2010 at 11:27 PM

Razzano, ranked in top 20, takes first set 6-3.

Former world no. 6 Date Krumm up 4-1 in second set.

Date Krumm, with one of the shortest forehand backswings in the game, has hit several forehand winners and has approached the net at almost every reasonable opportunity.

Date Krumm getting very few first serves in.

Razzano helping Date Krumm with untimely double faults and UFEs.

Posted by crazyone 01/05/2010 at 11:28 PM

Pspace, if you're willing to install stuff, I have a really good stream on Veetle:

http://www.veetle.com/viewChannel.php?cid=4b1c080ee2173

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Summer in Oz Tennis 01/05/2010 at 11:30 PM

Jenni If you are lurking when I was at Medibank I slipped into the gym there?

Allez a lot of the French guys were training,I am sure I saw Julian

I have to check to see if he is playing Medibank

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Summer in Oz Tennis 01/05/2010 at 11:34 PM

Andy Roddick will face the 2nd Aussie player today

Carsten Ball and Andy Roddick are on court now

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Summer in Oz Tennis 01/05/2010 at 11:36 PM

Just flicked over to Hopman Cup

I see Pspace your charge is up 4-1 over Phil K.

The battle of the b/handers

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Summer in Oz Tennis 01/05/2010 at 11:37 PM

May I say Go Phil K

Sorry Pspace.I would love Phil K to win,he has one of the best 1h/b/hands in the mens tour.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Summer in Oz Tennis 01/05/2010 at 11:38 PM

Murray you cant afford to half volley on Plexicushion

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Summer in Oz Tennis 01/05/2010 at 11:39 PM

Yay way to go Phil b/point

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Summer in Oz Tennis 01/05/2010 at 11:41 PM

Yay Phik K you showed some much patience in that rally

Your break Andy

Andy flicnhed at his stomach after he served,did that the other night

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Summer in Oz Tennis 01/05/2010 at 11:42 PM

Brsbane

Ball to serve 1st set

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 01/05/2010 at 11:42 PM

Tx, c1. Tried installing it...can't get it to work for some reason. Meh.

Posted by crazyone 01/05/2010 at 11:45 PM

sorry, Pspace.

Yay, Aussiemarg, we can cheer for Triple P together :)

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Summer in Oz Tennis 01/05/2010 at 11:46 PM

After a nervous start Ball was love 30 on his serve,brought it back and held with good serving

1 game all

Fergus Murphy is the umpire

Roddick already a bit upset with a lines person,questioned the umpire.The decision stood

Andy to serve

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Summer in Oz Tennis 01/05/2010 at 11:47 PM

CI No worries

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Summer in Oz Tennis 01/05/2010 at 11:48 PM

1 game all

Carsten to serve,carsten a left hander has a massive serve,2nd serve as well.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Summer in Oz Tennis 01/05/2010 at 11:50 PM

Ahhhh Phil what happened???

Come on

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Summer in Oz Tennis 01/05/2010 at 11:51 PM

Phik that was a wild f/hand

settle,dont over play your shots

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Summer in Oz Tennis 01/05/2010 at 11:53 PM

Brsbane

On servre

Ball 2-1

Roddick service game to love

2 games all

Posted by manuelsantanafan 01/05/2010 at 11:54 PM

Date Krumm won the second set and has broken to go up 2-1 in the third.

Posted by Arun 01/05/2010 at 11:55 PM

A win-win match for me, but leaning towards a Murray victory for many reasons.
So, well done, Murray.

Pspace: This stream works now. http://www.freedocast.com/forms/PopOut.aspx?sc=5311428631E9213B109B

Does anybody have a working stream for Roddick-Ball?
For some reason, the one I have gives me only the commentary and no video.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Summer in Oz Tennis 01/05/2010 at 11:56 PM

Ball 3-2 with some great volley

Roddick to serve

Posted by vetmama 01/05/2010 at 11:57 PM

What's up with Carsten?
That was a fantastic game, I don't remember him playing that well before.
I remember thinking he had a great serve and otherwise wasn't more than so-so.

Maybe it's watching it on TV?

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Summer in Oz Tennis 01/05/2010 at 11:58 PM

Arun try to find a stream for Roddick match,have you seen Carsten play at all? he is really taking it to Andy at the moment

Posted by vetmama 01/05/2010 at 11:58 PM

brisbane

http://atdhe.net/7635/watch-atp-brisbane

Posted by GB 01/05/2010 at 11:59 PM

Fred Stolle picks the 2010 year end rankings as:

1) Fed, 2) Murray, 3) Delpo.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Summer in Oz Tennis 01/05/2010 at 11:59 PM

Vetmmama Carsten is playing well,I am also impressed with his play as well.

Posted by vetmama 01/06/2010 at 12:00 AM

Ouch!
Umm, where's Rafa...

Posted by Arun 01/06/2010 at 12:00 AM

Yeah, AM. Watched him in the LA final against Sam. I liked his style of play.

Thank you, Vetmama!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Summer in Oz Tennis 01/06/2010 at 12:00 AM

Come on Phil

Dont give up

Posted by vetmama 01/06/2010 at 12:01 AM

AM, I've seen him play up close twice (won the final one of those times), but I think he's moving better than I remember.

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