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In Charleston in Pain 04/18/2010 - 9:25 AM

Dinara

by Bobby Chintapalli, TW Contributing Editor

Remember when you didn’t need a medical degree to talk about tennis? When bandages weren’t a girl’s best friend? When tennis player Dinara Safina actually played tennis? Those were the good, old days, weren’t they? Long ago my journalism professors discouraged starting an article with a question, so I suspect they would have advised against starting with four. Yet I can’t think of starting an article on a topic chock full of questions any other way. And while we’re at it here’s another one: What on earth is going on?

Pulling Out

Certainly not tennis for players who retired from the Family Circle Cup in Charleston this week. What can I say about poor Caroline Wozniacki and that fall in her semifinal match against Vera Zvonareva yesterday that you didn’t see played and replayed on TV a million times? Ouch!

Olga Govortsova retired with a left knee injury and Ayumi Morita and Elena Vesnina with a left adductor strain. Marion Bartoli pulled out with a condition that won’t make us pull out a medical dictionary though it might make us raise an eyebrow – dizziness. Victoria Azarenka, before she flew to Chicago then Rome and tweeted desperately to everyone for a flight to anywhere, pulled out of Charleston with a left hamstring injury she got in Marbella.

Other players also not playing much tennis include those who withdrew before the tournament even began:

- Sybille Bammer (Achilles injury)
- Kateryna Bondarenko (Left knee injury)
- Dominika Cibulkova (Right hip strain)
- Casey Dellacqua (Right foot injury)
- Alisa Kleybanova (Plantar fasciitis)
- Viktoriya Kutuzova (Back injury)
- Sabine Lisicki (Left ankle injury)
- Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Foot injury)
- Maria Sharapova (Right elbow injury)
- Serena Williams (Left knee injury)

And the tennis players who are “lucky” enough to play tennis, aren’t lucky enough to do so without bandages. Watching matches at the event for four days I saw only two or three players who weren’t wearing bandages at some point. They could be to aid recovery, prevent injury or just provide “support” – the point is, these days they’re always there. Singles finalist Vera Zvonareva still wears an ankle brace a year after injuring her right ankle in a horrible fall at this tournament last year (though she said yesterday she feels like she’s finally fully recovered); she eventually ended up getting surgery and tumbling out of the Top 20. And the other finalist, Sam Stosur, casually mentioned that she sprained her ankle last week.

Figuring It Out

So what is going on? Well, a few veteran players have some ideas.

Patty Schnyder, who turned pro 16 years ago, pointed to the greater depth of the game: “[The] competition is really tough. The top level maybe it’s the same, but it’s like the density between 10 and 40, 50 that’s really improved a lot in the women’s game. So you don’t get many free rounds and easy rounds to warm up. You really have to be sharp… in the very first match… that takes a lot of energy.”

Nadia Petrova, who turned pro 11 years ago, cited the increase in power and the number of tournaments played: “First of all, the level of game is getting higher. It’s getting more powerful, and you really have to push yourself further in the matches, and that creates some kind of injuries. But then a lot of girls are playing way too many tournaments and they just don’t have enough time to get the body some rest and work on some fitness so they stay stronger.”

Vera Zvonareva, who turned pro 10 years ago, thought scheduling was part of the problem: “The schedule is very tough for players. Right now it’s pretty much the same schedule for everybody, but everyone is different. Everybody has different level of fitness, different bodies, different results, different amount of matches that they played in the previous weeks. So it is very difficult to manage and schedule it. And sometimes you’re forced to play a lot of events when you’re tired, and that’s most of the times when injuries are coming, when your body is not fresh.”

Another possibility may be the length of the off season. Tennis’s off season seems rather short compared to other sports. Surely there are other factors too.

But if something doesn’t change, that can’t be good for these young, young players, fans or the game both love.


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Posted by yello fuzzy 04/18/2010 at 02:17 PM

I hope Sam can hold onto this form, and play this brand of tennis into the French and onto the grass

Vera is very charming in her speech, she has a sweet sense of humor...nice to see her smiling after a defeat like that, she is harnessing her emotions better than in the past.

Posted by tennisesq. 04/18/2010 at 02:24 PM

Oh, I wonder how the volcanic ash will affect the clay tournaments in Europe.

Posted by lira vega 04/18/2010 at 02:27 PM

That was insane from Stosur, she played like a woman possessed. Best performance from anyone this season? I don't think I've seen better, even her (normally godawful) backhand was clicking. Congrats to her fans

Sad that Vera had to be the one to be taken behind the woodshed :( Awesome temper tantrum, though, she's unparalleled there.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 04/18/2010 at 02:35 PM

A fine article Bobby! I really feel some of the hardcourts should get the chop for the sake of the health of our tennis players.

Congratulations to Sam, what a match she played today. Many commies to Vera, though, she is one of my favourites.

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeee!!!) 04/18/2010 at 02:38 PM

@ chicklet - Rafa has definitely lost some sets in his run of 6 straight MC titles. Just off the top of my head (thx to last week's TTC replays of MC finals), he lost at least one set against Coria, Fed, and Nole.

Posted by yello fuzzy 04/18/2010 at 02:47 PM

chicklet
I was mislead by the commies calling the match, it's the record 6th master titles in a row in the open era.... Rafa has lost 3 of 4 sets in the 6 year run
Isn't he now tied with Roger with 16 masters shields, one behind Agassi?

Posted by Master Ace 04/18/2010 at 02:55 PM

Rafael 16 winners 14 UFEs while Samantha was at 36-11.

Posted by Bobby 04/18/2010 at 03:09 PM

Guys, here's a blurb from Vera's presser:

Q. Vera, have you ever had an opponent so red hot as Sam was today?
VERA ZVONAREVA: You know, I think she played really well, but I also let her play really well. A couple of things that I tried to do they didn't work today. I made a few unforced errors, and then I stayed too passive. I didn't put her in trouble enough, and I think that's why she was able to play so well throughout the match.
But I will take it as an experience and I will try to do better next time.

Posted by Bobby 04/18/2010 at 03:17 PM

Now here's a blurb from Sam's presser:

Q. How unique was today? Have you had a lot of days like this?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: You can probably count them in you know, you have a handful, I guess, of matches where everything you hit is a good shot or winner and you just kind of can't miss, and I guess they're the days that everyone talks about you're in the zone or whatever; you just do it. And it's just a great feeling, and you wish that you could do that every day, but it's not that easy, so to be able to do it in a final is all that more pleasing.

Posted by yello fuzzy 04/18/2010 at 03:21 PM

oops meant misled

Posted by Coby 04/18/2010 at 04:21 PM

Bobby,

Great report again today .... and thanks for sharing the press info with us.

Posted by imjimmy 04/18/2010 at 04:37 PM

Anyone with more information on Del Potro? I take it he's not playing Barcelona..

Posted by Skip1515 04/18/2010 at 05:09 PM

"Q. Vera, have you ever had an opponent so red hot as Sam was today?
VERA ZVONAREVA: You know, I think she played really well, but I also let her play really well"

Well, yes, in the sense that Dorothy let a tornado rip through Auntie Em's farm.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/18/2010 at 05:26 PM

Thanks Bobby for the pressor reports from both girls

Well I have my 2 favs win in finals

Way to Go Sam and Rafa.

Posted by rafadoc 04/18/2010 at 05:38 PM

Imjimmy: I read somewhere that JMDP was not playing Barcelona.

Posted by Ruth 04/18/2010 at 05:49 PM

"Well, yes, in the sense that Dorothy let a tornado rip through Auntie Em's farm."

Heh, heh, Skip.

Unlike some members of the TWibe, I never object when a player ACCURATELY points out how he/she contributed to his/her own demise in a match. I don't think it's necessary for players to lie out about the role of their bad play in their losses because of some phony or hypocritical "respect" for their opponents.

But when claims of self-destruction, as in this case with Zvonareva, are clearly not true, I do object to them. C'mon, Vera!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/18/2010 at 06:10 PM

imjimmy Del Potro has been dignosed with "residual tendenistis" in the right wrist and is hoping to return in Rome or Madrid.His physio Diego Rivas said "Its just working and waiting to see the best time to play again".

Posted by chicklet 04/18/2010 at 06:35 PM

sblily, yellow fuzzy - Thanks for the clarification. I looked it up later and Rafa did not drop a set in 2007, 2008, and now 2010 at MC. Still impressive though.

I am getting more and more worried about Delpo. He's such an emotional player. If he doesn't get off to a positive start after his return, it could take some time to shake off the mental funk.
Oddly enough, I feel somewhat confident about Nole and Murray. This must be rock bottom for both of them, right? It can only go up from here. Or I just jinxed them permanently...

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/18/2010 at 06:42 PM

Seeing I taped Rafa's match

The highligh point for me was Rafa's one handed b/hand slice cross court passing shot.

Rafa,now I have seen everything lol!

Posted by izidane 04/18/2010 at 07:50 PM

Quick drive-by.
Nice write up Bobby. I do miss Dinara, quite a collection of injured players there.
Congrats to Sammy and fans.

Congrats Rafa fans as well! An emphatic tournament from day 1....I'm scared.
As for Mr. Sauce, dude really!? One game in a final!? I could commend the run but this match result just wouldn't let me. Nole ought to be embarrased as well.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (The Youz for the top 10) 04/18/2010 at 09:05 PM

Mornin' folks

Congrats to Sam and fans and big hugs to Vera and fans. Vera has to be the female Marat and Gonzo. Love her to bits.

Bobby great writing again and thanks for all your articles this week, I have really enjoyed them.

I just want Dinara back on court, don't miss her coach though.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/18/2010 at 09:10 PM

AA I had a quick cat nap and watched the match live.

Sam played great the best ever.With this title she is back in the top 10

Hopefully she can stay there.She seems so relaxed and confident on the clay and was aggressive in her play.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (The Youz for the top 10) 04/18/2010 at 09:15 PM

MA Is the Fed Cup tie between Australia and the Ukraine going to be played on clay or HC?

Posted by chicklet 04/18/2010 at 09:38 PM

TV coverage doesn't start until Thursday, but the OOP is up for Barcelona tomorrow.

http://www.barcelonaopenbancosabadell.com/archivos/op.pdf?lang=es

Gasquet vs Andreev has potential. The rest don't look too promising.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/18/2010 at 09:40 PM

'evening folks. Nice day for rafa fans.

thanks for the write up bobby. wow, that tally of injured wta players is really worrisome. And it's no better on the atp side. Is this going to be the state of the game from now on? I've followed tennis most of my life and don't remember injuries like this. It's nuts.

chicklet: I'm so worried about Delpo too. Do we know if he is ready to come back for Rome? There is alot at risk in coming back too soon. I heard that Nalby was sore after MC and was going to see his doctor in Barcelona for an MRI. I mean, it's just too much.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/18/2010 at 09:40 PM

AA I believe its on indoor clay

Chicklet thanks for the schedule for Barcelona.Meh I guess its back to finding streams.Fox pay tv here only televise live Master Series.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/18/2010 at 09:43 PM

Lleyton Hewitt playing dubs with Mark Knowles? interesting.He also said his hip came up sore after Housten.Seeing these are hard clay courts maybe the "true red clay" will be softer on his hip.

Posted by chicklet 04/18/2010 at 09:49 PM

Barcelona draw:
http://www.barcelonaopenbancosabadell.com/

Is Nalby still playing Barcelona? He's listed in the draw, but I thought he injured himself in MC.

And why are the Original Pretties not playing doubles?

Posted by Angel of the Surf (The Youz for the top 10) 04/18/2010 at 09:50 PM

AM that is a nice doubles partner for Hewitt. Gee if Hewitt is still having trouble with the hip by the end of the year he seriously needs to reconsider his career. maybe he shouldn't play dubs.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (The Youz for the top 10) 04/18/2010 at 09:53 PM

chhicklet Maybe Nando is tired from his week in MC.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/18/2010 at 09:55 PM

AA From what I read.He withdrew from MC as a precautionary thing.Though went straight to Barcelona for the practice.

Posted by Master Ace 04/18/2010 at 09:59 PM

Aussiemarg,
Correct on Australia/Ukraine on indoor clay while I will see USA and Russia on indoor hard court.

Posted by Master Ace 04/18/2010 at 10:04 PM

Chicklet,
Thanks fo OOP as the action starts at 4:30 AM tomorrow. There may be streams tomorrow so check your normal websites.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/18/2010 at 10:20 PM

So there is no tv coverage for barcelona until the semis? well that sux.

Posted by mina (meanie and proud of it) loves Phenomenadal 04/18/2010 at 10:23 PM

no tv coverage for Barcelona? as in we're not gonna see any streams?? fantastic.

Posted by chicklet 04/18/2010 at 10:26 PM

Tennistv coverage starts on the 22nd.
There may be other streams available online.

Posted by mina (meanie and proud of it) loves Phenomenadal 04/18/2010 at 10:31 PM

thanks chicklet. sorry i'm on my usual sky is falling mode after the high of last night LOL

Posted by Coby 04/18/2010 at 10:35 PM

AM, Sam does have to include Beijing as one of her 16 tournaments, so the second set of numbers I posted yesterday were the correct ones. (Sam at #10, 105 pts behind Vika for 9th, 85 pts ahead of Kim who is #11).


Some other changes: Bepa moved up from #22 to #19, Melanie Oudin moved up another 5 spots to #31 (that's up 10 positions in just the last few weeks), and 2009 Charleston winner, Sabine Lisicki, falls from #28 to #42 due to not being able to defend her title.

Posted by chicklet 04/18/2010 at 10:36 PM

mina, I understand.
I keep trying to find out if Rafa will start playing on Tuesday or Wednesday, but everything is in Spanish (or maybe even Catalan).
Can anyone help me out?

Posted by crazyone 04/18/2010 at 10:38 PM

hey guys. Had a fun weekend in NYC and wasn't at a computer at all, so missed the tennis. Congrats to Rafa fans.

I'm curious, how did Nando beat Nole 6-2, 6-2? That's a surprising result...

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/18/2010 at 10:41 PM

Coby Thanks.

Posted by chicklet 04/18/2010 at 10:42 PM

c1 - Nole had 42 UFEs and major issues with his serve.
That being said, Nando played a decent match and didn't self destruct.

Posted by mina (meanie and proud of it) loves Phenomenadal 04/18/2010 at 10:43 PM

c1, Nole help him out. a LOT. 42 UFEs kind of a lot. eek!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/18/2010 at 10:44 PM

Master Ace In regards to Safina and her ongoing injury will she have a protected ranking pls?

Posted by crazyone 04/18/2010 at 11:02 PM

thanks, mina and chicklet. I was totally expecting a RN-ND final, and was surprised to see it was Fer.

Posted by Coby 04/18/2010 at 11:23 PM

Win a hit with JMDP . . . . http://tinyurl.com/y56gdk2

Posted by Angel of the Surf (The Youz for the top 10) 04/19/2010 at 12:05 AM

AM I have just read that one of Allan Pollard's stooges got elected into TA, maybe that was the news report I was referring to on Friday.

Also found out that C7 wanted Foxtel to pay double the amount to broadcast matches, Fox told them to get stuffed.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/19/2010 at 02:07 AM

Morning. :)

I know I'm late but, great report, Bobby - I know I tend to focus on the ATP injury list and I hadn't realised the WTA one was quite so extensive. It seems the explanations are similar, too.

I entirely forgot Charleston final was happening yesterday - very nice win for Stosur, too. :)

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/19/2010 at 02:11 AM

123 testing

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/19/2010 at 02:12 AM

Jewell Yay for you.We were having type pad issues again? strange that lol!

Posted by rg.nadal 04/19/2010 at 02:13 AM

hi all!

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/19/2010 at 02:14 AM

Hi AM! That 1HBH cross-court was fun, no? (I watched from 2-0 up during my lunch break...couldn't not.)

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/19/2010 at 02:16 AM

AA I went to Tennis Australia site and that news was posted, though it wasnt on Friday when I looked.

Gee Healy the NSW tennis president was backed by Geoff Pollard for the job.I did that that awhile ago.

Regarding channel 7 and the insane amount of money they wanted I found that out when I rang fox to conifrm if they were still televising RG,Wimby and USO.They told me they could not afford that sort of money at all.

Posted by rg.nadal 04/19/2010 at 02:16 AM

Finally able to post a comment here. Kudos to RAFA and Sam!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/19/2010 at 02:17 AM

Jewell I could not believe my eyes when he hit the thing with One Hand? I thought for a seconf he was changing his grip lol!


Hola RG Nadal!!

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/19/2010 at 02:18 AM

Hello rg! How's things?

Posted by rg.nadal 04/19/2010 at 02:23 AM

Hola AM: Finally he gets a title!

jewell: All is well here. Saw the whole final. There was no telecast of the two semis the day before which was disappointing. They were showing football. :-(

Surprised to see Sam win the title, with JJ and Caroline in the tournament. But then again Sam is a FO semifinalist.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/19/2010 at 02:27 AM

RG Nadal Hell it only took 11 months.I gues he didnt want to rush things.

Watched Sam's match she was on fire the best I have seen her play.She is so relaxed on the clay and confident.Her game suits clay.Making s/final RG09 kind of backs it up and she moves back into the top 10 again.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/19/2010 at 02:27 AM

Also there was a fantastic point in that game where Verdasco had 5 or 6 BPs, won by Verdasco - lovely. :)

JJ got taken out in three by Hantuchova and I think Caroline had to retire which is not fun - although if Sam played as well as people say she played in the final, I guess she could beat pretty much anyone. :)

Posted by citrus 04/19/2010 at 02:29 AM

Happy for Rafa!!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/19/2010 at 02:32 AM

Jewell Hey lets not go over board there,where Sam is concerned lol!

Citrus Thanks its about time let me tell you lol!

Posted by rg.nadal 04/19/2010 at 02:33 AM

I really like Sam's game, esp her forehand and her temperament. She has that typical Aussie willpower, guts,gumption and a very positive attitude. Also it doesnot hurt to have two solid weapons-serve and forehand.

Posted by rg.nadal 04/19/2010 at 02:39 AM

AM: Now if only Rafa pulls out of Madrid. The commentators were hinting at that.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/19/2010 at 02:40 AM

Hi Citrus! Welcome to TW, btw. :) (saw where you delurked.)

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/19/2010 at 02:47 AM

RG Yeah there has been a lot of talk about Rafa and Madrid.I will believe that if it happens.Remember he feels obligated cause its in Spain.Though I hope he does.Needs to be refreshed for RG.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/19/2010 at 02:50 AM

Early start today...see you all later. :)

Posted by rg.nadal 04/19/2010 at 02:53 AM

AM: The only way Madrid would not hurt him is if he wins all his matches like he did in Monte Carlo....

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/19/2010 at 02:54 AM

Bye Jewell

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/19/2010 at 02:57 AM

RG Well lets just take one tournament at a time.Barcelona where again he can make history for the 2ns time being the first male tennis player in the open era to win 6 titles in a tournament.Then Masters Rome,Madrid and RG Phew I am getting tired at the thought of all those matches on clay for starters.RG I feel is the hardest slam to win physically and mentally.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/19/2010 at 02:58 AM

oops should read 6 titles in a row

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/19/2010 at 03:02 AM

RG Nadal Another pleasing factor he has 16 Master shields tied with Roger not bad for 23.Agassi still holds the record at 17.He has a chance to tie with Agassi at Rome Masters also does Roger.

Posted by imjimmy 04/19/2010 at 03:03 AM

Thanks AM and Rafadoc. I have high expectations of Delpo once he comes back.

AM: Nadal won't skip anything, as you well know. He doesn't understand the concept of rational scheduling. The only times he skips a tournament is when his knees "literally" force him to do ( Rotterdam 2010 for ex).
Already there are some rumors of his knee acting up this week, but his matches were short and he has a while before Barca stars (until Wednesday), and so he is not withdrawing from the event next week.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/19/2010 at 03:11 AM

imjimmy Well you and I have discussed this soo many times

Well if he is on the same path like 09 actually I have no sympathy for him at all.

Posted by rg.nadal 04/19/2010 at 03:13 AM

jewell: ciao. See ya later.

AM: Yeah. Without doubt RG is the toughest. But from Rafa's point of view he has the best chance to grab titles on this surface. Also, this year in particular he can overtake Agassi's MS shields' record!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/19/2010 at 03:16 AM

RG Nadal Well there still is a lot of tournaments from Rafa's point of view before RG

We Gonna See No?

Posted by rg.nadal 04/19/2010 at 03:17 AM

jimmy: Hi. Potro would be well rested. Hope he does not rush in too quick.

Madrid is like a cross that he has to carry!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/19/2010 at 03:24 AM

With regards to Del Potro there is still swelling on the wrist.Which I also read.

Posted by rg.nadal 04/19/2010 at 03:26 AM

AM: Yeah. Shifting gear to JJ now. I think she cannot win RG if she just plays defensive tennis. Girls who play aggressive minded tennis like Daniela, Sam, etc will snuff her chances. She might get away playing like that against Cibulkova, Bondarenkos, Caroline etc, but not against Sabine, Henin etc.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/19/2010 at 03:32 AM

RG Nadal I didnt get to see JJ play at Charleston this week.Her game is usually solid on the clay.With clay its a balance between when to know playing defense to ofense.

I read all the injured at present in the WTA its frightening.Bobby made a list on the top of this post.

Interesting to see the likes of Serena,Venus,Henin and Kim playing next on the clay.

Posted by rg.nadal 04/19/2010 at 03:35 AM

AM: Yeah. Saw that. I for one think that Henin really has to reign-in here aggressive stance if she wants to win at RG. TI is not like she just has to show and the RG title will be hers.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/19/2010 at 03:40 AM

Rg Nadal. I still dont like this "new serve and ball toss" of Justines its soo open to good returners.I know with clay you dont have to have a serve like Serena's lol! still.......

Posted by random roger 04/19/2010 at 03:54 AM

2008 Monte-Carlo final 5-7 5-7

Q. How do you view that match, looking back on it?
ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, I thought it was a tough match obviously. But, no, I thought I played okay. Disappointing second set, I guess, after playing the right way against him and then letting him back into the match. It was disappointing. Maybe I didn't play my best for sure. But it's tough against Rafa, you know, under the circumstances. And he deserves to win in the end, because he's a helluva clay court player.

Posted by rg.nadal 04/19/2010 at 03:54 AM

AM: Me too do not like this serve. There is no safety in it. It either goes very well or falls flat. Somehow think Kim might win RG.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/19/2010 at 03:55 AM

RG Nadal Can I now quote you on that?

Posted by rg.nadal 04/19/2010 at 04:12 AM

AM: haha...Sure....

Posted by joji 04/19/2010 at 05:57 AM

AM
is fox not broadcasting the 3 GS anymore because channel 7 is charging so much money?

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/19/2010 at 06:13 AM

Fox will still televise RG,Wimby and USO it was the AO that channel 7 charged soo much to have "co rights".Channel 7 is still the official channel for the AO.Fox will alos televise all Master Series.

Posted by joji 04/19/2010 at 06:17 AM

thanks am
if they stop covering the other grand slams; i will just inundate them with emails; or just probably shout at the top of my lungs as I did (lol)when they butchered the coverage of AO

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/19/2010 at 06:22 AM

joji lol! you and me both plus many others I would say.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/19/2010 at 06:24 AM

Well I am going to catch up with my sleep.Its been a hard week.Having to watch MC and then Charleston with different time zones.

Bye For Now.

Posted by rg.nadal 04/19/2010 at 07:00 AM

AM: Ciao. Good night.

Posted by chicklet 04/19/2010 at 07:17 AM

Bellucci wins the first set 6-4 over Nieminen in Barcelona. Isn't he supposed to be the next big thing on clay?
It would be nice if I could actually see his game for myself rather than watching the SB.

Posted by Samantha Elin 04/19/2010 at 07:30 AM

Wanted to say how much I agree with rg.nadal's statement on defensive tennis and how it can't win you a slam. I think this is true for all players, that is why I love it when Caro plays aggresive and goes for her shots. She has done that in several matches, but then goes back to defensive tennis. In modern tennis, a players needs three things, a great serve, a consistent weapon and aggresive tennis to be a slam contender. I think Caro is starting to change her game to realize this. She can't just be a counter puncher. I'm going to take a wait and see attitude with Stosur as far as being a contender for a slam.

Posted by rg.nadal 04/19/2010 at 07:45 AM

Samantha: Caroline has a very strong game and with age I think it would get better. I think she is like Hingis. Has the shots, mental strength, excellent mover. If she adds takes her offensive game a notch higher she could win slams. She also has age on her side.

Posted by rg.nadal 04/19/2010 at 08:07 AM

Samantha: Thank you..

Posted by Master Ace 04/19/2010 at 08:18 AM

Samantha Elin,
I can understand your position on Samantha. After Sabine won last year, she did not do well on clay but had a good run at Wimbledon. I saw Samantha's last 3 matches, she was hitting winners from all positions on the court. Against Shuai, her first serve was 51% but it did not matter as she only lost 9 points on her serve thanks to her forehand. Pam made a good comment that the clay gives her time to set up her shot as Samantha's defense is one area that she do not excel in compared to the top players who can play defense and still be aggressive(Serena, Venus, Justine and Kim when she is on)

Posted by Samantha Elin 04/19/2010 at 08:35 AM

Patrick, everytime a player has ONE good run, people immediately start saying they are the next big thing. People said JJ was back after she won IW and look what happen. People said Oudin was the next big thing after the USO run and she came out and lost 8 out of her next 9 matches played and hasn't repeated that level of play. One tourney tell you nothing except that over a period of 1-2 weeks, a very short time, that player did well. It's not a good indicator of the future. Stosur is 26, has been a pro for 11 years, and yesterday was only her second title so I'm not ready to say she can win a slam until I see her perform at this level for a much longer period and against higher quality opponents. Nor do I buy that she's the second best server in the game. Venus first serve is better. To me, there is a big question whether Stosur can play at that level, match after match and how will she do against tougher opponents like Justine, Kim, Vee, Ree and other. This is a different league compared to Bepa.

Posted by Samantha Elin 04/19/2010 at 08:38 AM

In the WTA, the last defensive, counter puncher to win a slam was Myskina at RG and that was about 7 years ago. Again, I think it's very rare for this type of player to win a slam, not impossible, but unlikely.

Posted by Master Ace 04/19/2010 at 08:43 AM

Samantha Elin,
Well, we will finally start to get answers on red clay next Monday when the ladies start at Stuttgart where the power players will return except for Serena and Elena, where Rome awaits. If I read correctly, Rome played more like the French Open last year after years of playing almost like Monte Carlo. By the way, I can not wait for Fed Cup this weekend but it does not have that buzz going on.

Posted by Master Ace 04/19/2010 at 08:49 AM

Wayne Odesnik is suspended voluntarily for his HGH role in Australia:

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/news/story?id=5112461

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