New Spring 2010 gear from Stella for Adidas.
Cute, if not a little Kelly Kapowski.
More pics at TSF.
He's taken out Gilles, Tomas, and now Lleyton to make his second ATP final of the year (he lost in Munich to Tomas). I never get sick of seeing the salute and I've always had a thing for the guy. I think it's the teeth.
Yeah, I'm gonna be looking at those for a while.
And he used those big paws to lay the smackdown on Rafa, 61 63. I mean...that's something.
Tuxedo will face The Falcon, who beat Sods 3 and 3. Good job, Nole. With the win Nole will rise to #3 on Monday, bumping the injured Muzzard down a spot.
Now please take the title. Kthxbye!
Nice to see you're so excited about making your second straight semifinal by beating Lena, Agi. Don't ever change. Kuz cruised over Pavs in straight sets, setting up a fantastically headcasey semifinal against...
The Serena Slayer. Big ups to Nads, who followed up her win over Serena with a three set win over Bollitieri Beater Shuai Peng. Peng took the first set in a tiebreaker and was playing really well until she hurt her left leg. From there is was just a matter of time before Nads ran away with it, though seriously, she was still Nadsy about it. Headcases forever!
And in the "Wha happen???" story of the day, Mono somehow rallied from 63 51 down to win over Bepa. What. The. Fuck. Vera. She only won 7 points in the second set after leading 5-1.
Yes, there was a tennis match.
And yes, Rafa demolished Marat. But Marat played well and so did Rafa and that's all I can ask.
But you know, this wasn't about the match.
I take back all the shit I talked about Beijing. They really did a fun job with the farewell they gave and Marat looked genuinely touched.
This week Brodie, the "man" behind Mind The Racket, dared to go where no "man" has gone before: The Chickfest that is FD Podcast. Accordingly we make fun of Canada (Brodie's Canadian in case his "aboot" didn't give him away), discuss why ATP marketing might be better than WTA marketing, the WTA Bitches ruling the roost (uh, loose definition of "ruling" there), Boots calling out the WTA for shitty scheduling, and the YEC and WTF. And speaking of WTF, what the hell is the deal with Bali?
Oh, and we all do our best JJ impressions.
Just a reminder, you can subscribe to FD Podcasts on iTunes, you can listen to it from the site by clicking on the arrow below, or you can save it to your computer by right clicking the link below and saving it.
I'll put the links referenced in the podcast in the comments.
There was a typhoon in Tokyo yesterday. According to my sister, it came and went without much incident, though they did do a city-wide announcement on a loudspeaker. A loudspeaker. I made a pretty great Godzilla joke. She wasn't amused.
But play continued despite the weather thanks to the indoor court. It was a topsy-turvy day for France as Jo beat Reeshie and Vasselin beat DoucheStamp, but Gilles fell to Misha and Fabrice blew a one set lead to lose to Lawnmower.
And in Yay/Boo news, Ernie advanced to the third round after Pico retired in the second set down 4-1.
Singles - Second Round
 J Tsonga (FRA) d R Gasquet (FRA) 46 62 62
M Youzhny (RUS) d  G Simon (FRA) 76(5) 67(5) 64
 T Berdych (CZE) d A Beck (GER) 64 61
 L Hewitt (AUS) d F Santoro (FRA) 36 63 61
[Q] E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d J Melzer (AUT) 46 62 63
[Q] E Gulbis (LAT) d J Monaco (ARG) 63 41 ret. (right hip)
Doubles - Quarter-finals
[WC] S Iwabuchi (JPN) / T Suzuki (JPN) d J Tsonga (FRA) / S Wawrinka (SUI) 63 46 10-8
J Knowle (AUT) / J Melzer (AUT) d J Brunstrom (SWE) / J Rojer (AHO) 36 64 11-9
A-Rad came back from a set and 0-4 down to reel off the next six games and win 46 64 62. Good on her. I went to sleep thinking she was about to get bageled.
And Bepa avenged her rather dramatic loss to Flavs at the USO with a rather dramatic three set win in Beijing. Apparently there was a lot of sniping from both of them because of some questionable line calls. And as the China Open site describes:
Early in the match, Pennetta was berating herself for mistakes, but by the end of the second set, Zvonareva took her turn. She met with her coach twice during the match.
Five times in the match the chair judge corrected the line judges. On the fifth, Zvonareva argued to keep the original call. She then loudly and aggressively scored the next point, but lost the game.
In the third set, when Zvonareva was up 3-2, Pennetta took a break after a back injury. After examination on and off court, she returned to win two more games.
Pennetta fought until the last point, arguing with the chair judge over shots missing the sideline. Finally, Zvonareva won the 2 1/2 hour match with a close 7-5 set.
Heh. Sounds like a doozy.
After a mild bit of scouring I couldn't find any pictures from these two matches. Apparently Marion Bartoli is more of a press score than A-Rad, Flavs, or Bepa. But these pics are great.
Perhaps the best thing about that Bepa picture? The caption: "Vera Zvonareva happily met and signed autographs for some of her fans during some time off from matches."
Yeah, she looks ecstatic, WTA.
Oh, Nads. You badass motherfucker.
In what sounded like a pretty epic match, Nads took out current world #2, soon to be world #1, but really was always the real #1, Serena, 64 36 76 (5). Nads served 14 aces for the match, which was pretty huge. Here's the AP's description of the match:
The 28-year-old Williams looked lethargic in the first set, with her ground strokes sailing long and her serve broken twice to hand the 27-year-old Russian the early lead.
But the American bounced back in the second, putting a bit more pace on her shots and dictating play from the backcourt to gain a break late in the set and even the match.
In the deciding third set, Williams missed a golden opportunity to pull ahead at 4-4, blowing three break points on Petrova's serve. But she cranked up her serve to send it to a tiebreak.
Petrova took an early 5-2 lead, but Williams battled back one final time before the Russian could close it out.
Apparently there was some controversy at the end regarding a line call but I don't really know what happened there. What I *do* know is what Serena said after the match:
"I ran into a girl today that has never played so good in her whole life...."
"I can be No. 1 for a week on this tour, but it doesn't matter how many Grand Slams you win. It's more about how many Grand Slams you don't win. My goal is just to do well in Doha."
To quote a certain Russian Siberian Bitch, "Shocking. Shocking she said that."
Also, since the fuck when did Serena give a shit about doing well in Doha?
AHHHH!!! It's really happening!!!
Whenever I get asked "how can you possibly stay up in the middle of the night to watch tennis on your computer" I will cite last night as Exhibit A. Which is a bit ironic because I totally fell asleep after Rafa won, which means I missed EVERYTHING.
First, Rafa was genuinely tested by Blah in his three set win. Who would have thunk it? I mean, the only reason I watched the match was because I couldn't sleep and I was kinda hoping I could stay up for Marat (that's what HE said!). I figured Rafa would roll right over Blah but Blah stood strong for 2 sets and a half. Rafa actually had multiple match points in the second set and couldn't convert, getting broken back (he may have been up 40-0) and then dropping the TB. Then in the second set, Blah had triple break point on Rafa's serve early in the set and Rafa somehow found a way to claw himself back in and hold. After that, the momentum totally shifted and Rafa would break Blah a few games later and serve out the set. Great fight from Rafa, and a solid performance from Blah, who hit some pretty amazing returns all match.
Then, in the "clearly I shouldn't put myself through this" match, Marat inexplicably took out Gonzo. In straight sets. Kinda easily. So...Marat is in the quarterfinals. Of Beijing. I don't understand it but I like it.
Center (from 11.00hrs)1. ATP: Davydenko/Kunitsyn vs. Bryan/Bryan
Ooh! Gasquet/Tsonga and Ernie/Pico look tasty.
Lots of hot intracountry action on the men's side as Fer took out JCF and Nole beat Viktor.
Singles - Second Round
 N Djokovic (SRB) d V Troicki (SRB) 63 60
 N Davydenko (RUS) d P Kohlschreiber (GER) 61 60
 F Verdasco (ESP) d J Ferrero (ESP) 75 64
 [WC] M Cilic (CRO) d J Benneteau (FRA) 62 26 60
Other thank Peng's win over Pova, the Russians ruled the roost today with Lena, Sveta, and Pavs all coming through.
Singles - Third Round
(4) Elena Dementieva (RUS) d. (16) Li Na (CHN) 62 60
(6) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. Alona Bondarenko (UKR) 63 46 60
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 64 64
Peng Shuai (CHN) d. Maria Sharapova (RUS) 62 64
Doubles - Quarterfinals
Yan/Zheng (CHN/CHN) d. (6) Groenefeld/Schnyder (GER/SUI) 46 60 105
Doubles - Second Round
(4) Llagostera Vives/Martínez Sánchez (ESP/ESP) d. Grandin/Kops-Jones (RSA/USA) 16 75 106
(5) Hsieh/Peng (TPE/CHN) d. Errani/Pennetta (ITA/ITA) 62 75
Kleybanova/Schiavone (RUS/ITA) d. Bondarenko/Bondarenko (UKR/UKR) 76(4) 62
Pavs' reward? Pizza:
Man, the WTA is really hell bent on keeping the chub on the kid.
Also, who knew Papa Johns was in China?
Nice win by Ernie over Steps and Reeshie's not losing early in tournaments. I am pleased about this.
Singles - Second Round
 G Monfils (FRA) d [Q] M Chiudinelli (SUI) 76(5) 63
 S Wawrinka (SUI) d S Greul (GER) 63 62
Singles - First Round
 J Tsonga (FRA) d M Zverev (GER) 64 63
[Q] E Gulbis (LAT) d  R Stepanek (CZE) 64 64
M Youzhny (RUS) d T Bellucci (BRA) 62 63
A Beck (GER) d R Schuettler (GER) 63 46 76(3)
J Monaco (ARG) d G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 50 ret. (illness)
R Gasquet (FRA) d P Petzschner (GER) 63 62
Shuai Peng, ladies and gentlemen.
Huge back-to-back wins for her over the Bollitieri Bitches, this time ousting Masha, 62 64. I can't even imagine how amazing this must be for her, to make a run to the fourth round by beating two former #1s on home soil. Make no mistake, there is a lot of pressure on these Chinese players, and Peng is really the forgotten one. But halfway in, she's the only Chinese player left in the singles draw, with Jay Z getting a tough draw against Kuz in the first round, and Nails going out to Lena D today.
Can she do it again? She'll play the winner of Serena/Nads.
Singles - Second Round
(2) Serena Williams (USA) d. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 63 62
(4) Elena Dementieva (RUS) d. (Q) Melinda Czink (HUN) 64 63
(7) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) d. Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 63 60
Peng Shuai (CHN) d. (8) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 46 75 62
Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (9) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 63 67(5) 75
(10) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. (Q) Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) 36 75 63
(12) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Patty Schnyder (SUI) 64 61
(13) Nadia Petrova (RUS) d. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 61 26 75
(14) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) 62 63
María José Martínez Sánchez (ESP) d. (LL) Vania King (USA) 64 64
Singles - First Round
 R Nadal (ESP) d [WC] M Baghdatis (CYP) 64 36 64
[Q] L Kubot (POL) d  A Roddick (USA) 62 64
 N Davydenko (RUS) d I Kunitsyn (RUS) 61 67(6) 62
 F Verdasco (ESP) d [Q] R Ginepri (USA) 67(7) 61 62
 R Soderling (SWE) d J Chardy (FRA) 63 46 62
 F Gonzalez (CHI) d D Ferrer (ESP) 75 64
[WC] M Safin (RUS) d J Acasuso (ARG) 64 62
J Blake (USA) d [Q] F Mayer (GER) 63 36 63
I Ljubicic (CRO) d P Mathieu (FRA) 76(8) 46 61
V Troicki (SRB) d [Q] F Fognini (ITA) 76(5) 75
Doubles - First Round
J Acasuso (ARG) / F Gonzalez (CHI) d  D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) 67(7) 63 10-3
 B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d B Soares (BRA) / K Ullyett (ZIM) 61 76(11)
L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT) d M Llodra (FRA) / P Mathieu (FRA) 61 61
Center (from 11.00hrs)1. ATP: Benneteau vs. Cilic
Singles - First Round
[Q] E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d  J del Potro (ARG) 64 64
 G Simon (FRA) d [WC] T Suzuki (JPN) 63 64
 T Berdych (CZE) d [WC] G Soeda (JPN) 62 64
 L Hewitt (AUS) d [WC] T Ito (JPN) 61 75
J Melzer (AUT) d L Mayer (ARG) 76(4) 63
F Santoro (FRA) d A Golubev (KAZ) 67(5) 76(2) 62
A Beck (GER) vs R Schuettler (GER) - postponed until Wednesday
T Bellucci (BRA) vs M Youzhny (RUS) - postponed until Wednesday
J Tsonga (FRA) / S Wawrinka (SUI) d J Coetzee (RSA) / R de Voest (RSA) 62 64
Tokyo OOP after the jump
Don't get me wrong, Serena deserves the ranking. Just like Dinara deserved it. But Serena, this could have all been avoided if you actually *did* play consistently all year.
I'm going to assume that Rafa's giving the actual "thumbs up" and not the HIMYM "thumbs up" from last night. Because that would be rude.
Rafa and Baggy locked horns in a pretty fun match, with Rafa coming out on top 64 36 64.
And he debuted his neon green kit, which I love. He looks like a Listerine breath strip. You just want to put him on your tongue and let him...
Wait...what were we talking about?
Congrats to Shuai Peng, who held her nerve to outlast the One-Armed Whiner in three sets. I really didn't think Peng had it in her but JJ clearly wasn't getting the stick on her shots. I don't doubt the arm is bothering her. I also don't doubt she could have served two fucking points 3 days ago with that arm. But whatever, I'm moving on.
JJ's still got one more tournament to go. She'll play Moscow in a couple of weeks and she's on the bubble for Doha. After the match she said that she would play Doha but not Bali. I'm sure the WTA loved that.
As for the boys, A-Rod was the big upset of the day, losing in straight sets to Lukasz Kubot. For all the talk about the amazing year Andy's had, he's really going to need to win a legit' tournament to have something to show for it. He's won only one title this year, Memphis, and he's still in the race for one of the last three YEC spots. First round losses sure aren't going help.
Well he's got a week to prepare for Shanghai, where he can pick up a lot of points with a good run.
A really high quality match between Masha and Vika saw Vika fight to force a third set where she was up 5-2 and serving for the match.
But she was playing Masha, which means it ain't over until you shake hands at the net (or at your chair if you're JJ). Maria would go on to win the next 5 games to take the match. And boy, did this one mean something to both her and Mike Joyce. Both went a little nuts when Vika's shot went long.
But enough about the match. Here's what you really need to know. Vika called the trainer in the second set after Masha won to snap a streak of 3 or 4 straight games. The MTO, for whatever reason, took FOREVER. In the third set, after Masha broke back to 1-2, Vika called the trainer again, this time to tape up her other thigh. The on court mics picked up the conversation between the WTA trainer and Maria, which went a little something like this:
Trainer: She's taking a medical timeout.
Trainer: She's taking a medical timeout.
Maria: Is her last name Jankovic?
Aaaaand scene. There would also be a pretty hilarious point in the third set when Maria was down 2-5, and she hit a drop shot that Vika actually almost got to. When they cut to Maria waiting to return serve, she had this smile/smirk on her face and was shaking her head as if to say "if she's so hurt how the hell did she almost get to that?" I really think that sparked her comeback.
Elfie tore himself away from the 24/7 orgy that is Tandil to fly halfway around the world and...lose. In straight sets. To a qualifier. Who looks even more elfen than him.
Congrats to Eduardo Roger-Vasselin, a French qualifier, on his 64 64 win over the #1 seed. DelPo said he was suffering from an upset stomach and jet lag, though he didn't blame that for his loss. Because really, DelPo should be able to beat the 189th ranked player in the world in his sleep.
Sorry for the lack of posting. Work is...annoying.
Center (from 11.00hrs)
1. ATP: Acasuso vs. Safin
2. Maria Sharapova vs. Victoria Azarenka (NB 12.00hrs)
3. ATP: Kubot vs. Roddick
4. ATP: Nadal vs. Baghdatis
5. Nadia Petrova vs. Daniela Hantuchova (NB 19.00hrs)
6. Yan/Zheng vs. Stosur/Stubbs
Court 1 (from 11.00hrs)
1. ATP: Blake vs. Mayer
2. Elena Dementieva vs. Melinda Czink
3. Ekaterina Makarova vs. Serena Williams (NB 15.00hrs)
4. Jelena Jankovic vs. Peng Shuai
5. Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Patty Schnyder (NB 19.00hrs)
Court 2 (from 11.00hrs)
1. ATP: Soares/Ullyett vs. Bryan/Bryan
2. ATP: Ferrer vs. González
3. ATP: Verdasco vs. Ginepri
4. ATP: Davydenko vs. Kunitsyn
5. ATP: Soderling vs. Chardy
Court 4 (from 12.30hrs)
1. Vania King vs. María José Martínez Sánchez
2. Alisa Kleybanova vs. Marion Bartoli
3. ATP: Nestor/Zimonjic vs. Acasuso/González (after suitable rest)
4. ATP: Llodra/Mathieu vs. Kubot/Marach (after suitable rest)
Court 5 (from 12.30hrs)
1. Flavia Pennetta vs. Kateryna Bondarenko
2. Francesca Schiavone vs. Vera Zvonareva
3. Han/Ji vs. Kudryavtseva/Makarova (after suitable rest)
Court 8 (from 11.00hrs)
1. Black/Huber vs. Szavay/Vinci
2. Medina Garrigues/Ruano Pascual vs. Pavlyuchenkova/Wickmayer
3. ATP: Mathieu vs. Ljubicic
4. ATP: Fognini vs. Troicki
Well, Coco did her part.
Not only did she lose yet another tight match, her conqueror, Zhang Shuai now overtakes Julie Coin as the lowest ranked player (#226) to ever beat a world #1. Thanks, Ana's Avenger.
Speaking of Coco, she won in straight sets. Let's just leave it at that.
A pretty good day for the seeds, as everyone made it through except for Caro, who seems to still be suffering from the flu.
Singles - First Round
(1) Dinara Safina (RUS) d. Roberta Vinci (ITA) 64 64
(2) Serena Williams (USA) d. Kaia Kanepi (EST) 75 64
(4) Elena Dementieva (RUS) d. Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER) 64 60
María José Martínez Sánchez (ESP) d. (5) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 67(5) 76(2) 60
(6) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. Zheng Jie (CHN) 76(3) 75
(7) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) d. Sorana Cirstea (ROU) 62 62
(9) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (Q) Olga Govortsova (BLR) 61 63
(14) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 62 46 63
Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) d. (WC) Lu Jingjing (CHN) 36 75 75
Sara Errani (ITA) d. (LL) Alexa Glatch (USA) 61 61
Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. (WC) Ji Chun-Mei (CHN) 62 64
Patty Schnyder (SUI) d. (Q) Urszula Radwanska (POL) 64 75
Peng Shuai (CHN) d. (Q) Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 62 63
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. (Q) Shahar Peer (ISR) 64 62
(Q) Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) d. (WC) Maria Kirilenko (RUS) 62 26 76(2)
(Q) Melinda Czink (HUN) d. Elena Vesnina (RUS) 76(2) 57 64
(WC) Zhang Shuai (CHN) d. Iveta Benesova (CZE) 64 62
Doubles - First Round
Bondarenko/Bondarenko (UKR/UKR) d. (7) King/Petrova (USA/RUS) 63 57 108
(WC) Han/Ji (CHN/CHN) d. (8) Chuang/Raymond (TPE/USA) 67(5) 63 106
Errani/Pennetta (ITA/ITA) d. Jans/Rosolska (POL/POL) 61 61
Pavlyuchenkova/Wickmayer (RUS/BEL) d. Dushevina/Rodionova (RUS/RUS) 75 67(3) 102
This week, I threaten to beat up Victoria, we break down the ever complex Dinara/Zeljko situation, give props to Maria Sharapova, ignore the ATP, touch on the Olympics, and we all talk about the best and worst matches we've ever watched.
Oh, also? Katie rules.
And if you missed it, my drunken tweeting after the jump:
Awesome win for the forgotten Serb, coming back from a set down to take out Jo. He dropped the first set 16 before coming back to demolish Jo 62 63.
It's a "Go Tennis!" final for me, as Viktor will take on Gilles.
Gilles karate chopped DoucheStamp in two tight sets.
Have fun, boys. I know I will.
The amount of hilarity in this pic is almost enough to heal my broken heart. Almost.
Kleybs and Tranny decided to announce to the world that Santa Claus is fake, there is no Easter Bunny, and Barack Obama is the devil incarnate. Basically they destroyed all that was good and awesome in Tokyo.
Franny was cute afterwards though, asking for Ai's autograph. I hope Ai traded it for the champion's trophy.
One last hurrah. Much love, ladies.
Yay! Joint tournaments! And the return of Rafa and Nole! And...Dina gets yet another chance to fuck things up! Hooray beer!
Ahem. Here we go.
Um...I would preview the women's side except I that I feel it's a waste of time given what happened in Tokyo. Bottom line is all bet are off. But here are some of the juicy potential matches: Kleybs/Wickmayer (R1), Mono/Rybar (R1), Boom Boom/Tranny (R1), Sorana/Bepa (R1), Kuz/Jay-Z (1R), Venus/Dushevina (R1), Pova/Vika (R2), Venus/Pavs (R2), Flavia/Bepa (R3), Pova/JJ (R3), Pova/Serena (QF).
And as an added bonus, Dina and Sveta return to the scene of the crime to play doubles together. In case you missed it the last time:Yeah...that happened.
As for the boys, I'm just happy to see Rafa and Nole back on court. Nole has the tough draw, as he could potentially have to go through both Fer and A-Rod/Sod to get to the final. Rafa has what could be a tricky draw, but really, I don't see Marin, Gonzo, or Ivo giving him any trouble, if they make it that far anyway.
Oh, and if you thought things would normalize in Beijing, you were wrong. Sammy Stones just lost to The Cone and FeLo lost to Donald Young in qualifying. So...buckle up, y'all.
Here's the thing. For the longest time all the stories coming out about Ivo were about how fucking shy he was. Yet all that I can remember of him for the past year is booty slapping dances, explicit rapping, and pics like this. Shy people don't do that shit, yo.
In Mother Russia, pink wears you.