I admit it. I totally cried during this thing. Don't judge me.
She had to retire from her semifinal match against Mono due to an adductor strain. I guess this answers my big question, which was whether her body could hold up over two weeks to make a solid run at a Slam. It's not looking like it. An MRI today will determine how bad the injury is and whether or not she'll be ready for Melbourne.
Which means it's Vika vs. Mono in the final of Brisbane. Whatever.
Yeah. Probably not.
He'll face Radek, who beat General Sod, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. What's with the boys in Brisbane this week? Seems like a lot of matches have been three set comebacks.
Could you imagine if the Brisbane men's final was Radek vs. PHM? Combine that with the Mono/Vika final and you're looking at a lot of bummed out Brisbane tournament organizers.
Take a flawless slicing, dicing, and lobbing Momo and a tired off-form Baby Koala and you get a 63 62 drubbing. No bones about it. Did Ana play well? Nope. But I wasn't really paying attention to her. Momo was mesmerising. Seriously, it was awesome. You know that Tennis Channel One Minute Tip with the drill where you're supposed to hit four balls with different spin? That's pretty much what Momo did and it completely kept Ana off balance and didn't allow her to get any rhythm. She'll face the winner of Mono Bartoli/Garbin.
As for Baby K, what can I say. The positives? She's a fighter and she fought until the end. But missed volleys and smashes, and poor decisionmaking didn't help her cause. It was a frustrating match to watch because it made me miss RolandGarros!Ana. The Ana who allowed herself to get into rallies, who hit with margin, who used angles and constructed points until she got the short ball she could put away. Right now we just have IWanttohittheballreallyreallyhard!Ana. She's definitely hitting the ball really really hard. Unfortunately they're missing the lines by four feet.
(5) Amélie Mauresmo (FRA) d. (1) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 63 62
(2) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Lucie Safarova (CZE) 76(5) 64
Sara Errani (ITA) d. Olga Govortsova (BLR) 63 63
Not all is lost though in the Ivanovic camp. A freshly shorn Fernando had a very nice win over the hard hitting Florent Serra, coming back from a set down to take it 46 60 63. And really, it was a tighter match than the scoreline indicates. He'll face the winner of PHM/Special K.
Here's the good news. The last tournament I remember where Ana struggled early and often was in Berlin. She had to fight hard against Ammandurova, then was taken to three hard sets by Szavay, and eventually lost to Lena D in the semis.
A few weeks later she won RG. I'm just sayin'.
Baby K had to save two match points to stay in this one, after she dropped the first set in a tiebreaker. But after surviving those two points she went on to cruise in the third set, winning 67(4) 75 61. Yay again for Baby K fighting it out. Maybe Nole should watch and learn.
Baby K will be facing Momo, who also had to duke it out in three tough sets to beat Julie FUCKING Coin. Coin, as we already know, doesn't really go away. She knows how to play the game, knows when to be aggressive, when to rally, etc. The girl just doesn't makes stupid decisions. Momo on the other hand has problems closing out sets. So it wasn't that much of a shock how close it was.
But good for Momes that she fought and is now in the semis quarters. Whoever wins that match will be taking a lot of confidence into the AO, no matter what happens after that. I for one am really looking forward to this match.
(1) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. (Q) Roberta Vinci (ITA) 67(4) 75 61
(5) Amélie Mauresmo (FRA) d. (LL) Julie Coin (FRA) 57 62 76(11)
Sara Errani (ITA) d. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 67(3) 75 63
Olga Govortsova (BLR) d. (Q) Sesil Karatantcheva (BUL) 60 57 75
In other dude news, Ernie (not surprisingly) failed to notch a win after his solid upset of Nole, losing to Mattieu, 63 64. Fernando notched a nice win over Average Mario, 62 63 and Special K somehow beat Big Byrd, 76(6) 63. Nice!
 J Tsonga (FRA) d J Nieminen (FIN) 06 76(1) 76(5)
 F Verdasco (ESP) d M Ancic (CRO) 62 63
K Nishikori (JPN) d  T Berdych (CZE) 76(7) 63
 R Stepanek (CZE) d M Llodra (FRA) 76(2) 63
P Mathieu (FRA) d E Gulbis (LAT) 63 64
F Serra (FRA) d J Melzer (AUT) 64 63
The match of the day was the only one where a seed survived. But even then it wasn't easy. Momo had to use all her experience and guile to beat the original headcasey Serb, Jelena Dokic, 76(9) 76(5). Initially it looked like Momo was going to get hit off the court. Dokic (or "Snot Rocket" from now on because of the sound she makes when she hits the ball) was playing first strike, ball bashing tennis from the get go, crushing crosscourt and down the line winners from both sides. In fact, she looked like a 16 yo Baby Koala out there. But then Momo figured her out and started making her hit shot after shot and invariably she'd hit a UFE. On top of that, Snot Rocket's serve absolutely left her at times allowing Momo to easily break her time after time.
In the end, Momo's experience and nerve won her this match. But if you watched it, you kinda thought Snot Rocket deserved the win. All that said I do not want her in the draw with my favorite players (and had she won she would have played Julie @#$%ing Coin for the right to potentially play Baby K in the third round). The weapons are still there and I definitely see her scoring a big upset sometime this year.
But other than Momo, all the other seeds fell during the day session. SuperGirl, Airon Woman, and Tranny all went down with little fanfare. In fact, Dani got bageled in the third. Here's hoping this is just rust and not a signal of things to come in 2009.
Here are your scores:
Sara Errani (ITA) d. (4) Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 67(1) 64 60
(5) Amélie Mauresmo (FRA) d. (WC) Jelena Dokic (AUS) 76(9) 76(5)
Olga Govortsova (BLR) d. (8) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 75 62
Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. (9) Ai Sugiyama (JPN) 62 63
Tathiana Garbin (ITA) d. Sofia Arvidsson (SWE) 62 63
(Q) Roberta Vinci (ITA) d. (Q) Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER) 06 63 61
(Q) Sesil Karatantcheva (BUL) d. Iveta Benesova (CZE) 16 64 62
(LL) Julie Coin (FRA) d. Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 75 67(5) 76(3)
So Momo is blogging from Luxembourg. I have always considered her to be a pretty contemplative, serious, person. But this had me rolling:
Lena and Momo will duke it out tomorrow in the quarterfinals of Luxembourg after both had easy wins over Dulko and Groenefeld, respectively. Momo seems to be trying to figure out whether she wants to put the work in to continue to compete at the top level or whether to just retire. Tomorrow's match could be quite the barometer for her.
Quarterfinal lineup and order of play:
Li Na vs. Benesova
Dani H vs. Cirstea
Garrigues vs. Ski Boots
Lena vs. Momo
Play starts at 13.00 local time.
Oh Dinara, that was just cold. You can't do crap like this. You can't string along your elders, give them hope that maybe, just maybe they still have it and they can still compete, and then crush their dreams with one swing of your racquet. You're better than that. I expect more from you, Beluga.
So yeah, Baby Beluga beat Momo 67(2) 64 64 today. I don't know what it is, but given Dinara's results lately, I get the sense that she's starting to run out of gas. She hasn't been as dominant as she was in the past and I'm wondering if it's all finally getting to her. Hope she gets some rest before the YECs, where she will most likely be my favorite to take it all.
In other action, Ski Boots came back to dust Chakky on her home turf, 26 61 64. Oh, Anna. Just call it a year and take some time to deal with the psychological trauma you so rightly suffered because of the armed robbery. Seriously, call Dr. Melfi.
Other than the loss of the Chakster it was a good day for Mother Russia, as Lena, Kuz, and Nads all won.
The Cone bit it hard against Momo today, losing in three sets, 67(3) 63 64. A very nice win for Momes. I think this post-clay season has been a humbling one for The Cone, but that's a good thing. The kid had to realize she has a lot of work to do, namely, learn to hit the ball a bit flatter and work on her serve.
As for the remaining Ladies Singles matches, Mono retired in the second set at 61 41 against Domi with a left toe injury. And Nikki V. fell to hometown girl Vera Dushevina in three sets, 61 36 63. Future talent indeed.
Incidentally, does anyone know if Potato is dating Flava Flav? Sure seemed cozy in those player pics....
Lots of great first round matches on tap for tomorrow. Bepa vs. MaKiri, Kuz vs. Li, Flava Flav vs. Venus, Tranny vs. Dani, and Tipsy and CrazySexyLostHisCool are also in action.
Order of Play For Tuesday:
Centre Court (from 11.00hrs)
1. Zvonareva vs. Kirilenko
2. ATP: Kudryavtsev vs. Tipsarevic (NB 13.00hrs)
3. Kuznetsova vs. Li (NB 15.00hrs)
4. ATP: Davydenko vs. Serra (NB 16.30hrs)
5. Pennetta vs. V.Williams (NB 18.00hrs)
6. ATP: Okun vs. Safin
Court 1 (from 11.00hrs)
1. ATP: Troicki vs. Donskoy
2. Makarova vs. Vesnina
3. ATP: Llodra vs. Istomin
4. Schiavone vs. Hantuchova
5. ATP: Kerr/Murray vs. Youzhny/Zverev
6. ATP: Ginepri vs. Vanek
Court 2 (from 11.00hrs)
1. A.Bondarenko vs. Srebotnik
2. ATP: Sela vs. Hanescu
3. Errani vs. Azarenka
4. Dzehalevich/Savchuk vs. Petrova/Srebotnik
5. ATP: Donskoy/Vovk vs. Kunitsyn/Tursunov
6. ATP: Llodra/Santoro vs. Chardy/Serra
Court 3 (from 11.00hrs)
1. ATP: Demekhine/Kravchuk vs. Stakhovsky/Starace
2. ATP: Levy vs. Benneteau
3. ATP: Gremelmayr/Lu vs. Cermak/Wassen (NB 14.00hrs)
4. Niculescu/Shvedova vs. Chakvetadze/Cibulkova
5. Hrdinova/Uhlirova vs. Dushevina/Kudryavtseva
Other winners for the ladies: A Chak (anyone know if she's rocking her new Fila gear?), Agnez, and The Cone.
Interestingly, and perhaps unfortunately for Zheng Jie, she leads A-Rad 3-0 in the first in a match that was suspended by rain. Will the Chinese weather screw the streaky Zheng? Very possible.
Yay! Pictures from the Tokyo Players' Press Conference Extravaganza! Is it just me or should the WTA should out a memo to players telling them EXACTLY what the dress code is. I mean, Ana, Dinara, and Lena look like they're going to a cocktail party, Ai Sugiyama looks like she's going to a business meeting, Dani and JJ look like they're in St. Bartz, Momo, Domi, and Agnez look like they're going to the mall, Francesca Schiavone looks like she's going to a concert, and Na Li is wearing army capris.
I find Ana's attempts to dress up adorable because she clearly has no idea what she's doing. It's so relatable.
Oh, honey. You so need a Best Gay. Because here's what my Best Gay would say: "Oh my gosh. What. Are. You. Thinking? You cannot pack a silk dress and then put it on without steaming it first! And don't tell me you "steamed it" by hanging it in the bathroom while the shower was running. Because that shit is a LIE. It doesn't work. And honey, if you're going to wear heels, you need to OWN IT. Don't fucking slouch down like you're embarrassed you're so tall and hot. It's not your fault they decided to put some midget next to you. Augh! I don't even know why I'm friends with you. Sometimes, it's embarrassing! Cute Prada clutch though!"
So you're in good company.
Uh, this picture is AMAZING. Why? Ok, I do this all the time. I'll be dressed up for a wedding or something and I'll just be sitting there minding my own business, zoning off on some random thought, and without thinking, I relax, slouch down a bit, and then RELAX MY ABS SO THAT MY GUT IS TOTALLY HANGING OUT. Because yes, I (and apparently Ana) have to think about it to make sure my gut doesn't hang out. I have said it once and I will say it again: BABY ELEPHANT RULES!!!
AI and Company sharing what looks like a very genuine laugh about something. You know, for someone who is French and therefore ostensibly up to date (whether she likes it or not) on fashion trends, the fact that Momo still wears a scrunchy baffles me.
When will the WTA learn? You put MaKiri in the front row. It doesn't matter what her ranking is, it doesn't matter how successful she is, it doesn't matter if she's even there to play. Front Row. Always. Come on!
I'm telling you, my girl Ski Boots is getting ready for a good run in Flushing Meadows. She had her biggest win today, destroying Mono Bartoli 64 60 today. She'll play Feivel in the semifinal tomorrow. On the other side, don't look now but Momo may be finding some form. She beat Agnez Szavay in straight sets today, which, given Szavay's form this year isn't that big of deal I suppose. But nevertheless she's advanced to the semis and will play top seeded A Chak. That'll be quite the test for her. But the runs by all four semifinalists has to be taken into account as we look to the US Open.
I'm calling it now. Caro will beat JJ.
The ITF announced today that Amelie Mauresmo will replace Mary Pierce and play singles at the Olympics. Good for MoMo I guess, though she's not really a threat to any of the top players.
Just kidding. So Mary Pierce withdrew, was replaced by MoMo, who withdrew, who was replaced by Pauline Parmentier.
Nothing to see here, move along.