And all jokes aside, she looks rested, relaxed, and ready to go.
Sometimes, you just gotta put Lennie out of his misery. And if you're a good friend, you do it quickly and mercifully.
Venus is a good friend. Maybe she'll buy Dina a puppy after the 1 and 0 drubbing. Or maybe she'll just tell the media to back the fuck off of Dina. I think I prefer the latter:
Q. This isn't your fault obviously because you played really well, but it's embarrassing for women's tennis to see the No. 1 destroyed in that way, isn't it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Why do you put it like that?
Q. You played very well.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Are you trying to be down on women's tennis?
Q. I'm trying to be down on the way that Safina is the world No. 1 representing women's tennis.
VENUS WILLIAMS: So you're trying to be down basically.
Q. Not on women's tennis, no.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Okay, because I don't deal with down at all.
Q. It's not down.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm just making sure you're not trying to be down, because I respect Dinara Safina immensely, and I think you should, too.
Q. I do.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Thanks.
So Dina gets drubbed by Serena on Serena's best surface. She also gets drubbed by Venus on Venus' best surface. Hmmm...who did Dina beat on her best surface this year? Oh yeah, Venus, not to mention Serena last year in Berlin. But yeah, let's just completely forget about that because the vaunted Williamses suck on clay.
I'm just saying. All this near-sighted SHE'S A HORRIBLE TENNIS PLAYER bullshit is getting so damn old.
From ESPN's Tennis home page:
With a link to this article.
Hello! EVERYONE THOUGHT SHE WAS GOING TO LOSE IN THE FIRST ROUND. Now we're putting pressure on her to beat Venus in the semis? Really?
Yup, this ugly sack of shit won despite serving 15 double faults. Or, you know, more, according to her:
Q. Are you working specifically on the mental side of your game?
DINARA SAFINA: If I would work, I would not serve 250 double‑faults today, (laughter) because it's just my brain sometimes doesn't do the things that I have to do.
Q. Where did these 15 double‑faults come from?
DINARA SAFINA: 15? I thought it was much more (smiling).
Yeah, I don't know. Sometimes even I don't know what I'm doing with my serve. I mean, yesterday's match I'm serving the whole third set very good. Suddenly I warm up, I'm serving good, everything good, and suddenly I come and just... I think for the serve, it's not me there serving.
Because there I say like, Okay, go down, go up, do this. Then I toss the ball and I'm already by the fence running. I am just escaping the serve.
But seriously, nice gut out win by Dina. No, it wasn't pretty, but she's a fighter and that's what she did again after dropping the first set. She's now been to the semifinals of all of the last four Slams. Not too shabby for the faux #1.
A really impressive run by Boom Boom but it she just ran out of gas today. How else can you explain the fact that she can't even beat a fat ugly girl who served 15 double faults? Can't wait to see what she can do during the hardcourt season. That said, rest up, kiddo. Your body is falling apart.
So Dina will face Venus in the marquee matchup of the semifinals.
Well, if you like ugly people on your marquee.
Nice comeback from Ugly Girl. Drops the first set to Momo and then goes on win the second and fight for the third in a 46 63 64 win. Welcome to the quarterfinals on your worst surface, Dina.
And thank you tennis gods for coordinating the awesome fuck you to the Wimbly organizers. Dina gets dissed throughout the first week, being relegated to the outside courts because she's ugly. So they finally give up the fight and put her on Center, sandwiched between two high profile matches (Fed and Muzz), presumably to give people a Pimm's break. And what happens?
Q. We saw Svetlana go out today. Obviously you're No. 1 because of your consistency. Is that something you're proud of, how week in and week out you're really there most of the time?
DINARA SAFINA: Of course. You know, I guess sometimes the people say, yeah, I'm No. 1, but I don't have a Grand Slam. But I'm always there. You know, it's not that you win one tournament and then you lose four first rounds, you know, and one by luck you can win.
I'm consistently there. I'm consistently doing my results. I'm sure if day to day like this, one day I will get the Grand Slam and nobody can talk anymore that I'm No. 1 without Grand Slam.
Q. Does that bother you?
DINARA SAFINA: Annoying. But what can I do? They keep asking this.
Q. You know what you can do. But do you think you can win here?
But whoever is in those boxes sure does help. Ana struggled early against Errani in the first befor reeling off 10 of the last 11 games for a 75 61 win. Unclench, kid. Unclench.
Bee Tee Dub, Adam Scott was apparently in her box again today. I can't personally verify that but it seems to be common knowledge.
DINARA SAFINA: Yeah, we are good friends. I think she's a good person and a nice girl. Sometimes also it happens you have to play somebody who your friend against. But that's the sport. I mean, friendship has nothing to do. Once we step on the court, we want to play.
I mean, I hope it doesn't matter the result that it's not going to end up our friendship.
Oh, tennis gods. You are hilarious.
Nice article from The Guardian calling out all the people who think the Russians and Serbs are "humourless" and "soulless":
There was a lovely moment at a tournament in the United States a few years ago when Vera Zvonareva of Russia was fretting over the thought that she might be overwhelmed by reporters who wanted to speak to her. In stepped the Australian Jelena Dokic, never one to mince her words. "I don't think you need to worry about that, Vera," she said.
The irony is that Zvonareva actually has plenty to say. Like many of the Russian women players and those fromall over Eastern Europe, there is a lot more to her than many other tennis players. She may describe her favourite food as "Russian soup" but she likes to read and is engaging on any number of subjects, while she is also combining her tennis with studying for a post-graduate diploma in international relations and economics.
The same goes for many of her compatriots. The French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova can be hard to stop when she gets going; another former Roland Garros winner Anastasia Myskina was famous for berating her coach and then boyfriend when anything went wrong – an entertaining, if slightly frightening sight – and the world No1 Dinara Safina, when she is in the mood, can be as amusing as her brother Marat Safin.
The Serbs Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic, both of whom grew up in the shadow of the Nato bombings in 1999, have been world No1 at different times in the past year and are equally intelligent and entertaining.
For all that, the old accusations are still regularly made that the Eastern European players are soulless, humourless and, in short, automatons. Either that or they are cold-hearted in the best Cold War traditions. At best it is a crass generalisation, at worst it is laughable, inaccurate and frankly ignorant.
Day 2 pretty much followed the script from Day 1. The top seeds played like top seeds, a few moments of heartburn, a few minor upsets. But all in all, no major shakeups.
The Getty caption to this pic is "Jeremy Chardy serves to Andy Roddick during their first round match...", which...uh, no. Still a rad pic though.
Momo will vanquish all that stand in her way. Or...well...at least the one who stood in her way today. Who knows what'll happen in two days.
Aw...how adorable. She went ditched the black tape and went with the traditional off-white tape out of respect for Wimbly. Or something.
And I'm pretty sure that if Martina saw this pic she'd cream herself. Go Volley!Ana!
I shit you not. Those are the lyrics to "One Moment In Time" by Whitney Houston.
That hand belongs to Georgie Stoop, who also admitted to listening to Spin Doctors before taking the court. Either Georgie Stoop is 40 years old or the early 90's just hit Britain.
Seriously, Adidas has to be feeling pretty good about themselves. That or they totally bribed all the photogs to not take pics of their athletes slipping on the grass.
To this day my parents still make fun of me because when I was a kid (and really, up until I was like 14) I always took pictures crouched down on one knee. I have no idea where that habit came from. But I'm fairly certain I have a childhood pic that looks exactly like this one. Minus the racquet and ball. But I think I was definitely in a skirt. All class, baby.
But I'm loving the Adidas kit. Sure, the cut is boring, but Ad Dassler's company has done a great job selecting colors this year. The red and white, while kinda medic-y, works. It's bold while still respecting the Wimbly traditions. I'm 50/50 on the sleeves but I'll go with it.
Well it looked a little dicey there in the first, as Dina got 'sticked by Hantu, which apparently means "ghost" in Indonesian (thanks, tennislust!). But the Dina did what she does and Dani did what she does and Dina won the next two sets, 64 63. She'll advance to the semis to face Touchdown Tammy, who took out Flavs in three. Boo, Flavs. BOO.
(1) Dinara Safina (RUS) d. (6/WC) Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 16 64 63
Tamarine Tanasugarn (THA) d. (3) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 26 63 63
Francesca Schiavone (ITA) d. Olga Govortsova (BLR) 61 63
(WC) Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. Kristina Barrois (GER) 61 61
1. Rafael Nadal (1)
2. Roger Federer (2)
3. Andy Murray (3)
4. Novak Djokovic (4)
5. Juan Martin del Potro (5)
6. Andy Roddick (6)
7. Fernando Verdasco (8) +1
8. Giles Simon (7) -1
9. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (9)
10. Fernando Gonzalez (10)
11. Marin Cilic (13) +2
12. Nikolay Davydenko (11) -1
13. Robin Soderling (12) -1
14. Gael Monfils (14)
15. Marat Safin (23) +8
16. Tommy Robredo (15) -1
17. David Ferrer (19) +2
18. James Blake (17) -1
19. Rainer Schuettler (30) +11
20. Stanislas Wawrinka (18) -2
21. Tomas Berdych (21)
22. Feliciano Lopez (28) +6
23. Ivo Karlovic (31) +8
24. Radek Stepanek (22) -2
25. Dmitry Tursunov (27) +2
26. Jurgen Melzer (26)
27. Phillip Kohlschreiber (33) +6
28. Mardy Fish (24) -4
29. Igor Andreev (25) -4
30. Viktor Troicki (32) +2
31. Victor Hanescu (29) -1
32. Albert Montanes (34) +2
1. Dinara Safina (1)
2. Serena Williams (2)
3. Venus Williams (3)
4. Elena Dementieva (4)
5. Svetlana Kuznetsova (5)
6. Jelena Jankovic (6)
7. Vera Zvonareva (7)
8. Victoria Azarenka (8)
9. Caroline Wozniacki (9)
10. Nadia Petrova (10)
11. Agnieszka Radwanska (11)
12. Marion Bartoli (12)
13. Ana Ivanovic (13)
14. Dominika Cibulkova (14)
15. Flavia Pennetta (15)
16. Jie Zheng (16)
17. Amelie Mauresmo (17)
18. Samantha Stosur (18)
19. Na Li (19)
20. Anabel Medina Garrigues (20)
21. Patty Schnyder (21)
22. Alize Cornet (22)
23. Aleksandra Wozniak (23)
24. Maria Sharapova (59) +35
25. Kaia Kanepi (24) -1
26. Virginie Razzano (25) -1
27. Alisa Kleybanova (26) -1
28. Sorana Cirstea (27) -1
29. Sybille Bammer (28) -1
30. Agnes Szavay (29) -1
31. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (30) -1
32. Anna Chakvetadze (31) -1
Dina's thinly veiled offense that the interviewer didn't know who Yelena Isinbayeva is ridix awesome. And what does it say about me that I immediately imagined that if Isinbayeva was asked about Dina she'd respond with a "Who?"
Also, Hsieh-Su Wei is my new favorite tennis player. Why? "Because she's coo."
Q. Just you and Dinara go back a long way. Can you just talk about when you first met her? You're the same age. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Oh, yeah. This story goes way back. I was like 12 or 13, and Dinara was unbelievable girl. She's one year younger than me. I had no chance playing against her. I remember I lose to her 6‑1, 6‑Love or something, but it was no chance. I used to be girl from St. Petersburg, she was Moscow and her mom is huge coach who been coaching her. I mean, she was No. 1, No. 2, always great. I don't even know what number I had. But then I talk to her. I said, Dinara, do you remember something? She goes ‑‑ or whatever. We talk about it. She says, Yeah, I remember you coming with rock shirt, because I was big fan of the rock band, and with big bottle of Coke to the match. It's fun, you know. She tells me back then this is what she remembers.
Q. Just you and Dinara go back a long way. Can you just talk about when you first met her? You're the same age.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Oh, yeah. This story goes way back. I was like 12 or 13, and Dinara was unbelievable girl. She's one year younger than me. I had no chance playing against her. I remember I lose to her 6‑1, 6‑Love or something, but it was no chance.
I used to be girl from St. Petersburg, she was Moscow and her mom is huge coach who been coaching her. I mean, she was No. 1, No. 2, always great. I don't even know what number I had.
But then I talk to her. I said, Dinara, do you remember something? She goes ‑‑ or whatever. We talk about it. She says, Yeah, I remember you coming with rock shirt, because I was big fan of the rock band, and with big bottle of Coke to the match.
It's fun, you know. She tells me back then this is what she remembers.
Is there any more perfect way to end the clay season than with a French Open final between the two players who've shared the major clay titles?
Both of them have had amazing tournaments, dominating their first four rounds and coming through tough matches with harder opponents. I know a lot of people wanted the Serena/Dinara ultimate showdown, and that would have been a just finale in its own way, but for this part of the tennis season, this really has to be the best ending-- the year's two best clay court players battling it out for the biggest clay title of the year.
Okay, so, it has to be done. We all know it. Think of it as ripping a Band-Aid off. Do it fast and don't think about it anymore. So, as fair warning, I will cover the matches in the following order, in what I think is the order that FDers would prefer to read about them. This way, you can see the least offensive one first, and then if you want to comment, just click and scroll to the comment box without even looking at the other ones. At least... that's how I'd do it. So: Dina/Aravane, Masha/Nails, Domi/Agnes, and then... well, you know. Just up front, I only saw Dina/Aravane and That Other One.
Vika d. Ana: Vika played well, especially in the first set and a half. Her serve percentage was somewhere in the low 80s, which is obviously excellent. But the major story was that Ana looked terrified. Despite her impressive play in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, today she looked as if-- once matched against an opponent who was a real threat-- she had absolutely no belief that she could control the match. She had some spots of good play, particularly in the first half of the first set and the last half of the second, and there were some excellent rallies in those portions of the match. But mostly, she looked scared. Tentative shotmaking, overhitting, that toss... it's heartbreaking to watch an athlete who's obviously battling herself as much or more than she's battling her opponent, and that's what Ana looked like today. As for the reports of neck pain and dizzyness, hopefully it's nothing serious and can be taken care of relatively quickly.
Posted by C Note on May 29, 2009 in Agnes Szavay, Ana Ivanovic, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Andy Murray, David Ferrer, Dinara Safina, Elena Dementieva, Fernando Verdasco, Gilles Simon, Jelena Dokic, Maria Sharapova, Novak Djokovic, Pic This!, Roland Garros, Sorana Cirstea, The Mighty Fed, Victoria Azarenka | Permalink | Comments (18) | TrackBack (0)
All credit to ESPN for calling itself out. From their 5 things we learned today feature:
1. Dinara Safina is playing like the favorite: Through two rounds she has lost a total of exactly … uh, two games -- in less than two hours. The No. 1-ranked Russian rolled qualifier Vitalia Diatchenko 6-1, 6-1. Since she ascended to the top spot, Safina has won 16 of her 17 matches on clay. She got to the final here a year ago and made the Australian Open final earlier this year. This, clearly, represents her best chance to join brother Marat as a Grand Slam champion.
Safina's coach, Zeljko Krajan -- naturally -- was again disappointed in her play.
"If one day he's going to be happy, I think I'll finish my career," she said. "He's never happy. Even today, he's not happy."
2. And Ana Ivanovic is starting to play like the defending champion: There have been some dicey moments this year -- like losing in the third round of the Australian Open and her second matches in Miami and Rome -- but her form seems to be returning.
Ivanovic torched Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-1, 6-2 and she said she thinks she can repeat at Roland Garros.
"I do," she said, "and I worked very hard for it and know I have a game."
3. ESPN.com's "experts" asleep at the wheel: The four women tabbed by six ESPN.com writers as sleepers -- Amelie Mauresmo (2), Patty Schnyder (2), Sabine Lisicki and Kaia Kanepi -- all lost in the first round. Sleepers, did we say sleepers? We meant to place them in the early-exit category.
"If Gulbis loses, I'm completely inept with my pre-tournament picks," said tennis writer Bonnie Ford, eyeing the scoreboard with disgust early in the day.
Ten minutes later, Ernests Gulbis -- Ford's male sleeper -- fell to Nicolas Almagro in four sets. What's the French word for inept?
"Incapable," said Ford, who speaks fluent French, explaining that the word is the same in both English and French.
4. Andy Roddick is the last American man standing: As a corollary to No. 3 -- and a public service, no doubt -- we are compelled to further mention that no fewer than four ESPN.com experts (who shall remain nameless) chose Roddick as their candidate for an early exit. With the loss by California native Robert Kendrick to Gilles Simon in the second round, 5-7, 0-6, 1-6, Roddick is the LAMS.
Did we mention that Simon and fellow Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who now appear to be in terrific form, were the other two early-exit choices?
Tapping Momo as a sleeper and Gilly and Jo as early exits weren't bad calls. But Sabine? Everyone knew she was pretty injured coming into RG. Kaia Kanepi? Uh...yeah...I don't know what that was about.
But really, say it with me...ERNIE???
I guess I don't really understand how Bonnie Ford can be SO SHOCKED that Ernie lost. My only guess is that while the rest of us are waking up in the middle of the night to watch Ernie lose ever so beautifully (though let's face it, he hasn't been losing beautifully lately) Bonnie's doing the smart and rational thing and sleeping.
Pfft. Weak humans.
Q. Do you feel that she's [Ana] capable of winning this tournament?
DINARA SAFINA: For what I am here?
Q. What's that?
DINARA SAFINA: For what I am here? I mean, you are telling me she can win this tournament, and for what I'm sitting here? I guess I also want to win the...
Q. Sure, but you were the finalist last year and she was the winner, so...
DINARA SAFINA: I don't know. We'll see.
I guess since she sucks so bad at tennis, Dina needed a backup plan. Looks like she's got one. Baking is as good as any, people like to eat.
6-1, 6-1 in 55 minutes. The bad news for AKO is that Vitalia Diatchenko managed to get a hold and a break off Dinara, the good news, I guess, is that at least she dragged the match out a little longer. I'd never seen Diatchenko play before, and from the way she approached the match, I'd venture a guess that Dinara hadn't, either. I don't know, am I too hard on her? I feel like the only person who's not completely bowled over by her level of play so far. Nevertheless, serving 74% for the match and having a positive winners/UE ratio is pretty good. I guess. Diatchenko, for the record, has the wackiest serve ev-ah. Stand aside, Mono.
Hmmm, what was that I'd said about not being all Dina, all the time? Oh well, promises are just air, people. Here's an interview with Marat and Dinara (see-- Safin Sibling Double Time, you don't want to miss that, do you?) done at what looks to be the Adidas party at RG. Conducted by none other than the extremely MIA Tatiana Golovin! (A little sumpin' for everyone. Or, at least a little sumpin' for Tati fans.) Actually, C Note dug this one up, but as Forty Deuce's resident DinaKAD + Francophone (skill set of the stars), I got to do the translation (after the cut).
So I promise I won't make all my posts All About Dina. But this one was too good to pass up.