Sing it, Damon.
Let's start with this pasty weirdo, who played one of the best matches of his career to beat Fed rather 3 and 2 in under an hour and a half to pick up his second Masters shield of the year. Even if you don't like either of these guys, be sure to catch a replay of the match if you can. Some of the rallies were insane and Andy came through with some huge serving in the clutch. Fed definitely didn't play his best, but a lot of that was due to Andy's incredible defense. As Fed said after the match, Andy made the court seem smaller.
So, congrats, Pasty. You done good.
Also doing good? The Anti-Pasty.
She demolished Patty 1 and 2 in 47 minutes (shortest final of the year), ending the match with her 25th ace of the tournament to pick up her first title in TWO YEARS. She didn't drop a set all week and was broken only 5 times. Say what? Yeah, that's right. It was consistently big serving and hitting all week. Awesome stuff and it's fun to see all the support the kid is getting within the media. With the win Ana outright qualifies for Bali and will rise to #26 on Monday.
Don't worry, Serena. Your muffin basket is in the mail.
Wow. I didn't mean for that to sound dirty.
Anyway, WHOO HOO!
Ana takes a late wildcard into Linz and she now finds herself in her first final since IW09 without having dropped a set all week. She'll take on Crazy McGee, who denied us all a Petko/Ana final, tomorrow.
Venus had a tough 1st round draw with Peppermint but she had no problems dismissing her in straight sets. I thought Venus was surprisingly aggressive. FINALLY! That's how you need to play all the time, Big Sister! All this is to say, she looked good.
She also looked *good*. I *love* Venus' Can-Can dress. It actually fits her well, it's cheeky with the see through lace, and she's causing all the old creepy men in the press room to pull their collars and hide their tiny hard-ons behind their tiny notebooks.
Kimmy put another notch on her belt, beating perrenial WTA punching bag Peppermint Patty, 62 75. Looks like a solid match from Kim, serving at 65% with 4 aces and 2 DFs. Yes, that is the extent of my match analysis. What more can you really glean from livescore?
Here's Boyfriend's take on the Clijster Comeback, among other things.
From yesterday's presser:
Peppermint Patty and Timea Bazcinsky won't be participating in Switzerland's Fed Cup tie against Australia, which will take place in Australia on grass. Not that I can *really* blame them for not wanting to fly all the way to Australia to play on grass right smack dab in the middle of the clay season, especially seeing as how Patty just got bageled by an unknown American on clay. She needs all the time she can get on the dirt.
It was a little touch and go there and Ana's still serving like crap, but she somehow came away with a 64 64 win over Ai to kick off Team Serbia's 2009 campaign to get into World Group I. JJ had a much easier go, beating Morumi 61 60. So Serbia is 2-0 and they'll kick off the reverse singles with JJ/Ai (rematch of AO) and then, if necessary, Ana/Morumi. At this point it wouldn't surprise me if Ana took the match just for the court time. Let's also hope that the girls stick it out for doubles in front of the home crowd.
The drama tie so far has to be Italy/France. Even though Italy has a 2-0 lead, it didn't come easily. Flavia came back from a set down to beat Momo 26 76(7) 64. Great win for Flavs. Maybe this will kick start her season. But sad face for Momo. She really should have taken this in straights.
SuperGirl returned and took her match in straights over Wickmayer, 76(2) 63. And Domi took out The Flipper, 76(4) 61. Looks like they're well on their way in advancing to play the winner of Germany/Switzerland. Dur. Nevermind.
The two split Day 1 but Day 2 should be the interesting one. Lisicki will play Patty and ALG will play Timea. You have to think ALG has the game to beat Timea easily, which means the Swiss hopes are all on Patty to beat Sabine. That should be a fun match, actually.
Petra Kvitova had a nice win over CSN, holding off a late comeback charge, 64 64. But perrenial midriff flaunter Iveta couldn't keep her lead, eventually losing to Llagostera Vives 16 61 64. Still, you have to think Spain has this one given their doubles prowess.
Shahar Peer is one of those players that always scares me in Fed Cup. Like she kicks it into a whole different gear when you slap that flag on her back. Must be the military training. Anyway, she kept Israel in the hunt by beating K Bond 63 67(6) 63. The winner of this tie will play Serbia (if Serbia wins).
Considering the quality that Baby E displayed in Zurich, you have to think this is her tournament to win. If she plays the way she played against Venus, it's in the bag. But the good people of Linz haven't made it easy for her, as the draw is surprisingly unbalanced.
In Ana's half of the draw: Mama Bammer, Tranny, Domi, Agnes, Flav, A-Rad, Kanepi, Srebotnik, and Nads. In Bepa's half: Stosur, MaKiri, Zheng, Cornet, Schnyder, Paszek, Airon Woman, and Mono. But hey, like I always say, you want to be considered the best? Then you gotta beat whoever is in your way. Go Ana?
As for A-Rad, it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that she's not going to qualify for the YEC, which is suprising in many ways. But she hasn't had the greatest season in light of the promise she displayed last year. Here's hoping it's just a matter of growing up, maturing, and getting into the physical shape she needs to compete with the big girls. There's no reason she can't be the next JJ.
Even though Bepa and Venus will almost assuredly qualify, this week's results could still affect the YECs, particulary in how the pools will set up. The way the YECs work is that the eight players get divided into two groups and those groups engage in round robin play, with the top two players in each group continuing to the semifinals. The pools are determined not by random draw (which would be interesting) but by your actual ranking (not your Race ranking).
So as of right now, the pools break up like this:
Group A: JJ, Serena, Elena, and the #7 player (currently Venus)
Group B: Dinara, Ana, Sveta, and the #8 player (currently Bepa)
UPDATE: Thanks to Kiki for her awesome research skills. The groups are actually determined by random draw after the first two seeds are placed in opposite groups:
So since the seeds are already decided, this means while we don't know how the groups will shake out, we do know that certain players won't be in the same group: JJ and Dinara, Serena and Ana, Lena and Sveta, and Vera and Venus.
If Bepa makes it into the final at Linz, she will overtake Venus and become the #7 player. Now, if Bepa's coach wanted to get cheeky, he'd tell her not to get past the semis. I mean, come on, do you really want to be in the group with JJ and Serena?
Boy, the YECs are gonna be FUN.
And Peppermint Patty showed teenybopper freshman Tamira Pazcek that she still rules the school, canning her with a 63 60 victory. Pazcek has come up with some solid wins this season, but she doesn't seem to be able to have solid back to back performances.