Monday, 20 April 2009

Tennis Review: Week 13-19th April

This week was a in some respects a disappointment, The reason why I'm verging towards not posting about tennis as often. Let's talk about the WTA first.
The Family Circle Cup is one of the most prestigious events on the WTA tour in my opinion boasting so many of the best players as it's winner e.g. Chris Evert, Tracy Austin, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf Gabriela Sabatini, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Martina Hingis, Justine Henin, Venus & Serena Williams etc etc. But this year Sabine Lisicki won. This rant is by no means saying Sabine isn't a good player - as I don't really know her tennis style, but for such a prstigious tournament to breed a 16th seed as the winner shows the calibre of the WTA tour. We had moments of hope when the Russians and William's sisters filled in the spot of Justine, Maria, Amelie et al, but now the Russians have fallen by the wayside again leaving only the Williams sisters to hold the fort - sadly that's not enough. The fact is there were 8 Top 20 players in this tournament and Sabine was ranked 62 coming into this, I'm all for shock wins but when it's a shock win of a big event it becomes somewhat of an embarrasment to the rest of the players. It's these times which really show the aggresion of the teenage players like Caroline Wozniacki and Vicrtoria Azarenka but I doubt those attributes would have been shown if they were playing along in the Justine/Amelie era! This can be said for Nicole Vaidisova. She was possibly the best teen player in the Justine/Amelie time period but she received little recognition because Justine was so dominant. I hope this display isn't emulated at Roland Garros, though I honestly believe that up to 4 players in the quarterfinals will be players below the Top 20!
The Barcelona Ladies Open didn't produce a much better result either for the seeds. Alize, Flavia, Kaia, Sara and Sorana all went early on. That left Carla Suarez Navarro and Maria Kirilenko holding the fort for the seeds whilst the italian duo of Roberta Vinci and Francesca Schiavone led the bottom half. This would have been a great chance for Nicole Vaidisova if she was in the form she was in before but sadly all my favourite players seem to have fallen into ill form again!

The Monte Carlo event was nearly capable of relieving my mood until Rafael Nadal won again! Rafael Nadal basically dominated the first 4 rounds and then performed well enough to win the title against Andy Murray (the next most in form player) and Novak Djokovic. Some interesting things of note were the tussle between Marat Safin and Lleyton Hewitt, which Safin won in straight sets (but he then lost to qualifier Nicolas Lapentti). Gael Monfils and Juan Martin Del Potro also left early on. What really did make me smile was that the Swiss playing in the Semifinal against Djokovic was not Federer but Wawrinka! To all those non believers (in that Federer has passed his peak) I just have to say... open you eyes, stop dreaming! Once Federer announced he was to have a baby it was kind of like a sign. It's kind of like saying he's passed tennis on and the baby is his nice platform to step away from tennis and save some grace. He's just lost it and really doesn't deserve to be named No.2 in the world when their are Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. It's a shame that once Federer is out nobody would be able to challenge Nadal until next year but at least Federer's gone! I don't even think Federer would win Wimbledon, that would absolutely be the final blow even if he wins the US. I said last year that if Federer loses Wimbledon (no matter how close he is) he'll fall out of competition in 2009 and this has proved to be true. The former king of tennis has officially fallen off his throne but he's definitely not falling off gracefully like Andre Agassi did.

No comments:

Post a Comment