Sunday, 30 January 2011

Tennis ATP & WTA Week 5 (31/01/11)

Most of the big names will obviously be away this week to recuperate but there will still be a decent showing of players. At the SA Tennis Open reigning champion Feliciano Lopez will return as No.1 seed with Asian star Yen-Hsun Lu in at 2nd seed. Other names to look out for include Kevin Anderson, Rainer Schuettler and Janko Tipsarevic.

At the PBZ Zagreb Indoors the tournament will be headlined by home favourites Marin Cilic and Ivan Ljubicic. Both will obviously be the favourites, by far. Outside of those two there are a few threats including Radek Stepanek, Richard Gasquet, Arnaud Clement, Guillermo Garcia Lopez and Ivo Karlovic. Personally I wouldn't mind seeing a Croatian win on home soil.

Finally at the Movistar Open Thomaz Belluci returns to defend his title, however in his way are a triple threat of Argentinians David Nalbandian, Juan Ignacio Chela and Juan Monaco. Tommy Robredo will also be a challenger here and I wonder what Igor Andreev's form is at the moment.

Whilst the WTA will rest this week and instead focus on Fed Cup ties. The World Group Ties; Australia Vs. Italy; Russia Vs France; Slovak Republic Vs Czech Republic and Belgium Vs USA.

I don't know if the line up is finalised yet as I always seem to blog about the teams and then they get changed but I will talk about the teams as they are now.

Rubber 1
Australia Vs. Italy
Australia has a 5-0 record over Italy! But Italy are the double reigning champions. Australia is only back into the World Group after 6 years so I think Italy are by far the favourites. Australia will features Samantha Stosur but Italy will feature the winning combo of Schiavone and Pennetta, both played well at the Australians. Doubles wise Australia has Rennae Stubbs whilst Italy has World No.1 Flavia Pennetta however both Anastasia Rodionova and Samantha Stosur are strong doubles players as well but yet again all 4 Italian tennis players are ranked in the Top 50 of the doubles rankings - I think that's one of the main strengths of the Italian team as they are extremely versatile. I think this rubber will be Italy 3-2.

Rubber 2
Russia Vs. France
Russia has a 5-3 lead against France. France may have never dropped out of the World Group but I think this year may seal their fate. Supposedly their team is Cornet, Razzano, Parmentier and Coin. That team doesn't sound that strong to me. In comparison the Russian team features an all-star cast including Sharapova, Kuznetsova, Pavlyuchenkova and Safina. Whilst this team looks awesome Safina has been playing awfully recently and Kuznetsova and Sharapova are still rather unpredictable. However they should be fine against France. Russia wins at least 4-1.

Rubber 3
Slovak Rep Vs. Czech Rep
I think the Czechs will continue their dominance over the Slovaks. Hantuchova hasn't been on form recently so everything lies in the hands of Cibulkova winning her rubbers. I do not know who Cepelova is and considering the Czechs don't have any players ranked under the Top 100 I think Cepelova will not be of any threat. Kvitova is one of the most in form players at the moment so she'll be tough to negate whilst Safarova and Strycova are both strong players whilst Strycova and Peschke are both good doubles players so all in all the Czechs have a stronger team. 3-2 to the Czechs.

Rubber 4
Belgium Vs. USA
I've never really understood how USA manages to win rubbers with their current team. They have a very strong doubles team but their singles team aren't brilliant. Now put them up against Clijsters and Wickmayer and I'm nearly sure they'll lost. 4-1 to the Belgians with the US double team saving grace.

In World Group II I'd say Spain will beat Estonia 4-1, Germany will beat Slovenia 4-1. The other two ties will be much more difficult to predict. Serbia doesn't seem to feature either Ivanovic or Jankovic so they're about equal against Canada. Whilst neither Sweden or Ukraine have any notable players.

Whilst for Britain we are drawn in Pool A of Europe/Africa Group 1 and will be up against Switzerland, with Patty Schnyder, and Denmark, with Wozniacki!, both tough opponents so I'd doubt we'll win. In our team is Baltacha, Keothavong, Watson and Jocelyn Rae.

Just a mention, why is China not featuring either Shuai Peng or Na Li? It seems weird that they'd not want to return to World Group II.

Australian Open 2011 - a fairytale review

We are officially one Grand Slam into the season, can't believe we are staring at February now, where did January go! Both Djokovic and Clijsters deserved their titles and whilst I didn't watch any doubles matches I'm sure the Bryan Brothers, Dulko/Pennetta and Srebotnik/Nestor also deserved their wins. Of course not to mention the juniors where both singles champions won in the doubles as well, Jiri Vesely partnerly Filip Horansky and An-Sophie Mestach partnering Demi Schuurs.

Anyway a quick recap of the fortnight. Already on the 1st day we had some shocks. To me Nikolay Davydenko was a silent threat in this tournament but lost in 4 sets to Florian Mayer. This defeat will see his ranking plummet below the Top 32. In other main matches Gael Monfils nearly lost at two sets down to Thiemo de Bakker.

Some lesser shocks continued onto Day 2 notably Ana Ivanovic losing to Ekaterina Makarova. But the most engaging stories were Kim Clijsters thrashing of Dinara Safina 6-0,6-0 and Nalbandian edging Hewitt in a tough 5 sets.

Day 3 saw the loss of Marion Bartoli and Yanina Wickmayer as well as Federer's uncharacteristic 5 setter against Gilles Simon.

Day 4 saw Jelena Jankovic, the first Top 8 seed to fall. She was followed by Nalbandian, Kirilenko and Feliciano Lopez. Juan Martin Del Potro also lost, in 4 sets, it seems we'll still have to wait a while for him to return to full form. However the Australians were left with something to cheer on as Bernard Tomic, the only Australian left in the men's draw, advanced to Round 3. 

Day 5 saw the loss of some big names, including Venus Williams and Justine Henin. Nobody would have guessed that this would be Justine's last match on the tour. We will always remember Justine as one of the most dominant players of the WTA. The french also lost Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet.

Day 6 saw the fall of another french player, Jo Wilfried Tsonga as well as Mikhail Youzhny. However it was Sam Stosur's loss and Bernard Tomic's resilient play against Nadal which probably made headlines. Of course we also witnessed the rise of Alexandr Dolgopolov as the danger of the tournament after claiming his first big scalp in the draw, beating Tsonga.

Day 7, the end of the first week and most of the big names began to falter. Among them were Roddick, Verdasco, Azarenka, Sharapova and Kuznetsova. Sharapova lost to Petkovic who had earlier played past Venus (though Venus retired 1 game in) and Roddick was denied by a Swiss, however this time Wawrinka - not Federer! Schiavone and Kuznetsova also posted the longest Women's Grand Slam match lasting 4h44m,  rounding off Day 7 as probably the most eventful yet.

Day 8 saw Dolgopolov claim his next win against Robin Soderling.

Day 9 was mostly comprehensive with all the favourites making it through.

Day 10 saw Nadal's dream grind to a halt. He lost to David Ferrer 6-4,6-2,6-3 (same scoreline as the final) supposedly playing injured a few games into the match. Murray ended Dolgopolov's run but it took him 4 sets.

Day 11 and Caroline Wozniacki was booted out of the tournament by Na Li, Na becoming the first Chinese woman to make a Grand Slam final. Whilst on the men's draw Djokovic beat Federer in straight sets meaning that Federer goes without any of the slam titles since 2003.

Day 12 Andy Murray went through to the final in 4 sets.

Day 13 and Kim Clijsters wins the Women's tournament.

and finally on Day 14 Novak Djokovic beats Andy Murray comprehensively in the final 6-4,6-2,6-3.

Tomorrow when the rankings come out we'll see Kim Clijsters at No.2, behind Wozniacki by only 140 points. Schiavone will reach a new high of 4th in the world whilst Na Li will make it all the way to 7th in the world. Elena Dementieva on the other hand would stay in the Top 10 despite having retired. Serena Williams looks to drop to 13th in the rankings, one above Maria Sharapova. On the men's draw Djokovic stays at No.3 but is only 85 points away from Federer. The Top 5 should stay as they are whilst the only changes to the Top 10 are Ferrer and Berdych changing position and Melzer taking over Youzhny.

Australian Open Day 14 - Men's Final - LIVE UPDATES

I'm currently watching the live broadcast of the men's final. It hasn't started yet but should in about 10 minutes. Can't wait to see who wins.

It has started!

I'm a bit worried that Djokovic has a strap on his knee, yes tennis players always put extra protection but I just hope it isn't anything bad enough to affect him in 5 sets. I don't know, something about the match at the moment doesn't look right.

Murray has already made 4 unforced errors!

5 unforced errors and Djokovic did amazing defending that point.

Is Djokovic going to break this early!

Murray safely defends his first service game. Phew for Murray, he did have to work for it. 17 minutes of game already.

Just realised Djokovic is also strapped on the arm, not liking the look of that if this goes to 5.

Djokovic is giving a masterclass on forehands on Game 7.

Murray looks pissed - sorry for the language. 

Why can tennis players ask for rackets to be restrung in matches? That just seems pretty weird. Surely you should prepare for the match beforehand and not tweak the racket after realising in match that it is not right. I can only see the reason for restringing the racket if it goes horribly out of shape.

First double fault in the match from Murray.

9 games in and Murray is still only 44% on first serves.

GREAT play from Djokovic, amazing.

GREAT point from Djokovic, 38 shots- 2 set points.

First set to Djokovic, nearly thought that was going to a tiebreak.

First set stats and Murray's serve isn't looking good at 44% first serves with Djokovic at 63%. Djokovic is winning more on first serves as well. Both winners and unforced errors are even though Djokovic has won 35 points whilst Murray 28. All this took 59 minutes. I think this set Djokovic was undoubtedly the better player. I think this will be a Djokovic 4 set, thought it would be a Djokovic 5 set before the match but my gut feeling is it won't be 5 - I'd bet on it being 3 more than it being 5.

Fantastic lob from Djokovic.

First love game which also saw Djokovic's first ace.

Amazing shots from both players but Murray loses the point by hitting the net.

Ooh 2nd set looking eerily like the first with a potential early break.

Djokovic breaks!

Murray is making too many errors to winners in this set, 7 errors to 1 winner.

To be honest the restrung racket looks like it hasn't helped at all, in fact Murray is making more errors now.

Djokovic is starting to creep ahead on every stat I can see.

Murray is looking defeated.

If Murray couldn't win the last point I'm not sure he can win anything in this set!

It's starting to look like this match could be much shorter than predicted.

Wow Djokovic is making a lot of aces, 3 this set already.

Djokovic is doing amazingly, he turned from defence to attack so swiftly, Murray isn't capitalising on points.

Oh Djokovic on three break points. Some hope for Murray, 2-5.

A fantastic first set with Andy Murray losing because Djokovic took a chance moment but awful second set with Andy Murray nearly losing 0-6! But it looks like Andy Murray is starting to creep back into the game.


6-4,6-2 - looks like a comprehensive win from Djokovic.

Looking at 2nd set stats Murray was awful at the start but a slight dip from Djokovic and improvement from Murray saw a saving grace 6-2 set from what looked like a whitewash. Murray's serve is improving but he is down on every other stat and his winners-unforced errors wasn't pretty 5-13. Did take 40 minutes though, a bit longer than expected.

Just looking at the break points at the moment Murray has only had one whilst Djokovic has had seven already.

Murray BREAKS!

I hope Djokovic isn't laxing now because he started to look a bit looser towards the end of the 2nd set.

Linesmen are making stupid calls on Djokovic's shots.

Still too many errors from Murray.


Haven't been updating as I've been looking at stats for the last 15-20 minutes or so.

Quick score update - Djokovic leading 6-4,6-2,4-3 Murray to serve.

Yet another loose cannon from Murray, but Djokovic has the gods behind him his full stretch lobs are landing just in nearly every time!

The end is nigh! Djokovic serves for the match.

Another error from Murray which he should never have made.

MATCH POINT DJOKOVIC! Just after Murray hits the cord line.


Looking at the third set Murray played better but still made 20 unforced errors to 9 winners whilst Djokovic was 10 winners to 12 errors. Though Djokovic had a lot of break points he didn't convert he did enough to win the match easily.

In terms of the whole match Murray's serve just scrapes past 50% at 51% with Djokovic at 67% - you can just see how tough it was on Murray's service game as he served 113 serves compared to 75 from Djokovic. Murray made 47 errors to 21 winners - huge difference, whilst Djokovic did 33 errors to 26 winners, a decent record. Total points won 78-106. 2h37 minutes.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Basil, Bromley North

I forgot to blog about this, it has been a few weeks since I visited this place with a friend. Basil is predominantly a Swedish restaurant with an international menu. There are a lot of pizzas, with interesting toppings, I think there was a kebab pizza! but I didn't want to order a pizza because every time I eat with this particular friend it seems to be pizza! Instead I ordered their speciality Swedish meatballs with a portion of chips. I still remember walking ages around Bromley North trying to find a cheap restaurant because we didn't believe Basil's 50% offer - well I did because I checked it online and recommended this place to him but he didn't believe it and wanted to go to O'Neill's instead.

Oh and if you visit be sure to check out the fish tank lamp shades - thought they were a nice and quite Swedish (IKEA!) accessory. The Swedish meatballs came nicely decorated with some salad a splash of Braun sauce and a pot of lingonberry jam. I thought the meatballs were very tasty, the sauce and jam tasted very nice and distinct, they blended unexpectedly well, though I think it would have been even better if they had a stronger taste. As I don't normally smother things in sauce I didn't use all the jam, maybe they should have mixed it in with the sauce or something I don't know. The chips were nice, can't really say much else about chips.

But the highlight of the meal, besides the conversation, was when the bill came. Whilst I knew the 50% offer I didn't really let it sink in. Our bill was around £12! Two meals and a drink, my friend got tapwater (I think) and the total was £12! You can't get much better than that for dinner! The food in itself was great but added with the bill I think I'll be revisiting Basil in the future.

Leong's Legends Continue, Chinatown

Today having been disappointed because there was a powercut at Four Seasons we wondered around Chinatown looking for somewhere to eat. We happened to stop in front of Leong's Legends Continue and decided to try it out. Once inside we realised how dingy the place was, the decor was nice but the place was pretty cramped. We sat on a window seat on the first floor and ordered 5 dishes; Legend's Siu Long Bao, Szechuan Noodle with Pork in Soya Bean Paste, Noodle with Mince Pork in Soup, some deep fried chicken dish and  the pork kebab thing (sorry I can't find their menu online) and I ordered a Ice Pearl Tea with Milk to top it all off.

The Siu Long Bao was lovely, the filling was lovely and the soup fantastic. The skin wasn't the usual type but I liked it, however seeing the usual thin Siu Long Bao skins is one of the attractions of eating Siu Long Bao, however Leong's Legends do make amazing Siu Long Bao, one of the best in London (though I haven't been to any of the expensive restaurants in London). The Szechuan noodles were very tasty but is it a signature dish that I would go back for? I don't think so. The noodle with mince pork in soup was a bit bland if I'm honest, not very interesting. The deep fried chicken was nice but not amazing, the chicken was a little chewy. The pork kebab thing I chose because I've seen it on other blogs and wanted to know what it really was. Upon arrival me and my dad were a bit shocked it was literally Dongpo's Pork in a bun and as it came as a single we tried desperately to cut it in two severing the pork and mashing up everything in between. I liked the dish but I didn't eat the fatty bits. I liked that the Ice Pearl Tea actually tasted of tea! and was fresh made.

All this was a few pence over £30, decent value. I'd like to try the other one at Chinatown though but this was an ok experience that I'd may consider revisiting.

Australian Open Day 13

Kim Clijsters won her 4th Grand Slam beating Na Li 3-6,6-3,6-3. I'm happy Na Li took Clijsters to 3 sets, whilst I'm happy for Kim I would have loved to see Na Li take her first Grand Slam and a first for China. I don't really know or think there are many chinese youngsters on the circuit now so once Na Li and Zheng Jie leave the tour then I don't know how long after China will have their next Top 20 player.

Whilst the Bryan brothers won another Grand Slam their 10th Grand Slam and 5th Australian.

On the junior circuit Jiri Vesely won the boys' junior title beating Luke Saville of Australia and An-Sophie Mestach of Belgium won in the girls' junior draw.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Australian Open Day 12

Day 12 saw Andy Murray make it safely into the finals beating David Ferrer 4-6,7-6(7-2),6-1,7-6(7-2). Whilst I would love Andy Murray to win his first Grand Slam I think Djokovic still looks to be the favourite. Can't wait for that final though, the best possible final for me.

The Women's Doubles title went to No.1 seeds Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta, a deserved win. They beat Azarenka and Kirilenko 2-6,7-5,6-1. It's great to see Flavia win another Grand Slam Doubles as her last was way back in 2005 and 2010 was a great year for the Dulko/Pennetta duo with them winning the Year-Ends as well.

The juniors provided some reasons to cheer for the Australian crowd as unseeded Luke Saville made the final of the junior boys'. He will face No.1 seed Jiri Vesely who beat the British player George Morgan - you did well George.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Australian Open Day 11

Today was definitely my favourite day in the tournament with both Na Li and Novak Djokovic making the final. Na Li beat Caroline Wozniacki 3-6,7-5,6-3. Na Li really does have a chance at beating Kim Clijsters in the final, though I still place Kim Clijsters as the favourite I wouldn't be shocked if Na Li wins though her inexperience at this level could put her at a huge disadvantage. Whilst the best news I've heard is that Novak Djokovic will be in the Australian Open finals! He beat Federer 7-6(7-3),7-5,6-4. Djokovic will undoubtedly go into the finals as the favourite and I believe he is but he'll face stiff competition if the his finalist opponent is Andy Murray. If Murray does make the final Djokovic will only be the slight favourite because Andy is also in very good form but I still hope that Djokovic wins the Grand Slam even though I'm British! I just think winning a Grand Slam without facing either Nadal or Federer is just too easy. Hopefully I'll see you in a few days reporting Na Li and Novak Djokovic winning the Grand Slam titles!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Australian Open Day 10

Day 10 featured the biggest shock of the tournament, Rafael Nadal exited the tournament! I don't think anyone was expecting it, me neither, but I had said that it would be uncanny if the Top 4 all made the SFs. Supposedly Rafal Nadal had an injury in the first set but what matters is that Rafael Nadal will not be able to complete the "Rafa Slam" this year and has left the slam open to Federer/Djokovic and Murray who I'd say all have an equal chance of winning the slam at the moment. Murray had a more difficult match against Alexandr Dolgopolov - watch out for him in the future. I think Murray's chances of winning his first Grand Slam has risen massively after Nadal's defeat, previously he would have had to beat Nadal and Djokovic/Federer but now he only has one major threat.

On the women's side both Clijsters and Zvonareva made the SFs, Clijsters however had a tentative match, I'd say both Wozniacki and Clijsters need to be worried about their next opponents as both can produce a shock win.

Another shock is Henin's announcement - she's retiring again! I almost think Henin shouldn't have returned, she was not as ready to return as Clijsters was and she'll look back at this past year as a mistake because she didn't impact the tour as much as Clijsters did - she left at her peak but now she leaves through an injury. Henin is one of my favourite tennis players and whilst her achievements were amazing the only thing I wanted to see her doing was winning that illusive Wimbledon title. I will miss Justine, she truly dominated the women's tour at her peak.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Australian Open Day 9

Everything went smoothly for the favourites, I guess I just wanted a shock result. Wozniacki beat Schiavone in 3 sets whilst Na Li trampled all over Andrea Petkovic. I think the SF between Wozniacki and Na Li will be something like Wozniacki's match with Schiavone. I would love to see Na Li make the final and potentially win her first Grand Slam.

In the men's draw both Federer and Djokovic beat their opponents in straight sets - wow! I thought Berdych and the in form Wawrinka could pose a stronger threat but Djokovic beat Berdych 6-1, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 - pretty straight forward whilst Federer beat Wawrinka in a simple 6-1,6-3,6-3. I hope Djokovic will beat Federer because I don't want to see Federer Vs Nadal.

As the singles draws are thinning out I thought I'd talk a little bit about the doubles and junior draws. In the men's doubles all the Top 8 pairs besides the 7th seed made the QFs! I'm sure that hasn't happened in a while. Whilst on the women's draw the Top 3 seeds plus the 12th seed have made the SFs. I'd like to see the No.1 seeds Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta face the No.12 seeds Maria Kirilenko and Victoria Azarenka. In the mixed doubles yet again a plethora of unseeded pairs made the 3rd round except for the 2nd and 3rd seeds and potentially the 4th seed.

Going down to the boys draw I have not heard of a single one of them but I'm glad to see a British player make the third round, George Morgan - he is also the 4th seed. No British girl is that far in the girl's draw but Jennifer Ren did make the 2nd round. Whilst in the Boy's Doubles No.1 seeds George Morgan and Mate Pavic are in the QFs - go George! But Jennifer Ren and her partner lost in Round 1 in the girl's doubles.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Australian Open Day 8

All 4th Round matches have been played - that means it's down to the last 8 players! On the women's side nothing too shocking occurred, both sure bets Vera Zvonareva and Kim Clijsters made it safely through. In more challenging face offs Agnieszka Radwanska managed to beat the in form Shuai Peng 7-5,3-6,7-5 whilst Petra Kvitova beat Flavia Pennetta 3-6,6-3,6-3. That means that final 8 features 4 Top 8 seeds. The favourite for the title will inevitably be Kim Clijsters with outside threats being Caroline Wozniacki and Vera Zvonareva. If you are feeling lucky why not consider Na Li! She is capable of beating any of the remaining players and beat Kim Clijsters two weeks ago, though chances are if she manages to make the final she'll probably lost to Kim Clijsters as she hasn't ever been to the final of a Grand Slam.

The men's draw lost Robin Soderling to Alexandr Dolgopolov! This is only his 4th Grand Slam main draw, and first Australian Open (main draw) but he has already made the QFs! Having beaten Kukushkin, Becker and Tsonga! Just Wow. Whilst I doubt he'll topple Murray I hope Murray beats him. The other results were less shocking. Another underdog, Milos Raonic only in his 2nd Grand Slam main draw, lost to David Ferrer in 4 sets whilst Nadal beat Marin Cilic in straight sets and Andy Murray also beat Jurgen Melzer in straight sets. It seems out of the Top 4 Federer currently has the worst match record! Anyway 6 Top 8 players will be in the QFs! Dolgopolov and Wawrinka being the odd ones out. The all Spanish QF on the top half of the draw should be an easy win for Nadal whilst the all Swiss QF at the bottom of the draw could be a shocker but I still think Federer will win. In between we have Murray's match against underdog Dolgopolov and the most difficult QF out of the 4 Djokovic Vs. Berdych. How many times have the Top 4 seeds all made the Grand Slam SF? I think it happened recently but that was a once in a blue moon event. I hope Djokovic isn't going to be the one that falls before the SFs but if there are any shocks to the Top 4 this would be the least shocking considering Berdych made inspired performances at the French and Wimbledon last year.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Australian Open Day 7

The field is getting thinner and thinner and today we continue with a few shocks. Andrea Petkovic beat Maria Sharapova is straight sets. I thought Sharapova would be the slight favourite and possibly win a tough 3 sets but Andrea only took 5 games to dispatch her. She will play Na Li next as she beat Victoria Azarenka. Whilst I'm extremely happy that Na Li could potentially get back into the SFs like last year I think Azarenka really needs to step it up, she has yet to make the SFs of any Grand Slam.

On the upper half of the draw Caroline Wozniacki beat Sevastova easily whilst Schiavone beat Svetlana Kuznetsova in the longest Grand Slam women's match at just over 4 hours. Whilst I think the SF will probably be Wozniacki against Na Li I'm not 100% convinced Wozniacki will make the finals because she was the favourite to make the finals in a few Grand Slam draws in the past but only managed to make the finals once.

On the men's side most matches were pretty straight forward however Andy Roddick lost to Stanislas Wawrinka in straight sets, as I predicted. So it will be a Swiss affair in the QFs as Wawrinka will play Federer. I hope Wawrinka can push Federer into 5 sets again or even better beat him! Federer did take 4 sets to beat Robredo and earlier he took 5 against Simon so it's possible. Whilst on the other side Berdych beat Verdasco in straight sets. He will face Djokovic next who seems to be in very good form, he can potentially make the finals but the next two matches will be tough.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Australian Open Day 6

So all the 3rd Round matches have been completed. The biggest seed to fall on the women's tour is Samantha Stosur the 5th seed. She was defeated by Petra Kvitova who seems to be becoming the next Czech threat after Nicole Vaidisova. Shuai Peng continued her form beating Ayumi Morita and will now face the 12th seed Agnieszka Radwanska. It'd be interesting to see who will go on to play in the 4th Round, most likely, against Kim Clijsters who is surely the favourite to win the title now. Nadia Petrova lost against Ekaterina Makarova, not shocking considering Petrova hasn't been playing too well recently. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova also lost to Iveta Benesova, another threat I mentioned in the lower half of the draw. However I doubt that Benesova will be able to beat Zvonareva in the 4th Round. Finally the toughest match up is probably Petra Kvitova Vs. Flavia Pennetta. I love Flavia but I think Kvitova might win this.

On the men's draw both Mikhail Youzhny and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga lost against unseeded opponents. Mikhail Youzhny lost to Milos Raonic, in only his second grand slam, whilst Tsonga was beaten in 5 sets against Alexandr Dolgopolov. Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray both made it safely through to Round 4. Rafael Nadal beat local boy Bernard Tomic 6-2,7-5,6-3 whilst Murray thrashed Guillermo Garcia Lopez 6-1,6-1,6-2. Nadal will now have to beat Marin Cilic to make the QFs, Cilic beat Isner in a tight 5 sets. I think Nadal should be safely through to the SFs as his next opponent, after Cilic, shouldn't be a problem, unless of course he loses to Cilic. Soderling also won a very simple fashion 6-3,6-1,6-4. It's very possible that one of the SFs will be between Soderling and Murray as Murray will face Melzer, somebody he is very familiar with.

Pearl Liang, 8 Sheldon Square

This week we went to another Chinese restaurant. Pearl Liang had always been on my "to go" list but my family have always been lazy and stuck around Chinatown. Pearl Liang is situated just off Paddington underground so it isn't too hard to get to.

I do warn you, I did miss it the first time I walked past Sheldon Square, it's next to Sainsbury's Local but their banner isn't that easy to see from far away. Anyway I was very impressed with the décor when I got inside. The waiting area isn't that interesting, bar the small goldfish pond, but when you walk into the dining area you at once realise that this is one of the few cheap Chinese eateries that focus on surroundings as well as food. I'd say out of all the cheap Chinese restaurants, cheap being I can easily eat under £30 with my dad, Pearl Liang had one of the best interiors. The wait staff were unusually young which made the whole place feel more like a restaurant that a dim sum eatery. You'd think at a place like this dim sum would be £4-5 a dish but most range from £2.70 to £3.20. The list of dim sum isn't extensive but the you'll find the basic Chinatown selection, though some have been given "posher" names than what they really are. 

Anyway I ordered Shanghai dumplings, Pork Rib in Black bean Sauce, King Prawn Cheung Fun, Fried Ho Fun with Beef and Paper Wrapped Roasted Pork Ribs with Lemongrass and Chilli. The Shanghai dumplings were very good, amongst the best I've eaten in London. The skin I'd say is the best in London - when hot. I seem to find that the dumplings stiffened up quite quickly when left to cool but if you eat it straight after being served then they should be fine. There is a lot of soup inside which makes the dumpling seem quite large and puffy, the pork filling is decent but not outstanding however overall it is definitely one of the best in London. The pork rib in black bean sauce is a dish I order occasionally because I find that when it's made badly it doesn't taste of much at all. Whilst Pearl Liang did ok here I felt that the meat was too tough and slightly tasteless - this dish is made much better in Hong Kong. King prawn cheung fun was the first dish served and it was done well, unlike in Royal China it was smooth and delicate, whilst not amazing it was of a good standard. The fried ho fun was a substitute to the lobster with noodles that I really wanted but I rarely order anything labelled "seasonal price" when I am with my dad because I don't want to get a bill exceeding £40. However the ho fun was nice, the beef was tender, whilst the ho fun wasn't fresh made it still tasted ok. Finally the roasted pork ribs were nice and fragrant but I'm not sure I would charge the £7~ price for them.

Overall I would recommended this place, the food is ok but the surrounding are fantastic for a Chinese restaurant I'd say. I didn't however see any older generation Chinese dining there when I went, most of the diners were non Chinese or young Chinese groups. The price of 5 dishes and the usual Chinese tea came up to £29.50, a reasonable price I'd say. I would like to visit here for dinner in the future so I can taste the extensive dinner menu.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Home Troopers

I liked this series at the start but by the latter episodes it had just changed so much it was unrecognisable. The characters just didn't flow as well because of the unnecessary drama written into the story. The ending was a little bland as well. Whilst it wouldn't fit well with the series I'd almost rather see Liza die to create some sort of reaction rather than the "happily ever after" scenario. I liked the earlier episodes much more for it's hearty family drama appeal.

Best Actor
Ha Yu

Ha Yu always puts in a decent performance. He plays the caring father really well and he has good comedic timing. However I didn't like the Angela Tong and Ha Yu storyline - it never made sense to me and it just didn't seem to have a purpose - and was there a purpose for Angela Tong? I like Angela but her character and some others just didn't seem necessary. I think there were too many characters for this small drama which made it difficult to give all of them enough screen time for their characters to make sense.

Best Actress
Liza Wang

I'm starting to like Liza Wang's acting. The past three or four series Liza Wang has done a very good job I think and Home Troopers continues that trend. I think she portrayed her character very well and made the series more interesting to watch. Her role didn't make sense in the latter episodes because it seemed uncharacteristic of her character to do what she did but she still performed well.

Best Supporting Actor
No Nominees

Best Supporting Actress
Mandy Wong

Mandy Wong continues to impress and in her largest role she has shown the beginnings to a great actress. She is very natural in her emotions I think and her character was portrayed very believably. Good job Mandy.

Best Couple
No Nominees

Most Improved Actor
No Nominees

Most Improves Actress
No Nominees

Favourite Male Character
No Nominees

Favourite Female Character
No Nominees

Breakthrough Performance
No Nominees

Best Chemistry
No Nominees

Most Annoying Character
Christine Kuo

I'm not necessarily annoyed by her performance here but I'm annoyed with Christine because I'm disappointed. I love Christine, she is absolutely beautiful and classy but acting is not her thing and sadly I'd wish she just not pursue it. Her Cantonese is awful and even if she improves it she does not have the confidence to make it not distract. She already seemed very quiet and reserved at Miss Chinese International so I don't see how she could become a good actress. I have to compare her to Fala Chen here, I'm not saying Fala is the best but she has really improved and she is becoming one of the best new line actresses. Fala has the confidence and the charm which makes her a credible actress but Christine doesn't have that and therefore she is better off as eye candy.

Recognition Award
No Nominees

I just wanted to mention Vincent Wong and the two twins even though I haven't nominated them for anything. Vincent did well here, though he didn't stand out I'd say so I haven't nominated him. Whilst the twins did well for newbies but I'm not really bothered about them so I haven't nominated them for anything.

I was going to nominate Kevin Cheng but I felt his character was too one note and his acting was consequently so. Bernice Liu could have been nominated a favourite character award but then her character got confusing and her character was written awfully on the latter episodes.

I leave you now with an image of the cast in Thai costume!

Australian Open Day 5

Some big shocks in the women's draw came today on the first day of 3rd Round matches. Justine Henin lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova, now I know Henin had an elbow injury but I still thought she was going to be able to beat Kuznetsova but I guess Kuznetsova is finding form again - unlike her countrywoman Dinara Safina. Venus Williams also retired, only playing one game. It's such a shame that Venus retired because we didn't get to see Sharapova Vs Venus.

That leaves the top draw with Caroline Wozniacki, who beat Cibulkova in straight sets, against Anastasija Sevastova. This is the first time Sevastova has made it to the 4th Round but I doubt she will be able to conquer Wozniacki though she did beat Yanina Wickmayer. This will surely be Wozniacki's time to make the QFs here.

Kuznetsova will not have Schiavone to contend with. Schiavone has had some sloppy matches against players ranked far below her, namely Rebecca Marino and Arantxa Parra Santonja so the favourite for this match must be Kuznetsova.

In the third match Andrea Petkovic will play Maria Sharapova. I am not sure how this match will unfold as Andrea Petkovic hasn't play a tough opponent yet (as Venus retired one game in) whilst Sharapova took three sets to beat Julia Goerges. I think Sharapova will win here but whether it will be an easy or tough match will depend on her form on that day I guess.

Finally Na Li will play Victoria Azarenka, in what I hope will be the most interesting (but underrated) 4th Round match on the top half of the draw. Both players have yet to drop a set and even if you didn't know how good both could be their seeds speak for themselves, the 9th seed will play the 8th seed. I really don't know how this will turn out but I would love if either of these two made the final (or if not Sharapova).

On the men's side there weren't any shocks. Tomas Berdych managed a straight sets defeat against Richard Gasquet and will now play Fernando Verdasco. This should be a good match.

Whilst Djokovic was given a quick win by Troicki who retired losing 6-2. Djokovic will play Nicolas Almgaro next. I think he should proceed safely to the QFs where a tough opponent awaits.

Andy Roddick took 4 sets to beat Robin Haase whilst Stanislas Wawrinka defeated Gael Monfils in straight sets. Whilst I would love if Andy Roddick could play Federer it seems Wawrinka could in fact beat him before that could happen.

Finally Robredo will face Federer, I don't think there is much to contest here. I was more shocked that Xavier Malisse lost so easily to Federer because he seemed to be playing OK.

Rankings wise after the start of the third round matches we will see Venus probably dropping to 7th in the world as Stosur and Schiavone will most overtake her whilst I don't see Azarenka or Na Li overtaking her as both will need to go very deep into the tournament. Justine Henin will lose loads of points from her finals appearance last year and will most likely drop out of the Top 30! I really do hope Justine gets back into the Top 10 soon along with Sharapova.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Australian Open Day 4

Wrapping up the 2nd Round today and a few seeds have joined the defeated list. Amongst them is Feliciano Lopez losing to Bernard Tomic, one of my favourite teen players, he is also now Australia's only hope in the mens draw! But he will be against Nadal in Round 3 so I guess he'll be out next.

Del Potro also lost, sadly, to Marcos Baghdatis. I hope Del Potro can return to full form soon because he was a true contender to all the slams.

David Nalbandian on the other hand retired to Richard Berankis, he had only won one game prior to retiring in the third set. Michael Llodra the 22nd seed and Thomaz Belluci the 30th seed also lost.

So two rounds in and we have 10 seeds out, about average I'd say. One thing I wanted to mention was Roger Federer yet again seems to have the easiest early draw. I'm not saying Federer doesn't win his Grand Slams fair and square I'm just saying for some reason he generally seems to get relatively simple draws in the first 4 rounds compared to other top seeds. That's just a view from casual browsing if anybody wants to challenge that feel free.

On the women's side Jelena Jankovic suffered a straight sets loss to Shuai Peng. I told you Peng was in great form whilst Jankovic was probably going to be one of the big losses in week 1 and Jankovic is the highest seed to lose out.

Maria Kirilenko also lost, sadly, as well as Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez and Alisa Kleybanova.

Final Fantasy XIII-2

Final Fantasy XII-2 will be out next winter - I was so shocked when I read this! I never thought they would make a sequel, I loved FFXIII so I can't wait for FFXIII-2 though I'll be at uni then so I don't even know if I would be able to play it once it's out. Hopefully FFXIII-2 will be better than FFXIII, I loved 13 but there were many critics of it so hopefully Square Enix will get Final Fantasy back on track as the best of the best.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Australian Open Day 3

Among the shocks were Yanina Wickmayer's loss to Anastasija Sevastova in straight sets and Marion Bartoli losing to Vesna Manasieva. Wickmayer needs to build up some consistency in tournaments she seems a bit too sporadic whilst I've never heard of Vesna Manasieva so Bartoli losing to her is a shock. That leaves Wozniacki with a straight road to the QFs as long as she beats Dominica Cibulkova. The 32nd seed Tsvetana Pironkova, 20th seed Kaia Kanepi also lost out as well. 

In British news Elena Baltacha crashed out to Justine Henin whilst Keothavong lost in three sets to Andrea Petkovic.

For the Men's draw Djokovic made the third round but had a wobble in the 2nd set, I hope that doesn't affect his next few matches. Whilst Roger Federer took 5 sets to beat Gilles Simon but I don't see any immediate threats until Andy Roddick.

Seeds who fell today on the men's draw include Juan Monaco, Mardy Fish and Albert Montanes.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Australian Open Day 2

Now that all the first round matches have been played who else have fallen at this early stage?

Ernests Gulbis is in that list I'd say. Whilst not a title contender I thought Gulbis would do relatively well, however I forgot to mention Benjamin Becker. I don't know much about him but I always seem to see him causing a few minor shocks.

Whilst Lleyton Hewitt's defeat wasn't necessarily a shock I just wanted to say he played very well against Nalbandian and it was a great match. The lead kept on changing between the two. Sam Querrey also lost continuing his poor form.

On the womens' side Ana Ivanovic and Alexandra Dulgheru fell to lesser known opponents. It seems Ivanovic has reverted back to her poor form. Other seeds that lost in the 1st round were Aravane Rezai and Daniela Hantuchova.

But to me the more shocking loss was Davydenko's who will probably now be out of the Top 30.

Whilst I'm here I just wanted to say how bad I feel for Dinara Safina. Last week she lost to Bartoli 6-0,6-1 you thought it wouldn't get any worse but she got double bagled by Kim Clijsters, the first former No.1 player ever to receive a double bagel at a Grand Slam since the Open Era (according to Wikipedia!) Personally I think Dinara should just go into some smaller tournaments and work her way back up as she is clearly not ready to tackle the Top 10 yet.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Australian Open Day 1

The only thing I have to say here is the shock when I saw that Davydenko was beaten by Florian Mayer in 4 sets. I honestly thought Davydenko could challenge some of the big names seeing his recent performance.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Hong Kong Music: Best of 2010

Note: I know it was a long wait but I've finally finished on my Best of 2011. You can find it here

The 2012 post is finished! Find it here

I just wanted to give my opinion on the best of Cantopop after seeing all four music award results. It's easier to do these reviews for the Hong Kong music industry as it's relatively small. This year wasn't the best of years for the Hong Kong industry with TVB's continued feud with HKRIA. The Big 4 Artistes (now Big 5) were banned from appearing on TVB, harming quite a few middling artistes and newcomers. There also has been no breakout song, whilst Eason Chan continues to dominate these sorts of charts could we actually say in 5 years time we'd remember 陀飛輪? It was also a year of EPs, I don't know what that means for the Hong Kong industry but it definitely doesn't look good.

Anyway onto my awards ceremony. Unlike Metro I won't "豬肉" (share out the (140) awards) to all the artistes but I do believe in celebrating talent so for my Top 20 songs I have not double featured any artiste. There are 7 categories, Best MV, Best Artiste Under 30 (80最佳歌手), Best Newcomer, Best Group, Best Female, Best Male and Best Song. There is no album award because it would take too long for me to review every album, I've only focused on plugged songs for my awards. So without further ado let my awards begin!

Oh and also I'll be using youtube videos on this blog for the first time!

Starting off with...


I have never been a huge fan of MV's but as I was reviewing a lot of songs on youtube I wanted to celebrate the MV's that looked interesting. Not all MVs listed here are masterpieces but are only judged by personal preference.

10th. Jason Chan - 別怕失去

Something about this song just fits well with the MV. Whilst the acting isn't great the fighting is actually quite fun to watch in slow motion and reverse! Watching Jason get slapped is quite funny.

9th. Edmond Leung - 中鋒

To be honest this MV is quite bad, so why is it featured here? Because it has a lot of cameo appearances which I love! It's so Hong Kong! 

8th. Twins - 成長

Not the best MV by any means but it does cap the career of Twins, a group which made their impact on the HK music scene. We may have different opinions on this group but they definitely supplied us with entertainment for the years they reigned. The song may be a bit boring but it sounds like a good ending to their career as a group.

7th. Ella Koon - 珊瑚島

Well just call me a sucker for nice artwork, I love the pretty drawings, they also fit with the theme of the song quite well actually.

6th. Hins Cheung - Deadline

It's a bit different to what I'd expect from Hong Kong and Hins Cheung. Ok I may be a bit biased on this one, I just wanted to feature this song because it's a change from the normal Hins Cheung (and for some reason I love the headshots). Ps. and for Hong Kong standards it's nearly an orgy!

5th. Kelvin Kwan - 一年

Whilst slightly confusing I love the cinematic nuances to this MV, I think it works well with the song. If you don't follow the cantopop scene Kelvin had a year to forget last year as he was involved in a drugs scandal. This MV almost looks like a self reflection. The song is also appropriately titled "One Year"

4th. Eason Chan - 一絲不掛

Whilst Eason is jumping on the bandwagon with the sand painting it is definitely a good idea. Eason's MVs always seem to be at the forefront of the HK music scene.

3rd. Rubberband - SimpleLoveSong

Sucker for hazy, slightly grey-scale tones and nice cinematography, it works really well with the melodic nature of the song and I love the randomness of the guy using a microphone to listen to nature.

2nd. Eason Chan - 陀飛輪

Another Eason MV! Whilst a bit random you can't deny it's one of the most interesting MV's of Hong Kong in 2010. Love the cinematography.

1st. Juno Mak - 超生培慾

At first view I was freaked out, but I then grew to like it. It was the only MV that kept me interested, the only MV to make me go woah, the only MV that I would be interested in without the music. It was so freaky, especially with that song because they are so different. I think watching the MV would be better than me trying to explain it.


I used after 80 as it's quite a common expression in Hong Kong now. I just wanted to celebrate these newer generation artistes who can climb higher in their careers. I have excluded Hins Cheung and Khalil Fong because they are quite successful already and of course Joey Yung, she's the queen of cantopop so she doesn't need to climb higher, or does she?

There are undoubtedly more artistes with talent under this category but for this year these 10 are the ones I could think of so for now this will be my list, in no particular order...

Aarif Lee

Just over a year after releasing his debut album Aarif has already found success in the entertainment industry winning Best Newcomer at Metro and Chik Chak awards as well as being awarded the Best Selling Male Newcomer title by IFPI. He has also excelled in the film scene winning the Hong Kong Film Awards Best new Performer title. Leon Lai has definitely found his new protégé.

Bianca Wu

Bianca Wu, one of the few Hong Kong artistes who dares step away from the traditional pop/r'n'b scene, is blessed with a beautiful voice and her soulful renditions always manage to impress. At 30 years old she is at the end of the new generation but surely she should be considered for recognition.

G.E.M. Tang

Whilst I find G.E.M. slightly overrated by some for her ability I think she is a talented singer in the Cantopop industry who has a shining career ahead of her. It will be interesting to see how her career develops as talent hasn't always translated to success.

Eunix Lee

Eunix has the power in her voice but has rarely found the right song to properly enhance it. What Eunix needs to do now is to find a breakout song and get a more mainstream image as she looks as if she's moving along an alternative route though her songs are still quite pop/rock.

Hinson Chou

Hinson is probably the least famous on my list. This guy has talent, having studied at the Musician's Institute Los Angeles, but he doesn't have enough support. He still has a way to go but I believe Hinson is capable of producing great songs whether he is successful or not.

Janice Vidal

I believe Janice has a lot of talent but she doesn't know how to enhance it. For the last couple of years she has not found a compatible song nor has Amusic developed her career in the right direction as she continues to sing samey songs in the same way. Janice needs to mix it up a bit and focus on more attention grabbing songs. I'd pin her last success as 離家出走 in 2006 though saying that if she released that song now I think it wouldn't revive her career, she needs to go right back to her debut year with songs like 大哥. It's not great for an artiste of 6 years if I'm still talking about her debut days. 

Jason Chan

Jason is incredibly talented and his voice works perfectly for the slow love songs. For a very long time I earmarked him as the next big thing but the past year he seems to have slowed down, I don't know what happened but he seems to have faded slightly, lets hope 2011 will see a return from Jason Chan.

Kelvin Kwan

Kelvin's career was gradually heading for the bright lights but a shock turn of events meant that Kelvin had to return to square one. Kelvin is indeed talented so lets forget the past and just admire his ability.

Sherman Chung

Sherman is one of those singers that can work with both fast, dance beats and slow ballads, that is what makes her so lovable for me. Her deeper range allows her to stand out from other female singers. 2009 was her breakout year, her star seems to have dimmed in 2010 but hopefully she'll return in 2011.

Vincy Chan

Vincy is another Janice, I fear I keep on reminiscing about her debut days and how I replayed 感應 over and over again. She nearly made No.1 on all four charts, only reaching No.2 on CRHK with 感應, now that's quite amazing for a debut song, she has only managed to beat that once in her career. I feel that Vincy needs to start focusing, whilst her ability is evident she hasn't found the right song to take her career to the next step. The entertainment industry is a tough one and it's evident that Vincy is starting to bore the music charts as she's getting less and less recognition from the charts.


This year wasn't known for its newcomers but I actually think there are a good selection out there if you go look for them. There are a lot of females this year and a higher proportion of groups for some reason.

Top 10

Sugar Club

Sugar Club are a nice addition to the Hong Kong music scene, whilst I think they have the talent and styling to work for a long time in the industry at the moment their debut songs are a bit too cutesy for me, I would like to hear a larger range of music before I jump on the bandwagon.

Recommended Song(s): 我最愛糖

Jinny Ng

Jinny seems to have a decent voice but her songs are a bit too bland at the moment. 錯過了 tries to do something interesting but it sounds a bit forced at times, I think Jinny has potential but she needs to capture it quick.

Recommended Song(s): If you must try 錯過了

Benji and Lesley

This brother and sister act are releasing music without financial backing! That must show dedication. I'm worried about their longevity, I don't think they are going to continue with this group for too long but they have produced two nice tunes.

Recommended Song(s): 寧願得不到你, Showtime

June Tang

June was actually in a group before so I don't know whether I should have listed her here but I decided that she hasn't really done much with her group nor has she been in the industry for that long and if she's fine for Metro she's fine for me! Her music has potential but both of her plugs feel like they're missing something, they sound incomplete.

Recommended Song(s): Love Me Hate Me, 盲點

Erika Li

Erika has a more distinct sound compared to June and Jinny but she needs to define her music, at the moment I'm not sure which direction her music is heading in but her voice sounds interesting enough to carry her songs for her debut.

Recommended Song(s): 避不開

Top 5

Supper Moment

Supper Moment moves up so high because I think they do have talent as a band and I love 最後晚餐. However the leads voice waivers sometimes and is probably not as strong as Mr.'s Alan or Rubberband's "No.6" but I think this band can develop nicely if given the support.

Recommended Song(s): 最後晚餐

Phil Lam

I like Phil's swooning voice which carries his music very well but I think his Achilles heel may be his focus on Mandarin tracks. He has the ability to be successful but whether he'll make it is another story. I'm not sure if Sony Hong Kong have the ability to make him a star in Hong Kong.

Recommended Song(s): 寫詩

C Allstar
C Allstar are the breakout group I think this year. I don't really know what makes them work so well as a group but I think their wide ranging music has helped them reach a wider audience. I think they encompass the "fun" group dynamic and have really been helped by the rise of Rubberband and Mr. as groups/bands have seen a huge growth recently.

Recommended Song(s): 天梯, 全情關注

Khloe Chu

I think Khloe has found a good market for her music, a slightly grittier pop/rock sound which at the moment is still in its infancy in the mainstream cantopop scene. I originally wasn't a fan of Khloe but after listening to her tracks again I began to like her music and her voice, she definitely has her own sound.

Recommended Song(s): 愛的一種說法, 投影

Shiga Lin

Yes she may be a model but I don't like her because of her looks! I actually find her music very radio friendly and nice to listen to. I'm not sure how she will develop from her debut as she'll need to reinvent herself, I think, to reach a wider audience but at the moment Shiga is my favourite newcomer of 2010.

Recommended Song(s): 愛太好看, 灰伯爵的忌廉遐想, I Don't Wanna Be Lonely

I bet most cantopop fans will have noticed a hot contender missing from my list! That is Amusic's newcomer JW. Whilst JW has talent I don't like the direction she is being shoved into. Her music doesn't distinguish her as a relevant artiste especially as she is using the similarities of her voice to Janice's to make a name for herself. As Miss Chan Chan said "learn from them and you'll survive, be like them and you'll die" (watch The Voice and you'll know who I'm talking about). I hope JW and Leon Lai learn from this. Here's a recommended song from JW 掛念好友. Don't bother listening to her duet with Janice because listening to two voices so similar is not only boring but weird. You listen to a duet to hear how the two voices work together despite their differences, in her duet it sounds like a mother is singing to her daughter - you can hear that Janice is a more accomplished and interesting singer.

Oh and whilst I'm at it - a recommended song by Jason Chung - 明明 -, another newcomer missing from my list .


Big Four

Four famous Hong Kong stars grouped together to make Big Four - easy! I don't imagine them continuing this group, maybe doing the odd song here and there. Big Four produced some nice songs this year, they deserve some recognition.

Recommended Song(s): 愛莫能助, Big Four


For some reason Fama clicked with me this year, I've not been a fan of them since their debut but I started liking them this year, maybe it's their lyrics.

Recommended Song(s): I Believe U Can Fly, 偉大航道


I think this year was HotCha's best year. They had a selection of decent songs, whilst HotCha are kind of being forgotten with the sudden influx of groups they still stand as the only well known girl group (I'm not counting Twins anymore as I treat them as disbanded).

Recommended Song(s): 不愛也是一種愛, 兩個人心動, 大場面


Rubberband and the group at No.1 have really cleared a path for bands to grow in Hong Kong. Bands are now the cool thing and many bands are starting to appear. I love Rubberband's sound as it's distinctly cantopop.

Recommended Song(s): SimpleLoveSong, 天連地


Mr. will probably always be my favourite Hong Kong band, I remember loving basically all the songs in their debut album. I hope Mr. come back with equally fantastic songs in 2011. Besides their collaboration with Alan Tam I have yet to find a song by them I dislike.

Recommended Song(s): 最重要, Tonight Tonignt, 黑色狂迷


Stephy Tang

I personally think it has been a great year for Stephy, I doubt she'll ever win the major awards with her music but to me this year she has produced some very catchy dance beats and a nice ballad along with that too. I hope Stephy continues along this route because before this year I had taken very little notice of her.

Recommended Song(s): No One Knows, 一眨眼, 花小姐

Denise Ho

Denise has weirdly slipped off the radar this year, she has been really quiet for some reason. I hope she goes into 2011 with a bang because she deserves it.

Recommended Song(s): 詩與胡說, 鋼鐵是怎樣煉成的

Miriam Yeung

Miriam's continues to strengthen her career in the music industry even after her marriage. She's loved by everybody and her music reflects that I think.

Recommended Song(s): 斗零踭, 我係我, 初見 (duet with Raymond Lam)

Kay Tse

Kay's year has been really impressive, returning to her best I think. Personally I found Kay to have lost some of her touch when she became super famous with 囍帖街, but when I heard 活著 I knew Kay was back. It was just distinctive of Kay, for me 2009 and part of 2008 was Kay's less successful years in terms of music.

Recommended Song(s): 活著, 藝妓回憶錄, 載我走, 雨過天陰, 脆弱

Joey Yung

The Queen continues to reign! Joey is undoubtedly the Queen of Cantopop and all that hate her just need to clean their ears out and listen to her live because she is undoubtedly the best there is in the industry at the moment. Every year Joey delivers and this year she does the same with another selection of fantastic songs.

Recommended Song(s): 信今生愛過, 破相, 空港, 綠野仙踪, 桃色冒險


Raymond Lam

I debated to myself who should fill the 5th spot in the end I went with Raymond over Kelvin Kwan, why? Because I think Raymond has given us a number of good songs this year. Though I still think he hasn't found his breakout song I definitely think Raymond deserves to be considered as a singer in his own right.

Recommended Song(s): Come 2 Me, 我們很好, 直到你不找我, 一直都在 (duet with Charlene Choi)

Leo Ku

Leo Ku bombed the charts this year with 10 songs! WHAT! I don't even know where some of those songs came from. Anyway Leo continues to deliver classic Cantopop songs and that's why he features on this list.

Recommended Song(s): 時代, 義海豪情

Khalil Fong

I've only heard one song from Khalil this year but his talent continues to amaze me. He has written many of my favourite songs this year and his own is also one of my favourites so I think placing him 3rd is utterly deserved.

Recommended Song(s): 玩樂

Hins Cheung

Hins Cheung continues to lead the pack chasing after Eason Chan's dominance of the male awards. Generally it has been Hins and Leo but Hins has outperformed the others this year I think giving us every facet of his ability this year.

Recommended Song(s): P.S. I Love You, 春秋, Deadline

Eason Chan

Whilst I don't always agree that Eason Chan is the best in the industry this year I really do think he outperformed the rest of the guys. He released three songs that could all feature in my top songs of this year and he continued to reign supreme in the charts despite the non backing from TVB. But I just wonder how long will Eason last?

Recommended Song(s): 無人之境, 一絲不掛, 陀飛輪


My favourite songs this year for some reason include songs that aren't the artiste's main hits, I guess I like more melodic rhythms and smoother sounds. I have also excluded songs by newcomers as I dedicated an individual listing for them already - some may have featured in this list but I wanted to spread some recognition to other artiste's works.

20th. Kary Ng ft. Hardpack - 絕配

Kary is becoming one of my favourite artistes, I love her music and her voice is beautiful. I love how this song grows, there are more and more layers as you listen to it.

19th. Rubberband - SimpleLoveSong

It's a very soothing song from Rubberband, I don't know if this is a compliment but you almost want to just close your eyes and go to sleep. But the thing about this song is it makes you warm inside and smile even though it gets a little repetitive.

18th. Aarif Lee - 歲月輕狂

The song is so beautiful, it's sweet and heart-wrenching. Aarif puts in a fantastic vocal to round off the whole song. You can at once guess this is a soundtrack song as it feels like it's telling a story and sounds perfect for a film, the song is weirdly cinematic.

17th. Juno Mak - 超生培慾

This song is quite catchy actually, I hope everybody stops being nasty to Juno, lets focus on his music and this year his music is very nice.

16th. Jade Kwan - 以身試愛

What makes this song stand out is its crazy chorus, how does anyone manage to make those note jumps? I've always loved Jade and it's great to see she is getting recognition from this song but I hope Jade makes it easier for herself next time because those jumps are just way too crazy.

15th. Ivana Wong - 開籠雀

This is such a fun song, Ivana manages to make this song bright and enjoyable. On first listen this song may not place amongst Ivana's best but she really delivered with this song. An interesting tune and a lovely vocal.

14th. Jason Chan - 別怕失去

I don't understand why Jason saw a dip in his career this year because this song is as good as any of his other previous hit songs. Another great love song from Jason Chan, I love the track.

13th. Leo Ku - 時代

This song is another classic sounding Cantopop track. Leo's vocals always hit the right mark, he's just the classic Cantopop guy to me and obviously this track has some very 80/90s Cantopop guitar riffs in it. I'm a little distracted by how Leo sounds like he's behind the beat sometimes but I guess that is what the song asks for.

12th. Raymond Lam and Charlene Choi - 一直都在

A great duet, I love the beat it just hits you and everything sounds very melancholy. Raymond has had a very good year this year but I still feel he needs to produce a smash hit and I think his best songs need to not be part of a TV series.

11th. Stephy Tang - 一眨眼

I like this song because it's emotional and Stephy's voice fits well with the whole feel of the song. It may be a little slow but it's a really emotional song I think.

TOP 10

10th. Kelvin Kwan - 一年

As I've mentioned before this song comes right after Kelvin Kwan's scandal. I just feel the emotion in this song, the orchestral track matches this perfectly, I almost feel a bit teary after listening to this. I also love how it climaxes and then returns right back to a quiet hum, beautiful.

9th. G.E.M. Tang - Get Over You

I love the chorus ~"I wanna get over you, tell me what I have to do...How do I get over you"~ it is definitely my favourite G.E.M. song, she really solidifies her place in the elite of the cantopop scene with this song, it's a mix of a newer cantopop sound with a more international beat.

8th. Hins Cheung - 春秋

Whilst Deadline and 茶想曲 showed off a different Hins, 春秋 is what Hins does best and what I love about Hins the most. Hins' voice is shown to its' full extent here and the result is such a big track that shouldn't have been demoted to 3rd plug. This is Hins at his best I think.

7th. Denise Ho - 鋼鐵是怎樣煉成的

This song was under the radar throughout 2010, in fact Denise was under everybody's radar but I don't understand because Denise put in another great year of music. This song is a classic Denise sound, you seem to like it more with every listen.

6th. Eason Chan - 無人之境

This song resonates with me more than Eason's two bigger plugs 一絲不掛 and 陀飛輪 because I actually think this song has the best melody out of the three, a great vocal range to listen to and is on the whole more interesting. It's also quite emotional a song.

5th. Khalil Fong - 玩樂

You just want to start moving listening to this song, love the jazzy beats. I think Hong Kong needs somebody like Khalil (even though he sings in Mandarin).

4th. Miriam Yeung - 斗零踭

OMG this song stays in my head because of that intro music! I just love it! It's so well written and fits perfectly with the song. I think Miriam's performance fits perfectly with the lyrics as well, a confident and slightly cheeky vocal.

3rd. Joey Yung - 桃色冒險

I love it, band + Joey = LOVE! lol. It's fun and still has Joey's stamp on it. Ok I'm a Joey fan, may be a bit biased but still Joey generally delivers every time. Whilst I'm on Joey I just want to say I like 破相 it's a great song and Joey provides the best live performance of this song but I chose 桃色冒險 over it because I think 破相 sounds a bit weird at times.

2nd. Mr. - 黑色狂迷

I have loved Mr. ever since their debut, 2010 was a relatively quieter year for them compared to last year but this song just stayed with me from the start till the end of the year. Everything just fits together, everything about it is dark, I'm relating back to the song name here if you don't understand, well actually it's black but describing a song as black doesn't make sense to me.

1st. Kay Tse - 脆弱

Why do I love this song so much? It's difficult to pinpoint but Kay's voice is mesmerising here, the music is soothing, the song builds to a climax nicely and the whole track just comes together nicely. It's difficult to chose a No.1 song because you start picking it apart when it is supposedly your favourite, I'm not saying this song will be my favourite in a few years or even months time but for now I love it.

And you thought I'd leave you with that! As a dedicated Joey fan I had to show you Joey's live performance of 破相! The emotion she puts into this song makes this song a definite live song rather than a CD song.