Tuesday, June 29, 2010

COMEDY SPOTS - John Isner on Late Show with David Letterman

"Larry King has had marriages that didn't last this long..."
-- John Isner on The Late Show with David Letterman, when reciting the top 10 thoughts that went through his mind during his 11+ hours match against Nicolas Mahut in Wimbledon.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

WIMBLEDON: Mahut, Isner force the world to ditch the World Cup

Bring them vuvuzelas down to Wimbledon, cuz Isner and Mahut just forced us all to ditch South Africa.

Besides having the most despised coach in the history of football, and suffering the most humiliating World Cup exit by a former champion, France is again all over the news and this time it's because of none other than one Nicolas Mahut and his gladiating efforts on court 18 at the All England Club.

The Frenchman took to the courts at Wimbledon on Tuesday to face 23rd seed John Isner in a routine first round match only to find himself still contesting that match on Wednesday night. Mahut and Isner broke a handful of records by playing for 10 hours, tallying up 193 aces between them, and tying at 59-59 in the fifth set of their match, which was suspended for the second straight day due to darkness.

The fifth set alone has lasted just over 7 hours and will be resumed on Thursday. Isner broke Ivo Karlovic's record of 78 aces in one match by hitting 98 past Mahut on Tuesday and Wednesday.

These numbers are just unheard of in tennis and just like that, the World Cup has taken a backseat to the action at SW19.

It also must be noted that Mahut, who had to qualify for the Championships, had to beat Alex Bogdanovic 3-6, 6-3, 24-22 in the quallies, followed by a 5 set win over Koubek, to make it to the main draw. I am really curious to see how the 28-year-old will stand on his feet come tomorrow morning.

Mahut was serving from behind throughout the entire fifth set, i.e. the entire Wednesday, all the way until 59-59.

“I just wanted to win the game I was playing, that was it,”
said Mahut after play was suspended for darkness on Wednesday.

How much more simply put can it be?

“Nothing like this will ever happen again, ever,” said an exhausted Isner.

Well it's not over yet! Are there anymore records that haven't been broken?!

The one thing I can't stop thinking about is, how will the loser feel after such a match? Will the fact that he took part in such a history-making showdown, with such great magnitude, manage to cushion the blow somehow?

All I know is that it takes nerves of steel to be able to serve from behind 59 times and still stay in the match. Andy Roddick did it last year in the final for 14 times and I thought that was heroic.

It's a matter of the bare minimum recovery now. Both players have until 15:30 tomorrow to get their bodies working again, cuz am sure as hell the whole world will be waiting for the conclusion of this match.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mario Ancic - ATP Uncovered

Monday, June 7, 2010

COMEDY SPOTS: Andy Roddick on Jonathan Ross

Andy Roddick showed up on Jonathan Ross a.k.a @Wossy on Friday June 4th to talk about his upcoming grass tournaments at the Queen's club and Wimbledon. Funny stuff!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Roland Garros Final Preview: Rafa going for 5 in Paris

It couldn't have been more perfect even if it were planned... Rafael Nadal is going to face Robin Soderling in the final of the French Open, and not just that. Both of them are in top notch form and are as hungry for the trophy as Federer was last year. Possibly even more.

This match is being labeled by many as the ultimate revenge match. The Rafanatics can't wait till their beloved king avenges his loss to Soderling last year at the French, while the press are just dying to put a spin to an albeit spectacular final. Rafa however is simply looking for a 5th Roland Garros title.

"No, no, no. I want to seriously I prefer to play against Tomas the final, because I won against him the last six times. That's the true. I play against Robin, gonna be a difficult match. I never believe on revenges. I believe on try my best in every moment, and if I lose, I lose, and congratulate Robin because he did better than me. But I go on court trying to play my best tennis and thinking about Roland Garros, not thinking about Robin, Tomas, or another one. You know, for me, doesn't exist revenge in not one match, and especially we talk about final of Roland Garros," said Nadal after his semifinal match against Melzer.

I think both players are entering this final with a great mentality. At least that's what we can infer from their press conferences. Rafa isn't thinking about last year and Robin isn't taking anything for granted just because he beat the Spaniard last year.

"Well, we played many times. He beat me a lot of times, and I beat him a few times. So it was not the last match. You know, we played one or two times after that. But of course it's always good to have beaten a player before. I know that I can beat him. I showed it. But, again, you know, every match is a new match, and every match is different," said Soderling.

Press talk aside, what can we tell from both players' matches so far in Paris?

Let's start with Soderling. To say that the Swede has had to overcome some tough opponents to get to the final is an understatement. Before even getting to Roger Federer, Soderling had a tough 3rd rounder against Albert Montanes, who had just beaten Federer in Estoril a few weeks back. Marin Cilic was an obstacle but not as hard to surpass as Tomas Berdych was in the semis.

After Soderling played an incredible match against Federer in the quarters, he wasn't his best against Berdych, however he still managed to comeback from 2 sets to 1 down and beat the Czech even though in all fairness, Berdych was the better player throughout the match. The fact that Soderling pulled off that victory without his best game definitely places him amongst the likes of Federer and Nadal, who manage to pull off wins on any given day, regardless how good or bad they are playing.

I think Soderling was tight against Berdych because he feels he has a real chance of winning the French Open. He had already beaten Federer, and has confidence against Nadal, so playing tight against Berdych was natural.

As for Nadal, he is peaking at the very right time. The 4-time Roland Garros champion said that his match against Melzer was his best yet in Paris this year, and he admitted he was calmer than he was during his earlier matches.

I think the victory over Nicolas Almagro gave him that calmness because that match was tough, yet he still won in straights.

The fact that he is undefeated this season on clay certainly helps as well, although come tomorrow, I think all bets are off and it really all depends on how confident both of them are going to be against one another. If both players are at their best, then we are all a bunch of lucky %$#$%...

I do maintain though that a perfect Rafa should beat a perfect Soderling on clay, provided Rafa serves exceptionally well.

Can't wait to see how it all goes down...

Cheers from Paris


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Roland Garros: Soderling strikes again

"Hey, of course it's nice to beat the world No. 1 two years in a row on the center court. I think both times I play really good tennis. I think it's a great feeling."

He will now definitely be known as the ultimate party-pooping, ball-busting, streak-ending, tennis star. Robin Soderling returned to Roland Garros this year, having ended Rafael Nadal's 31 match winning streak in Paris last year, only to beat another world number one, Roger Federer, in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, to end the Swiss' unparalleled run of reaching 23 straight Grand Slam semifinals.

"It was a great run. Now I've got the quarterfinal streak going, I guess," said Federer light-heartedly after the match.

Indeed the 2010 French Open is becoming a sequel to the Robin Soderling epic upset story and the victims in both parts were world number 1's, defending champions, and had clean records against the Swede. Good thing for Soderling's next opponent, Tomas Berdych, he is none of the above.

The scary thing about Soderling is that he can overpower his opponent even on clay as slow as today's. When you combine that kind of power, with extreme precision, the result is sure to be an incredible one... think Soderling, think Del Potro... you'll know what I mean.

More important than ending his opponent's streak, is Soderling finally snapping his 0-12 losing record to Federer. From the spectator's eye, a record like that certainly ensured Federer a win today, but tennis isn't like that, and lucky for us, tennis stars don't see it that way.

"I think even though I lost so many times, I always have a chance to win. I came close a couple of times before, and I really feel like one or two times I actually been a little bit unlucky. With a little bit of lucky I could have won before. Now I'm here finally with a win, and it's great," said Soderling on his losing record to Federer.

Tomorrow Nadal faces Nicolas Almagro, whose racquet speed in his groundstrokes against Fernando Verdasco on Monday, kind of blew my mind. Will we witness more upsets tomorrow? I hope not!!