US Open - random notes
I'm putting this in here because I don't think it's worthy of GM, which probably doesn't need to be cluttered by further useless threads. Also, this will be about televised matches that everyone has watched, usually with a lag or a day or so, sometimes more, and nothing too detailed/useful/insightful.
But enough with the excuses.
Stuff about Day 1, prominently featuring the word "wack", is spread throughout a few threads and there's no point in also putting it here.
Jankovic d. Halep
It's the second time I see Halep play, and I still find it difficult to gauge her, as I feel that Jankovic, whose levels of intensity and commitment in this match ranged from "lackadaisical" to "comatose", made her look better than she really is.
Still, Halep isn't wack. Her groundstrokes have more than decent pace (despite all the spin in her FH), and she was overpowering Jankovic for much of what I saw of the match, going after the ball and gradually stepping inside the court to dictate. She fits the modern aggressive baseline grinder mould, much like Cibulkova or Oudin, but still suffers from inexperience - signs of it being her shaky ROS and of course the massive choking.
Maybe some of it was due to her unwisely deciding to run herself ragged contesting to the bitter end points that didn't really matter and then handing over those that did with random errors immediately afterwards, but I doubt that she has the resilience, athleticism and stamina required by her own style of play. We already know, for instance, that Cibulkova doesn't. It's no coincidence that the most successful grinders these days are those who take pace off the ball rather than those who crank up the pace of the rallies.
Sharapova d. Groth
I watched about a set's worth of this live (the rest DVRed), and I remember being bored senseless, and not just because Sharapova takes bloody ages to serve. There was nothing worthy of the name "rally", and Sharapova failed to dictate any points from the baseline. She didn't go for her shots (wisely - just about whenever she did so she made an error, even from her BH side) and wouldn't hit her groundstrokes with any kind of confidence or authority, most of the time settling for looping the ball and waiting for Groth to bash it into the net (it worked). Last year Sharapova's ground game might go on and off without warning, but it was still occasionally dazzling, while nowadays it's often just uniformly and drearily mediocre.
Bottom line I like first strike matches, but not like this.
Le Néant d. Chelsey Gullickson
Figures that when I see for the first time in years a newcomer (IMO, Chelsey should be regarded as a newcomer to the pro Tour) who can effortlessly hit such a clean, flat, penetrating ball off both sides, it's also someone who doesn't know how to play tennis. And it may be too late to learn. And it may also be too late to get a serve. Looking like a mashup between Dementieva and Golovin may earn her some fans though.
Figures that Le Néant would also pick a sexed-up outfit for the USO. It's not like she was going to dazzle the workers and peasants with her game.
Ivanovic d. Zheng
Thank you Vuelta for running behind schedule again and overrunning almost all of this mugathon.
Who would have said that Zheng used to be a very bad matchup for Ivanovic. Now her 110-130 km/h puffball serves are just target practice for Ivanovic's baseball batter FH ROS. A deceptively big serve (the toss isn't fixed because it didn't really need to be - Ivanovic, like Bozoljac, is strong enough to do just fine even with the most wayward of tosses) and that big FH ROS are pretty much all that Ivanovic has left, but that's still better than having nothing, which is what the next WTA #1 has.
Venus Williams d. Rebecca Marino
Marino, like Wickmayer and Petkovic, is the kind of natural born athlete who are the rule in other sports but are rarely seen in tennis these days - tall, strong, ultrafit and fairly agile for her size.
She's also a flashy player, of the kind that makes a big impression right away. Her ground game looks very wonky, even more so than say Petkovic's, but she's strong enough to bash the ball and still control it, at least for short rallies (there weren't any lengthy rallies as rusty Venus couldn't hit more than 3-4 shots without missing) - I suspect she'd show herself to be quite inconsistent if forced to rally for longer. Big serve, too - there were at least a couple of sidewinder aces to the ad court that I couldn't even see, and it was fun to see someone make Venus taste some of her own medicine by handcuffing her with fast body serves. She was completely hapless at returning Venus' rocket 1st serves, but then again so is 99% of the Tour.
Dementieva d. Bammer
From what I got to watch of this, I'm really at a loss as to why Bammer has been sucking so hard as of late. She was playing her usual game of hitting the same 3/4 pace, 3/4 depth ball over and over and over again, with the same rock solid consistency that she showed in her prime.
Dementieva seemed to be hitting the ball fairly well, but it's not like Bammer did anything to throw her off her robotic, metronomic rhythm like say Henin does.
Last edited by Corswandt; Sep 3rd, 2010 at 12:07 AM.