Friday, June 17, 2005

Wimbledon 2005 Draw Previews

I was supposed to post something about coercing people to become anarchists, but since the Wimbledon draw is now out, I decided to shift topics...

First off, just a little bit of explanation. A Grand Slam tournament (there are 4 in all, the Australian Open played on rubberized "Rebound Ace" hardcourts, the French Open on clay courts, Wimbledon on grass, and the US Open on hardcourts again) is played on a single elimination format, which means that if you lose one match, then you're out of the tournament (Go home, get some sleep, and practice some more because you probably need more of it). The Draw of a tournament determines who you play in the first round, then the second round, the third round and so on until the Finals (there are seven rounds in all.) Click Here for the link to the Wimbledon 2005 Draw

Now these are just some predictions of mine so just chill if you don't agree.

The Ladies' Draw
First Quarter
Lindsay Davenport(USA) vs Svetlana Kuznetsova(RUS)
- Another 4th round match between current world number 1 Lindsay and former world number 1 Kim Clijsters(BEL), a rematch of their French Open clash, but this time it's on grass which is Lindsay's better surface. (Edited to add on 6/19: Kim just won the Eastbourne Grass tune-up tournament, which means she's in good form going in to Wimbledon. Lindsay should expect a tougher match.)

Second Quarter
Amelie Mauresmo(FRA) vs Jelena Jankovic(SCG)
- Amelie lost her first match on grass in Eastbourne a couple of days ago, but I just don't see anyone on this section having the game to challenge her (Karolina Sprem(CRO) is a potential 3rd round opponent, but she's not having a very good year so far.) Serbian Jelena Jankovic is very capable of beating #9 Anastasia Myskina(RUS) (still struggling with her current state) and #6 Elena Dementieva(RUS) (the faster grass courts won't do any favors for her serves).

Third Quarter
Justine Henin-Hardenne(BEL) vs Serena Williams(USA)
- This is the toughest section of the draw, i think, with Justine, Ana Ivanovic(SCG) (see her pic on the previous post), Mary Pierce(FRA), the Williams sisters Venus(USA) and Serena all stuck together (and how unlucky can my girl Daniela(SVK) be, she's on this part of the draw too.)

Fourth Quarter

Maria Sharapova(RUS) vs Nadia Petrova(RUS)
- This is probably the best quarter Maria could have ever dreamed of being placed in, she could have some trouble though with Anna-Lena Groenefeld(GER) in the fourth round if she's not on peak form... If she survives Groenefeld and Petrova, a meaty quarterfinal match awaits her vs either Justine or Serena.

The men's draw is always hard to predict since a big server could always drop bombs until he gets to the final, whoever his opponent may be...

So I'll cut to the chase:
Roger Federer(SUI) vs Andy Roddick(Mandy Moore's ex USA) in the finals...

The Men's Draw
1st Qtr
Roger could face Juan Carlos Ferrero(ESP) in the fourth round, and a tough quarterfinal encounter to follow vs (take your pick) Joachim Johansson(SWE), Greg Rusedski(GBR), or Fernando Gonzales(ESP) all of whom can give the Fed Express a hard time if they play their best tennis.
Roger vs ... (um... I don't know who to choose) Mikhael Youzhny(RUS) na lang para maiba, hehe (He's been to the 4th round twice).

2nd Qtr
Lleyton Hewitt(AUS) looks to have an easy draw until the quarters, where his opponent is harder to predict. It could be Aussie Open champ Marat Safin(RUS), but he'll have to beat Srichaphan(THA) in round 1, Mark Philippoussis(Anna Kournikova's ex AUS) in round 2, F.Lo (umm... Feliciano Lopez)(ESP) in round 3, and Mario Ancic(CRO) in round 4. Whew. Tough one for Marat, he could go as early as the second round. But he did take Federer to a tight three-set match last week in Halle, Germany playing in what he refers to as "his least favorite surface... "
Hewitt vs (hides behind a huge rock to avoid dagger looks from the Safinettes of PEx) Mario Ancic (but I think if Safin beats Philippoussis, he'll gain enough momentum to carry him through to the semis vs Roger)

3rd Qtr
This is the most wide open quarter of all. I think Tommy Haas(GER) has a good chance of making the quarters. So does Thomas Johansson(SWE). I really don't know how French Open champ Nadal(ESP) plays on grass but he is slated to play Richard Gasquet(FRA) in the third round (again). I think it could be Gasquet who wins this time.
Haas vs Gasquet (Edited to add on 6/19: Richard Gasquet won his first ATP title at the Nottingham Open this week, on grass, which would boost his confidence definitely. And at least we know he does play well on grass.)

4th Qtr
Tim Henman(GBR) has a good draw until he faces Sebastian Grosjean(FRA) in the 4th round... Roddick might also have a hard time vs Ivo Karlovic(CRO) in the second round, but he'll survive that match and go on to the finals(i think)...
Henman vs Roddick

Having said that, I'm still rooting fror Federer and Daniela to win... (I know, Daniela doesn't stand a chance, but damn, can you really refuse that beautiful face?)

Wimbledon kicks off Monday, June 20.

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Tennis Spittings, straight from Stade Roland Garros

Another week, another clay title for Rafael Nadal(ESP)... the just-recently-turned 19 year-old Spaniard claims his first ever Grand Slam title by winning the 2005 French Open. He beat the best player in the world, Roger Federer(SUI), in the semifinals (with some help from Federer who was playing sloppy tennis, instead of his trademark fluid, out-of-this-world, sickeningly amazing brand of tennis) and then the un-doped Mariano Puerta(ARG) in the finals.

23 year-old Justine Henin-Hardenne(BEL) also grabs the fourth Grand Slam title of her career after she beat 30 year-old veteran Mary Pierce(FRA) with an embarrassing score of 6-1, 6-1... Mary was gunning for her third Grand Slam title after winning the Australian Open in 1995 and the French Open in 2000. Justine earlier demolished Maria Sharapova(RUS) in the quarterfinals 6-4, 6-2... With the win, Justine seals her sweet comeback from a debilitating "mystery" blood virus and knee injury that kept her off the tennis tour for about seven months.

Daniela Hantuchova(SVK) won the Mixed Doubles title with Fabrice Santoro(FRA).
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Woohoo!!! Go Daniela! She lost in the third round of the Singles to Kim Clijsters(BEL) though...
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Hoping for a better result in Wimbledon for my longtime girlfriend Daniela. (Walang aangal)

There's a new Ana in tennis, except this one looks like she'll be staying on the court longer than she will on Enrique Iglesia's bed. 17 year-old, 6-foot tall Ana Ivanovic(SCG)(that's Serbia and Montenegro, btw), another teenaged up-and-comer destined for greatness, also had a pretty good tournament. She beat hometown favorite and world number 3 Amelie Mauresmo(FRA), who incidentally is also Martina Hingis' favorite male tennis player. Oops... Ana eventually succumbed to nerves and lost to Nadia Petrova(RUS) in the quarters 6-2, 6-2.

Don't worry my new favorite young sex kitten tennis player, you'll win one of these Grand Slams soon enough.

Virginia Ruano Pascual(ESP) and Paola Suarez(ARG) won their (count 'em) fourth Roland Garros title together after beating Cara Black(ZIM) and Liezl Huber(SAF) in the Women's Doubles final. They have partnered to win 8 Grand Slams in all, so far. Max Mirnyi(BLR) and Jonas Bjorkman(SWE) took home the Men's Doubles title after beating the Bryan Twins Mike and Bob(USA) in the final. Bjorkman has now won all four Grand Slam Men's Doubles titles.

Back to Federer, he remains at the top of the ranking after the French Open. Nadal goes up two places to number 3, while losing finalist Puerta jumps 26 spots to a career-high ranking of 11. Justine Henin-Hardenne enters the top 10 for the first time since her injury/illness break at number 7. Mary returns to the top 20 for the first time in some years (after falling out of the top 100, also because of various injuries) as the 13th ranked player in the world.

Last year's Men's finalists Gaston Gaudio(ARG) and Guillermo Coria(ARG) both fall out of the top ten (12 and 14 repectively). They are replaced by Roland Garros semifinalist Nikolay Davidenko(RUS) who jumps from number 12 to number 7, and Joachim Johansson(SWE) who didn't even play in the French Open but got lucky anyway. Last year's French Open champ Anastasia Myskina(RUS), who lost in the first round, barely hangs in the top ten as she falls four places (from #6 to #10)

Wimbledon gets going two weeks from now with Roger Federer(SUI) and Maria Sharapova(RUS) as the defending champs... Hope my favorite players win.

On a slightly different topic:

Another Grand Prix, another good win for Renault's Fernando Alonso in the European GP at the Nurburgring in Germany. He leads the Driver's Championship table, while Renault dominates the Constructor's Championships, with no Michael Schumacher nor Ferrari in sight. Since this happened last week, I am now less upset of the fact that Kimi Räikönen's car totally gave way (tire blew, suspension failure, etc. etc.) 3 miles from the finish line. 3 miles! 3 fucking miles! and he was leading the whole way! Right from the first turn of the race, he was leading the whole fucking way! He was successfully holding off Alonso for the top podium finish and 3 miles from from the finish line, his tire just fucking flies off! Boom. Gone. Kimi spins out to the gravel. Alonso goes on to take the win, while Kimi? DNF...

Now that I think of it, I still am upset.

Saturday, June 4, 2005

Conversation #2

hellgod: Hey...
You're still here.

asdfg: Yeah. I thought my plan over. Didn't quite pan out.
hellgod: What plan? Oh, the sell your soul to the devil, get rich quick plan?
asdfg: On second thought, it just didn't seem like a good idea.
hellgod: Well, in my book, any plan that involves suicide as step number 1 is usally not a very good idea.
asdfg: It's not exactly suicide... I mean, I still get to live... I just have to be the devil's bitch, that's all.
hellgod: mmm... doesn't that sound so much better.
asdfg: Yeah... Doesn't it?
The next time I get another idea like that one, just kill me instead?
hellgod: Sure, no problem. But that's one favor you owe me.

I'll be seeing you then... Alive I hope?
asdfg: I'll be around...

hellgod's phone rings. It's his friend, a part-time hooker/waitress/linesperson in Amsterdam who sells sharks, pugs, mosquitoes and semi-used underwear on eBay. She wants him to send her a rosary, the one with six mysteries.

"Give me 9 hours"

He hangs up.

The next time he looks up, he'll find asdfg gone.

They will never see each other again.

Friday, June 3, 2005

Conversation #1

hellgod: hey...
asdfg: hey
hellgod: I hear you're selling.
asdfg: How did you know?
hellgod: So you are selling.

hellgod: Why? I mean, why to him.
asdfg: He pays well. And I need the money. so...
hellgod: You know there's no backing out once you sell. You're never getting it back
asdfg: I know that. You don't need to tell me. I don't need to be told.
hellgod: Would it even make sense if I try to stop you?
asdfg: Try.

asdfg: I make my own decisions. I kick my own ass. I save my own skin. Same as you.
hellgod: No... that's not the way I do it.
asdfg: In a way.

hellgod: Well... call me when you get there.
asdfg: Definitely.

Or maybe, I'll see you when you get there.

hellgod: I hope not.