Sunday, August 14, 2005

Tennis This Week

Tennis action this week is pretty lean... Considering that the US Open (the last Grand Slam event of the season) is just around the corner, most of the top players still seem to be a) Recovering from an injury or b) still finding their best games on the US Hardcourt circuit.

This week's tournaments takes us to Montreal for the Rogers Cup ATP Masters Series, and to Los Angeles, California and Stockholm, Sweden for the WTA's JPMorganChase Open and Nordea Nordic Light Open respectively.

Big names in the ATP Masters - Montreal include Rafael Nadal(ESP) who is up in the semis vs Paul-Henri Matheiu(FRA), Lleyton Hewitt(AUS) (lost in the first round with injury), Andy Roddick(USA) (lost to Matheiu in the first round), and Andre Agassi(USA) whose quarterfinal match vs 2004 French Open Champ Gaston Gaudio(ARG) was postponed due to rain. Not playing are Roger Federer(SUI) who is resting because of foot injury, and Marat Safin(RUS) who is recovering from a knee operation. Playing in the JPMorganChase Open in LA is Maria Sharapova(RUS), who would've taken the No. 1 ranking this week had she beaten Daniela Hantuchova(SVK) in their quarterfinal match (Daniela won via walkover as Masha withdrew with an inflamed right pectoral muscle) (Pectoral muscle is the muscle on the chest, as you can see on Maria right there), Kim Clijsters(BEL) who will play vs. Francesca Schiavone(ITA) in the semis and Russians Elena Dementieva(semis vs Daniela) and 2004 US Open Champ Svetlana Kuznetsova(lost to Eleni Daniilidou(GRE) in the first round). Not playing is current No. 1 Lindsay Davenport(USA), and former no. 1s and '05 Australian Open Champ Serena Williams(USA) and 05' French Open Champ Justine Henin-Hardenne(BEL). Two-time Grand Slam champ Mary Pierce(FRA) is also not playing because of a thigh injury. Despite her chest pains, Maria will still claim the No. 1 ranking next week when she joins the WTA stop in Toronto as Lindsay again skips this tournament because of her back injury.

Playing in Stockholm this week is '04 French Open champ Anastasia Myskina(RUS) and...... well, she's the only highly-ranked player in this tournament... Up-and-coming Russian teen Vera Douchevina is the next highest ranked player at No. 34. Not playing here is 05' Wimbledon champ Venus Williams(USA) who got hit by the flu and last year's champ Alicia Molik(AUS) who's also out injured.

I'll talk more about these tournaments after the finals are held and the winners have been decided over the weekend. I'll be rooting for Daniela and Matheiu to win in their respective tournaments (although it's unlikely that they actually win, hehe.)

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