Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Previously on Anatasia Pavlyuchenkova just rolls...

So Federer once again loses to Murray... Right now, Fed is looking like the number 3 player in the world (and no, Djokovic isn't the #2.) The young guns (and his age?) are catching up on him, I guess.

After beating Fed, Andy Murray then lost easily to Rafael Nadal in the finals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. This win shows that that Aussie Open isn't a one time thing, and that the US Open isn't far off from Rafa's reach. Rafa has really honed up his hardcourt game.

At this rate, Wimbledon is looking to be really interesting. Rafa will be the defending champ for the first time, Murray will get a high seeding and will be expected to make
at least the semifinals, and thus will have to deal with even more pressure from the Brits than Tim Henman ever had to on his best years, and Fed will try to win his 14th Grand Slam title to tie Pete's record. Really interesting. (Of course, I'm expecting that Rafa will simply sweep the whole clay season and the French Open, so there's really nothing to analyze there.)

And I was wrong about AP (Anya? Nastya? Pavy? Pavlyuchenki?), she lost to Ana Ivanovic in straight sets. AI then lost to Vera Zvonareva also in straight sets, who won her biggest tournament yet. Vera has been on a great winning run the past 6 months. It's so strange, considering that she was usually the butt of many jokes because she used to cry on court, IN THE MIDDLE OF A MATCH, when she starts losing.

Up next is the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. My picks to win? Serena and Rafa.


Mahirap ang maghintay sa wala. Pero mas mahirap ang mataimtim na paghihintay para sa isang bagay na hindi naman pala para sa iyo. Ganito siguro ang sasabihin ni Andres Bonifacio kung emo sya.

Now playing: Nine Inch Nails - Somewhat Damaged
via FoxyTunes

Friday, March 20, 2009

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Just Rolls Off Your Tounge, Doesn't It?

Most people who enjoy riding thrill rides do it not only because they want to enjoy feeling of the fall and the rush of adrenaline up their spines, but also because they know that despite the danger it presents, they'll land safely after the ride.

Too bad that's not something I can use to describe how the global economic situation is affecting our company. It's not thrilling, nor is it exciting. It's not even pleasant. Just dizzying.


On a less depressing, more tennis-related matter, the US spring harcourt season has started in Indian Wells, California with the BNP Paribas Open. It's one of the 3 big tournaments of the first quarter of the year (the others being January's Australian Open and next week's Sony Ericsson Open in Miami), and it's been a really interesting tournament so far.

On the men's side, #2 Roger Federer (who's gonna be a new dad soon) has advanced to the semis after beating Verdasco in the quarters and will be facing #4 Andy Murray. On the other half of the draw, #1 Rafael Nadal and defending champion Novak Djokovic are on track to meet in the semis. Rafa survived 5 match points against David Nalbandian before eventually winning in 3 sets. (Rafa has never beaten Daveed before this match.) He'll next beat face JMDP. Djokovic defeated Roger's Olympic doubles partner Stan the Man Wawrinka in 2 tie-breakers and will next face American Andy Roddick.

On the women's side, there have been lots of upsets, and the final 4 standing are:
Victoria Azarenka, (8) def. Dinara Safina, (1), 6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 6-3
Vera Zvonareva, (4) def. Caroline Wozniacki, (9), 6-4, 6-2
Ana Ivanovic, (5) def. Sybille Bammer, (23) walkover
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, def. Agnieszka Radwanska, (7) 7-6 (10-8), 6-4

Vika has been blazing her way in the rankings lately, and she'll most probably enter the top 10 for the first time after this tournament. She also prevented Lil Sis Dinara from becoming the new #1 in the women's draw (With Serena's absence from this tournament, Dinara could've been #1 had she reached the finals.)

The big surprise of the tournament though, is AP (because her name is not only long, but also complicated to type), who has already beaten #3 Jelena Jankovic in the earlier rounds. She got her second top 10 scalp in Aga Rad, and I think she could take her third by beating defending champ AI in the semis. AP is a talented, 17 year old blonde Russian. I don't think she'll go on to be as commercially popular as Anna K and Masha, but a successful tennis career? Looks promising.

All I can say is good luck on handling the financial crisis, AP.

Now playing: Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Trip of the Month

This month's awesome trip was brought to us by...

Singapore! (and KL)

Before I rave about the trip, let me just say:

  1. See that small blue thing on the lower left part of the pic, about half an inch away from One Fullerton? That's supposed to be the Merlion, but it got struck by lightning the week before, so it's all shy and covered up now.
  2. Singaporean taxi drivers must've sucked all the awesomeness from Malaysian taxi drivers. Because Malaysian taxi drivers? Not awesome.
  3. I should've used Tricia's classic line about hostels on my travel-mates. No illusions of grandeur when you're paying 20 SGD a night on hostels! Lol. (Fernloft FTW!)
  4. Singapore Zoo was really nice, but we got rained out, so we didn't get to walk around as much as we wanted. Boo!
  5. Sentosa is a bit expensive, and for such a huge island, there aren't that many things to do there...
Now for the raving...

Well... Singapore was nice and all. It's orderly, mostly efficient, modern and has all the trappings of a big city without all the hassle. I'm not exactly jumping out of my seat here, but that's not really a criticism on SG. I just like my cities to be rugged, chaotic and falling over itself with life and adventure, and I like my countries to be filled with scenery and beaches and nature.

At least that's what I use as a reason on why I'm not uploading a resume on monster.sg yet.

Clark Quay and the Marina area is pretty nice. And I got to try the G-Max reverse bungee with Mike. It's hella expensive (and Mike didn't want to treat me for the giant swing ride, so we didn't do that), but really, really, really, fun. Definitely a highlight of the trip (for me at least, everyone else didn't want to try it for their own reasons...)

The other highlight of the trip is of course, the company I applied for was with. My HK (now HK/SG) travel friends were fun as always (only Primo and Mats weren't able to come. Mats was supposed to be with us, but didn't realize that his passport was expiring in less than 6 months, or that you're supposed to have a passport that won't be expiring within 6 months to be able to enter another country...) Where next peeps? And it was also nice seeing former officemates Karon, Mike (who left for a quick Manila trip on the same weekend we were there...), Ben, Jyue, and Malvin, and college friend and loyal merienda buddy Del, who are all now based in Singapore earning lots of money.

On the 3rd day of our trip, we took a quick side trip to Kuala Lumpur, which is a 5-hour bus ride from SG (and what a cool bus! We rode a 20-seater double-decker bus, fully reclineable seats with individual monitors for movies.) Our main objective was to get to Petronas and go up the skybridge. We got there by 4, had breakfast at McDonald's, and headed straight to the Petronas Towers lobby to line up for tickets to the skybridge. It's my second time in KL, and the Petronas Towers is as awesome as I remembered it. Malaysian taxi drivers flat out suck though.

Taking it all in, Singapore (and KL) was really nice. But now I can't wait for Coron next month!

Now playing: Modest Mouse - Paper Thin Walls
via FoxyTunes