Friday, May 29, 2009

10th out of 17241

For posterity's sake, just in case my ranking drops like a rock in the next few rounds. :D

I joined the ATP World Tour Draw Challenge for Roland Garros (fancy name for the French Open). It's sort of a fantasy league contest and it goes like this: before the tournament begins, you predict which players will win their first round matches and proceed to the 2nd round, where you again predict which players will win those matches and go on to the next round and the next round and the next round... until you pick who wins in the final match. You get points for each correct prediction you make, and if you get the most points at the end of the tournament, you win... something. (The grand prize is a 4-night trip for 2 to London to watch the ATP World Tour Finals, and it goes to the highest total scorer in 12 major ATP tournaments that the contest covers... although after reading the terms and conditions, I'm apparently not eligible to win the prize because I live in the Philippines. BOOOOOOOO!)

Anyway, I'm not sure how long I'll be able to sustain my top ten ranking. But seeing that I won't get a chance to win prizes anyway, I'm not sure why I should care.

I wish the WTA Tour would have something like this too. It'd be interesting, with all the
inconsistent results from the top players, choke jobs from the youngsters and the head cases... And it'll give me 1 more reason to shout "C'mon Caroline Wozniacki!"

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Action on the Red Clay

I've been meaning to post about Roger's win last week but never found the time, so let me just sneak in a hearty WOOOOHOOOOO!

Federer won his first title of the year last week by beating Rafael Nadal in straight sets, on clay, in Madrid. I literally woohoo'ed at my laptop screen right after Roger served an ace on match point, because I didn't expect him to actually win over Rafa that day (Roger played a "tired" Rafa at the Aussie Open and still lost, and I still remember that Italian Open final a few years ago when Roger had several match points and lost all of them while Rafa converted on his very first match point to win 7-6 in the fifth set), so suffice it to say, I was holding off my cheers until Roger actually won the final point.

Having said that, I still think Rafa is going to wi
n the French Open. He's never lost a match at the red clay courts of Roland Garros, so despite that loss in Madrid (a high-altitude city which played to Fed's advantage), it's crazy to bet against the greatest claycourt player of all time.

Rafa's main challenge will come from Roger (obviously) and #4 Novak Djokovic. Fotunately for Rafa, those two could face/eliminate each other in the semis. Despite Andy Murray's recent climb to the #3 ranking over Novak, clay isn't his thing. He can beat Rafa on hardcourts, but on clay, he's got a long way to go. As for the French Brigade, clay isn't JWT's best surface, Gilles Simon is on a slump, and I want to say this is Reeshard Gasquet's year, but he went the Hingis route and is currently unable to play after returning a positive drug test for cocaine... so maybe in 2 years?

Anyway, this is once again Rafa's title to lose.

The women's side is much more open. Defending Champ Ana Ivanovic hasn't played well since winning the title last year and ascending to the #1 ranking. She has since fallen to #8 and has been nursing a knee injury just a few weeks before the French Open. Fellow Serb Jelena Jankovic also has lost the form that took her to the #1 ranking. New #1 Dinara Safina is probably the best bet, she won the 2 big clay tournaments before the French Open, and it doesn't look like her status as the new #1 isn't daunting her the way it scared Ana.

On the other hand, getting daunted or scared has ne
ver been a factor for Serena Williams. It's her health that's been her downfall. She's been injured since losing the final in Miami to 19 year-old Victoria Azarenka, and has lost 4 consecutive matches coming into the French Open (all on clay.) Serena's older sis Venus is a wild card, since her clay court results have been pretty inconsistent. Besides Dinara, Russia has two more strong contenders for the title: Svetlana Kuznetsova and (my facebook friend) Elena Dementieva, who have both finished as runner-up at the French Open a few years ago. They've both got great baseline games which serves them well on this surface, but the problem lies more on their (lack of) belief that they can actually win it all. Seeing that there really isn't a Henin-like dominant player this year, this could be their big chance (Go Elena!)

As for the youngsters, French Alize Cornet, Pole Agnieszka Radwanska and Slovak Dominika Cibulkova all had good years last year, but they haven't had that much great results this year. Meanwhile, Azarenka and fellow teen Caroli
ne Wozniacki have broken through with some big results, and both are now in the top 10. I'm personally rooting for Caroline to get to the quarterfinals, at least.

So as I said, the women's draw is a lot more open than Rafa's draw... But I think at the end of the tournament, Dinara will walk away with her first Grand Slam title along with her #1 ranking. And I'll finally stop calling her Lil Sis and start calling Marat Big Bro.

Roland Garros 2009 started today and ends June 7.

Now playing: Arctic Monkeys - Stickin To The Floor
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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Timmy is a Communist!

Two nice videos I found while loitering around the world wide sapot. (That's what I've been doing while I'm stuck at my house.)

Twitter in Real Life

Facebook Manners and You

Oh, I wish I had embarrassing photos of people I hated... And I guess twitter (or plurking) rule #1 should be: if it's too embarrassing to recite to random people in the streets, don't tweet it (or don't post it as a facebook status update.)

Edited to add:

This has got to be the funniest shit on this cheeseballfest of a tv show. Scream On! Scream On! Screeeeaaaam On!


Now playing: Modest Mouse - Karma's Payment
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