The Pendleton Panther

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Today was a very interesting day at the French Open.  It was the first day of the second round matches and it was definatley not short on action.  The defending champion of the womens side, Svetlana Kuznetsova had a very tough match today.  She played a German girl called Andrea Petkovic.  Kuznetsova was 1 set and 5-4 down plus three match points (40-0 down) and managed to pull out the match.  She ended up saving a total of 4 match points to win the match.  The final score was 4-6 7-5 6-4.  The mens defending champion, Roger Federer showed some more class today after the rain delay as he came out and won the second and third set comfortably.  The final score was 7-6(4) 6-2 6-4.  One of the most dramatic matches of the day was the battle between Gael Monfils (France) vs. Fabio Fognini.  It went to 5 sets and was postponed at 5-5 in the final set due to the lack of lighting.  The match will contiue tomorrow.  It was a highly competitive match where Mofils saved around 5 match points to make it 5-5 in the final set.  It will be interesting to see the rest of the match played out tomorrow.

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Caroline Wozniacki (Number 1 Seed)

This week the WTA tournament in Warsaw, Poland has got underway.  It is a Premier-level tournament which means that it is one of the higher level tournaments just below the Grand Slams.  Many of the top player have gone to the tournament as a warm-up tournament just days before the French Open begins this Sunday.  It is good match practice for many of the pros before they play the big clay court event.  Today the number one seed Caroline Wozniacki and the number two seed Elena Dementieva had very tough matches.  They both went to three sets but only the number one seed survived.  Wozniacki went 3-0 down in the third set, but managed to pull it out 6-4.  Dementieva wasn’t so lucky, despite putting herself a break up two times in the third set she couldn’t get over the finish line and claim the match.  The final score was 7-5 4-6 6-4, which may not be the type of preparation for the French Open that Dementieva would have probably liked.  But being the pro that she is, it is highly unlikely that this will hold her back in the French Open.

This year in men’s tennis is being one of the most competitive ones in a very long time. We no long have one player or two dominating the circuit and taking home most of the trophies; there are at least 8 or 9 players that are fighting for very single tournament, and have high chances of winning them. Anyone can beat anyone. Or that’s what it seemed like before clay season started. We are back to the hot days, red clay on the socks of the players, incredibly long rallies, never-ending matches… and if there is a person that loves all this, that’s Rafael Nadal. He hadn’t had a good ending of 2009 or start of 2010, but the sight of the red clay seems to recharge his batteries. Three weeks ago he won in Montecarlo (6th year in a row), he decided to not play the Godo Open in Barcelona because of some knee problems, and came back stronger than ever to bite the trophy again in Rome. Nobody has beaten him yet, and I can say it will be hard that anyone will, if his physical problems don’t prevent him from playing his best tennis.

Nadal doing his characterisitc celebration

I have written about this before. About four tennis players dressed in red and yellow celebrating their confirmation as the strongest power in the world at this sport and lifting an extremely heavy trophy. Spain won the Davis Cup again. Second year in a row. Fourth time in this century. The Czech Republic was not rival for this team, which counts with four players among the top-27 in the world. Stepanek has his chances against David Ferrer, thanks to a powerful serve and incredible speed at the net, but Ferrer’s attitude and fight helped him come back when losing two sets to zero. He claimed to have cried of anger and rage in the locker room after losing the second set. Nadal had done his homework beforehands, giving no chance to an out-of-condition Berdych, and the two lefty players from Madrid, Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco, who have given so many joyful moments to Spain, finished it off with an easy victory against the two best Czech players.

From left to right; Feliciano Lopez, Ferrer, Verdasco, Nadal and Costa (coach)

Now that the 2009 Eddie Herr is in full swing, frequent updates have been made to the Nick’s Picks website.  You Pendleton students will appreciate that Nick uses a WordPress.com blog for his website.

Enjoy – here’s the link to Nick’s Picks:

http://nickstennispicks.com/

O2 Arena ATP Finals

Last week, the ATP end of the year Championships took place in London.  Many people from all over the world travelled to England to watch the tournament.  Fans were skeptical as to wether the tournament would be a success at the O2 Arena.  Not only did it turn out well, many people said that it was beyond their expectations.  Some people even took it so far as to say that it was like another grand slam.  The top 8 in the world are invited every year to play in the World Tour Finals.  This years competitors included: Federer, Nadal, Murray, Djokovic, Verdasco, del Potro, Soderling, and Davydenko.  Andy Roddick qualified to play but pulled out due to injury.  Surprisingly, none of the “big 4” qualified for the finals.  Only one of them (Federer) even made it through the round robin stages to the semi-finals.  The finalists were Juan Martin del Potro and Nikolay Davydenko.  Davydenko played a great match in the finals to take the title.  He made very little unforced errors securing a 6.3 6.4 win in the final.  This is Davydenko’s biggest achievement so far in his career, and a great end to the 2009 year.

TENNIS-WTA-QAT

Serena in Doha

Just recently, the top women tennis players in the world have been competing for the title in Doha.  Every year, the top 8 ranked women battle it out in the Sony Ericsson Championships for bragging rights.  The tournament is set out as a round robin, with two groups.  The top two people from each group move forward into the semi-finals.  This year, Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki competed in the 1st semi-final and Venus Williams and Jelena Jankovic competed in the 2nd semi-final.  Serena and Venus won their semi-finals matches, giving themselves the opportunity in the final.  Serena took the final in two sets, 6.2 7.6 (7.4).  Serena had a very consistent and dominant performance throughout the tournament, not doing anything less than winning every one of her matches.  It is safe to say that the William’s sisters are very dominant in women’s tennis today.  It is going to take a strong group of juniors to knock them off their rightfully deserved pedestal.


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