Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to say Merry Christmast, to all my readers out there. I got something really awesome for Christmas this year. Along with some tennis gear, I received a copy of Andre's new book Open.

Now I can finally review it in depth, so give me a few days, I'm going to take some time and read it, then I'll be back with a full lenth review on the book.

Happy hollidays.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Stan the man, ties the knot

Here's a picture of Stan with his new bride Ilham Vuilloud. I was a little bit surprised to find out that she was 11 years older than him but I guess, Stan's got a taste for older women. Vuilloud, is about 7 months pregnant with their first child, so this could be a tougher Australian Open than typical for Stan. His focus may not be there and it could leave him vulnerable to an early round upset. On the other hand maybe he'll rise to the occasion, just like Roger did at Wimbledon.

Best wishes to Stan and his new family I hope they have a happy holiday season.:D

Monday, December 14, 2009

2010 Grand Slam Champions prediction

With 2009 now in it's last few weeks, I decided it was time to get started on my prediction list for next year's grand slam champions. This was a bit tricky because I believe it's mostly going to come down to Nadal and Roger. How good they're playing, if Nadal is injured, etc. If they're both have a great season next year they could easily sweep the majors like they've done in the past but if they're a bit off their games or there's an injury, then the door is certainly open enough for someone else to take the titles from them. Anyway, I've come up with a list, it's a little bit different than what you might have expected but I think it's a pretty feasible one.

Australian Open: Andy Murray

Last year, around this time, I predicted Nadal, to win the Australian Open. He was playing great tennis in 2008 and for the most part he was outplaying the rest of the field. I also had a feeling that he was going to win the title and now I've got that same feeling about Murray. Murray's 09 season was relatively mediocre, he hasn't reached a slam final since 2008 and that might motivate him to put up a great performance at the first major of the new year. Murray's, biggest obstacle, most likely will be Roger Federer. In their past 10 meetings Murray has never once beaten Roger in a slam, and if they both make the finals, it will be all the more difficult. Roger, is a tough player to beat on any normal day but when he makes the finals, he raises his game to it's absolute limit making him damn near impossible to beat. Murray's going to have to reach a new level to beat Roger. He'll have to play harder, make better use of his serve, and really play aggressively from the baseline but if he's able to do all that, he's got a great shot at the title.

French Open: Rafael Nadal

This year was just a bad year for Nadal. When he lost to Soderling, he had everything going wrong, bad knees, fast clay, and an opponent who was playing well above his usual level. If Nadal comes into this without being injured, he should walk away the champion. He's still heads and shoulders above everyone else on clay.

Wimbledon: Rafael Nadal

Again, this is assuming that he's not injured. I expect Roger will make the finals again but just like in 2008 Rafa, will get in his head and will beat Roger on his strongest surface in a close 4 or 5 set match.

US Open: Roger Federer

I think Roger will take back his US Open crown next year. He's just too dominant at this tournament for me to rule against him. Roger, will be 29 next year at the US Open and that's not young for tennis but I still believe he's got enough time to win a few more majors. I predict Roger, will win back the US Open title against Del Potro in the finals.

New gear at Pro Direct.

If you want to see the new racquets, strings, and apparel, for 2010, look no farther than They've got a bunch of the new stuff on pre-order, so definitely check that out. The 2010 Nike apparel that I've seen is a lot better than the 2009.

I'm also hosting this Flash Game tournament on Tennis Warehouse Forums and one of the participants was nice enough to recommend me to this website (thanks Kishnabe): This is probably the best tennis flash game that I've ever seen. I was really happy that I could play with my favorite characters (Nadal, Federer, Simon, Monfils, Verdasco) and next to the Topspin series for the X box, it might be the one of the best tennis games ever made. I strongly recommend trying this if you are at all into gaming.:D

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Spain, crushes Czech Republic in the Davis Cup Finals

Spain's matches against the Czech Republic, in the Davis Cup Finals, were less like a competition and more like a slaughter. Typically, when you get 5 Spanish players, together on slow clay courts, you're putting their opponents at a significant disadvantage but if most of those Spanish players happen to be in the top 20, you may as well sign their opponent's death warrants. The Czech Team lead by Tomas Berdych and Raddek Steppanek, simply didn't have the weapons needed to beat this strong of a team on their best surface.

The first match of the Davis Cup finals was between Nadal and Berdych and if you've been following tennis closely over the last month or two, you'll already know that Nadal, has been on a losing streak. Since his return back in August he hasn't been playing up to his 2008/ early 09 standard, so what better way to restore his confidence than by trouncing Berdych, a player known for his occasionally strong hard court performances. Well, that's exactly what he did on Friday. Berdych, was able to hold his ground for most of the first set but once Nadal, broke serve at 5-all, the match was over. Rafa, won 13 games in a row before Berdych finally managed to spare himself from the dreaded double bagel. Still, Rafa took this one with ease, 7-5, 6-0, 6-2.

In the second match of the finals, Spain, sent out David Ferrer and the Czech Republic used their second best player, Raddek Steppanek. This was a surprising move on Spain's behalf because Fernando Verdasco was available to play and he's ranked higher than Ferrer is. Well, Ferrer was able to win the match but it took him 5 long grueling, sets to do it. Stepanek, was absolutely brilliant and he dominated Ferrer, in the first two sets. Even though he desperately struggled throughout the beginning, David improved as as the match went on. He found his footing, early in the third set and eventually started breaking Steppanek's serve. After more than 3 hours both players were level at 2 sets all. Now, came the final set and with this being a make or break match for the Czech Republic, I'll tell you it was very intense. For the first 12 games of the final set neither player was able to break the other one's serve, but it was becoming apparent that Stepanek, was running out of steam. Finally at 6-all, David Ferrer, broke serve and was able to hold his own to win the marathon five setter and give Spain their second win in a row.

Next came the doubles match between Lopez/Verdasco and Berdych/Stepanek. Unlike Ferrer, it didn't take Lopez and Verdasco five sets to win. They were able to finish off Berdych & Stepanek in a relatively competitive 3 sets.

For the last two matches, I'll use two words to describe them..."Squash Match." Now, if you're not a WWE fanatic, you probably don't know what those words mean, so let me explain. In the Pro Wrestling world, they have a term which is used for describing a heavily one sided match, where one wrestler dominates the other one. This term is called a squash match. I think this term perfectly describes the Nadal vs Hajek and Ferrer vs Dlouhy matches. Nadal squashed Jan Hajek and Ferrer squashed Dlouhy to give Spain a shut out victory over the Czech Republic and also their second consecutive Davis Cup title. Not really sure why they had to play these last two matches, because they already had a 3-0 lead which guaranteed them the title but oh well.

Anyway congrats to Spain, for winning their second straight Davis Cup title. They're going to be serious contenders in the future because they've got all the right players on their team and when they're able to compete on clay they're just about unstoppable. I expect Spain, will go on to win many more Davis Cup titles, in the next few years.:)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Kim Sears says enough to Andy Murray's gaming habits

Did you hear about this? Supposedly Andy Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears, got fed up with Andy's excessive gaming habits and decided to break up with him because he was playing Modern Warcraft 2 for up to 7 hours a day. I laughed so hard when I heard this that I was literally rolling on the floor. I mean think about it, Andy Murray is the #4 tennis player in the world, he has a great looking girlfriend, yet he would rather spend lots of time playing a PS3 video game (albeit a very good one) than working on his tennis game or spending time with his GF?!

Ok, I know that's not completely fair, the tennis player do get a lot of down time towards the end of the season and my guess is that Andy, was probably playing the game back in October when he was sidelined with his wrist injury. Still, I am a little bit surprised that he had that much time to play. How was he able to fit tennis in, if he was playing the game for 7 hours a day? Not to mention press conferences, flights, physical training, and drug testing.

There's probably more to this story than was made public but still it's really weird.:D

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Davydenko wins the ATP World Tour finals

At the start of the tournament, I doubt anyone who would have predicted Davydenko, to walk away the champion, but congrats to him for doing so. Not only is this his biggest tournament victory ever, but he also managed to snap a 12 match losing streak against his long time rival, Roger Federer. Davydenko's road to the finals, wasn't an easy one though, he lost the opening round robin match to Djokovic in a very tight 3 set match, but he recovered against Nadal winning easily in straight sets, then Davydenko put up a great performance to overcome Soderling in another tight 3 set match. Once in the semis, Davydenko had to face Roger Federer and anyone who knows anything about their head-to-head wouldn't bet on Davydenko to win the match. In the past Davydenko has struggled against Roger and has even developed somewhat of a reputation for choking away matches against him. This time it was different, Davydenko got the perfect start against Roger and lead 4-1 in the first set before closing it out a few games later six games to two. In the second set Roger struck back hard and leveled the match at a set all, so now it's the third set both guys are playing great especially Davydenko, all he needs to do is get the one break on Roger's serve and he can win the match. At 4-5 love-15 Roger hit an amazing overhead and jammed Davydenko at the net which brought him to 2 points from winning the match. Davydenko, held his nerve and managed to serve out the game, then at 5-all he finally got the break he needed and went on to serve out the match. The confidence that Davydenko got from beating Roger, was enough to carry him through the final match, where he rolled past Del Potro 6-3, 6-4, to claim his first ever Masters Cup trophy.

If there was one thing that disappointed me about the World Tour Finals, I would say that it was Nadal's early exit. I would have loved to have seen a Federer vs Nadal semi-final match and it was really sad to see him get destroyed by Soderling and Davydenko. I mean he's the #2 player in the world, I just feel like he should have been able to win one of those matches or at least force them to 3 sets. I don't know, I hope Nadal has a much better year next year and if he's able to stay relatively injury free he might be able to win a couple of majors. We'll see how he's playing next year but that's my hope.