Thursday, July 05, 2007

Wimbledon Notes

* Little Ana Ivanovic held off a couple of match points and toughed it out against Nicole Vaidasova (Delta Delta Delta Can I Help Ya Help Ya Help Ya?) in a solid match. But the women's side looks like a showdown between Justine Henin, who's making a run at history, and Venus Williams, who looks as good as she ever has. Venus's fourth round win over Maria Sharapova was dominant, probably the best performance of any woman in the tournament thus far.

* Watching Hewitt and Djokovic go at it this morning I was struck by how sometimes you watch a match and you're just sad that someone has to win. Hewitt is slightly more bearable now that he's been neutered (you wonder whether or not he realizes that he'll probably never be in another major's final), but Djokovic is particularly unpleasant because he's looking like he could be the transitional champ once Federer begins to break down in a few years.

Leaving aside Djokovic's Paul Orndorff-style pose-down, his game isn't particularly inspiring. Very solid, very aggressive, good court coverage. He gets by, I think, with a lot of raw athleticism. For whatever it's worth, I much, much prefer Richard Gasquet's game--he's smooth as glass.

* Speaking of which, why is it that we have to sit through every single Roddick blowout, but ESPN/NBC won't show a second of either Gasquet of Baghdatis? I understand they're not stars yet, but they might be soon. The next generation of studs--Gasquet, Baghdatis, Djokovic, Andy Murray, and Rafa, too--are very promising. Promising enough that I think we'll be able to get a true measure of Federer's greatness by seeing how he handles them in a couple years when he's not at the height of his powers.

Still, I wouldn't mind the chance to get to see more of them growing up on court.

(P.S.: Not that I have anything against Roddick. I like his game and I like him. Watching him burst on the scene for the first time at the 2001 U.S. Open was incredibly exciting--that giant, springing serve and his ridiculous, booming forehand. You could tell in about five minutes flat that he was a special player.)

No comments: