Grading the Grass
July 11, 2011 1 Comment
Oh hey, people. Been a while, no? Well, my creative mind deserved a week off. So here I am again, after Newport – and consequently, the grass season. Time for my highlights. Will cut it straight to the point, because this might get a little long.
– Novak Djokovic – Really? I mean, really?
– Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – He beat Nadal in Queen’s, made it to the final, but lost to Murray (on a rain-delayed Monday). Next, he committed to Eastbourne, but probably realized that wouldn’t do him good and found a way to make an early exit. But of course, he wouldn’t be in this list without a significant Wimbledon run. Well, beating Federer after crawling from the wreckage with two sets down is pretty significant to me.
– Andy Murray – Won the title in Queen’s, but the Wimbledon dreams were halted once again in the semifinals, again by the same Nadal. But all the props to him. 970 points combined from two events is pretty good.
– Bernard Tomic – It’s not band-wagon-ing. Kid had a nice breakthrough in Wimbledon, beating more experienced and favored foes like Söderling and Malisse en route to a quarterfinal run. Considering he’s only 18 living in the age of no-teen wonders, he gets a thumbs up.
– Robin Söderling – Oh fine, you think. How can I possible put him in the “Bad” group if he mounted a comeback from two sets down to beat Hewitt? My argument is: Why was he down two sets to Hewitt, in first place? And of course, it’s valid, but he suffered beyond the healthy level with Petzschner’s slices. And got pretty schooled by Bernard Tomic in the third round of his only grass event of the season. While defending the semifinals. Plus, he hasn’t been that Soderling of the start of the year. That’s why he’s here.
– Tomas Berdych – Became the main favorite for Halle after Federer’s withdrawal. Made it worth until the semis, when lost to Petzschner. Ok, Petzsche is a great player, but really, Berdych was #7 at the time. And at Wimbledon, defending the finals, didn’t even come closer to the player he was last year, losing to Fish in three sets, failing to reach the quarterfinals. It’s now over two years since he won his last title. And over one since he reached a final for the last time.
– Alexandr Dolgopolov – He’s best known for his clay-court abilities, but even so, he finishes the grass swing with a 1-3 record – and a losing streak of 3. Fact is, I thought grass could fit his style. But he lost to Carlos Berlocq in Eastbourne – and Dolgo was even one of the highest seeds. He also lost to Kohls and Gonzo (o.k., so far), but really. His current form is far from impressing us, just like he did in the beginning of the year – until Miami, that is.
The Ugly (or the Limbo):
– Roger Federer – Seemed to have recovered his form after spoiling Djokovic’s perfect record and reaching the finals at the French Open. But didn’t show up in Halle – when everybody was expecting him – and lost in Wimbledon quarterfinals. Not bad. But for Federer’s standards…
– Andy Roddick – Showed some form in Queen’s, reaching the semifinals, but was easily beaten by Murray. Arrived for the third Slam of the year bearing the poor 2010 performance, made a great match against Hanescu (even inspired this post), but fell in three to Feliciano Lopez – going one step lower than the R16. Really, Roddick.
– Milos Raonic – Poor Milos. From Estoril on, turned into a mere mortal. Grass had high expectations for him, but well, just like Söd and Berd had a Petzschner on his way – and a quarterfinal exit in Halle. In Wimbledon, the bitch – acting via fate – stopped him in the first vs. Gilles Muller. Horror. Still young and the future is bright, though.
– John Isner – The title in Newport saved his grass season – even though the rematch with Mahut (randomly made, of course) and the loss to Almagro will hardly be forgotten.
Uh. I guess that’s it.