600 Countdown

Hello again! Remember when Daily Scores was the best tennis-related blog on the Interwebs? Hell, no? Well, maybe that’s because it never happened at all.
Anyways, I’m not baaaaaaaaack. Just not yet. As you might now, I’m a working man now, sun-to-sun, and all the hard work is turning my neck red and… no, just kidding. I answer e-mails.
Whatever.
I have this idea that, in order to succeed, you must do something different. Talking about daily tennis is not actually innovative, not the iPad of blogging or something. And I’m not sure I will get to watch as many matches as it takes to make insightful analysis.
So let’s just take it post-by-post. May not be the greatest thing in the whole wide world, but that’s what we have for today (well, that ought to be funnier in Portuguese). Still.
Today’s subject is one of my favorite, tennis-wise. Andrew S. Roddick. Rodman, Rodderino, Roddinator, A-Rod, Andrew Stephen, etc. The bald guy with a Mohawk. You know who I am talking about.
For those of you who already follow me – and I believe it’s the biggest part; I wasn’t followed much after the US Open – you might recall the #600Countdown and #20MillionWatch, two hashtags I implemented while Andy searched for his 600th career win and 20 mil in Prize Money. Well, he surpassed the second in Basel, if I remember well. And is 11 wins away from accomplishing the first.
This is the subject of this post. An stat of how many matches it took for Roddick to reach 11 YTD wins – and since 2001, he is finishing season well above 11 YTD wins. So here we go.

2001: 6 events (Davis Cup, Memphis, San Jose, Delray Beach, Miami, Atlanta). Andy started his 1st full year in the big leagues still playing some CH events, and that’s what caused him to reach his first 11 wins of the season only in the final week of April. The 11th win came against Stefan Koubek, in Atlanta semis. He would go on to claim his 1st ATP title that week. Record: 11-4.
2002: 4 events (Sydney, Australian Open, Davis Cup, Memphis). Already in the top-15, Roddick started 2012 losing to his all-time nemesis Roger Federer in Sydney semis. He would advance to the Australian Open 2nd round and claim two wins in the Davis tie v. Slovakia, entering Memphis with a 6-2. A three set win over Blake in the final in Tennessee would not only give him his 1st title of the season, but also his 11th win. Record: 11-2.
2003: 5 events (Sydney, Australian Open, Memphis, Delray Beach, Indian Wells). Maybe few people had Andy’s best year coming when 03 started. He lost in the second round of Sydney to Lee, but also made his first AO semifinal in the very next event, including that epic v. El Aynaoui. He’d lose to Schuettler in the next match; Roddick also fell in Memphis final to Dent and Delray first round, to Fish, which delayed his 11th win of the season. The “magic” number came in Indian Wells first round, against Thomas Enqvist. Andrew would lose – again – to his Australian Open nemesis in the QF, but we all know what happened in the rest of the year. Record: 11-4.
2004: 4 events (Doha, Australian Open, Davis Cup, San Jose). Starting the year topping the rankings, Roddick opted for a Middle East start instead of Oceania. He lost in the 2nd round of Doha, before playing his first and only Slam as the top-seed, where he would fall to Safin in the quarters. After claiming two wins for Team USA vs. Austria, Roddick entered San Jose bearing an 7-2 record. He didn’t lose a single set that week, claiming his first tournament of the year. The eleventh win came in the semifinals, vs. Kendrick. Record: 11-2.
2005: 3 events (Australian Open, San Jose). Shortest for 11 wins so far. Roddick reached his second career semifinal at the Australian Open, before losing to eventual runner-up Hewitt in four sets. He claimed his first title about three weeks later, in San Jose, against Saulnier. The #11 came only in his 13th match of the season: Memphis opener, against Hyung-Taik Lee. Straight sets win. Roddick would go on until withdrawing in the semis, giving Kenneth Carlson a final pass. Record: 11-1.
2006: 5 events (Australian Open, Davis Cup, San Jose, Memphis, Indian Wells). Roddick was off to a shaky start in the new season. Despite being ranked #3 in the world, he lost to eventual finalist Marcos Baghdatis in the fourth round of the Australian Open. He also fell to Pavel in his first DC match of the year, in five sets, followed by a semifinal run in San Jose (losing to then-#60 Andy Murray in the semis), QFs in Memphis (losing to Le Fantôme) and finally claiming the 11th in Indian Wells third round, beating Fernando Verdasco in straights. He would lose to Igor Andreev in the very next round. Record: 11-4.
2007: 4 events (Australian Open, Davis Cup, San Jose, Memphis). Having finished the year as the world #7, Roddick reached his third Australian Open semifinal in the last five season, losing to (who else?) Federer. He then helped his country with two wins in a tie v. Czech Republic, made it to the semis of San Jose again (losing to Murray another time), claiming the number eleven in the very next event, once again over a Swede: 6/2, 7/5 over Thomas Johansson. Record: 11-2.
2008: 5 events (Australian Open, Davis Cup, San Jose, Memphis, Dubai). After failing to Peppo Kohlschreiber in one of the most memorable matches (at least for me) I have heard about, Roddick beat Jojo Melzer in the only match he played that tie. Andy claimed his first title of the season in San Jose, adding five more wins to the count and another title for the shelf. A loss to Robin Soderling in Memphis quarterfinals and the eleventh only came in his opening match at Dubai – 6/2, 6/4 over Juan Carlos Ferrero, against whom he had won the US Open years earlier. Rodderino would later beat #14 Mathieu, Rafa, Djokovic and Lopez to take the title in the UAE. Record: 11-2.
2009: 3 events (Doha, Australian Open, San Jose). In 2009 – maybe his last great year at the tour to date – Roddick equaled his 2005 record in shortest for 11 wins. He reached that number after semifinals in Doha, Melbourne and San Jose. #11 was a second round triumph over Ernest Gulbis. He would later beat Haas, before being halted by eventual champ Stepanek in the semis. Record: 11-2.
2010: 3 events (Brisbane, Australian Open, San Jose). In 2010, Roddick kept his 2009 Wimbledon-runner up momentum into the early moments of the season, winning his first tournament of the year for the first time, beating Stepanek in the Brisbane final. Roddick then fell to Cilic at the Aussie Open, narrowing missing the full defense of his ’09 semifinal points. Starting the year 8-1, heading into San Jose, Andy reached his second final of the season in three tournaments played so far, claiming the 11th win in the quarterfinals, against Tomas Berdych – whom he would defeat weeks later for his last Masters title to date. Record: 11-1.
2011: 3 events (Brisbane, Australian Open, Memphis). Following a relatively disappointing season hampered by injuries – including mono – Roddick’s 2011 was off to a good start, reaching Brisbane final again, but losing to Soderling this time. For the first time ever in an odd year (he didn’t play in 2001) Roddick missed the semifinals of the first Slam of the year, losing to Wawrinka in a match that, personally, drove me crazy, surfacing his push-and-volley style that so much bothers me. Andy’s redemption – and one of his most remarkable runs of the year, along with the US Open – came in Memphis. He won his only title of the year beating ’10 US Open nemesis Tipsarevic, Del Potro (for the first time), old time rival Hewitt and an up-and-coming Raonic (finishing him off with that epic MP) in a row. Not bad. #11 came in Memphis semifinal, against the resurgent Juan Martin, then ranked #298. Record: 11-2.

Conclusions? If Roddick starts the year with a new momentum (we are all pretty sure about a new hairstyle), we can all expect him to get those damn 11 wins quickly. It depends a lot on his schedule – he will start in Melbourne for the first time since 2008 – but I’d put a buck on the 600th coming in one of the pre-Indian Wells USA events.

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Featured match of the day – US Open day 7

I did it once, I did it twice. I’m doing it… is ‘thrice’ a valid word in English?

Featured match of the day, the famous cannot-miss, the one that will make sure your money invested is worth. Tomorrow, this match is the second on the Arthur Ashe stadium, after Nalbandián – old and fat – and Nadal – meh, no big deal, he’s let Djokovic inside his head and ever since declined – finish the supporting act.

FFF = Feel my French Fierceness

For the fifth time they will meet – and the local has the edge, 3-1. In the rankings, they are both situated way lower than they should and separated by 60 spots: the American is currently ranked #21 and Le French currently sits at #81, having just returned to the top-100 this week.

And why this clash is just so special? Well. ONE: They haven’t played each other since 2008, when Roddick mounted a comeback to beat Jules in the Round of 16 of Miami; TWO: Jules is en fuego, or as you would say in French. He qualified and reached the finals at the inaugural Winston-Salem open, but intentionally tanked the final, in order to let John Isner enjoy some glory at home. This week, the Wildcard Benneteau got rid of Almagro’s top-10 ass and Istomin to reach the third round – therefore adding forty-five more points to his. THREE: Andrew S. Roddick is, well, playing at home. And he is always entertaining – whereas he might be smashing racquets and/or arguing line calls for it. He might stall double-digit aces, and even so tickle his opponent with his backhand or groundstrokes in general hit from the first row of the stands.

A.S.R. looks at the draw: "Playing HIM, again?"

FOUR AND FINAL REASON WHY THIS IS THE BEST MATCH ONE COULD DREAM OF: They are both MYTHICAL players. I mean, WHICH tennis fan has never heard the fortunes that involve the glorious past of Andrew S. Roddick and Julien F. Benneteau? For those who are not familiar to Julesses (pronounce it as if there was an apostrophe there) glories, I link here a post I, as the president of the first Julien Benneteau Fan Club, wrote. Here, here, grasshoppers. Fulfill your curiosity. And Roddick, well, he is a living legend. I have also wrote a tribute for him – and many many other posts.

So, if you want to witness the ultimate clash – an early final for the last Grand Slam of the season, doubtless – between two contrasting styles: A.S.R.’s big serve-outpace-him style that is a trademark of the Open Era and J.F.B.’s all-around, baseline-hitting, first implemented by the pre-1968 Frenchmen who liked to play tennis wearing tail-coat, well, then, meine Damen und Herren, you must tune in to the Arthur Ashe, not before 1:30 PM and hold on to your hats, because a hurricane is due to strike.

#earthwillshake #monsterclash #comeonandy #allezjules

 

PS: This post is loaded, I mean LOADED with sarcasm. I shouldn’t have to say this, but given some recent happenings, I feel like it’s better.

30 Days of Tennis Challenge – Day 26: A match that makes you happy

A match that makes me happy. Interesting. I could go all the way on a philosophical analysis of tennis and sports in general, how they touch us and gave us all different reasons to cry and crack a laugh. And you would like that, wouldn’t you?

But nah. Instead, I will talk about the process.

There are just so many matches I could put here, from these three years since I turned into a hardcore tennis fan. But this match I choose here has a… uh… different story.

 

[I can’t link the video. So, click <a href="http://www.youtube.com/embed/oE4CYOZy2eg“>here]

 

Andy Roddick’s last Masters title up to date, in Miami, where he beat Tomas Berdych for the trophy.

Here’s the story: I didn’t watch this match. Exactly. The final week of the 2010 Miami event was played during the Easter here. And I, still unclear to me why, accepted an invitation for a trip to the seaside. For this reason, I missed Roddick’s semifinal win over Nadal – which made me truly happy, you know, because you put your favorite player beating one of your least favorite ones and there’s just no way this doesn’t please you.

On Sunday, I was on the car back home. Exactly. On Sunday. The whole day. We left Ilhabela – which can literally and erroneously translate into “Beautiful Island”, “La Isla Bonita” or what-fucking-ever – by the early morning, was probably around 8 or 9 a.m. And I arrived in São Paulo 8:30. P-FUCKING-M. Since that day, I swore an oath I would never a) Miss one of Roddick’s important matches b) EVER return to that place.

We were in São Paulo already, and the radio was tuned on to one of those news stations. So, I heard as the voice on the radio announced: “And, in Miami, final of the Masters 1000 event. The American Andy Roddick beat the Czech Tomas Berdych to claim the title”.

I exploded in contained laughter. Really, it’s a paradox. I was afraid of looking like a total psycho in the car with my parents. It’s pretty funny how you just can’t forget some things. I explained myself – of course, I needed to – saying: “I’m happy this guy won. I like him, you know. Following sports just make way more sense if you root for someone”.

That match didn’t save my Sunday. But made it just much better.

Worth the mention:

Robin Soderling def. Roger Federer, Roland Garros/2010

Robin Soderling def. Rafael Nadal, Roland Garros/2009

Julien Benneteau def. Roger Federer, Paris/2009

Andy Roddick def. Rafael Nadal, Miami/2009

And many more I don’t remember now.

 

Useful:

Prologue and explanation

Day 1 – Favorite men’s player

Day 2 – Favorite women’s player

Day 3 – Favorite doubles team

Day 4 – Least favorite men’s player

Day 5 – Least favorite women’s player

Day 6 – Most memorable match

Day 7 – First player you became a fan of

Day 8 – Earliest tennis memory

Day 9 – Favorite retired men’s player

Day 10 – Favorite retired women’s player

Day 11 – A player nobody would expect you to love

Day 12 – A player that you aren’t a fan of but you respect

Day 13 – Favorite Grand Slam tournament

Day 14 – Favorite non-Slam tournament

Day 15 – Most attractive women’s player

Day 16 – Most attractive men’s player

Day 17 – Favorite women’s outfit

Day 18 – Favorite men’s outfit

Day 19 – Who were the #1 the day you were born

Day 20 – Favorite men’s Slam champion

Day 21 – Favorite women’s champion

Day 22 – Favorite umpire

Day 23 – Favorite mixed doubles team

Day 24 – Favorite tennis couple

Day 25 – Favorite tennis WAG

Quickie: Compared debuting #1s stats

This is one of those few posts when blog and Twitter collide. I, the stats wizard, the master of the dark wizardries of applied numbers to give tennis standards, for the first time in a good while post an article here not expressing an opinion nor something like.

It’s a comparative, but the different kind of comparison: it’s merely a curiosity I wanted to know myself and thought you, faithful readers – and mainly Nolefans – would also appreciate to know.

Here’s the deal: After six weeks, Novak Djokovic is FINALLY debuting as the best-ranked player in the world. He tops the list at the Rogers Cup in Toronto. So, I was wondering, not sure you were too, where the former #1s – active and retired – debuted after becoming, well, the number one? Here’s what I collected:

Active players:

Lleyton HEWITT: Turned #1 on 19.11.2001. First event: Davis Cup final v. France, lost to Nicolás Escude in the first match as #1.

Juan Carlos FERRERO: Turned #1 on 08.09.2003. First event: Davis Cup semifinal v. Argentina, won the first match, d. Gaudio in 3 sets.

Andy RODDICK: Turned #1 on 03.11.2003. First event: ’03 Masters Cup; Won first match as #1, d. #7 Moyá in three sets. Outcome: Lost in the semifinals to #3 Federer.

Roger FEDERER: Turned #1 on 02.02.2004. First event: Davis Cup 1st Round (WG) v. Romania, won the first match, d. Hanescu in three sets.

Rafael NADAL: Turned #1 on 18.08.2008. First event: ’08 US Open; Won first match over #136 Phau in straight sets. Outcome: Lost in the semifinals to #6 Murray.

 

So, funnily enough, none of the active former-#1s won the title in their first event as number 1 – tenderized by the fact three of the five debuted at Davis Cup ties. But what if we come back a little more?

Gustavo KUERTEN turned #1 on 04.12.2000, and played his first match as the leader of the ranking v. Gaston Gaudio at the 2001 Australian Open. He won, but eventually lost in the next round to Greg Rusedski.

Marat SAFIN became #1 on 20.11.2000, having the Masters Cup as his first event. He beat #7 Corretja in the first match, but ended up losing in the semifinals to #8 Agassi.

Patrick RAFTER was number one for only one week, between 26.07.1999 and the first of August; he did not play a single tournament as the #1.

Yevgeny KAFELNIKOV was the first Russian to become #1, on 03.05.1999, and played for the first time at the Rome Masters, winning the first match against #158 Woodruff, but losing in the third round to #14 Kuerten.

Pete SAMPRAS, who topped the rankings for the first time by 12.04.1993, played for the first time in Hong Kong, defeating #71 Simian in the first round and eventually claiming the title over #2 Courier.

Andre AGASSI, finally, rose to the top spot in the ATP rankings of 10.04.1995. His first event played was on the very same week he turned #1, in Tokyo. He beat #103 Ho in the second round out of a bye, and made it all the way to the final, losing then to #15 Courier.

 

(Of course, I selected some of the most recent players to turn into #1 and Agassi/Sampras. There are 25 guys to analyse, and that’s a bit too much – at least for the this post. Who knows one day?)

Uff, that’s it. Can Nole be the first player in a good while to win his first tournament as #1?

And… I hope you liked it 😉

Grading the Grass

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.

 

The Good:

 

– 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.

 

The Bad:

 

– 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.

Tough times, eh, Tommy?

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.

 

Evolution!

Be honest: Don't you just LOVE these pictures?

 

Very pleased to write this post. That’s because the last time I had seen Roddick in action, he was breaking racquets, imploding, arguing and putting up some stupid play calls. In-between tantrums and disappointed stares, Roddick lost to random qualifier Flavio Cipolla in Madrid, in three sets. That match led me to write the post ‘Tragedy’.

Very well. After that, he lost to Simon in the early hours of the morning (local time) in Rome, then skipped the rest of the clay season, returned in Queen’s, winning three matches which, unfortunately, I could not watch. I’m also glad I didn’t wake up early to watch the semifinal v. Murray, but oh well. Here and now.

It’s Wimbledon, maybe Roddick’s last big goal. I tuned in to watch the last turn on Centre, vs. the big Romanian dude, Victor Hanescu. Not a big threat if you look to their H2H, but with Roddick, you can never know for sure.

And what did I see? Something that filled my eyes with tears of joy. I saw evolution, right before my eyes. I saw a way more focused Andy, a way more smart Roddick. Don’t know who’s the genius who woke him up, but I’m forever grateful – as long as he keeps the changes, that is.

Roddick changed the gameplan. The lovely stubborn probably saw he was making a mistake insisting in such stupid strategy. He finally realized that serving, pushing and forcing UFEs, serving-and-volleying all the time and the backhand slices, followed by lousy net approaches won’t buy him a Ferrari. Or a Dodge. Or whatever pleases the Omaha Kid.

What a saw today was a reminiscent of ‘old’ Roddick: MONSTER serve, followed by a MONSTER forehand, always looking for the winners. Of course, the volleys and variations are still there, as a complement. In other words, he serves and volleys, yes. He uses the backhand slices, yes. But they are the extra sauce, not the stuffing. See my point? He finally realized his old style won’t get him The Championships. And that’s BEYOND AWESOME.

If playing Hanescu – and not a most favored opponent – helped? Maybe. But in the end, he won 6/4, 6/3, 6/4, without getting broken a single time. He next faces Feliciano Lopez – whose serve can be tricky, despite their H2H (favors Rodney 7-nothing). But if Roddick plays just like he did today…

 

PS: I’ve launched a new hashtag: #600Countdown, a watch for Roddick’s 600 career wins. He is now only 24 away.

PS2: Ahead of Wimbledon, Roddick had 19,590mil in career prize money (US Dollars). By reaching the third round he will earn, at least, 34,300 pounds. I don’t know how much this is in dollars, but he is also close to 20 million in career earnings.

The light in the end of the buzz-kill

I had it all planed. Really did. I was ready to write a post – this would be the one – talking about how really amazing grass is. The background, of course, would be Roddick and Ana reaching finals this week, despite having fairly disappointing seasons (Ana more than Andy?).

But, well, sigh. I’m like, an ultra-jinxing machine – everything I say, sports related, happens. But backwards. That’s why I don’t bet.

Yes, we are keeping an eye on you, Andrew

They both had tough matchups ahead. Roddick played Andy Murray in London, but oh well, this is Queen’s. And Roddick. They are naturally attracted. Or at least used to be. But what happened today was a beatdown. 6/3, 6/1 for the Scot, who dropped only nine serving points the entire match, not facing a single break point and converting 2-of-6. While Roddick served at 83%. Didn’t see what happened, and looking at these stats, I’m completely ok with that, even glad I didn’t. Murray now goes on to play Tsonga in the final. If he wins, will become the first British player to win multiple Queen’s titles in 80 or 90 years. Not exaggerating.

As for Ivanovic, well. Fact #1, she had strong showings throughout the week: bloodshed against Tatishvilli, straight sets win against a tricky Rebecca Marino and got through also in two against Mirjana Lucic. Fact #2, and we gotta accept that, she didn’t face any “big” opponent – and even though this is WTA and Ana has had some trouble against player she should have easily beaten, the wins she had in Birmingham are the “expected” ones. Quite not enough to say she’s back. (the same way we still could not say that, even if she had won the title)

 

You can kill my buzz whenever you want, Dani. And call me too. Whenever you want. But wait, that's not an engagement ring, is it?

And Hantuchova proved that. Dani recovered from a one set down, while holding Ivanovic to a ridiculous, Roddick, Federer-like rate of BP success. The third set finished with a 6/2 triumph for the Slovak, who goes on to play her first grass final.

So, well, my beloved grass screwed my first idea of post. It did not bring a new life for Rodderino or Ivanovic – not really – although them both had a great week. That’s how life works. Being a bitch, I mean.

However, silver linings: right after Hantuchova killed the last hope I had to go on with my primary idea, Birmingham gave me a new subject to write about:

 

Yes, she's lovely. Yes, her smile is adorable. But hold on with all these "ZOMG, SHE SMILES, LET'S CREAT A CHURCH FOR HER" thing.

Sabine Lisicki. The X-Peria hot shot, who blossomed during the 2009 grass season, but suffered with an injury-plagued 2010, eventually falling outside the top-200, and returned this year as a fan favorite, beat Peng Shuai today, in two easy sets, to reach her 4th career final – the first on grass.

And then, her DelPo-comeback continues – from #216 in March to the top-80, maybe even better. And Wimbledon is just around the corner… the same grass that introduced her to the world a couple years ago.

So, yeah, thanks to Sabine I can say what I wanted to from the very first moment I thought about writing this post: The grass. It is magic 🙂

 

PS: Albeit Dani and Murray killed my buzz, I’m far from hating them.