Tennis Tid Bits: The Djok's on Roddick, Rafa and Roger

BlogHer Original Post

Cross Posted at Megan's Minute

Novak Djokovic beat the bejeezes out of the top three players in the world last
weekend and won the $2.45 million Rogers Cup in Montreal. His
pummeling of Andy Roddick in the quarters and Rafael Nadal in the semis was just a prelude to his humongous win over Roger Federer...that's right, Roger Federer, in yesterday's final. He played two magnificent
tie-breaks to beat the number one player in the world, 7-6 (7-2), 2-6,
7-6 (7-2).

"Especially against Federer in the final, to win those tiebreaks was incredible," Djokovic said. "I managed to win these tiebreaks against a player who probably has the best record in tiebreaks, who is the strongest player mentally in the world right now."

Uncharacteristically Roger's play in the first set was spotty and
filled with unforced errors and Djokovic took advantage of Federer's
slow start firing forehand bullets down the line more times than I
could count. Djokovic kept his nerve rock steady throughout the match
even after he was broken at 4-2 in the third, and he used his foot
speed to track down what might have been Federer winners against most
other players. He played to his backhand to great effect and rattled
Federer when it counted.

One magnificent game at the end of the first set, Federer was up 6-5
and 40-Love. Djokovic came back and broke Federer after numerous
deuces and lost set points for Federer. He finished that game with a
series of forehand cross court shots, pinning Federer in the corner
before unloading one of those patented bullets down the line for the
break.

There's a new kid in town and that's no Djok.

Serbia was also nicely represented on the women's side at the East West Bank Classic in California. Ana Ivanovic put away Nadia Petrova

7-5, 6-4 to win her fourth tournament of the year. The French Open
finalist also boosted herself to number four in the world in the
process. Her win over Petrova was pretty routine in comparison to her
win over Jelena Jankovic in the semis 4-6, 6-3, 7-5. She was behind most of that match, a point away from being 1-5 down in the third set when she turned up the heat and had Jankovic looking unusually subdued. Even after Jankovic had four match points in the third set, Ivanovic played fearlessly, saving
one match point with a tricky little drop shot volley.

The marquee name of the tournament, Maria Sharapova had to pull out of the semis against Petrova due to a "left lower leg strain." She's also pulled out of this week's Rogers Cup in Toronto so we won't be seeing Maria again until she's defending her title in Flushing, New York.


Random Thoughts:

Serena Williams has committed to playing the Pilot PenTournament in New Haven the week before the US Open. This will be her first time playing the Connecticut tournament that big sis Venus has won four times. I would love nothing better than to go and see her play but I probably won't for two reasons.

The first, I hate the Pilot Pen Tournament. Why you might ask?
Because a couple of years ago I bought tickets to a final between Venus and Lindsay Davenport for myself and my cousins. We piled into my car nice and early for the two hour drive to New Haven. When we were about half an hour away from the exit for the New Haven tennis facility, we became jammed in stop
and go traffic that lasted until we got to the entrance gates. There
was no signage to tell us where we were or how far away we were and
that just added to the frustration level.

We then had to park in a dusty field which seemed about a hundred
miles from the tennis stadium. We then waited with a bunch of other
hot, pissed off people for shuttle buses to take us to the stadium.
Then we had to walk another couple of miles in the unrelenting heat to
finally get to the stadium and our seats. By the time we sat down, the
two set final was deep in the second set and we saw about twenty
minutes of tennis before the match was over. Venus won by the way.

I swore on that day that I would never, ever darken the door of the Pilot Pen Tournament again.

The second reason, when the Pilot Pen became a co-ed tournament,
they accomplished that by stealing the Hamlet Cup from Long Island.
The Hamlet Cup was a first class men's tournament and a nice place to
see men's tennis the week before the US Open.

Now as a fan, something that has always bugged the heck out of me is the fact that I've never seen Serena Williams play in person. I've seen Venus play several times and it was great (except of course at the Pilot Pen).

But year after year, I go to the US Open, sometimes several days at
a time and I have yet to see one of the greatest women players ever
born. That bothers me. That bothers me a lot. But I don't think it
bothers me enough to make another ill-fated trip to New Haven.

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