1. It wasn’t pretty, but Victoria Azarenka stayed alive at the US Open, beating Misaki Doi in three sets. If she had lost today, she would’ve dropped out of the top 30. It’s hard to believe how far she’s fallen since playing that incredible final at the US Open last year against Serena Williams.
There’s little to like in her game right now–her movement isn’t very good, she’s making more errors than usual, and her serve is erratic–but even at her peak, we often saw her fight through rust caused by her constant injuries. I doubt she lasts long in New York this year, but after the way she played today, there’s nowhere to go but up … I hope.
2. This is priceless:
the girl that's giving domi fits right now, folks pic.twitter.com/xQhOJFcoDW
— Jordan (@heelsrule1988) August 26, 2014
Here’s more on CiCi Bellis, who beat Dominika Cibulkova in three sets, becoming the youngest player to win a match at the US Open since Anna Kournikova.
Apparently, Bellis was listed as a Bieber fan on her U.S. Open bio sheet. She cleared the air in an interview with The Tennis Channel. “I don’t know where you got that. I mean, he’s okay. I liked him a lot when I was younger.”
3. Great win for Bellis, sure, but sort yourself out, Domi. Her tennis has been dire lately.
4. American wild card Jared Donaldson acquitted himself well against Gael Monfils, despite losing in straights. The 17-year-old has a well-rounded game with a decent serve, big forehand, and a backhand capable of doing damage. He never really made inroads against a steady Monfils, but in a year or two, I could see him as a mainstay in the top 100, with potential to go higher.
5. Enjoy Roger Federer hitting Mad Dog Matosevic in the butt with a tweener:
6. Kudos to qualifier Borna Coric for continuing his good run by beating a spent Lukas Rosol in straight sets today. I wish it would’ve been on a TV court. He gets Victor Estrella-Burgos next.
1. Well, if I were Santiago Gonzalez’s wife I would have to kill him, but this is the funniest Ice Bucket Challenge I’ve seen:
2. Dear God, Sveta. Dear God. /rant
3. Over at Bleacher Report I always do a draw breakdown and in a span of like two hours have to thoroughly analyze both draws and give my predictions from the quarterfinals on. This doesn’t leave much time for deep thinking.
For the sake of laughs, here are my picks this year:
Serena Williams (No. 1) vs. Ana Ivanovic (No. 8)
Petra Kvitova (No. 3) vs. Ekaterina Makarova (No. 17)
Jelena Jankovic (No. 9) vs. Agnieszka Radwanska (No. 4)
Caroline Wozniacki (No. 10) vs. Simona Halep (No. 2)
Williams vs. Kvitova
Radwanska vs. Wozniacki
Williams vs. Wozniacki
Novak Djokovic (No. 1) vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (No. 9)
Stan Wawrinka (No. 3) vs. Milos Raonic (No. 5)
David Ferrer (No. 4) vs. Feliciano Lopez (No. 19)
Roger Federer (No. 2) vs. Grigor Dimitrov (No. 7)
Djokovic vs. Raonic
Ferrer vs. Dimitrov
Djokovic vs. Dimitrov
We all know not to take predictions too seriously, right? And we all know that picking against your favorite isn’t something that you should take super personally? Okay, good. Moving on.
4. The science of grunting!
Maybe not as much as you’d think. In a recent study, ten Division I tennis players (five men, five women) were asked to hit forehand and backhand shots while either grunting or not grunting. Each hitting session consisted of five 2-minute periods with a 1-minute break in between. During the experiment, players wore a portable device that measured metabolic activity while ball velocity was measured with a radar gun. Interestingly, heart rate and oxygen consumption for the two hitting conditions weren’t significantly different. But ball velocity was. When players grunted, they hit the ball nearly 4 percent harder. Grunting, researchers discovered, allowed players to hit harder without having to work harder.
5. Jack Sock had a good draw and had been in pretty good form this summer, so seeing him have to withdraw against Andujar with an injury was such a big disappointment. I’ve really got my eyes on Ryan Harrison and especially Steve Johnson, who are both playing their first-round matches today. Come on, boys. Do it for #merica.
6. 1999, you guys. 1999! 1999. *never gets out of bed again*
7. Women–stop being your own worst enemy. Think before you speak! It’s awful that anyone would say this anymore, particularly a fellow tennis pro. Someone, anyone, have a talk with Lauren Davis. (Preferably BJK, but hell, I’ll take anyone at this point.)
@linzsports the "dude" narrative is not just about Serena. After losing to Samantha Stosur, Lauren Davis said Stosur plays like "a guy."
— Howard Bryant (@hbryant42) August 27, 2014
8. Random tweets I favorited:
Thanks for all the kind words today. I had like two buttloads of fun.
— Tim Smyczek (@timsmyczek) August 27, 2014
It's amazing how much the underdogs get mocked when tennis is shown on TV. Never seems to happen in golf..
— Rajeev Ram (@RajeevRam) August 27, 2014
@linzsports first year she doesn't win a match in a Slam. In her 57 straight slam played. Sad.
— Rossana Capobianco (@Rossana_Capo) August 26, 2014
Was happy to be back on Center Court. Thank you to all of you for your support!!! Oops funny pic Lol pic.twitter.com/v5l4DEvAVR
— Maria Kirilenko (@mkirilenko) August 26, 2014
It's very nice for Bellis and all, but if she was that good, Andy Murray would have tweeted about her already. I'm just saying.
— Hannah Wilks (@newballsplease) August 26, 2014
The moment you know CiCi Bellis has made it: Italian journalists are frantically asking about her ancestry to claim her as their own.#usopen
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) August 26, 2014
HAHAHAHAHAH RT @FortyDeuceTwits: Ana Ivanovic was asked what tennis rule she’d change: I think some players take too long between points.
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) August 26, 2014
— Mithi (@MithiTennis) August 26, 2014