1. 5:00 a.m. is a disgusting time to wake up. And moving right along …
2. People can be silly about Roger Federer. I heard no less than three different tennis commentators talking up how difficult of a time Federer would have opening against qualifier Pablo Carreño Busta. An hour and 20 minutes later, Federer was through to the second round.
Federer might not be what he once was, but we should probably all take a step back from the ledge and remember that he’s the No. 3-ranked player in the world for a reason.
3. Yulia Putintseva is going to provide us with entertainment for years and years to come. Not only are her on-court mannerisms and celebrations hilariously over-the-top, but the 18-year-old’s also got big talent. More TV courts, please.
4. If this report is true, and John Tomic can actually buy a ticket and show up for his son’s matches at Roland Garros, the ITF and RG should be ashamed. Why bother to ban him at all if he can just show up anyway? A ban is useless and basically just a publicity stunt if it can’t be enforced.
1. Lleyton Hewitt tries as hard as he can, but things don’t seem to get any better for him. I remember waking up this morning and seeing this scoreline: Gilles Simon led Lleyton Hewitt 3-6, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 5-0. I felt bad for Rusty, as he was about to get bageled in the deciding set after having that two set lead. I headed to the bathroom to take a shower (which wasn’t long at all), got dressed, and came down to my in-laws’ living room. The TV was on, and I saw Gilles Simon on the TV, which I found odd – in my mind, he had already wrapped up the match. Then I saw that Rusty had somehow gotten back on serve, and was trying to even the set at five games all. I found that remarkable … though the spirited comeback would last only a few more minutes. After Hewitt finally held, Simon held at love, and in what seemed like no time at all, was up triple match point on Hewitt’s serve at 6-5. Shortly after, the match ended. Hewitt is now 7-9 for the year, and he has only won consecutive matches once (at Indian Wells, where he lost in the third round to Stan Wawrinka). He’s ranked at No. 86 in the world, and one has to wonder just how much “fun” it is to go through a year like this at this point of his career.
2. Babolat makes some of the worst tennis commercials on the face of the Earth. Today I saw some strange atrocity that involved these elements: 1) Sam Querrey and Justin Gimelstob trying to deliver some convoluted dialogue. 2) Both of them lying down on an air mattress in the middle of a tennis court.
It was strange, and it made my head hurt. Maybe they should’ve just had Querrey play tennis in the dark with Jerzy Janowicz.
3. Speaking of Sam, Ted Robinson said today, just before Querrey wrapped up his win over the slumping Lukas Lacko (who hasn’t won an ATP-level match since the Australian Open and is currently on a four-match losing streak that includes two first round losses in Challengers) that this would be Sam’s second win at Roland Garros. Ever. And he was very right. You can see the gory details here.
The point is … I didn’t know Querrey’s record at the French was so sad (1-6 all time, and the only win is actually decent – against Kohlschreiber in 2011). Sam moves well for his size, and I somehow have in my mind that he can play decently on the surface. I mean, Querrey does have an ATP title on clay (Belgrade in 2010). But he has lost significantly more clay matches than he’s won (25 wins and 38 losses). Hopefully he has a good run here – he’s set to play Jan Hayek in the second round. The opportunity looms.
4. Beer people are simply great people. I was in New Hope, Pennsylvania this afternoon, and across the bridge from the charming little town is another charming little town, in a different state: Lambertville, New Jersey. I was with my wife and my mother-in-law, and we decided on a whim to stroll across the river and find this brewery we had heard good things about, since it seemed like a neat place to visit (and I don’t need many more reasons to go visit a brewery). The brewery is called River Horse Brewing Company, and they were open for tastings. Their deal was simple: you got to try four of their beers for one dollar. My problem was that I had no cash whatsoever, so I approached the busy counter and asked one of the guys pouring the brews if they took credit cards. He said he did, but that I didn’t need to bother: I could pay them the dollar “next time.” I proceeded to sample away, and fell in love with their Tripel Horse, which strangely enough, is the brewery’s best selling beer (a Tripel is usually a specialty beer that I don’t associate with mass consumption). Naturally, I ended up buying a six pack and a couple of beer glasses.
1. Monica Puig is going to be a thing.
Of all the young women I’ve watched and talked to recently, I think I’m the most impressed with Monica Puig. She took out No. 11 seed Nadia Petrova today in a dramatic three-set match, and I wrote a little about my impressions of her from Charleson. Keep an eye on her. She’s feisty.
2. Lleyton Hewitt and Venus Williams get to play for as long as they want to as long as they fight like that.
Seriously, I was so incredibly heartened by watching those two champions give it their all out there today, even though this is not their best surface and their best days are long behind them. Hewitt led Simon by two sets before getting taken to 0-5 in the fifth set. He then fought all the way back to 5-5 in the fifth, before losing 5-7. Still, it was an incredible effort.
And Venus Williams, who basically doesn’t have a serve at all right now because of her back issues, left everything she had out on court today against Ula Radwanska. Sounds like her press conference was a great one afterwards, and very, very emotional.
Venus Williams,close to tearing up in presser, says lower back painful,can’t serve normally but still plans on doubles with Serena #RG13
— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) May 26, 2013
Venus says it hurts too much when she tries to serve hard: “Strategy was more or less to put the ball in, and that’s very difficult 4 me…
— Matt Cronin (@TennisReporters) May 26, 2013
…because that’s not who I am.But that’s all I had.” But really wanted 2 play RG even though ‘been very challenging injury 4 me’
— Matt Cronin (@TennisReporters) May 26, 2013
Venus: Im strong and Im a fighter. I don’t think I’m just playing for me now.I think I’m playing for a lot of people who haven’t felt well
— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) May 26, 2013
3. Ula Radwanska is good on clay.
The story of the match is going to be the heart and decline of Venus Williams, but make no mistake, Ula Radwanska played a PHENOMENAL match today. She has some of Aga’s variety, but more power and weight of shot. She’s not as fast, fit, or creative as her sister, but there’s still a lot to like about her game on this surface.
4. Andy Murray is just like us.
His tweets from today were AMAZING, and I love that he not only loves tennis but also women’s tennis enough to tweet about it during his injury layoff. He’s a true tennis nerd, and I adore him for it.
5. Sam Querrey can sometimes be good at the tennis.
He won a match today, and seems to have had an attitude adjustment, so that’s certainly worth noting.