Roland Garros Day 10: Quarter Finals Begin

Ten days have past and we now reach the business part of the tournament. The quarter finalist have been chosen, the field is getting smaller and the competition is getting tougher. Tennis fans are in for a treat today with three quarter final matches and a fourth round match which will conclude today.

The Conclusion Of Murray Vs Troicki

The match stands at two sets all at 4-6 4-6 6-3 6-2. The deciding set will be played today which will determine the final quarterfinalist of the mens draw. Murray has fought a spectacular comeback against the number fifteenth seed Troicki. Andy has played through the right ankle injury which prevented him to play his best tennis and in turn, losing the first two sets. Troicki lead a break in the third set which saw the likelihood of Murray’s departure more likely than ever. However, he fought through and found himself playing the shots he’s renowned for. He equaled the match at two sets all when the match was suspended. The two men would have to wait another day to continue there match.

Ankle injury seems to be taking it's toll

Troicki fighting for his first quarter final.

Murray should win this match due to the extra confidence of winning those last two sets and extra recovery time for his ankle.

Murray digs deep.

Judging on the past few days, it seems delayed matches have been a current trend. It started off with Djokovic Vs Del Potro, then we had Monfils Vs Ferrer and now we have Murray Vs Troicki. The question is, should scheduling be fixed to assure all matches finish before dark? With the exception of the Isner Vs Mahut which was something else. Also maybe Roland Garros should actually apply light in the stadium so matches can finish at night.

Federer Vs Monfils

The match which will determine the semi final opponent of Novak Djokovic. Federer comes in this match after playing a great first week and still yet to drop a set. Monfils comes in after winning a marathon match the day before against David Ferrer. Federer has the advantage physically and mentally in this match, even with a victory against Monfils in the French open in 2008 and 2009. The crowd will be behind Monfils today, however I believe they’ll show respect towards Federer in this match.

Effortless tennis by Federer.

The crowd all on their feet for Monfils.

I predict Federer in straight sets once again, though i’ll support Monfils. Federer will be a tough match up for Djokovic, especially with Djokovic fighting for equalling history.

Schiavone Vs Pavlyuchenkova

Pavlyuchenkova has finally made her breakthrough in a grand slam after shocking number 3 seed Vera Zvonereva in the previous round. The teenager faces the veteran Schiavone who beat Jankovic in the thrilling sets. Both women will fight for each point and attempt to out hit the other. Schiavone is likely to have the edge due to her grand slam experience, her current form and the possible support she’ll have from the crowd. I predict Schiavone in two sets.

Schiavone celebrates victory against Jankovic.

Kuznetsova Vs Bartoli

Many bets have predicted a Wozniacki and Stosur quarter. However, these two have taken advantage of their upsets. Bartoli has been a crowd favourite in the tournament. The question is, how does she use this support today against her opponent. Kuznetsova will be facing off against Bartoli with the confidence of winning the tournament in 2009. Although the crowd will be behind Bartoli, my prediction is that Kuznetsova will make quick work with the French woman in two sets and set up a possible encounter with Schiavone.

Marion Bartoli is the last french woman left in the french open.

Fabio Fognini: Man Of The Day

As the whole world is focused on the Swiss maestro Roger Federer on centre court, meanwhile on court Suzanne Lenglen, a battle has taken place between two unseeded players.

Representing Spain, we have Albert Montanes, thirty years old, ranked number 38 and fighting for his first ever grand slam quarter final.

Albert Montanes fighting for his first grand slam quarter final.

On the other side of the net we have Italian Fabio Fognini, twenty four years old, ranked 47 in the world and just reached the fourth round of a gran slam for the fist time.

Fognini fights Montanes for first quarter final.

The match was scheduled as the first in Suzanne Lenglen. Many were focused instead on Vera Zvonereva who lost her fourth round match today against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. By this time, the match had already reached the fourth set which was won by the Italian, leveling it at two sets all and the beginning of the fifth and final set.

Albert Montanes began to take control as he lead 5-2 in the final set. However, he failed to take advantage of this lead as Fognini fought back to equal 5-5. Both men then continued to hold their games comfortably, with Montanes fighting for a few match points.

As Fognini served at 6-7, 15-30, two points from defeat, he suddenly began to feel the unbearable pain of cramps in his left thigh. A controversial decision was made as he received a medical time out mid-game and fighting for serve. It’s interesting to note that medical timeouts for cramps in no longer allowed.

Fabio Fognini in obvious pain.

However Fabio continued to fight back, only restricted to move side by side. He faced numerous match points which were wasted by Montanes and also made a large number of foot faults. The crowd were divided, some were supporting his fighting spirit, other accused him of cheating.

After blowing several match points, Montanes lost his service game which put Fognini ahead at 10-9. After 4 hours and 22 minutes, he served through the pain to stun the thirty year old and win his match 4-6 6-4 3-6 6-3 11-9. Up next, Fognini will face Novak Djokovic in his first grand slam quarter final. This makes him the first Italian man into the final 8 of Roland Garros since 1995.

Fognini battles through the pain to win his match.

The Italian committed a total of 104 errors in the match. He admitted after the match that he may be unable to compete in his quarter final match saying “I am in a lot of pain. It’s not cramp, I felt the muscle stretch. I have 48 hours to recover. I don’t know about the next match. I will go and see the doctor and then see what happens.”

Many fans have shown support for Fognini, while other have labeled him as a drama queen. For me, Fognini fought hard and showed his fierce fighting spirit which he brings to the game. In my opinion, this has been the best match so far in this years french open. I’m excited to see what he’ll bring to the ATP tour in the future. Although it’s certain Djokovic will win, i’ll be going for the underdog Fognini in their next match. Good Luck Fabio Fognini in your next match and your future in your tennis career.

French Open Mens Draw Analysis: One Week Later

Unlike the women’s draw, the mens side has been more solid and consistent. With the exception of a few absences and some pretty bad predictions from last week, the big four still remain in contention.

Quarter 1: Nadal

Previous Prediction: Nadal Vs Simon

Nadal hasn’t gone past his first two matches as smoothly as we hoped. Though he proved us wrong by an easy victory against Antonio Veic. He now faces Ivan Ljubicic who defeated an unwell Verdasco. Despite the potential challenge, Nadal will find his way into the quarters. Meanwhile, the following match promises to be battle with two time runner up Robin Soderling and home favourite and french man Gilles Simon. Soderling has the experience, but Simon will have the support.

Nadal Vs Simon

I still stand by my prediction even though Soderling is the better bet. I’m sure Nadal will win here.

Semi Finalist: Nadal

Quarter 2: Murray

Previous Prediction: Murray Vs Melzer

This section has completely opened up for Murray with the defeat of Jurgen Melzer. In the previous match, he badly rolled his ankle and says it still ached during his press conference. If this really does affect Murrays game, we will see a new semi finalist from here. It’s likely to be Victor Troicki who has to get past Murray to equal his best result. This is very difficult to predict with the injured ankle. Argentinian Juan Ignacio Chela and qualifier Alejandro Falla inhabit the other side of this quarter. Both have taken advantage of the open draw and one will achieve their first quarter final in a grand slam.

Troicki Vs Falla

Troicki may take advantage of Murray’s situation while Falla who almost knocked out Roger Federer in Wimbledon will over Chela.

Semi Finalist: Troicki

Quarter 3: Federer

Previous Prediction: Federer Vs Monfils

The quiet man of this years french open, Federer is fine to play with the spotlight on his two higher ranked opponents. He faces compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka who upset the number 9 seed Jo Wilfred Tsonga in a grueling five set match. In the other section is David Ferrer Vs sliderman Gael Monfils. Both have played well this year and have rised in the rankings.

Federer Vs Monfils

Monfils is powerful on clay, but I believe Federer will over come him in this match.

Semi Finalist: Federer

Quarter 4: Djokovic

Previous Prediction: Djokovic Vs Haas

I look back laughing at my prediction. I guess I expected too much of the returning veteran. Djokovic has proven his status as the favourite by defeating Juan Martin Del Potro. He faces another tough matchup against Richard Gasquet and the french crowd. I believe Novak should win this match and will likely win against Fabio Fognini or Alberto Montanes.

Djokovic Vs Fognini

Semi Finalist: Djokovic

Semi Finals:

Nadal Vs Troicki

It should be Murray, but i’ve changed my mind to Troicki after the sprained ankle. I’m sure Nadal will win this in three or possibly four sets.

Finalist: Nadal

Federer Vs Djokovic

An interesting match up, particularly on clay.I trust Novaks streak will still  go on after this match.

Finalist: Djokovic

Grand Final:

Djokovic Vs Nadal

This will be the match of the year. The streak will either end or continue after this tournament. In my opinion, Nadal will be the one ending it. In a grueling five set match I predict the winner will be….

 

Champion: Djokovic

French Open Women’s Analysis: One Week Later

The womens draw has been far from boring. There are surprises from all areas in the draw. It’s started off with the absence of the Williams sisters and followed by a string of surprising upsets. As we go into the final week of the tournament, let’s see which of the final sixteen women will take home the second grand slam of the year.

Quarter 1:

Previous prediction: Kuznetsova Vs Stosur

I was obviously wrong here. I was so sure Stosur would get this far into the tournament. The remaining players left in this draw are Daniela Hantuchova, Svetlana Kuznetova, Marion Bartoli and Gisela Dulko. After winning the French open two years ago, Svetlana seems sure to win this quarter. However, her next opponent Daniela Hantuchova is coming in with sky high confidence and playing amazing tennis after ousting the world number one Caroline Wozniacki. Whether she can maintain this performance is what we’ll find out today. Home favourite Bartoli is the only French woman left in the draw and has also dug deep to get past her previous match against rising star Julia Goerges. She faces Gisela Dulko who defeated last years runner up Sammantha Stosur in three sets. This match could go either way, but as much as my support goes for Dulko, I’m seeing Bartoli sailing into the quarters.

Kuznetsova Vs Bartoli

The French crowd will really be behind Bartoli. But Kuznetsova seems more superior in these grand slam situations.

Semi Finalist: Kuznetsova

Quarter 2: 

Previous Prediction: Zvonereva Vs Schiavone

My two picks for this quarter are still alive and so are their main competitors. World number three Vera Zvonereva will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the fourth round. Zvonereva comes into this next match with a victory against Pavlyuchenova on clay this year as well as her grand slam experience. Francesca Schiavone will face Jelena Jankovic in what promises to be a hard fought match between these two fighters. Both women have the game and the experience to claim victory. Jankovic has won their last three encounters with last being on clay. Although the stats favour the Serb, my pick for this match is Schiavone, which is based purely on her improvement and her current form since those previous matches.

Zvonereva Vs Schiavone

This is another interesting math up for Schiavone. Zvonareva has won all their previous encounters, which is why my decision is pretty controversial. I believe Schiavone will come through in a tough match. But as I write this Zvonereva just lost. xD

Semi Finalist: Schiavone

Quarter 3:

Previous: Azarenka Vs Li Na

My prediction is still possible but the only thing stopping this is Petra Kvitova. Kvitova is coming in with a huge rise in the rankings in the past year. She faces Australian open finalist Li Na who has played very solid tennis so far. This match could go either way. Azarenka is facing a surprising opponent Ekaterina Makarova who defeated 16th seed Kaia Kanepi in the previous round.

Azarenka Vs Li Na

Azarenka should take this one out because of her current for, but Li Na will be challenging her during every shot of the match.

Semi Finalist: Azarenka

Quarter 4:

Previous: Clijsters Vs Sharapova

Early round upsets has been common in the past grand slams, but the upset of Clijsters was really unexpected. Sharapova faces the polish player Agnieszka Radwanska who will take her every inch of the courts surface. On the other match, we have rising star Andrea Petkovic taking on Maria Kirilenko. Kirilenko has taken advantage of Clijsters upset and now finds herself into the fourth round. This will be the battle of the groundstrokes, but I believe we’ll be seeing the Petko dance at the end of this.

Sharapova Vs Petkovic

Petkovic defeated Sharapova in Australian Open but Sharapova got revenge in Miami. It’s difficult to predict, but I’ll stick by Sharapova.

Semi Finalist: Sharapova

Semi Finals:

Kuznetsuva Vs Schiavone

This is a replay of the epic match which took place in Australia, which went for four hours and ended at 16-14 with victory for Schiavone. Hopefully we have a replay here, but both women will ensure that doesn’t happen. It’s hard to predict as they’re the last two winners. My pick is on who I think will play better on the day.

Winner: Schaivone

Azarenka Vs Sharapova

Prepare your earplugs! This promises to be a loud one. I’m looking forward to this. It’ll be Azarenka’s first semi and Sharapova’s first since the injury. I would think Azarenka but Sharapova has recently defeated her on clay. For now, this one’s a lottery pick.

Winner: Azarenka

Grand Final

Schiavone Vs Azarenka

I still stand by my first prediction, though Kuznetsuva and Sharapova could be here instead. I reckon Schiavone will have that extra edge over Azarenka as she’s already won a grand slam.

Champion: Schiavone

A Look At The First Week Of Roland Garros 2011

There’s nothing more exciting than the first week of a grand slam. For me, this is mainly due to the busy schedule and the amount of matches that are available during the day. The first week of this year French open has been entertaining and yet surprising. The bets placed on players have now been questioned, particularly in the women’s draw. We’ve seen the top two seeds and last year’s runner up in the women’s field defeated. We’ve also seen the king of clay Rafael Nadal struggle to win his matches. The second week will be the business part of the tournament and it will sort out the champions from the tennis players. Before that happens, let’s look back at the memorable moments of the first week.

In the women’s draw, there have been some stunning upsets and some new stars born. I would like to go back to the very first match between Razzano and Gajdosova. This was a very sentimental match as both women have lost their husbands in the past few weeks. Jarmila Gajdosova divorced her husband weeks before the tournament and Virginie Razzano sadly lost her husband to a brain tumor. It’s unfortunate that these two had to meet each other in the first round but I would like to congratulate both women, particularly Razzano on coming back after losing so much.

Virginie Razzano bravely returns after the death of her husband.

Another memorable moment was the match between Lisicki and Zvonareva. Lisicki, a former Wimbledon quarter finalist, is returning from injury and a slump in her ranking and has given the world number three a run for her money. In this match, Lisicki has impressed and shown the potential of what she can bring to the game. It was a close and it was a long match. In the end Vera clinched the match after coming back match point at 5-2 down in the third set. A devastated Lisicki had to be taken off the court on a stretcher due to injury. I hope in the future that Lisicki can get fitter so she can really perform to her ability.

Zvonereva defeats a devastated Lisicki.

We’ve also seen a number of upsets in the women’s draw. Sharapova and Zvonareva were lucky to find themselves coming back to win their tough second round matches. However, Clijsters, Stosur and Wozniacki weren’t so lucky. Clijsters had a convincing lead in her match against Arantxa Rus, but she failed to maintain the lead and ended up losing the match. Meanwhile, the 2010 runner up Sammantha Stosur started off on a bad note by losing the first set. She looked like she was coming back after a quick second set win and an early break in the third set. Dulko continued to play consistently as Stosur began to play numerous unforced errors which in the end cost her the match and possibly, her place in the top 10.

Clijsters digs deep but loses her second round match.

Finally, we’ve seen the world number one Caroline Wozniacki demolished by Daniela Hantuchova. This is an upset that many didn’t see coming. Hantuchova in the past has a history of blowing big leads, but today she kept her level and kept her calm when it really mattered to achieve her equal best place in the tournament. All these upsets have caused the draw to be more open than it was before. This year we could see someone unexpected to win the whole thing, just like Schiavone last year. It will be interesting to see what becomes of the womens field in the next week.

Hantuchova celebrate victory.

We now move to the men’s draw where it’s been more consistent with the top players. We’ve still seen upsets from Berdych, Melzer and Tsonga in the early rounds, but the main competition and threats still remain in play.

Federer has been an underrated pick to win this year. With the focus now on Rafa and Novak, we now see Roger playing under the radar for once. Roger is now into the fourth round without dropping a single set. Nadal on the other hand had an unfortunate first round match up with John Isner. The match required him to fight hard as he faced defeat two sets to one down. In the end, he was able to claim victory over marathon man and big server John Isner. The second round match up was against compatriot Pablo Andujar who has taken fans by surprise by challenging Nadal on his dominant surface. He had great energy and self belief and has now made my list of favourite tennis players. Nadal has progressed now to the third round where he will meet Croatian Antonio Veic who knocked out Nickolay Davydenko in five sets. With the tough competition ahead in his draw, Nadal has to recover his form quickly to what we all expect from him for him to win the tournament.

Nadal celebrates a hard earned win.

Andy Murray has also been an underrated force in this tournament. Despite not being as strong on clay as his other three competitors, his draw has completely opened up with the defeat of number eight seed Jurgen Melzer. Murray will surely make the semis unless he plays terribly. He may not win the championship but he’ll be progressing far into the second week.

Finally, the red hot favourite player of the season and the big favourite to win is Novak Djokovic. Novak is coming in with a huge streak (not sure the exact number as every source tells something different). He’s coming in with a victory against Nadal on clay, which is reasonable for him to be picked as the favourite. But today, Djokovic now faces his biggest challenge in his third match encounter. Argentinean player Juan Martin Del Potro is his biggest threat to making the finals and ending his streak. The match currently stands at 6-3 3-6 and will continue later today. Whoever wins in my opinion will be in the final and likely to win the whole thing as well. For now, the epic battle will continue on court Suzanne Lenglen today.

Thumbs up from Djokovic.

The man who may end it all.

This concludes my look at the first week of Roland Garros. It’s been a really entertaining week and definitely worthwhile for me staying up in the cold to watch the matches. Tomorrow I will make a new analysis with some revised predictions on who will be the winners of the 2011 French open so be sure to follow my twitter account and subscribe to my blog. For now, enjoy the tennis and good luck to the players.

My Frustration with Technology, Particularly Apple Products

As the world goes by, day by day, brilliant and genius new ideas are made by curious minds which has shaped the world as we see it. New innovative and creative ideas have changed the way we live our lives. There’s one thing we can all agree on. Technology has made us so thankful to be a part of this current generation.

In this blog, I want to focus mainly on one of the biggest corporations in the world. That is Apple. We all know apple. Those of you reading will likely have an apple product or even be reading this blog from one. Or you could be one of those unlucky few that desire an ipod touch or iphone. Apple has brought a lot to this world. For one, it’s created a new generation of touch screen addicts with wires plugged in their ears. Also it’s superior to the rival companies which try to imitate its products. However one of the annoying things I find about apple is the constant release of new products every year.

Yes, before you judge me, I know apple develops new products everyday to satisfy the unlimited wants of people’s desires. However, for those people like me who don’t make much money (I’m a school student), these release of new products, although impressive, is pretty distressing to my self esteem, mostly for stupid reasons. I’ll tell you guys my story of my first apple product.

When the ipod touch first came out, I was so excited; I went straight to my parents and demanded they’d give it to me just like any spoilt child would. This begging for this awesome product lasted for a quite a while, I would actually say about two years. One day, I got the grades that would make my parents proud and because of that, on the Christmas of 2009, my parents decided to give me a 2nd generation ipod touch. I remember when I saw the apple logo as I ripped the wrapping paper. I felt like a kid who saw Santa Claus. I finally had my own and I finally could play those apps I see on my friends own gadgets.

I use my ipod everyday; in fact I still use the same one to this day. It’s gone through numerous downloads, quite a violent life (from dropping and sitting on it) and has endured thousands of my social networking conversations. Almost two years have gone and now things have changed. I still love my ipod and I can’t go a day without it. Throughout that period, apple seems to be on steroids as it produces one after another product after product. The Ipad, Iphone 3G, Iphone 4G, Ipod Touch 4G and the Ipad 2. After hearing from my friend today, I find out that they’ll now be releasing an Iphone 5 this year.

It’s annoying seeing my friends ipod touch 4G which has the ability to have the background placed behind the apps as well as the camera and inbuilt microphone and not to mention the quality of the screen. The world seems to be updating while I’m still on my 2G ipod with a black background, lackluster graphics (compared with the new ones) and no camera in sight. I always tell myself, why I didn’t wait an extra year so I could get these awesome features.

Many of you may feel the same way or maybe you’re laughing at me through your new updated apple products. Whatever you think, I reckon apple sucks when they release awesome new products with features that I can’t have xD. Eventually, apple could possibly go beyond. Maybe we’ll see apple tv’s, apple cars, apple houses or maybe an apple planet. Let’s appreciate the products we have now because in ten years time, we’ll be laughing over how crappy these devices are.

Thank you for reading my blog and I really appreciate the time you’ve spent here. 🙂 For more posts from me, you can subscribe to this blog and you can also follow my twitter account. Until next time, [insert killer catchphrase here].

French Open Womens Draw Analysis

Unlike the mens draw, the womens seem more unpredictable. There always seems to be a surprise in each grand slam.

Stosur and Schiavone return one year later after their grand slam breakthroughs, can they match the result they achieved last year? Wozniacki comes in as number one but still without a grand slam. Sharapova comes back with a win in Rome, can she bring home her first grand slam since her injury. Clijsters returns to Roland Garros since 2006 but this time with an injury. There’s many stories to be told in the womens draw so lets predict who will win this years french open.

Quarter 1: Wozniacki

Wozniacki faces a possibly difficult opener against Kimiko Date Krumm. Her biggest threats to the quarter final are Daniela Hantuchova, Aravane Rezai and 2009 french open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova. Wozniacki Vs Kuznetsova can go either way, but really depends on how Kuznetsova is on the day. Samantha Stosur is on the other half of the quarters with some great players in her section. However none of them seem to be good enough to challenge Sam to the quarters.

Prediction: Kuznetsova Vs Stosur

Quarter 2: Zvonareva

Zvonareva has been a surprise package in the past year reaching great results in the last three grand slams. She faces a tough match against Sabine Lisicki in the second round and Nadia Petrova in the third. Despite this, Zvonareva seems to be a shoe in for the quarters, provided she plays well. The bottom section contains last years champion Francesca Schiavone. There doesn’t seem to be much players that will be able to challenge her until the fourth round when she could either meet Flavia Pennetta or Jelena Jankovic. This could go either way but I still believe Schiavones fight will bring her through.

Prediction: Zvonareva Vs Schiavone

Quarter 3: Azarenka

Azarenka comes into this tournament in great form and with her highest ranking. Her challenge will come in the fourth round where she could possibly be matched up against 2008 champion Ana Ivanovic. Ivanovic seems to be getting her game back in the past year and even though she faces Makarova (who knocked her out of Australian Open) in the second round, i’m sure she’ll do well in Roland Garros. The top section features Chinas best hope Li Na. The draw wasn’t friendly to her this tournament as she faces Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in the first round. Also Patty Schnyder, Dominika Cibulkova and Petra Kvitova are all in her section of the draw which is unfortunate. Li Na has a mountain to climb on her way to the quarters.

Prediction: Azarenka Vs Li Na

Quarter 4: Clijsters

Clijsters comes in this years tournament returning from injury and it could hold her back in this years tournament. Her section contains players such as Andrea Petkovic, Jarmila Gajdosova, Virginie Razzano and Maria Kirilenko. If Clijsters plays well, she will surely go through the quarters. In the other half contains Maria Sharapova. Sharapova comes into this years french open in the best form since her return from injury. Her toughest competition on the way to the quarters are Yanina Wickmayer and Agnieszka Radwanska. If Sharapova continues her dominant and aggressive style, she’ll be unstoppable.

Prediction: Clijsters Vs Sharapova

Quarter Finals:

(Winner in bold)

Kuznetsova Vs Stosur

Zvonareva Vs Schiavone

Azarenka Vs Li Na

Clijsters Vs Sharapova

Semi Finals:

Stosur Vs Schiavone

Azarenka Vs Sharapova

Final:

Schiavone Vs Azarenka