Archive for the ‘bracketology’ Category

JNP’s day three wrap

August 30, 2007

Lots of good tennis on Day Three. Notable straight set winners include Elena Dementieva, Serena Williams, and Alize Cornet. On the men’s side Rafael Nadal had some trouble against Alun Jones but pulled through in four sets. Americans John Isner and Ahsha Rolle both had big upset wins; Dinara Safina prevented an upset fairly loosely by beating Kateryna Bondarenko 6-2, 6-1. However, Kateryna’s sister had better luck: Alona Bondarenko beat Eleni Daniilidou 6-4, 6-7, 6-3. Lastly, Philipp Kohlschreiber won his match with ease. He will play Mikhail Youzhny, the eleventh seed, in his next match… I smell a showdown.

TSF contributor JNP is in the trenches and checking in with us everyday.

JNP’s day two wrap

August 28, 2007

No big upsets today at the U.S. Open, but we did see some good tennis. James Blake won sweating a bit 7-6 6-3 7-6, and David Nalbandian won his match 7-5, 7-6, 7-6. Andy Roddick won his night match against Justin Gimelstob. It was a little awkward having Justin interview Andy right after his loss, but it shows that Justin is grace under pressure as a commentator.

On the women’s side Dani Hantuchova was upset by veteran Julia Vakulenko. Julia took the match in the third set (winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-1).

Who’s hot:

  • Maria Sharapova
  • Martina Hingis
  • Shahar Peer
  • Ivan Ljubicic
  • Donald Young
  • Ahsha Rolle

Big Upset Call: I say Aravane Rezai over Ana Ivanovic.

TSF contributor JNP is in the trenches and checking in with us everyday.

bracketology: chris’ Open picks (women’s ed.)

August 27, 2007

Chris’ picks for the women’s draw at the 2007 U.S. Open (men’s picks here):

Quarters: Serena d. Henin, Jankovic d. Venus, Kuznetsova d. Hantuchova, Sharapova d. Chakvetadze

Semis: Jankovic d. Serena, Sharapova d. Kuznetsova

Final: Sharapova d. Jankovic

Heavy at the top: The women’s draw is very top heavy. Until I watched the Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day yesterday on CBS, I had Henin over Serena. But liked Serena’s form and attitude (hitting targets on a court is such a wonderful gauge for this, I know!). Being the first hard-hitter that Henin would face, the fresh Serena (coming back from an injury break) will be too much for Henin to handle.

If Serena doesn’t shape up, an on-form Safarova could give Henin some trouble in the fourth round.

In the bottom quarter of the top half, I think Venus will get hot again and upset Ivanovic in the fourth round but I see Jankovic returning to New York with too much confidence from last year to lose to Venus or Ivanovic in the quarters. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jankovic only loses six or seven games through the fourth round (where she’d face Dementieva or Bammer).

The lower half: In the top section of the lower half, I see Azarenka making some noise until she runs into Kuznetsova in the fourth round. I also pick Hantuchova over Petrova in that round; the Slovakian is due for a good slam result (plus I wasn’t impressed with what I saw of Petrova in LA). I think Kuznetsova’s win at New Haven will give her the confidence to power past Daniela and into the semifinals.

Re: Sharapova’s draw — it’s not that easy as you might think. Radwanska, her possible third round opponent, won on the hard courts in Stockholm earlier this summer. In the fourth round Masha could face Peer, a fan favorite and always capable of a big win. Then she’d have to play Chakvetadze, who I would say maybe had the best summer over all, in the quarters. If Chakvetadze loses early, it’ll be to Mirza (who has also been playing her best lately) or Schnyder (always dangerous). If she makes it through that, then she’ll get a break facing Svetlana in the semis before a tough match against Jankovic in the final.

Oh yeah, that Vaidisova chick — she’s my first round upset special going out to Kudryavtseva.

What do you think of Chris’ picks? Tell us!

RELATED POSTS
>> chris’ picks for the u.s. open: men’s draw
>> JNP’s u.s. open preview
>> TSF’s u.s. open coverage

Bracketology: Chris’ picks for the Open

August 26, 2007

TSF is busy with U.S. Open coverage: I’m up to my ears in fashion features; JNP has been on the grounds for the qualies — he’s been taking photos, talking to coaches, getting tennis balls signed by players; Chris has been thinkin’ about his picks for this year’s singles winners; and contributor Michael Shaw pens a post for later today. Look out for it.

Meanwhile, Chris’ 2007 U.S. Open picks (see draws here.):

Quarters: Federer d. Roddick, Baghdatis d. Almagro, Djokovic d. Moya, Nadal d. Chela

Semis: Federer d. Baghdatis, Nadal d. Djokovic

Final: Federer d. Nadal

Federer? Yawn! I’m sure it’s no surprise that I’m yet another person to pick Federer to win it. But don’t worry, I picked Nadal over Djokovic. Nole has been a better player this summer, but I think Nadal has performed better in the Slams and will have a slight fitness advantage in best-of-five matches. And as much as I love Djokovic (him winning means he’ll shed as many layers of clothing as possible), I think his hubris is gonna catch up with him in New York. Of course, Ancic could fire it up in the first round, or possibly Stepanek in the second round, in which case I see Hewitt taking that vacated semifinal spot.

Grand Slam mainstay: I think Moya has a fairly light run to the quarterfinals with the only real trouble I see coming from Youzhny in the third round. Following Youzhny’s success last year (and his comparative lack there of it this summer), I see him going down in three to the Spaniard.

Chela?: I know he hasn’t had a great summer, but I think he could be in the lightest section of the men’s draw with seeds Gonzalez (no wins this summer?) and perennial Slam underachiever Ljubicic. The only threatsI is the winner of the Dancevic-Safin first round match. I pick Dancevic. But if Safin wins he could make a run to the final.

Another Spaniard: I’d also keep an eye on Ferrer. He’ll have a pretty routine trip to the round of 16 (notice how much I’m discrediting Nalbandian) and if Nadal is having an off day, I think it’s against Ferrer that he would be ripe for the upset.

Rest o’ the top half: Up in the top half, I know a lot has been said about Federer’s name being drawn above five qualifiers but I don’t envy facing possibly Gasquet or Ferrero in the fourth round. If Isner finds his form again (one hot week does not a player make; he coasted on his anonymity and no one knowing how he plays), I think he could take a set off Federer. But that’s only if the giant makes it past Nieminen (who had easy wins over Spadea and Robredo in Cincy).

Resurgent Roddick?: Andy Roddick might be game to take a set off R-Fed in the quarterfinals — maybe even two sets if it’s a night match. If people want to talk about the draw being rigged, I don’t think they would’ve put Federer against Andy so early. And the Texan wouldn’t be facing Mathieu (my pick) or Berdych in the fourth round, and likely Karlovic in the third. Also, let’s remember that Andy’s fallen to a huge server (Gilles Mueller) in the early round of a prior Open.

Open quarter at the Open: Baghdatis and Almagro will benefit from this section. Blake and Davydenko won’t survive. The Russian’s carrying the weight from the betting scandal. The scrutiny’s worse now than earlier in the summer; the USTA’s hired extra security specifically to prevent match-fixing at Flushing Meadows. Plus, he just had a hell of a time getting past Young in New Haven. I think that makes Almagro able to sneak through there. Aren’t Canas and Murray capable of beating Almagro though? Most other times, yes. I don’t see Murray and his bad wrist going past the second round (unless Brad Gilbert has been hiding him all summer to do something dramatic in NYC). And Canas has cooled down significantly since taking out Roger twice in the spring.

I’m picking Baghdatis in the lower section of that quarter because I think Blake will be a little too confident after his New Haven win and may get slowed down by possible memoir-related media appearances (which, for my money, was a boring read). Haas is nevery healthy and Baghdatis always seems to do his best at the Slams. He’ll follow last year’s loss to Agassi with something equally as memorable.

What do you think of Chris’ picks? Tell us!

RELATED POSTS
>> JNP’s u.s. open preview
>> TSF’s u.s. open coverage (including fashion!) continues…

JNP’s 2007 U.S. Open Preview

August 22, 2007

by JNP

Draws released: Today the 2007 U.S. Open draws were released and it looks like we should be having a pretty interesting tournament. If the seedings hold, Andy Roddick will most likely end up playing Roger in the quarters, and on the women’s side Justine Henin could play both Serena and/or Venus Williams before the finals.

Luck of the draw: Players with an easier potential path to the finals include Maria Sharapova, R-Fed (he plays back-to-back qualifiers opening the tournament), Ana Ivanovic, and Aravane Rezai. Meanwhile Martina Hingis, Nicolas Massu, Jelena Jankovic, Arnaud Clement, and Justin Gimelstob (I thought he retired?) all have tough draws.

Cementing Serbia’s arrival: Right now I think all the Serbians could blast through far into the tournament (giving this years tourney a “Serbia vs. the World” feel). However, Federer, Henin, and, Sharapova all seem to be the most obvious choices to stand in their way. (Do you think one of the Serbians will take the U.S. Open title? If so, who? Tell us!)

TSF contributor JNP will be attending the U.S. Open and blogging after each session with his thoughts and upcoming match predictions. He’ll have opportunities to be around all the players, so we’ll probably be posting some exclusive pics throughout the two weeks. If you want coverage of a certain match or player, leave us a comment with your request.

you know i don’t do brackets

August 15, 2007

Upsets happening left and right at the Cincy Masters and Rogers Cup. One of our resident bracketologists, Chris, chimes in:

What happened?? Fed is the only seed left on his half of the draw (granted, former GS champs Hewitt and Moya are still in) and both Djoko and Nadal lost today! Were they too tired after Toronto (just like Fed losing to Murray last year)?

Potential QFs: Fed vs. Nieminen, Moya vs. Hewitt, Berdych vs. Roddick, Blake vs. Querrey. Unfortunately, only one American can become a finalist as they’re all in the same half: Ginepri (who’s in the third set with Davydenko now), Roddick (who plays Ferrer next), Blake (who plays Ferrero — don’t get ‘em confused) and Querrey (who plays Monaco).

And on the women’s side, Chak and Ivanovic both lost today, as did Dementieva!

Potential QFs: Henin vs. Schnyder, Daniilidou vs. Bartoli, Golovin vs. Kuznetsova, and Peer vs. Jankovic.

It’s been a crazy day!!

Do you agree with his picks? Tell us.

how to pick a wimbledon winner

June 23, 2007

Editor’s Note: we’re trying to get our buddy Chris to write for Tennis Served Fresh, and this is his first post. Look out for more from this guy in the coming weeks… Make sure to leave him comments about his work.

When filling out your Wimbledon bracket, keep in mind that the grass court season is short. We go from a three-month clay stint filled with long, tiring matches to a relatively quick and dainty one-month European affair on grass. That’s one month for a player to practice AND prove his mettle. Crazy, but isn’t that what makes it so bloody special?

So you can think of it this way: winning the French is like winning a marathon; winning at Wimbledon is like winning a sprint. This is why Rafael Nadal, as great as his last few months have been, isn’t really considered a contender. While we marvel at his feats — he is great in his own right — he’s by no means a “sprinter”. So who will be fastest man in the tennis world this year?

(more…)

our bracketologist’s wimbledon picks

June 22, 2007

Tennis Served Fresh is hosting former TennisJuicer JNP as a guest blogger. JNP can be reached at tenniscbh AT gmail DOT com.

My predictions for the women’s draw (full draw available in PDF):

Quarterfinal picks:

Henin over Serena. Serena playing doubles with big sis Venus shouldn’t be a major distraction, imo. She has a shot to win the whole thing, but she’ll need Henin to lose earlier in the tourney.

Jankovic over Krajicek. Look for Krajicek to get hot during this tournament, but she’ll go down to Jankovic in straight sets.

Mauresmo over Ivanovic. Mauresmo needs to return to form to get this far; I see it happenin’.

Sharapova over Kuznetsova. Maria might need three sets to beat Svetlana.

Semifinal picks:

Henin over Jankovic. I’ll side with the stats: Jankovic has yet to beat Henin in any tournament.

Mauresmo over Sharapova. Look for another three-set battle. Sharapova will probably fall apart midway through the third set a la Wimby 2006…

Final picks:

Henin over Mauresmo. Justine Henin has a determination like no other player on either tour right now. Mauresmo can beat her, but needs to come into the match with a confidence high. Sharapova has the tools to beat Henin, too, but like Amelie, she also needs to be in the zone. If Henin wins Wimbledon, the Serbs (i.e, the ones currently on hot streaks) will need to do something quick before she becomes the Roger Federer of the WTA Tour.

What about your picks?: Do you agree with JNP? Tell us.

RELATED POSTS
>> Tennis Served Fresh’s Wimbledon coverage
RELATED LINKS
>> Craig Hickman’s Wimbledon predictions

flirting with punditry, wimbledon style

June 22, 2007

Stilespoints asked me to offer my thoughts on this year’s Wimbledon. See his questions (and my answers) here.

(photo) .

who’s going to make a move on grass?

June 13, 2007


Amer Delic playing at the Artois Championships, Queen’s Club.

Who do you think will make their move on grass this year?

My picks: Amelie Mauresmo, Justine Henin, Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych

Leave a comment with your list of usual suspects and dark horses.

my take on the french, part two

June 4, 2007

I was asked by Rick Stiles to check in with him about the French Open, and here’s what I shared.

(I’m dead last in the French Open bracket pool I joined, so read my predictions with caution.)

RELATED POSTS
>> JNP’s French Open update
>> JNP puts in his two eurocents about the French Open draw
>> flirting with punditry: Erwin’s picks for the 2007 French Open

roland garros/french open 07: predictions update, mid-tourney review, and the women’s round of 16

June 3, 2007

So far, so good for my predictions to this point in the tourney:

Venus Williams was a non-factor like I said, improving Italian Tathiana Garbin made big strides, and Lucie Safarova beat Amelie Mauresmo. My Elite 8 are all still in the tournament and playing very well. Sharapova, Jankovic, and Ivanovic have all played really solid, champion-quality tennis. Henin and Serena will most likely battle in the quarters (a match we won’t see this early in a Grand Slam again for a while).

Here’s my match by match analysis and previous predictions:

Justine Henin vs. Sybille Bammer: Henin. This match is a given, but let me tell you that if somehow Sybille Bammer wins, she does have a win over Serena this year.

Dinara Safina vs. Serena Williams: Serena. Would not be suprised if this went to 3 Sets.

Jelena Jankovic vs. Marion Bartoli: Jankovic; Have no clue how Bartoli gets wins on the tour.

Tathiana Garbin vs. Nicole Vaidisova: Vaidisova. Though I never know when it comes to this woman.

Ana Ivanovic vs. Anabel Medina Garrigues: Ivanovic. Picked her to win from the beginning. She’s got game. Ana, don’t let the clay master bring you down!

Shahar Peer vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova: Kuznetsova. Peer beat Svetlana twice recently, but I’m thinking Svetlana will take it in two. The Russian is on a run this week so far; I like her movement on clay.

Lucie Safarova vs. Anna Chakvetadze: Safarova. This is a toss up, but I’ll give it to the girl who I had winning this match since the beginning of the tournament.

Maria Sharapova vs. Patty Schnyder: Sharapova. Simply the best when she is determined… I’ve given her alot of bullsh*t over the years, but honestly, if she is mentally ready, she can win this thing.

Here are my earlier predictions from my previous post:

Women’s quarterfinals: Ivanovic over Kuznetsova, Sharapova over Lucie Safarova, Serena over Henin, and (another) Serbian Jelena Jankovic over Nicole Vaidisova

Women’s semis: Ivanovic over Sharapova, Serena Williams over Jankovic.

Finals: Ana Ivanovic wins against Serena Williams, making me look like a total genius.

- JNP

P.S. As for the men, the predictions are in the same post. I was wrong about Fernando Gonzalez, but my longshot Carlos Moya made it this far.

(Do you agree with JNP’s picks? Tell us.)

Tennis Served Fresh is hosting former TennisJuicer JNP as a guest blogger. JNP can be reached at tenniscbh AT gmail DOT com.

RELATED POSTS
>> JNP puts in his two eurocents about the French Open draw
>> flirting with punditry: Erwin’s picks for the 2007 French Open

JNP puts in his two eurocents about the French Open draw

May 26, 2007

It’s that time of the year again! The time when dirt, grit, and, wit determine who will be champ. Roland Garros 2007 starts this Sunday, with Rafael Nadal and Justine Henin both going for their 3rd straight French Open titles. Nadal will likely face Roger Federer in the finals. Both have lots at stake: R-Fed could complete a “Roger Slam” (i.e., win all four Grand Slam tournaments consecutively) if he triumphs in all of the seven matches on the terre battue. And if Nadal wins the championship, he will extended his world-record clay winning streak on the surface’s biggest stage.

Here are my predictions for the tournament:

Champion, Men: Federer. Originally I thought he would win in 2008, but after his shocking streak-ending win against Nadal, I think he can pull it off this year. On the other hand, I would not be suprised if Nadal won ten of these things.

Champion, Women: Ana Ivanovic. Look for a big break out this year for this Serbian, who has the game to beat an aging Henin, a mentally recuperating Sharapova, and a still out-of-shape Serena Williams. Venus Williams is a non-factor.

Sleepers, Men: Fernando Gonzalez! With all the hype and buzz surrounding Federer, Nadal, and Guillermo Canas the usually highly-regarded Gonzalez may be able to pull off a few upsets and go far in the tournament.

Sleepers, Women: Caroline Wozniacki, Maria Sharapova (I put her in the Sleeper category because everyone is convinced she is injured), Elena Likhovtseva, Italian Tathiana Garbin, Tsvetana Pironkova (who has a victory over Venus Williams), and Na Li all have a shot in my opinion.

BRACKETOLOGY:

Women’s quarterfinals: Ivanovic over Kuznetsova, Sharapova over Lucie Safarova, Serena over Henin, and (another) Serbian Jelena Jankovic over Nicole Vaidisova

Women’s semis: Ivanovic over Sharapova, Serena Williams over Jankovic

Finals: Ivanovic over Serena Williams

Men’s quarters: Novak Djokovic over Florian Mayer, Nadal over fellow Spaniard Carlos Moya, Federer over Filippo Volandri, and Gonzalez over Canas

Semis: Nadal over Djokovic, Federer over Gonzalez

Finals: Federer over Nadal

(Do you agree with JNP’s picks? Tell us.)

Tennis Served Fresh is hosting former TennisJuicer JNP as a guest blogger. JNP can be reached at tenniscbh AT gmail DOT com.

RELATED POSTS
>> flirting with punditry: Erwin’s picks for the 2007 French Open

flirting with punditry

May 21, 2007

I offered my thoughts on the upcoming French Open to Rick Stiles over at Stiles Points. Check it out here. (Not that it makes a big difference, BUT: I wrote my responses before yesterday’s Hamburg final.)

Agree? Disagree? Tell us.


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