Friday, June 29, 2007

Day 5: To Tiptoe Along the White Mile

Patty Schnyder had better keep an eye out for falling anvils and/or pianos when she's walking around the Wimbledon grounds this weekend, for surely she's due for some bad luck to head her way.

On Day 5, for the second time in three matches at this tournament, Schnyder overcame an opponent who seemed to have a match tucked safely away in her tennis bag and walked off with an 8-6 win in the 3rd set. After surviving match point against Camille Pin in the 1st Round, this time the #15 seed sneaked past #24 Alona Bondarenko 6-4/3-6/8-6 despite the Ukrainian having held a 4-1 lead in the decisive set.

Sneaky Patty has to be operating on severely borrowed time now, right? This Round of 16 berth is her best Wimbledon showing after having reached at least the quarterfinals at all the other slams, and she's on the verge of possibly claiming her second consecutive Backspin Slam "Comeback" award after having reversed her Roland Garros fortune against Maria Sharapova by putting up two remarkable SW19 shouldn't-have-been wins after that shouldn't-have-been-a-loss match in Paris against the Supernova.

Of course, now Schnyder faces Justine Henin, who's yet to drop a set... well, not only at Wimbledon, but at any grand slam since last year's U.S. Open. Surely, Patty will get what's coming to her THIS TIME, right?

That is, unless she made some sort of deal with the devil during her stroll down "the White Mile", which, as Patty has told us, "can be very long... especially if it is white."

Love-Love... with Marion Bartoli (who's French, by the way, in case you hadn't heard) advancing to her second straight grand slam Round of 16 by way of her Day 5 win over Shahar Peer, she sealed up the "Revelation Ladies" award for the Pastries. And Aravane Rezai still has to play her own 3rd Round match against Ana Ivanovic.

Australian: Belarussians
Roland Garros: Italians
Wimbledon: French

Love-15... the "Upset Queens" crown rests on the shoulders of Victoria Azarenka (BLR) and Tamira Paszek (AUT). If both lose their 3rd Round matches, the French will sweep both this and the "Revelation" Award. But if one of the two teenagers manages to pull off yet another upset -- Azarenka faces #14 Nicole Vaidisova, while Paszek squares off with #12 Elena Dementieva -- then they'll clinch the title for their countrywomen. What if both win? Of if they both win, AND Rezai knocks off AnaIvo? Well, we'll cross that bridge if and when we come to it.

SCORELINE-OF-NOTE #1: Women's Doubles 1st Rd. - Bethanie Mattek/Bryanne Stewart (USA/AUS) d. Martina Muller/Gabriela Navratilova (GER/CZE) - 7-6/7-5.
...the doubles team of "Martina & Navratilova." Get it?

SCORELINE-OF-NOTE #2: Men's Doubles 1st - Robert Lindstedt/Jarkko Nieminen (SWE/FIN) d. #2 Jonas Bjorkman/Max Mirnyi (SWE/BLR) - 2-6/7-6/7-5/6-3.
...with success comes sacrifice. As has been the case over the past year as veteran Bjorkman has had unexpected singles success at the slams ('06 Wimbledon SF, '07 RG 4th Rd.), his usual wealth of doubles success has hit skid row. Well, he's still alive in the 3rd Round of singles (he'll face Wayne Arthurs), while his Doubles participation lasted a total of four sets.
15-30... has the fourth member of the would-be "Fantastovic Four" been found? At Roland Garros, it was wondered aloud in this space whether Janko Tipsarevic might be the Serb who'd join the trio of Djokovic, Jankovic and Ivanovic in the tennis comics pages (as well as the rarified ground found deep into grand slam draws). Well, on Day 5, he upset #5-seed Fernando Gonzalez, surviving match point against, to advance to the Round of 16 with an 8-6 in the 5th victory. Maybe someone should put the fourth version of that nifty superhero suit on order, just in case.
15-40... Court 2, thanks to its buddy Court 18, had the last laugh on Day 5 as #9-seed Martina Hingis' zombie-like existence on the All-England Club grounds was ended by unseeded American Laura Granville, 26. Granville matched her best-ever slam result (2002 Wimbledon 4th Round) with a quick elimination of the Swiss Miss, 6-4/6-2. The win, combined with #31 Michaella Krajicek's upset of #8 Anna Chakvetadze, sets up a Round of 16 match with all sorts of Backspin Slam Award implications. Surely, with the winner of the Granville/Krajicek reaching the QF, at least one (and maybe both) will be dubbed the winner of either the "It Girl" or "Miss Opportunity" awards for SW19 '07.
30-40... please, will someone tell Mary Carillo that Daniela Hantuchova is from Slovakia and not the Czech Republic. Now, since I'm not one to criticize someone for mixing up a player's nation (not after "Marion Bartoli from Italy, and Tathiana Garbin from France"), but after Carillo made the same mistake three times over the course of an hour on Friday, you'd think that someone at ESPN2 might have politely questioned whether or not she realized she was inadvertantly confusing herself during her commentary about the tennis fortunes of the former Czechoslovakia and current Czech Republic (and, accidentally, Slovakia) during the Safarova/Jankovic match, thus bestowing the Maidens with an additional top player at the moment. No one saw fit to protect her from her own error? Not Chris Fowler? Darren Cahill? Patrick McEnroe? No one? Oh, well, at least I'm sure that all the Bartoli fans back in Rome were happy about HER victory today. Hmmm? What's that? Oh, crap.
MATCH, "Serena Williams def. Milagros Sequera 6-1/6-0"... uh-oh.

TOP QUALIFIERS: Su-Wei Hsieh/TPE & Olga Govortsova/BLR
TOP EARLY ROUND (1r-2r): Amelie Mauresmo/FRA
TOP MID-ROUND (3r-QF): (vacant)
TOP LATE ROUND (SF-F): (vacant)
FIRST SEED OUT: #30 Olga Poutchkova/RUS (1r-E.Vesnina/RUS)
UPSET QUEENS: (vacant)
REVELATION LADIES: French (Bartoli & Rezai to 3rd Rd.)
LAST QUALIFIERS STANDING: Olga Govortsova/BLR, Nika Ozegovic/CRO, Tatiana Perebiynis/UKR, Hana Sromova/CZE & Agnes Szavay/HUN (2nd Rd.)
IT GIRL: (vacant)
DOUBLES STAR: (vacant)

All for Day 5.


Blogger Eric said...

yeah i noticed the martina - navratilova thing too!

and the hantuchova slovakia thing


seriously, mary carillo...*shakes head*

Mon Jul 02, 12:07:00 AM EDT  

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