Tuesday, August 30, 2005

US Open Day 2: Mama Mia, That's a Spicy Moonball

After five women's seeds fell on Day 1 in Flushing Meadows, nary a one stumbled on Day 2 (not that a few didn't come verrry close, though)... it was such a by-the-book kind of day, I guess Andy Roddick felt like he had to perform his duty and do something that everyone would be talking about tomorrow. I'm not quite sure losing to Gilles Muller in three tie-break sets was exactly what he had in mind, though.

And with that huge upset, ol' Holy Webmaster Cantin's picks lose his men's champion. Since I went with the chalk pick of Federer, I still survive. Ah, there's hope for your friendly neighborhood Backspinner in the "Battle Royale 2" yet.


PLAYER OF THE DAY: Justine Henin-Hardenne
...come now, the Queen was on the court and handled opponent Zuzana Ondraskova by a 6-3/6-0 score in her first slam match since being upset by Eleni Daniilidou at Wimbledon. Who else was I going to pick?
RISER: Anastasia Myskina
...the Czarina must make sure the say hello as she passes the Contessova on the way back up the rankings. Usually, a former slam winner wouldn't qualify for this category. But after the season Myskina's had, a "routine" 6-3/6-1 win over Tamarine Tanasugarn is a sure sign that all the things that have started to go her way again over the past few weeks haven't been a mirage.
SURPRISE: Vania King
...the 16-year old American qualifier, ranked #721, stunned world #41 Klara Koukalova in three sets.
VETERAN: Lindsay Davenport
...the world #1, but #2-seed, faced the toughest 1st Round opponent of all the top seeds. After struggling with holding her serve in the early going, though, she managed to handle a very game Na Li in two sets.
FRESH FACE: Sesil Karatantcheva
...leave it to Bulgarian Spice to liven up a humid, oppressive day in the Big Apple. After the heat took out Akiko Morigami yesterday (and raised questions about "lack of fitness" rules after a whithered Novak Djokovic worked the rules to stall Gael Monfils, allowing himself to get an extended rest at 3-4, 40-40 in the 5th set... and ultimately dump out the French teen), Karatantcheva and Meghann Shaughnessy battled for 2:24 in it today. Worn and dragging, Spicy Sesil employed moonballs and grit to finally outlast the American, overcoming a 2-6/3-5 deficit (and two match points). In fitting Spicy form, as she sat hunched over in her chair with a post-match glow shining through her exhaustion, Karatantcheva looked at the camera, flashed her should-be-famous smile, and said, "Fun, huh?" So very Sesil.
DOWN: Meghann Shaughnessy
...anytime you blow a big lead and two match points at a grand slam, you're not going to feel good about yourself in the morning.


1.Karatantcheva d. Shaughnessy
...2-6/7-5/7-5. The biggest slip of the tournament so far, after Shaughnessy blew two match points. Hmmm... so Sesil saved two match points. Considering recent slam history, does that mean she'll win the title?
2.#29 Anna Chakvetadze d. Viktoriya Kutuzova
...6-3/3-6/7-5. Anna C escaped the Ukrainian teen, who served at 5-4 in the 3rd set and was within two points of making the Russian the only women's seed to fall on Day 2.
3.#23 Tatiana Golovin d. Virginia Ruano-Pascual
...6-3/2-6/7-6(5). The Frussian Pastry didn't exactly have much to draw on for this match, after a frustrating season so far. Still, she pulled herself together long enough to outlast the vet.
4.#6 Elena Dementieva d. Lucie Safarova
...7-5/6-3. Punch-Sober had some shaky moments in the early going, but the '04 U.S. Open RU managed to defeat Safarova and outlast the Russian who beat her in the final last year, 1st Round loser Kuznetsova.
5.Tiantian Sun d. Samantha Stosur
...6-3/7-6(4). The qualifying Cookie pulled off another one. Meanwhile, Sammy will have to commiserate with fellow Aussie Alicia Molik about where all those January hopes for '05 disappeared to.


**UPSET QUEENS...so far**
...right now, it looks as if the Americans will be the "Upset Queens" for the second time in a slam in 2005, with Perry def. #14 Molik, Granville def. #22 Farina Elia, King def. Koukalova and Glatch def. Fedak.

...a day after wife Ashley Harkleroad retired from her 1st Round match, husband Alex Bogomolov Jr. lost his opening match to David Nalbandian.

Sanchez-Lorenzo def. Haynes
...7-5/7-6(6). The Compton Comet has had a little trouble finding her orbit since neary upsetting Serena at Wimbledon.

...Conchita Martinez. Since she lost to Patty Schnyder in three sets, she didn't have to worry about Sneaky using her racquet as a weapon during that much-worried-about post-match handshake.

Tomorrow, Serena makes her nighttime debut on Arthur Ashe. She wore $40,000 earrings and a rather sedate outfit on Monday. What will she do in "primetime?" Come back to "The Daily Backspin" after the last women's match is completed tomorrow night to get the recap.

All for now.


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