Friday, September 01, 2006

Day 5: Jana Would Be Proud

Try as they might to get fully back on schedule before the weekend, the tournament organizers of the U.S. Open were again denied their goal by good ol' Mother Nature.

But Shahar Peer managed to make the most of her time during Day 5. Francesca Schiavone? Ummmm... not quite so much.

Love-Love... hardly the type of news you want to be making at a grand slam, Ms. Schiavone. You know you've had a nightmare of a day when being reminded that Jana Novotna DID lose to Chanda Rubin after leading 5-0, 40-0 in the 3rd set at Roland Garros in 1995 is the only way to avoid believing that no one has EVER choked away a match as badly as you just did. Of course, not that Schiavone will ever forget (or maybe live down) fumbling away a 5-1 3rd set lead over Peer in which she blew five match points as the Israeli teen won 6-3/6-7/7-6. In the end, Novotna won 24 singles titles, including one grand slam in her Hall of Fame career. Schiavone is still stuck on zero career wins, and why the title-less Italian is still as such at age 26 has rarely been as crystal clear as it is right about now.
Love-15... if not for Schiavone's dive off the face of a steep cliff, the biggest news of the day would be the three-set win by Jelena Jankovic over Nicole Vaidisova, who'll now have to wait until '07 for that elusive first grand slam final. Chalk it up as another learning experience. With the 5-7/6-3/6-2 win, though, Jankovic has proven to still have the finishing touch she discovered last month in L.A. after having it usually turn up M.I.A. throughout her career. With Vaidisova out of the way, Jankovic has the chance to seize a huge opportunity against Svetlana Kuznetsova in the Round of 16.
Love-30... let's just stick that Schiavone loss in an envelope and mail it to ourselves. There are two months or so left in this season, but when we open that letter in November who wants to bet that it'll still be the worst choke of the 2006 season?
Love-40... meanwhile, Justine had the hiccups on Day 5. For one set. After losing the opening stanza 6-4 to Ai Sugiyama, she proceeded to crush the Japanese vet (I won't say "Godzilla vs. Tokyo style"... why, that would be tacky) 6-1/6-0 in the final two sets.
GAME, "MAYBE ALESSIO & JELENA KOSTANIC SHOULD MEET FOR DINNER"... after Di Mauro was wiped out Godzilla vs. Tokyo style (here's a BETTER spot) by Andy Murray on Thursday, losing by a 6-0/6-1/6-1 score. It wasn't the double-bagel that Kostanic suffered against Lindsay Davenport the other day, but I'm sure the two would still have something in common to talk about.

All for Day 5.


Blogger Zidane said...

Yesterday, when I saw the score of Peer's win over Schiavone, I was intrigued. How come the game finished in a third set tie-break? Isn't it supposed in slams to be to tie-breaks in the final set of a match?

Sat Sep 02, 12:30:00 PM EDT  
Blogger GLT said...

Zidane, the US Open is the only Grand Slam that allows a fifth set/third set tiebreak.

I know I'm always torn if I like it or not...on one hand I want to see the players gut it out, on the other hand, a quicker finish is better for players as well as the schedule.

Sat Sep 02, 02:52:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd Spiker said...

When I saw the Schiavone-Peer score on the board, it was when Schiavone was leading 5-1. Match over, I thought... so I went ahead and crossed out Peer on my prediction brackets and wrote down Schiavone's in her place (and put a big "L" next to Peer on my list of Tennis-Pool players for the Open, as well). Imagine my surprise (and small bit of unexpected joy) when I checked back later and realized what had happened. :)

Ironically, the U.S. Open in tennis is the only of the four slams that has the tie-break in the final set, while the U.S. Open in golf is the only of the four majors that forces tied players to play an entire 18-hold playoff on Monday after the final round rather than have an immediate sudden death or three-hold playoff on Sunday.

I prefer the quicker finish. Theoretically, it forces players to try to win the match rather than wait for their opponent to lose it.

Sat Sep 02, 08:59:00 PM EDT  

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