Tuesday, March 06, 2012

To Live and Be Well in Indian Wells?

And, now, the most important title defense attempt of the 2012 season begins. Right?

The knives are set for sharpening over the next two weeks. I guess we'll have to wait to see whether or not I get to be the tennis blogging version of "Sweeney Todd" at that point, though.

1999 Serena Williams d. Steffi Graf
2000 Lindsay Davenport d. Martina Hingis
2001 Serena Williams d. Kim Clijsters
2002 Daniela Hantuchova d. Martina Hingis
2003 Kim Clijsters d. Lindsay Davenport
2004 Justine Henin-Hardenne d. Lindsay Davenport
2005 Kim Clijsters d. Lindsay Davenport
2006 Maria Sharapova d. Elena Dementieva
2007 Daniela Hantuchova d. Svetlana Kuznetsova
2008 Ana Ivanovic d. Svetlana Kuznetsova
2009 Vera Zvonareva d. Ana Ivanovic
2010 Jelena Jankovic d. Piotr's Daughter
2011 Piotr's Daughter d. Marion Bartoli

INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA (Premier $4.828m/hardcourt outdoor)
11 Final: Piotr's Daughter d. Bartoli
11 Doubles Champions: Mirza/Vesnina
12 Top Seeds: Azarenka/Sharapova

=Round of 16=
#1 Azarenka d. #14 Goerges
#5 A.Radwanska d. #12 Jankovic
#3 Kvitova d. #18 Kerber
#19 Hantuchova d. #8 Li
#7 Bartoli d. #23 Safarova
#4 The Dane d. #15 Ivanovic
#6 Stosur d. #20 Kirilenko
#2 Sharapova d. (probably a bigger surprise, but I guess I'll take #21 Vinci)
#1 Azarenka d. #5 A.Radwanska (oh, boy... A-Rad will get to screech like a pole cat about Vika's shrieks again. Hmmm, Pole Cat... Screech. Maybe there's a nickname for A-Rad in there somewhere?)
#3 Kvitova d. #19 Hantuchova
#7 Bartoli d. #4 The Dane
#6 Stosur d. #2 Sharapova
#1 Azarenka d. #3 Kvitova
#6 Stosur d. #7 Bartoli
#1 Azarenka d. #6 Stosur

...well, I'm surely not picking a repeat champion here. Speaking of which, it was interesting that Sharapova noted yesterday that she agreed to play in Monday's exhibition at Madison Square Garden just days before the start of a high-level tour event largely because it was being held at the fabled NYC arena. Somehow, I doubt that the Dane would had the same standards when it came to potentially endangering her preparation for a big event. And if the Russian was the defending champion, as is Rory's Girlfriend, I wonder if she might have reconsidered when it came to her participation? Somehow, I think Piotr's Daughter would have jumped at the chance for a little extra showtime even if it meant flying in on a copter onto an aircraft carrier in the middle of the Pacific. Well, actually, that WOULD be kind of cool... it'd be hard to hold THAT one against her, I guess.

Anyway, as far as this event is concerned, it's difficult not to go with Azarenka, though I really think that if Kvitova is in form enough to reach the SF I'd probably think she'd have the the advantage in their potential match-up there. Azarenka is bound to lose soon, and Kvitova has had Vika's number for a few years now. But we've seen a different Azarenka in '12, so I'll go with her until the string is broken.

...my goodness, darling. Someone should change that picks logo if I'm going to fill in for Carl for very long.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Carla, otherwise known around here as Carl's "better half." I embrace the title. Honesty, have you seen him? But underneath that very rough exterior, I believe there's a better Neanderthal, darling. Sure, you may have to peel away many layers -- sort of like the rings on an ancient oak tree -- to get there, but there's at least one good layer screaming to see the light of day. Well, at least that's what my cavewoman's intuition tells me. But I've been wrong before about such things (I admit it, I've gone a few rounds with some unchanging "bad boys"... I know, I'm such a cliche sometimes), so Carl is always on probation when it comes to our relationship. And it was working pretty well, too. Did you notice how nice he was last Christmas eve? We had a very lovely stroll with everyone that night, and he didn't squish any of them.

(Oh, speaking of, hey, Diane! Call me sometime, darling. We can have coffee. We never got to speak much last December, but you seemed like a good friend to JJ, and, of course, I admire such loyalty to someone that some people just don't "get.")

Anyway, I was very proud of Carl. But this picks thing has really set him off. He's used to grabbing what he wants, and not taking turns. He doesn't like going second, even though he told Todd that he was all right with it. Truthfully, I think we all saw this little temper tantrum coming from the start. I've tried to tell him to use the experience as a chance to grow, and to make the best of a bad situation... beat Todd with one hand tied behind his back, which he's always talking about anyway. But, instead, he took off, shouting something about ripping Todd's limbs off and feeding them to him. Sigh. I'm sure he'll calm down soon. Until he comes back home, though, I guess I'll keep his seat here warm.

Oh, and here are my picks:

Azarenka d. Radwanska
Kvitova d. Li
Wozniacki d. Kanepi (Carla can actually say her name, darling)
Sharapova d. Stosur
Kvitova d. Azarenka
Sharapova d. Wozniacki
Sharapova d. Kvitova

All for now.


Blogger Diane said...

Starbucks it is, Darlin' (as they say in New Orleans)!

And for the record, you'll recall, Todd, only JJ gets to ride in a helicopter.

Wed Mar 07, 05:17:00 PM EST  
Blogger jo shum said...

i am very excited to see if vika can beat kvitova. if yes, wow to the high number 1. if no, mmm the race between the two is heated up. somehow i don't get the feeling pova can pull this off. but hey, maybe she readjusted herself after AO.

Wed Mar 07, 08:39:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Todd I saw the exhibition match between Masha and Caro and it was kind of refreshing to see that Maria can smile and she did a lot when the fun began. Never mind people were coming to see the other two guys because it was the womens event that was written about in the papers afterwards because of Caros little Wozzilroy trick. Never mind the socalled rivalry which the journalists are trying to find among the topstars because right now Aga, Masha and Caro are having fun on the training fields of IW - they are good friends and how I like to see that instead of all the points rubbish. Never mind Caro not winning as long as she keeps her smile and positive vibrations and I'm glad that Carla believes in Caro a little bit. And please Todd don't make Caro to another scapegoat as Kim Clijsters she doesn't deserve that. Maybe you don't know but Caroline is not playing Charleston and New Haven this year because she want something else. I bet she'll be close to #1 in Istanbul and what a blow to all the haters if she succeeds and what an event if both #1 in golf and womens tennis are on the same team THAT could be fun. In IW there is an interesting constallation in doubles Vika and Petra playing together - fun to see what that ends up with. Again Todd leave the kidden alone and enjoy her smile.

Thu Mar 08, 08:35:00 AM EST  

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