Jarmila Groth


Nadal with the 2009 Australian championship trophy (above), still much to our dismay.

Martina Navratilova, who knows a thing or two about fast courts, having only won 9 singles titles back when the Wimbledon grass was fast, and 4 US Opens, back when it was super fast, and a combined 16 doubles titles combined at the two, was asked earlier in the week if these courts in Melbourne were playing slowly.

“Super slow.” she said.  “Very very slow.”

Asked how she knew, she said that she could tell from watching up close, but that also, she had just played in Melbourne Park a day or two before.  She said the courts were nothing like the US Open, which were also slower than normal this year, that the balls they are using seem if not bigger then more inflated, more airy, and that only the very biggest of hitters will be able to get the ball through the court.

“I played on red clay last week” said Martina.  “And it was faster.”

Australia.  The slowest major?  We’ve thought so since Tennis Australia sold out to Plexicushion 4 years ago, noticing a real uptick in speed at Roland Garros, shorter points there, bigger serves and more aces, whereas Melbourne Park has been widely criticized for misrepresenting their speed of court since going with the tacky blue foam.  What a splendid ad campaign they had.  The height of disinformation really.  Trotting out old pros like Don Newcombe and Rod Laver  who they gave free courts to, to endorse Plexicushion for reasons such as the rubber, spongy surface was easy on the knees.  Sure.  But they are senior citizens, not current players on the tour.

You heard much different talk from Lleyton Hewitt, who always has a current AO court zapped in at his home in Australia so that he may practice on the actual surface.  Hewitt reached a final and four SFs on the former Rebound Ace surface.  Not a huge guy, Hewitt likes the faster courts on which his balls move better through the court. He also likes a target, but since so many players feel like they are giving the opponent too much time on the pass on the slow Plexicushion, players are not venturing much to net.  Recall that Hewitt was a major champion on both fast grass and fast hards, and a great player.

Hewitt ripped the new surface in the papers all over Australia, calling it very slow.  Tennis Australia countered, saying Plexicushion is “medium fast”, virtually the same speed as Wimbledon, and a 38 out of 45 on the same court speed scale on which the US Open is a 40 and ultra fast Cincinnati is a 42 and the Paris Indoor is between 43 and 44.

Hewitt is right and Australia is lying.  Hewitt is wondering aloud where the up and coming Aussies are as well.  Please note that neither rising star Bernard Tomic who is actually German, nor Jelena Dokic and Jarmilla Gadjosova are technically from Australia.

Many believe the court speed is closer to 28 than 38, and that Tennis Australia, who stated that their goal was to create a court somewhere between the speed of Wimbledon and Roland Garros, had gotten it very wrong, noting 1st that Wimbledon is way slower than it’s ever been, and that the Plexicushion is more accurately nowhere near the speed at SW-19, and is in fact, slower than the RG of the last 3 years.

We don’t like slow courts at all because they do not promote the best tennis skills, and do not favor the best tennis players.  And way worse, tennis players who grow up on slow courts exclusively, do not develop all around tennis games.  Slow courts give players time to set up for two handed shots, when the artistry is clearly in the one handed shot, now a dinosaur.  Slow courts require more power to hit through, hence all the 2-handers, and they give those 2-handers the time to get their second hand on the racquet.  What does a 2-hander do when rushed?  They slice the ball.  A one handed shot.  And where have all the volleyers gone?  Well, they are with the one handers and the other dinosaurs.

These Plexicushion courts mock conditions at Wimbledon in only one notable way.  A good slice stays low.  Otherwise, we are watching the new clay court tennis, and pretty much, with as much sand mixed into the court.  One of the things that determines the speed of a hardcourt, is how much sand is mixed in to the top layer.  If you notice, when the spot shot challenges play in slow motion, you can see the top layer of the court in a closeup, and is visibly gritty and bumpy, providing more friction for the ball, which detracts from its speed.

The other primary determinant to court speed is surface make up.  The US Open is an acrylic surface, truly a hard surface.  The Australian Open is a synthetic surface.  A simulation of a hard surface, essentially made of rubber.  You ever wonder why the ball bounces so high in Melbourne?  Extra inflated rubber ball on a rubber court.  Bad for the sport.  The would be winners of more talented players are played back by would be losers on better surfaces.  Flat ball forehands that skid through a real hardcourt quickly, bounce up on a fake court like these an extra 1-2 feet.  That gross topsin we see from these pushers also bounces up some additional feet, making it hard for aggressive, talented shot makers to do anything with the ball.  That’s a shame.

Roger Federer, tennis’s king of talent and artistry, in his QF match, had an average ground stroke speed of 71 MPH.  He is consistently in the 80’s at Flushing.

Bringing us to tonight’s showdown between Federer and Nadal.  These courts are a beautiful fit for Nadal’s passive pusher hack butcher style.  He is going to hit high looping Tracey Austin type garbage all night long, and the last time he did so to Roger on this court at Laver, he was crowned champ. The last time they faced off on a similar surface, in Miami last year on that horrid Defense Pro surface, Nadal absolutely dominated Roger as has no other ever on a ‘hard court.’

So if you are wondering what ever happened to the American game, think about how California has almost exclusively gone to Plexicushion (IW, LA, Stanford) and how Florida has gone with Rebound Pro, and think of where all our young players train.

And as for tonight, listen, we can always make a case for Federer.  Apparently Vegas believes in that case–probably on name value–because the odds have been installed as follows:

Federer:  – 150

Nadal:  + 130

Federer has Paul Annacone putting together a masterful gameplan, no doubt, and Nadal didn’t play so well against Berdych, and he didn’t get done so early, giving Roger the more time to plan and prepare.  Which he needs, because Nadal is just going to do what he always does, which means he can roll out the same playbook he’s been using on Roger since 2005.  He is going to serve to Rogers’s backhand, he is going to loop topspin to his backhand within the point, and these embarrassingly bad for tennis courts will oblige him.

BTW Federer has lost his last 2 AO evening semis, and it isn’t too surprising, because the cooler it is, the slower these puffy balls even become.  And outdoors, Federer has not beaten Nadal in 2 years and 8 months (Madrid 09).  Also Federer has lost in straight sets to Djokovic twice in evening semis here at the AO, and lost in his only match here to Nadal, also at night.  He has also lost the only other major semi-final he ever played Nadal in, the RG semi in 2005.

But we’ll go with our hearts.  Roger may have some payback in mind for these rivals who have lately or routinely gotten the better of him, and Lord knows we are dying to see it.  It would be life affirming to see Roger beat the people he’s not supposed to beat and win when he’s not supposed to win, on the court built to spec for the other guys.  For once.  Even though he is “favored.”

It would also be better for tennis.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

Australian Open Ladies Champion Odds — 2012

Radwanska:  + 2500

Ivanovic:  + 3000

Pavlyechenkova:  + 6000

Wozniacki:  + 1200

Cibulkova:  + 15000

Hantuchova:  + 8000

Pennetta:  + 8000

Schiavone:  + 8000

Gadjosova:  + 20000

Jankovic:  + 6000

Goerges:  + 8000

Kanepi:  + 1500

Clijsters:  + 700

Safarova:  + 2000

Sharapova:  + 2000

Bartoli:  + 4000

Li:  + 2000

Petrova:  + 15000

Kvitova:  + 250

Lisicki:  + 4000

Stosur:  + 1200

Serena:  + 350

Peng:  + 10000

Kuznetsova:  + 4000

Zvonareva:  + 3000

Azarenka:  + 700

Wickmayer:  + 15000

Field:  + 2000

….

No big surprises here.  Hot as fire Mona Barthel, who just won at Hobart and who had to come through the quallies there as well, we think should be included on this list, but it would be the height of unlikeliness to see her walk away with hardware.  Though we’ll be betting she makes a fair impression this week.  As for the rest of the field, well, Vegas might appear to be getting lazy, but we respect these odds.  Sharapova getting paid very little mind, Li, a very dangerous player and major champion who plays well on the Plexicushion, also is paid very little mind.  You know, if you are of a pre-tourny betting mind, we’d say Li Na makes a lot of sense on a flyer.  Schiavone, who is also a major champ, treated here like a nobody with the field being given four times better odds.  Ouch.

In short, Vegas only respects tried and true real deals.  Which Wozniacki is not.  Obviously.  Is this another indictment on Wozniacki’s most uninspired game?  Not yet it’s not.  But check back with us in about 10 days.  We mentioned earlier in the week that we watched her lose to Radwanska the other day.  No surprise there.  But it gave us a chance to really get reacquainted with her game.  She has two second serves.  No forehand whatsoever.  The winners she hits on the forehand are placement winners.  And they are few and far between.  At one point we counted about 25 real time minutes between forehand winners and when she broke the spell, it was because Radwanska had gone so deep behind the baseline that Wozniacki was able to hit an off speed forehand angled out wide.  Very shaky.  By no means a bread and butter shot.  Even on clay.  She’s definitely a backhand player, and since she can’t blow anyone out off that wing either, she really has to play shot after set up shot so close to the lines that mirror image players like Radwanska who can just play the ball back will always give her fits.  And that’s the whole tour.  That’s why a Christina McHale can and has beaten her.  Those players who retrieve everything, and then come up with a shot here or there, or who have a good feel for when to take a chance and come in know they will have their shot.

Bigger guns with actual weapons can take her which goes without saying.  There are many of those in the draw, but let’s concentrate on the ones who Vegas deems as real threats to win.  First the Aussie, Stosur.  we’d have loved her, but she does come in playing pretty bad tennis.  There must be a ton of pressure on her to win for the home nation.  Otherwise, we can’t figure out the dip in her play.  She probably has the second or third biggest serve on the women’s side, has a sick forehand that she can get almost always because of how much she runs around the backhand, and her fitness is primo.  We can’t say we love Clijsters in this spot, but she does have the weapons and the resume, and is known for coming out of nowhere.  She can not be dismissed.

Azarenka is going to break through and she is going to do it soon.  But when she has to play a Kvitova or a Serena, she simply does not have the fire power in that spot.  Still, we could see her winning if the draw falls out.  Serena and Kvitova are clearly the cream of the crop.  And they are on the same side.  That’s most likely going to play out, and while Kvitova has the better odds now, we’ll eat our hat if Serena is not favored then.  Serena played tremendous tennis on similar courts all throughout Cali this summer when she went from world #180 to world number twenty-something in six weeks.  And Serena seems to come in looking well enough.  She got a couple of matches in at Sydney, took 4 sets and lost zero, and then bowed out.  We think she is a very good bargain in this spot at +350.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

2011 Rome Masters Champion, Maria Sharapova (above).

We thought Caesar’s was rough on the men, and they were, if you aren’t Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal–the only men given a shadow of a chance to win at Roland Garros.  Wait until you see the odds for the ladies chamionship:

French Open Ladies Champion Odds

Agnieszka Radwanska:  + 5000 (wager 100 units to win 5000, plus initial wager)

Alexandra Dulgheru:  + 10000

Alisa Kleybanova:  + 10000

Ana Ivanovic:  + 2500

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova:  + 4000

Andrea Petkovic:  + 3000

Aravane Rezai:  + 10000

Caroline Wozniacki:  + 500

Daniela Hantuchova:  + 10000

Flavia Pennetta:  + 8000

Francesca Schiavone (defending champion):  + 1500

Jarmila Groth:  + 10000

Jelena Jankovic:  + 1500

Kaia Kanepi:  + 10000

Kim Clijsters:  + 1000

Maria Sharapova:  + 800

Marion Bartoli:  + 6000

Na Li:  + 2500

Nadia Petrova:  + 12500

Petra Kvitova:  + 1000

Samantha Stosur:  + 800

Svetlana Kuznetsova:  + 1500

Vera Zvonareva:  + 1000

Victoria Azarenka:  + 450

Yanina Wickmayer:  + 5000

Yaroslava Shvedova:  + 12500

Field (Any Other Player):  + 800

Comments:

Right off the bat, we find it very interesting that only 4 players have odds better than or equal to any other player in the field.  That’s a huge indicator that this field is wide open, and that the odds makers do not have a lot of confidence in anyone.  By the way, did we miss the newsflash about Petra Kvitova?  She’s been given good odds despite having reached the 4th round at Roland Garros only once, and having only a 3-2 lifetime record there.  She has had a good year, and won Madrid, but considering the depleted field, we can’t even call it impressive fashion.

Kim Clijsters, fresh off of a long layoff due to an ankle injury suffered at her cousin’s wedding, is strapping up for Roland Garros, knowing the window for this major is closing for her.  We usually like her after long layoffs, but not when she’s hurt.  She’s a + 1000, and normally, you’d have to jump all over that, except, how many people win the Frech with serious ankle injuries?

We like Zvonareva a bit at + 1000, who has an 18-7 record at Roland Garros, a quarter-final appearance in 2003, and 2 round of 16 appearances, though only one “recently” (2008).  Zvonareva is a smart player and we like her style.  She may be able to navigate such a downtrodden field.  As for Stosur and Sharapova, we like neither, and Stosur especially, has shown us nothing in the big spot.  Stosur has definitely been the better clay courter here recently, and yet Masha destroyed her Sunday in Rome, and is 8-0 lifetime in the matchup.  We aren’t rushing to put anything down on any of these ladies though.

There’s lots of respect for the favorite, Victoria Azarenka, and she is the favorite with good reason.  She has power and mobility, and keeps the ball in play, unlike world #1, Caroline Wozniacki, who has no power.  Now would be a great time for either of these ladies to step up and grab their first real hardware, but neither look that good to us.  Azarenka recently came up lame and retired in the 2nd set against Sharapova last week, and Maria simply took Wozniacki to school.

Gun to our head, we’d probably lay the money on Sharapova, the most tested and true champion in the field, who also happens to be playing a lot, and playing well.  The weaknesses in her game on real tennis courts, like her inability to move forward, volley, and hit over-heads will affect her less on clay, where she will be content to play everything from the baseline.  And, she may get a little extra motivation from her man, Sasha Vujacic, who has been travelling with her since the Lakers got swept.  Otherwise, we’d be all over Clijsters, but a bad wheel at Roland Garros is very bad news.

With this diluted field, maybe even a young American can catch a break.  If Sloane Stephens can take out Anastasia Pivarova in the final round of qualifying, then Sloane is into the main draw, along with the diminutive Irina Falconi, who won the USTA’s French Open wildcard competition, and not our girl Lauren Davis, much to our chagrin.  World #124 Jamie Hampton, an Alabama product, is also one win away from qualifying for the main draw.  It’s also nice to see Pennsylvania’s Alison Riske is in to the main draw, and will be playing in her first French Ope.  And here’s to the field getting healthy for Wimbledon.  We can live with a piss poor champion in the mud, but not on the royal lawns.

Crack (http://crackbillionair.wordpresss.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

World #58, American Bethanie Mattek-Sands (above).

With an impressive win yesterday over Italian female singles French Open Champion Francesca Schiavone, 6-4, 6-4, a day after a gritty, veteran win over French junior girls Champion Kristina Mladenovic of France, the United States is sitting pretty in its bid for 9th Hopman Cup finals appearances in Hyundai Hopman Cup XXIII.  John Isner, American giant and world #19, hasn’t done so badly himself, scoring tight wins over Wimbledon rival Nicolas Mahut, and yesterday, over Potito Starace of Italy, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4.  Isner showed much grit, as he was outplayed by the crafty Italian for much of the match, and gutted out 2 breaks while down 3-1 in the third, taking 5 of the last 6 games for the win.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/hopman-cup-isner-vs-mahut-rematch-steals-stage-as-major-talent-is-on-display/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/giant-john-isner-wins-longest-match-in-tennis-history-in-1st-round-wimbledon/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/marathon-man-mahut-returns-to-play-doubles-after-world-record-longest-singles-match/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/25/marathon-record-man-isner-falls-easily-in-2nd-round-wimbledon/

Though the Americans dropped the mixed component last night to the Italian team 6-7 (5), 6-2, 7-6 (3) in a very entertaining match–how wild is it to watch Francesca Schiavone returning John Isner’s serve–it was the first match they have lost in Perth, and sit atop group B with 2 team wins, a 5 and 1 match record, an impressive set record of 11-5.  Tonight the Americans can clinch a finals berth, even if they are swept in all 3 matches by the British team of Andy Murray and Laura Robson, who are already eliminated from finals consideration.  The Americans will make the final, it seems, as long as the Italians who now sit with 3 match wins, do not have a total higher than the US, who currently sit at 5 wins.  An equal number of match wins and group wins for America and Italy would see the Americans play for the title since America defeated Italy head to head.

Winning a 6th Hopman Cup will be a tall order for the Americans though, who are likely to face the ace Serbian squad of world #3 Novak Djokovic, and former French champ and world #1 Ana Ivanovic, yet to lose a match of any sort between them so far at this year’s Hopman Cup.  Should the Serbs lose out to Belgium in all 3 of their matches in session 9, the United States or less likely, Italy, would face Belgium, led by Justine Henin, in the final on January 8th, 2011.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/tennis-groth-stuns-stosur-in-all-aussie-battle-federer-nadal-roddick-start-new-year-well-see-hot-groth-pic-and-video-of-federers-latest-between-the-legs-winner/

In pretty big but separate women’s tennis development in Brisbane, it would seem that Jarmila Groth’s upset route over countrywoman Sam Stosur will have perhaps a dramatic affect on the women’s draw in Melbourne.  It was announced today that Stosur’s 6-2, 6-4 loss to Groth has dislodged her from the 4th seed at the Australian Open, and that American Venus Williams had risen from what would have been the 5th seed to the 4 seed due to the Groth victory.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/12/31/daydreaming-of-roger-and-venus-in-melbourne/

 Tune in Thursday evening to TTC for more live Hopman Cup action.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

Jarmila Groth in civilian clothes (above).

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/american-melanie-oudin-upset-by-jarmila-groth-of-australia-in-round-2-wimbledon/

World #42 and up and coming Australian female Jarmila Groth served notice of her serious game to the world once again, with an impressive straight set victory over country-woman and world #6, Saamantha Stosur.  Groth served big in defeating Stosur, the 2010 French Open finalist, 6-2, 6-4 with relative ease. The Brisbane International, which features both a mens and female field, was the site of one of the 23 year old from Melbourne, Groth’s, most impressive victories to date.  The tennis world and Australian tennis has certainly taken notice.  The win sets up a 4th round encounter with Andrea Petkovic who opened the tournament with an easy win over Australian Jelena Dokic, 6-0, 6-1.

For Groth, the tournament seems imminently winnable at this point, with a weak field including Marion Bartoli, Pavlyuchenkova, Safarova, and Cibulkova remaining–all players that we think Groth can hang with.

The mens side seems a bit tougher, with Baghdatis, Soderling, Istomin, South African giant Kevin Anderson, and Andy Roddick still floating around.  Roddick kicked off the new year with an easy 6-4, 6-2 win over Ukranian Alexander Dolgopolov, and claims he is at his “healthiest in months.”  Roddick looks to repeat as champion in Brisbane after a 7-6 (2), 7-6 (7) win over Radek Stepanek in last year’s final.

Roddick would seem at this point to be on a collision course with #1 seed Robin Soderling.

In Doha, world #1 Rafael Nadal began the year in impressive fashion with a 6-3, 6-0 victory oover Karol Beck, a player who we feel has done his best to mime Nadal’s whip topspin forehand.  Today, Nadal is locked in more of a death struggle.  At the moment, Nadal has just been bageled by Luckas Lacko, after winning the tight first set in a tie breaker.  7-6 (3), 0-6 at the moment as the 3rd set is about to begin.  With Nadal already lamenting his lack of rest this offseason, we are wondering if he is starting the year fresh–something he obviously needed to do.

Federer kicked off the year with a tight win over 21 year old Dutchman Thomas Schoorel 7-6, 6-3, and made another highlight reel tweener shot in the match, which was frankly too close for comfort.  Federer said that his unfamiliarity with the young Dutchman worked against him.  See the latest Federer tweener at the link below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PzOVIFhj7k

Today, Federer defeated friend and countryman Marco Chudinelli in a tight 2 setter.  BTW, Nadal has steadied himself, and is now up an early break in the 3rd set versus Luckas Lacko.  Nadal leads the 3rd set 3-0, 40-40 as we write.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/12/31/daydreaming-of-roger-and-venus-in-melbourne/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/federer-cruises-past-nadal-for-5th-year-end-championship/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/11/24/tennis-time-warp-roger-looking-smashing/

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com

Eighteen year-old American Beatrice Capra (above).

Maryland native and fledgling pro Beatrice Capra, who made the main draw of the 2010 US Open because she won a qualifying tournament in April at the USTA Training Center in Boca Raton which saw her awarded a wildcard, upset Croatian and world # 94 Karolina Sprem, 6-1, 6-3 in the first round, and then followed the impressive romp with a gritty upset win over 18th seeded Frenchwoman Aravane Rezai today.  For Capra, the world’s # 371 female player, the victory over Rezai represented her first over a top twenty player.  Rezai has flashed exceptional form at times this year, moving from outside the top 50 to into the top 20, and winning the Madrid championship on clay by beating Venus Williams quite handily.

Capra, content to be the retriever today, managed her game very well.  She made only 30 errors in 2 hours and 13 minutes, and pulled out the win despite losing on total points, 94-91.  Check out the match stats below:

    Rezai(FRA)   Capra(USA)
         
 
  1st Serve %
54 of 85 = 64 %
64 of 100 = 64 %
 
  Aces
3
3
 
  Double Faults
5
5
 
  Unforced Errors
49
30
 
  Winning % on 1st Serve
37 of 54 = 69 %
41 of 64 = 64 %
 
  Winning % on 2nd Serve
11 of 31 = 35 %
13 of 36 = 36 %
 
  Winners
34
18
 
  Receiving Points Won
46 of 100 = 46 %
37 of 85 = 44 %
 
  Break Point Conversions
6 of 13 = 46 %
6 of 13 = 46 %
 
  Net Approaches
11 of 13 = 85 %
8 of 14 = 57 %
 
  Total Points Won
94
91
 
  Fastest Serve Speed
111 MPH
106 MPH
 
  Average 1st Serve Speed
90 MPH
98 MPH
 
  Average 2nd Serve Speed
78 MPH
79 MPH

http://www.usopen.org/en_US/scores/stats/day10/2203ms.html

The 49 errors surely did Rezai in, as her young American opponent only struck 18 winners, barely approached the net at all, and was topping out on her second serves in the low 80’s on the gun.  Though the win–no, wins–for Capra have been impressive and have served notice, we hope, of the arrival of a promising young American, her lack of weapons will surely be exploited for the big hitting Sharapova, who comes in to the tournament as one of the favorites to capture her 4th major, and second US Open title.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/08/30/vegas-makes-clijsters-slight-favorite-over-sharapova-to-win-3rd-open-title/

Capra, who trains at the Evert Academy under Chris Evert in Florida, may have the defensive prowess to take advantage of an off Sharapova, who is serving poorly and making a lot of errors.  But Sharapova seems to be back to a high level, and Capra has been playing all week with the house’s money. 

 Capra’s game has drawn considerable comparisons with Melanie Oudin’s, who made a Cinderalla run to the quarter-finals last year.  No such Cinderella streak for Oudin this year, who was eliminated in straights in the 2nd round by Alona Bondarenko, 6-2, 7-5, in 1 hour and 29 minutes.  Though most have cited Oudin’s accomplishments in the last 14 months when comparing her to Capra, people should keep in mind that Capra, because of her size (5’9), has a considerable edge when it comes to her serve, reach, and net coverage, and that could translate into a better upside for Capra down the road than for the diminutive Oudin.  And let’s not forget big serving Pensylvania native, Alison Riske, who burst onto the tennis scene earlier this summer during the grass court season.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/12/young-american-alison-riske-to-face-sharapova-in-semis-at-birmingham-see-videos/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/12/sharapova-gets-by-american-riske-in-birmingham-semi/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/american-melanie-oudin-upset-by-jarmila-groth-of-australia-in-round-2-wimbledon/

–Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

Venus Williams survived a tight match in the round of 16, besting a game Jarmila Groth, who most certainly came to play, not content having made the round of 16, 6-4, 7-6 (5) in 1 hour and 37 minutes.  Williams and Groth both played excellent tennis, keeping their errors down and serving well throughout the match that saw only 8 points in the end separate the 5 time champion and 2nd seed and the 90th ranked Australian, who burst on to the scene last month by making the round of 16 at Roland Garros.  Groth has proved to us that she is a top 20 player right now, and we hope good things for her this summer.

Here are the match stats:

Groth (AUS) Williams (USA)
         
  1st Serve % 40 of 65 = 62 % 42 of 75 = 56 %
 
  Aces 5 9
 
  Double Faults 2 3
 
  Unforced Errors 16 15
 
  Winning % on 1st Serve 28 of 40 = 70 % 33 of 42 = 79 %
 
  Winning % on 2nd Serve 13 of 25 = 52 % 17 of 33 = 52 %
 
  Winners 25 26
 
  Receiving Points Won 25 of 72 = 35 % 24 of 63 = 38 %
 
  Break Point Conversions 2 of 3 = 67 % 3 of 3 = 100 %
 
  Net Approaches 6 of 10 = 60 % 8 of 11 = 73 %
 
  Total Points Won 66 74
 
   Fastest Serve Speed 116 MPH 123 MPH
 
   Average 1st Serve Speed 107 MPH 110 MPH
 
   Average 2nd Serve Speed 90 MPH 92 MPH

Serena had a much tougher match than expected against former champion Maria Sharapova this morning, giving a break back in the first set and then surviving a first set tie breaker 11-9.  Serena defeated Sharapova 7-6 (9), 6-4 in 1 hour and 36 minutes.  The match represents tremendous news for Sharapova, who only faced two break points in the match, losing both.  With her shoulder giving her so much trouble in the last 2 years, impeding her service motion, it was great for tennis to see Maria play Serena so closely at a time when Serena is playing close to her best tennis.  Sharapova had 3 set points in the first set tie breaker.  Unfortunately for Maria, all her serve problems are not solved.  She double faulted at a critical stage in the tie breaker that factored in the defeat.

Here are their match stats:

Williams (USA) Sharapova (RUS)
         
  1st Serve % 50 of 74 = 68 % 42 of 67 = 63 %
 
  Aces 19 3
 
  Double Faults 5 7
 
  Unforced Errors 17 18
 
  Winning % on 1st Serve 42 of 50 = 84 % 31 of 42 = 74 %
 
  Winning % on 2nd Serve 10 of 24 = 42 % 13 of 25 = 52 %
 
  Winners 31 14
 
  Receiving Points Won 23 of 60 = 38 % 22 of 69 = 32 %
 
  Break Point Conversions 2 of 2 = 100 % 1 of 1 = 100 %
 
  Net Approaches 5 of 9 = 56 % 5 of 10 = 50 %
 
  Total Points Won 75 66
 
   Fastest Serve Speed 125 MPH 116 MPH
 
   Average 1st Serve Speed 113 MPH 109 MPH
 
   Average 2nd Serve Speed 96 MPH 96 MPH

Serena will face 9th seed Na Li in the quarter-final round, who dispatched Agnieska Radwanska this morning, 6-3, 6-2.  Venus will face Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria, who upset former finalist Marion Bartoli this morning, 6-4, 6-4.  The Williams sisters are also into the doubles quarter-finals, as they are attempting to win their fifth straight major doubles title, to defend their Wimbledon doubles crown from 2009, and for their 4th career Wimbledon doubles title and their 13th major doubles title in their career.

Unfortunately, the American men did not have the same success as the Williams sisters.  Andy Roddick lost to Taiwanese Yen-Hsun Lu in 5 sets, as Lu becomes the first Asian man to make the quarter-finals of a major in 15 years.  Roddick played tentative tennis all day, and Lu, a phenomenal mover, maintained tremendous foot work in to the fifth hour of the match, especially impressive, since Lu rarely plays a 5 setter. 

Roddick fell 4-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 9-7 in 4 hours and 36 minutes, in what is surely a grand disappointment, after his epic loss to Federer in last year’s final.  View the stats below:

 
 
 
   Lu (TPE) Roddick (USA)
         
  1st Serve % 124 of 206 = 60 % 129 of 189 = 68 %
 
  Aces 22 38
 
  Double Faults 4 8
 
  Unforced Errors 34 33
 
  Winning % on 1st Serve 101 of 124 = 81 % 108 of 129 = 84 %
 
  Winning % on 2nd Serve 45 of 82 = 55 % 31 of 60 = 52 %
 
  Winners 83 85
 
  Receiving Points Won 50 of 181 = 28 % 60 of 202 = 30 %
 
  Break Point Conversions 1 of 2 = 50 % 1 of 8 = 13 %
 
  Net Approaches 35 of 47 = 74 % 28 of 43 = 65 %
 
  Total Points Won 196 199
 
   Fastest Serve Speed 128 MPH 137 MPH
 
   Average 1st Serve Speed 118 MPH 123 MPH
 
   Average 2nd Serve Speed 95 MPH 107 MPH

http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/scores/stats/day15/1404ms.html

American Sam Querrey fell in straight sets to the pride of Britain, 4th seed andy Murray, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 in 2 hours and 6 minutes.  Murray is yet to drop a set in these championships.  He will meet Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarter-finals, who punished him on his way to an Australian Open final in 2008. 

The Bryan brothers moved on to third round in doubles with a win over Stupski/Fleming, 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (5).  The Bryans are looking for their second Wimbledon doubles crown and their 9th career major doubles title.

–Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

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