Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (above), who “upset” 15th seed Jelena Jankovic today, as we expected.
As you know, we were on Radek Stepanek today, and unfortunately for us, after taking the first 2 sets from Fernando Verdasco, whom we think is a quite poor big match player, the Spaniard got out of jail, winning 3 straight sets, and 9-7 in the extended fifth. We aren’t about to apologize. This is the kind of action we like, and we’d go the same way if there was a rematch of these 2 on grass tomorrow. Some of other picks did a little better. We think that Gonzo is officially back, after popping 25 aces and playing very clean tennis against Alexandr Dolgopolov, who got stung by an abysmal draw. Gonzo hit 50 winners and had only 19 UFE in a very entertaining match in which Dolgopolov played pretty well, save for his weak second serve, now very exposed come fast court season.
We loved Ryan Harrison and along with Gonzalez and Martinez Sanchez, we were very happy with a nice trio of wins from those dogs. Simply put, Dodig was not the same player he was last week against Harrison, who dominated every positive category except aces. Harrison will play David Ferrer in round 2, and we’ll be liking him again in that matchup on Thursday. Harrison is a very tough kid, for an American. Very atypical of the sort of tennis brats our nation has been raising. Speaking of brats, how about that Melanie Oudin, who caught a bagel and a breadstick from Ana Ivanovic, in the route of the day. Oudin should give it up. How sad was that performance, in which she won a mere 15 points out of 39 on serve, and a meager 8 points in the return game?
Frankly, we are absolutely sick of seeing her touted as a rising American. She has gotten by too long on her opponents double faults. If we trot her out for Fed Cup again, I’m gonna puke.
We thought Lleyton Hewitt would out-tough Kei Nishikori on the grass, and he did, for his 104th career win on grass. We also thought talented 1-hander Sergiy Stakhovsky would roll British hack Daniel Cox, and he did. We had Isner going through, if you recall, with few breaks of serve, and we loved Dimitrov, and fully expect him to come through when his match is resumed tomorrow. The Bulgarian 1-hander who has been called by some a Federer clone wass up 7-5, 7-5, 3-3 when darkness fell.
On the women’s side, sure we went against Wozniacki, as we will in every round until she is eliminated. We weren’t impressed with the short work she made of Parra Santonja, and have no respect for her game or rank. As we expected, Irina Falconi, a terrible favorite, fell easily to Stephanie Dubois of Canada, 2 and 2. Tamira Paszek came through againt Ayumi Morita in 3 sets, and will draw suprise winner from New Jersey, Christina McHale in the second round.
And before we get to the morning’s odds, we’d just like to mention that Serena had a very tough match and seemed, by her post match comments, just happy to be there and to have won a match. We have seen her get hot many times, and many times, off of long layoffs, notably dusting Justine Henin, and silencing the “Serena is fat” bandwagon by winning at Melbourne while fat, but we just feel like this may be a bit too much for here here, despite a favorable draw.
Serena may bow out early. And we might be betting against her. As for tomorrow’s odds:
Nadal: – 12000
Sweeting: + 3000
Fish: – 400
Istomin: + 250
Hanescu: + 700
Roddick: – 1500
Paszek: – 175
McHale: + 125
Dulgheru: + 250
Kuznetsova: – 400
We think Kuznetsova’s movement is suspect on grass, and we don’t like her as a big favorite here. McHale has a fighter’s chance in what is basically a toss up. We hate Roddick at minus 1500, and Nadal at minus 12000. I mean, who really wants to lay 1500 units or 12000 units to win a 100. I’ll take my chances with the dogs at those rates. We also don’t like Mardy Fish much at (-400), and don’t think he’s much good in the big spot. There are a lot of 1st round matches yet to come off, and we spoke about some of them yesterday. We didn’t mention Kristina Barrois, a one hander whom we have a soft spot for. We are pulling for her, a slim favorite over Petra Cetkovska. And Bethanie Mattek-Sands is (-600) against Misak Doi. Wow. Another sign of how bad the women’s game is. Gun to our heads, we’d say Hanescu/Istomin would be our long shot parlay of the day. Maybe throw in Ryan Sweeting if we are feeling really crazy. A 5 unit 3 team parlay there would net 4340 units, if the stars aligned.