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Ashley’s US Open Predictions

August 26, 2012

So exited that it’s here! Like Maggie, I’m also headed to the USO this week for a couple days of tennis viewing, and I’ll try to update when possible!

(As I write this, I’m watching the replay of the 2011 USO final between Djokovic and Rafa on The Tennis Channel. Such intense playing! Rafa will be sorely missed in my book this year at the Open; though I’m sure every player is doing a happy dance in his absence.)




Federer vs Berdych

Murray vs Tsonga

Tipsarevic vs Ferrer

Del Potro vs Djokovic


Federer vs Murray

Ferrer vs Djokovic


Murray vs Djokovic

Winner: MURRAY 

I’m mostly choosing Murray to win because during my O-M-GEE-Andy-Murray-just-won-an-Olympic-gold-medal euphoria in July, I boldly declared, “This is Andy’s time! Finally! He is ready to win a Grand Slam! He’ll win the US Open!!” So, you know. I’m sticking with it, even though Federer is looking like the better player at this point. But I want to see more Happy Andy, so my fingers are crossed.




Azarenka vs Clijsters

Sharapova vs Kvitova

Wozniacki vs S. Williams

V. Williams vs A. Radwanska


Azarenka vs Sharapova

S. Williams vs A. Radwanska


Sharapova vs S. Williams


Really, it’s anyone’s guess who will be in the lead-up matches to the final, though I think we can all agree that we believe Serena will be the winner. She’s played beautiful, dominating tennis throughout this summer, and if she can hold it together for the next two weeks, I can’t imagine anyone able to challenge her level of play.

In other news, I would love to see Kim Clijsters make a solid run at the US Open and retire (for the second time) with some wins under her belt. Let’s shoot for next week, shall we Kim?

In other other news, it felt SO GREAT to see Andrea Petkovic’s name on the draw! Missed ya, kid.



Maggie’s US Open Predictions

August 26, 2012

Before I get to my predictions a little speech about how I’m feeling about tennis

Before yesterday I had not written a post here in a long time and, I’ll be honest, it’s because I lost interest with tennis. For a long time Twitter and blogs allowed me to follow something I had loved since childhood much more closely, and it was great. But some time over the past year Twitter and blogs actually made me dislike tennis. I have nothing but respect for those of you who watch every single match and follow every single thing that’s happening in the tennis world, but that’s apparently not me and I found it overwhelming. So I unfollowed many tennis people on Twitter and stopped reading blogs. Then, this summer, after pretty much watching zero tennis from January-July (with the exception of major finals), I found myself wanting to watch tennis again.

Keeping on with the honesty, I am really happy Roger Federer is doing well again. I know Federer isn’t hurting for fans, but I feel like, among the tennis Twitterers and bloggers I used to follow, and even among my friends, Federer is persona non grata. Which, honestly, is a really strange thing to me. He is, in my opinion, probably the greatest player ever; he’s amazing to watch. And yes, I admit I sometimes find his total dominance a bit of a bore, but look at what he’s given the game of tennis, it’s pretty remarkable. So, spoiler alert, Roger is my pick to win the US Open and I really hope he does it.

Next, I couldn’t care less that Rafael Nadal isn’t playing in the US Open. Yes, it’s sad that the best in the world won’t be there. Yes, it’s sad one of the best in the world might possibly have an injury that doesn’t allow his career to reach the peak of what many thing he’s capable. But, honestly (theme!), I am so happy the semifinals won’t be Federer vs. Djokovic and Murray vs. Nadal. We’ve been there and done that for several years and while I’m the first to  bemoan the women’s tour for their lack of consistency, I’m also really tired of the abundance of consistency on the men’s side. I want someone new to break through, I want someone new to give the guys at the top a run for their money. And I don’t mean a Rosol who takes advantage of an injured player.

I’m not even going to get into the WTA. But I will say, as much as those women drive me crazy, they haven’t been as bad as in past year.

Really all I want is to see competitive matches. I want to see two people out there both fighting to WIN. So often in tennis other people seem to find a match “competitive” or “close,” but the way I see it (probably because I’m a massive bitch) is that it’s two people fighting not to lose. And that makes me want to to scream and never watch tennis again.

So those are my feelings on the state of tennis and my state with tennis. Now to my US Open predictions…

Normally I am all over attending the Open, but this year for many factors (lack of interest, lack of money, lack of vacation days) I will only be attending three sessions and one of those I am only attending because of a work obligation. The only thing I am sad about is not attending the semifinals because I am excited to see some different semifinals than the past few years.


Quarterfinals: Federer vs. Berdych / Murray vs. Tsonga (in a battle for my heart) / Isner vs. Ferrer / Del Potro vs. Djokovic
Semifinals: Federer vs. Murray / Ferrer vs. Djokovic
Final: Federer vs. Djokovic
Champion: Federer

I am not very confident about my picks. Berdych looked like dead man walking when I watched him play in Cincy, Canada tried to kill Tsonga, Ferrer looked completely disinterested in Cincy, Del Potro’s wrist is about to fall off his body, and Djokovic is obviously fighting some demons of his own. I’d love to be right, but a big part of me hopes the draw is blown apart and there is chaos and anarchy.

Interesting first round matches (in my opinion):

Federer vs. Donald Young: how many times can the commentators talk about D. Young’s potential? Potential is great, but at some point you have to meet it. I predict a breadstick and bagel feast.
Almagro vs. Stepanek: I’m calling the upset.
Jack Sock vs. Florian Mayer: Another upset? Jack Sock is still allowed to have potential and I was impressed after watching him play last year at the Open.
Del Potro vs. Nalbandian: Obviously I’m predicting Del Potro will win, but with his wrist who knows? Interesting for sure.


Quarterfinals:  Lisicki vs. Stosur / Sharapova vs. Kvitova / Stephens vs. S. Williams / Kerber vs. Radwanska
Semifinals: Lisicki vs. Sharapova / S. Williams vs. Kerber
Finals: Sharapova vs. S. Williams
Champion: S. Williams

Who the hell knows, right? Lisicki is injured, I was impressed with Stosur’s second and third sets versus Venus in Cincy, Sharapova is a fighter, Kvitova could be hot or cold, I was really impressed with Sloane Stephens versus Randwanska in Cincy and her draw is very favorable, Serena is obviously the winner if she doesn’t self destruct, Kerber can be great if she’s not too tired after her long year, and Radwanska might be injured.

Interesting first round matches (in my opinion):

Schiavone vs. Stephens: Based on my predictions above you obviously know who I’m picking.
Mattek-Sands vs. V. Williams: Two old Americans…(just kidding)…I’d like to see Venus do well, and I’m picking her to win here, but Mattek-Sands is a fighter. Either way, there’s a tough second round opponent in Angelique Kerber (most likely) waiting for one of them.

And that’s all I have. Enough? Too much? Probably too much. Enjoy the next two weeks, I’m going to attempt to write some posts after I go this week.

US Open Qualifying: 2012

August 25, 2012

Yesterday I headed out to Flushing Meadows for my third year at US Open qualifying (see last year’s post). This year was by far the most pleasant (minus the oppressive heat). It felt like there were a ton of people on the grounds, but I had no problem getting into the matches I wanted to see. Quite a few of the matches I attended had only a handful of people watching.

My strategy this year was to only attend third sets. This was the final round of qualifying so third sets would be The Hunger Games of US Open qualifying.



First up was American Samantha Crawford vs. Greece’s Eleni Daniilidou. Crawford is 17 years old and Daniilidou is a former top-15 player. I started watching this one at the beginning of the third set and while it was interesting, Crawford won 6-3 1-6 6-4 fairly easily. I was really impressed with Crawford’s serve (the serve speed guns aren’t turned on for qualifying, but she seemed to be serving pretty hard) and she even tried to come into net a few times, taking a few balls in the air. Crawford will play Laura Robson in the first round (interesting!).



Next was Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko vs. France’s Irena Pavlovic, which Tsurkeno won 6-2 6-7(7) 6-2. She’ll play Casey Dellacqua in the first round. The scoreline of the second set had me hoping this would be competitive, sadly it was not. Pavlovic had a lot of trouble holding her serve, they played an incredible number of deuces in one game, and after she lost that game she pretty much went away. Also, they both were straight baseliners and I probably would have fallen asleep if I wasn’t so worried I had heatstroke.


While I was watching that match I looked over at the court just beyond where I was and thought to myself, wow that qualifier looks a lot like Francesca Schiavone. And indeed she did, because she was Francesca Schiavone.


A little while later I looked up and thought, hmmm, that looks like Kim Clijsters. Then I remembered Francesca Schiavone was practicing, then I realized they were practicing together (remember, I thought I had heatstroke, my brain wasn’t firing on all cylinders).


Then I thought I saw Dolgopolov watching Tsurenko. But I walked right next to that guy and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Dolgopolov. And I also saw him watching a match later, which seems like it would be odd.


After Schiavone and Clijsters left the practice court David Ferrer came on.


With Miles Raonic. (Don’t worry, I grabbed a picture of his legs for Ashley.)



Next I caught the end of Anastasija Sevastova vs. Magdalena Rybarikova. I don’t know how this one got to three sets, Rybarikova won easily 6-7(8) 7-5 6-2. She’ll play Su-Wei Hsieh in the first round (who the hell is that?).



Next came Marius Copil vs. Jimmy Wang. I was rooting for Jimmy Wang because one he has a great name, two he was wearing calf sleeves, and three Copil’s people were sitting around me and they were kind of douchebags. This was a really competitive match that was very fun to watch. And I was happy when my man Jimmy Wang won 4-6 6-1 7-6(3). He’ll play Ivo Karlovic in the first round.



Next was Hiroki Moriya vs. Daniel Kosakowski. This was so boring. Kosakowski couldn’t serve and made a lot of mistakes on return games. It wasn’t shocking when Moriya won 4-6 7-6(5) 6-3. He will play Ivan Dodig in the first round.



I ended the day with Tim Smyczek vs. Ricardas Berankis. This was a great match to end on despite the loser sitting in back of me who kept clapping and yelling in my ears and giving everyone his opinions and play-by-play analysis. Your enthusiasm is great, but you don’t need to say every thought that comes into your mind. Plus you were wrong about most of the things you said.

Anyway, I won’t dwell on him, Berankis was clearly the better player and there’s no doubt in my mind he would have won if it hadn’t been for Smyczek being American. This was the final match on court so everyone came over and started going crazy for Smyczek and really carried him through. Smyczek will play another American qualifier, Bobby Reynolds, in the first round. I didn’t get to see Bobby Reynolds’s match yesterday, but certainly a good draw for one of them.

Maggie’s 2012 Cincy Experience

August 25, 2012

Ashley did her post with Cincy pics and I figure a week later it’s time to do mine.


Here’s Serena’s hitting partner Sasha. He didn’t wear a shirt while Serena was practicing. So I obviously had to take a picture of that.


My friends and I LOVE Spidercam. The first year it debuted at the US Open we were really creeped out by it (#simpletons) but now it’s so much fun. I was happy to see them unwrapping it.


Del Po, looking good. Sucks about the wrist. Let’s fix that for the Open, yes?


I was super impressed with Angelique Kerber. I watched her play twice and I felt like she really played to win. (Side note, she’s the only person I’ve ever seen who appears smaller on TV than she does in person.) Her exhaustion at the end of the tournament was disappointing, but hopefully she spent the week resting to get ready for the Open.


Hi Andy! I was glad you lost so you can rest up for our time together in NYC.


Venus, so nice to see you back. I really hope you can keep this level of play up.


Kei Nishokori, are you never going to live up to the hype? I’m thinking no. Too bad.


Had to include a picture of Roger, right? He looked dialed in.


Berdych appeared to be sleepwalking through his match. But he does love West Virginia, so I’ll forgive him.


Some of Venus’s Eleven clothing is a wee bit too much, but I thought this dress was fab. I would wear it, just, you know, in life.


It’s ok Serena, you’ll win the US Open.


And, in all serious, the tennis is great, but the best thing in Mason, OH is Graeter’s ice cream. The UDF stuff they have on-site is fine, but you haven’t lived until you’ve had ice cream from Graeter’s.

Screen Shot 2012-08-25 at 2.43.50 PM

(Obviously. Image taken from Young House Love‘s Facebook page.)

Cincy 3.0 Pictures & Musings

August 21, 2012

We’re baaaaack! As always, Mason doesn’t disappoint. Just the best tiny tournament ever.

  1. Andy Murray made this face. I felt the same way. Better luck at the US Open, you gold medal winner, you!









2. DelPo was there! But he lost. But I was still happy to see him!









3. Rafa was NOT there, and it was depressing. A lovely lady asked Maggie and I to sign a “Get Well Soon, Rafa” poster which was sweet. AND – the best part – Andy Murray signed it, riiiight between the “E” and the “T” in GET.









4. And since Rafa was not there to bring me smiles, I had to stalk out Marc to bring me joy.












5. Venus is probably the only person that can pull off these pants, right?












6. And! Venus still has Olympic hair!









7. Venus jumping for joy; adorable.









8. Sammy Stosur. THE ARM.



























11. Venus & THE ARM. So sweet.








12. Serena is a beautiful player.









13. Serena is a beautiful player Part 2.









14. Serena attitude.









15. Serena frustration.









16. I’ve decided I like Milos Raonic’s legs.








17. Rafa poster sighting!









18. Sometimes people have swordfights on court.










19. This is No Djok.









20. Friday Night Cincy fireworks, a tradition. :) 

Cincy 3.0

August 15, 2012

Today, Maggie and I will depart for Mason, OH for the third consecutive summer… which is officially one of the cutest spots to watch some summer tennis!


Things I’m excited for: 

1. LIVE tennis!

2. Graeter’s ice cream. The best ice cream I’ve ever eaten.

3. Friendly Midwestern people.

4. How you can drive from the tennis stadium to your hotel in under 7 minutes.

5. The opportunity to (awkwardly) run into Judy Murray, my dream bff, just shopping in the Midwestern Sports tent. Just like it happened in 2010. Fingers crossed, people. I’ll be sure to make another “Deliciano” reference to get her attention.


Things I’m not excited for: 

1. No Rafa. #hugeeesadface

(Get well soon.)



Also, tennis world, remember when THIS happened?!

He has medals. Plural! (Reuters)


June 24, 2012

Heyyyy, you crazy kids!

It’s Wimbledon Eve; such an exciting time of year! The grass is still perfect and green, the queue is full of the desperate ticket seekers, and the English people still like Andy Murray.

The next two weeks (really, the next month) are just full of glorious moments of Wimbledon tradition and Olympic history.

Lucky us.🙂

So, on to my predictions:

Men’s Winner: Nadal (over Djokovic) 

— Obviously this is a toughie with Federer still a huge contender on grass, with Djokovic’s obvious talents and happy memory of last year’s victory. But I think Rafa may be able to pull this off. It’s a place where he has positive feelings, and I think (hope) he’s coming out of Paris with renewed energy and confidence.

(Sidenote: I do feel like this is Federer’s best chance at a major this year, so I’ll be interested to see his outcome.)

Women’s Winner: Sharapova (over Azarenka) 

— Though usually I can’t pinpoint a clear favorite on the WTA side, Maria seems like a good choice. Her confidence is high right now, she’s already tasted success at Wimbledon, and she is focused and ready. This feels like old school Maria, and I think she’ll be able to dismantle Vika (or Serena, for that matter).

I’m just hoping for a repeat winner. Prove us wrong, WTA!


Wimbledon is the tournament that made me love tennis, and it brings me such joy and nostalgia every year. I bet I won’t be able to fall asleep tonight.😉


So, happy geeking out, tennis geeks.😀