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Sharapovanovic's Articles – May 2010 Archive (14)

Feats and Feet of Clay (VI): French Open Day 6 Preview

This latest edition features previews of Cibulkova-Venus, Rezai-Petrova, Murray-Baghdatis, Dulgheru-Wozniacki, Kuznetsova-Kirilenko, Montanes-Soderling, and Isner-Berdych in addition to analysis (unbiased, we promise!) of the intra-Serbian feud between Ivanovic and Jankovic over the most controversial gesture in tennis: the fistpump.

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Added by Sharapovanovic on May 28, 2010 at 12:15am — No Comments

Feats and Feet of Clay (V): French Open Day 5 Preview

The contrast between efficient and inefficient tennis couldn’t have been much starker than in consecutive ATP matches on Court Philippe Chatrier. While Federer never opened a window of opportunity for Alejandro Falla, Gael Monfils opened windows and doors aplenty for Fabio Fognini, nearly jumping out of a window himself before the setting sun conspired with the Frenchman to deny the Italian three match points. We checked out on this match when Monfils led by two sets and a break, then…

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Added by Sharapovanovic on May 26, 2010 at 11:19pm — No Comments

Feats and Feet of Clay (III): French Open Day 3 Preview

A rather painful episode of déjà vu occurred today for the star-crossed Richard Gasquet, who watched a two-set-and-break lead evaporate against Murray for the second time. Probably better suited for the compressed best-of-three format, the Frenchman’s electrifying shotmaking fails to compensate for his lack of physical (and mental) fitness at majors. With relatively little at stake, Murray deserves credit for staying focused until Gasquet faded once again; this instinctive will to compete…

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Added by Sharapovanovic on May 24, 2010 at 10:01pm — No Comments

Forecasting the French: Contenders, Pretenders, Dark Horses (WTA)

While the king of clay has emphatically reaffirmed his dominance over the competition on this surface, the queen of clay hasn’t quite followed suit. As a result, the WTA field at the French Open promises to be vastly more unpredictable and possibly more engaging than its ATP counterpart. We apply the same matrix of contenders, pretenders, and dark horses that we used in the men’s preview: contenders are tournament favorites, pretenders are potential underperformers, and dark horses are…

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Added by Sharapovanovic on May 21, 2010 at 12:29am — No Comments

Forecasting the French: Contenders, Pretenders, Dark Horses (ATP)

As most players enjoy a well-merited respite before the French Open fortnight, we cast our minds towards the first Slam that will be covered by this blog. Based largely upon the events of Monte Carlo, Stuttgart, Rome, and Madrid, our preview will identify contenders, pretenders, and dark horses at the event that starts in less than a week, as Tennis Channel’s “Countdown to Roland Garros” chronically reminds us. Under “contenders” are the tournament favorites, while “pretenders” feature…

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Added by Sharapovanovic on May 18, 2010 at 10:20pm — No Comments

What a Difference a Year Makes: ATP Madrid Final Preview



Rewinding to the 2009 Madrid final, one is immediately struck by the vastly different situations in which both gladiators find themselves now compared to where they found themselves before the match a year ago. Then, Nadal stood at the peak of his powers and the pinnacle of the tennis hierarchy, having vanquished…

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Added by Sharapovanovic on May 16, 2010 at 2:42am — No Comments

#1 and Done + Madrid Monday Preview

Playing a little free association with the words “Henin,” “Sharapova,” and “Madrid,” the 2007 year-end championships final springs to mind, an instant classic in which the statuesque Russian and the petite Belgian fired groundstroke missiles at each other for nearly three and a half hours of relentlessly superb tennis. In their very next trip to the Spanish capital, however, the two former #1s tumbled consecutively to a pair of streaky but second-tier players.…

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Added by Sharapovanovic on May 9, 2010 at 11:44pm — No Comments

Opening the Magic Box: ATP Madrid Preview







Under the guidance of the eccentric, brilliant Romanian visionary Ion Tiriac (the non-Swiss legend above), the Madrid event has evolved into the top ticket in European tennis outside Wimbledon and Roland Garros. From its glamorous website to its sparkling arena, La Caja Magica (Magic Box), Tiriac’s territory exploits every opportunity to engage and inspire the spectator…

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Added by Sharapovanovic on May 9, 2010 at 2:00am — No Comments

Goodbye Rome, Hello Madrid!

The Rome tournament soared to a slightly premature climax on Friday afternoon with the epic Jankovic-Serena semifinal, one of the most dramatic and tightly contested WTA matches of the year so far. Having…

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Added by Sharapovanovic on May 8, 2010 at 2:31am — No Comments

Rome Is Burning: WTA Rome Semifinal Preview



According to classical histories, the Emperor Nero once played a violin on his palace balcony while admiring the spectacle of his flaming city. Equally inspired by the spectacle of Ivanovic’s flaming…

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Added by Sharapovanovic on May 7, 2010 at 1:00am — No Comments

The Art of Amnesia + WTA Rome Quarterfinal Preview

Despite promising portents during Ana’s Stuttgart loss to Radwanska, we were unprepared for the implausibly sudden awakening of Serbia’s Sleeping Beauty. For us, the most remarkable moment in her eye-opening win over Dementieva was not her 27-minute first-set rampage over the Olympic gold medallist, nor was it her stabilized serve, her fearless forehand, or her improved mobility, which allowed her to prolong several points until the Russian donated an unforced error. While all of these…

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Added by Sharapovanovic on May 5, 2010 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Thunder and Lightning: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

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Added by Sharapovanovic on May 4, 2010 at 11:31pm — No Comments

'Tis the Season + WTA Stuttgart Final Preview



After dodging a bullet (or 50 of them) from Ernests Gulbis, Nadal should settle back into his comfort zone against a compatriot who specializes in armor rather than bullets. Ferrer’s sublime defense should prove much less dangerous to Rafa than the flat, sometimes Soderling-like groundstrokes relentlessly pounded by the Latvian. Only if the defending champion is weary from…

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Added by Sharapovanovic on May 2, 2010 at 1:46am — No Comments

Cruise Control + Rome Revisited: Rome / Stuttgart Semifinals + WTA Rome Preview

Confronted with a lethal-looking draw at the outset of this week, Nadal now finds himself within two comfortable wins of tying Agassi’s record for career Masters titles (17). Although he had been projected to play Soderling, Federer, and Djokovic consecutively, ambushes by Wawrinka, Gulbis, and Verdasco erased all three threats from his path. The Latvian should connect with some…

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Added by Sharapovanovic on May 1, 2010 at 1:14am — No Comments

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