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In all of Grand Slamdom (or at the very least, since the Majors started seeding 32 players), has there ever been a two-day stretch like this?

Maria Sharapova's loss to Alla Kudryavtseva has to be one of the most shocking defeats I've ever witnessed. I've been reading the stories (among them Kudryavtseva dissing Sharapova's tux) and I didn't realize Alla has had some moments, like getting to the third at the French last year and almost beating Venus here. I don't know why her ranking has plummeted over the past year, either. Not to take away any credit from her, but if you look at the comment posted by Steve in the previous post, that makes for an interesting storyline. That's a couple of tough losses Sharapova's had in her last two majors. They almost make you forget she won the Australian this year.

And speaking of tough losses: Andy, Andy, ANDY! This loss to Janko Tipsarevic kind of bugs me because I consider myself an A-Rod fan. I'm also bugged because I don't know when, if ever, or where he'll win another big one. Know why I have my doubts? Because he hasn't had the right coaching situation for years. I never was a fan of the Jimmy Connors move, and really, if you look at it, what are his brother's credentials? I've been staying up late at night wracking my brain trying to figure out who he can get for a coach (I may be exaggerating a wee bit, but I have been thinking about it!) and only two names come to mind: Darren Cahill and (you're not gonna like this Andy) Brad Gilbert! A-Rod's still a Hall of Famer as far as I'm concerned, but things can be so much better. Anyway, about today: A big oh-for on break points just can't get it done.

James Blake fell, which I was kind of shocked about. He just beat Rainer Schuettler in straights at the French on his worst surface, so why couldn't he blast him off the court here? Something I've been kind of suspecting after he lost to Juan Carlos Ferrero last year and Max Mirnyi the year before, and falling to Fernando Gonzalez in a Davis Cup tie after being up two sets to nil is that mentally, he's not really that hot on grass. Situations can change quickly on the turf and I don't think he manages it well. That's just my opinion.

Along with those three, another NINE seeds lost between the men and women! However, you want to break it down, that's a lot of losing! We'll see how tomorrow goes!

(Photos: Sharapova, AP; Roddick, Blake: Getty Images)

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Comment by Patrick on June 27, 2008 at 3:35am
Sharapova's loss isn't that surprising to me, but then, I've always seen the women's game as a bit fickle. Especially since it has turned into a bashing match from the baseline. Like the Williams sisters, Maria's game has more options than that, but she doesn't take advantage of it often enough. She'll be back in full swing at Flushing Meadows, though, I think. Quick to fall, quick to rise again. She's still better than Ana, as far as I'm concerned, but maybe focused on the wrong aspects of her game (like what she's wearing).

As far as Andy goes, I think he could use a little... Jim Courier? His off-ball movement could be better, which could put him in position for point-controlling shots. Right now, he seems to focus more on quick winners (forehand) or keeping it in play (backhand) rather than getting opponents into a bad situation on both sides.

One thing that's always bothered me about Blake is that he's a strategy player rather than a strength player. He decides before the match what game he's going to play, and when his opponent makes adjustments, he doesn't. Unfortunately, he doesn't fall back on his best moves either. He goes for mediocre shots because it's in his game plan, but that isn't going to get him to the next round when the other guy has his number by the middle of the second set.

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