Forget “It Must be Love,” the USTA’s old “Greatest Roadtrip in Sports” campaign has worked its way into my psyche. I really do picture the guys and gals driving the LA, Cincy, Montreal, circuit in an old Winnebago (except for Roger who swoops in via NetJets from a baby-friendly altitude. . .) Let’s pull over and take another look at the map.
ATP in Indianapolis: Robby Ginepri beat Samurai Querrey in the finals of the Indianapolis Tennis Championships, the first gnarly pit stop on the road to the US Open.
ATP in Los Angeles: Samurai Querrey beat Carsten Ball (you do know Carsten Ball, don’t you?) in the finals of the LA Tennis Open, Sam’s first title of the season in three tries. This tournament could have been just another pitstop, but I spent some quality time there – confirming that Marat Safin hates playing tennis (click here), that Pete Sampras needs more hobbies (click here) and that Stefan Edberg is still a dreamboat (click here.)
WTA in Stanford: Marion Bartoli beat Venus Williams in an epic three-set final. Sam Stosur beat Serena Williams in the quarters. Venus Williams destroyed Maria Sharapova and Elena Dementieva. I’d love to take some meaning out of the Bank of the West Classic, but the Williams sisters losing in anything that isn’t a Major is about as significant an occurrence as a mosquito splatting on a windshield.
ATP in D.C.: We’re not in Kansas anymore – it was the Land of the Giants at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic with Dr. Ivo, John Isner, Sam Querrey, and Juan Martin Del Potro towering above the field. In the end, the 6’6″ Argentine even dwarfed Andy Roddick. But all of these beanstalk-limbed dudes wilt like buttercups in the heat – and it’s a long, hot haul to the finals in NYC.
WTA in Los Angeles: Did I take a wrong turn and end up in a therapist’s office? Zvonareva spilled about her recent come-back struggles (click here), Safina admitted to a hidden pain (here), and Ivanovic shared her self-help obsession (here). And of course, they all lost before the semis. Sharapova remains sharp mentally, but her body is on the “old wagon.” Sam Stosur is suffering from “finals-itis” – Sunday was her fifth final fail in five tries. Congrats to Flavia Pennetta for improving on her runner’s up showing last year. Splat.
ARRIVING: Week Four
ATP in Montreal: It’s Rafa and Roger together again at the Rogers Cup! (I’m as happy as a ten year old kid who finds out that she’s staying in a hotel with a pool AND a game room – however short the stay.) It will also be interesting to see how Murray and Djokovic are doing, considering they haven’t played competitive singles since Wimbledon.
Rogers Cup quarters (on-paper): Federer vs. Tsonga and Murray vs. Davydenko on the top half (this will be Roger’s first tournament back at the top of the draw) and Roddick vs. Djokovic and del Potro vs. Nadal in the bottom.
WTA in Cincinnati: Kim Clijsters is back! (And the tournament directors definitely don’t fix the draws – she gets Marion Bartoli in her first round.) I feel all warm and fuzzy – like we’re taking a side-trip to see a rarely seen but much-loved Auntie (that would be Kim, Marion is more of the kooky, slightly unhinged, Auntie.)
Cincy quarters (on-paper): Safina vs. Kuznetsova and Williams vs. Zvonareva in the top half and Wozniacki vs. Dementieva and Jankovic vs. Serena in the bottom. Will we get that battle of the Real No. 1s before the US Open? Methinks not.
Unfortunately for US residents, we’re not getting TV coverage of either Montreal or Cincy until later in the week **Update – Tennis Channel has added Tuesday and Wednesday coverage in Montreal!** (click here for the combined tv schedule.)
TennisTV is offering legit live streaming (click here) and we’ll keep an eye out for some boot-legged feeds.