After breaking the serve of Rafael Nadal to go up 5-3 in the fourth set of the Australian Open final, Stanislas Wawrinka pointed to his head. It was a gesture the soon to be Swiss No. 1 and World No. 3 had made many times throughout the fortnight.
Then he banged his fist against that same head. Another gesture that appeared to not only sum up his evening, but in some ways, his career. Continue reading
Maybe Andy Roddick was right after all?
Two more players retired yesterday at the Shanghai Masters event upping it to seven total. Stanislas Wawrinka retired due to stomach pain in his match against Radek Stepanek while Gael Monfils had a bad back in his match with Ivan Ljubicic.
Meanwhile, Jo-Wilifried Tsonga crashed out in the third round by losing 6-3, 6-3 to Robin Soderling. In the first set, Tsonga had a break point at 3-4 and hit what looked like a winning down the line backhand. But it was called out by the linesmen.
Tsonga didn’t hear the call or score and proceeded to win the next point. He thought he’d won the game but when the umpire called deuce it was only then Tsonga realized he’d lost the previous point. He claimed the umpire didn’t allow him a chance to challenge but it was actually Tsonga’s fault for not paying attention. By the way, an unofficial computer review showed the ball was in.
Tsonga never really got over that call and sulked his way through the rest of the match. But all credit to Soderling who served very well, including three aces in the final game. Soderling looks very good going into his quarterfinal match against Feliciano Lopez and I would make him the darkhorse to win the whole thing.
In other matches, Nikolay Davydenko kept his lock on Fernando Gonzalez by winning 6-3, 7-5 improving to 6-0 lifetime against the Chilean. Also Rafael Nadal won easily over countryman Tommy Robredo 6-1, 6-4 while Novak Djokovic eased past Rainer Schuettler 6-4, 6-2.
Getting back to Roddick, with the early round losses of Fernando Verdasco, Gonzalez, and Tsonga, it looks like Roddick will qualify as soon as next week for the ATP finals in London.
With shades of an Asian horror flick, it seems like Andy Roddick is double cursed. After losing first round in Beijing, Roddick lost again in the first round of the Shanghai Masters to Stanislas Wawrinka after Roddick retired due to a left knee injury in the first set.
This is where it gets “creepy”. Wawrinka is the same guy Roddick played and ended up with a strange injury in their semifinal match in Rome back in ’08.
It gets worse. Roddick who was hoping to pick up a few wins to qualify for London is still on the bubble and may have to hustle up something special in the Paris Masters a few weeks ago to help his chances. But Roddick said afterwards he was more concerned about his health than the final event so who knows if he will even play London.
In other first round play, Tomas Berdych outlasted China Open finalist Marin Cilic 7-6 (8), 3-6, 6-4. Nikolay Davydenko blew past Igor Kunitsyn 6-4, 6-2 while Lleyton Hewitt dismantled a rather lethargic John Isner 6-2, 6-4. Hewitt played sharp returns and even handled Isner’s looping kick serve that would sail several feet over Hewitt’s head.
Wednesday’s action sees another Rafael Nadal vs. James Blake match while Juan Martin Del Potro takes on Jurgen Melzer of Austria.