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The Door’s Wide Open

For the first time, Rafael Nadal has control over whether he takes the number 1 ranking from Roger Federer or not. Federer lost in the 3rd round of the Cincinnati Masters to Ivo Karlovic, making it possible, depending on Rafa’s result, for Nadal to take the top spot. Rafa needs the title to take number 1 immediately and his biggest obstacle will most likely be Novak Djokovic, his projected semifinal opponent. Even a semifinal would virtually secure him the top spot after the Olympics. However, if Rafa keeps up this incredible form, I really don’t see him losing.

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Filed under: Federer, Nadal, , , ,

Sharapova Out of the Games

“No chance of me competing in Beijing” is how Maria put it. Russia’s would be top seed at the Olympics pulled out citing two small tendon tears in her right shoulder. The good news is that it is a completely separate injury from the one that plagued her throughout 2007. The bad news is that a tendon tear takes a long time to heal, leaving her in jeopardy for the U.S. Open. But, the worst thing is that she seemed genuinely excited and proud to compete in the games. And after all the crap she took about not competing for Russia in the past, she can’t represent them on the biggest stage.

Filed under: Olympics, Sharapova, , , ,

This Girl is the Real Deal

There. I said it. Michelle Larcher de Brito is the real deal. I was reluctant before with all the hype surrounding her, but due to her recent play, it’s apparent that she has game. The 15 year-old Portugese phenom reached the third round at Montreal, falling to Svetlana Kuznetsova, but took her to 6-4 in the third. Earlier this month in Carson, Michelle had Serena Williams a set and a break down. She also already has two Top 20 wins, over Agnieszka Radwanska and Flavia Pennetta. If she can just beef up her serve, she’ll a dangerous player. She just needs to tone down the grunts.

Filed under: Larcher de Brito, , , ,

It’s Time for a Reassessment

I think it’s about time Maria Sharapova reassesses the severity and long term effects of that shoulder injury of hers. It was a dumb decision to even come to Montreal if she knew she was playing “below 50%”. But, going out there and grinding through a three hour match was probably even dumber. In typical Sharapova fighting style, she won the match 7-5, 5-7, 6-2, but she needed the trainer’s assistance twice. Now, she needs to go back to California and do whatever she needs to do to get healthy, even if it means pulling out of the Olympics and the Open. But, do I think she is really going to do it? No. She may pull out of the Olympics, but I highly doubt she won’t be in New York for the U.S. Open. Maria, you really need to grow some foresight and see that if you don’t do something about it now, this could end up being really tragic. I don’t want to see you retiring at 23, I really don’t.

Filed under: Sharapova, , , , ,

Maria Pulls a Fed

Maria Sharapova’s got herself her own embroidered logo, just like another stylish tennis player we know. TheĀ  design is embroidered on the new line of bags from Prince, recently unveiled for the U.S. Open. But, compared to R. Fed’s classy crest, Mash’s kinda sucks.

Filed under: Federer, Sharapova, , , ,

Brace Yourselves

The WTA is planning on formally unveiling its Road Map 2010 plan at next month’s U.S. Open. For those of you who are not aware, Road Map is basically Larry Scott’s master plan of controlling players like Maria Sharapova and Serena and Venus Williams’ playing schedules. The tour is planning to exchange a 40% pay increase for a full field at mandatory events. And if you don’t play, you get slapped with a heavy fine, even if you’re injured. Maybe it’s just me, but, it seems like this isn’t going to fix any problems. If Sharapova or the Sisters don’t want to play, they’re not going to play. Money really isn’t an issue for them. Maria makes $26 million a year, a couple grand isn’t going to set her back all that much. As for the players who make less than $20 mil a year, it seems like they’d just play events injured to avoid these fines and being penalized in the rankings, which is just going to see the overall quality of tennis drop. Needless to say, this whole thing is pretty stupid.

Filed under: WTA, , , , , ,

Fed Advances When Ginepri Chokes

Robby Ginepri served for the match against Roger Federer at 6-5 in the second set. Fed got the break and Ginepri didn’t win another game. This was one of the most poorly played matches I have ever seen from Roger. His forehand was off, his backhand was off, he was off. But, a win is a win. And boy, did he need it. I expect Fed will play much better in the latter rounds now that he has a win under his belt.

Filed under: Federer, , , ,

Does Anyone Want the #1 Ranking?

I mean seriously. Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic and Maria Sharapova have all had plenty of chances to step it up.

Ana has the number one spot right now, but it really doesn’t look like she’s too interested in keeping it. The only reason she has it at the moment is because JJ couldn’t get it done in L.A. Her effort to get to the top at the French was good but has done nothing since then. The last time I checked, chasing Rafa around Mallorca doesn’t get you ranking points.

Jelena has had three chances to take the number one ranking and failed to get it done three times. The first time she had Ana down in the French Open semis and didn’t get it done. Second, she lost to Tanasugarn in the 4th round of Wimbledon. And lastly, she lost to Safina in L.A., where she would have got the ranking with a title. (All credit to Safina though, who played incredibly.) Who knows if she will ever get another shot?

Maria had the top spot gift wrapped to her by Justine Henin when she retired last May. At the time it felt right because Maria was having an unbelievable year and was clearly the best player of ’08. She kept number one for a grand total of two weeks. Now it seems like Maria is more concerned about her (rumored) girlfriend/shoulder injury/new racquets/European adventures/Nike’s latest fashion escapade/Tiffany earrings/executive producing a T.V. show/acquiring a new Ed Moses for her collection/her bangs than her tennis right now.

P.S.- No hate on any of these ladies, I just think they need to step it up big time. I mean, look at Rafa working so hard to get to number one and these girls almost seem like they’re taking it for granted.

Filed under: Ivanovic, Jankovic, Sharapova, , , , ,

Mini Break

Throw Up the Deuce is taking a mini hiatus for the next few days. As much as I would love to continue blogging, we don’t have a decent Internet connection at the beach house. Oh, well, you’re just gonna have to do without me. Be back on Wednesday.

Filed under: housekeeping, Uncategorized

Still Feeling It

Playing in his first match back since his defeat at the hands of Rafael Nadal in the epic Wimbledon final, Roger Federer looked as if he was still feeling it. Fed went down to Indy champion, Gilles Simon, 6-2, 5-7, 4-6. Perhaps even worse than losing the match are the ranking points he is going to lose from this. The defending finalist will lose about 350 points, while No. 2, Nadal, has semifinal points to defend. Roger said after the match that he caught a cold, but is that really the reason? Or could this really be the beginning of the end of Roger Federer? It’s been said a lot since the Aussie Open, but I always thought Fed would get himself together at Wimbledon. Now he’s got one shot left at the U.S. Open. Federer’s performance there will tell us a lot about the future.

Filed under: Federer, , , , ,