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Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Wimbledon 2011 Thread #2: Women's Semifinal #2- Sharapova-Lisicki

Tactics for Sharapova/Lisicki

Sharapova:
1) Stay steady, stay calm.....
2) ....But this isn't a counterpuncher, and you will need to serve aces today
3) Miami match may mean nothing, but......it may mean something to you upstairs, and to her.
4) Look at Sasha for strength, and don't let the crowd get to you.
5) Breathe

Lisicki:
1) You play with no pressure, you are on a magic journey
2) First serve, and be occasionally bold on the 2nd serve
3) Drop shots, and get her off the baseline. Make her move up and down instead of just side to side
4) Make it more physical than mental
5) The crowd will be behind you, and get into Sharapova's head. Make her nervous and doubt herself.

I say Lisicki in straights I think. She is playing with house money, and the magic. And Sharapova's form has been overrated this tournament, as she looked shaky against Robson before the nerves got to the 17 year old.

The 1st Thread/Wimbledon 2011 For 6/30/11: Ladies Semifinal #1- Azarenka vs Kvitova


For Kvitova
1. You got through your bout with adversity (2nd set against Pironkova) , and you past it with flying colors.
2. Keep that lefty magic serve going
3. Defend as well as you can
4. You are the more talented player, but she will throw everything at you

For Azarenka
1. No holding back on your first serve.....104 mphs and more, and then change it up
2. Be an all court player.....Be Bold, use everything including coming to net
3. Stay mentally calm as you have been in this tournament
4. Play with no pressure.....You are the clear underdog.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The 1st Thread/Wimbledon 2011 Thread For 6/28/11 (1st Thread): Ladies' Quarterfinal Tactics And Predictions

From AELTC

Tactics for Lisicki-Bartoli

For Lisicki:
1) You are still playing with house money. Try not to feel nervous
2) Test Bartoli's fitness
3) Don't be scared to come to net
4) You guys are the best two players on grass in the top half right now......Show that you are the best

For Bartoli:
1) Breathe, breathe, breathe
2) Attack Lisicki's 2nd serve, back up a bit on her first serve, take away her down the middle at least.
3) Show this to be a mental tough match.

Tactics for Kvitova-Pironkova

Kvitova:
1) Place Doubt into Pironkova early
2) HIt hard, but especially, to her forehand for short easy volleys
3) Keep your concentration high.

Pironkova:
1) You haven't thought about the rankings at all......Don't do it now
2) Don't get tight, and stay with Kvitova
3) No off speed serve.....Go for it, because the junk won't work in this match.

(The other two quarterfinals will come in a bit.)

Monday, June 27, 2011

The 1st Thread/ Sports Thread #1 For 6/27/11: Wimbledon 2011-Maniac Monday, Women's Preview

Photo from AELTC
Match of the day:

Serena Williams-Marion Bartoli: Of the many great matches on Maniac Monday, this contest on the women's side stands out the most. This could be either Serena's first win over someone in the Top 10 in the early days of her comeback, or it could be another huge win in the Frenchwoman's mini revival to the sport's pinnacle. Serena will need to be as sharp on serve as she was against Kirilenko on Saturday or face a long two hours with Bartoli, in search of back to back semifinals at the Grand Slam. It's first up on Court 1 and it should be a fine one. Serena-Marion, a fascinating contest awaits.

The Rest of Day 6's contests....

Peng-Sharapova: The 2004 Wimbledon champion still hasn't dropped a set here at The championships, but her form hasn't dramatically improved over the first three rounds. Still, the Russian has won the big points when it matters, giving her the confidence enough in her game to make a deep run here. She will need that against Peng, the last remaining Chinese women who is continuing her impressive year with a 2nd week appearance in a Grand Slam.

Petrova-Azarenka: The Russian has been impressive after three rounds, still showing the talent to be a true threat in the sport despite questions on whether she would be elite again. Petrova will need to carry that form against a very determined #4 seed looking to still make her first Grand Slam semifinal, and playing with the belief that she will do so.

Paszek-Pervak: One of these two 20 year olds will be in a Grand Slam quarterfinal, a prediction barely anyone made at the fortnight, if anyone that is were so bold. The Austrian is the slight favorite going in, coming off the backs of her big emotional victory over Francesca Schiavone on Saturday, while the Russian has never been this far in a Grand Slam, as she'll play with full house money in this match.

Lisicki-Cetkovsha: For drawing Li Na in the 2nd Round, the resurgent German has gotten three fairly manageable encounters to round out her first four match journey. This is that third and last one against a 26 year old Czech who has had the Grand Slam of her life, coming back against Aggie Radwanska and out steadying Ana Ivanovic to make it to this round.

Kvitova-Wickmayer: It's been a perfect 6 out of 6 for the Czech sensation so far at Wimbly 2011, showing the form that make her a legit title threat. The Belgian #2 won't be easy, scoring a big win over Kuznetsova in Round 3 to book her place in the last Round of 16.

And FOCUS ON:

Venus Williams- Tsvetana Pironkova: It is the awkward 4th match that will make Venus' fans nervous, as her Grand Slam bogeywoman is back. Pironkova again has found the magic on the Wimbly grass, dispatching of Verz Zvonareva in the previous round to go along without dropping a set.

Caroline Wozniacki- Dominika Cibulkova: The Xperia Hot Shots lead host is into the Wimbledon 4th Round for the first time, defeating Julia Goerges in Round 3 with the usual energetic persistence she shows in every match. But she comes up against the determined Dane, who has been nothing sort of impressive so far at Wimbledon this year.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Saturday 1st Thread For 6/25/11 (1st Edition): Wimbledon 2011 Day 6

First, as always......Ludacris:


Full Day 6 runthrough of the English/British Championships, to come. Stay tuned.

And De La Soul:

De La Soul - Roller Skating Jam Named Saturday by Brownsugar18

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Sleep Time Thread And Rise "n" Shine Thread For 6/23-24/11: Day 5 Wimbledon Preview And Tevin

To Tevin, see you later:


Day 5 Preview:

Wozniacki-Razzano: Huge heartfelt for Razzano, still playing in the early days of the posthumous time of her fiancée'. She is mentally tough, and she had a fun match with Wozniacki at Eastbourne two years ago. But the Dane will win in two sets, as she is on a mission.


Sharapova-Robson: The magic could be in the air today for Britain's young hopes. She plays with no pressure, and the dynamics of this match could be similar to Caroline Garcia-Sharapova at the french, with the crowd against Sharapova, the pressure on her, against an exciting young player who plays with house money.

Maria again should win this in straight sets, but if Robson shows that she is ambitious in this match from the get go, this could be danger for the 3 time Grand Slam champion.

(More to come in the day.)

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Flashback Friday/The Summer Soul #3 For 6/17/11: Justin Timberlake - Cry Me A River (2002)

Enjoy Timbaland's best artist project ever's fine selection from 2002:

Justin Timberlake - Cry Me A River by perleligerienne

The Friday Flashback #2/The Summer Soul #2- P. Diddy- Bad Boy 4 Life (2001)

More great 10 summers ago nostalgia today, as Bad Boy 4 Life from Sean Combs is the next in this great day of Flashback Friday selections.

The Flashback Fridays/The Summer Cool For 6/17/11: Alica Keys- Fallen (2001)

10 years/summers ago, the single that started it all. Enjoy:

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011

TWD Sunday First Thread/The 2011 French Open For 6/5/11: The Sixth Sense (Why Nadal Won His 6th)


Why Nadal won?

1) Because he is Rafael Nadal, simple as that. His fighting survivor instincts are second to none, and his ability to close out a match on Chartier, even after a nervy 3rd set finish, is also supreme.

2) Roger Federer just hit 11 aces. Hitting that many aces against Nadal on clay is still quite amazing, but there needed to be more for Federer to garner his biggest win ever. He needed as many cheap points that he could get, like he did against Djokovic.

3) And with that, no matter how hard he tried to improve it against the Spaniard, Federer's one handed backhand just wasn't strong enough to overcome Nadal, nor was his forehand too fierce to top Nadal's forehand on the day.

(Pre-Match Analysis, down here below):

For Federer:

1) Keep valuing your serve to the bitter end. Getting any cheap points against Rafa anywhere, especially on clay, is great.

2) Let your forehand be steady, and let your play at net be bold.

3) You've get the perfect weather conditions to dominate points, to get your finest win ever. Leave it all on the court.

For Nadal:

1) Keep Federer at bay on his serve.

2) Win the forehand battle, and show that it is the best shot on the court.

3)You have the ideal conditions to dominate him again today like you did 3 years ago. You are back to your best on clay, and most continue to stay humble, as you have done.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The 2011 French Open Thread #2/Sports Thread #2 For 6/4/11 (3rd Version): Historical-LI Brilliant

From Getty Images

The full write up on a remarkable day for Chinese and Asian tennis, as well as world tennis in general.

The tactics. For Na Li:

1) Show Schiavone that you will not be bothered by the short ball today.

2)Hit the ball in the middle of the court for a majority of times, and close when you get an opening. Don't rush

3) Close this time. You were up a set against Clijsters, and it's important for you to finish the job if you get the chance today.

For Schiavone:

1) Stay steady on the forehand, and continue to be you.

2)Show that you are the champion, and survive the power of the China woman.

Prediction: Schiavone in 3 dramatic sets that we'll remember forever.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1st set analysis and tactics:
72% first serve, that says it all about Na Li's serving and her stroking off her confident first swing. 17 winners, just 10 errors, while 3 winners and 4 errors for Na.

TWD Saturday 1st Thread/Sports Thread #1 For 6/4/11- 2011 Roland Garros Women's Final Preview

Photo from the AP

The almost two month journey that is the European clay court season can be similar to a semester at school.

Key examinations will come along your way, but nothing will be of more importance than the final overall test. It's the grade that carries the most weight, and a terrific score on it could be the difference to whether you past the class or not. It could also mean whether you excelled to a higher level than any of your peers. The latter scenario is what both Francesca Schiavone and Na Li are seeking for, as both veteran combatants look to ace the final exam of the clay court season, the French Open final.

Coming into Rolland Garros, despite arguably the most wide open field ever, both of the women's finalists were not considered as top favorites to hoist the Lenglen trophy. The early exams on the red dirt showed that Li and Schiavone weren't playing the tennis to make pundits give their confidence in them to win 7 matches in Paris.

The defending champion started off the dirt season by getting thrashed by Aggie Radwanska in Stuttgart, and proceeded to get a more hair raising loss in Madrid, taken out in straight sets by American Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Schiavone showed needed momentum the following week at home in Rome, with a couple of solid wins including a come from behind 3 set effort against Daniela Hantuchova in one of the matches of the entire year. But the opponent she beat in last year's French final, Sam Stosur, got revenge on her in front of her Italian supporters, casing most to still not place full backing in another magic Paris fortnight for Schiavone.

However, that quarterfinal run on home soil gave the 31 year old some needed confidence, and it carried over to a strong performance in the warm up at Brussels, losing only to an inform Caroline Wozniacki 6-3 in the final. Nevertheless, Schiavone finally forced the skeptics of her title defense to truly believe in her here in Paris, with a thrilling 4th Round victory over Jelena Jankovic, and consolidating that with her epic 6-1, 4-1 fightback to conquer Ana Pavlyuchenkova 7-5 in the third.

With the magical feelings from 2010 coming back into her body and mind, Schiavone sealed her return to the Paris final with a clay court masterclass against home favorite Marion Bartoli 6-3, 6-3. It was a display that made most wonder, "How did we push her chances of repeating at Roland Garros so easily aside?"

If Schiavone was lightly considered to be around for the first Saturday in June, than Na Li was another "student" not considered seriously to get the top grade in her class this year. Oh how most of the prognosticators were wrong on this front too.

In a bottom half that consisted of a rusty Kim Clijsters, a Career Slam hopeful in Maria Sharapova, and potential first major winners in Victoria Azarenka and Petra Kvitova, you would have been hard pressed to find any pundit believing Li would be the last one standing from that lower section. It wasn't like she was coming in on some shaky form either, as the Chinese sensation put together strong semifinals appearance in both Madrid and Rome. But convincing losses to Kvitova and Stosur respectively, as well as clay still being Li's worse surface, gave few the belief that she would be a true contender to reach a 2nd straight Grand Slam final.

All the under the radar vibe on Asian's sensation cause a spur in Na's step, showing that it would take two impressive sets to deny her in Paris of full glory. And as of six matches, no one has been able to do that.

Surviving the always difficult Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in a brutal first round, as well as handling talented Romanian Sorana Cirstea easily set the 29 year old on a rematch with Kvitova. And after surviving the impressive young Czech's arsenal with a come from behind 6-3 win in the 3rd, Li was in full confidence mode but still picked to be dispatched by Azarenka in the quarterfinals. Not to ideally let a Sharapova-Azarenka transpired, Na flashed her mental fortitude and wore the Belorussian fully down in an impressive 7-5, 6-2 win.

Getting by young talents like Kvitova and Azarenka who haven't won any Grand Slams is one thing, but getting by the determined Sharapova, desperate to add Roland Garros to her mantle, would be an even more stern test. And Li passed it with flying colors, confirming herself as a mental giant currently on tour with a 6-4, 7-5 win over a visibly frustrated and annoyed Americanized Russian.

Both of these women are unquestionably among the strongest internally on tour, with mentalities that exhibit an ability to survive games, an ability to come back from big deficits, and an ability to close out a big match. Li hasn't faced Schiavone's capricious variety, and the China star has admitted that her Saturday opponent's game does trouble her. That probably will be the key difference in this match, unless Schiavone is not as sharp as she was against Bartoli and stars off the match on a rout as she did Pavlyuchenkova.

It saw be an enthralling final between two stars and students of the game in their own ways, as one looks to place herself as a notable clay court master of the last few years, while the other seeks to give her country and continent a landmark first singles Grand Slam title. Dueling these two will be in the biggest test of the red dirt season, the championship examination that is the Roland Garros final.

Who will get the big, winning grade of A on the red clay?

(The full live match thread will come in a few second.)

But now, here's Luda.....


......And De La Soul:

De La Soul & Q-Tip - Rollerskating Jam by hushhush112

Friday, June 3, 2011

The 2011 French Open Thread #2/Sports Thread #2 For 6/3/11 (1st Version): You Forgot About Me?

From RolandGarros.org
In arguably his most satisfying Grand Slam semifinal win ever, Roger Federer has impressively defeated Novak Djokovic in four amazing sets, ending the Serbian's remarkable 43 match winning streak here in Paris.

It was quite the performance from a man desperate to show people that he can be the best again in tennis, despite both his growing age and dealing with the likes of Rafael Nadal and Djokovic standing in his way.

All facets of his game, from his deadly forehand to his pinpoint serve, were clicking at optimum levels today for the 16 time Grand Slam champion. And those shots were just too much for even the inform, seemingly impenetrable Djokovic to make the win streak reach an amazing 44. Federer fittingly backed up his world class serving with an ace on match point as darkness beset on Court Chartier.

And he made sure to remind anyone who he was exactly again, just in case they forgot.

His name is Roger Federer, and he is a legend.
From RolandGarros.org

The Roland Garros Thread #1 For 6/3/11 (Updated): Just Another Year Older, But Still Wiser

Rafael Nadal has reached another final here at Roland Garros, defeating good friend Andy Murray once more in a straight sets win that was far from routine.

The 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 win by Nadal at least secures him his #1 ranking for a few more hours, with Novak Djokovic taking over the top spot from him with a victory over Roger Federer in the succeeding semifinal.

To the Scotsman's credit, he validated that despite not having a Grand Slam title unlike his Big 4 colleagues, he can still provide a fiercely competitive match where nothing short of best will beat him.

But Nadal was just that today, with clutch serving, wicked forehands, and displaying temerity with some serve and volley play even.

The clay court master has relocated the confidence he was in dire search for before his quarterfinal matchup with Robin Soderling. And only a perfect 3 sets will be enough to deny him a record tying 6th title with Bjorn Borg here in Paris.

Pre match analysis:
From tennis.com

Tactics for the Murray-Nadal match

For Andy Murray:
1. Play like you have no pressure on your shoulders, and try to make this match have the dynamics of the 2008 US Open semifinal you played against him. You have nothing to lose and all to gain here, as Nadal is the one with all the pressure on his shoulders.

2. Win the forehand battle, but make this a match about the backhand as much as possible. The relaxation that you will bring to this match will allow you to go for your shots and play the tennis required to cause a major stir, as well as open the backhand down the line.

3. Make this an all court match more than just a baseline duel. Give Nadal the different looks required, especially after his quality improved immensely against Soderling in the quarters.

For Rafael Nadal:
1. Show Murray that you will look to dominate from the start, and that your performance against Soderling was just the start of truly re-establishing your dominance on this court and on this surface.

2. Keep being aggressive on the backhand if you have an opening, without leaving a ball short that Murray could attack.

3. Be ready for Murray's drop shots, as well as making him a possible second set after his reply.

Prediction: Murray has nothing to lose at all, and the pressure again is all on the world #1. But Nadal went up to his legendary level against Soderling, and now finally has the confidence required for him to win his 6th French Open.

Nadal in 4 great sets.

The Flashback Friday/Music Wakeup Call For 6/3/11: Ray J Feat Lil Kim- "It's On Tonight" (2001

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