Thursday, June 28, 2012

2012 Wimbledon: Rafael Nadal: Shock and Awe!!!!

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The third major of the year has zoomed it's way into the third round in the blink of an eye. The 2012 Championships at Wimbledon snuck up on us before we could finish digesting the history-making French Open of a month ago.


The one player who WON'T be in the third round is World No. 2 Rafael Nadal. Nadal was SHOCKED, Nadal was STUNNED, Nadal was somehow defeated in the second round by the never-heard-of-before Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic. Rosol is currently ranked 100th in the world and had never qualified to play one round at Wimbledon until this year. This is totally UNBELIEVABLE. SPEECHLESS may be a better word.

But anyway, the show must go on.

As for the rest of the Top 4 on the men's side-- World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, World No. 3 Roger Federer and World No. 4 Andy Murray have all cruised into the third round. Along with Nadal, these three men were heavy favorites going into the tournament and chances are 1 of the 3 will be left standing when it is all said and done.

As for the rest of the Top 10--

The only other "big news" thus far was the ousting of 2010 runner-up and sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych in the first round by unranked Ernests Gulbis of Latvia. And the only reason why it's considered "news" is because Berdych is a recent runner-up. Since his great run in 2010, he has done absolutely nothing in 3 of the 4 majors. Only back-to-back quarterfinal appearances at the Australian Open have kept his name in the Top 10.

World No. 10 and 11th seeded John Isner was also ousted in the first round. I guess we can consider this little-big news since he is in the Top 10. But I threw in the towel on American men's tennis two years ago, so I'm not surprised at all that they are being sent home one by one.

On the women's side--

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So far so good for World No. 1 Maria Sharapova as she has advanced to the third round. She played a tough 3-setter against unseeded Tsvetana Pironkova in the second round, escaping with a 7-6, 6-7, 6-0 victory. But let's remember, Pironkova is no slouch when it comes to the grass courts of Wimbledon. She was a semi-finalist in 2010 and a quarterfinalist in 2011. She may not play well anywhere else but at the All-England Club she has proven to be dangerous, so I'm not surprised at all that Sharapova had to sweat this one out. After the match she said of Pironkova, ''If she played on grass 365 days a year, she'd be top five probably. She has the perfect game for it.''

No. 2 Victoria Azarenka, No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 4 and defending champion Petra Kvitova are all in the third round.

As for the rest of the Top 10--

No. 5 Samantha Stosur has proven once again that the grass courts of Wimbledon are her worst nightmare. The 2011 U.S. Open champion has had a disastrous career at Wimbledon. This time around she was ousted in the second round after being ousted in the first round in 2010 and 2011. Her best-ever showing was a third round appearance in 2009, which is nothing to brag about.

The woes continue for former World No. 1 and seventh-seeded Caroline Wozniacki. Like Stosur, her Wimbledon career has been a nightmare. This time around she was ousted in the first round and has never advanced past the fourth round. Wozniacki holds (what's probably) an unbreakable record of 67 weeks at No. 1 without ever winning a major title.

No. 9 Marion Bartoli was ousted in the second round. She was a runner-up in 2007.

Also still alive and dangerously marching on are a pair of former-World No. 1s-- No. 6 Serena Williams and unseeded Kim Clijsters. If I'm Sharapova these are the two ladies I'd be nervous about.

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