Remember how I told you Justin Gimelstob was a big hit with the ladies at yesterday’s Ladies Luncheon? Well, the man is on a roll. During the break after the Haas/Johnson match, Justin spent a few minutes on court, developing a new tennis talent: Haas’ 2-year-old, Valentina. The girl has a future in pro tennis, based on her poise in front of a crowd and her eye-to-hand coordination. I was joking with JG in the media room later that I’d caught a few shots of him playing with his future mixed doubles partner.
Tommy Haas d. Steve Johnson 6/4, 6/2
Anyway, Valentina’s daddy got down to business this morning, taking out WC Steve Johnson in 2 sets, as expected. Johnson’s play just wasn’t at the level that had gotten him this far, and he was no match for a seasoned tennis veteran who went pro in 1996. Haas will play the first match of the day Saturday, taking on John Isner.
John Isner d. Xavier Malisse 7/6 (8), 6/2
X-man was in better spirits today, mainly because he was serving much better. But then the intense 1st set TB went Isner’s way, and X-man seemed to lose steam, and John wasted no time in capitalizing on it. Don’t cry for X-man, though – he and his doubles partner, Frank Moser, will play in the doubles semi-final tomorrow night.
Milos Raonic d. Denis Istomin 7/6 (0), 6/3
This was a repeat, a rematch of the 2012 SAP Open final – and once again, Milos emerged the victor. I’d only be half-joking if I said I felt like I’d wandered into Big Serve Country, with both men serving very well. Unfortunately for Istomin, taking the TB without giving up even one point gave Raonic an extra energy surge and it was just too much for Istomin to withstand. Raonic will face Sam Querrey in tomorrow’s second semi-final match.
Sam Querrey d. Alejandro Falla 6/3, 4/6, 7/5
Sammy came pretty close to giving this one away, doing pretty much what a Sam Querrey does: an apparent loss of focus, leading to some pretty interesting (embarrassing?) shanks/misses, sprinkled with a few DFs at very inopportune moments. But some credit must go to Falla, who did a great job in the 2nd and 3rd sets and came very close to achieving the upset. All in all, another nail-biter for the Sammy fans – the boy did not disappoint.
Lleyton Hewitt/Marinko Matosevic d. Mikhail Elgin/Denis Istomin 6/7 (7), 7/6 (2), 10-5
I didn’t stick around for this match, but it’s a nice win and a move into the finals for Rusty & Co, given that Rusty’s out in singles; bummer for Denis, cuz…well, ditto. They’ll face the winner of tomorrow’s doubles semi-final matchup between Malisse/Moser and Falla/Farah.
A comfy bed is calling my name now, so I’ll sign off, recharge, and be ready to hit the HP Pavilion for the first Saturday match at 12:15. I have to say, I’m really looking forward to watching Steffi Graf play, since I’ve never seen her play up close & personal. (On an interesting side note, the DOB is only 3 years older than Steffi. Heh. But I think Steffi’s aging better than said DOB. Not-so-heh.)