On-court coaching in the ATP? Sort of. In Troicki’s match against Djokovic yesterday, a fan shouted out some advice. Strangely enough, Vik took it…and won the point. See, we fans, we know our stuff
A couple months ago, Tipsarevic was the highest ranked player without a title. And he was mercilessly ridiculed for it. He was labeled a choker, a headcase, a “big match” player who would never be able to string the wins together to win a title. And everyone wore the “I have as many titles as Janko” joke into the ground.
Well, who’s laughing now, bitches! After popping his title cherry at Kuala Lumpur (d. Baghdatis 6-4, 7-5), Tipsy added to his trophy collection today by defeating his buddy Viktor Troicki 6-4, 6-2 at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow. Who would have thought that our little sighing Janko would win two titles so quickly, AND in straight sets?
Even these two did not quite believe it. Yep, that’s your name, son
And in other trophy news, Gael Monfils won Dancing with the Stars, and took home the world famous mirrorball trophy.
Heh, that is he won the Stockholm Open over Jarkko Nieminen 7-5, 3-6, 6-2. Oh those Swedes, what else can you expect from the land that brought us ABBA.
(Pics via Getty Images)
Davis Cup is great for many reasons: bringing the team dynamic to an individual sport, the honor of playing for your country, and, of course, thunderstix. But the best thing about DC by far is the pictures from the many draw ceremonies. All our favorite players together in matching outfits smiling and giggling? Epic win!
Smiling, shaking hands, posing adorably?! I mean…come on!
Of course, Vik isn’t quite down with the smiling and giggling. Does anyone else do bitch face better?
Bahahahahhahaha (he’s short)
*meow* indeed, Delpo
(Pics via Getty Images)
If someone had asked me for my honest opinion before the Isner / Troicki match, I would have said that Isner might put up a fight, but Troicki will win the match. Viktor had just been so solid in his matches this week, while John’s play was less than consistent.
I was not overly surprised that John grabbed the 1st set in a tiebreak (really, shouldn’t all Isner first sets just start at 6 all?), but I was even less surprised when he took a mental walkabout in the 2nd set. There was a lot of noise in the arena from an audio feed from another court, and it bothered John a lot in the 1st set and he complained to the chair about the noise. The powers that be had seemingly fixed the problem, but then it started up again in the 2nd set while Isner was serving. He got annoyed, lost his concentration, got frustrated, and got broken.
Troicki took control and the second set easily. It briefly seemed that Viktor might run away with the match in the third set, but he lost his own concentration after winning a let on his serve. He lost the next point, his serve, and did not hold serve for the rest of the match.
As Troicki crumbled, Isner roared back. He changed tactics, switching to more kick serves that would allow him to come into the net. He also massively upped his return game. If Isner could return that well even 50% of the time, it would make such a difference in his game.
I knew for sure that John would run away with the match when he not only came out on top in the longest rally of the match, but took it on a winner. Isner’s new confidence fuueled game was really impressive. If he can keep the level he showed in the 3rd set against Monfils, we may very well see him in the final on Sunday.
Check out highlights I shot of the match below. I filmed with my regular camera, not my flip cam, so I apologize for the quality. And the abrupt editing. My non-flip cam editing software is rather poor, mea culpa.
(Pics & video via Racquet Required)
A full match recap (with highlight video) to come shortly, but to tide you over, here are Isner’s and Troicki’s quarterfinal pressers.
Isner should reasses his goals after this tournament. Being seeded at the US Open is a great start, but if he keeps playing as well as he as done this past week, he should set his sights on getting back into the top 20, or even higher.
Although John did not know quite yet that he would be playing Monfils, he sounded like he was pumped up for that match up, saying, “we always bring the best out of each other.” All his previous matches with Gael have gone 3 sets, and with a home crowd and Monfils’ showmanship, I would expect tonight’s to be a real show.
Isner may have lost his last match against Gael, but his rediscovered confidence should play a huge factor. It was what made the difference in his quarterfinal match against Troicki. When I asked Viktor (who was previously 2-0 against John) what he thought was different in this match, he said that John played with more confidence:
Viktor played well all week, but he is right: if he wants to get to the next level, he needs to start winning the big matches. He has made a lot of progress this year, and that goal is not far out of reach. Just one match could help him break out of that rut. But today, his belief was simply not as great as Isner’s.
(Video via Racquet Required)
Racquet Required talked with Viktor Troicki after his 6-3, 6-3 win over Kevin Anderson at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington, DC. We talk twitter (no go), Davis Cup, and facing Isner next round:
(Video via Racquet Required)
Vik is so cute, you can see the effort of trying to think of answers to these moronic questions all over his face. Like a marionette. A really, really hot marionette.
(Video via ATP World Tour)
There were some notable burnouts today at Wimbledon. Lleyton Hewitt could not finish of Soderling despite going up 2-0 sets, losing 6-7(5), 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4.
Sod is like the bad guy in a horror movie: you may think you’ve killed him after the first 2 acts, but if you don’t shoot him dead in the third, he’ll come back, rip your heart out and eat your brains. Or something like that.
Troicki also bowed out today, losing in straight sets to Lu 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-4. The good news is at least Vik does not have to lose to Novak in another slam. And he’ll be plenty rested for Davis Cup. Yup, all good
I had a bad feeling about Isner’s match today against Almagro. It seemed like one that he could win…and so of course he did not. John served great, but his return game was worse than normal, and Nico was hitting winners all over the joint. And he celebrated each one like this. Each. One. At least now I remember why I don’t like Almagro…
John did make a match of it by winning the 3rd set tiebreak, but after he got broken in the 4th, it kind of looked like he gave up. Considering he could make zero headway against Nico’s serve, I can’t entirely blame him. Though I wish he had fought more. And returned better. Oh lordy that return…
At least he looked pretty in all white. And he won’t lose any points since he lost 2nd round last year too. Le sigh, see you back in the US hardcourt season, John.
(Pics via Getty Images, Reuters, and AP)
There are many great pictures from Roland Garros. Awesome shot making, emotional celebrations, memorable moments. And then, there are the photos that are, um, none of these…
That looks painful. And gravity defying
WAIT, BALL! WAIT FOR ME!!!
The shots before or after this I’m sure are fine, but this is a prime example of when shirt changes are not hot. And not because it’s Jurgen. On or off, please
Gives a whole new meaning to face shot. Poor Ferru
Most of the time, sweaty, shirtless Rafa is hot. This is not one of those times
Eyebrows is nothing if not CLASSY!
This one is actually not awkward at all, just a visual balm for your poor eyes after the last one
(Pics via Getty Images, AP, & Reuters)