Tennis Server ATP/WTA Pro Tennis Showcase - US Open 2010 - Seeing The Light - Nadal, Simone, Verdasco, Nalbandian, Schiavone, Pavlyuchenkova
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September 5, 2010

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US Open 2010, Flushing Meadows, NY, USA
September 5, 2010
Editorial by Jane Voigt.

Jane Voigt Photo
Jane Voigt

Seeing The Light
 
September 5, 2010 -- Moving through a draw is like driving through a tunnel. You arrive at a point where you see the light. It's just a tiny dot, at first. But at least you realize you're headed in the right direction.
 
For the ones who cross the line into week two, at this year's U. S. Open, the facts will be apparent. They will have moved around the courts better and served better. They will have tamed the elements better. They will have recovered better. And they will have had the keenest mental means to move from one point to the next, no matter what has happened in a previous point.
 
Gone will be those whose fitness was in question. This is especially true on the men's side, where the best-of-five format and marginal differences between players' abilities forces fitness to the forefront of the essentials to win.
 
Gone will be those who can't recover from a deficit in the scoreline. They, too, will have been mentally shaky when mindfulness would have done the trick. Players who don't attack second serves with an intention to gain an upper hand in a rally will, too, probably have exited the grounds at The National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows.
 
The players in week two will have converted more break points, taken more risks with tactics, and had the right kind of support from a team of coaches, physios, trainers, and families. They, too, will have been on the right side of luck.
 
This cosmos of elements that gather as the tournament travels forward will either tighten or whirl out of control, causing a player to stumble from the draw in the round of sixteen, or quarterfinals. The women's draw is a day ahead of the men's draw. Super Saturday looms six days away, when the evening highlight of the tournament explodes in front of a packed Arthur Ashe crowd of some 23,000 fans and celebrities.
 
Today, Ana Ivanovic had her chances. But the defending champion Kim Clijsters outplayed the Serb by a wide margin. Clijsters won 62 61 in a minute shy of an hour. However, the first two games took up ten minutes of that hour. That was the time Kim needed to warmup. After that, the points accumulated rapidly.
 
"I know how much you have to focus and work. It's not easy," Clijsters said about winning seven matches and the title last year and in 2005. "I'm not bothered too much about the outside pressure."
 
Clijsters movement continues to optimize her game. And with tennis pegging by solid running first and foremost, the #2 seed's chances of pulling off the win were obvious before the match began. Ivanovic did run Kim in figure eights and kept balls deep, but she got them and hit them back even after skidding, splitting and spinning around.
 
Ivanovic's serve failed her, too. It faltered almost immediately. She tossed the ball wide, too far away from her strike zone, the way Elena Dementieva did a couple years back. Ivanovic chased the toss, spinning in weak serves. Clijsters clobbered them.
 
The errant toss could have had been caused by something other than poor technique. It could have been a sign of nerves. She was only 50% on winning points off her first serve and a dismal 24% on winning points from second serves. That's not good enough.
 
Nerves can nail feet to the court surface, too. Several times Ivanovic didn't, or couldn't, move away from a crisp Clijsters' return, or didn't anticipate quickly enough. She was a step slow and off balance striking shots, affecting too many unforced errors. She accumulated almost twice as many unforced errors as winners.
 
"I was a little bit slow and nervous about being on the big stage again," Ivanovic said, smiling all the while she spoke to the press. "Lots of emotions came back. I felt a bit out of it. But I made some steps and am very happy for the week. I went farther than expected."
 
Sam Querrey, seeded 20, made quick work of #14 seed Nicolas Almagro in straight sets. Sam's had a heck-of-a year, winning four titles, and plays injury free. But big occasions have invaded his concentration and performance.
 
This year, Querrey lost in the first round of the Australian and French Opens. He bowed out after the fourth round at The All England Club, losing to Andy Murray. Last year at the U. S. Open he lost in the round of 16 to Robin Soderling.
 
If incremental steps are signs of improvement, then Querrey can just let go and step on the gas when he faces his next opponent. Querrey's serve and forehand helped reverse momentum today against Almagro. These weapons could help him drive past anyone.
 
With world number one Serena Williams out of this year's Open, big sis Venus was left with a heavy family load. Seeded third and not having won the Open since back-to-back titles in 2000 and 2001, she may sense her time for another major win grows shorter and shorter. But she would never reveal that possibility, chalking up the last eight years as the best she could have done.
 
Shahar Peer had never won a set off Venus in their six previous meetings. But the fit Israeli woman couldn't alter her record, either, no matter how she fought -- and they fought like soldiers with an eye on the most valuable outcome: a spot in the quarterfinals.
 
"I was getting close," Peer said. "I was fighting."
 
When points and games squeezed them to perform their best, it was Venus's head that pulled her through 76(3) 63.
 
"We always have tough matches," Venus began. "I had to stay tough and stay positive. I had to be focused because I know that's what she's going to do."
 
Call it luck. Call it fate or serendipity, but some players don't move on to the second week in New York because of events or circumstances way beyond control. Such is the case for Gilles Simon.
 
He lost to the #1 seed Rafael Nadal today, but the Frenchman couldn't be happier. On Friday he told journalists that Carine Lauret, his girlfriend, had delivered their first baby four weeks ahead of schedule.
 
"If I win it's fabulous," Simon said of his match against Nodal, and reported on GoToTennis.com. "And if I lose, it's even more fabulous."
 
Simon expected to catch a flight home later today.
 

 
[1] Rafael Nadal (ESP) {green shirt} d Gilles Simone (FRA) 64 64 62
 
Nadal Simone Scoreboard US Open 2010 Tennis
Rafael Nadal US Open 2010 Tennis
Gilles Simone US Open 2010 Tennis
Rafael Nadal US Open 2010 Tennis
Gilles Simone US Open 2010 Tennis
Rafael Nadal US Open 2010 Tennis
Gilles Simone US Open 2010 Tennis
Rafael Nadal US Open 2010 Tennis
Gilles Simone US Open 2010 Tennis
Rafael Nadal US Open 2010 Tennis
Gilles Simone US Open 2010 Tennis
Rafael Nadal US Open 2010 Tennis
Gilles Simone US Open 2010 Tennis
Rafael Nadal US Open 2010 Tennis
Gilles Simone US Open 2010 Tennis
Rafael Nadal US Open 2010 Tennis
Gilles Simone US Open 2010 Tennis
Gilles Simone US Open 2010 Tennis
Rafael Nadal US Open 2010 Tennis
Gilles Simone US Open 2010 Tennis
Rafael Nadal US Open 2010 Tennis

 
 
[6] Francesca Schiavone (ITA) {white shirt} d Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 63 60
 
Schiavone Pavlyuchenkova Scoreboard US Open 2010 Tennis
Francesca Schiavone US Open 2010 Tennis
Francesca Schiavone US Open 2010 Tennis
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova US Open 2010 Tennis
Francesca Schiavone US Open 2010 Tennis
Francesca Schiavone US Open 2010 Tennis
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova US Open 2010 Tennis
Francesca Schiavone US Open 2010 Tennis
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova US Open 2010 Tennis
Francesca Schiavone US Open 2010 Tennis
Francesca Schiavone US Open 2010 Tennis
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova US Open 2010 Tennis
Francesca Schiavone US Open 2010 Tennis
Francesca Schiavone US Open 2010 Tennis
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova US Open 2010 Tennis
Francesca Schiavone US Open 2010 Tennis
Francesca Schiavone US Open 2010 Tennis
Umpire US Open 2010 Tennis

 
 
[8] Fernando Verdasco (ESP) {white and dark blue shirt} d [31] David Nalbandian (ARG) 62 36 63 62
 
Verdasco Nalbandian Scoreboard US Open 2010 Tennis
Fernando Verdasco US Open 2010 Tennis
Fernando Verdasco US Open 2010 Tennis
Fernando Verdasco US Open 2010 Tennis
David Nalbandian US Open 2010 Tennis
Fernando Verdasco US Open 2010 Tennis
David Nalbandian US Open 2010 Tennis
David Nalbandian US Open 2010 Tennis
Fernando Verdasco US Open 2010 Tennis
David Nalbandian US Open 2010 Tennis
Fernando Verdasco US Open 2010 Tennis
David Nalbandian US Open 2010 Tennis
David Nalbandian US Open 2010 Tennis
Fernando Verdasco US Open 2010 Tennis
David Nalbandian US Open 2010 Tennis
Fernando Verdasco US Open 2010 Tennis
David Nalbandian US Open 2010 Tennis
David Nalbandian US Open 2010 Tennis
Fernando Verdasco US Open 2010 Tennis
David Nalbandian US Open 2010 Tennis

 
Earlier Coverage from this Event:
 
September 4, 2010 US Open: Favorites - Mardy Fish, Arnaud Clement, Maria Sharapova, Beatrice Capra, Jurgen Melzer, Juan Carlos Ferrero
September 3, 2010 US Open: The Virtual U.S. Open - Ryan Harrison, Sergiy Stakhovsky, John Isner, Marco Chiudinelli
September 2, 2010 US Open: Way Below The Radar - Roger Federer, Caroline Wozniacki, Kai-Chen Chang, Andreas Beck, Robin Soderling, Taylor Dent
September 1, 2010 US Open: The Word - Andy Murray, Lukas Lacko, Venus Williams, Rebecca Marino, Gael Monfils, Igor Andreev
August 31, 2010 US Open: What's Age Got To Do With It? Arnaud Clement, Marcos Baghdatis, Novak Djokovic, Mardy Fish, Jan Hajek, Viktor Troicki
August 30, 2010 US Open: And Away We Go - Melanie Oudin, Kim Clijsters, Andy Roddick, Olga Savchuk, Greta Arn, Stephane Robert
August 29, 2010 US Open: Who's In, Who's Out
 

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