June 28th, 2011

Christmas: Teddy (Window)

Wimbledon Days 07 & 08

So 'Magical, Manic Monday' the day when all singles fourth round matches, a day when shocks, surprises and scares often happen, a day when some of the best tennis is historically played, certainly lived up to its billing.

There won't (thankfully) be an all Williams sisters final; indeed, there won't be a Williams sister in the final as both crashed out yesterday. Serena lost to Marion Bartoli and Venus lost to Tsvetana Pironkova (the same lady she lost to last year). I'd predicted the Serena vs. Marion match could be close and there could be an upset, whereas plutos_revenge predicted the upset could come in Venus's match. In the end we were both correct. What surprised me most of all was the fact both matches were won in straight sets.

I saw Venus's match and bits of Serena's and whilst it's fair to say they were not at their best, it's also fair to say that both Marion and Tsvetana won the matches, Serena and Venus didn't lose them. Personally I do think it is better for the state of the ladies game that after so long out of the game (apart from Eastbourne last week, Serena hasn't played since last year's Wimbledon final and Venus has played very little, pulling out of both the US and Aussie Open with injuries, returning only at Eastbourne) that neither sister did win the title.

Caroline Wozniacki, the number one seed and world number one, also went out, losing in three sets (after taking the first 6:1) to Dominika Cibulkova - that for me was the big shock/surprise on the ladies side.

The men's fourth round matches also brought surprises and a couple of scares. Mardy Fish put out last year's runner up Tomas Berdych in straight sets - the shock of the day. Whilst qualifier Bernard Tomic, the young man who put Robin Soderling out, put out Xavier Malisse, again in straight sets, again a surprise.

Murray (playing in front of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) played a stellar match and dismissed Richard Gasquet in straight sets - I thought that would go to at least four sets and probably five. But no. Another match I expected to go the distance Jo-Wilfred Tsonga vs. David Ferrer was also over in three sets, with Tsonga prevailing.

Feliciano Lopez looked set to go out to qualifier and doubles specialist Lukasz Kubot, having lost the first two sets, but somehow managed to dig deeply and won in five sets. And then went out and played a mixed doubles match!

Djokovic was a man in a hurry and won through in straight sets against seeded Michael Llodra. Federer lost the first set to Mikhail Youzhny, but upped his game and came through in four.

Rafa's match vs. Juan Martin Del Potro was a match filled with high quality tennis and gritty determination, some stupendous shots from both men and irretrievable balls retrieved. Twice Del Potro patted his hand on his racquet to applaud Rafa not only getting to a ball Del Potro clearly thought was a winning shot of his own, but getting it back and winning the point. It was a very close, hard fought four set match, with Rafa coming through in the end.

However, it was the match with the scares as both Rafa and Del Potro needed treatment. Rafa pulled up after a stellar forehand, calling for the trainer due to a terrible pain in his heel, he said afterwards he thought he'd broken his foot. He didn't think he'd be able to finish the first set, let alone match, but after the doctor and trainer strapped and dressed it, he did play on. For a lot of time it didn't look to be affecting his movement, certainly not side to side, but back and forth, it was. And he said, the real pain was when he pushed off for his forehand - his critical shot. He's having an MRI today, so I just hope it's nothing too serious.

Del Potro's scare came when he fell awkwardly chasing down a shot and seemed to badly twist his hip, the same hip he'd damaged earlier in the year. He couldn't get up without help and limped off the court for treatment - it shows how bad it was as this was mid-game. I thought it was over for him, but thankfully the treatment seemed to do its job and he came back and played on. Again, most of the time his movement was fine, but a few times it was clear he was feeling his hip. I hope he too does not have any lasting after-effects.

Today brings up ladies quarter finals and to be honest I have no predictions to make. I really do think it is anyone's tournament to win now.

Sabine Lisicki takes on Marion Bartoli. Dominika Cibulkova is up against Maria Sharpova. Petra Kvitova takes on Tsvetana Pironkova. Tamira Paszek is up against Victoria Azarenka.

On paper the winners should be: Marion; Maria; Petra and Victoria - but having seen the others play and who they beat, I'm not sure 'paper' has anything to do with it.

I think all four matches could be cracking matches. Here's hoping anyway.
Christmas: Teddy (Window)

Thirty Days NCIS Meme. Day #28 - Your Favourite Cast Member

I saw this quite some time ago on dinozzoitis's journal and finally got around to doing it.

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Day 28 – Favourite cast member

All members of the cast are great; they clearly get on with one another, don't take themselves too seriously, are respectful of one another, modest about themselves, excellent actors and actresses and seem to be genuinely nice people.

However, my favourite cast member is:

David McCallum.

I've been a fan of David McCallum for years, having seen in in various shows, including Sapphire & Steel and Colditz and much later on The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

In fact had it not been for David McCallum, I would never have started to watch NCIS - so it's definitely fitting that he is my favourite cast member.

I'd been watching The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and had also got into the fandom when a dear American friend of mine told me about DMc appearing in a new show and would I like her to send me a DVD of it. I said 'yes, please' and she did so. I watched it and the rest, as they say, is history *g*