July 1st, 2011

Animals: Rabbit

Wimbledon Days 11 & 12

Ladies' Semi Finals

Yesterday the final four women left in the draw battled it out to see who would go through to this year's final.

The first match between Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka was a good match with some brilliant play by both ladies, some superb shot making and nerves also coming into play on both sides. It went to three sets and for me it was always Kvitova's to win or lose - she just had so much more power than Azarenka and her game seemed overall more solid and complete. She did indeed prevail and goes into her first Grand Slam final.

The second match between Marie Sharapova and Sabine Lisicki wasn't an entertaining or enjoyable overall. There were moments of brilliance by both ladies - although usually not at the same time. However, Lisicki's serve, which has been tremendous during the tournament deserted her and for a good part of the match she couldn't buy a first serve. Sharapova's serve, always the first thing to do, was also under par and she served an incredible amount of double faults and yet she still managed to come through in straight sets. I swear her screaming gets louder and louder.

If Sharapova's serve is as erratic and Kvitova's nerves get the better of her I fear we are in for a very poor match on Saturday.

Men's Semi Finals

Today Novak Djokovic (seeded 2) takes on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (seeded 12) and Rafael Nadal (seeded 1) takes on Andy Murray (seeded 4) - in that order. And no of course TV viewing didn't have anything to do with the Nadal vs. Murray match being played second *g*

Having seen both Djokovic and Tsonga play on Wednesday I think so much in this match is going to come down to how Tsonga plays. Can he recapture the high he had during the match with Federer? Can he remain focussed and 'present'? Can he engage the crowd? If he can do all of those, then I can see him beating Djokovic - especially if it's Djokovic's standard drops, as it did against Tomic.

Much rests on this match. If Djokovic wins then no matter what happens in the final, he will become world #1. If he loses and Rafa also loses today Djokovic will become world #1. If he loses and Rafa wins, then unless Rafa goes on to take the title again, Djokovic will become world #1.

I think there's more pressure on Djokovic than on Tsonga. The pressure of being the higher seed, the pressure of 'if I win I'll be world #1', the pressure of having had such a fantastic start to the year, the pressure of being called 'the best player this year so far'. It's all on Djokovic. Very little is on Tsonga; he can just go out there and play his game. Although, having said that, Tsonga isn't without pressure; he is playing in his first Wimbledon semi-final and a win will put him into the final. So pressure on both of them, but more, I think, on Djokovic.

If Tsonga wins it will be a repeat of last year in more ways than one. Tsonga, as Berdych did last year, will have put out Federer in the quarters and Djokovic in the semis. And if that isn't enough, Tsonga is seeded #12 this year; last year Berdych was also seeded #12.

Tsonga does have a 5:2 head-to-head with Djokovic, but those wins have all been on hard courts.

In the second semi final Murray will be attempting to do what he's failed to do the each time these two have met at Wimbledon: beat Rafa. The first time he didn't even come close, in fact he got a tennis lesson from Rafa. Last year, however, despite Rafa winning in straight sets, it was much closer.

Murray is playing well, Murray is playing very well indeed, in fact he's quite possibly playing better than Rafa. But Rafa can, and does, up his game when it is needed - but then so can Murray.

Both men are carrying injuries, Rafa's foot and Murray's hip/groin, but I don't think that will be a factor today.

Murray knows how to beat Rafa and has done so four times - Rafa has got the better of Murray eleven times. Rafa has won their last three meetings; Murray the one before that. Both have prevailed in Grand Slams, at this stage, so despite the 11:4 in favour of Rafa, there really isn't any huge statistic in favour of either man - except maybe one: Murray has never beaten Rafa on grass. Could this be his year?

Murray can and does get down on himself when he thinks he's not playing well and that always affects his game. So like all tennis matches so much is down to mental attitude and not just the physical game.

Both will be under pressure: Rafa to defend his title and also his world ranking; Murray to become the first Brit to play in a Wimbledon final for seventy-three years (It's been seventy-five since a British man won Wimbledon). The crowd in true British fashion whilst being behind Murray a little more will support and encourage and applaud both men. So unlike in some places, Rafa won't be playing the crowd as well as Murray.

I think both matches could be tight; both could go to five. On paper Djokovic and Rafa should emerge as winners.

However, I'm going to go with Tsonga and Rafa.

And one more 'stat' if my 'prediction' is correct and if Rafa beats Tsonga on Sunday, then the top four men's points will be the same at the end of the tournament as they were at the beginning, as all four will have got to the stage they go to last year.
Animals: Rabbit

Story Links - April, May & June

Herewith links to stories posted during April, May & June

And the appalling start to the year continues *sighs*

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STORY LENGTHS: Between 500 and 1,730 words.
Animals: Rabbit

Thirty Day Fan Fiction Writing Meme. Day #01

Having thorough enjoyed the NCIS Thirty Day Meme, I'm going to do another one. Once again snaggled from dinozzoitis

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Day 01 – How did you first get into writing fanfic, and what was the first fandom you wrote for? What do you think it was about that fandom that pulled you in?

I'd been 'writing' fanfic in my head for many, many, many years - right back to when I was a young teenager and pre-teenager and very, very innocent, long before I knew such a thing existed. It was very vanilla in those days (even more so than it is now) with just the idea that these two men belonged together.

And later on, again before I knew about fandom (when I still thought I was 'odd' (which we all know I am) to be entertaining such thoughts) I did actually start a Sherlock Holmes story with pencil and paper *g*

However, in my mind those examples don't really count, as they were before I discovered fanfic and fandom existed and that I wasn't odd.

I first got into fandom in the spring of 1999 when I came across information that three Starsky & Hutch videos had been released. Starsky & Hutch was one of the shows I'd grown up watching and one of the pairs I had 'written' about in my head.

I went on-line to see if I could find any more information, to see if any further videos had been/were to be released and during my search I came across a story called Down Roads Long Passed by James and to my surprise saw it was 'my' type of story - the type I'd been 'writing', i.e. that Starsky and Hutch were together, were lovers. I wasn't odd! There were many more people like me out there, who thought about/wrote the same things as I did.

That led me to search further and one thing led to another and to another and to another and I came across oodles more stories, archives and mailing lists and 'met' my first fannish friend: solo.

It seemed quite natural that, after reading stories, I would write my own and so in the summer of 1999, I wrote my first couple of  Starsky/Hutch stories: Hard To  Say I'm Sorry and Always On My Mind. My writing has for the most part changed a lot since then, but I've never had the inclination, desire or urge to go back and 'tidy' the stories up. I like to see how I've grown over the years; I think it's important for the writer and the reader.

I was pulled into the fandom simply because I'd loved the show when I first saw it and had always thought Starsky & Hutch were so right for one another, were best friends (yes, being friends is vital to me), loved one another, would die for one another and were one another's other half. Also, the fandom was very inviting, friendly and helpful and I soon had copies of all the episodes and my very first zine *waves to solo.

I always thought I'd be a one-fandom gal and remain in Starsky & Hutch fandom for my entire fannish 'life'. How little I knew *wry grin*