Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Coverage, Where Art Thou?

I am in a panic mode. Solar Sports, curse you for not bringing the US Open. You and your crummy programming execs. I hate you to bits right now.

Since they will not be carrying the last major of the year, it will be the first slam since US Open 2000 that I will miss. I remember sneaking into my aunt's house to watch tennis in 2001.

Fuming mad right here.
Sunday, August 26, 2007

US Open 2007

Women's Singles
Defending Champion: Maria Sharapova

Quarter I

With top seed Justine Henin leading the charge in this section of the draw, there is an air of Wimbledon 2007 nostalgia, or should've/could'ves right here. Justine should've won her semis match against Marion Bartoli; and could've lost her match against Serena at the quarters. Don't fret, as they're all here, in a mix jumble of sorts. However, our surprise Wimby finalist might not make it past Lucie Safarova.

So there we go, for the third Slam in a row, it's the game's most mentally tough player, against the game's most powerful and determined player. Under the lights of Arthur Ashe, and 50th year since Althea Gibson's win, the stars are definitely on Serena's side.

QF Match: Justine vs Serena

Quarter II

Hey, whatever happened to the Russian Revolution of 3 years ago? Right now, all I hear is Serbia. I don't see an upset coming the way of the world #3, Jelena Jankovic, who, surprise, took a week off and skipped the Pilot Pen warm-up (*gasp*). Things may not be as as easy for the new world #4, Ana Ivanovic (Ana! Marry me!) as a showdown with Wimbledon queen (yet again) Venus Williams lurks in R16.

QF Match: Jelena vs Venus

Quarter III

For the second straight Slam in a row, Martina Hingis has been gifted a rather benign draw. Her section only toughens up in the 4th round, when she could probably meet Svet for a place in the quarters. The upper half isn't as brutal either. Nadia Petrova has been having a so-so year, and Daniela Hantuchova withered after her 2nd title win in Indian Wells. But, these are my predictions, so a bias is only expected. It's time for my ladies to suck it up, and took a shot in winning a slam.

QF Match: Daniela vs Martina

Quarter IV

Maria's only test in this section is going to come from Nicole Vaidisova, who after 2 years, has yet to make an strong impact in the big tourneys. She's been taken over by Anna and Ana. Watch Maria and Nicole slug it out in the 4R, and I think bonus points should be awarded for every point when they don't look at their coaching box.

It's going to be fairly quiet affair on the other section of the draw as the underestimated Anna C work her way through the draw. Watch out for her, a breakthrough is definitely in the offing.

QF Match: Anna vs Maria


Men's Singles
Defending Champion: Roger Federer

Quarter I

Dare to bet against the Fed? Nope, I wouldn't. With the US Open Series trophy under his belt for the first time, this is the first US Open he's going to play with a bonus payout of 1 Mn USD. It's going to be Slam #12 already, apart from his 4th consecutive win at Flushing Meadows should that happen. Should Gasquet come up with the same magic he brought to overcome Roddick in London, Roger is definitely up to that test.

Can Andy Roddick defeat Roger Federer? The short answer is no, so it doesn’t help that they’re meeting in the quarters. However, Tomas Berdych is waiting in 4R – he’s been inconsistent lately, and may suffer an upset in the hands of Fernando Verdasco, so that kind of helps Roddick limp to the second week.

QF Match: Federer vs Roddick

Quarter II

Apart from seeds Blake and Davydenko, expect the other seeds to fall off the wayside. Murray’s in the draw, but will not last too long. However, expect to find Baghdatis to cause a stir, and watch his match up against Haas, then Blake. Pity his run ended in NYC on a sentimental note against Andre Agassi.

QF Match: Davydenko vs Blake

Quarter III

Novak “The Anointed One” Djokovic has already proven that he can contest Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for tennis supremacy. Of the past 15 slams, only 2 have not gone their way. It’s going to be a pinhole and flaming at that for Djokovic to show up and interrupt their party. Standing in the way are former champ Hewitt, who has finally found his form (most of it at least) to go deep in the draws; there’s Mardy Fish, though still struggling with injuries, can pull an upset from Robredo and land in the R16; or even Youzhny, who made the semis last year. Awkward, Novak opens against the hard-serving Croat Mario Ancic. Definitely a night match to see.

QF Match: Youzhny vs Djokovic

Quarter IV

It’s actually surprising that Nadal hasn’t gone past the quarters – was it the tough draw? Maybe not. This year, he should make it all the way to the semis, among his conquests will be Tim Henman, in his final Slam, David Nalbandian, who enjoyed a top 4 ranking last year, and went into freefall this 2007, and either Gonzalez or Ljubicic, Not really a solid draw there, so Nadal should close in on the gap between #1 and # 2. And then there’s Marat Safin.

QF Match: Gonzalez vs Nadal
Thursday, August 23, 2007


I recently went on a work-related meeting off the end of Batangas, and I took some pics. Just sharing, just before I go into full US Open mode.

Pink and Indigo Sky

Yellow Sunset

Shells In Bloom
Saturday, August 18, 2007

Addicted to Pho

The past couple of days, I've been craving for more Vietnamese noodles - yup, pho. Interestingly, I never really liked them before, prior to my trip there early this year, where these noodle stores were as ubuquitous as Jollibees here (or Starbucks in the Makati area).

The soup is a little sweet, thanks to the basil, but watch out for that chili sauce.

It's a perfect tandem to the stormy we've been experiencing lately, a steaming broth with gummy noodles. Slurp away, there are lots of Pho Hoa stores in the metro, and a Pho 24 in Power Plant Mall.
Monday, August 13, 2007

Thanks For Voting! Next Leg, Perhaps?

Guys, much thanks for participating in the polls. Just as a segue (and to tie up the last couple of posts), I went Lonely Planet shopping with the sale at Powerbooks. And here's the decision:

I have ruled out Korea. Not too thrilling I guess, and perhaps, it's time to get out of Asia.

I tried to put the European options together. And like a true blue planner, the costs have been put in, itinerary set, and must-sees chosen. However, my window of travel is somewhere in the 1Q of 2008, and the average temperature in Europe is somewhere at ZERO degrees celsius. Winter wear was not part of my calculated costs (aah, alliteration working wonders!). The perfect time to get there is July.

So that I don't forget, the itinerary is something like: AMS-MUC-VIE-BTS-BUD-PRG-DRS-BER-AMS. Aww, shucks.

So folks, that leaves me with one option left: Australian Open, here I come! I don't intend to stay there the whole week, just the first 3 days. It's a more reasonable option, thanks to Mabuhay Miles. This way, I'll get to see more of the country.


Im putting in another poll. I'm set to see their big cities Sydney and (duh) Melbourne, as well as Adelaide to visit my relatives. However, which city should I NOT miss?
Thursday, August 02, 2007


Come on, it's so cute. More on this later.