Is it just me, or has the women’s tennis been more exciting than the men’s during Wimby’s first week? Maybe more interesting is the better expression. Here are some random thoughts on the WTA action today.
I enjoyed the Serena v. Amelie match today, even though it was a little sad watching the weakened Mauresmo falter in straights. I’m a huge Amelie fan, for the following reasons:
1. she’s class all the way
2. her one-handed backhand is her weapon
3. she has an all-court game and likes to serve and volley (making her the last S&Ver on the WTA tour?)
4. she’s overcome a variety of personal issues and on court mental yips to win two majors.
It’s sad to think that she may retire soon. As the UK’s Daily Mail put it in a headline today: “Serve-volley a dying art as Maruresmo exit sparks fear for purists” Click here for the article. Without Amelie and Justine, who will bring artistry to the women’s game? Ana Ivanovic?
Speaking of, Ana Ivanovic must have caught a killer case of the upsets from Maria Sharapova. It was rough watching her go down 1-6, 4-6 to 131 ranked wildcard (!) Zheng Jie. As Brad Gilbert said afterward, “Upsets are contagious.” He also gave her some guff for sobbing during the changeover mid-match: “The No. 1 player in the world doesn’t cry on court!” (Unless you’re holding a trophy!) I felt bad for her, but even worse for Natalie Dechy. But good on Zheng (the 2006 Wimby doubles champ) for keeping her guts in check – she must be looking forward to Beijing!
And hurray for Betthanie Mattek who upset last year’s finalist, Marion Bartoli! It’s taken me a while to “get” her, but now I admire her feisty outsider status (no coach, no clothing sponsor) and disinterest/inability to become the WTA’s latest femmebot. It’s easy to relate to her, which made today’s win even more inspiring. She must still be feeding off Roland Garros, where she took a set from Sharapova after eating a double bagel in their previous meeting. There’s a fire in her belly that Serena is sure to stomp out in the round of sixteen!
Did anyone catch Anna Chakvetadze’s interview with Chris Fowler? She was giving him nothing but eye rolls and three word answers! I half expected her to light a cigarette, take a shot of vodka and order Chris to go suck an egg. What a character – straight out of central casting! Nicole Vaidisova is her Rd. of 16 opponent – both of these underperforming up-and-comers must be freaking out right now at the opportunity in front of them. I’m picking Anna to get through.
Jelena Jankovic is working her way through the draw with very little hype. With Ana and Maria out and a scratchy Venus on her side of the draw, she must be jumping out of her Louboutins with excitement.
Please forgive me for not touching on the men today – I’m pulling a Djokovic and begging “mental fatigue.”