As if the mere sight of Serena Williams stepping foot on a grass court wasn’t deflating enough to the WTA’s top 20, her sister Venus Williams comes out after five months off-duty and beats Andrea Petkovic 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 in the first round of Eastbourne today. Yeah, it wasn’t easy, but considering that Andrea is ranked 11 in the world AND happened to be the player Williams retired to way back in January’s Australian Open 3rd round, it was a spooky-good win.
Venus commented after the match (via WTA):
“It was very interesting when I drew her. She’s excellent. It’s a tough match for her because I’m kind of a floater right now, and normally she would get through the first round. It was a bit of bad luck for her, but for me it was a great opportunity. It was fitting in a way. It was very ironic. It was a great way to start it off.”
Speaking of floaters, today’s Birmingham Champ, Sabine Lisicki – who’s fallen to a ranking of 100 due to injuries but still swatted away Daniela Hantuchova 6-2, 6-3 in the rain-delayed final – just scored a Wimbledon wild card. The women’s draw, especially with the prospect of some tinkering by the seeding committee, is looking more interesting than ever.
That big trophy is a pretty good hint, but how can you tell Andy Murray’s really feeling great on court?He starts talking about expressing himself:
“Everyone thinks at this period of the year that it’s so stressful, you can’t play, you can’t enjoy yourself, you can’t do anything. But I felt like I expressed myself on the court. I felt relaxed and I felt like I was hitting the ball really well.”
He certainly did hit the ball well in what turned out to be a gorgeous men’s final on Monday at the AEGON Championships (yep, that damned rain again). The expressive Scot came back from a set down versus a typically mercurial and exciting Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to take his second title at Queen’s Club.
Now please excuse me while I take this ripe opportunity to gush over one of my favorites, the fabulous flying Frenchman, Jo-Dubs. I’ve had an absolute blast watching him over this week. He showed off some amazing serving during his upset over Nadal. And though he lost this match vs. Murry, he played with great verve and creativity. With his dives and rolls, 140 mph + serves and gutsy forays to the net, the big Frenchman obviously loves to play on grass. For much of this match, he outfoxed (so to speak) one of the best cat-and-mouse players in the game. The double hander was hitting one-handed backhand passing shot winners, for goodness sakes! One of my favorite moments came in the third set, when after throwing down bombs all match long, he dinked in a little 80 mph puffball that made Andy Murray giggle and make an error.
Talk about expressing yourself on the court!
Not to be outdone, Kim Sears expresses herself on the sidelines:
This match, along with Murray’s awesome display over Roddick a couple days ago, was a perfect appetizer to Wimbledon, reminding of us of all the crazy fun that can be had on the green stuff.
Oh, and I almost forgot – I mean, who plays finals on Sundays for goodness sakes? Philipp Kohlschreiber won the title in Halle after countryman Philipp Petzschner retired with back problems down 6-7 (7-5), 0-2. World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki took out Lucie Safarova, 6-1, 6-4, to win her home title in Copenhagen in front of a sell-out crowd, natch.