I admit, like a few top players who will remain nameless, I’ve suffered from a bit of fatigue after Indian Wells and have had a hard time getting enthusiastic about the Sony Open in Miami. But lucky me, I happened to tune in yesterday and was treated to some great stuff. Unlike the players, fans have the luxury of entering, withdrawing and re-entering tournaments whenever we like!
This was the highlight of my week so far:
Agnieszka Radwanska’s cult following always baffled me, but I’m starting to understand better after this match. Kirsten Flipkens, with her own featherweight game (oh that powderpuff one handed backhand!) was the perfect foil to Aga’s thoughtful style – their quarterfinal match was an entertaining showcase of touch, angles and, gasp, net play! I was going to recall my earlier fantasy of a WTA featherweight league where the Flipkens and Radwanskas of the world could battle it out without fear of airstrikes from the likes of Serena and Kvitova, but then I remembered that Radwanska is currently ranked number four in the world and defending champion here in Miami.
Tommy Haas is hardly a lightweight, but he was definitely the underdog against Novak Djokovic on Tuesday. I’m sure the tournament director doesn’t agree, Andy Murray being the only Big Four star alive in the draw after Tuesday, but I think it’s great that Tommy made it through to the quarterfinals. His 6-2, 6-4 rout of the world number one was both entertaining and inspiring. 35 is the new 20! Haas becomes the oldest player to beat a No. 1 ranked opponent in thirty years. This is also only the second time Haas has ever beaten a top ranked player in his career. (via FoxSports) He’s savoring the victory:
“I am really happy and proud to beat such a great player who has been dominating the sport the past couple of years,” he said. “I really took advantage of the opportunities I’ve gotten. I think I played extremely well. Playing against someone like Novak and coming out on top at this time in my career, it’s unbelievable. It goes up as one of the best wins of my career. I hope the fans enjoyed it.”
Now let’s just hope he doesn’t suffer a bout of food poisoning tomorrow. . .
I think the men’s draw has shaped up to be pretty interesting stuff. Here’s the quarterfinal line-up:
Haas vs. Simon
Ferrer vs. Melzer
Gasquet vs. Berdych
Cilic vs. Murray
As for the ladies, I can’t believe we’re getting yet another Errani vs. Sharapova match (how’s that for little vs. big?). But I’m also mildly pleased to see Jankovic still around in the quarters, and playing Vinci, to boot. The Williams vs. Radwanska semi could be complicated, given Serena’s injury issues, though I’m hoping for a classic Big Babe, Serena vs. Sharapova final.
A few other observations: H&M’s kit for Tomas Berdych is absolutely atrocious. You’d think that simple black and white would be boring at worst, but this heaps on tacky and cheap (was H&M going for this look). I’m assuming the money’s good, but perhaps the company could have invested a little more in the actual fabric and design:
I’m not sure about the lavender, either:
Perhaps it’s good that Nole and his Necco wafer colored kit have called it quits a bit early. I’m sure he’s looking ahead not only to the red clay but to next week’s trip to the Taco Bell Arena, and wanting to be as well rested and fit as possible. As much as I’m enjoying the last days of the American hard court spring, like Nole, I’m looking forward to the next chapter!