Maria Sharapova has been granted a wild card into next weeks WTA Warsaw tournament. She will be seeded fourth with a protected ranking of 30. Her actual ranking is 125. I can't believe she's coming back on clay.
Vania King blogs about some of the strange goings on at La Caja Magica.
So some of the most amazing things have happened at this tournament (and I'm not talking about the disorganization). There have been three "mini" tornados. One I saw three days ago when we were practicing in the afternoon. Alla and Christian were serving on the far back practice court, and we were on the court practicing in front of them. The wind was blowing a bit but not gusting. Suddenly, the wind switched direction and started gusting heavily, tossing around three large umbrellas (with stands) up high in the air. I was already scared for Alla and Christian (and myself, too, but I was watching this from another court), but then a huge gust of wind started a "mini" tornado on her court, just feet away from her. She and Christian crouched in a fetal position, while the tornado ripped apart the back of the court. And then five seconds later, all was calm. It was the most amazing thing.
These "mini" tornados happened three times already. Today on Center Court, apparently one person had to be hospitalized in intensive care because they were hit in the neck by something that was picked up by the tornado.
OK, so amazing thing No. 2... It was raining off and on today, so the matches were postponed at times, and around 3 or 4 p.m., the matches went back out on court. However, after around 30 minutes, court 4's match had to be suspended. The reason? Hundreds of bees swarmed the court, and firefighters had to be called to clear them out. An hour later, the match hadn't been resumed. Hopefully the bees didn't choose to go to court 5 after.
Just in case you thought Serena was talking out of her, uh, asset when she made her comments about the why of playing when injured in today's WTA here are a couple of pics from her match today.
James Blake had two match points in the second set of his title match at Estoril yesterday. He ended up losing the third set to love. I'm giving James a pass on this one since he had to play two matches yesterday after rain and darkness delayed his semi final. He got a good win over Nikolay Davydenko in the semi final. He has to be feeling good about his chances on the dirt going forward.
Andy Roddick and his team have joined Team Lagardere of France. This actually happened last week but with everything else going on I neglected to report it. Andy seems enamored of all things French. He wears Lacoste instead of Adidas or Nike.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was awarded a trophy for Most Promising Young Tennis Player today in Madrid.
I've been watching the matches today on TennisTV, the first ones broadcast from the Magic Box (La Caja Magica) in Madrid. It's a beautiful facility notwithstanding mini tornadoes and swarms of bees. The interesting thing is that even with the roof open the court gives the impression of being indoors. The crowd was almost nonexistent this morning but that's not unusual. Spain is a nocturnal country. The stands are in the process of filling up as I type this since the afternoon break is just about over and people will be out and about.
How is the court playing? More on that tomorrow.