Serena Williams Twittered this morning that she probably shouldn't have played Rome but that she was unwilling to face the penalty so she played. She admits her leg is still not 100% and that after her loss she locked herself in her room for 24 hours. She also said that she is preparing for the French Open.
Victoria Azarenka continues her campaign to win over fans. She started out by trying to get a lines person to say the mark pointed out by the chair was not the right one. That didn't work. She then went on a Fernando Gonzalez like racquet throw and smash tear. Then she acted as if the entire world was conspiring against her. The "neutrals" in the crowd began to boo her and cheer her UFE's. Then a bad line call sent her completely off and her coach had to talk her down from the ceiling. In the end Svetlana Kuznetsova gave Victoria a lesson in clay court play winning 6-2, 6-4.
Of course I'm using the term "crowd" in a generic sense. There are maybe 300 people in the stands. Attendance during the day and at night has been horrendous. The sight of all those empty seats is especially jarring when looking back at the crowds from last week. The Final is being played on Saturday so that the women can get to Madrid, another mandatory. Great scheduling no? This is going to sound odd coming from me but if any event needed to become a combined event it's this one. Then again we could see the Indian Wells phenomenon where no one went to the women's matches preferring the watch ATP matches no matter what court they were on.
Azarenka vs Kuznetsova is a marquee match between the hottest woman on the tour during the European clay court season and the young upstart who has won three titles this year. It's a shame that they played in a near empty stadium.
Damir Dokic Update
Damir Dokic has been jailed for thirty days by Serbian officials after his threats against the Australian ambassador. Police found what have been termed "two bombs" in his home along with other weapons. Needless to say security has been increased for the Ambassador.
Reports surfaced late yesterday that Ana Ivanovic had pulled out of Madrid. No reason was given at that time but the source was a very good one. The WTA Main Draw has now been released along with a statement saying a knee injury forced her out of the event. I strongly dislike it when tournaments know a top player has withdrawn or is not going to play and holds out until the very last minute to advise fans. After the shenanigans on the Madrid official site yesterday where at one point it looked as if Rafael Nadal had withdrawn tennis journalists were loathe to report Ana out until something official was released.
I hope you enjoy these pictures of Jelena Dokic that will appear in an Australian sports magazine this weekend. The last one is my favorite.