Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Indian Wells Day 7: Let's Hear It For the Girls

by Savannah

The big news yesterday was that Kim Clijsters retired from her match against Marion Bartoli at 6-4, 1-3 due to the effects of a shoulder injury. After everyone calmed down the talk became all about who would win this event. It was mentioned in passing that Caroline Wozniacki wearing yet another Stella McCartney atrocity, would retain the number one ranking.
There will be no talk of strategic retreats, questioning why the pain became too much to bear when down 1-3 in the second set, or why a woman would simply lop of her hair just because. Those questions are for lesser mortals, not Saint Kim. After all the woman has to struggle traveling with her daughter, her daughter's nanny, her husband and god knows how many other people to get to tournaments. I remember having to haul my daughter in her stroller up and down subway steps but my issues pale in comparison to Kim's.

I'm beginning to wonder if the WTA has decreed that the on court coaching sessions are not shown, at least not on network television in the States. This gives the impression that someone who was having trouble constructing points or figuring out how to neutralize her opponents strategy had a sudden epiphany court side and that that man (it's usually a man) sneaking off court had nothing to do with her suddenly clearer vision. Right.
As for the woman in that god-awful kit her match against Alisa Kleybanova of Russia was a predictable as predicting the sun will rise tomorrow. Kleybanova was giving Wozniacki all kinds of fits in the first set. She was taking the ball early, hitting screamers all over the court, and generally wreaking havoc with the computer ranked #1. I said after the first set that if Kleybanova didn't win the second set she would lose the match. No need to look for my toll free number. If you've watched Kleybanova play at all recently it was easy to make that statement. She begins to visibly tire in the middle of the second set and by the third set she can barely lift her arms let alone move her feet. I can almost hear Piotr Wozniacki telling his daughter to let Alisa win the first set and then just send balls in her direction that will make her have to run. Hell it'd be my strategy. Alisa is thinner but not at all fit. Until that happens she's doomed to be a good warm up for better players.
Still think I was kidding about that kit? It looks worse live.
Ana Ivanovic defeated her countrywoman Jelena Jankovic in straight sets 6-4, 6-2. The odd thing was that JJ seemed disinterested. There were no protracted arguments, no vapors, nothing from JJ the entire match. Aside from a dead fish handshake at the net where the two avoided all eye contact there were none of JJ's usual antics. Eh. Maybe she was anxious to get to that new house the commentators were going on about.
Didn't see any of it but Shahar Peer won an epic battle against Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(3).
In a battle between two women I wouldn't opt to see live unless there was nothing else going on Victoria Azarenka defeated Agnieszka Radwanska 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(3). I didn't see this match either. Commentator Lindsay Davenport said she thinks Victoria should be contending in the latter stages of a major. We'll see.
There are a lot of people, me included, who liked seeing Dinara Safina looking as if she was ready to get back to the top 20 in women's tennis. Maria Sharapova is not one of them. Maria came out like a house on fire from the first ball and by the end of the match Dinara looked ready to assume the fetal position in a dark corner. The final score 6-2, 6-0 is deceptive. It wasn't that close. New coach Davide Sanguinetti has his work cut out for him. Maybe he should become a tennis whisperer like Ana's new hitting partner who instead of talking strategy with his pupil talked to her about ownership of the court and not letting herself be intimidated. Hell of a statement from Sharapova. Hell of a setback for Dinara.
There was men's tennis yesterday. In a battle of Americans Andy Roddick faced John Isner in a battle of the flame throwers. Roddick, like Sharapova, left his opponent bothered and bewildered, something Isner admitted in his post match presser. The final score was 7-5, 6-2. Wasn't that close at all.
The most anticipated match of the day was the one between Ryan Harrison and
Milos Raonic. Raonic has been on fire early in the year but Harrison had shown some promise as well. I have to say I was pulling for Milos. Yes I'm going to be that person who will not let go of the shit Harrison pulled on court during his prior match. Just like Azarenka's antics from a couple of years ago in Australia those are not moments to let pass. I'm sure people who want to see an American able to duplicate what Raonic has done will cite his age, he's 18, and that he will mature. Bullshit. He wasn't an ass to his opponent but he was surly and mean to the ball kids. There was also that bit of head hunting he did after Raonic frustrated his plans. Nice. Roddick is known to be a nice person off court and always apologizes for his hissy fits afterwards. I don't think Harrison is that guy.

Anna Chakvetadze, seen here before she was forced to retire from her opening round match, spent the night in a hospital and was told to take some time off from tennis. She was diagnosed with neurocardiogenic syncope, a condition that causes fainting. Whatever the reason I hope Anna takes time off and looks into why this has happened.

Andy Roddick, when asked about Serena Williams condition and availability for the 2012 Olympics said he doesn't care if she doesn't play another match until 2012 he wants to play mixed doubles with her. Andy is known to get what he wants.

Serena, in an interview with Doug Robson, admits to being depressed and to be looking forward to being back to her winning ways. Her hitting partner and friend Sascha Baijin has been calling her out on Twitter and she's been responding. That is good.

Novak Djokovic is not a small guy. He's listed at 6'2" (188 cm).
Gasol, Djokovic, Dr Ivo
He posted this picture on Twitter last evening of him standing between Pau Gasol of the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and Ivo Karlovic, tennis player. He looks like the baby brother. The much younger baby brother.
My favorite picture from the tournament so far.


vw said...

Wow, great photo of Novak, Ivo and Pau.

Ana and JJ don't like each other. I think last year during the ash cloud, JJ had to fly 24 hours to get to fed cup and Ana had cancelled. JJ's mom was complaining that Ana was eating ice cream in Spain with her golfer boyfriend while her child traveled all over the world to play for Serbia.
Lindsay has been singing a different song this year about sunshine that goes something like this: I know I said last year that Caroline doesn't have enough to win but I've changed my mind this year and think she will take a slam soon. She plays so much better than anyone else, yada yada.

I think the powerful sunshine PR firm got to her finally... Much like the Murray PR bought off Cahill, Gimelstob, etc.

I'm not saying money changed hands but there might be perks.

vw said...

The clown collar dress that sunshine is wearing is not flattering at all. Yikes!

I was pulling for Kleybs and she has a lot of potential if she can just get to the gym. Interesting that she and her coach Julian Vespan were speaking Italian.

Oh, and Tracy Austin going on and on AGAIN about JJ's 10 car garage.

Helen W said...

Interesting info about Ryan Harrison. I watched his match with Milos (as a Canuck I was pulling for Milos, eh?) and it seemed to me that Ryan looked kind of surly and unpleasant, but it was just a feeling I got from his demeanour, so I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Another instance of trust your instincts by the sound of it.