Monday, March 21, 2011

Kings and Queens of the Desert

by Savannah

Caroline Wozniacki won the BNP Paribas Open 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 over Marion Bartoli. Marion is not as heavy as she once was but if this match does nothing else it will spur her and her father to put fitness at the top of their to do list for 2011. To the cheers of the crowd Marion gave Caroline fits in the second set and it looked as if the third would be a barn burner. Instead it was pretty obvious early in the third set that Marion's arms were tired and that her legs would soon follow.

The crowd dynamic was interesting during the match. Most of the time they seemed totally behind Marion which surprised me since Marion is a polaraizing figure in women's tennis, and is French. I don't recall the talking heads going into "they just want a third set" spiel but I could've missed it. I say that because I missed the gem one of them dropped about Caroline being on track for a career Grand Slam. Watching with the sound down makes things like that happen.

Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina won the womens doubles title 6-0, 7-5 over the team of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Meghann Shaughnessy.
The women's doubles matches were obviously judged not ready for prime time. Not enough star power I suppose. It was a different story when it came to the mens doubles.

Tennisheads on Twitter had been gleefully following the exploits of Xavier Malisse and Alexandr Dolgopolov as they fought their way through the men's draw. The Finals found them standing across the net from the Olympic Gold Medal winning team of Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka. The Malisse and Dolgopolov team has it's own hashtag on Twitter, #bunpower. Others simply call them Team Ponytail. Whatever you call them no one expected them to win. When the dust settled they were the ones joyously celebrating victory 6-4, 6-7(5), 10-7. For Dolgopolov playing doubles will help his singles career. Malisse, on the down side of his career, will be able to put a few more trophies on his mantle. Both men have to remain healthy for that to happen though.

Novak Djokovic, the hottest player on the tour right now continued his rampage. After securing the #2 ranking he won the Final against Rafael Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Before I stopped watching I was thinking that it was disingenuous of the commentators to emphasize how far ahead Djokovic is in Race points. The casual viewer has no idea what that means and could have come away with the impression that Djokovic is the #1 ATP player.

At any rate it was a great tournament and Larry Ellison has set the bar high for other tournament owners. Not only has he made his facility one of the best for top level tennis but sitting courtside, not up in some box, and allowing mere mortals to gaze on his eminence and see him root just like the hoi polloi is a welcome change. Thanks to Mr. Ellison a great time was had by all.

End Note

In the ultimate irony yesterdays' men's finalists, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will play an exhibition tonight in Bogota, Colombia before heading to Miami.

During one of the matches aired on ABC Chris Fowler mentioned someone being all up in another person's grill. I'm just sayin'.

1 comment:

TennisAce said...

Chris Fowler needs to shut up. The man is as annoying as they come. I used to think PMac was bad, but man. It was funny to see the fans on twitter who were joyously rooting for Novak on Saturday, start rooting against Novak on Sunday. It was too funny for words. Aaah tennis, you gotta love it