Saturday, July 2, 2011

From the Hunter to the Hunted

by Savannah


Dominating. Clutch serving. Wicked forehand. Nerves of steel.

Knowing how incestuous sports writing circles are and that tennis sports circles are among the worst there is no need to wonder how Maria Sharapova became the odds on favorite to win the Ladies Championships. There were some tennisheads who pointed out that Maria had not faced a single top ten player on her way to the final and that this might not be a good thing but their cries in the wilderness went unmentioned as Sharapova was all but handed the Venus Rosewater dish before a single ball had been put into play.

But wishing doesn't make it so. I admit that I had my reservations about Kvitova. She's prone to go on walkabout at crucial parts of a match and I felt that would hurt her in the Final. There were a couple of loose returns and forehands that landed in the Channel but they didn't cost Petra a set.

What did return were the double faults and serving malaise that has plagued Maria Sharapova since her comeback. And Petra took full advantage of every error. When Maria got a break in the second set and couldn't consolidate it the match was essentially over at that point.

What does this mean for women's tennis? Totally unheralded, ignored except by women's tennis nerds Petra Kvitova has done what the super hyped players haven't been able to do and win a Grand Slam. Her game is complete. She is not fleet of foot and is in no way a great mover. But she is comfortable with her game and knows how to use it. The biggest thing she has to fix is her focus and like another great player it may be with her the rest of her career.

Today belongs to Petra. Congratulations on your win.


Karen said...

My tennis buddy and I skype called this match just as we did the FO. If you have not done that with a good friend, you should. We tuned out the commentary and one of the things that we said to each other is this: if Petra should win this match they will have no footage of her at all because all the cameras would be trained on Pova. We were stunned that they actually had footage of the great shots that she hit in this match.

Did you see Pova's coach at all in the player's box? We barely even got a look see at Petra's parents. So nice to see her dad get so emotional on her win.

Savannah said...

Sounds like a fun idea Karen.

Amazingly there are a lot of pictures of Petra today. Not as many as Pova but many more than yesterday.

I don't know where you got your stream from but I had to suffer with Ted Robinson and Mary Carillo. Ted started out talking about Pova's "elegant form" and I tuned out. I just hoped that Ted brought a good handkerchief or a large box of tissues or else the cleaning staff would have a mess to clean up.

Karen said...

LOL, no sblily and I were both watching NBC but we turned the tvs way down. As soon as Ted started talking we both turned down the tv. A pity because we really wanted to hear what they were saying. I think sblily was hearing but I did not.

I remember when I was in Jamaica I skype called matches with another of my tennis buddy. It is like being at a match with someone. Really nice.

Karen said...

Have you had a chance to read the pre-final pressers of Pova and Petra? If you have not you need to. I know Miguel Seabra tweeted that Pova was quite sarcastic and even rude in her presser but the last part of her presser was very rude. Journos asked her how her fiancee would feel if she won. Her response, I don't know you can ask him. Very rude.

Savannah said...

All I am going to say is that Maria has a right not to talk about her private life. I understand that when asked to show off her ring by Mary Jo, Pam and Hanna Storm she refused to show it.

If she wants to keep that part of her life private she's entitled to do so. She could just issue a statement saying that she's not talking about any of that and I think that would stop the questions.

Craig Hickman said...

She got Bette Davis eyes.

Her talent, too.

Love it.