Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Best of the Rest...

So Maria mowed down Groth 6-0, 6-4 in LA yesterday. Convincing stuff.

But now is the time for calm.

I've made a lot of noise about the somewhat symbiotic nature of the effect Maria's return to tour will have, but I think it's now more appropriate to give the girl both the time and space to grow into whatever born-again player she's now destined to become. It's too soon to begin entertaining questions on whether that'll be at the top of the game sharing the prime cutlets with the Sisters, or something markedly less, that probably involves
becoming one of their prime cutlets.

Best to wait until after the Aussie Open next year, when with the hindsight of the intervening two Slams, we will at least find ourselves better placed to gush, critique or even to simply adopt an air of indifference.
Educated indifference.

To tell you the truth I'll be quite surprised to see her get the better of Azarenka tomorrow, who for me presents the tour's most compelling best-of-the-rest argument. Not that there's that many of them.

Though there are those who think otherwise, her Slam results to me are impressive. She did well to manage to even
walk off court after suffering heat stroke at Melbourne. She was unfortunate enough to have Serena peak during that quarter final of an already very convincing Wimbledon campaign conducted on her part. And I don't hold it against her that she couldn't see her way past a Safina playing in tune with her #1 ranking at the same stage of RG this year.

Taken with that title at Miami, and a singular intensity that doesn't seem to recognise most conventional boundaries of taste, she is what might rightly be described as both 'hungry for success' and 'ripe for success'.

In a manner you can't really ascribe to either one of the rest-of-the-rest.

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