Monday, 14 September 2009

Flushing Meadows: The Kimmaculate Butterfly Effect.

This has been a trying two weeks of
womens tennis for me.

My relationship this year with which has tended to alternate between despairing and daring. Daring to hope that is.

Daring to hope that
Safina might actually convert on one of those Slam finals, I think she might not reach again for a very long time. If ever.

Daring to believe that
Azarenka might just manage to channel all her hostility into playing seven consecutive matches of explosive tennis.

How did it ever get to this?

And after week one's
freakshow, I was quite honestly finding it difficult to continue.

Thank goodness for Vera and
Flavia. Who, amidst all the desolation, kept me going in my hour of need.

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

But this comeback story has been an incredible one whatever angle you care to look at it.

Motherhood, bereavement, and now a Slam title as an
unranked, wildcard in only her third tournament back. Next week she'll find herself in the top twenty. A strangely ant-climactic distinction that perhaps underlies the tenuous nature of the competition and her rightful place amidst it's elite.

This might just be the catalyst my languishing levels of inspiration and the
WTA's languishing levels of competence are screaming out for. I captioned reports of her return earlier this year as "putting the cat amongst the pigeons".

How very hollow that seems now.

If anything
Kimmaculate has grown mentally during her self-imposed layoff.

"I think you get to know how to deal with different emotions when they come up," she said.

The Belgian won her second career Grand Slam after beating Caroline Wozniacki 7-5 6-3 in Sunday's final.

"I'm more capable of adjusting on the court," added Clijsters.

"I think that's something that's very important out there, especially in big matches like today and like yesterday."


“She’s playing because she thinks it’s fun and because she likes it,” said Wozniacki, who is too young to have played Clijsters during her first career. “I really think she might be a better player now than she was before.”


One hopes that really is the case. It sometimes only takes the introduction of the smallest degree of variation to instigate wide ranging change. Could it be that we are at the beginnings of such a proverbial butterfly effect, with Kimmie's return encouraging more competitive conditions, in turn reshaping the ecology into something more closely resembling a tennis landscape?

Woz has been unfairly forgotten in the fairytale. Who "kept her head, when all around her, were losing theirs" and blaming it on linespersons, their brain, fatigue, the draw, or the climatic conditions.

The final itself actually played out better than I expected.

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Woz displayed the same brand of emotional maturity that got her to this point, and even seemed willing to step it up at some of the key moments.

Though she still lacks a weapon, that double handed backhand, that did her so proud in her junior years, seems to me to be the best place to start developing one.
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