When they came back from the
heart heat break, Azarenka did what I thought we’d see more of yesterday.
Within the space of two points she’d smacked the ball into the stands and all but totalled her racquet.
Kader Nouni was having none of it, and defaulted her a point (and with it the game). A point from which she never recovered.
I have to say, I’m finding this new desensitised and somewhat disillusioned version of Vika difficult to deal with.
Go-with-your-strengths – isn’t that how the saying goes?
Well, maybe not always; I daresay it’s proven beneficial for Vika to tone both herself and her game down in this way, but you risk offsetting all the hard-earnt gains you make, if you burst forth at the seams as violently as she did today.
It’s also no secret that Vika owns Caz-Woz when it comes to creating angles with pace. Caz-Woz can match her pace ball-for-ball down the middle, but it’s no fluke that Vika came out on top on almost all the occasions she stretched her wide.
Instead she chose to hit less freely and think too much, neither of which are hallmarks of VikaWorld.
I loved her measured dismantling of Jelena yesterday (even though a lot of that was down to Jelena herself), but it just goes to show you can have too much of a good thing.
And so it comes to this.
I’ve loved the technical advances sports coverage has seen, but I sometimes find myself feeling that personal moments like that above were precisely that. Personal and private.
It made ghastly viewing watching Dinara break down today, made all the more grim by the poignancy of her struggles with the number one ranking this season.
Dinara revealed afterwards she’d been using anti-inflammatories to deal with her back pain for about three months.
I don’t think we'll be seeing her again this year.
A sorrowful end to an unsatisfactory season.