Sunday, 14 March 2010

Indian Wells: “The Taller they are…” oh never mind

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Nothing much that has happened in womens tennis since 2007 has surprised me very much.

A few days back I made rather too much of Oudin’s opening round exit.

Since then, Henin, Kuznetsova and Ivanovic have all followed suit – the last of which will result in her ejection out of the world’s top fifty, a position she’s not been in since 2004.

I’m almost sorry I put together those “Upsets waiting to happen”.

Ana? So funked out it’s not even funny any more. Not sure anything anyone can say right now will make any difference – though can we start by NOT trotting out the tired Vaidasova analogies? (we can only hope that losing to a 17 year old in the opening round of an ITF eventisn’t a fate that awaits her).

Kuzzie? A walking, talking, breathing embodiment of the hit-and-miss metaphor; within hours of that loss yesterday she was making plans to fly to the cosmos on her twitter feed (no really).

(Photo: AFP)

Following Sveta’s tweets is not actually that dissimilar to following her performances on court – mostly a disjointed, incoherent and slightly garbled experience. Not that difficult actually to imagine her making galaxy visitation plans in between first and second serves.

Henin? Puzzling, though not wholly inexplicable.

Her game has been in a state of flux since her comeback began, with a big first serve and more overall aggression at the heart of her well-publicised agenda. I’m gradually warming to the idea of more pace on that first serve – not remotely convinced her groundstrokes are in need of any change at all.

Though should we be that surprised she’s struggling to reinvent herself after nearly two years out of the game?

The Williamses absence always makes IW something of an alternate universe.

You know you’re witnessing peculiarity when Sveta and Caz-Woz are the top two seeds.

Throw in a a string of pullouts, a charity event that turns out to be more awkward than Taylor Swifts acceptance speech and you have fertile grounds for further upsets not less.

Shaza and Zheng Jie on court as I speak.

Maybe I should have kept my choice of upsets to myself.

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