Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Miami: Hand-Me-Downs and French Effervescence

V. Williams d. Hantuchova 1-6 7-5 6-4

A match in which we saw the worst (set one) and (in the second half of the final set) the best of Venus Williams.

The match reports I’ve read suggest V turned it around in set two – well of course she did, else she wouldn’t have won it silly.

Don’t let’s pretend however that she applied (or was even capable of applying) the stranglehold until well into the business end of that final set. Before that it was spotty and at times potty, to say the least.

Dani seems to have effected something of a turnaround since the last time I saw her – and that was quite a long time ago. I didn’t enjoy watching her when she was a top tenner: neither a herd of wild horses nor a string of more demure Shetland Ponies will likely induce me now.

Still, she did manage to impress me a little with what she achieved out there – trouble is, you get the feeling what was achieved was likely on the back of some horrendous hand-me-downs from Venus and a Krajan-like spell Mr Cahill tried to cast on Dani during the changeover.

In vain, as it turned out.

Venus up one set against Aggy as we speak – give me one good reason why this should not be over in straights. I can give you three.

Federer d. Serra 76 76

Not a great day at the office for TMF either.

It wasn’t quite Long-Shanks, though not all of those forehands were what you’d call clean strikes, and the serving was really quite sketchy.

His focus however was also compromised by a Frenchman with a disposition so effervescent it made you want to crack open the bubbly.

Serra was quite simply the antithesis of everything I find objectionable about French tennis on a bad day (of which there are many) with his uncompromising intent to remain rooted on the baseline and let rip even in the face of an all-encompassing adversity- not that different actually from Simon Greul.

Que Serra Serra?


Clijsters d. Azarenka 6-4 6-0

A letdown.

That said, it surprises me not that Kimmie won. She seems to me to be uniquely placed to expose Vika’s poor movement and inability to play big budget tennis without the one commodity Kimmie seemed adamant to deprive her of – time.

Henin d. Zvonareva 6-1 6-4

The match that would appear to suggest that IW really was a blip.

Photos: Getty

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