Kuznetsova d. Radwanska 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-3
A mostly dominating performance from Sveta apart from a joke of a second set tie break when the wee gremlins occupying her brain took control of the ship, putting the ‘case’ firmly back in front of the ‘head’.
In what has to be the the single most spontaneous act of cerebral combustion seen this year, Sveta blew away Championship after Championship point and with it the second set tie break – allowing Aga back in, all after being 4-0 and 6-3 up.
"It was very hard to close and I choked for first time in my life," said the two-time Grand Slam champion.
"My knees were shaking and I couldn't push on my serve and now I know why people double fault on match points," added Kuznetsova.
"I just shook. The trophy was very important to me. I was very embarrassed and I just got it back together and dictated.
"To play that bad at end of the second set and then to let her come back and see me choke, I had to be twice as strong in the third set and I was.
"It's pretty funny now that I won the match, but if I lost I might be thinking: 'should I finish playing tennis?' I doubt it will happen again."
“First time in her life?” Quite possibly.
You really had to be there.
It’s easy to assume Sveta’s simply talking up her confidence – blowing away unassailable leads is, after all, as familiar to her as the act of creating them in the first place.
But that’s mostly been through her aggravating tendency to believe she’ll make winners where none exist.
This was about nerve. Nerve so palpable, you could practically taste it behind your teeth – knowing that a double was on it’s way well before Sveta stepped up to serve. Icky-unnerving and not at all for the faint of heart.
Difficult not to feel for Aga who, for two sets, played to the best of her ability. Reaching the finals here should further entrench her top ten ranking and, as I think I said earlier, I think she’s kinda earnt it.
Nalbandian d. Baghdatis 6-2, 7-6 (4)
I know. I know.
All the narratives are in place. An unseeded wildcard. Ranked outside the top 100. Back from a hip injury. Not played since April.
And yet I remain unmoved.
It’s quite simple really. It’s as much a mistake to believe Nalbie will be upended by anything so trifling as hip surgery as it is to believe he’ll carry over this form wreaking havoc in the USO.
“If he plays like that,” Baghdatis said, “he can beat a lot of guys in the top 10.”
And if he doesn’t?
The real joy and wonder comes from knowing that in Sveta and Nalbie we have two stellar players whose form week in week out is as elusive as the location of a quantum particle.
In any given week they’re as likely to beat a string of top ten players as they are to exit in the first round of Warsaw.
If you were to attempt to jump into a wall a couple of trillion times, quantum theory predicts that your atoms would, eventually, reconstitute on the other side.
Magic when it happens – nothing more than a sore head most of the other time.
For now I’ll content myself with knowing that they’ve made themselves relevant again.