It’s highly unlikely that I’ll ever warm to Little Miss Fistpump, but I do know and I do enjoy the look of a former champion on the mend.
JJ never got into the match and spent the better part of it on her back foot being overwhelmed by Ana’s pace.
Ana’s now as in her element as she might ever be – the serve still continuing to crumble occasionally, though not in the spectacularly pernicious way that’s wrecked any sense of continuity she might otherwise have derived over the past two years.
The highly irritating bellicose ‘ajdes’ and fistpumps (which have now acquired an equally irritating wind-up motion) will likely continue to keep me underwhelmed. Where others see “motivation” and “spirit” I see only gamesmanship of the highest order. Which isn’t in itself a problem (if a little unwholesomely “in your face”): but let us please call it what it is.
My timeline was so completely swamped with adulation, it almost gushed straight through my monitor like some metaphysical scene from Inception.
I would go through some of those very same emotions hours later.
It seems to me that nothing, but nothing, hits the mark in this age of Kangaroo-pressers and ranking system paraphernalia, than to see one of the very best, the “old guard” (if at 23 you can be called that), cut through all the crap with a statement match like this.
The serve still holds her back, but on the basis of this performance Pova’s already (metaphysically) back in the top ten.
Try and imagine what she’d look like with a decent first serve.
Dinaroshka, serving aside, did all the right things this week. That’s mostly been down to her attempting to rally her way out of trouble rather than hitting the snot out of everything that comes her way. The new found patience (instilled, I imagine, by Sanguinetti) saw her able to fight her way past a troubled Stosur but also a Dani at the very top of her game.
The serve, at this point, barely qualifies as a “work in progess”. You’d have to be a really picky dirtbag to beat up on her for that.
I was live scoreboarding this one feverishly (mostly because Caro dropped the 1st set 6-2 – I really, REALLY want a new winner this week), clumsily trying to picture how it might all be playing out.
This is how it was actually playing out:
”Alisa Kleybanova of Russia misses on a forehand volley return to Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during the BNP Paribas Open”. (Getty’s caption not mine)
Can we all agree Alisa Kleybanova strikes the best decontextualised tennis poses ever? [Alise Cornet a very close second]
I know. I don’t believe it either.
If the future's Milos, then the future will have to wait. Fed plays Bieber in the quarters.