Vika’s history with pull outs and extreme injuredness did not help her last night. I won’t speculate how bad or not bad her breathing problem / panic attack / nerves (is she from LA?) were because no matter how much we ask and try to come up with answers, she’s the only who really knows. The timing of it all, however, merits all this outrage. According to Vika, her rib started to hurt and she had trouble breathing at 4-2 in the second, yet she didn’t call for the trainer until 5-4, which was 2 TV change overs later. At that time, Sloane was gaining life having just saved 5 match points. It was “bad timing,” she said. OH, REALLY?! You don’t say.
Vika isn’t the first tennis player to call a questionable MTO and probably won’t be the last. So much for that “gentleman’s game” reputation, huh? Not so noble moves are being made. Perhaps it’s time to throw that notion out the window.
Novak Djokovic in Melbourne, man. Another year, another epic.
My weak self wasn’t able to finish this match. I was struggling to stay awake midway though the second set and after Stan lost the lead and, eventually, the set, I was convinced the match was over. (Sorry, Stan!)
What an effort from the Swiss to claw his way back into the match and give himself a chance at winning it until the very end. He was 2-1 sets down after almost being up 2-0 himself. Against the World No. 1 and someone he hasn’t beaten in 6+ years? A bit of crumbling in the fourth was customary. But he and his backhand didn’t and gifted us all a classic! We should be buying both these guys beers for the rest of the year. Errr… During their days off, of course.
I’ve seen a 5-2 lead in a set disappear too many times in my career as a tennis fan. We all saw it yesterday when Sam Stosur led by that scoreline in the 3rd set against Jie Zheng before she collapsed in front of her home crowd (where else?), 4-6 6-1 5-7. Although a 5-2 lead can be misleading sometimes, a player can lead by that much with only one break of serve, that wasn’t the case in this one. Sam was ahead 2 breaks and had all the momentum. She was asked about the c-word in her presser and didn’t disagree.
Q. How much of it was mental as opposed to physical?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Oh, I think it’s a hundred percent. I think, yeah, that’s what it was. I got tight and then you start missing some balls. You probably think a little bit too much. You do it over and over and over again, and then, yeah, you start not wanting to miss rather than wanting to, you know, make the winner.
Q. Do you think you choked?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I don’t know. Whatever word you want to put on it. At 5 2 up in the third, double break probably is a bit of a choke, yeah.
The entire tennis community stool still when Serena Williams took a tumble on court today and didn’t move for what felt like an eternity. She rolled over her right ankle while reaching for a forehand during her first round match against Edina Gallovits-Hall. Thankfully, a trainer visit and an ankle re-tape was enough for Serena to play on. Post-MTO, she made it a point to whack the crap out of the ball to end points quickly. She hit clean winner after clean winner and served her opponent 2 lovely bagels.
After the match, Serena said only “something fatal” will stop her from competing.
Q. So Thursday is too early to call, whether you can play Thursday?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I’ll be out there. I mean, unless something fatal happens to me, there’s no way I’m not going to be competing.
I’m alive. My heart’s beating. I’ll be fine.
Serena’s got a day off tomorrow which should help her recover—she and Venus are not on doubles duty yet. But however severe the injury, she seems determined to play on. She’s won this tournament before while nursing injuries (yup, more than one) so, you know, just do it again.
Q. Would you rather not know what the exact damage is and just play with the pain for the rest of the tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Honestly, yeah, really, because I would really rather not know. I know one year I won this tournament and had two bone bruises in both knees. I had no idea. I just knew I was in pain.
I think sometimes what you don’t know cannot hurt you.