June 30, 2011 2 Comments
I never played a Grand Slam. Probably, never will. Which is a pity. I’m known here in my hood as a mix between Hewitt, Rafter, Safin and McEnroe – I can be as prick-ish as Hewitt and McEnroe were. I like the net (though I’m totally clueless there) like Rafter. And I have my tantrums as Marat. I wish girls considered me as hot as they consider him, but no. Whatever, why am I saying that? Oh, right.
I never played a Grand Slam – that you already know. I never knew what is like to wait in the tunnel and walk into the main court. I don’t exactly know how a top-dog get ready for a semifinal match. But there are certain things you don’t practice for, you don’t get ready for. You are. Just like that.
Sharapova, for example. She is a fighter (though all her “Come On”s are a bit too much unnecessary). You (like me — I still have some reservations) may not like her style, but you can’t question her mental investment in a match. Like today. She was down 0/3 in the first set to Cinderella Lisicki. Sabine had held, broken her to start and held again, showing a great display of tennis and confidence enough to, after only seven minutes, get halfway there to win the set.
Then they sat. Next it was Sharapova’s turn again to serve. Two more double-faults – the routine, something she just can’t avoid – and a tight game it was. Sabine had the break-point to go up 4/0, that could have changed the story of the match. But she didn’t. Sharapova held, and went on to win six of the next seven games, closing the first at 6/4.
And that was enough for Sabine. While Maria pushed even harder, it was Sabine’s turn to have a slow start. And that doomed her chances, as Shara seized a love-break and quickly put herself up 3/0 in the second – still hitting routine double-faults. It didn’t matter. Even with 13 DFs, Sharapova barely had problems to spoil Lisicki’s first Major final and snap her 11-win streak. 6/4, 6/3, and the fifth Major final for Sharapova, second at Wimbledon. And oh, did I mention she will return to the top-5?
I found it awesome how, in a given moment of the match, while Sharapova had the advantage and the German was serving to stay in the match, she kept pushing, giving 100%. Of course, her weak serve helps with the decision of going for insurance breaks but… she had me in that very moment. Even little Pete here, who’s openly not a big fan of Maria, clapped her. Because would be irrational not to praise her, being a tennis fan, by definition someone who likes tennis well-played.
So, yeah, Maria. I’m not going to sign up for your fan club, but I appreciate your style. (Until you start shouting Come Ons and stuff, but I can deal with that) (I think)
PS: This was supposed to be a post for both of the Wimbledon finalists, but it’s… a bit long now. So I’m closing this one out.