Zombie Week – part II
July 31, 2011 4 Comments
Back for the ladies.
Back just like Nadia Petrova. Even though she isresponsible for one of the most frustrating moments of my life as a tennis fan (Australian Open 2010, Kim, anyone?) I’ve always respected her. I consider her, like, the mother of the chubby Russians – and that’s no offense since you know how I feel about Pavs and Kleybs.
Thing is, Nadia was a bit off the mix recently – the former top-3 had last won a title in 2008, and was out of the top-10, wandering around, always in the top-20 or something. Until this year. She then turned into that player you remember was good – in the past – but seems unable to keep it together in the present days. A much hotter version of Tommy Robredo, in the end – and her ranking took a great tumble this year, after she failed to defend all the QFs of the last clay season. That caused her to arrive at Wimbledon as #37 in the world – her lowest since… well, since a lot of time.
But Wimbledon is the not-so-distant past, and in the present she looks fitter and wears a plain white dress. And wins under extreme weather conditions, as she proved in College Park, city home of the Maryland University that hosted the inaugural Citi Open championships.
Every drought has to end sometime, right? Well, maybe. But the more-or-less field of the Citi Open was a perfect chance for its top-seeds, Shahar Peer (5 SFs this time last year, 0 in 2011) and Nadia Petrova to win a title again, finally. And they followed the script to the end. Petrova even counted with the inexperience of two of her opponents – young guns Bo-Jo and Irina Falconi – to reach the final, her first since New Haven/10. As for Peer, well, it doesn’t matter, because this post is not for her. But she made the made finals too – dropping only one set in the process.
I plead guilty for not watching the final – only did the final moments. And, boys and gals, Petrova was just hammering that forehand and Peer was trying to return 2nd services four or five feet inside the baseline – total craziness that ended with a 7/5, 6/2 scoreline favoring the Russian – who joined the field after receiving a Wild Card. With this title Petrova joins 11 other active players with a double-digit count.
But the story of the week – yeeeeah the story of the week – happened in Stanford.
One year out, and people were like “she’s more done than yesterday” and we were all, well, happy?, ok, maybe not her fans, but I’m speaking for myself, but this is subject for another day, another post.
Thing is, she is back, baby, this in her own words. It’s not like she were dead or something, or her career was in serious risk or something, but she is playing some great tennis again. Of course, all the popstar aura that surrounds her, the fact she is bigger than her profession helps – and please, don’t take it as critics, unless you’re a civilized person, so you can take it, yes, as critics, because that’s what they really are – but what we saw this week in Cali is pretty scary.
Double-bagel over Rodionova, three set win over Kirilenko – ended up being her toughest match – the “match of the century” vs. Sharapova, or Error-festpova, the blowout semifinal vs. Lisicki – who DFed on two or three break-points, and that made her look like more the WTA version of Fernando Verdasco than Andy Roddick – and faced the exquisite, yet so awesome, Marion Bartoli – I call her BartoLINDA, or BartoGORGEOUS in English.
So I naively thought Marion wouldn’t pull the ‘astonished teen playing against the childhood idol’ like some of the others, but vain. Or, since this post is named ‘Zombie Week’, Williams’ opponents looked like so frightened to play her, like stupid secondary characters in zombie moves, who shit their pants when the undeads are coming for their brains, instead of SHOOTING, SHOOTING, JUST BRAINLESSLY SHOOT THESE MOTHERFS, like there’s no tomorrow. That always get them killed – and the zombies, the glory. Of course, Serena is no zombie, she is a helluva player, but we shall all agree the girls respect her more than they should.
Back to Marion. She even made ‘Rere’ work, got a break up – twice – in the first set, served for it, but meh. Serena broke, held, broke, won the set.
And that was enough. For the delight of her many fans, and for the desperation of everyone else, Venus’ baby sis capped the dream week with the title – her first non-Slam since ’08 Charleston (not counting the ’09 WTA finals).
Fact #1, Serena is back, baby. Fact #2, she’s proved she’s better than everyone else – of course, things might be different at a Slam, but not much. Fact #3, she will be back to the top. Fact #4, soon. Fact #5, WTA is now one step closer of becoming a new ATP, the golden pots in the hands of few. Fact #6, and I’m sorry to tell you that, I’m not happy with that. Closing, challenge #1, it took Clijsters 10 months to get back to the #1, from #134 in the world. I don’t believe there is someone crazy enough to bet Serena won’t be back there, but what people should be betting now is: ‘when?’