Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Benesova upsets Jankovic in Montreal

There are certain players on the tour who sometimes rise to the occasion, meet their potential, and play truly great matches. One of those players is Iveta Benesova, whose lefty serve is never something to take lightly. Tonight in Montreal, she was simply all over 1st seed Jelena Jankovic, maintaining her aggression and refusing to give Jankovic any type of rhythm. In fact, the way Benesova defended was positively Jankovician, to borrow a term from the WTA Backspinner.

Fans who really know women's tennis know that Benesova can crack mentally, and that Jankovic is very good at coming from behind. After the Czech player stayed tough enough to win the first set in a tiebreak, she immediately held, and then broke Jankovic. Then she held again, but when Jankovic brought the second set score to 1-3, I thought "okay, it's coming." Soon, it was 3-all, and this would be the time in the match when the momentum would turn--only it didn't. Well, maybe for a moment, when Benesova had trouble holding to go to 4-3. And still, I thought the momentum would turn.

But Benesova broke Jankovic again, and then--in a scenario I could never have predicted, even after watching the entire match--Benesova held at love to win the whole thing 7-6, 6-3. This was a skillful, gutsy performance from the world number 75. After she waved to the crowd, the qualifier (who has now played five matches) held her hand up to her mouth, as if to say "I can't believe I just did that."

But she did.

Jankovic, who hit 25 winners but made 30 unforced errors, may still be suffering the effects of a sprained ankle, but there is really nothing that can take away from her opponent's performance. As for the world number 3, she needs to get herself together for the U.S. Open.

5 comments:

TennisAce said...

My sister has become a huge fan of tennis. Huge fan. She is trying to understand the game and she reminds me so much of when I used to be a newbie at this sport. Never understood the scoring, different tournaments, rules etc. so it has been nice to really teach her the rules of the sport etc.

Last night we were watching this match and let me tell you, my sister was in awe of Benesova. She was like oh goodness she is playing really well. I said to her she is going to lose because the one in the blue is a fighter.

Colour me surprised when Iveta not only held her nerve throughout the tie-break, but then went on to keep her nerve after blowing a 3-0 lead, having break points for a 4-0 lead, and the most important part of all, holding her nerve and serving it out to love.

She was hitting winners from the forehand, backhand and those volleys were amazing. JJ tried but to no avail. My only wish is that Iveta will continue to smile more on court. She is such a beautiful young woman when she does. Her joy at the end of the match had me laughing out loud. Very nice to see.

PS - am I the only one who finds it a big vulgar to listen to commentators speculating as to whether players have mortgages for their houses? I find that a bit intrusive. Must be the conservative in me.

Diane said...

I find it quite vulgar. She has stopped doing it lately, but the worst was Corina Morariu, who used to make non-stop comments about how much money the players made, how they spent it, and how that should comfort them during their losses. She would go on and on. It sounded like the bitterness of a big-time doubles player who never got really big purses.

TennisAce said...

Exactly. I was listening to Tracy Austin calling the Jankovic match last night and she was going on and on about Jankovic's house in San Diego. She spoke about the square footage, how many closes, how many bedrooms, etc. Everything. And then to end it all she speculated that she perhaps needed a mortgage to pay for it all.

And yes Corina is one of those as well as well as another lady who also does commentary for Tennis Channel. The men are also in on the act as whenever I listen to Jimmy Arias there is this sense of envy in his commentary which makes him come across as bitter and jealous.

There is also the ATP commentary guys who come across very mean when they do commentary as well. I wonder if they realise that fans are picking up on this? They really need to stop.

TennisAce said...

And then Tracy did it again during the broadcast of the Dementieva/Klara match. Posting the player's earnings and talking about what they earn on and off the court. Just so vulgar.

Diane said...

Austin and Morariu remind me of each other in that they go on and on about things which really aren't relevant, and are sometimes without taste.