After she won the Cincinnati title, Kim Clijsters said that, during the rain break, she went back to her hotel and got her serve, which she had somehow left there. That was as good an explanation as any. Clijsters and her opponent, Maria Sharapova, took turns double-faulting all the way through the match. Clijsters had so much trouble with her serve during the first set, she lost it 2-6. And while it's true that even a good server on the tour sometimes shows up unable to serve very well (can you say "Pennetta"?), that person generally is not Kim Clijsters.
But this match wasn't just about serves; it was also about rain delays. Rain began to fall in the second set, and after Clijsters saved several break points, it came down hard. There was a resumption of play later, but then it rained again, dragging the match out even more.
Down 3-5, Clijsters saved three match points on her own serve, then broke Sharapova to get to 5-all. The second set went to a tiebreak, which Clijsters began with a double fault, and she soon found herself down 0-3. She quickly caught up, though, and won the tiebreak 7-4.
We sometimes hear that the Worldwide Web brings the world into our living rooms. And sometimes, that isn't a good thing:
Because no television channel showed either the Toronto or Cincinnati final live, I had streams going on two computers and was doing my best to watch both the Federer-Murray match, and the Clijsters-Sharapova final. There was hard rain in Toronto, of course, and even more rain delays then there were in Cincinnati. Sharapova called for a trainer because she had pain in her left heel, a condition which would, of course, give her trouble with her serve. I understand that Clijsters called for a trainer, too.
But I don't really know, because it was during this time that I heard the loudest thunder I've ever heard. After I recovered from the boom!, I realized that our power had gone out, which means we had no router. Only our house was hit (a fuse was blown out), so I grabbed a raincoat and took one of the computers down to the local coffee shop. I should have thought to transfer some notes to a flash drive, but I was in too big of a hurry.
By the time I arrived at the coffee shop and got everything going, it was obvious that Clijsters was about to win the championship. I watched the rest of it, and I watched the trophy ceremony (nice trophy). Sharapova wound up with more winners than Clijsters, but both made more errors than they hit winners. Between them, they double-faulted 21 times. It wasn't pretty.
I was actually a bit surprised that Sharapova came so close to winning the match, given her fatigue level these days. But the best thing she can do is play matches (though perhaps not too many), and that's exactly what she's doing.
(I'm probably one of the few who liked Clijsters' old-school Fila outfit--at least the version with the red top--but I did. And while we're on the subject of tennis outfits, I liked Rennae Stubbs' Nike ensemble, too.)
Our efficient electric company showed up and gave us power again, so my iPod and candlelight time didn't last very long.