Wild card Beatrice Capra stayed very steady today, and was rewarded with an upset win over 18th seed Aravane Rezai, who--despite her talent--seems to often be ripe for an upset.
Capra, who is ranked number 371 in the world, didn't expect to play in the main draw, but only in the junior draw. After she lost the USTA 18 Nationals, she assumed her chances to get a U.S. Open wild card were done. She was surprised, therefore, to get an invitation to play in the U.S. Wild Card Playoffs. Capra won that tournament, got the wild card, and--in her very first WTA main draw match--soundly defeated Karolina Sprem in the first round. She defeated Rezai today by letting her self-destruct. It was a mature performance, and Capra was a happy and charming winner.
I will now "confess" that I like watching Rezai. I know she can be a complete mess, and I know that anyone who reads this blog may find it odd that I enjoy her, since I would much rather watch this than most of the tennis being played in Flushing Meadows this year (or any recent year). A lot of women hit the ball hard--and certainly Rezai needs to do more than hit the ball hard--but she is a small woman who hits the ball hard, and I like how she messes with the WTA stereotype of "big babe tennis," as Mary Carillo named it some years ago. Rezai whales the hell out of the ball, and she definitely isn't a big babe. She also has a really big personality, and--for better or worse--I get drawn into the drama she creates on court.
Having said that, I'll now add that--despite the strides Rezai has made on the tour--she needs to learn how to substitute some finesse and strategy for some of that wild hitting. She should be winning more often, and things aren't going to get any better for her if she doesn't make some changes.
But enough about Rezai--back to Beatrice Capra, who is called "Trice" by her friends. Capra trains at the Evert Academy, and Chris Evert has been an active mentor for her. Her next opponent at the U.S. Open will be none other than Maria Sharapova.
Before the tournament began, each player was asked to submit the names of her three favorite songs, so that one of them could be played if the player entered Arthur Ashe Court. Capra didn't submit any song titles because she didn't believe there was any way possible she would have a chance to play on Arthur Ashe. As for today's Grandstand match, "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" would have been a good choice.