But the air was full of sound.
The screams of Maria Sharapova seemed to take on a new meaning last night in the California desert, as she won only three games and made 41 unforced errors in her semifinal match against world number 1 Caroline Wozniacki. Sharapova. seeded 16th in Indian Wells, looked lost--almost from the first moment--and failed to hold serve in the first set. She waited longer than is her custom to strike, she flubbed what few volleys she set up, she had repeated service problems, and she missed the lines on many occasions. Wozniacki did not find it necessary to do much more than serve as a backboard for the Russian's errant shots. After an hour and 20 minutes, she advanced to the BNP Paribas Open final.
Yesteday's other semifinal match featured Marion Bartoli at her absolute best, serving and returning at a very high level against 23rd seed Yanina Wickmayer. Bartoli had a moment, at the beginning of the second set, in which she double-faulted three times consecutively, but other than that, her serve was on fire, and she ended the match with ten aces and an 83% first serve win percentage. The 15th seed defeated Wickmayer 6-1, 6-3.
Should Bartoli (who dealt with a stomach virus earlier in the tournament) play in the final the way she did in the semifinals, there will be an exciting contest tomorrow. But between Bartoli's physical fragility and the ever-changing success of her service game, all we can do is be optimistic that she repeats her performance. Wozniacki, on the other hand, has taken consistency to its highest level.
In doubles, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Meghann Shaughnessy will compete today in the final against Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina. Mattek-Sands and Shaugnessy received a walkover in the semifinals from 6th seeds Victoria Azarenka and Maria Kirilenko. Mirza and Vesnina defeated Daniela Hantuchova and Agnieszka Radwanska 6-0, 6-4.