Monday, March 12, 2012

Indian Wells can make you sick

One of the biggest opponents at this year's BNP Paribas Open, it turns out, is a stomach virus. Francesca Schiavone, Vera Zvonareva, Vania King, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, and several other players--as well as officials and volunteers--have become very ill, resulting in a higher than usual number of retirements and walkovers.

Sam Stosur didn't get stomach flu, but she did get some big-time payback from Nadia Petrova. Stosur and Petrova engaged in the longest women's match ever played at the U.S. Open. Stosur won that one, but today, Petrova beat the seed 6-1, 6-7, 7-6. The match lasted over two hours and 47 minutes, and Petrova hit 15 aces. Three of those she hit consecutively to win the first set. 

Petrova, by the way, has applied for U.S. citizenship. She owns a house in Miami. 

Fans who are relatively new to professional tennis may not realize that Petrova was considered by many to be "the one" when the post-Morozova players first hit the tour. In 2006, she looked like she might be headed for a French Open victory, but she sustained an injury while practicing before the tournament even started. The talented Russian's career has been marked not only by injury, but also by the kind of mental fragility and self-criticism that we have, unfortunately, come to associate with some of the better Russian players. 

Last year, Petrova suffered from dizzy spells, but that problem appears to have been solved. The intelligent and good-humored Russian, who turns 30 later this year, has won ten singles titles and has had an outstanding doubles career, also. She looks healthy right now, and it will be interesting to see what she does this season.

Marion Bartoli, Maria Kirilenko, Maria Sharapova, and Roberta Vinci all advanced; Vinci defeated 16th seed Dominika Cibulkova. 


Alexander said...

Great information! I love your blog! You always post interesting things!

Todd.Spiker said...

Oh, Nadia! :D

Diane said...

Thanks, Alexander.

Todd, you can--ahem--say that again.