There were constant breaks of serve. A limp-inducing injury foretold a possible retirement. The power went out and there were no lights. Any moment, I expected a storm to strike the stadium and for Jelena Jankovic to appear.
The drama revolved around the second semifinal match at the Sony Ericsson Open. Agnieszka Radwanska and Marion Bartoli faced each other for a spot in the final but neither of them could hold serve. Finally, in the seventh game, Radwanska did hold, only to be broken when she served for the first set at 5-3. Unfortunately, Bartoli's lingering thigh injury returned, and it looked for a moment like the Frenchwoman would have to retire, but for the last year, she's been playing through injuries, and she did just that tonight.
Radwanska won, 6-4, 6-2, with Bartoli never holding serve. And though Bartoli appeared to be in considerably less pain as the second set wore on, she lost her edge. The first set, however, was quite entertaining, with Bartoli frequently "pulling a Radwanska" in order to get a point. We are so used to Marion Bartoli's relentless groundstrokes, we sometimes forget that she, too, can hit some keen angles and volleys.
The power outage didn't last too long, so the players left the court at a reasonable hour.
In the first semifinal of the day, Maria Sharapova came on very strong in the first set, going up 4-1, 40-30. But then she became a little shaky, which set off a run of five straight games from Caroline Wozniacki, who took the first set 6-4. The second set began like the first, with Sharapova going up 4-0, but this time, she kept the pressure on, winning the set 6-2.
Sharapova went up 5-2 in the third, and though Wozniacki fought back one of the breaks, Sharapova served the set out at 6-4. The match lasted over two and a half hours, and featured a bit of drama over a service call (Wozniacki left the court without shaking the chair umpire's hand).
Sharapova is a three-time runner-up in Miami. Previously, she was defeated by Kim Clijsters, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Victoria Azarenka.