Monday, January 21, 2013

Sloane Stephens advances to Australian Open quarterfinals

Sloane Stephens beat Bojana Jovanovski on day 8 the Australian Open round of 16, and I think she may have done it with mirrors. For what it's worth, I probably would have said the same thing about Jovanovski if she had won. This was a match in which the momentum significantly shifted (from a Stephens dominance to a Jovanovski dominance) after the first set, which Stephens won handily, 6-1. The young Serbian player, who like to hit hard from both sides, took charge of things in the second set, which she won 6-3.

Jovanovski went up 3-1 in the third set. Then, serving at 4-5 and break point down, Stephens did something big: She hit her first (and only) ace of the match. Jovanovski got tight and was broken at love, and Stephens successfully served for the match.

It wasn't pretty. Stephens and Jovanovski made 92 unforced errors (Jovanovski made six more than her opponent), and between them, they hit 34 winners. But for all the nerves and sloppiness displayed by the two players, it was Stephens who knew how to close, and that was impressive. Her victory moves Stephens into the top 20, by the way.

World number 1 Victoria Azarenka beat Elena Vesnina 6-1, 6-1, and will play Svetllana Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals.


Sunny nine said...

Well I guess this is venting. I like Sloane Stephens a lot. I don't like this thing lately saying she has the most beautiful smile in tennis. They have said that about Wozniacki, just like they have called Ivanovic beautiful. It is sexist. They would never comment on a guy that way. Do they know these women are athletes?
And the talk about grunting finally arrived via ESPN, especially Mr. God against Grunting, Patrick McEnroe. This is my thing if they want the players to be quiet then why aren't the commentators quiet during the play? Why don't they comment during the change overs or in between games. They are making noise. Too much for my taste. Pam Shriver talks about her Baltimore sports teams. When calling the men's games the men often bring up other sports. Everyone seems to often talk about other players when the match I am watching is not about those players.
I also was disappointed in Stephens for bowing to a little pressure from ESPN. She said that Jovanoski's grunting didn't bother her, that she was not focused on that. But after some pressure talk, she caved in somewhat and said the noise level could be brought down.
Well that is all. Please no one jump on me. I admit to a little venting but it has been civilized.

Diane said...

Sunny, you may find some relief by watching MGAG's brother call ATP matches. Sometimes, he goes on and on about the players' bodies, even expressing a desire to touch one of the player's muscular arms :)

I don't know if you followed Chris Evert's comments about the recent Musburger/Katherine Webb incident. After saying it seemed "kind of offensive," she hurried to clarify her remarks by posting that it's okay to talk about women's beauty during a sports commentary, but that MG just went too far.

Well, it isn't okay--not only because it's sexist, but also because it isn't professional.

Having said that, I should add that Stephens' smile is such a prominent part of her persona that I have no problem with commentators (other than, say, a Dick Enberg type) mentioning it. But yes, they also need to mention the beautiful smiles or sparkling eyes of some of the men.

Diane said...

I meant "BM," not "MG."