Thursday, March 21, 2013

Venus and Kimiko go at it again

In 2011, Venus Williams and Kimiko Date-Krumm stunned the crowd when they battled for three hours under the Centre Court roof. Williams beat the 40-year-old Date-Krumm 6-7, 6-3, 8-6. Tonight in second round play in Miami, Williams defeated Date-Krumm 7-6, 3-6, 6-4, in an intense 2 1/2-hour contest. The third set was really intense. Williams went up an early break for a 3-1 lead, but was broken right back. She broke back, then Williams broke back and went up 5-3. And was broken when she served for the match. Date-Krumm saved a total of five match points, but after double-faulting at 4-5, she lost the match when Williams prevailed on her sixth match point.

Caroline Wozniacki won her match, but she had to work for it. Karolina Pliskova took the first set 7-5, Wozniacki took the second one 6-3, and despite breaking right away in the third, the Dane had to fight pretty hard. She was broken back immediately by Pliskova. Then they broke each other again. Wozniacki held in the eighth game, and she won the match after Pliskova saved two match points.

Peng Shuai took the first set off of Petra Kvitova, who beat her 5-7, 6-2, 6-2. 10th seed Marion Bartoli retired against wild card Andrea Petkovic, Ajla Tomljanovic defeated Julia Goerges, and Mona Barthel lost to Magdalena Rybarikova.

Yesterday, Vicky Duval advanced to the second round when she defeated Andrea Hlavackova 7-6 6-4. Duval's next opponent will be Jelena Jankovic.

23 comments:

Daniel said...

And the Venus/Kimiko match is almost 3/4 of a century in age on the court!

Diane said...

And such a show they put on, too. The "old" players on the tour really shine, and you never know when one of them is going to make a comeback. Kimiko is truly amazing, by any standard.

March 22, 2013 at 11:33 PM

Doug Messenger said...

Is Kimiko better than back in the day, or... and this is interesting... is the competition not as good, despite better equipment and better fitness?

Diane said...

It's a good question. I think that her many skills from back in the day confound some of today's players. To me, she is living proof that the sport--to a great extent--exchanged finesse and cleverness for power.

Doug Messenger said...

Agreed. And a huge percentage of the players have the same game. Sit back and outlast the opponent, whether gently, like Radwanska or aggressively, like Kerber. The exceptions, though, are at the top: Serena, Petra, Viktoria, Li, etc.
Back in the day, all sorts of radically different games were present. Think Sabatini, Graf, Hingis, Shriver, Novotna, Navratilova, Austin, Evert, Jaeger. All different. And the courts differed more, from very fast to very slow. Add indoor carpet, now extinct.

Doug Messenger said...

It took more thinking than today, where most of the women have identical grips, takebacks, and strokes.

Bobby Skipsey said...

This is why Kvitova is so refreshing. She has power and finesse. Doug should have added Seles, Wade, Casals to that list. And, of course Sabatini, whose variety off the ground was fantastic. Every shot in the book. At one point, she beat Graf nine out of eleven matches, including one seven straight run. Then, she changed from her Prince to the Yamaha, and was never again the same player. So, what to do. Well, more variety in court surfaces and perhaps racquet head size restriction to say, 97 square inches and a lowering of stiffness, to diminish power.

Diane said...

Radwanska is such a joy to watch that, what she lacks in aggression (and she's been showing a bit more lately), she makes up for in creativity and anticipation. And while she doesn't beat Serena, she has beaten Maria a couple of times, and frequently beats others who have more power than she does. At least she's not boring!

And as long as we're making that list, I'll add one of my all-time favorites--Mandlikova :)

Bobby Skipsey said...

Banning the co-poly strings would be good too, because it would do away with the mind-numbingly long rallies that extreme topspin brought into the game. Pushers, pushers everywhere.

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