Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Adventures of JJ and Aga, Queens of the Desert

Last night, toward the end of the third set--when Jelena Jankovic was sitting on the court, legs up, head turned sideways, and muttering to her box--commentator Mary Carillo noted that it might help the Serbian player if she could stay calm. "This is calm--for her," Lindsay Davenport quickly retorted.

How true. With all the falling down (and there was a lot of it), muttering and legs in the air, there was also a lot of smiling from Jankovic, and really, she and opponent Agnieszka Radwanska didn't have too much to separate them. Each went through terrible streaks during the match--usually brought about my repeated forehand errors--and each looked brilliant at various times. I actually love this match-up. Both women are such good movers, and watching Jankovic use her signature backhand down the line (looking more like the classic one from her) to interrupt Radwanska's trickery is fun. They are both such great athletes that the worst things they do are still okay with me.

Also, just to see The Drama Queen face off against the Great Stone Face is high-level entertainment--WTA theatre at its best. Large moths kept plopping onto the court and had to be removed, adding to the comedy of the evening. A bug would be removed, then JJ would fall down onto the court like a bug. Throughout all this, Radwanska never changed her facial expression. I was very tired and needed to sleep, but I couldn't take my eyes off of those two.

Radwanska won, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, and advanced to the semifinals, in which she will play Simona Halep. Who doesn't want to see that?

Today, Li Na and Dominika Cibulkova will compete in the quarterfinals, and I'm sure Li is hoping for a less dramatic experience than she had in her last round, winning on her 11th match point against Aleksandra Wozniak. In the other quarterfinal match, Flavia Pennetta--who beat countrywoman Camila Giorgi in the 4th round--will play Sloane Stephens. Someone has obviously been whispering "It's like a fifth major" major into Stephens' ear because she has performed unusually well in Indian Wells.

It should also be mentioned--though, at this point, it's a copy and paste issue--that Petra Kvitova was obviously ill during her last round, and was easily vanquished by Cibulkova. The combination of asthma and viral infections (which trigger asthma) have done her in, and it's a sad situation.

On Tuesday, 8th Lucie Hradecka and Zheng Jie advanced to the semifinals in doubles with a win over 4th seeds Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik. Yesterday, 5th seeds Cara Black and Sania Mirza (who could give lessons in forehand execution) took out 2nd seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in straight sets.


Sabey said...

The other marvelous thing about this match up is that despite all the drama on JJ's side of the net -it's quiet! No shrieking, grunting or wailing.Sign me up for more!
I am glad that Aga won but she will have to do better to get past Halep.

Diane said...

Sabey, here's a piece by Bobby Chintapalli that you might like:

Sabey said...

Thanks Diane! That was a good read.

Diane said...

You're welcome. It's one of my favorite pieces she's written. And that was a great match.