Sunday, August 17, 2014

Serena Williams wins her first Cincinnati title

Top seed Serena Williams got off to a slow start in today's Cincinnati final against Ana Ivanovic. but then she did what she needed to do early in the first set, which she won 6-4. After that, it appeared that the Serbian star was all but sleep-walking through the match. Williams won the second set 6-1.

Despite losing the final, Ivanovic had a good tournament. Her 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 semifinal victory over Maria Sharapova was definitely the highlight of the event, for the drama, if nothing else. Ivanovic led a set and 4-0 when Sharapova made her almost last-minute comeback. A questionable line call upset Ivanovic, and (in a style more reminiscent of Jankovic), she went to pieces, letting Sharapova in. Sharapova, of course, lives for these moments, when she can wipe out an opponent's momentum and take over the match.

But this turned out to be no ordinary match. At the start of the third set, Ivanovic took a medical timeout. She said later that she felt nauseous and had stomach pain. A blood pressure check was done on her, and that action would lead to an "instant classic" 'Pova moment later in the match. Sharapova, after double-faulting and getting broken to put the score at 4-all, tapped her arm with her racket and said to the umpire, "Check her blood pressure."

Okay, so it isn't as good as "Allez up your f___ing ass!" and certainly not as good as "Isn't she back in Poland already?" (one of my all-time favorite tennis quotes), but it still made me laugh. Apparently, it angered some people, and I understand and respect that, but then again, I burst out laughing when I heard "...and you're unattractive inside," so my spontaneous laughter mode apparently overrides every other mode I possess.

Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears won the doubles title when their opponents, Timea Babos and Kiki Mladenovic, retired early in the second set of the final. They retired because Mladenovic sustained a back injury

Anyway, systolically and diastolically speaking, the WTA tour is vibrant and healthy. Both Ivanovic and Caroline Wozniacki (who lost to Sharapova in the semifinals) look really good. Aga Radwanska has picked her game up considerably, and even Sam Stosur looks like she's ready for serious action.

And then there's Serena, who hasn't won a major this year, but she gets a final shot in Flushing Meadows in just a little while. She's the winner of the 2014 U.S. Open Series, so she'll also be going for a $1 million bonus at the U.S. Open. It's rare for the world number 1 to play three events in a row, but she did, and she won two of them.


Eric said...

MJF was so rushed during today's winner's presentation.

Diane said...

I didn t watch--I switched over to watch LPGA. What was the rush about?

Eric said...

I have no idea. It just seemed odd. She didn't pause for applause or anything.

The awards ceremony starts at 9:45 mark if you want to watch.

Diane said...

That was kind of hurried. Probably an ESPN request.

Albano said...

Hello Diane, I would like to hear your thoughts about the usopen series points criteria: doubling up the points a player has earned in all tournaments if he/she plays at least at three events...

In the women standings there is not quite a buzz, cause Serena is the fair winner.

But on the men's side, Raonic is at first place , way ahead of Federer (that had winning and runner-up finishes in the Masters 1000 tournaments )

I find it completely ridiculous!

Diane said...

Thanks for the question, Albano. It seems obvious that this is an effort to get players to enter more series events. I don't like it because I think it is intrinsically unfair. Also, I doubt whether the players are even slightly "motivated" by it.

Eric said...

Diane, have you ever met Nick McCarvel?

I've been following his work since he first started bc we graduated at the same time and it seems like he's starting to get some major traction.

The vid is bomb. All the players in it have some amazeball moments. (It will make sense.)

Diane said...

Yes, I get to see Nick every year in Charleston, and he's a very nice man; I really like him.

My reason to watch the video is--as always--Petra!