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.