Monday, June 1, 2015

The Perils of Petra

When we last checked in on the pure-hearted but fragile Petra, she had been locked in a basement (perhaps in Radwanska Abbey) by her evil twin and beaten to a pulp by the deceptively cheerful Queen of Mexico, who left our poor Petra to subsist on nothing but a bagel and water.

Will Petra escape from the torture chamber in time to drag her evil twin's ass through the freshly mowed grass? Stay tuned....

The French Open 4th seed, Petra Kvitova, looking at a draw which gave her a fairly clear shot at once again challenging "The Serena" in the semifinals, looked more than ready and able during the first set of her round of 16 match against Timea Bacsinszky. But if we've learned anything by now, it's to not get our hopes up just because Kvitova does something like produce 71 and 67% first and second serve stats and win the set 6-2. 

Two things happened in the second set: Kvitova's opponent woke up and began to play the game that has served her so well this season, and--guess what the second thing was?!--Kvitova went to pieces. Bacsinszky won that set 6-0, then won the third set 6-3. And all credit to the Swiss player, who performed really well, but one must also consider that Petra went away. Again.

Kvitova's demise wasn't the only big news of the day, however. 2nd seed and defending champion Maria Sharapova was defeated 7-6, 6-4 by a spot-on, in-form Lucie Safarova.

And now I want to digress for a moment. The Internet was aglow today with fans scolding anyone who dared to mention Sharapova's illness as an "excuse" for her loss. And while such a move is unpopular, I'm introducing (how dare she?!) some rationality to this conversation: Every time an injured or sick player loses a match, there's a flood of causal reductionism about it. Yes, Safarova played superbly. Yes, Sharapova might not have played any better if she had been healthy. But things happen for more than one reason.

If you've ever had a cold or some related respiratory illness (and that, I think would include everyone), then you know that it makes you physically weak and mentally fuzzy. Can't we just say that Sharapova lost and that her illness was one of the reasons? Please. I mean, if I want to be assaulted by logical fallacies, I can just turn on television news.

Other things happened today. 2012 runner-up Sara Errani easily defeated Julia Goerges in straight sets. Alison Van Uytanck, still apparently unaffected by the gravity of her circumstances, defeated Andreea Mitu. Garbine Muguruza defeated Flavia Pennetta. Muguruza will play Safarova in the quarterfinals, and that has the potential to be a great match. Ivanovic gets Elina Svitolina, who has never beaten the Serb (but this is a much improved Svitolina).

2nd seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina advanced the doubles quarterfinals today with a victory over the Rodionova sisters. Also, Lucie Safarova is still going in doubles competition. She and partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands also advanced to the quarterfinals.


CPW CSA said...

Thanks for the hilarious "perils of Petra"! It is so trying to be a fan but at least we get a laugh once in while, thanks to things like this.
As for Sharapova, I think it's fair to acknowledge the cold. That said, Lucy has come so close to beating her lately and is playing some great tennis so all credit to her.

Diane said...

Thanks for visiting, CPW CSA, and glad you got a laugh Petra....

I agree about Lucie. She was determined to beat Maria. I'm ery impressed with her French Open run.

skivvy said...

Your "Perils of Petra" post popped into my head today while watching Petra struggle against JJ. I don't think Petra was well. I'm not sure that she recovered 100% from the illness that caused her to withdraw from Eastbourne. Yes, the first two rounds don't support my theory, but I thought she looked a little off. Anyway, happy for the Empress. It's always nice to see JJ in the mix. Glad she didn't need a helicopter to find the court.