Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Serena Williams--the walking wounded

Will it ever end? Just when Serena Williams gets her game together, she endures another knee injury. Today, at the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Year-End Championships, she came onto the court looking--at least from the waist down--like an extra from an old mummy movie. She was coy about it in the pre-match interview, preferring to mumble "preventive." I'll say. Only not preventive enough. After retiring at the end of the first set, Williams was taken to a Madrid hospital with her knee hurting her quite a bit. The match went to Anna Chakvetadze, who won the first set 6-4, and who--her opponent's injury aside--was looking pretty good.

After getting an MRI, Williams has decided to withdraw from the Madrid event, which means that first alternate Marion Bartoli will step in and play, of all people, Justine Henin, in the next match. Bartoli brilliantly defeated Henin in the Wimbledon semifinals. (Commentators, are you listening? Henin did not have a "meltdown" at Wimbledon--she got her ass kicked.) Henin and Bartoli very likely would have met in the finals of Zurich Open a few weeks ago, but Bartoli had to retire from a match against Tatiana Golovin that she was winning.

Of course, given Henin's current level of play and Bartoli's unscheduled appearance, there is little chance that Bartoli will prevail in Madrid. She will inherit Serena Williams' 0-1 record, which means that if things go as expected, she will be 0-2 after tomorrow's match. It is a pity that Bartoli was not given the chance to go to Madrid with the other players, rather than get called in after Williams' elaborate preventive bandaging failed her.

1 comment:

Steven Rahn said...

Serena's knees will likely remain an issue for the remainder of her career....which may not extend beyond next year. We will see. As regards Justine vs. Bartoli? Sorry, but a player that was up a set and a break, even if they eventually lose, cannot be said to have had their "ass kicked". Justine has never won Wimbledon, in large part because she KEEPS winning Roland Garros. Its a grueling event, and the winner is there for the duration.... with only a brief rest before Wimbledon. All tennis players are aware of this harsh reality. Justine was not fresh, and Bartoli was a motived player that had nothing to lose. To her credit, she swung for the fences and it paid off. In Madrid we saw a genuine ass-kicking when these ladies met again.....6-0 6-0. I think Justine made her point very contest.