Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cirstea impresses, but Ivanovic moves on

I hope Sorana Cirstea has a good coach because she is loaded with potential. In her first round Australian Open match against Ana Ivanovic, she had a lot of problems with her serve and with her volleys. But her ground strokes were first-class, and her big backhand effectively neutralized the scary Ivanovic forehand, a matter not lost on a sometimes dazed-looking Ivanovic.

When Cirstea lost the first set (which she had on her racquet, at one point), she faded away, as I expected her to. But then, when she was down 1-5 in the second, something clicked, and she returned to real competition. It was too little too late, though, and Ivanovic won, 7-5, 6-3. It was a highly entertaining match, all the more so because of Cirstea's personality.

Ivanovic received a bad line call toward the end of the match. Hawkeye was out of commission and the chair umpire should have easily overruled the call, but she did not. A justifiably angry Ivanovic did not shake the umpire's hand at the end of the match, but instead, gave her a kind of cursory wave. The message was clear.

No comments: