Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Family Circle Cup day 2--a very full day

This was a long day. We began it by watching Victoria Azarenka run over Chanelle Scheepers, 6-1, 6-0. We saw the last two sets of the Cirstea-Chakvetadze match, and we saw the match between Michaella Krajicek and Alize Cornet. Krajicek was up 3-1 in the third set, but fell to Cornet in spite of that. Krajicek's crosscourt forehand was as good as ever, but after two sets, she was visibly lagging--breathing hard and taking more and more time to serve. Eventually, she received a time violation for her slow serving, which now includes five (sometimes six) ball bounces, sometimes preceded by additional (as many as eight) bounces with the racquet. It seemed that the more Krajicek's energy lagged, the more Cornet's strengthened. Cornet looked just as fresh at the end of the match as she had at the beginning, and defeated Krajicek 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. It was an entertaining match, and one we were glad we saw.

We were able to see the second half of the Szavay-Sugiyama match, which Szavay won, but had to fight for, and we saw a little of the Bartoli-Dellacqua match, which Bartoli won. We also saw the last two sets of Tatiana Perebynis's upset of Anabel Medina Garrigues. In the evening, we had a good time watching Alexa Glatch and Varvara Lepchenko take a set off of Dinara Safina and Agnes Szavay. The Americans performed poorly in the first set, but in the second--Glatch's excellent serving and Lepchenko's performance at both the baseline and the net were impressive. They lost, however, when their opponents ran away with the super-tiebreak.

Finally we saw Serena Williams play Gisela Dulko in a match that did not adequately reflect the strengths of either player. They had never played each other before, and the first set was awkward and unattractive, with Williams getting broken three times, and her oppenent getting broken four times. Dulko, who--yesterday--had served practically perfectly--could not find her first serve often enough tonight, and also lost her very good second serve. Still, she was able to pick up her serve a bit in the second set, and was broken only once. Williams served five aces in that set.

The second set was fun to watch, and contained some thrilling rallies. Williams' return of serve was sharp and sometimes deadly, and Dulko used backhand topspin to her advantage, as well as her ability to hit on-the-mark drop volleys. We wanted another set, but it was over after two, with Williams winning, 6-3, 6-4.

Tennis outfit of the day: Serena Williams, in a pale lavender long-sleeve boatneck pullover and a flared white skirt with kick pleats along the bottom only.

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