Sunday, August 15, 2010

Clijsters wins Cincinnati title in bizarre final

After she won the Cincinnati title, Kim Clijsters said that, during the rain break, she went back to her hotel and got her serve, which she had somehow left there. That was as good an explanation as any. Clijsters and her opponent, Maria Sharapova, took turns double-faulting all the way through the match. Clijsters had so much trouble with her serve during the first set, she lost it 2-6. And while it's true that even a good server on the tour sometimes shows up unable to serve very well (can you say "Pennetta"?), that person generally is not Kim Clijsters.

But this match wasn't just about serves; it was also about rain delays. Rain began to fall in the second set, and after Clijsters saved several break points, it came down hard. There was a resumption of play later, but then it rained again, dragging the match out even more.

Down 3-5, Clijsters saved three match points on her own serve, then broke Sharapova to get to 5-all. The second set went to a tiebreak, which Clijsters began with a double fault, and she soon found herself down 0-3. She quickly caught up, though, and won the tiebreak 7-4.

We sometimes hear that the Worldwide Web brings the world into our living rooms. And sometimes, that isn't a good thing:

Because no television channel showed either the Toronto or Cincinnati final live, I had streams going on two computers and was doing my best to watch both the Federer-Murray match, and the Clijsters-Sharapova final. There was hard rain in Toronto, of course, and even more rain delays then there were in Cincinnati. Sharapova called for a trainer because she had pain in her left heel, a condition which would, of course, give her trouble with her serve. I understand that Clijsters called for a trainer, too.

But I don't really know, because it was during this time that I heard the loudest thunder I've ever heard. After I recovered from the boom!, I realized that our power had gone out, which means we had no router. Only our house was hit (a fuse was blown out), so I grabbed a raincoat and took one of the computers down to the local coffee shop. I should have thought to transfer some notes to a flash drive, but I was in too big of a hurry.

By the time I arrived at the coffee shop and got everything going, it was obvious that Clijsters was about to win the championship. I watched the rest of it, and I watched the trophy ceremony (nice trophy). Sharapova wound up with more winners than Clijsters, but both made more errors than they hit winners. Between them, they double-faulted 21 times. It wasn't pretty.

I was actually a bit surprised that Sharapova came so close to winning the match, given her fatigue level these days. But the best thing she can do is play matches (though perhaps not too many), and that's exactly what she's doing.

(I'm probably one of the few who liked Clijsters' old-school Fila outfit--at least the version with the red top--but I did. And while we're on the subject of tennis outfits, I liked Rennae Stubbs' Nike ensemble, too.)

Our efficient electric company showed up and gave us power again, so my iPod and candlelight time didn't last very long.


Dave from tennis DVDs said...

Good come back from Kim. Admittedly she was a bit lucky with the rain interuption.

Overhead Spin said...

The rain might have contributed but 2 things people are forgetting. Sharapova had 3 match points before the rain delay and did not convert. She also served for the match after the rain delay and could not close it out and was up 3-0 in the tie-break and still did not close it out.

As to the fatigue, I have mentioned it before, Sharapova's mental and physical fatigue sets in after 3 or 4 days of a tournament, after that she seems to be running on fumes and the serve goes right after wards.

It does not look to me like she is physically fit and my goodness can that woman whine. OMG. It is distressing to listen to her complain whenever her coach comes down court side. She may not say anything but you can tell what is going on just from what Joyce is saying.

Can they ban this thing already?

Diane said...

I like to think she's whining about Joyce--I would.

Overhead Spin said...

Well, she needs to stop calling him down court side. He just looks like a big galoot when he comes down court side. Not a pretty sight.

svente said...

Um. Yeah. So, I don't really want to continue the derail but Sharapova's hardly a whiner.

Meanwhile, what a crazy-ass match. They both looked great. They both look atrocious. They both could have closed it out and didn't. Yikes. They both need a break it seems. Maria should do well with Toronto off.

I do loook forward to them both here in NYC though!

Diane said...

I do, too, svente. It's probably good that they got the kinks out in this match.

Sunny nine said...

It looks like Maria did get injured enough to pull out of Montreal. The injuries continue to grow. Here is a quote from The Ticker on "Sharapova Joins Injured Star List August 16, 2010
Maria Sharapova pulls out of Montreal with a foot injury, joining an exodus of star players from the WTA Premier 5 event. Sharapova is unsure of the extent of the injury, which she sustained in the second set of her loss to Kim Clijsters in the Cincinnati final, but hopes to compete at the U.S. Open.

Both Serena and Venus Williams are out of Montreal with injuries, as is No. 6 Sam Stosur. Former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic turned down a wild card last week and then injured her ankle in the Cincinnati semis. Since April, 12 of the WTA’s current Top 15 players have either retired from a match or pulled out of a tournament with injures.—Matthew Cronin

Often the WTA tour is referred to having parity which is something I don't like to this extent, but could the parity be the results of inconsistency also caused by injuries? It seems so. I hope that the talk of feeding injuries into a computer to better track what is happening will come about soon.

Diane said...

The injury problem is to be expected, but not at this level. Of course, Venus's issue is chronic; she and Serena both live with knees that have been through a lot of wear and tear.

Fortunately, it sounds as though Stosur's arm is tired, and there is nothing seriously wrong.

The top players have complained repeatedly about the schedule, but there are other factors that could be involved--hence, the need for the formal study. It's quite troubling to see players work up a good momentum and then have to drop out because of injury.