Monday, January 24, 2011

Clijsters advances to Australian Open quarterfinals

She had to get through a tiebreak to do it, but 3rd seed Kim Clijsters defeated Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets Monday in the Australian Open round of 16. Clijsters' 7-6, 6-2 win over Makarova now puts her in contention with 12th seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarterfinals. If she defeats Radwanska (and, with Radwanska's weak serve, she probably will), she will play either Petra Kvitova or 2nd seed Vera Zvonareva in the semifinals.

Speaking of Radwanska (who has made an amazing comeback from surgery and rehab): Why does such a brilliant tennis player not drop everything until she has learned to hit a reasonably good second serve? Her first serve is better than it used to be, but even that failed her toward the end of her round of 16 match; her second serve is a disaster. Radwanska can outplay just about anyone on the tour, but she has this major flaw in her game, and I don't understand why someone doesn't do something about it.


Mike said...

Polish journalists (ok, one journalist who covers Slams - and Slams only - for one of the major newspapers) and fans asked the same question many times. Aga's father (who recently put some heavy right-wing political material on his daughters' website, which actually got more attention in Polish press than any tennis this year) repeatedly answered that they didn't want to change Aga's game. They fear that if they try and make Aga gain some strength, it won't help much with her serve and she will only lose her agility. Radwanski also said a couple of times that there was no real problem with Aga's serve.

Diane said...

That doesn't come as a surprise. I wish she would get a different coach, but that's another issue. I also don't think it's just a matter of "more strength."

Mike said...

All the questions about a different coach are usually dismissed by Radwanski in a similar way. I agree that something should be changed as Aga's tennis stopped developing. She remains at the same level. She has never won a QF in a Grand Slam tournament.
I actually think that she has a big chance this time. Kim is playing worse than at USO. If she makes as many errors as she did in her match against Cornet, Aga will win. Kim didn't impress me today either (though I'm a big fan of her, so I'm probably excessively nervous).

Anonymous said...

I think there are some players who really don't care if they get into the top 5 or not. They make a living, they get to go out and play tennis, they win enough - they have no deep-seated ambition to improve their game beyond where it is. That's how I see Radwanska anyway. She usually looks so lackadasical (sp?) amidst her flashes of brilliant tennis that I don't come away from one of her matches thinking that I just watched someone with a fire in their belly. At least not in the last year or so. I'm not talking about her lack of facial expression - I'm talking about her body language. She often looks as if she's going through the motions and that's all.

Yes, the match vs. Peng was great fun to watch. Radwanska's prior 2? Not much. And, yes, of course I have zero knowledge of what she is actually thinking or feeling. As a fan and viewer I usually think twice before choosing her match as the next one I'll watch.