Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Right place, wrong forehand

...Got to cure this insecurity
I was in the wrong place
But it must have been the right time
I was in the right place
But it must have been the wrong song
...I was in the right world
But it seems wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong
Dr. John

It seemed wrong, wrong, wrong today when French Open champion Li Na, like Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova before her, went out in the first round of the U.S. Open. As if we didn't see enough forehand errors from the Czech player, we were subjected to another barrage of them today from Li. The 6th seed's opponent, Simona Halep, who hurt her ankle in Toronto, should be given credit, also. She played quite well, but--in the middle of the second set--she became shaky, and Li seemed to get her game back. But the 5th seed was too inconsistent, and Halep, instead of risking aggression, just kind of let Li implode. The strategy worked; Halep walked away with a 6-2, 7-5 victory, and Li ended the match with 54 unforced errors.

It's worth noting that both the Wimbledon and the French Open champion (both known for their ferocious forehands) were upset by Romanian players, though--in the end--Kvitova and Li each brought about her own undoing. And, by the way, what do I know? I predicted that both of these champions would pull themselves together for the U.S. Open. I expected both Li (who lost in the first round in 2010, also) and Kvitova to put their recent poor performances behind them and be very competitive in New York. Was I ever wrong. 

21st seed Daniela Hantuchova went out in the first round, too, by the way. She was upset 6-2, 6-3 by Pauline Parmentier. On a "normal" day, that would be pretty big news, but as it is, Hantuchova's exit is overshadowed by Li's. 

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