Saturday, January 28, 2012

Townsend wins Australian Open junior girls championship

15-year-old Taylor Townsend of the USA won the Australian Open junior girls title today, defeating 4th seed Yulia Putintseva 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. Townsend and her partner, Gabrielle Andrews, won the doubles title yesterday, with a victory over the top seeds.

The first set was as one-sided as it appears in the scoreline, but Putintseva picked up her game and became more aggressive in the second set. It wasn't really until the third set, though, that the players had settled down enough to show off some of their better skills. Townsend played aggressively, coming to the net 29 times, and she served well. 

Unfortunately, the most memorable feature of this match was the theatrical carrying on of Putintseva, who yelled and screamed "Come on!" (and sometimes considerably more) after every point that favored her. When things didn't go well for her, she struggled to keep herself from breaking her racquet. In retrospect, it's amazing that she didn't break it.

When the match was over, before she walked to the net for the handshake, the young Russian player gave her racquet a crack on the court. And then, when she was at the net, about to shake her opponent's hand, she cracked the racquet again.

After the handshake, Putintseva sat in her chair and sobbed continually and loudly. Townsend looked stunned, and a little confused about what she was supposed to do. After a considerable delay, as the sobbing continued,  the trophy presentation took place. Putintseva held up her trophy and souvenir stuffed koala, constructed a frozen smile, and made a hasty exit. I'm sure she'll be criticized for not saying anything, but I'm quite sure that any effort to speak on her part would have led to even more weeping. I think she did the best that she could do under the circumstances.

Some people, for physiological and/or psychological reasons, cry more easily and more copiously than others. But it wasn't just the crying--Putintseva spewed all kinds of emotion throughout the match. She appears to be a less-than-mature 17-year-old, which must make it hard for her to participate in competitive sports. Also, the racquet crack at the net was inexcusable by any standard.

Townsend took all the drama in stride, which helped her win the match. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congrats Taylor on your win!