Sunday, May 5, 2013

First round play in Madrid perhaps not what we expected

Li Na is out of Madrid. Just like that. Li was defeated--and defeated soundly--today in the first round by lucky loser Madison Keys. Keys had lost in qualifying to Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Also going out in the first round today was Caroline Wozniacki, who lost to Yaroslava Shvedova.

But that wasn't the end of it. Jelena Jankovic was defeated by qualifier Chanelle Scheepers, and Roberta Vinci lost to Varvara Lepchenko. Yesterday, it was Mona Barthel who went out, beaten by Kirsten Flipkens.

On paper, these first round losses are very surprising, but we shouldn't be that surprised by Wozniacki and Barthel; neither of them is having a very good time of it. The other losses did surprise me. I consider Li a contender to win the French Open, Jankovic had actually started looking like herself again, and Vinci--well, I expected her to win on clay.

Two players who have yet to compete in the first round are Victoria Azarenka and Sam Stosur. Azarenka will play Portugal Open champion Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and Stosur will play Portugal Open runner-up Carla Suarez Navarro. If Stosur wins, she gets Kaia Kanepi in the second round.

And, speaking of the second round, should we brace ourselves for more upsets?


Doug said...

Petra's match went according to her usual script: She found a way to lose the first set. Check. She found a way to make the second set precarious, barely getting by. Check. She got down a break in the third set, and then, on cue, brought on a four straight games demolition. Check. It's exhausting. What goes on in that brain? Is she the female Hamlet?

Diane said...

I didn't see the match, but I guessed, from the scoreline, that she stuck to the script. She just doesn't appear to come to the match with confidence, and then she uses the pressure to help her squeak by. Except it doesn't always work. And it must be exhausting for her, too.

Eric said...

you know...Serena made a career out of doing this during 2004 -

Sunny nine said...

I saw the Li match. Li just looked listless. Didn't seem like she was putting up much of a fight, just accepting what was going on. Her play was not very good but it was her demeanor that bothered me.

Diane said...

I heard that from some other people, Sunny--that Li looked like she wasn't even there. She still runs hot and cold; it's just the way she is, I guess.

sunny nine said...

To me, Diane, it wasn't just Li's game running hot and cold, it was her "being" that seemed off. Almost at times like she didn't care or was resigned to losing.

But writing now to say I just saw A Radwanska lose 63 61 to Robson-what a beautiful forehand Robson has but Radwanska had no answer. So the number 4,5, and 9 (Stosur) are gone. Also number 7 Errani just made it to stay in the tournament in 3 sets. Cirstea's lethal forehand was mostly "on" today and she was hitting some wonderful winners.
So much for the entire top 10 being in Madrid. We are left with 1,2,3,6,7,8. Vika is on in about an hour for her first round and with no clay play this yr Pavs could beat her (although Pavs just won a tournament yesterday).

Anonymous said...

Also saw the Li match and agree with comments that she never truly got into that match. Most striking was her nearly non existent movement on the court. Li's right leg was quite a bit more heavily taped/protected than it usually is around the knee. Perhaps Li was not 100% physically yesterday.

Kudos to Keys, though. She played a strong and consistent match. Excellent self-control in the last games of the match, when it became obvious the outcome was on her own racquet. Loved her reaction upon victory: exactly the same as usual, as if there was nothing special about this particular win. Truly hope Keys remained that way.


Diane said...

I hope Li is okay. She really does "go off" sometimes, mood-wise.