LA: Under the Radar.
Who would’ve thought at the start of the week that we’d have a Stosur/Pennetta final?
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
I woke up this morning with Stosur and Cirstea just about to start playing. Went out for breakfast, came back an hour later and it was … finished? As far as semifinals go, this was about as crushing as it gets.
I’ve been largely unimpressed with Sorana Cirstea so far. It doesn’t help that every time I sit down to watch one of her matches, she loses listlessly.
And I mean: listlessly. Cirstea’s personality is nothing like Ivanovic, but when she gets down in a match, the same thoughtless anxiety emerges.
I don’t like it.
I will, however, cut her some slack for her loss, as she was suffering from plantar fasciitis in her right foot.
The trainer told me I can’t hurt my foot by playing on it … The only thing was whether I could play with the pain. I tried to focus on my serve. … I did the wrong movement (landing awkwardly), and that’s when the pain
As for Slammin’ Sammy, I was afraid that she’d lose her momentum after the French Open, but she’s proving that her semifinal run there was no fluke.
Loving her game and variety, her newfound confidence, her initiative and commitment to making that transition from a doubles “specialist” to an all-round player. I wouldn’t be surprised if Stosur ended up winning the US Open Series this year.
Girl – first singles title, YES WE CAN!
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
As much as I love Flavs, it was painful to watch Maria’s loss. There’s something about Shazza 1) coming back from injury, 2) playing like crap, 3) and fighting her guts out that just seems to tug at your heartstrings.
I still have no idea how she managed to win the second set. When all else failed – the unreliable serve, the Federer-esque hawk-eye challenges, even the most routine groundstrokes – Masha Fierce could still rely on the one weapon that won’t desert her: her fight.
I didn’t feel fresh. I was surprised it went to the third and I had my opportunities, but I couldn’t close it out.
It’s almost like new territory for me. With every tournament I feel physically I’m getting better and getting a good sense of the court, but it’s still a work in progress.
In the end, when you’re dishing up two double faults per game, it makes life that much harder. Flavia showed some fantastic defence, and Maria was certainly rusty from the baseline, but it was Sharapova’s serve that proved to be the difference in the third set.
Still plenty of positives to take away from the week for Shazza. Without winning the title, she’s done enough to assure me that she will climb her way back to the top.
The serve is iffy and will probably remain iffy, but just look at the way Dementieva’s dealt with hers. The groundstrokes are as potent as ever, and they are becoming more and more polished with match play. At the age of 22, Sharapova might feel and speak like one of the veterans, but rest assured, she’s still a “bright young thing” to stick around for many years to come.
Stosur FTW now,