USO Day 4: BELIEVE.
Good day at the office for Americans, a day of bloodbaths for the WTA, as its own headlines read: “who let the underdogs out?”
For all her comforting results this summer, Jelena Jankovic fell second round to Yaroslava Shvedova 6-3 6-7(4) 7-6(6) after holding two match points. During the match, JJ lacked her usual vibrancy and sprint.
And how could she not? She was playing with a heavy heart after learning that her grandmother had passed away the night before.
“For my part, I wasn’t really on the court. My grandmother died and I was very close to her. I was very sad and emotionally, I was not really on the court. I was really suffering. I tried to think about my tennis, but, you know, I felt like I was so late and so slow. I couldn’t even watch the ball. That was my problem.”
It’s sad to see JJ’s slam season finish on a low point like that, just when she seems to be getting her game back on track. Take a break Cherry, and cut yourself some slack.
Call it double standards, call it whatever you want. But I’m less inclined to cut Dementieva any slack.
As a self-proclaimed non-fan of Dementieva, I must admit I was fairly cynical of her grand slam chances, even after her victory in Toronto. If slam results could be inferred from warm-up tournaments, then Dinara Safina should be sitting on a few slams right now. I stuck a fork in the idea that Lena D would eventually win a slam a while back, and I’m not about to resurrect her now.
Even so, it’s just not good enough for the World No 4 and a veteran of the tour to be out-gutsed by an injured 17 year old.
Credit to Melanie Oudin though, if you thought she was impressive against JJ at Wimbledon, then her performance in her 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 win over Demmy was something else to behold.
The petite 17 year-old was 90% guts today as she fought back tears, ignored the pain in her injured leg, and played fearless tennis for three sets against one of the more established names currently in women’s tennis.
Oudin certainly lived up to the inscription on her shoe – BELIEVE. If only a few more of the WTA contenders could do the same.
Q. Talk about the shoes. They say “believe” on them.
MELANIE OUDIN: Yes.
Q. Is that your saying or somebody’s…
MELANIE OUDIN: Actually, my boyfriend gave me that idea to put on it, and I really liked it. So I put that on my shoe. It seems to fit me well.
And fit her, it sure as hell did.
Someone who never had any troubles with self-belief: Masha Fierce, who came through a cruising win over another American 17 year old, Christina McHale 6-2 6-1.
The serve is still coming in ebbs and flows, the toss tends to get higher as the match goes on. But Maria had it under control for most of the match except for one service game in the second set. Not that it mattered much, Masha Fierce was just awe-inspiring in her omnipresence on court.
Thank god the Pova’s back, showing the other clowns how to do it with a stamp of authority.
Desperately needing a stamp of authority was Dinara Safina, whose 6-7 6-2 6-3 win over the 67th-ranked Kristina Barrois of Germany was just about as laborious as her first round match.
You really don’t need to hear me say for the gazillionth time how over Safina I am. Contrary to Maratski’s insistence, I’m clearly not the one who needs to go fug herself.
Tough day for Alize Cornet, whose season has turned from promising to dismal after losing to Zheng Zheng Jie Jie in 3 sets. She does however take the prize for my favourite dress of the Open so far. Very impressed with Lacoste’s gears for the girls this year.
More tough luck to Sabine Lisicki, who served for the match against Rodionova at 5-3 in the third, only to lose it 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 and spraining her ankle on match point. For your information, Rodionova is Australian this month, although there’s no telling which flag she’ll play under in her next tournament. And I thought I was indecisive.
On the men’s side of things, James Blake won two matches in a row, since … ever. Me likey.
The rest of the top 20 also came safely through. RFed’s childhood friend, Marco Chiudinelli, equalled his best ever slam result by making the third round of the US Open over Youzhny. Swiss tennis’s two-men effort lives on, despite Concubine’s shambolic loss.