Tokyo: Knowledge and Hope.
It goes without saying, but there’s a difference between knowing you can win and hoping you can win.
Masha Fierce is a player who knows that she can win. Iveta Benesova merely hopes to win.
Down a break in each set, Sharapova pulls herself together, takes the freebies she gets and whams the snot of the ball to earn the rest.
8 double faults and 6 aces from Sharapova – it’s a sign of the times that I consider anything under 10 double-faults to be relatively clean. No matter what the score line or how many DFs she serves up, Masha Fierce struts that court like a HBIC, waiting for her opponent to blink. Daring them to hope, as opposed to know that they can win.
Real belief doesn’t need to be written on shoes.
Iveta on the other hand is … ummm, disturbingly lipless. But quite apart from her lack of labium flesh, she never looked to be in charge at any point during the match, even when she was leading. Against a real competitor like Sharapova, “hoping to win” just doesn’t quite cut it.
Indeed it’s a pity that Benesova turned out to be a ‘hoper’, because aesthetically her ball-striking is just stunning to watch.
As another beautiful “hoper”, Li Na has gotten in the way of her own talent too many times in her career, so her match against Azarenka was just another typical day at the office.
For a set and a half, Li showed the sort of tremendous shot-making that makes you wonder why she never made it into the top 10. She created insane angles from the back of the court, running Azarenka around like a high-pitched steam train, breaking down Vika’s defence.
But even then, I expected nothing less than for Vika to call out her coach, regroup, and come screeching back to take the second set. Unlike Li Na, Vika doesn’t just hope. She knows.
Down a double break in the second set? No problems. A few good returns put some doubt in Li Na’s mind. She started to play tentatively, no longer going for the angles that put her in the lead to start with.
Such is the state of human nature, even the best of us are more scared of success than failure. And Li Na, despite all her tattooed radness, is hardly the best.
But in the end, unlike Benesova, Li Na had more talent and a less tenacious opponent. She managed to wobble over the finish line. Just.
Here’s to playing pretty then winning ugly.
In other matches, THE HAMSTER HAS BEEN SLAIN 64 63. Haw haw!
And JJ DID THE SLAYING. Yeehaw!
She’s regained her movement, found her happy splits again…
… not to mention her Colgate smile!
Life is a party when JJ’s rocking it. Oh yeth …
In her victory, JJ credited the relative stability in her personal life for her returning form.
“It makes a big difference when my mind is on tennis,” she said after beating Bartoli for the first time in their last five meetings.
“I play at another level.”
“So many things happened this year. My mum got sick and had surgery. Before my US Open second round (defeat last month) my grandmother died and tennis became secondary. Other things were more important in my life.”
Dazzle on Glittergal!