Miami: Arthouse and Blockbuster.
There are two extremes of matches. On one end of the spectrum: arthouse displays in which nothing dramatic ever happens. It doesn’t sizzle, it doesn’t explode into fireworks, yet it leaves you with a feeling of infinite wonder and satisfaction. In Federerarian terms, we’d call it a “TMF sighting”.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are the blockbusters. The script is cheesier than macaroni, the acting is close to parody, but despite everything, the sheer drama of it all grips you by the hormones and drags you to the edge of your seat.
By that criteria, the Clijsters v Henin match was your typical trashy, yet strangely addictive blockbuster.
It was error-prone. It was neurotic. It was filled of confusion and anarchy. The best lacked all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.
From 2-6 0-3 in the second set, it was as if neither of the players wanted to win the match. Kim had a breakpoint to go up a set and a double break. As far as her tennis was concerned, Clijsters was in tennis nirvana – crushing the ball with authority from all corners of the court.
Justine on the other hand, couldn’t stay in a rally past 5 shots without trying to hit a winner on the back foot. When she wasn’t banging the cover off the ball, Jujubear was spraying routine forehands like her name was Fe – … oh fine! I’ll cut him some slack.
Down 2-6, 0-3, Justine saved a breakpoint to hold. From this seemingly innocuous moment onwards, the match took a turn for the bizarre – all of a sudden, Kim seemed to lose all conviction in herself. Double faults flowed. Mid court putaways found themselves at the bottom of the net.
Mama Kim, the confident, mature player constructing points with so much power and instinct sudden looked like the Clijsters of old. The one-slam wonder of yesteryear that I could never bring myself to like, despite Kimmy being so goddamn likable.
In the end, like in Brisbane, it came down to a tiebreak. One point at 6-all, Kim found herself at the net with a reflex volley and for a split second, you could hear the crowd gasp – it’s going out.
The second passes and the ball lands in. Match point Clijsters. And much like in Brisbane, Justine Henin had used up her chance.
Close, but as the saying goes, no cigar.
Plenty of cigars for Venus Williams, who bested a serve-troubled Marion Bartoli, 63 64. Perhaps Marion needed to concentrate more on what’s happening on court than off.
“I saw Serena before the match. I said to her, ‘It’s not fair you’re dressing up so nicely. I’m going to watch more what you’re wearing than the ball.’
I think she had a red dress and some really, really, really high heel shoes. Maybe something like 14 inches of heels. It was pretty high.”
Like Venus, Boby Sod also clobbered his way to a routine win against the Headclobber himself, Mikhail Youzhny. He’s due to face T.Bird, who came through by virtue of Fernando Verdasco’s sheer retardedness that saw him lose a set and break advantage.
Go away Birdy. Spoiler of my Citrus Final. Now that Bobby Sod and Rafa are still in the draw, no one is spoiling my “V is for Vendetta” Sunday blockbuster.