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.

xx doots

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12 responses to “Miami: Arthouse and Blockbuster.”

  1. pban says :

    Love Bobby Sod, but we need Rafa back at 2 so I don’t know which way to go…..must wait for the match to see how I feel.

  2. pban says :

    Love Bobby Sod, but we need Rafa back at 2 so I don’t know which way to go…..must wait for the match to see how I feel ie if it ever happens

  3. TennisAce says :

    That match between Clijsters and Henin was a disaster. I hope Venus comes to play on Saturday and crushes her. Go Vee.

  4. Jas says :

    I really don’t like Clijsters, I just can’t warm to her at all, I’m not really a fan of comebacks and bageling Venus at the US open was the final straw, so go Venus, get revenge.

    Sorry Rafa but I really want Soderling to win the title he needs a nice cushion of points so that any points he loses from the French open don’t leave him out of the top ten. Rafa is going to win in Monte Carlo anyway, that tournament is made for him and Randy needs a masters title more than Rafa having not won one since 2006, it would be a great indication that Stefanki partnership is working well (not like many people are doubting it but it would help him to get closer to the top 5 and will be a statement to other players that he can still win big titles.) However I doubt Roddick will hold his nerve much like Ferrer and Nalbandian didn’t earlier in the tournament.

    • TennisAce says :

      I am hoping that Roddick can get the win over Rafa today. Not a big fan of Rafa and I would really like to see Roddick get to the finals. I am also rooting on Soderling. If Roddick does not win I would love a grudge match between Soderling and Rafa. Now that would be awesome to watch, because I can bet any money that neither player will be willing to give anything to the other. Maybe some kicked over water bottles as well as some jeering – LOL

  5. Jack says :

    I’m hoping for a Rafa-Bo Carl final on Sunday.

    Also, does Clijsters have a problem closing matches or just have a problem closing matches against Justine??

    Anyway, I like Clijsters but I like Venus more. So I want Venus to win the final!

    • Forehand Shanker says :

      Jack: I think Kim just has a hard time closing matches against JuJu. They’ve played 24 times on tour, and god knows how many times when they were juniors. While they’re not close friends (or sisters), it’s not hard to imagine that if you’ve played someone umpteen billion times that you know what they’re going to do before they they’ve done it.

      Kim’s ability to overpower folks won’t surprise JuJu because JuJu knows where to recover to. So Kim tries to hit closer to the lines than normal (and miss), which JuJu is hoping she’ll do. On and on goes the psychodrama!

    • dootsiez says :

      Kim’s always been a little mental back in the day no?

      But I think it’s especially a problem against Justine. 1) Because that woman does not go down without a fight. 2) A lot of scar-tissue in that rivalry.

  6. pban says :

    OH NO Rafa,what is it with you….we get the refurbished Rafa for 1& a quarter sets and then it is back to the post US Open 2009 avataar….why are you losing when I don’t want you to. Tennis Gods have gone all quirky on us

  7. flo says :

    Before everyone grumps over Roddick beating Rafa, read the as always quippy Roddick interview at http://tinyurl.com/yh6gklm. His last masters win was 06, the man is due – so please give him his (when it happens which I think it will although he has a tendency to…change that when to an if).

    And he’s right, reporters who don’t follow tennis should refrain from commenting like they know the pulse of the game (I think he’s thinking of the talking heads on ESPN).

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