Newsreel: You beauty.
1. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez. Volleyer extraordinaire. Fist-pump terminator. Natural-born strategist. The tie-dye to the WTA’s field of plain white shirts.
Like red wine, better with age.
Like ginger, hotter over time.
Ahem. So what I’m saying is thankyouthankyouthankyou for being the first player on Ivanovic’s “path to recovery” this week who did not hasten to roll over. Not that Ana hasn’t improved in leaps and bounds over the course of the week – she has reunited with her unwonkified serve, learned to trust her forehand and subjected me to less panicked fist-pumps than usual.
All good signs for her making the second week at Roland Garros at this stage. Yet who knows? Really.
But MariHo? She makes a strong case for taking a sabbatical in the middle of one’s career, no? Rock on, Pepa.
2. The day was also a mixed bag for Ana’s Serbian compatriots. Djokovic retired from the Djokovic Open over in Belgrade after getting down 4-6 to Filip Krajinovic, citing allergies and “other stuff”. Like ear cramps, bird flu, SARS, H1N1…
Explain to me why the boy who cried wolf deserve less than my cynicism?
3. On a better note, Jelena Jankovic became just the 7th women in history to beat both Williamses in the same tournament.
Trivia time: Name the other 6. She’s in good company, that’s for sure.
As for the match? I have no words.
I mean. What? Seriously?
Like … how?
There were double faults, 17 of them in fact from both players. There were errors, dirty, dirty errors. And yet it was theatrical and woeful, it was nervy and passionate. Both players played to win, but neither seemed to deserve the win.
Serena served for the match twice in the third set, and had one match point. She was up 5-2 in the tiebreak, could and should have closed it out. But alas, she caught a bad case of Federeritis.
JJ? She hung on like a leech. And I say that with affection. It was one of those matches that was so awfully bad that it was pure entertainment. Rome, you are no longer dead to me.
4. And then, there was this.
“You know I would not cheat you like that … I’m not – [leans closer] I am not Justine”.
Oh Serena, you couldn’t be more priceless if you tried.
For newbies who don’t keep track of the Great Tennis Scandals of the Twenty-Naughties, let me explain – let me direct you to the “Hand Incident of 2002”.
As Justine Timberlake once wisely said, ‘what goes around (goes around goes around) comes all the way back around’. 8 years later, Serena Williams put up her hand to ask Jankovic to delay serve.
But Lady Jaja waited on no one yo! Janky served, thought it was an ace, but was asked to serve again by the umpire. She protested to no avail and a tide of boos and whistles. Incredibly, Jaja kept her cool and rattled off the next 4 points for the win.
“For me, when the server comes to the line the receiver had to be ready. That’s the rule, right?” Jankovic reflected after the match.
“I just had to regroup and refocus. I didn’t want to waste my energy – and that’s what I basically did.”
As for Serena, despite the loss, she has managed to exceed my expectations this tournament. Considering she could’ve and should’ve won this match, the signs bode well for Roland Garros.
5. Oh, some guy won in Estoril against Clemmy, 76 62. Most of the first set looked like this and smelled like turd:
The second set was a cleaner, more standard affair. Feddykins found his first serve and forehand, clocking a total of 11 winners and 6 unforced errors to wrap up the match.
Let’s hope it was a sign that he has gotten all the potty out of his system.