So this happened …
I was actually bracing myself for a train wreck going into this match, but what’s been getting increasingly evident over the past few weeks is that Sharapova is starting to play better. There are days and moments when she steps out on court that I see the Destroyer in her, a mode of Masha Fierrrrce I haven’t seen for over 2 years.
But all that comes, of course, with a qualified note on Stosur:
Look, I like Sammy. Love her game, love her personality (isn’t it nice to have a quiet and shy Aussie for a change? We’re not all boisterous bogans, ya know?)
But the truth of the matter is that the girl is headed for a massive plummet down the rankings once the clay season comes around. Mentally unhinged, committing routine errors, unable to rely on her serve: the Stosur of pre-2009 is back – the player who spent most of her career outside the WTA top 20 because she couldn’t quite hold the pieces of her talent together.
I’m really hoping she finds some semblance of form for the clay season, because “weak” isn’t an adjective I enjoy using to describe one of the most physically fit and athletic players in tennis.
Mentioning destroyer mode: it’s not often that you see a player come back from injury stronger and in better form than she was before, but in the case of Aga, this seems to be precisely the case. She battered an out-of-sorts Franny 60 62, winning almost 65% points on return. It was ARad’s first win over Skivvy in 5 attempts.
The real upset of the day though went to the Petkorazzi, who snapped CWoz’s premier level winning streak with a slugfest victory, 75 36 63. Anyone making this sound like some sort of hyped up breakthrough needs to be whacked out of their delusion. The pair amassed a ratio of 100+ unforced errors to 30+ winners, and more than anything, it underscored how difficult it is to win the Indian Wells/Miami double.
More unfortunately, the immediate reaction post match seemed to be focused on the Petkorazzi’s last dance, as Petko announced she was going go retire her post match squiggle from now on.
Good call. I have no issue with a young woman enjoying life, but there is a fine line between celebration and gimmick, no?
Q. Do you have a name for the dance that you do after you win?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: It’s the Petko Dance. (Laughter.)
Q. Where did it come from?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: It was a bet with my coach at the US Open. I was playing really bad beforehand and I got Nadia Petrova in first round, so was obviously tough round for me first round US Open. He said, If you win you have to do something special.
That was the first thing that came to my mind. Actually, I wanted to get rid of it after the US Open, but the fans just they said like, Hey, we are just coming to see the dance and you’re not doing it anymore.
So I brought it back in, but this is definitely the last tournament where it’s gonna happen, and then I’m moving on to something else. (Laughter.)
Q. Must have been nice to do it one more time today.
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yeah, definitely. I tried to do it as much as I can here in the tournament, because then it’s gone. I’m a little sad, but it was it was a nice phase and it was nice fun, but now I’m getting a little tired of it. Time to move on.
Not much going on for the men as rain disrupted proceedings for the evening. But VIP GOATS Rafa and Fed were fast-tracked to the next round courtesy of some decent humid weather.
Nadal honoured the Universal Law of Paella by dispatching Feliciano “I-flick-my-hair-back-and-forth” Lopez, 63 63, before treating the crowd to a quick strip tease.
No such luck for Wogie, who had to work a little harder to overcome a pesky little problem named Juan “Baby Jesus” Monaco – 76 64 – while giving away breakpoints like a girl scout with cookies. WHAT A GENEROUS BOY.
At least the humidity made his hair look like a lush amazonian rainforest.
A rainforest FULL OF WONDERS.
WONDERS MY ADVENTUROUS FINGERS WOULD LIKE TO EXPLORE.
One for all you Canadians. You know who you are.
Q. I’m from Canada and we have a rising star. He was knocked out in the first round. Milos Raonic. Have you seen his game? Do you have an opinion on it?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I almost played him in the second or third round in Indian Wells last week when he lost to Ryan Harrison.
I didn’t see him play that much in the summer when he did, you know, the whole, you know, rise in the rankings, sort of when he won the tournament, lost in the finals against Roddick in the next one, because I was all the way on the other side of the planet.
So I didn’t see that much of him, but I’m sure I’ll see plenty of him in the next six months because he will be in all the main draws where I will be around. It will be interesting to see him play, and most likely I will also play against him, you know, if we sort of play each other in that draw.
But he seems like he’s very talented. He’s obviously very big and strong already at a young age, and that allows him to have great potential for the future. It’s nice to see so many up and coming guys at the moment like we have in the game right now.