Meet Marcos Baghdatis. Every usher’s nightmare. Incapable of finishing a match “on time”, but utterly capable of bringing in mobs of rowdy, excitable fans armed with flare canisters.
For two sets, Baghdatis struggled on the “business points”. Whilst there was very little between Marcos and Ferrer during the first two sets, Ferrer – with his sheer doggedness and consistency – always played a fraction better towards the tail end of the set.
Had it been any other crowd, the vocalists would’ve been silenced at this point.
But this wasn’t any other crowd. Fun fact – Melbourne is the second largest Greek speaking city in the world after Athens. On a day like this, it comes in handy.
Groups of Cypriots and expat Greeks in the stadium cheered like energizer bunnies as Baghdatis clung onto the third set. Before we knew it, Baghdatis smelled a drop in level in Ferrer and clinched the fourth set. By then, the elderly and corporate ticket holders were leaving in droves to escape the “OLE OLE OLE MARCOS” chants booming through Hisense Arena.
Was anyone surprised? Who would Marco Baghdatis be without Australia?
Be it his inspiring 2006 run or his 2008 dusk to dawn epic against Lleyton, no matter how further down the rankings Baghdatis slipped, he’s always been treated like a superstar down under. And today, it took some superstar treatment for Baggy to finish the duel. But he did it the hard way – cramping, smashing rackets, shanking shots, missing opportunities … He did it. 4-6, 3-6, 7-6, 6-3, 6-1.
By the way, Sprembag = an item or not?
In the non-upset of the day, Gisela Dulko claimed her second glamour scalp in the last 12 months, downing Ana Ivanovic in 3 sets, 67 75 64.
I did not see it, nor do I wish to see it, with both players leaking a total of 146 unforced errors in the match.
I do not even wish to talk about Ana Ivanovic. why kick a player when she’s down and fading into irrelevance?
Her press conferences of late have filled with therapeutic “bingo words” like “balance”, “just enjoy”, “relax”, “the positives”. Exhibit A:
I think every athlete goes through it. You know, you just have to sort of, yeah, be positive and stay positive. Sometimes it’s hard.
But, you know, it’s like you have families that support us a lot and you can go through it together. And then, you know, I’m sure, you know, we learn from it. We’re not going to let it happen again.
Q. What do you do this year to give yourself a break when you’re away from tennis? How do you unwind and relax? Is there something different in your routine this year?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, you know, I still have to find things that’s gonna make me relax. I really like reading and watching movies. Sometimes I spend too much time in the room; it’s not good either.
Just find something, go for a walk just to keep your mind off of tennis, you know, surround yourself with positive people.
At some point, you just say “whatever makes you happy dear” and look the other way.
While 2010 hasn’t brought about a change in fortunes with Ana Ivanovic, Venus Williams seems to be regaining her form. Against a potentially tricky Sybille Bammer, Venus was back to her “hard, flat and fast” best. While the first set went in a flash, she stayed aggressive throughout the second set, despite suffering a slight drop in form half-way through the set.
Although truth be told, Sybille Bammer managed a total of 4 winners in the match, and not for the effort of trying either. There is only so much you can do against Venus when you have zero offence game.
Venus plays her third lefty in a row – Casey Dellacqua next round, who enjoyed a 3-set victory over Karoline Sprem, while lil sis Serena enjoyed an equally sharp victory against ex Safina-conqueror Petra Kvitova.
The Williamses liked their lefty cupcakes, it seems.
Later on in the night, the Federer Funhouse resumed business as Roger sealed an easy win over Victor Hanescu, 62 63 62. 52 winners to 17 unforced errors. So shiny I’d like to wear it on a chain around my neck.
On a good day, mere mortals run, the all-time greats fly. Our man, he soars.
And even Jim Courrier couldn’t keep his hands off him.
Oh by the way, Prince Whatever walked in during the middle of the match. Apparently, it was a big deal.
Yes folks, feel the love I have for the royal family of Bri- err “Australia”.
I was just about to praise the WTA last week for their incredible consistency, with Henin and Clijsters reaching the epic final in Brisbane, while Flavs and Wickmayer battled it out for the Auckland title.
But take a few key figures out of the picture, and suddenly, we’re back to bedlam on the WTA tour.
Lady JaJa led the way first with a straight sets loss to Agnes Szavay. Seriously JJ, I’m not talking to you.
Unless you lemme try on this dress.
As for Agnes, like any dark horse, she has the ability on any given day to upset a top 10 player, but it’s the top 50 that’ll have her number come the Australian Open.
Despite her loss, JJ tried to remain upbeat in her presser:
“It was my first match of the season. I hadn’t played her in a long time. I also hadn’t competed in two months,” Jankovic said. “I have to clean up some things in my game. I need to stay positive. I hope I’ll be ready for Melbourne.”
Things didn’t get better for the tournament top seeds as the day went on. Vera had to retire at 3-all first set against ‘Lena Vesnina due to her lingering ankle problems.
It bodes ill for the towel-head, as she appears to be in no shape to defend her semifinal at the Australian Open and title in Indian Wells.
Vera is now in a recovery race for the Australian Open next week, and admits that she’s not feeling too confident about the early hard court swing.
“I will try to recover for Melbourne, but the inflammation is still there because of the surgery.”
“Last year I had an impressive start and they are impressive statistics. If I look back it was very impressive and I am very proud of what I achieved,” she added.
“This year is going to be a very tough challenge for me to repeat that, but I am going to try my best. The most important thing for me is to compete 100 per cent without thinking about my ankle as the last six months were very tough for me never being able to compete at 100 per cent.
“I was always having to push myself to the limit and I had to take a week off after nearly every tournament to recover. That was difficult so I am looking forward to the day when I can play injury free.”
It was a bad day for the Aussies too, as both Stosur and Dellacqua lost in convincing fashion to Flavs and Vera Dushevina. With such frustratingly high expectations on our players, Australia’s becoming Great Britain 2.0 OH WAIT –
And can someone explain why Flavia Pennetta was dropped by Tacchini? Was Nole that expensive?
The real theme of the day was “Asian Assault”, as Li Na came back from a set down to beat CWoz.
Well done, you Golden Flower you. Clearly it was a piece of cake, seeing that you only needed 67 unforced errors to beat the No 4 player in the world.
On the other hand, Carol – while being the sweetest thing to come out of Denmark since raspberry danishes – appears to be still allergic to the concept of hitting a winner.
Different year, same shit.
God bless our youthful Asian genes.
If you thought Kimi was good back in Seoul last year, wait til you see her in 2010. After making the quarterfinals in Auckland last week, Date Krumm scored another important victory today as she beat Nadia Petrova 63 57 64.
It could’ve been an even easier victory, as Kimi squandered two match points at 5-3 in the second set. Nadia broke back, and was up an early break in the third set before Date Krumm regained the form she had through the first and second sets and sealed the victory.
On the one hand, Petrova just can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to drawing the most dangerous players first round. On the other – girl, you were outplayed, outrun, and out-thought by a 39 year old.
No wonder Fabrice Santoro can’t make up his mind.
On the men’s side of things in Sydney, Igor Andreev was upset first round by Leonardo Mayer in a third set tiebreak, 67 63 76, while Reeshie defeated Feli 61 64 and harkened back to the good times with Pamela.
‘Tis the season to be jolly, as they say, and why wouldn’t you be?
In the lazy, frazzle-free haze of the offseason, familiar faces are resurfacing everywhere. You know what they say about absence and fond hearts?
How could I have missed the orgasmic effects of an Henin backhand without her 18-month ‘retirement’?
Who knew I had this much love for Nalbandian and his tummy full of foxiness?
And didn’t you have a smile on your face too when you saw Alicia Molik and Casey Dellacqua on court at the Australian Open wild card play-off? …Well didn’t cha?!
Oh yeth! Old friends are back, and they’re back in a winning fashion.
Making his first appearance since being sidelined with a hip injury 7 months ago. Nalbandian defeated Massu and Gaudio at the Copa San Juan Minero, conceding only 7 games in 4 sets.
Having only seen the match against Massu, what can I say? Nalby was much better than I thought he’d be.
Remarkably self-assured throughout the match, Bandy served big, foxed his way around court and absolutely crushed that forehand at every opportunity he got. In fact, I was surprised at how effective his forehand was during the match and how happily at ease he looked.
Now the thought of Nalbandian lurking in the Australian Open draw of some hapless top seed officially makes me want to stick my head into a barf-bag. But hey, good to have you back, you foxy ninja!
The woman’s on a roll! Justine Henin capped off her exho tour with a straight-sets win over Nadia Petrova in Cairo. It was her first match on clay since the painful loss to Dinara Safina 18 months ago. Good to see the bitch of Roland Garros back on home turf.
Henin now goes into the Australian circuit with 3 straight-sets wins under her belt, 2 of which over fringe top 10 players. And she says she doesn’t have high expectations for the Australian Open? Right.
Here’s to hoping for a good draw. Like Nalbandian, Henin is just a land mine waiting to feast on the limbs of a few top players.
The Australian Open wild card play-offs kicked off this week at Melbourne Park, as Casey Dellacqua and Alicia Molik both made their appearances in hope of boosting Aussie presence at our home slam.
Molik, who retired for a year due to lingering illness and injury, looked fresh and happy as she downed 18-year-old Jade Hopper 6-1 6-2. She was soon joined by her sometime doubles partner Casey Dellacqua, as Dellacqua defeated Olivia Rogowska 76(10) 60.
The score line speaks volumes for how Rogowska fell apart after losing the first set, but from what I saw, Casey was hitting the balls cleanly enough.
Regardless of form, ranking or potential, you won’t find two more down-to-earth, happy-go-lucky players on the WTA tour. Welcome back ladies. Our Fed Cup team will be made of win next year.
Also on the comeback trail, Carlos Moya will be playing an exhibition tournament in Buenos Aires as preparation for a January return to the ATP.
Moya was sidelined with osteoarthritis in a foot, and injuries to the tendon and bone of the right buttock.
I wonder how he injured his right buttock.
Help! It’s the offseason, WHAT THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSE TO BLOG ABOUT NOW?
Here I was, looking forward the summer vacation and this little thing called “a life”. Yer know – free from the crazies of tennis fandom and the CV-building, corporate-ladder climbing maniacs of law school.
Well … turns out that “having a life” is as much of an urban myth as a chryogenically frozen Walt Disney, so it’s time I get my ass out of “denial”and move towards “acceptance”. I accept that I do not have a life. Never had one. Don’t know what having a life feels like. I imagine it feels wonderful and farcical, like being stuck permanently in an Oscar Wilde play. Lemme know if you have one.
Semi-newsworthy stuff this week:
Opening night session, Rod Laver Arena, Roger Federer, new hair, new clothes, and then THIS shot. It was all too much I tell ya. When it happened, I think I almost forgot my name, the crowd behind me certainly forgot theirs as they just erupted into choruses of “NO WAYYYY”, “GET OUTTA HEYAHHHH”, “ROGER FEDERER IN DA HOUSE”… What a night I had.
As for the rest of my night out at the tennis, it was downright tedious to sit through a 2 hour slug fest of Daniela Hantuchova v Casey Dellacqua. Just goes to show the quality of women’s tennis these days outside a select few at the top. Hantuchova and Dellacqua managed to tally around 90 unforced errors between the two of them in a straight sets match. Great. Just great.
And for Fed’s performance, I thought he played quite well. Could’ve done without the wasted opportunities early in the second set on Seppi’s serve. I felt as if those let-offs allowed Seppi to get back into the match. But overall, Fed’s movement is looking good, and I don’t remember him shanking a volley the entire night. The service percentage is a little worrying, but he’s been able to get out of trouble successfully on serve so there’s not much cause for panic there. Not as cruisy a match as I would’ve liked it, but Seppi’s a lot tougher an opponent than the toasts some of the other top seeds got, so a win’s a win.
And what do y’all think about his new hair. I flove it – very US Open 2006. He looks like a fresh little boy. But would Ana Wintour approve?
Has it only been 4 months since the last slam? Feels like it’s been a year. It’s 3PM on a sunny Sunday afternoon here in Melbourne and for the first time since the start of the year, there is no tennis on TV, but there is all the restlessness of a city living through the calm before the storm.
Personally I’d rather be looking forward to the next few weeks than wrapping up the last, but it just so happens that we’ve had an interesting week. So here is the Hot-or-Not of Sunday 18th January.
Hot: Rawjahh Feduruh back on the Hot List
“You know, as soon as Federer touched down in Melbourne, we got hit by our first summer heat wave,” I joked to a friend as Melbourne temperature soared to 39C.
“Oh-my-gawd, like … let’s report him to Greenpeace.”
Okay, maybe not all my friends share my admiration for the Fed, though I dare say seeing him play at Kooyong brought out some suppressed fangirlism in all of them. But the real reason the Fedonator is back on my Hot List this week has nothing to do with my own fangirl delirium, or the fact that he drew a few squiggly lines on my paper fan, it’s because he has given himself the best preparation out of any of the top 4 going into the Australian Open this year. That’s professionalism y’all.
To be frank, when I first saw Federer’s schedule for 2009, I had a lot of reservations. Given the backdrop of mono and his back injury in 2008, I thought he was being too ambitious by putting himself down for Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Kooyong all within 2 weeks before the Australian Open. But having watched all his matches for the last two weeks, I think he’s made the right choice. Compared to Nadal and Djokovic, Federer gave himself just a little bit more momentum and match play going into a major. Kooyong is fantastic tournament to gain some match practice for the Australian Open – you’re still in Melbourne, the place isn’t too far out from the CBD, the conditions are similar; the tournament itself gives you a bit of a taste of playing in front of a good crowd and cameras, which would be different to just practicing at Rod Laver Arena. But at the same time, it’s a fairly relaxed and laid-back atmosphere compared to the intensity of Sydney Medibank International. If you win, it’s a tournament win to be happy about, but because it’s not a ATP tournament, there isn’t the same degree of hype or expectations for the winner’s prospects going into the Open. All it does is provide the players with an opportunity to practice with others in a match setting, to fine tune some things before going onto the bigger stage at Melbourne Park. And fine tuning was exactly what Federer needed.
With the exception of the match against Murray in Qatar, Federer has played quite impressively in all his matches so far this year. As we progressed from tournament to tournament, different elements of his game began to fall into place – the service percentage picked up from around 50% in his first few matches of the year to the high 70s in the Kooyong final, the movement was slightly sluggish and flat in his Qatar matches, but yesterday his footwork regained their “lively wistfulness”, as a commentator put it. The forehand timing was a teeny bit off at the beginning of the year, yesterday it was back to its Swiss precision, and the backhand? It has its moments, but from what I saw yesterday and throughout the week, it too is ready to go.
Most importantly, compared to this time last year, Federer looks slimmer, fitter, more tanned and more relaxed. In his press conferences, he’s been slightly testy, dismissing the idea that Andy Murray is the favourite going into the Open, but overall, the guy just sounds like he’s fired-up, and not intimidated by the challenge. So back on my hot list this week, Federer gave us a great Kooyong final and hopefully will follow that up with another great final two weeks from now.
Not Hot: Greg Garber writes off Federer
Title of the article pretty much illustrates the height of media amnesia and sensationalism for the sake of sensationalism. God forbid Roger Federer should lose a match at a non-slam, non-Masters tournament in Doha, and nevermind that Nadal and Djokovic both had worse starts to their year. Let’s put the Fed up on a pedestal and then knock him down.
I don’t know what everyone else expects from Federer this year. All I know is that with every grand slam Federer fails to win these days comes choruses of “now the old king is dead, long live the king” (Damn Coldplay!). Were you expecting a reinstatement of the 3-slams-a-year policy by Federer? Not that I think Federer can’t win 3 slams this year – even with the depth of the men’s field these days, I find Federer’s chances for the Australian Open (and any other slam) as good as anyone else’s, if not better.
Is he challenged? Of course he is. But since when did it become a crime for Federer to be challenged? For him to lose a few matches to another contender in good form – fair enough, we’ll getcha next time. Why is it such a big deal? Not a single ball has been played at the Australian Open yet, and already the “Fed-is-dead” obituary writers are stirring. It frustrates me as much as it bemuses me.
Hot: Ninjabandian’s back. Kinda. Okay. Forget that I ever said it.
Maybe it’s best to just ignore Nalbandian when he’s playing well, but it’s easier said than done. As I watched Bandy tear through the Sydney draws like a sneaky ninja this week, downing Hewitt and Gasquet quite convincingly along the way, I was almost conned into believing that my hunch is probably right about him.
But not so fast. He won the title, but it ain’t smooth. Yesterday we saw a little bit of what has separated Nalbandian from the likes of Federer and Nadal – a big match winning mindset. Who gets broken at love when serving for the match? And from then on, Nalbandian just seemed to lose all the confidence and composure he’s been playing with this week. Perhaps a little lucky that Nieminen turned out to be every bit as ratttled as he was, Bandy just fell over the finish line in the end. Still, it’s been a great start to the year by him, and while I’m still ambiguous about his chances at the Australian Open, I must admit it’s starting to look favourable. As long as he doesn’t take down any Swiss along the way, I wish him the best of luck at the Open.
Not Hot: Nole’s immunity to the No 2 spot
He didn’t come up with any excuses this time, it just wasn’t his day. To my surprise I actually taped the match, thinking that I didn’t. So having watched it in hindsight, I have to agree with Nole, it wasn’t his day. Everything he did was so tensed up, the forehand wasn’t finding the lines, and as the match progressed, the Djoker got increasingly frustrated and tensed up even more, it was just an all round ugly affair. What does this say about his chances at the Australian Open? Not a whole lot. Djokovic is still one of the four main contenders for a slam, and you’d be mental to write him off because of two early losses.
(Credit to Nieminen though, the guy worked like a mule out there. While I rooted for Nalbandian in the final, there is something sad about watching someone give 110% to a match and still get outdone by innate talent. I’m not sure if we could call it life, but it’s at least tennis.)
Hot: WTA teenies ready to roll
On an unconscious level, I think I must be desperate for someone new to come up in the women’s field, because Radwanska is not a player I would generally give a second glance to. In her match against Daniela Hantuchova this week, Hantuchova called out her coach after dropping the first set: “she’s not doing anything, and she’s winning”, she complained.
I thought that was a fairly accurate if not slightly hilarious way of describing Radwanska’s game. For the most part, Radwanska doesn’t look like she’s doing much except for keeping the point in play. Unlike some of the more powerful girls on the tour, she takes a long time and a lot of manouvering to construct a single point, and the majority of her points end well before she gets an opening to hit a winner. But there is just a slight shadow of Martina Hingis in her. What I like most about Radwanska, having followed a few of her matches from 2007 onwards is that the girl is cool, calm and collected when she’s on court, she has a very clear idea of what she’s capable of doing and what she’s not and plays very much within herself, which, given the current neurotic Top 10 field, is quite refreshing to see.
Do I see a slam in her? At this point, no. She just lacks the power and the serve to make life easy for her at major tournaments. But I do see her taking down plenty of slam contenders on their quests in the next few years? Oh yeah. Watch out for her sister Ursula too, a former Wimbledon juniors champ and no 1, who took down Schiavone and Wozniak (Aleksandra) this week in Hobart.
Another much hyped teeny in the WTA these days is of course Caroline Wozniacki. It’s hard to pinpoint what’s so special about Woz as to warrant all the hype – she hits a mean two-handed backhand down the line, but then again, so does every other WTA player these days. She’s very solid and powerful along the baseline, but what else is new? The fact is, Caroline Wozniacki is just like every other WTA player out there, only she does everything a little bit better. Like Radwanska, she seems to think very clearly when she’s on court, good judgment on when to wait for opportunities and when to take them, and she has the potential to develop her shot making a bit more in the coming years. It’s a pity that she couldn’t close out her match against Serena in Sydney this week, and being able to beat the top seeds will certainly be the next step in her career, but to be able to hang with Serena Williams throughout a match and get to match point on her is no small feat. Do I see a slam or more in her? Yes. Do I see it happening this year? At the Australian? Save for a wave of tennis miracle, no.
Not Hot: “Our Casey” crumbling under pressure
Don’t get me wrong. I love Casey D as a person, she really is a genuine sweetheart. But watching her getting pwned by Sara Errani was a fugly experience. On paper, it should’ve been a more even match up, but at the end of the day, Casey lacked the fire, the power and the general athleticism to make it far in this sport. It’s sad, but it’s the truth.
Hot: Sires Jacket
Those guys and gals working at Nike get a thumbs up from me for the jacket. I flove it enough to want one myself. Except I’d look a little swamped in it.
Check out the equally royally gorgeous version Fed wore to Kooyong, nice colour. Gee he looks a bit happy.
Of course, I prefer Rafa sans jacket. I sometimes wonder why I stopped being a Rafa fantard… oh wait – Switzerland.
Not Hot: Stan joins Lacoste
I might not be a huge fan of Adidas’ designs, but they do come up with some funky colours for their guys. Lacoste, on the other hand, is just boringness impersonating class.
Other Hot Potatoes this week
- The Fedrinka Bromance: “I am like his older brother on the tour, like Marc Rosset was to me growing up. It’s good to have a guy who has been around the block and knows how things work and can occasionally give you the advice you need… Obviously, winning the Olympic Games in doubles in Beijing is going to keep us connected for the rest of our lives,” said Roger Federer, before pwning his “lil bro” 1 and 3 in under an hour. I’m glad I don’t have an older sibling.
- Elena D: how she gets away with that pathetic excuse for a serve, I have no idea. But the rest of her game is working nicely for her, and she seems to be playing with a degree of maturity and self-belief that she lacked in previous years. I wouldn’t read much into her victory over Serena, who was probably exhausted from her marathon match against the Woz. But winning two titles back to back definitely deserves a little mention in the vicinity of the word “hot”.
- The Fed/Muz Non-Spat: if you listened to either of their pressers, none of the stuff they said were said in a hostile or annoyed tone, but taken out of context, their testy remarks have provided us with some good entertainment in the week leading up to the Open. Like I said before, I have no problems with Federer or Murray doing a little “calling out” just before a slam. It shows they’re both in good spirits, confident, competitive and ready to play. So I say bring it on!
- The Better Half of Anando: Hot Sauce keeps getting hotter. I’ve always thought of him as an underachiever given his talents, but he’s been playing flawless, confident tennis so far this year – unlike his more glamourous girlfriend. Wouldn’t be surprised if he left Australia with a legion of fans this year, the guy’s ready for a quarter or semi at a slam some time soon, ya think? I’m really not loving the head cloth or the excessive hair gel though, leave your head alone man.
- The OOP Gods: Hoorah! The Order-of-Play dictators have scheduled Federer v Seppi first night at the Australian Open, which happens to be the session I purchased. I have to sit through Hantuchova v Dellacqua first though, neither has won a match on tour in 2009 (Hopman Cup notwithstanding for Casey). God save women’s tennis.
- USA-Switzerland Davis Cup Tie Tickets sell out in under an hour: wow. I thought I was the only one excited about Davis Cup this year. This is it Fedrinka, show us that scary hand-warming ritual again.
- Delpo starts the year with a win: and he’s in Fed’s section of the draw. Just. Great.
Cold Sour Cream
- Where the hell is JJ? And why is she flying under the radar?
- The same to Rafa. It’s freaking me out.
- Ana’s Rolex Ad (see below): seriously, what was Rolex thinking? That’s not hot, that just looks like she needs a towel.
- AO in Feb: I’m against it. The people for it (looks like most of the Big Four at the moment) are obviously not Australian, because there’re a lot of problems associated with moving back the Australian Open. First the television coverage of summer tennis in Australia at the moment is fantastic: most programs go off air in December, and Ch 7 basically holds off starting them again until the tennis season is finished. Pushing back the AO would mean that the television networks would have to start their programs for the year, then put them on hold to cover the tennis. It would also mean that the smaller tournaments like Brissie and Sydney International probably won’t get as much coverage as Ch 7 commit to their normal programing. Secondly, pushing the AO to February or March would mean that tennis has to compete with other sports like F1 grand prix and AFL. And lastly, the Australian Open usually coincides with the last two weeks of the school holidays here in Aus, which is one of the reasons why families and kids turn up in big numbers at this particular slam. In other words, the Australian Open stays where it is, when it is, thank you very much. I think they should be looking at moving tournaments like Qatar and Mumbai closer to the time for Dubai to start a Middle-Eastern circuit rather than messing with the slam schedule.
Quotes of the Week
“Honestly, I would rather not play them,” said Federer when asked if he likes to play other slam contenders right before a slam, “I have played Andy (Roddick) here a couple of times, and I don’t know yet how good it really is playing your main rivals in sort of an exhibition the week before a big event when it’s going to come to the crunch. You might not see the real guys playing each other. They are trying to hide some things away.” – I hope that’s a card up your sleeve Roger. Ya hear me?
“I don’t think anyone is better than me. I would feel crazy sitting here being a professional tennis player and saying that someone is better than me.” – God I love Serena Williams.
“Without playing at 100 per cent, I still reached the final. It just shows that I’m good enough maybe to play 50 per cent and still reach the finals. I used to go nuts on the court if something would go wrong. I would be down on myself and everything. Now I accept, OK, I’m not playing my 100 per cent. I’m playing 50 per cent, but still I’m a set up. So what? She’ll play her game and I will play my game, and let’s see who will be stronger that day. I want an ice massage now and sleep.” – Dinara Safina