Hey all...just thought I would share my experience at the finals of the Pilot Pen tournament here in new haven, connecticut.
The weather was absolutely gorgeous...just warm enough to be called hot, but nothing that would really punish the players. There was occasional wind swirling around the stadium (which is incredibly nice! I had box seats, could see the match so clearly), but I only think it played a factor in a couple of points.
The match started out with Lindsay being relatively on-fire and Mauresmo looking like she would get blown out like 2 and 2. Linds was just creaming Amelie's services, immediately putting momo on the defensive, and the point would end within one or two more shots with hard flat shots from linds, many of which were painting the lines. Amelie was struggling to return Davenport's serves with any kind of aggression.
Linds had a bit of a lapse on her service game at 3-1 (seriously, missed almost all the first serves, double faulted, and kicked in some weak 2nd service that momo attacked well), Momo upped her game to break back. Amelie started to play better at this point...was attacking the net at crucial points (break points down), serve volleying every third or so point. But when it came to the end of the set, Linds just stepped up and hit huge winners on the first or second shot in the rally. Amelie didn't seem to have an answer.
Second set was much like the first...Amelie started out poorly, was broken, then upped her game. The crowd was hopeful at 5-4 that Amelie would break Linds and keep the match going (she had won her last service game very convincingly)...but Linds really didn't even give her a chance in the first three points. There was no bad play by momo here, it was just Linds going for a lot and making it.
At the reward ceremony, Amelie was such a sweetie when talking about Linds (and Linds was nice back
)...I feel bad for her that she just can't seem to break through. As a whole Linds looked awesome (her movement impressed me, had last seen her 2 years ago), aside from that lapse in the first set and a few times she got pouty about line calls (Amelie never did this). I'm not sure what Amelie's tactic was in this match, but it appeared that she thought she shoudl give Davenport a lot of sliced balls with out much pace...this tactic did elicit some errors, but not nearly enough. She was much better off in the points when she was hitting hard and dictating (a difficult task given the balls linds was hitting). And she should come to net even more (again, difficult given linds first-strike abilities, esp off the return)...her hands are absoultely amazing...best in the women's game, I'm convinced.
I'm re-assessing whether I think Linds has a good chance at winning the USO (i didn't think so before due to injury)...and Amelie...well, my guess is she will lose to henin in the QF, a SF would be great for her.