For those who don't believe the hype, you'd better start believing.
Yes, it was that easy, and that legitimate. On a packed stadium 2 court, with almost everybody in the crowd supporting her, Caroline Wozniacki had no excuses today. She was simply outplayed by Garbiñe Muguruza, the consistently deep, penetrating and powerful groundstrokes of whom kept Wozniacki bottled up and frustrated on the baseline all day. One of Garbiñe's "issues" as of late has been a tendancy to drop serve at inorpportune times in a match, breaking her runs of momentum. That didn't happen today, save for one break at 2-1 in set 2 that got things momentarily back on serve until Garbi broke again at 4-4 for the clincher. She held serve beautifully, staying composed and poised in the big moments, fighting off the few break points she faced, and taking advantage of the ones she got, despite Wozniacki's tireless counterpunching. It was an incredibly mature performance for the stylishly hard and flat hitting 19 year old, one that will surely go a long way in her development to the elite rung of the WTA.
The fellow sitting next to me was also a fan of Garbiñe, and he told me that at her practice the day before her coach had told her, in Spanish, to "play happy". Obviously, today, she did.
I have to admit I had a huge amount of fun in this match, being one of maybe three fans in the crowd actively cheering Garbiñe's name all match. Practically the entire crowd was pro-Wozniacki, and looked at me like was some kind of alien, especially when I brandished my fist in the air and yelled "Vamos Garbiñe!!!!!!!!!!" By the end of the match, though, more than a few of them had jumped on Garbi's bandwagon.
The morning started with the usual practice sightings--Sabine Lisicki was practicing with Jarka Gajdosova for their doubles, Julia Goerges was practicing on the court nearest the food court, and while grabbing a sandwich I spotted Garbiñe heading toward the grandstand to warm up for her match, so I raced off to watch her hit with "good pal" Magdelena Rybarikova in front of around a thousand people in the grandstand before the first match there, which was probably fun for them.
At 11, I went to court 2 to watch Petkovic-Tomljanovic. The story of this match was serving. Petkovic's first serve game lasted nearly 10 minutes, and though she won it, it set the tone for her day. SHe struggled on serve all day long (8 DFs I think), with several brutally long serve games where she faced multiple break points. Ajla, on the other hand, once she shook off her bagel, shifted into gear mid way through set 2 and only had one poor serve game after that, with several holds at love. That, in a nutshell, tells the story of this match. When things turned, they turned very quickly.
After Garbiñe's match against Caro, I went to watch Mirza/Mattek Sands v Birnerova/Lepchenko on court 8, followed by Muguruza/Schiavone v Pavlyuchenkova/Saferova. It's odd, but doubles is rabidly popular with a certain crowd, and getting a seat for these matches was nearly impossible. It was also cocktail hour, with a lot of loud drunks in the stands, and I felt sorry for the girls playing. Sania and Beth looked pretty good, though sluggish early, before coming on late in the first set.
After the doubles, I felt too tired to stay for anything else. It was hot, crowded, and a long and tiring day of cheering under the sun and taking lots of pictures. Happy, but exhausted.
One more day awaits.