No more bandages/taping, I hope? Sounds like the time off did her some good.
Nope. No taping, bandages, or anything in her practice session. She did indeed look tanned and rested -- tanned no doubt from the massive swing across Europe. She has clearly not shirked her workouts in the little break period. More toned and muscular than last year
She was hitting the casing off the ball and working some sweet mid-court drills. Lookin' good. Hope the best for her here and throughout her hard court tour. Let's keep our fingers crossed. I'm just going to avoid being upset with her roller-coasteresque
tendencies. It's frankly just wonderful to see this woman even playing again at all, to say nothing of actually squeezing into such a tight main draw at such a long-standing WTA event like this. I was going to the Bank of the West before Mirjana even emerged as a phenom (so so so so so old!). One really does get the sense that she is "back" this year ... not just on the outside knocking at the window. She has her shot at the field. It does put things in perspective: last year I watched her toil against fellow qualifying hopefuls.
Yesterday, she took her turn on the practice courts with her fellow main draw big girls, right after Sammy Stosur.
[Excursus: Stosur has lost a GREAT deal of weight, btw. Interesting little fitness change, perhaps.]
Anecdote: A couple of guys very respectfully approached Azarenka at the edge of the track-field outside the Taube stadium; she wasn't yet engaged in her workout or really doing anything, she was just standing there with her coach, but was not in conversation with the coach, they were just in some interim mode, apparently. The one guy said, "I am a big fan. Would you mind autographing my hat and would it be okay if I got a picture?"
She said, "NO."
And she walked away. His other friends, standing just nearby, laughed their asses off and he was momentarily crestfallen. "What a total bitch," they said about her, though in a laughing fashion.
I was very disappointed in observing her behavior -- and they say the WTA has "problems" for what
reason? This guy was not any sort of threatening presence and the atmosphere at Taube is very casual. All the players enter and exit from the track field gate and Mirjana would not have responded to someone like that. Last year, she and her "then coach" (Russell) were very gracious and stopped to say hello and chat for a minute when I said "Hi." Yeah, Mirjana was very: "I'm so glad I got through that match... wasn't it fun?...See you later in the tournament ... thanks for staying and cheering for me!"
The WTA needs to send their supposed top "drawing cards" to charm-school, perhaps. I felt sort of bad for the dude, but he was a young, college-fella and I don't think the rejection will impact his life for posterity.
Marion Bartoli was absolutely radiant and warm and friendly in her gig at the shopping center, but she (not so surprisingly) is actually working-out in a different spot (Daddy's "secrets"). So is Serena. Serena is probably hitting with Kim Kardashian on the sidelines giving her tips. What else ... Ajla and one of her friends were total darlings asking to scoot past me to get a seat and scout the competition during one match. Coco is a doll (big. tall. doll.) Anyhow, I'm late for the matches and have to scoot myself, right NOW. Thank heaven for shuttle-service! And it was a "night of martinis" last night. I am running late!
Parting thought: I am hoping Mirjana gets the stadium court since she is playing American McHale. It is such an intimate venue as it is and the seating options are optimum for photo-taking if she is on stadium. I'll put the video up somewhere once I get home next week!
Shout-out to my glorious
friend who is reading Dunces. Hee hee.