My Saturday Match Report
Hey guys I’m tired and it’s late here, so if I type incoherently just bear with me.
I got there around 3:30, it’s a really nice facility that they have at Villanova. I’ve gone the past two years and have always been happy with the service and organization. They always have a serving cage with a radar gun and a number of different vendors.
The first thing I looked at when I got there was the draw sheet, where I saw Mauresmo advanced by walk over. Needless to say a lot of people there were disappointed, in fact I saw one little boy start crying when he found out Sharapova withdrew. But most of the people there understood. Even one of the tournament personnel that I was talking to said, “the tournament in LA is a lot more important than the one in Philadelphia.”
Amelie stuck around and signed autographs in between the singles and doubles match, which I thought was a pretty nice thing for her to do for the fans. I’ve got to say that Amelie is a very attractive girl in person. She signed an Advanta tennis poster and one of those Netpro tennis cards for me. I said something stupid like “Good luck in LA”, or something along those lines.
Anywho when I sat down in my seat I saw the end of Vera warming up, but that still gave me time to see her throw her racquet on the ground twice. Then Molik and Raymond warmed up together. Alicia was having trouble with her volleys, especially on her forehand side, but she seemed to straighten the problem out. Lisa is a great communicator out on the court and she is such a natural mover in doubles.
I was actually pretty impressed with the crowd turnout, it took a few games for it to fill in, but in general there seemed to be a lot of people. When the Vera – Nadia match took the court I heard a few around me whispering, “which is the one with the temper?”
When the match got underway it seemed Vera was hitting the ball a lot cleaner than Nadia. Both players got some questionable calls early, but they seemed to even out. Nadia kept the set relatively close with some clutch serving when she needed it early. The turning point in the first set was at 3 all with Nadia serving. She had an easy backhand volley and she hit it in the middle of the net. She just lost it from there, losing that game at love I think. I know it’s well known that Vera has a temper, but Petrova showed I little bit more frustration than I thought she did. I guess that it’s just a Russian thing, eh?
There were a lot of errors early in the second set. Vera took control at 3-2* after she really hustled a ball down and got the point, it just seemed to demoralize Nadia. At 5–2* the crowd was clearly behind Nadia. Every cheer that Nadia got appeared to visibly bother Vera. Even at 5*-3 when she was in the lead, she almost looked defeated. She double faulted the game to Nadia with a second serve that hit the middle of the net. She started holding her hands to her face during the games. She was either crying or about to cry. Vera did good just to get to the tiebreak, based on her emotional state at the time. What happened in the tiebreak was completely unexpected. Petrova had the all of the momentum, but Vera’s serve came out of nowhere and painted the lines perfect.
Overall I don’t think the match was either of the player’s best, but Vera played better and deserved the win.
The Raymond/Molik – Stubbs/Black match was over in a blink of an eye. Molik and Raymond really complement each other well, with Alicia’s power and Lisa’s finesse. Lisa was clearly the best doubles player out there, and Alicia seemed the feed off her confidence. Stubbs played well, but Black was just completely off during the match.
After the matches were over I saw Billy Jean King there. She’s very personable and open to the public, she doesn’t even act like she’s famous. She signed a tennis ball for me and I took a picture with her with my disposable camera. Again I said something lame like, “Thanks for World Team Tennis”.
Even though I only saw two matches I had a blast, definitely going to come back next year.