05 A Change Is Gonna Come

“Sasha is on fire,” Paola Scetti remarked looking over the mountain ridges of Indian Wells.
“She’s cruising through the matches like a rocket,” Sam Smitts agreed.
Sasha Mrachova had beaten Elise Renard in the second round of the tournament getting a bye in the first. She then had taken out fellow German Stephanie Moeller in the third round in straight sets. Today she would play top seed Carola Gnocchi, another German.
As the week evolved it had been the talk in the press room that Sasha was slaying the German girls one after another. If she won against Carola today and Angela Porovski won her match as well, there would be another German – Czech encounter in the semi final. Everyone was looking forward to it.

“Elise Renard didn’t look bad, however. She is finally finding her shots again.”
They were sitting outside of the commentary box on a bench for a little chat. There was not too much time left until the first quarter final of the day.
“I like to see her play doubles. She will be a fine doubles player one day. Getting better at the net with every match.” Sam checked her watch. Twenty minutes left. Sometimes she envied Paola’s light-hearted handling of time and appointments. Sam had never been late. Not as a player and not since she was working as a commentator.
“It’s good to see the young ones stepping up to the task, even though they still struggle at times,” Paola mused.

Sam nodded. The older players in the Top 10 were struggling with form and there was a chance for the young guns to do real damage this spring. Lana Uzilenko, a former No. 1 had just fallen out of the Top 10 after the Australian Open and even though Tamara Bepakova was one of the more consistent players out there she had once again failed to take home a Grand Slam in Melbourne. Marieke Bender had been the winner against Sasha in the final. But Marieke injured herself shortly after the Australian Open in a bike accident. She couldn’t play for several weeks and was expected back in the earliest for the European clay season. Only Sasha Mrachova, who belonged neither to the young generation nor to the players who already pushed the 30-years mark, seemed to draw from a source of never-ending will power.

“It’s been a long, a long time coming but I sense a change is gonna come.” Paola hummed.
“I know,” Sam corrected her, but Paola mistook Sam’s answer as confirmation for her observation.
They kept on staring at the skyline when Paola suddenly jumped up with a loud gasp.
“Hell, I have an interview.” She checked her watch already knowing she was too late. Sam began to chuckle.
“Who is waiting for you?”
“Ted Curry and that Aussie singer. What’s her name?”
“Felicia Del Castro,” Sam said. “They make a glamorous couple, don’t they?”
“Yes. But today we will take a look behind scenes and spotlight the grinding fitness regimes these two go through in order to look like they do. Should be fun. Something for the guys and the ladies, you see,” Paola shouted as she hurried down the stairs, waving her good-bye to Sam Smitts, who herself got up and went to the commentator box. It was time.

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