My second day in Wimbledon was much more relaxed. Most of the players I needed to see were scheduled on the odd-numbered days, so when I finally entered the Club after queuing I strolled around and headed to the practice courts. I can really only advise anybody who visits a tournament to check out the practice courts. Not only might you stumble across your favourite players (like I did) but it’s just fascinating to watch them hit shot after shot, serve after serve, backhands and forehands.
Here’s Sloane Stephens and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova…
… and Casey Dellacqua and Angelique Kerber.
Also an advantage if you make it out to the practice courts: You may have the privilege to see Sam Stosur volley like an airborne goddess, whereas during a match you immediately feel the urge to facepalm should she cross the service line and make it to the net. Uh huh. It can be that bad.
I was distracted for a short time (pun intended) by Dominica Cibulkova and Irina Falconi
Back to the Grand Slam champions:
Victoria Azarenka looking determined. Sam Stosur picking up balls.
Li Na picking up balls. Svetlana Kuznetsova, the Russian Rocket, practicing take-offs.
I should make a gif of Sveta.
Photos are deceiving. You wouldn’t guess that this ball ever made it over the net. But it did. The secret is topspin. Loads and loads of it, created by an extreme Western grip on Stosur‘s forehand.
Sabine Lisicki was hitting next to howling Victoria Azarenka and you can’t help but wonder if it was the constant noise exposure that made Sabine finally complain in her R2 match against Jovanovski’s grunting – or screaming. More about screaming people during Lisicki’s match in the next post.
I finally had enough of sweaty people in colourful clothes. Let’s see sweaty people in white clothes! Let’s see some real tennis.
Marion Bartoli vs. Casey Dellacqua
The sky looked gloomy and Amelie Mauresmo, who had sneaked in during a change-over to watch Marion knew it was about to rain and there was no free seat under the canopy on Court 12. She was unhappy and I couldn’t have that. But before I was able to shout “Amelie, don’t worry, we’ll still have each other. You can stand under my umbrella” the chair umpire called “Time” and my chances for some quality cuddling were gone forever.
Polona Hercog and Johanna Larsson
Urszula Radwanska‘s bruises vs. Marina Erakovic‘s knee.
What are these kids doing in their free time?!
The last match I watched was Coco Vandeweghe against Sara Errani. I had seen Errani at the Australian Open for the first time during her match against Sorana Cirstea plus another match and I really grew fond of her. I remember being on the Melbourne airport on my way to Sydney and they showed her quarterfinal match against Petra Kvitova on TV screens in the baggage claim. Even though I love Petra I found myself rooting for Sara (I love rooting for the underdog unless they play in a Grand Slam semifinal against Sam Stosur, who is the uber-underdog when she is the favourite – if you know what I mean). When I had checked in and gone through security I expected to see the match being shown on a TV in some café but there was absolutely no TV after the security gates. As I still had enough time I made all the way through the airport maze back to the baggage claim and watched Errani lose to Kvitova while a million suitcases passed me by. A couple of months later she was a Grand Slam finalist, a clay specialist proving her aptitude on the grass.
She won easily in two sets but not without a little drama. When Sara had match point on Coco’s serve, the American took extra long to regain composure and inspecting the balls that were handed to her by the ball kid. Long enough for rain to begin falling. “A soft drizzle” as they would say in Wimbledon, but after half a minute or so it was clear that the rain wouldn’t stop plus it was getting darker, so I thought “Hurry up, Coco!” but to our surprise the match was suspended. On match point!
I didn’t go back the next day but heard that – after doing warm-up routines for ten minutes- the match was over in thiry seconds with Vandeweghe double-faulting. I had good reason not see the rest. Not only did I suspect that Coco wouldn’t stay long for the encore, but there was fave alarm on Court 12. Lisicki was taking on Jovanovski, a hard-hitting young serb. More about it in the next post.