Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Claymate of the Month

Novak Djokovic looked unstoppable during his week in Monte Carlo. Here's hoping he takes a dive before Roland Garros so he doesn't pull a Martina '83 or a(nother) Martina '97! 

Speaking of which -- did you see Hingis in her return to singles this weekend? I only saw the match against Agnieszka RadwaƄska, but it was a fascinating thing to watch. At first I was kind of in awe at how well Martina -- who hadn't played a tour-level singles match since 2007 -- was keeping up with the current top player, who admittedly is a better match for her than one of Radwanska's more powerful peers. Hingis was all over the net and hitting winners from all over the court, serving at 40-love to level it at 5-all when suddenly everything fell apart, and Aga swept seven straight games for the win. It was only in the second set that I realized Aga was probably just too uptight at first -- playing someone who it would be REALLY embarrassing to lose to, and in front of a home crowd -- and that Hingis really was outclassed, as would be expected. That Hingis all but beat Aga's lower-ranked sister shows how remarkable Hingis still is -- her doubles prowess backs this up -- but both matches ultimately hearkened back to what became a pattern for the Swiss Miss, especially in her comeback: she became really bad at closing things out and I don't think all the match toughness in the world would change that.

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