Monday, March 12, 2018

Weekend Tennis Roundup

All eyes are on Indian Wells this fortnight. And while I once again didn't get to attend the tournament, I did get to watch Naomi Osaka play Sachia Vickery last night after going to the hospital to say goodbye to a colleague whose battle with cancer ended this morning. Vickery was coming off surprise wins over Eugnie Bouchard and Garbine Muguruza -- well, as surprising as wins over Genie and Garbine can be. In the end, the young American was no match for the explosive Haitian-Japanese, who I learned actually moved to the U.S. at age 3 and uses her mother's surname (and plays for Japan) to maximize endorsements. (Osaka had crushed Maria Sharapova and Aggie Radwanska in her previous matches.) 

Also saw Fernando Verdasco take out Grigor Dmitrov in three. 

Married life must be agreeing with the Spaniard because he's has never looked beefier. Next up? Married 12-year-old Taylor Fritz.

Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic's latest comeback ended abruptly when he lost to unheralded American-born Japanese player Taro Daniel, 7-6(3) 4-6 6-1, in the Serb's first match since the Aussie Open. I haven't written Novak off just yet. But something is definitely not right upstairs. 

As I mentioned, Serena Williams has been progressing nicely -- and now faces sister Venus in the third round. (Naturally, she'd rather face "anyone else.") Seems fitting that they would finally face each other in the desert, where Richard Williams said he and Venus faced racial slurs in 2001 after she pulled out of a semifinal match against her sister, citing tendinitis in her knee. The Williams sisters started playing Indian Wells again in 2015. Let's their hope forgiveness is met with appreciation when they square off later today. (Sidenote: If Venus can't win THIS match against Serena then I'm also going to have a baby!) The other comeback mom, Victoria Azarenka, lost 6-1, 7-5 to Sloane Stephens. Even though Vika hadn't played regularly in quite some time, I still sort of thought of her as the favorite.

My friend Billy Hanson is in Indian Wells and snapped this shot of Borna Coric, whose game is finally catching up to his winning ass. He crushed Donald Young and red-hot Albert Ramos Vinolas, bagelling each in a set. He now faces Roberto Bautista Agut in the third round. 

P.S. Loving Andy Murray's mustache in this new Head ad. (Is there a term for mustache that also has scruff in the beard areas? Musteard?) 

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