Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rezai, Randomness and Roland Garros

So in all that Fedal frazzling, I totally forgot about what I actually spent most of the week writing about - the women's draw in Madrid.

I wonder exactly how many people in the world put money on Aravane Rezai to win that tournament. And exactly what holiday island they're on now, which beach, which fruity cocktail they're sitting...

Seriously, Rezai has been on the rise this year - she first really popped into my field of vision when she very-nearly-almost beat Serena in the semis in Sydney, because I remember being very cross that she was going to be in the final, as I had tickets to it and hadn't exactly paid to see Aravane Rezai. And also she was wearing some hideous gold thing. But who would have thought she'd go all the way and win a Premier tournament?

Seriously, this year's Roland Garros is one OPEN tournament. Henin may be the favourite - and, indeed, the only big name player to have won one of the big clay titles - but just about anyone could win this one. Rezai aside, the last Premier event was won by Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez. Now that MJMS isn't awesome, but she isn't normally what you'd think of as big title material.

But anyone is big title material right now in the WTA. Including Aravane Rezai.

Marion Bartoli better watch her back, because Aravane is skyrocketing up the rankings and may soon be French #1. Her victory over Venus - arguably the best performer of the leading women on clay this season, even though she hasn't won a title recently - was absolutely superb. She's already left perennial underperformer Alize Cornet far behind and it looks like the only way is up.

You always wonder how players are going to back up big wins like this one. However, what we have to remember that because this field is so wide open, ANYONE in the WTA draw can theoretically win Roland Garros. It might not be Rezai or MJMS, but someone random could come skyrocketing through in the same manner and claim the prize. Back it up shmack it up - they'll have a Slam!

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