I don't know if it can be described how significant this Saturday will be for women's tennis in both Australia and Italy. It may be the randomest Grand Slam final we've had in quite some time, but in many ways it is also the most momentous. No matter who wins, whether it be Stosur or Schiavone, this weekend is absolutely mammoth.
I cannot pretend to be unbiased. I'm pulling for Stosur in an absolutely massive way. I am very interested in the future of tennis in my nation (oddly enough) and Stosur is definitely our way forward. Added to which I absolutely love her game and I think she has everything it'll take to win this title. But even if she doesn't, what she has achieved her is massive. I mean, to beat Henin, Serena and Jankovic in a row? That beatdown she laid on Jankovic was nothing short of epic - whoever would have thought JJ would go out only having won three games? And whoever thought Sammy Stosur would be the one to come through that incredibly tough quarter she was in?
Schiavone's achievements are also incredibly huge - I have to give a lot of credit to Van from Tennis Talk Anyone? for calling this one, because I never would have picked Schiavone for the final. (I think I picked Pennetta to go deep - wrong Italian, I guess!) It was very sad the way that she came through yesterday - I'm sure she would have rather had the full triumph rather than come through on the back of Lena D's retirement. But nonetheless - she has played amazing this tournament.
Has she got what it takes to beat Sammy Stosur? Who knows? But for whoever comes through, this will be an absolute revelation.
I can genuinely say that I am very happy about this result. I have very different reactions to mens' and womens' tennis, I think - I am eternally biased in mens' tennis, being such a rabid Federfan, but with the women I'm not, and sometimes that makes it more exciting. Whatever happens from here on in is a good result. (I mean, Sammy would be a better one, but if she doesn't win, I won't cry myself to sleep or anything...)
I'm just so excited about this final. I don't think it's the final or the tournament was hoping for, but you know what? that kind of just makes it all the more awesome.
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago