Let's talk ladies' tennis. I'm actually pretty excited for this final - given the rate of knots that seeds have fallen at during this tournament, ending up with a Serena/Zvonareva final is better than any of could have expected.
To be honest, I think Serena's going to romp home with very little trouble at all. Vera is an awesome player, but I don't know if she has the chops to take down Serena on grass. Serena has been playing super solidly all week and she's definitely looked to be the best player here, in my opinion. Getting through the Sharapova match was key - that was the match which really announced her as the firmest of favourites. So yeah. I think Serena's going to win.
This is not to say, however, that this tournament has not been a breakout tournament for many others. Zvonareva, for one - after all this 'oh no, the Russians are fading fast' palaver, here we have one in the final, which is a massive achievement for her. I'm really hoping that Bepa puts up a good account of herself, because boy can she play. It will be mostly mental for her, I think - if she can keep her head together, it should be an entertaining match.
But let us pause for a moment and consider the enormity of this tournament for Petra Kvitova and Tsvetana Pironkova.
I think this result is going to be a big springboard for Kvitova. I think she is going to rocket up the rankings and do great things. I hadn't seen a lot of her play before this week but now I am convinced that she has top ten potential. The Czech Republic has produced a lot of very-nearly-almost-but-not-quite women of late - there's Safarova and Benesova, not to mention Kvitova herself. But I think is really going to take her places. Watch out for Petra!
Pironkova, on the other hand... I can't really see her going to top tennishness or anything, which is sort of counter-intuitive, because I actually like her game more than Kvitova's. Scratch that, I love the way Pironkova plays. Her variety is a massive asset, and she's outstanding to watch. But I guess I feel with her that she's been doing the same thing for a while now, and this has been the first really big result she's pulled since she beat Venus back in, what, 2006? She's the kind of player who is always dangerous but never quite there - a Philipp Kohlschreiber, if you will. I think that if she was going to be glorious, it would have happened already...
...but Tsveta, in the tiny chance that you ever read this, don't listen to me. Prove me wrong. Because I love, love, love your game!
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago