Thursday, January 13, 2011

Things Get Weird For Kim

Rally For Relief at the Australian Open sold out in a matter of hours. That is about 15,000 tickets, gone like that. And one of them is mine!

I am seriously so proud of the tennis community for this. Hit For Haiti last year was absolutely extraordinary and Rally For Relief sounds like it will be exactly the same. And the support that it's receiving... well, it's a testament to the generosity of both tennis players and fans. The community has pulled together incredibly. Well done, everyone!

It feels like I've talked more about wildcards and rallies than actual tennis in the last couple of days, so probably I should do something about that. Though one brief wildcard note before I do start talking about tennis actually happening in this actual week - Sabine Lisicki is playing qualifying. WHAT. IS. UP. WITH THAT.

It's people like Sabine Lisicki and Nicolas Mahut that illustrate SO CLEARLY why we need a Wildcard For Awesome. As a tennis fan, I feel like it's a serious injustice on both of them. Here's hoping they both qualify - I will be at their matches for sure!

Now. Onto Sydney.

That match between Clijsters and Kleybanova was... well. Whenever people start talking about how excellent Kimmie's looking - including me - it always seems to me like she pulls out a match like this one. The shoulders slump, she gets dejected, and no matter how invincible she's been looking, weird things start to happen.

The classic example is, of course, that loss in Melbourne last year to Nadia Petrova, where she got totally hammered. She managed to pull out the win over Kleybanova - she did wake up enough to play an excellent tiebreaker - but it is concerning.

The only tournament where this doesn't seem to happen is the US Open, where Kim is charmed. I think Kim has a really good shot at being #1 if she makes a good run in Australia, so here's hoping that she's got her weirdnesses out in this match and brings it in Melbourne. With Serena out, the Australian Open genuinely is anyone's tournament - and why not Kim's? (Though I must confess that, in my heart, I am pulling for the other Belgian lady. Justine Henin for the win!)

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