Wednesday, August 31, 2005

US Open Day 3: Nobody Puts Sania in the Corner

The winds blew during the day. The rains came during the evening. In between, Day 1 "upset queens" went down in flames on Day 3, "The Dream Catcher" made its nighttime debut... and the Indian Princess won again to move within one match of facing the Supernova in an event that could cause a New York-wide run on digital cameras.

First up, though, has to be a report on what Serena was wearing (or not wearing) in her '05 primetime debut. Clothing-wise, she wore nothing even remotely bound to cause a stir reminiscent of the catsuit or the go-go boots of recent years. No, 2005's tongues will have to be content with wagging about the $40,000 "Dream Catcher" set of earrings first glimpsed during the daylight on Monday. This time, though, they were fastened more securely on Serena's lobes and didn't fall off during play as they did two days ago. But it was Serena's moment in the spotlight, so she added a diamond necklace to the ensemble for the evening session.


PLAYER OF THE DAY: Maria Sharapova
...the Supernova faced gusts of 30 mph during her afternoon match. Oh, and Dally Randriantefy was there, too. Not that too many people noticed, since she only won a single game off Sharapova.
RISER: Julia Schruff
...the 23-year German, who knocked off #28 Flavia Pennetta in the 1st Round, was one of the few players who pulled opening day upsets and followed up the win with another one in the 2nd Round. Today, the #87-ranked Schruff took out veteran Lisa Raymond and pretty well assured herself of reaching a new career-high singles rank (previously it was #82) after the Open. Her streak of raising her year-end ranking every season since 1998 appears to be set to continue, as well, since this little run will likely keep her ahead of her #105-ranked pace of '04.
SURPRISE: Ivana Lisjak
...the 18-year old Croatian, ranked #189 in the world, followed up her 1st Round win over Emilie Loit with a victory over Kuznetsova conqueror Ekaterina Bychkova. Lisjak has already won two ITF singles titles in 2005, and is now the only qualifier in the draw's top half to reach the 3rd Round.
VETERAN: Maria Vento-Kabchi
...Venezuelan MVK, 31, pulled off the biggest win of the day over #18-seed Ana Ivanovic. No word yet on whether she'll be receiving a congratulatory phone call from Pat Robertson.
FRESH FACE: Nicole Vaidisova
...with Lucie Safarova nipping at her heels of late, would-be Czech Maiden #1 is going about proving her worth in Flushing. Jie Zheng was Vaidisova's 2nd Round victim, as she eyes Nadia Petrova in the Round of 16... along with a shot a being this slam's "Miss Opportunity."
DOWN: Ana Ivanovic
...what a disappointing result it is for the 17-year old to fall to Vento-Kabchi. Everyone was looking forward to a Clijsters vs. Ivanovic match in the Round of 16. Hmmm, maybe AnaIvo was, too?


1.Sania Mirza def. Maria Elena Camerin
...6-4/1-6/6-4. Roddick's might have gone south, but Mirza's mojo is still going up and up. The Princess, an "Indian Supernova" of sorts, has been to a slam 3rd Round before... so now she has to have the Supernova in her sights, even if she diplomatically refuses to look ahead (she'll face Marion Bartoli next). Hopefully, the match will happen. The rest of the world needs to be introduced to this 18-year old... and being on the court with Sharapova is about as "prime" a place for everyone to get to know her as Mirza will ever be able to find.
2.#4 Kim Clijsters def. Fabiola Zuluaga
...7-5/6-0. Zuluaga had a set point in the 1st, but Nice Kim wasn't about to risk being the second #4-seed to fall in this tournament.
3t.Ivana Lisjak def. Ekaterina Bychkova, 7-5/6-1; Marion Bartoli def. Shenay Perry 4-6/6-1/6-0
...after upsets in the 1st Round, Bychkova and Perry saw their fortunes come crashing back down to the blue courts of the USTA National Tennis Center.
4.Maria Vento-Kabchi def. #18 Ana Ivanovic
...3-6/7-5/6-1. AnaIvo was the first women's seed to fall in nearly 48 hours. She was soon followed by #33 Vera Douchevina, who lost to Shahar Peer.
5.#20 Daniela Hantuchova def. Maria-Emilia Salerni
...6-1/6-0. Wonder Girl is playing well, and Venus is up next.
HM--#9 Nadia Petrova def. Aiko Nakamura
...6-2/6-0. The quietest Russian moves forward, and will remain in the shadows as long as Sharapova is still alive in her quarter.


...Laura Granville def. Nicole Pratt 6-4/5-7/7-5. The American followed up her upset of #22 Silvia Farina Elia with another win over a 30+ year old vet. Next up: Petrova, 23.

**1st ROUND UPSETS...& what happened next**
Ekaterina Bychkova def. #5 Svetlana Kuznetsova
...lost to Ivana Lisjak today
Shenay Perry def. #14 Alicia Molik
...lost to Marion Bartoli today
Maria Elena Camerin def. #21 Dinara Safina
...lost to Sania Mirza today
Laura Granville def. #22 Silvia Farina Elia
...defeated Nicole Pratt today
Julia Schruff def. #28 Flavia Pennetta
...def. Lisa Raymond today

...Serena sported earrings worth $40,000 tonight, but Sania Mirza wins in the "quantity over quality" battle. The Indian Princess has nine earrings. Not sure if that number includes her nose ring, though.

...tomorrow night, Bulgarian Spice arrives in primetime! Mercy me. Could a media monster be about to be born? We'll either be thanking Sesil's opponent, Amelie Mauresmo, after this match... or cursing her. We'll have to wait and see which will be the appropriate response.

All for now.


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