Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Day 3: The Little Black Dress

If they awarded grand slam titles after one match, then Maria Sharapova would have her first U.S. Open championship all but wrapped up.

It should really come as no surprise. After all, she was nothing if not dressed for success on Wednesday night.

Her classic little black dress was as elegant as Serena's infamous catsuit was... um... let's just say "interesting." But Sharapova didn't destroy Michaella Krajicek 6-3/6-0 in what was supposed to be a tough match because the Dutch teenager was mesmerized by Maria's fashion sense. The Supernova's game was simply as stylish as her ensemble. There was no Mashona Washington-inspired scare that required some pesky pigeons for her to escape with a victory this time around.

On Day 3, it was the rest of the field that might have reason to worry. The Lady in Black has arrived in New York, and she doesn't look as if she wants to go home empty-handed.

Love-Love... thank goodness for the Supernova for, even with so many top players in action on Day 3 because of the backlog of matches after Tuesday's rainout, very little of actual note seemed to happen Wednesday.
15-Love... the day began with Rafael Nadal pulling a reverse Tiger Woods -- wearing a black-and-red combo in the 1st Round, rather than in the last -- and then proceeded to produce a dull humm during what was left of the daylight.
30-Love... Amelie Mauresmo, with a night to get herself right while Kristina Barrois tied herself up in knots, began the resumption of her 1st Round match today down 2-5 in the 2nd set. Five games later, she'd won the set 7-5 to close out the match. Ho-hum. James Blake had difficulty closing out Juan Monaco, failing on five match points and looking like he might be starting to cramp up... but there was no remarkable flame-out in store, for the top-ranked American won the match on his sixth MP to at least temporarily stop his late summer slide since he won a title in Indianapolis. Double ho-hum.
40-Love... U.S. Open Series champion Ana Ivanovic was pushed by Vera Dushevina, but still managed to pull out the match 6-3/5-7/6-4 to avoid the first truly big women's upset of the Open (Anastasia Myskina going down to Victoria Azarenka today wasn't really tremendously unexpected). Not much there, either.
40-15... at least Nadia Petrova got her first win since May, easily wiping away qualifer Clarisa Fernandez 6-2/6-1. But, still, it was a frustratingly (though happily so) routine day for Scarlett after a tough few months.
40-30... hey, speaking of qualifiers. Five of the women who reached the main draw the hard way have survived to play again in the 2nd Round:

Eva Birnerova
Youlia Fedossova
Kirsten Flipkens
Varvara Lepchenko
Agnieszka Radwanska

Lucky loser Nicole Pratt also won her 1st Round match.
DEUCE... the early line of the Open's "Upset Queens" is focusing on the Pastries, as Fedossova (def. #25 Anabel Medina-Garrigues) and Aravane Rezai (#15 Anna-Lena Groenefeld) both knocked out seeded players in the 1st Round.
AD... Vania King will indeed have a nighttime presence on Arthur Ashe Stadium tomorrow, but it won't be for her 2nd Round match against Justine Henin-Hardenne. That'll take place during the day. At night, she'll be singing the national anthem before the night session. Way to go, Vania.
GAME, "BUT, THANKFULLY, WE HAD THE SUPERNOVA" soon as Sharapova slipped off her wrap, Day 3 finally had a plotline nearly as sleek as that little black dress. If not for it, today's Daily Backspin might as well been called "Matches Galore, but Not Much More." Thank you, Maria. It's the little things that count.


All for Day 3.


Post a Comment

<< Home