Sunday, March 30, 2008

Vintage Davenport Dismantles Ivanovic

In a display of clean, powerful ball striking - the stuff of Lindsay Davenport's A-game - the American comeback mother crushed Indian Wells champion Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-2.

And it wasn't as close as the scoreline.

Since her rise to the top echelon of women's tennis, Ivanovic has had trouble with the Big Babes of tennis. She's also been compared to Davenport in ball striking and style of play, but after yesterday's rout, that's questionable.

Before the match, Lindsay said she looked forward to playing a current top player that she hadn't played before. When I saw the glint in her eye, I knew it would be trouble for the Serbian princess.

Lindsay overcame sluggishness in her first match and moved as well as she needed in her second. Her returns were so deep and accurate, that Ana started almost every point on her back foot. Had Lindsay not lost her focus, the score might have been 6-1, 6-2. At no point in the match did it look as though Ana could win and that is a testament to the Tower of Power's precise power game.

Serena Williams had to overcome tentativeness, unforced errors, three blown set points in the first set, a second-set break deficit, a rain delay and a feisty Flavia Pennetta to advance 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-2 to the third round.

The Italian had sistergirl cringing after almost every error. Flavia also seemed to have more crowd support. Because Serena was playing so poorly, Flavia didn't have to do much in the way of ball striking to get a set and a break lead. She served well on a few big points, but really just had to keep the ball in play until the defending champion self destructed. But Serena's legendary fight allowed her to hang around until Flavia lost her way and Serena pounced. After the match, the feisty women had a good laugh.

On the men's side, I watched some of James Blake's defeat of Fabrice Santoro. It was hot and Blake had stomach issues, but he refused to be bamboozled by Santoro's unconvential and artistic game. Blake won 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-4. It was another good fight from Blake, something that's become more common in him of late.

In the night match, Guillermo Cañas took out Fernando González in two tight, exquisite sets 7-6(6), 7-5. There was some drama at the end of the first set tiebrak when a fan yelled out on Gonzo's serve. But it reflected the Davis Cup atmosphere that characterizes matches in Key Biscayne that feature South American stars.


oddman said...

Good on Blake to come up with the win. Santoro is so unconventional, and Blake had to be ready for anything. Kudos to Serena and Lindsay too. I'm assuming that's a typo in your post, Big Babes of tennis, not Bags (sp)?

So the latest news is that Andy Roddick is engaged to Brooklyn Decker. Surprise! I can't believe that boy's wanting to settle down yet. Who knows, maybe this will be great for Andy.

Mad Professah said...

Where did they show the serena match??

Why oh why is television coverage of tennis so damned bad?

Isn't there a channel called THE TENNIS CHANNEL? WTF?