Numero Uno with a bullet, JJ, ran into the French firing squad that is the new slim and trim(ish) Mono Bartoli, losing somewhat listlessly, 61 64. Everyone probably thought I was nutso to pick this as a possible upset match, but to me it was always a horrible matchup for JJ. As much as Ricardo Sanchez keeps trying to convince the world otherwise, JJ's serve has not improved. It's pure absolute puffball shit. It's not world class. Even Love All turned to me and said "Jesus, even you could serve harder than that." Believe me, that's saying something.
And Mono may not be great if you can move her around on the baseline, but put her three feet behind the service box and give her a spinny sub 90mph serve, and she will hurt you. And that's what she did to JJ. She put too much pressure on JJ service games and broke her repeatedly, leaving JJ desperate to break back and just failing to play with intelligence or purpose.
But all credit to Mono. JJ may claim that she "let" her player her game, but no way. Mono just took the game to JJ and challenged her and JJ had no answers. The key to her game today was her serve and her return of serve. She dominated on both counts, which meant that even if the rallies went 50/50 or 70/30 to JJ, Mono still had the answers. Good for her.
JJ's going to have to really look at this loss. Sure, she can chalk it up to Mono's "lucky day" but if her team is worth anything they have to know that this match showed the world that despite all her claims to the contrary, her weaknesses are still very much there and attacakable. Her serve has NOT gotten better, and her movement doesn't look particularly better either. She seemed slow, though I don't know if that was her or the fact that Bartoli's shots made her look slow. If I'm one of the other players on the tour I'm thinking she's the same old beatable JJ from 2008, and that all that hard work and extra muscle tone that she keeps bragging about just means she's more durable over the long run. But the game is the same.