Work has been a bitch all week but I was finally able to make it to Stanford for Thursday's evening session, which featured JJ vs. Boom Boom and Nads/B-Matt vs. Klebs/Rodionova. I was able to secure a front row baseline ticket and we were in business.
The JJ/Boom Boom match was full of starts and stops by both players. In the first set Boom Boom was, well, booming her serve and her forehand. JJ was playing tentatively, as she's prone to do when she gets nervous or doesn't know what to do, and Sabine was just teeing off on the ball.
The second set saw Sabine just lose her way. Spraying balls all over the place and missing first serves. She seems really conscious of her service toss. She practices the toss motion quite a bit between serves and while it doesn't wonk off like Ana, you can tell when she's going to hit the slice as opposed to a flat serve. Clearly the service issues got into her head because she stopped moving her feet on her groundies and she was just off balance all set.
The last set went back and forth but all of a sudden JJ found her serve and began holding pretty easily. It was over after that, as Sabine's serving woes pretty much gave JJ the match. Serving to stay in the match, Boom Boom tossed in two doubles to pretty much give JJ the match. One serve bounced before it hit the net.
So good on JJ for scraping through. The match was a typical JJ show. Some interaction with the crowd, lots of Serbian screams to the heavens, sniping at the ballkids, but in the end she found a way to win. Papa JJ and Ricky were in the crowd. No sign of Kung Fu Tennis dude.
Next up, Indigo Girls vs. Kleybs & Co. Nads and Bethanie were nails in the first set, and then Nads starting stinking up the joint in the second. The tiebreak was tight until the IGs opened it up with a stick forehand volley from Nads and then a ripped forehand return up the line by Bethanie. It got tight again after that but you had the feeling Nads and Bethanie would pull it out, which they did.
All in all, a fun time. I'm going to get tickets to tomorrow's night session to see Masha vs. Venus. That'll mark Maria's first big match against a true top player since her return. Can't wait.