I tried to stay as far away from this match as possible. Not because I didn't care. My jokey, laugh-a-minute, irreverent side really wanted Fran to win. "Fuck the establishment" that side would say! Screw you and your predictions! Franny is awesome and she deserves to make the finals!!! All valid points, irreverence.
But my heart was pulling for Lena. The underachieving, hard-working Lena. Rooting for Lena is like being a Cubs fan. Or, perhaps more accurately, a Red Sox fan prior to the aughts. A player constantly denied the glory partially because of her own mistakes and partially because of one singular vanquisher that always stands in her way.
In my head I knew she wouldn't make it out of this match. If you've actually watched Lena play all week you knew she wasn't moving well. She injured her leg against CanWoz in the third round and she's been scraping through ever since.
But it was a bummer that Lena had to retire after that first set. The vilification she'll receive among fans and press for once again not being able to step up to the plate will echo for years. Nevermind the fact that she's suffered a tear in her calf and might not be able to play Wimbledon. Don't let the facts get in the way of your story, boys and girls.
With that out of the way, let's put aside our downcast gazes and give a bit "WHOOMP THERE IT IS!" to Franny. She's the first Italian woman in a Grand Slam final, she's passed Flavia as the new Italian #1, and she's done this with hard work, new strings, and the maturity of a 29 year-old who's seen it all. Oh, and also a hot boyfriend who actually looks like he may be man enough for her brand of awesome.
Congrats, Fran! I can't say that I'll be rooting for you, but I also can't say that I won't whoop it up in my living room and do one-armed pushups (ahem...pushup) in celebration of your history making win either.
You know she'll rub her cooter on the clay if she wins, right?