Unless I've been asleep the night before the RG women's finals of the past, when's the last time you remember the combatants taking these joint pictures with flags and shit? Never is my answer, though again, I could be wrong.
But you can't blame the RG tournament directors and all the networks who have the rights to air the women's final from freaking out a bit and trying to promote this as much as possible. I mean, really, apart from the entire continent of Australia, the non-misogynistic parts of Italy, and pockets of hard core tennis fans, who exactly is going to watch this final?
It's a shame, really. I'm super excited for this final and completely stressed. On one hand, how amazing would be to see Fran hoist that trophy? She's 29, she'll probably never get another chance at this, and her victory celebration would be the stuff of legend. At the same time, I get the sense that Fran will be ok whether she wins or loses. She's already accomplished so much this tournament. It's win-win for her from here on out.
Which brings us to Sam. As much as I love Fran, it would be really really bad for women's tennis if she won. It would be deemed a fluke, a blip on the radar, a win that has zero impact on women's tennis going foreward. Basically, these two weeks would all have been for naught; a few interesting matches that we'll all forget about because, at the end of the day, they didn't matter.
A Sam win does matter. At least Sam was a pre-tournament contender and has the resume to back up the win so that it's not seen as a fluke. It changes the current WTA landscape in the same way that a Sod win would change the ATP landscape. It's not just that these players have the capacity to beat the best players on any given day, but they become real threats because a Slam win shows they have the mental fortitude to close out big matches, which, especially for the WTA, is what separates the elite from the just very good.
To me, a Fran win would require Sam to pull a Dinara 09 in the final. And how much would it suck if, after the run she's had this week, Sam mentally collapsed in the final. If Sam loses the story will be just that: Sam lost. No one will remember this as the final that Franny won. It'll be the one where Sam Stosur had a complete mental collapse, served double digit DFs, and was hitting forehands at line judges. No one will remember what she had to do to even get to the final. Because, like I said, none of those matches matter if she doesn't win. That's the cruel world of sport.
Plus her entire family is flying in from Australia. Like I said. I'm worried. Auuuuuught! [/Katie]
Anyway, I just hope it's a good final. If it's actually competitive then I'll be happy either way. If it's a complete collapse by Sam then I'll be throwing things. I never said I was mature.