MaKiri and Aga are taking the court as Quarterfinal Friday kicks off here in sunny ol' Stanford. The weather here, barring that first super chilly night, has been perfect. I haven't even needed a heavy sweatshirt at night. Then again, I run warm. Some might say "I'm hotter than you."
Fuck! Did I just make a Jacob joke?
- I got the grounds at around noon and missed Sam practicing in the morning. The woman is an early bird which is why it would never work out between us. It was for the best. I've been so in her jock our cycles are syncing up.
- It was a less than stellar day for Shahar. She dropped her singles match to MaKiri in straight sets and then lost her dubs match to Vika/MaKiri later in the afternoon. She was peeeesed by the end of the super-tiebreak, letting out a huge scream and pounding a ball high in the sky.
- Govortsova has a bigger serve than I remember. Also, do all Belarussians have the same body type? Because if you didn't know any better, you could easily mistake Vika for Olga from behind.
- I got some good Twitter questions for MaKiri, but totally flubbed them because for whatever reason, I reverted into deposition mode. Short leading questions with quick follow-ups to nail down factual details before the witness can think about it. I really really hate my lawyer training.
- Vika was a bit snippy on court and I can't think she's currying much favor with the ball kids. In case you were unaware, she only takes the balls from the left. And yes, she will pause for a good 20 seconds between points just waiting for the balls to get to that ball kid. The poor young ball kid standing on the right was utterly confused. "Give to her, give to her." He just stared back blankly.
- Believe gave a great presser and I was glad that I stuck around for it. She's your typical American teenager and she's willing to talk about anything. I don't get the sense that she's been through a lot of media training. I was also surprised as to how adeptly she spoke of the technical and tactical aspects of the game. All that said, I suspect her pressers are much more entertaining when she loses than when she wins. She's probably all sunshine and believing when she wins.
- No matter how many times I attend a tournament I always get a bit shell-shocked around the quarterfinals. For the past five days I've been most excited about running around the grounds, watching practice sessions, seeing players on the track, etc. But each day ticks by the field gets smaller and smaller. The practice courts get quieter and players leave town. But as that happens, the actual matches being played get more interesting. I have to actively switch my mentality to leave the practice courts alone and settle into the live tennis. It takes effort.
- I was watching Ana practice when a volunteer sidled up to me and started gushing over her. Apparently he accompanied her to her hospital visit and said she was one of the nicest people he had ever met and that she chatted with him quite a bit in the car. "Hold old is she?" "Uh, 22? "REALLY??? [pause] Does she have a boyfriend?" "Yeah. He's a golfer. Adam Scott. Australian." "Oh. Is he here?" "No, he's probably...golfing somewhere." "Free game." "Good luck with that."
- Mono, once again, gives good presser. She's game to talk about anything and everything. Today's presser: Why she loves New York, the depth of the WTA tour, why she puts Venus at #2, and what she thinks of Caro, Vika, and Aga.
- I've been getting a lot of messages about why there was no live stream until Friday. I guess I assume the answer is obvious but here we go: TV rights are a big deal for tournaments and the tour and if you allow early streams then it dilutes the value of the rights you're selling. For the USO series, which is handled by TC and ESPN, the tournaments are very good about locking down their feeds so as to not allow hackers to access the feed and post it to Justin TV or U Stream or whatever. But if the tournaments provide an international feed they're hosed. That shit gets hacked every damn time.
- Met TC reporter Cari Champion today. She was just as annoyingly gorgeous in person, if not more so, than on TV and, to my frustration, hilarious. Told her that I fall asleep with TC on and a lot of times I'll wake up hearing her voice. Thankfully she wasn't creeped out by that. She's here with a TC team covering the US Open National Playoffs, which is an open tournament for men and women to compete for a wildcard into the USO qualifying. Pretty great, as the playoff makes it truly "Open". Met up with her again in the evening. We just sat around, drank spring water, and talked about the weather and the geopolitical implications of the BP spill. Really whole some stuff.
So now we get the quarterfinals. Aga has just bageled MaKiri to book her spot in the semis. So much for my darkhorse pick. She'll play the winner of Masha/Elena. Mono and Vika will be taking the court soon. Thankfully I was able to catch Sam during practice today. She looked great.
But what do I know.