A bit late with my Tuesday recap. This week, I've somehow developed the same bad habit I had as a lawyer: I forget to eat. So I stopped at a neighborhood 24 hour diner (Sparky's!), wolfed down a patty melt and two Newcastles in, like, 30 minutes, and crashed out for the night. The rest was *much* needed after going off 2-3 hours of sleep for the prior three days. I've just powered down two slices of pizza and I'm watching the shambolic break-fest that is Kimiko vs. Lena. Oh wait...hold... on...Kimiko gets the first hold of the night at 3-2.
But enough about me. Let's talk about me.
- I missed me some Mono/Harkleroad action, which was a bit of a bummer. I really wanted to introduce myself to my good friend Chuck. Perhaps the universe was intervening. Wisely.
- But when I arrived on the grounds my AnaDar was once again confirmed, as she was practicing. Hard. Only three people were watching her and that includes me. It's like Indian Wells 08 all over again.
- Swung by the media center to pick up my ticket and caught the end of the Mono presser. She enjoys fishing and shopping and once caught a large salmon. But don't worry, you guys. Mono's a lover, not a fighter. She releases the horribly traumatized salmon back into the water to tell his harrowing tale. WITH BOTH HANDS.
- I finally settled in for some live tennis after hearing that Dani had taken the first set over Shahar with a bagel. Oooh! I'll get to see Dani kick ass! Awesome. Yeah. That didn't happen. The crowd was pretty firmly pro-Shahar, though my section was pro-Dani.
- Bless the volunteers here at Stanford, but this tournament, at times, is very reminiscent of Indian Wells. I can't tell you how many times I get stopped and have to show my media badge and ticket to get around the grounds. They even know my name by now and still force me to flash my badge and wait as they make sure that it gets me into that specific area. I'm a lawyer. I love rules, too. BUT COME ON.
- The lack of alcohol at the tourney makes me long for Tracey. I would be lying if I said I didn't think about the old water bottle trick. Not that I'd really be drinking. Last time I drank at a tournament I broke my $500 camera and was hungover for days. But, you know, I like options.
- After Dani lost it was off to roam the grounds. I had a nice chat with Rachel again, who is volunteering at the tournament every night. The poor girl had to do scorekeeping for the Ana/Dinara session, which was the coldest night of the tournament so far. Shivering like a mofo does not help you keep track of forehands and backhands. But her keen eye caught Kimiko as she was walking by us and she got a nice pic. Kimiko's a doll and her smile lit up an already beautiful day in Stanford.
- From there it was practice watching time. Masha, Jay Z, and Mels were all warming up. While Maria's practices can be pretty funny early in a tournament, once she gets down to business it's all...well...business. Bored, I left to watch the second set of MaKiri/Lucic. That was a bit of trip. I'm always taken aback by MaKiri's grunt. It's so loud. As for Lucic, check her out if she's at a tournament. She's quite the emotional character on the court and not in a bad way (thought she lost). More in an entertaining way.
- Watched me some Sam practice. She's just such...a jock. Everything about her. The way she hops and skips between drills, the business-like nature of her sessions, the bouts of frustration. It's fun to watch. Towards the end of the practice David's calf started cramping. I couldn't make out the beginning of the conversation but as Sam started quietly making her way back to the baseline she turned and yelled "I think you're deficient!" Which...in any context, is funny. Anywho, she was pretty playful during her practice session, pretending to thwap Simmone with a ball at one point. Maybe having her pops around helps.
- Then it was on to the match of the day: Masha vs. Jay-Z. The ladies put on a great show of clutch hitting and intensity. By the middle of the match you really felt like the crowd didn't know who they wanted to win.
- Back to the warm confines media center for Masha's presser. I wasn't planning to stick around for the outcome of the Mels/CanWoz match, especially when it looked like CanWoz would run away with the second set. And then, at 5-1, Mels BELIEVED. And those of us left in the media center started paying attention. And she started crawling back. When she forced a third I finally had to go out to Center. After watching 3 games I came back inside. It was not scintillating tennis. But the crowd, or what was left it, was clearly helping Believe believe. She eventually closed it out in three and stayed on court past midnight to sign every autograph. Good kid. But I don't enjoy watching her strike a ball.
Well look at that. Kimiko just took the first set 63. I guess I should check this out. I don't know. I really want to see a Masha/Lena quarterfinal.
Talk back soon,