Let's go ahead and let Sveta go ahead and kick this post off:
I kind of had a perfect match, 6 4, 5 4, serving. Didn't have any breaks. Just had few breakpoints. Serving good. Then the nerves game. Then started to do a little bit of show time, you know, it's like comedy. Women's drama going on.
The one thing you can always say about Sveta is that she's not delusional. Honest to a fault, the woman always gives good press. In this case she was, as she usually is, dead on in her analysis of the match.
Cuz fer sears, shit was crazy on Laver this afternoon.
Sveta indeed played a perfect match. Despite not even attempting to hit any booming serves, which we all know she's capable of doing, she didn't get broken once before she served for the match at 5-4. As my viewing companion watched through our facepalming fingers, calamity ensued. Sveta got nervy, Justine sensed it and stepped up her game, and from there, Sveta would fail to serve it out TWICE and eventually the two would play a second-set tiebreak.
I say "second-set tiebreak" only as a descriptor. Let's face it, if Sveta didn't win this in two after serving for it twice, there was no way she was winning it in three. The tiebreaker was tense and I finally turned to my viewing buddy and whispered, "Why does this feel like a decisive third set tiebreak?" He responded with a knowing laugh.
Because with Sveta, you just know, you know?
If we thought calamity was the word of the day when Sveta was serving for it, then it was calamity-plus in that tiebreaker. Justine started with a double-fault and from there the ladies just could not hold their mini-serves. The tiebreaker was, to be frank, absolute crap. But when Sveta had match point at 6-4 it seemed to light a fire under Juju's little-boy ass and she played some of the gutsy tennis that is just so damn annoying.
"It was like a lottery a little bit the tiebreak. It was crazy," Sveta would say afterwards. The two would battle back and forth, with a huge rally at 7-7 that had me exclaim under my breath, "THAT IS WHAT CHAMPIONS DO." Sveta would eventually close it out 10-8 in the breaker on a blistering forehand that seemed to clip the baseline. Not even she believed it was in. But it was and Justine faced her earliest Slam exit in six years.
Sveta gets an ailing Fran in the next round to take a crack at taking out Caro in the quarters. She had some hilarity in her presser:
Q. Francesca say that you move better this year and you're more quick in a way?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I didn't run some sprints with her, I don't know why she knows this.
Q. She looks your matches.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Oh, okay.
Q. You lose weight?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: The people say to me, yeah I did lose some weight. I don't know, looks like to me as well. It's a little bit easy, less trunk to carry on, so...
No, I mean I been working hard and trying to take care of my foot. Just great.
Q. And can I ask you something about you and Francesa? You're friends outside of court. She always says nice things about you and you about her.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I didn't start to talk about her yet. How did you know?
Q. In the past.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Maybe I want to do big news. (Laughter.)
Q. We're waiting for it?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, I'm quiet; I'm nice. With Francesca, we're great. We have great friendship. It's like but we both are athletes, and both know clearly when we go out to the court. We're animals and kind of fighters against each other.
This is pretty clear. It's not going to disturb our friendship. It's going to be nice match. Yeah, I mean, she's a great personality. I have lots of fun with her.
Q. Who's going to bite the other one first?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I hope I try to bite her first, but this is a fight, another one I'm looking forward to. Never know.
Q. Do you remember anything in particular of your previous matches with Francesca Schiavone?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, we play Fed Cup and I lost. We had kind of not understanding, but we had talk about it afterwards in the locker room. We didn't talk for some time. I didn't shake her hand.
So after we spoke in the locker room, so we are completely over it. I said sorry or whatever. We just talked. She misunderstands me; I misunderstand her. First me, I misunderstand and I didn't shake and she got pissed or whatever. It's women's stuff. But it's women's mentality or whatever it is.
In the end we are fine. So it's great.
Bite away, Sveta. I would love to see you add to your trophy collection.