Welcome to the Australian Open quarterfinals, Petko. She busted a completely-off-her-game Masha 62 63 to ensure that a German would be the women's AO quarters for the first time since Steffi in 1999. A fantastic result for her but let's be real: Masha was a complete no-show. Girl wasn't just missing by centimeters. She was missing by yards. It was ridiculous.
Q. Did you feel comfortable out there tonight?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Did it look like it?
Not really. In a cute little exchange though, the post-match pressers were backed up so as Sveta was finishing her presser, which ran a bit long due to a rambling answer about her millions of prize winnings, Masha poked her head in and with a wide smile, caught Sveta's eye and said "Sveta, you're done!" Sveta smiled, walked towards the door and kept on rambling. "They keep asking me what I do with my millions." "She gives it to me!" They shared a warm and tired hello, patted each other on the back and carried on. A nice moment between two tired and disappointed champions.
Masha admitted that it was "a bad day at the office", but when asked about whether it was disappointing to no longer be at the top of the game, she reassured everyone that this, tennis, is what she loves.
I have achieved, like you said, done many things in my career. I've won many matches and been No. 1 in the world, and also had an opportunity to say that I've had enough.
You know, I could do many other things in my life. I have enough money; I have a great family around me. But when I was away from the sport, everything I wanted to do was to wake up in the morning and not put my ballerinas on, but to put on my Nikes and go out there and run and play.
When it was taken away from me, I realized how much I loved it. When you go through it every single day, you almost forget a little bit. You take a step back and, you know, I miss this. I really wanted it.
I believe her. But I'm not sure she ever thought it would be this hard.
Petko's got the absolutely en fuego Nails next. Nails derailed the Vika train in rather perfunctory fashion, 63 63. So once again, Vika's a dark horse choice for hard court Slam, and once again she crashes out earlier than expected. She's still never been past a quarterfinal at a Slam. It's a really curious run of Slam results for her. She just did not have any answers for Nails' flat hitting.
If you want some good tennis analysis, Nails is your girl:
Q. Could you tell us what you thought of the match and why you won.
NA LI: Because I'm better, so I won the match.
Okee dokey then, you awesome little truth-teller.
(Pics: AP, Getty)