Right around noon today the Tennis Gods finally got the plumbing over Melbourne fixed and that famous Aussie sun broke through, transforming Melbourne Park from the dreary and grey slab of the last few days into the vibrantly blue tennis heaven that I had previously only seen on television. Let me tell you, this place sparkles when it isn't being cried on. It's enough to put the pep into any tennis fan's step.
So with the courts dried and players finally able to take the court, I grabbed my camera and did the requisite rounds.
First stop, Sabine! She won her first round qualifying match over Michaela Kraijcek 76 63, hitting 8 aces and 24 winners on the way. She can still clock that serve and forehand, though her movement is still (and may always be) an issue.
But it was a nice win for her and she was really pleased with herself after the match, throwing a jolly and heartfelt thank you to a few fans and congratulated her. I really like this kid. Super sweet.
Of course, while I was watching Sabine, I couldn't have but be distracted by a very familiar figure off in the distance...
Nice to see Aga back on court again after that stress fracture in her foot. She was practicing with Gisela.
It was just a light hit but hopefully Gisela (who does not wear a sports bra and I cannot understand why) was able to pick up some tips for her match against Caro. Probably not, but we can hope.
While Aga was practicing I couldn't help but giggle as a familiar figure sidled up beside me waiting to take the court. That's right, Mlad the Impaler was set to take the court next. She put her bag down and walked away for a few seconds, but unfortunately I was distracted by Bojangles and I missed my window of opportunity to fuck up her bag. Or at least give it a light kick or something.
When Mlad walked onto the court Aga asked her if she had the court next. Mlad said yes and Aga told her that she and Gisela would just play across if it was ok (hitting to each other cross court). Mlad hesitated, Aga just started serving, and Mlad finally said it was fine, though she didn't look happy about it. All this is to say, Aga RULEZ. You know who also rules? Heather Watson. She took out Mlad in the first round of qualifying in straight sets. Get it, Hev.
No sleep for the weary, huh Bojo? One day after losing in the Sydney semis, Bojo was back out on court hitting with Mlad. I would see her 3 hours later hitting with someone else on another practice court. Oh to have the energy of 19 year old legs.
Now, on to the boys...