Mono fought off some sort of virus or food poisoning to end Ana's inspired run in Indian Wells, 64 76. It was, to use a technical tennis term, a bummer. All credit to Mono. She was clearly struggling physically but once the point started she wasn't missing off either wing and she was running down everything, putting pressure on Ana to hit not only an extra ball but a better ball. Marion has always been one of those players who seems unbeatable when she's on. She didn't have her A+ game today. But it was pretty damn good. She'll face Yanina next, a match I will very likely not be watching.
All that said, Ana clearly had her chances. The two traded breaks for much of the second set and while she'd play perfect aggressive tennis while returning, Ana seemed to take her foot off the gas pedal juuuuuuuuuust a bit on her service games to give Mono a sniff. The big serve that bailed her out against JJ just wasn't there today and she looked slow off the jump. It's almost as though she's so shocked her serves go in that she isn't ready for the ball coming back.
The epic rally on the third point of the second set tiebreak sealed the deal for Ana. It was a grueling point that ended with Ana flat on her back and completely winded. It seemed to take her lungs and legs for the next few points and she wouldn't recover until they changed ends. But it was too late.
Still, considering that she came into this tournament with minimal expectations and came out of it with three straight wins and notching her biggest win of the year over a Top 10 player, I choose to look at the positives. I just really want her to get her legs under her by the time clay comes around. She could really do some damage there if her confidence is up.
See you in Miami, Ana! Call me if you want to grab a drink to talk about how Indian Wells is a far superior tournament ;)
(Pics: Forty Deuce)