Ivanorazzi!!! Totally the highlight of yesterday's viewing schedule. After spending much of the morning watching Sveta and Sam cruise, I was off to watch me the doubles pairing of two of the more charming and delightful ladies on tour. And while they're actually not horrible at the game of tennis, they haven't actually won matches together. And by that I mean, no really, they actually haven't won a match together.
Whoops. I wasn't the only one stoked for this match. It took me four changeovers to finally get into the stands. The Sveta/Bepa dubs was packed later in the day as well. Take a lesson from your preppy twin, Sony Ericsson Open: People love doubles, even when girls play.
Once inside it was everything I hoped it would be.
There were lots of adorable high-fives.
Adorabler high 2.5s.
Actually, that one's more of a high 0.92.
And Ana was a dork. Seriously. She was suuuuuuuuuuuuch a dork throughout the match. During the changeover after this point, Ana went to wallet and gave Petko some cash. Want to know why? Well, this is what Petko told me afterwards:
She actually gave me $10 but I had to give her change. So [the rules are] if you serve an ace on an important point, $5. If you serve a service winner on an important point, $2, return winner, $2. And this, where she gave me $2, was she said "OK, I'm going to serve a first serve and if you cross and put the volley away I'll give you $2." And she just had $10 so she gave it to me and I said I would give her the change later. Then, after that amazing most epic point ever, she said "OK. You can keep the change." We said that probably we would be the #1 and #2 in the world if the prize money was visible on the net post. So that's our way of motivating.
So there you go. I'm bringing an abacus to their next match to keep tally. Just kidding. I always have an abacus on me. Because I'm Asian.
After losing the first set 6-4, Ivanorazzi quickly built a 4-0 lead over Angry Rodionova and Chuang. In fact, they served for the match at 5-1. Of course, it would have to be Ana serving. My viewing companion, the lovely Aisha, leaned over and whispered, "How much you want to bet it'll be 5-2?" House money, girl. I ain't dumb.
As if we needed any reminder that these two were playing under an invisible Serbian flag, 5-1 became 5-2, which evolved to 5-3, which morphed to 5-4, which metastasised to 5-5. NERVOOOOOOOS! As if the match needed any more twists and turns, Ana served at 5-5 and...HELD!!! Then on set point, Petko put away a volley and turned to Ana as if to say "See? Was that so hard?"
On to the Super Tiebreak, where Ivanorazzi have seen their hopes and dreams dashed almost every time. But they both played fantastic! Ana was flying around the net, intercepting crosses and putting away her volleys. At one point she hit a high flying backhand volley which caused me to wonder out loud, "Is it just me or was that...actually...balletic?" People laughed. As they should.
Of course Rodio wouldn't go down easily. With coach Conchita Martinez cheering her on, Rodio thwapped an overhead that Petko had to hit the deck to avoid. BISH WHAT??? It's a good thing there were steel barriers. I was ready to charge the court and throw down. But I should know better. Petko can handle herself. On the very next point she hit an overhead in the general vicinity of Rodio. Heh. That's our Petko. From there the ladies built up quite the lead and finally closed it out 10-5.
Hugs, smiles, high fives, WHATEVER!!! I WANT TO SEE THE DANCE, DAMMIT!
Um. So that was awesome. As they walked off the court a guy called out to Ana to do the dance again. "Next match," she said through a shy smile. Let's hope so!
I asked Petko what took more time, convincing Ana to do the dance or teaching it to her:
Convincing was hard work because last week in Indian Wells, I think, in the tiebreaker, I felt like she hit one or two double faults and didn't hit the returns quite as she's used to. Because I told her before the breaker, I thought it would be motivation but obviously it was some kind of scaring her. I told her "Ana we do the Petko dance if we win!" and I thought like, she's gonna go like "Yeah! Now I'm going to run even more!" but she went, like "Yeah. I'm going to serve two doubles and not put the return in." So I think she was scared back then. But now we practiced and now she's more comfortable. But she said before the match points she said she was getting so nervous because now we were winning it and she would have to do the Petko dance.
Way to hold your nerve, Ana. And well done with the booty-shaking.
It was a long but successful day at the office for Petko, who took out Jamie Hampton in singles under the blazing early afternoon sun and then had to turn around for dubs under the low, hot late-afternoon sun. She was wiped (she apparently fell asleep during her massage) but elated:
Emotion-wise, today winning doubles with Ana was really, I was more happy about that than about my singles win because I haven't won a doubles match in a year. And I'm not that bad of a doubles player, I just don't win. Today I was so happy and Ana also, because we tried a couple of times to play together and we always lost in the Champions tie-break. So probably I had good emotions today after winning the doubles. And I got her to do the Petko dance.
Yes, you did, Andrea. And *that* was your biggest triumph of the day.
(Pics: Forty Deuce)