It's not clay. It's magic dust.
And omigosh that kit looks like a hospital gown.
Sam came back from a set down to beat a string-breaking Bepa 26 63 76(3), to score her biggest win of the year, first win over a top 10 player of the year, and first semifinal of the year. It also just happened to be the best match she played all year.
What is it about the combination of clay and Bepa that brings out the best in Sam? I don't know, but let's just say I won't be freaking out if they land in the same part of the draw in Paris. Is Sam back? HAIL NAW. It was one fucking match. But it was one fucking match that saw her come back from being a set down and win in a third set tiebreak. She's been dropping the close ones left and right this year. This was a huge step forward. Methinks DT gave her a nice pat on the back when she got back to the locker room.
As for Bepa, gurl, I don't know how much Prince and Gamma are paying you, but you've been busting strings for the past year. Today you went through 9 freshly strung racquet and had to play with a replacement racquet while you were waiting for your racquets to get restrung. Figure this out quickly, because it's been happening for a while now.
Sam will take on Julia Goolia in Saturday's semis (no play on Friday b/c it's...Good Friday). Julia turned in a remarkable performance against Sabine. Sabine wasn't playing poorly, but what ball striking for Julia! Hands down the best match I've ever seen from her.
So it'll be another ball-crunching match on Saturday. I have to think that if Sam can get the ball kick on her serve and forehand, she should be able to negate Goolia's power. But then again, isn't that always the book on Sam? The gameplan isn't a mystery. Her ability to execute is.
(Pics: AP, Getty)