Well, at least Blah is out. Phew.
Nalby and Jo took care of business today. Nalby beat Kolya, 61 57 64, and Jo took care of Blah, 64 63.
With Jo's win over Blah, Crazy Train has now clinched the #7 spot to Shanghai. As for the last remaining spot? That will be decided tomorrow, as the winner will take it. But given all the chatter regarding players possibly pulling out of Shanghai, the situation among the alternates is also pretty relevant:
So here are your Sunday Scenarios:
There were a lot of people doubting whether Ana could pull off the win against an in-form Bepa. Ana struggled mightily yesterday against Agi, while Bepa bageled and breadsticked Mono. A poll over on Tennis Forums showed the vast majority of folks believing Vera would win, probably in 2 sets. And given AI's form over the past few months, you couldn't blame them.
But if there is one weird quirk about Ana, it's that she gets up to play top players. Sure, she may lose to qualifiers and lower ranked players, but if you're in the top 10, a switch gets flicked and she dials in. It's like clockwork. She destroyed Bepa 62 61.
Ana was just solid today. She played just as aggressively as she needed to without taking stupid chances. The forehand was clicking, the backhand was solid, she came to the net when necessary, and her serve was clicking, notably because she was taking something off the first serve and just making sure it went it. Bet the game plan worked.
Poor Bepa. As well as Ana played, Bepa didn't make her work for it. 30+ unforced errors is embarassing in a final. That said, I do think Bepa's sub-par performance is due to Ana. Someone over at TennisWorld was saying that Ana didn't so much win this match as Bepa handed it to her. I always get annoyed when people do this, take away from one player's accomplishments by saying the other player didn't show up. In this case, Bepa's failure to execute is obviously linked to Ana's early form. The way Baby E shot out of the gate, Bepa had to realize that she had to go for more than what she was used to. It's the same mentality as when you play JJ, or Serena, or Venus. The crap you're hitting keeps coming back and with interest, so you go for too much and bang an UFE. For lot of the top players, they're already in your head before you step on the court.
But enough with the negative. Ana won!!!
As for Roger this was a solid tournament for him. He was tested early in the tourney by a few no-names, but when push came to shove (just like Ana) he stepped it up with some quality wins. Today he beat an in-form Nalby, 64 63, in a very high quality match wherein The Mighty Fed reared his head and showed his hometown why he is (to me inarguably) the GOAT. Absolutely beautful tennis.
The Muzzah train just keeps on going, as he successfully defended his St. Pete's title and wins back to back titles. Can he three peat in Paris? That would be impressive and to be honest, I wouldn't rule it out.
And Lena had a pretty epic struggle against Ski Boots, finally winning the third set 76(6). I'm bummed Ski Boots couldn't pull it out, but this type of match is just what Lena needed to tune up for the YECs. But did she know she would be winning a trophy that looked like a vagina? Probably best if they didn't tell her that.