I truly don't understand this doubles pairing, but if it means that we get one more day from Gools so be it. That is how shameless I am.
After hitting every ball that came to her racquet either into the net or out of bounds (NOT. OVER. IT), Gools finished up her day by teaming up with BZS to take out Ula and Olga Savchuk, 60 62. So basically, if you had a night session ticket last night, I hope you were able to book additional plans for your Tuesday evening. Cuz it was a short one.
Speaking of short ones, LOOK! BZS has smiles! It's the power of the Gools.
They'll take on StoSicki on Wednesday. Meep!
(Pics: Forty Deuce)
Gools is way intense, yo. She almost reminds me of Ana in her constant intense cheering and fistpumping at her box. Even when she plays doubles with Petko, she's pretty intense and serious. Against Nads and Rodio, she was all business. Cracking her racquet out of frustration, getting pissed, doing her intense German Goolia thing. I mean, it's hot. Let's not be dumb.
And then, somehow, Petko relaxed her. I think they kind of just realized it wasn't their day and were like "Whatever. Let's make out!" Or at least the tennis equivalent of that.
They were way cute. Petko was slapping her ass and, at only point on a changeover, the two were engaged in a convo when Gools told Petko to hold still and picked an eyelash off her cheek. She showed it to Petko and Petko blew on it for good luck. It was way gay. And soooooooooo awesome.
The Olympics will be awesome.
(Pics: Forty Deuce)
Not so much ecstasy as pure unadulterated joy. Same same, but different.
It's easy to forget that Julia Goerges shouldn't even be here. She had dropped the first set to Vika in their second round match before Vika immediately retired with a shoulder injury, sending Jules into the quarterfinals. So once again, for like, the thirdish or so straight week, you've done me a solid, Vika. It's like you read Sun Tzu or something. I have no moves to play.
What a week and a half for Goolia and her German mates. To come out and beat Sam and Caro, on clay, on successive days, in front of your family and friends in your home tournament? That's nothing short of a glory run. Gools will make her Top 30 debut this week and she stopped Caro grabbing her 16th career title, which, get this, would tie her with ELENA DEMENTIEVA. That's a crazy effing stat.
In other words, ALL HAIL JULIA GOOLIA, aka Jaye Tyler. My talking lion salutes you and thanks you for listening and doing his bidding.
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)
During an interview with a writer for the Sony Ericsson Open website (which was never posted, unfortunately, though I have the audio) Petko said that her favorite tournament outside of the Slams was Stuttgart. She cited the fact that it's the only tournament in Germany these days (which blows) and she loves any excuse to get home.
So it must have been quite the boon for Team Germany when they all got to fly home early for Fed Cup (which was held in the same arena this past weekend) and now get to show their stuff to their countrypeople.
Petko fought off the nerves and a pesky JJ to advance, 36 61 63. Sabine took out a struggling-but-still-very-good-at-tennis Nails, 64 75. Kristina Barrois upset Mono, 64 62. And the in a shocking turn of events, the day ended with Vika taking the first set over Julia Goolia, only to *abruptly* retire seconds later without calling a trainer. The official word is that she retired with a right shoulder injury. Puzzling, no doubt.
Regardless, it's been a dazzling five days for the German Ladies of Wrestling and it's not over. Sabine and Julia will face off in one quarterfinal, Petko gets another chance at a big forehead scalp against Caro, and Barrois will try not to lose her head against Aga. All that AND Petko and Julia will face off against Sam and Sabine in doubles.
All aboard the GLOW revival. You know you missed it.
As predicted, the Goerges/Masha match was a dogfight, with Masha coming through in three. But it was a real coming out party for Julia Goerges who, prior to today, was probably more known for being the girl Masha hand-picked to wear her Nike line. Watching the match you understood why.
And she can play herself some badass tennis, too. Julia Goolia was hitting winners from everywhere around the court and through a set and a half (and then some) she was most impressive. Not only was the skill there but the fight as well. Finding herself down 0-4 in the third, she would keep pressing, fistpumping, and gritting her teeth, eventually breaking back and getting things to 3-4 and forcing Pova to hold her serve, which, let's face it, is kind of 80% of the battle with Masha.
Against most other players, Julia's grit alone might have won her the match. But no one outcompetes Maria Sharapova. Once again, she wasn't at her best but she dug deep on the big points and even ended this sucker with an ace.
The two shared themselves a nice handshake at the net (seriously, the nicest handshake I've ever seen from Masha) with Masha saying "Good match. Good fight." Quite a compliment from the fighter herself. They then retreated to the lockerroom to strip down and roll around in hot oil for a while.
Platonically, of course.
(Pic: Forty Deuce, Getty)