Match of the tournament. James Blake vs. Tommy Haas. Un-freaking-believable. It is this match that made me decide that next year, come hell or high water, I will be at the US Open, at least for the holiday weekend. I don't care if I have to go alone. I will be there!
Anyway, back to the match.
Two shot makers, who, thanks to some mental fragility on both parts, saw massive momentum shifts. But Tommy was the one who, after losing the first set, really woke up, found some energy, and just raised his game to an unbelievable level. It gives you a glimpse of what might have been if Tommy hadn't of been so plagued with injuries throughout his career. He was just playing on a whole different level for the fourth set during which he handed Blake a bagel (just in case he was getting hungry!).
The fifth set was classic. Serving at 4-5 Haas saved TWO match points. That means Blake lost TWO match points. Ugh!!! Once in the tiebreak, just looking at James' face...I felt like he was in trouble. The ending was anti-climatic, with the last two points both being challenged. Haas wrapped it up with an ace that just clipped the line. His smile was as wide as James' disappointment. You could tell during his on court interview with Mary Joe that he really wanted to tell her to leave him alone...but he is way too nice for that. Oh, my heart ached for him. It sucks that someone had to lose this match, but Haas was the better player today.
On the women's side, things got back to normal a bit, with many of the 'upset' teenagers bowing out. The notable exception was Agnes Szavay, who took out Kimmie Killer Julia Vakulenko (Mary Joe confirmed for me today that Vakulenko was indeed the last player to beat Kimmie, speculating that the lose finally sealed the deal on the early retirement). Szavay also wins best dressed for the tourny:
Classy, yet unique, yet totally appropriate. Last week it had a ring in the middle of the twist, but I think I like it better without the hardware.
Shahar Peer is taking full advantage of being in the 'weaker' half of the draw...first by taking care of Vaidisova, and today dispatching A-Rad, who did everyone the courtesy of beating Shriekapova. A-Rad's Adidas dress confirmed that she does not have a clothing sponsor, since she was in Nike yesterday. Hopefully she's gotten someone's attention, and that will be taken care of after her run through this tournament.
Chakvetadze easily took care of the last Austrian standing, Tamira Paszek, and Sveta dispatched Victoria Azarenka, who really did seem overwhelmed during this match. Who will be the one in the final? Sveta? Anna? Aggie? Peer? I would say Chakie right now, if pressed, but I think they all have a chance.
The women's doubles draw is an absolute mess now, as Raymond and Stosur LOST today...to Mirza/Mattek. Yes...Mattek. Of the horrible outfits. Maybe all the lame distracted Raymond and Stosur...but man, this was their's for the taking!!!! Umm, go Sugiyama? Who's left at this point? I have to go check...all the serious contenders are gone.
Roddick got an easy pass to his quarterfinal when Tomas Berdych retired in the second set. It was reported that Andy then went out and practiced for another hour, since he didn't really get a lot of play in today. It remains to be seen if that will help him (keep him fresher) or hurt (lack of competitive match play). Everyone is assuming that Fed will come through, and I think he is just going to spank Andy one more time. Andy hasn't really had any wins over any top players in a loooooong time, and knocking off Fed is going to be too much to ask.
Assuming Fed wins. Unbelievably, he lost the first set to Feliciano Lopez, who must have put on his super strength hair gel tonight for this match. Right now he is playing out of his mind...let's see if he can keep it up, because we all know that Rog is not going to panic or choke.
Davydenko also advanced today, taking out the Korean Lee. He will face Haas, and I hope Haas mops up the court with him! Gooo Tommmy!
Tomorrow night...Serena vs. Justine, round 3. The other women's matches aren't being played tomorrow...odd scheduling decision, but whatever. I may have to get some special beverages for this match.
As for my game, the forehand was reallyl grooving nicely tonight in clinic. My pro decided he was going to try to kill me and the other girl tonight...and I'm exhausted. Just beat! This is usually my 'easier' clinic, but not tonight. But hey, a good workout never hurt, and now I will be ready to get a good night's sleep for the first day of school tomorrow. But I can't decide what to wear!!! :)