Sunday, July 03, 2005

Best Match Ever

No, not another tennis article you say. Sorry folks, but I can't resist. Last night, I saw the best Women's Match ever. And since I generally prefer watching ladies on court, it could just be the best match I ever saw.

Straight up: I had accepted the fact that Lindsay was going to lose to Venus in straight sets. Well, I was wrong - and unfortunately, only partially wrong. Venus smoked defending champion Maria in the semifinal, in a high quality match, and she might as well do the same to Lindsay in the championship match.

The stats were very close, 26 meetings, 14-12 in favor of Davenport. She also won the last three meetings, while Venus won the last three meetings on grass. It was one of the few remaining rivalries that were split down the middle.

No more retelling of the classic story, but its salient points that I just loved.

1. There were a lot of long rallies. Not just the regular passing balls from baseline to baseline, but ones that found all the corners of the court. Not just 8-shot rallies, but returning balls that had 12 or more strokes, including the 25-stroke cliffhanger in the third set.

2. Lindsay Davenport wasn't only serving and hitting well, she was also moving well. Last year, she didn't even want to run down the balls that were near. You can tell that she wanted to win this Grand Slam bad. Apart from that she stamped her usual (quiet) authority on court as the tour's best player.

3. Venus is back. Don't we just love comebacks? With the exception of Navratilova, of course.

4. To repeat what I had posted elsewhere, the quality of a match is not determined by how tight the scoreline is, nor by its duration, but also by the passion exhaled by its competitors. This match was off the charts on all counts.

5. Hey, this match may just convince Lindsay to put retirement on hold. She hasn't played this brilliant since she won her last Slam.

The only match that comes close to this one was the Jennifer-Martina Aussie Open Final in 2002. By 'close', I mean 'not even'.

Venus and Lindsay Lindsay with the runner trophy

2 talkbacks:

Joey Mangaser said...

grabe! the best ladies' match i've seen too! i agree on all of your points. but still, i wanted davenport to emerge as the champion. :)

monsterboy said...

Wala e. Sayang talaga. Anyway, I thin Lindsay acknowledged the fact that Venus outplayed her :p