I have a new mission in life. I will not stop until I find a dress that looks good on Nadia Petrova. So far, I can rule out ruffles, poofy sleeves, balloon dresses and the color mauve.
Perhaps the color yellow. After all, she had Melanie Oudin in the corner and she simply wimped out. At the point where Petrova stopped playing aggressive tennis and began to let herself get pushed around by a kid, at that point in the match at 4-2, it was actually harder for her to lose that match than to win it.
OK, maybe Oudin had something to do with it. Besides Petrova, she's knocked out Elena Dementieva and Maria Sharapova, who probably was the main source of her own undoing. But how does Oudin do it? I'm asking. I don't know. It's like a movie script with this Oudin girl -- and it would finally be a tennis movie I would watch, by the way. I am, however, heartened by another successful vertically challenged woman such as myself. So far, no conspiracies for Oudin, so I can root for her guilt-free, though (unlike Justine Henin).
Yellow, yellow, yellow. Perhaps it should be a significant part of the Russian flag. There was Vera Zvonareva last night having a nervous breakdown and literally beating the hell out of herself during her match with Flavia Pennetta. (So, at what point does a player say to themselves: "You know, I'm wearing more bandages than clothing. Should I sit this one out? I mean, really.) I thought Zvonareva was past the meltdown stage. Clearly she is not.
Of course, Svetlana Kuznetsova also did a nice job at choking a match against Caroline Wozniacki. I don't have anything against Wozniacki, but really? Her? Wozniacki is not exactly a big hitter, but she's got a heckuva pair. Big props to her. Back to Sveta, though. Here's another classic case of having to work harder to lose than to win. With a game and athleticism like Kuznetsova's, she should have been right in the mix at every Slam for about four years now. But no. She only comes through when she's facing other nervous Russians in Slams.
Like our world No. 1 Dinara Safina. She is like the queen of freaking out on court. I almost feel like Safina wakes up in the morning freaking out. Not necessarily about tennis, either. Just freaking out in general. Anyway, it's like she showed up to the Open thinking waay too hard about what everyone thinks about her being No. 1. Who cares? And who cares about getting your match moved from the main court? (Yes, James Blake and Tommy Robredo are no Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, but neither is Safina v. Whoever-the-hell-she-let-beat-her. Sorry, girl. Fact is, just about any men's match will be higher quality than just about any women's match. It pains me to say that, but it's true.)
But, thanks to Oudin and Kim Clijsters, this women's tournament has got to be one of the best in recent memory. I just have a really bad feeling that Serena Williams is going to end up steamrolling somebody in 42 minutes in the final. Maybe it'll be Clijsters doing the steamrolling. Who knows? If it were Clijsters, I almost wouldn't mind it. Almost.