Seriously, this tournament has been crazy. I've said this before, but the women's tennis is just a tad bit more interesting than last year, yes?
For me, tennis is fun to watch and to try to play, but sometimes, you get little tiny reminders about how it's more than than for people. Sometimes, a tennis career ventures into dream category. As in, achieving something you thought you could do, but were almost too afraid to say it, or try it. And then the moment is there, and then you do it. Sometimes, you see how it matters in moments like this:
Did you see that? That look from Danielle Collins after she shook Venus Williams' hand? It gave me goosebumps, because that's a dream come true right there. Also, though? Her backhand is *fire emoji*
Still with the on-court coaching
The first time I heard a player get decent advice during this sexist practice was yesterday, during Elina Svitolina's match against Jelena Ostapenko (whatever happened with this Alona thing from last year? Was that some type of Garth Brooks/Chris Gaines thing?). The timing wasn't awesome -- she didn't know it, but Svitolina was about to be a couple games and a tiebreak from losing in straight sets. But what he said: "You have to be willing to play the right way" as opposed to focusing solely on winning or losing is actually a great reminder. Much easier said than done, but still, great advice.
I mean, dang! I am woman enough to acknowledge that in my heart of hearts, I thought Sloane Stephens winning a Slam might have been a touch fluke-y. But I think I might have been wrong. I really liked reading this from her after her most recent beatdown of Angelique Kerber:
Stephens: “I think where the work is done is when you’re on Court 75 and you’re playing Niculescu, and she’s slicing and dicing you to Beijing, and you’re having to really fight and struggle.” #MiamiOpen pic.twitter.com/6EBWtcDn4k— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) March 27, 2018
The wind issue
Speaking of Sloane v. Kerber, some people on the Internet had some issues with the court conditions:
There aren’t that many tennis hills I’d die on but I think one of them is definitely this: there should be a wind rule.— Courtney Nguyen (@FortyDeuceTwits) March 27, 2018
Nguyen offered some decent video evidence as well. But here's my thing: playing in high winds is difficult. So is playing when it's 90 degrees. So is when you're playing in wind on clay and little sand particles get into your eyes. Also when the sun overhead is messing with your toss. Where do you draw the line? And what does it say about the winner of the match when you essentially nullify the conditions by complaining about them? Stephens also played in high winds and she was able to negotiate the conditions. Kerber wasn't. That's why she lost. There's my tennis hill, I guess.
Now everyone go watch tennis!