March 21, 2009

Who'da Thunk It?!

This weekend was sure to be full of upsets -- if you weren't already wincing from Wake Forest's loss to Cleveland or cheering Maryland's defeat of Cal, there were plenty of surprises on the tennis courts in Indian Wells to keep your heart pounding.

On the women's side, top seeds were eliminated early which paved the way for some others that had been struggling so far this year. Defending champion Ana Ivanovic was able to make it to her second straight final here after Jelena Jankovic and Elena Dementieva were eliminated from her half of the draw, and Vera Zvonareva took out her doubles partner and co-titlist Victoria Azarenka in straight sets for the chance at her second tournament win this year.

The men's draw seemed to go much more smoothly -- at least until this weekend. All four top seeds made it to the quarterfinals with little drama. But then a surging Andy Roddick trampled over defending champion Novak Djokovic in straight sets, proving that his upset of the world #3 in Melbourne, acheived when Nole withdrew in the fourth set, was more than just a technical win.

And then there was today's first semifinal, where Andy Murray took on Roger Federer. This was Roger's first tournament since the Australian Open, while Murray has already won two titles this year -- even before today's matchup it seemed clear that Federer was a little rusty. But even still, I didn't expect this semi to be quite as one-sided as it was.

Murray took the first set, winning more than eighty percent of his first serves, and though Roger evened the match in the second, he seemed to fall apart in set three. He won less than one out of every two second serves, was broken five times, and served half the number of aces as Murray. It didn't take two hours for Andy to advance to the final, and record his fourth consecutive win over the former #1 player in the world.

The other semifinal is going on right now -- Roddick and Rafael Nadal are on serve in the first set. Sure the advantage is with the Spaniard, but Andy has beaten Rafa twice in their careers, most recently in Dubai last year. It's more than conceivable that he pulls off another victory to set up his second championship match with Murray this year, even if Nadal is still playing at the top of his game.

But whoever wins in Indian Wells this weekend, it could certainly be a coup -- and provide the boost someone needs to power through the spring and on to France.

Good luck to everyone!

1 comment:

Kavitha said...

Okay, so Roddick lost to Nadal in the semis, taking the second set to a tiebreak, but eventually folding. And he had very little time to collect his thoughts or catch his breath, as he immediately got back on the court to go after the doubles title with partner Mardy Fish.

They're on serve as I write this, and I'm hoping his earlier match didn't take too much out of him. I'm obviously hoping he comes back with at least one trophy this weekend.

As for the singles final, go Nadal!