Week = made.
Those who follow me on Twitter know how the match went, but for those who don’t, or missed it, here’s a quick recap. Both players came out firing, absolutely crushing the ball and turning on everything. Errors were generally far and few between with both trying to get position on the other. Big babe tennis to the nth. Dinara got the break at the end of the first set to take it, saving two break points earlier in the set, one with a wicked ballsy drop shot. There were only four break points in the second set, and Nads took one of hers with Dinara serving at 4-5 in the second.
The third set was pure madness. Dinara was broken early, got it back, and then was broken again. Everything seemed to be going all WTA. But the quality picked up, and with Nads serving at 4-2, Dinara got her second break back. The following game was a total bloodbath. It went to seven, eight deuces (?) and Dinara just couldn’t seem to convert a game point. At one point she smiled and said to the ball boy, pointing at one ball “this one, this one!”. Even the uber-serious line judge cracked a smile. It was pretty clear that this was the most important game of the match, and whoever took it was likely to win the match. Especially if Nads got it, because then she would serve for it.
That wasn’t to be so, however, and once Dinara won it, the crowd went absolutely bananas. She did an awesome double fist pump “come on!” and then the train got steam rolling. Dinara loosened up in the next game, got the break, and held easily for the match. The crowd went absolutely bonkers and gave her a standing ovation.
The match made my week, and is by far the greatest live match I’ve seen. I’m so glad it got stuck on the second court (sorry everyone) because being able to sit that close was amazing. The atmosphere was just fantastic (mostly made by all the people up top) and by the end the crowd was clearly behind Dinara. She acknowledged us in her presser too “The crowd was unbelievable today. They were so much behind me. I could not let it go so easy.”
It would be easy for me to say that this could be the match that turns Dinara back in the right direction. It’s her first notable win since defeating A-Rad back in January. The timing seems to be back (no silly long or net errors) and she served at a fantastic 71% en route to saving 19/23 break points, an absolutely crazy stat rarely seen in the WTA. She also has a beatable opponent up next in Franny, and says that the back is feeling good again.
I can’t wait for her match tonight. Except a bit of crowd support.