Friday, August 1, 2008

The walking wounded--one down, one prevails

I wasn't sure today whether I was watching pro tennis or a medical show, what with Jelena Jankovic's knee and Marion Bartoli's ankle. I knew Jankovic's knee would act up because she has been playing when she should be home resting. She has a bad knee and a bad back and various other ailments from time to time, but her most serious problem is with her ears: She does not listen to sound advice. It didn't help that her Rogers Cup opponent, Dominika Cibulkova, down 1-5 in the first set, suddenly found both her serve and her nerve, and in the first set, too.

From the moment she snapped to, Cibulkova played with precision and aggression, which led to her defeating Jankovic, 7-5, 6-2. This means that Jankovic will not become the number 1 player in the world, which is probably a good thing--for now. However, I would be willing to put money on Jankovic's continuing to play when she should take some time off. If she doesn't take time off, she is likely to remove herself from the contender list for the U.S. Open.

Then there was Marion Bartoli, who was already a mess of injuries before some people had even heard of Jankovic. There she was, limping across the court in her match against Ai Sugiyama, taking medical breaks and generally looking like someone on leave from the orthopedic unit. But the part of Bartoli that was working overtime was her head, and she took advantage Sugiyama's lapses of concentration, to defeat her in a rather stylish way, 6-2, 6-3.

Bartoli beat Sugiyama two weeks ago in the semifinals in Stanford, but prior to that, she had lost five times to her.

Bartoli's next opponent will be Cibulkova.

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