It's time for some tennis updates, although there are many more breath-taking gowns and ensembles gliding down the red-carpet at Cannes, I'm starting to miss yabbing about tennis.
So this week the WTA tour arrives at Warsaw, Poland, for a $600,000 USD medium size tournament before the official start of Roland Garros this coming Sunday. At first the draw was alright, with Marion Bartoli, Elena Dementieva, and Caroline Wozniaki, but then by now all of them have lost, and what's left are two of my favorite Chinese players, Li Na and Zheng Jie.
I saw Li's match last night and she was just off the chart, her opponent Sara Errani from Italy looked hopelesss as Li pound winner after winner past her. In tennis a lot of times it's about match-ups, Errani's balls just sits up nicely at Li Na's strike zone, if it was any other player, the outcome would've been very different. But I like Li Na's steadiness in this tournament, she's known for hitting gorgeous winners but also being super erratic, sometimes hitting 50+ unforce errors in a match. But I feel like at this tournament, she realizes that she's a real threat and she needs to play like someone who have the burden of a favorite and overcome that burden to excel. At this stage of her career, careless loses to lesser opponent is less and less acceptable and she's handling "controlled aggression" at a far higher level.
Zheng Jie upset the top seed Caroline Wozniaki 6-3 and then Wozniaki retired due to an injured right ankle, an injury she suffered almost TWO MONTHS ago at Charleston, South Carolina! But for some reason she decided to only take a couple days off and then going straight back to playing and I think because of that her ankle has never fully healed which means she's not moving well, and on clay movement is more than half of the whole picture, Caroline needs to learn from this and treat injuries with more seriousness, just because you're 19 doesn't mean injuries will just disappear in 48 hours.
I hope Zheng Jie and Li Na will advance to the final, it's been a while since they've squared off in a final, and this one will have a deja vu moment a la Estoril 2005, when the two of them first started to make a name for themselves as singles players.
Oh, and side note, the European commentators were trying to be respectful and obviously done some research in pronouncing Chinese correctly, because they were trying really hard to pronounce JIE, JI -Ehhhhhh, which is right, but when they do it, it sounds SO funny, the whole hour they just kept repeating Ji-Ehhhh Ji-EHhhhh Ji-Ehhhhh, I almost wish they just go back to saying it Jhi