Tennis Prose




Nov/21

11

Guadalajara Observations

The WTA has transferred it’s showcase year end championships from Asia to Guadalajara, Mexico and play commenced yesterday.

Very good, near full house stadium to see Muguruza vs Pliskova which turned out to be a thrilling, baseline slugfest in favor of the Czech powerhouse 46 63 76. Sasha Bajin is in the house coaching Karolina, as is Conchita Martinez guiding Garbine.

Both combatants wore all black outfits and I wondered if the WTA purposefully requested all players at the tournament to wear all black, a sort of reverse spin off of the all white Wimbledon tradition.

It’s surprising no other tournament has dared to create that tradition at a new tournament, like Madrid tried the blue clay that one year which was an interesting idea but unfortunately was not well received by fans, media or players. Madrid also tried the models as ballgirls innovation which also seems to have vanished.

So good so far the WTA Guadalajara experiment. The stadium is full of fans though they may not be the most verbally engaged even though you can’t seem to find any wearing masks. Nice to see the Mexican public aren’t afraid of the you-know-what. Credit to the Mexican people who are going on living their lives with no fear of any ghosts or goblins, invisible threats with a 99 percent recover rate, or communist hoaxes. Life and tennis must go on.

The WTA in Guadalajara is a new beginning and I’m looking forward to see who is the last woman standing at the end in singles and also doubles where So Wei Hsieh and Elise Mertens will try to cap off their fine year with another big title (Wimbledon and Indian Wells) but Krejcikova and Siniakova will surely have a say in the matter as will the Japanese duo of Shibahara and Ayoama. Stosur and Zhang lost yesterday 26 26 in what may be the grand finale of Slammin Sammy’s last tournament.

The Guadalajara stadium court is using black and dark gray colors which creates a gloomy atmosphere but at least it did match the outfits of Muguruza and Pliskova. Don’t you miss those bright green courts like at the old Key Biscayne Crandon Park? What’s wrong with green?

5 comments

  • catherine · November 11, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    I thought the clothes at the opening were dreadful, the women all looked like freaks.

    Muguruza is finished as a player who wins things. She’s a perpetual runner-up who doesn’t care because she’s made enough money off the court to last her a lifetime in luxury.

    Next year the event returns to Shenzen.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 11, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    Catherine, I thought Muguruza played well this year, she was especially strong in January even having the two match points on Osaka at AO which she of course blew and then Osaka won and proceeded to win the title. Muguruza was in fine form first quarter but the big results just didn’t come. She showed a lot of fight and intensity, really expected big results from her this year, strangely they didn’t come. Her attitude is good though, she is close to a big win. Of course that doesn’t mean she will ever get there again. Clearly Muguruza has the hunger, she is not one of those players just out there going through the motions.

  • Hartt · November 12, 2021 at 11:12 am

    There are several excellent doubles teams. I was happy that Canadian Sharon Fichman made it. She had retired after severe injuries but later returned to play doubles. But it is even nicer that her partner, Mexican Giuliana Olmos, was able to play in front of home fans. It was no surprise that they lost to the top team of Krejcikova and Siniakova, but just making the Finals was a big step.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 12, 2021 at 1:02 pm

    Hartt, Missing the team of Timea Babos and Kiki Mladinovic, guess they had a disappointing year together after so many very good years and quality results.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 18, 2021 at 11:17 am

    Muguruza ended the year the way she started it – in top form. Muguruza should have won the Australian Open with those two match points on Osaka the eventual winner. Then the big results didn’t come until now in Guadalajara where she beat Kontaveit in the final for the second time in a week. Muguruza is now 3 in the world and looks like a potential no. 1 in ’22. The baseline bash final was not as good as the doubles final where Siniakova and Krejcikova beat Hsieh Mertens for the second time this week 63 64 (63 61 in RR). Fun match but Hsieh’s serve and Merten’s inconsistency doomed their chances though somehow they managed to almost steal the second set with a set point which failed. The Czech duo were just too tough and they still keep on winning together as they did in juniors with three junior slams and three more as pro plus the no. 1 ranking. BJK, Evert, Martina all in the house. Curiously, BJK wore a mask during the doubles final but not for singles or the award ceremony. 90% of the Mexican fans did not wear masks.

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