For the first time in her 17 year professional tennis career, Serena Williams has lost her opening match at one of the Grand Slam tournaments. Going into this afternoon’s match the younger of the Williams’ sisters had been a perfect 46-0 in her first round matches at tennis’s four major tournaments (the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open) but today she proved human as the 111th ranked French home-grown talent Virginie Razzano pulled off the remarkable upset 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3 in Paris.
Normally, I’m not all that much a tennis fan. I respect the game even though I can’t play a lick of it, and I can appreciate how incredible what some of these players do to manipulate the ball and put it exactly where they want to. I’m not sure if it’s just because I don’t devote the time to tennis that I do to other sports, or that I don’t know much about the personalities of the players, but I don’t really get into it over the course of there…except for the Grand Slam events. There is something special about these four major tournaments that draw me in. To be honest, even then I normally don’t even watch until they get to the quarterfinal stages, but today the following tweet from one of the Dan Patrick Show “Danettes” made me turn in early and I am very glad I did.
Serena Williams on trouble. Channel 702 on DirecTV.—
Paulie Pabst (@PaulPabst) May 29, 2012
I tuned in just in time to see the majority of the third set in this match, including a theatrical 23-minute marathon final game. This match took 3 hours and 3 minutes in total, and the final game included 30 points (more than enough for an entire set), five wasted break points from Williams and seven missed match point opportunities for Razzano. To say that the final set was dramatic would be an understatement. And I should mention that the set also included two points being award Serena Williams for a silly rule called “hinderance” in which Virginie Razzano was deemed to yell too loud during her swing.
Today’s match was about the excellence of Razzano, and what makes it even more impressive is that she was visibly battling a right leg injury and was trying to get what looked to be her right quadriceps muscles loose during the entire match. At times in the third set it looked like she might not be able to continue, but with her being so close to victory she was able to push through the pain and seize the moment. After the match Razzano was quoted as saying “When you play a great champion like Serena Williams you cannot focus on your legs, you can only focus on your balls,” a sign of great respect for everything that Serena has accomplished in the sport.
This 2012 edition of the French Open is the 111th running of this major tournament at Stade Roland Garrros (a 21 acre, 20 court complex known for its clay courts…and a facility that I have been blessed to be able to see in person) so it only seems right that today in the first round of the women’s singles tournament the 111th globally ranked player (who just happens to also be French) took out an American who was one of the favorites to win this tournament, getting 5-1 odds at many bookmakers. I’m sure that this tournament will have plenty more memorable moments and a whole lot more drama as it continues through the 10th of June, and I will try to hit on some of the key moments here at Weyneth World. I know tennis is not the most popular topic, but I’ll try to keep this as interesting as possible and I hope all my loyal readers can enjoy this tournament as much as I will.