Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lindsay Davenport's return

The rain in New Haven actually worked to my advantage this week. I went to the Pilot Pen--the last stop of the US Open Series--Tuesday when the Lindsay Davenport debut was scheduled for the stadium court but during the night session. Alas no tennis was played Tuesday which resulted in a lot of driving for me but it was worth it when I returned Wednesday to find out the Davenport/Raymond versus Black/Huber match was to be played that afternoon.

Unfortunately the organizers put it on the grandstand which is significantly smaller. The place was packed but I thought the crowd was a little subdued considering how many people I heard talking about the match and making sure they got seats. Maybe it's a Connecticut thing.

It was a good match--besides the no-ad scoring which was quite disconcerting to watch. I don't like the third set 10 point super tiebreaker but I have accepted it. The no-ad thing is ridiculous.

I did think Davenport and Raymond had a really good shot but it was obvious at times that they just didn't have the experience together to beat Black and Huber. But to us recreational players it was nice to know that even the pros will let a ball down the middle go thinking the other person has it.

It was hard to tell just where Davenport's game is at. I haven't seen her play a lot of doubles (because networks refuse to show it, grr) but I was surprised that the only high balls she takes out of the air are floaters she can take full swings at. I thought she could have have ended more points by taking a closer step in and angling it rather than just overpowering it. Black and Huber had the time and of course the experience to read some of those balls and get them back in play.

There was no equipment on the court to read serve speed but her serve looked good and she doesn't seem to have lost a lot of pace and power on her ground strokes.

More later on the other matches I saw in New Haven.

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