Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Western and Southern Open, Day 3

[Composed 8/21/2021]

As much as I like to groan about tennis tournaments, even I have to admit that the Western & Southern Open is a winner. It brings together top players in the sport, but because the matches are best of three sets and the tournament lasts a week, it all moves along quickly. I can't believe we're at the semi-final matches.

The grounds and crowds are smaller than at a major and generally the atmosphere is relaxed.

We started the day watching Bardy easily beat Kerber. And then Shira ducked out to watch Steve Johnson play doubles. Ever since we watched him play at the Auckland Open, we've been a fan of this hard-working American player. He's not especially high ranked, but he's managed to make a career out of tennis, and for that I'm impressed.

I stuck around to watch Jil Teichmann take on Karolina Pliskova in the second women's semi-final match. Teichmann came into the tournament ranked 76th and has surpassed all expectations by absolutely crushing it. She beat number 2 Naomi Osaka, and today she beat the the 5th seed, Pliskova. What a treat it is, watching someone have the tournament of their life.

The men's semi-final matchups were far more predictable. The first match was between Rublev and Medvedev. Medvedev had beat Rublev all 4 times they played, so it was nice that Rublev prevailed this time. He even did it by dropping the first set 2-6.

The second match was between the other top two mens players: Zverev and Tsitsipas. After each taking a set, it looked like Tsitsipas was going to pull out the third set. At one point, Zverev briefly ran off court, apparently to upchuck in a garbage can, and then returned to take control of the set and win the match.

Tomorrow's the finals. Will Teichman continue her winning streak and beat Bardy? Or is Bardy just playing too well? Will Rublev get the win over Zvervev, proving that he can hold his own against the big boys? We're going to find out the same way everyone nearly everyone else does: on TV. Tomorrow we head home.

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