Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sunshine Shines in Battle of Upstarts

Greetings tennis nuts,

For those of you, who like me, have been tracking the magnificent ascensions of Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka, today was the day where you could take another measurement on each stellar competitor.  

Sunshine and Vika, each with career high rankings (6 for Azarenka and 4 for Wozniacki) hot off the press this week, are the darlings of tennis at the moment.  

While Azarenka caught our attention in early April, when she won the "fifth slam" in Miami in decisive fashion against Serena, Wozniacki didn't arrive at the scene until September, when she rode the emotion from a hard fought victory against Svetlana Kuznetsova in the 4th round of the U.S. Open all the way to a final appearance.  

I've see-sawed quite a bit when it comes to deciding which one is the better of the two, and today I see-sawed some more.  

It was a tale of two Azarenka's out there as she stormed through the first set in convincing fashion only two suffer an inexplicable loss in confidence as the second set began.  

Meanwhile, Wozniacki, playing poorly and also suffering a nagging hamstring injury, never got perturbed.  Things didn't come easily for her today, but she kept doing what she always does - having fun playing tennis and letting the chips fall where they may.  

And that is where the two girls whose ascensions have been timed so similarly, seem to part ways.  Wozniacki is easy going, serene, and patient.  Azarenka is fiery, tempestuous, and anxious.   Wozniacki may look like a little girl but she plays like a woman of faith, courage, and conviction.  Azarenka, on the other hand, has yet to perfect the art of channelling her exceptional passion and competitive spirit in the most effective manner.  

The a's, b's, and c's of tennis were favoring Wozniacki today, and she was able to win a match that she was very close to losing at several junctures, because she refuses to be her own worst enemy out there.  A is for attitude, and she wouldn't have the nickname Sunshine if she had a bad attitude.  B is for belief and in this case it could also stand for backhand, a shot that Wozniacki hits unbelievably well.  C is confidence, and with each passing match the Great Dane seems to stockpile more and more of it.  

Azarenka had chances to win this match, but she couldn't come up with the finishing touches against her friend and rival today, and when it was all said and done, the 4th match between these two stars on the rise goes to Wozniacki.  

After winning the last two matches in straight sets, Azarenka ran into a much more determined Wozniacki today.  It was nighttime in Doha, but the sunshine was overwhelmingly bright.  

Judging from what we witnessed today, the future looks bright for both of them.  

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