As I write this, we’re less than an hour away from a match between Serena Williams and Li Na. Ever since Maria Bartoli retired – then unretired – then decided to sit out the US Open – I’ve been looking for someone to follow. Serena would be too easy of a choice because she’s that good – I’m looking for someone to bring her down. Li Na may not be the one to do it – her record against Serena is less than stellar with 1 win and 8 losses racked up. But if anything, she’ll provide an interesting game.

Jimmy Connors was interviewed for the NY Times magazine this weekend – he commented that tennis has become a one-stroke power game. You can see it among the men – the serve and returns seem to be fired from baseline cannons. That’s probably why I would rather watch the women compete since they rely more on targeted strokes. Much like Bartoli did to eat her way thru Wimbledon. Surgery not sinew. Although Serena…my god, Serena…I don’t know how anyone can face her physically in racquet to racquet combat. Intimidating is an understatement. Or, as I’ve often said, I’d want her on my side in a street fight.

Connors gave me some insight on why the  Djokovic vs. Youzhny match was a joy to watch last night. Djokovic tried bullying him but Youzhny used top spin, slice, and drop shots to force The Djoker to use brains rather than brawn. And he did respond in kind, backing off on the power returns and applying a bit more art and physics. He was up 2 sets when Youzhny looked like he was making a comeback when he took the third set 6-3. But Djokovic put it to rest with a final 6-0 shutout to add to his totals.

I’m not a dedicated spectator. I’ve been to 3 baseballs games – it was about 35 years between games 2 and 3 – with game 3 during the last season played in old Yankee Stadium. Also caught one hockey game and one basketball game in the Garden. I did see an early US Open match but I think it was Roscoe Tanner and might have been the year of his retirement. Beyond that, I may watch a Superbowl game or the World Series – only if a New York team is playing.

But I can’t deny the excitement I’m feeling about the Open right now. And Serena…my god, Serena…

UPDATE – Serena takes it 6-0, 6-3. Next up will be Azarenka screaming and barking her way thru the Sunday final…

Li Na of China returns against Kim Clijs

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