French Open Week One: Drama Queens Galore

Well, well, well, women’s tennis has come out of the stupor it’s been in for quite some time just in time to inject a whole lot of drama into the French Open. Venus never looked comfortable and crashed out to Agnes Szavay. Maria Sharapova survived a couple of nailbiters but is still in it, proving me wrong in the process (I’d picked Petrova to take her out; D’oh!). Safina and Ivanovic are both looking strong, and I still think one of those two will wil the title.

Despite the number of hard-fought, close matches, the REAL drama came from the catfights. First, the whole grunting debate (natural part of the game or a tactic of distraction?) came to a head once again, thanks to plucky, noisy 16 year-old Michelle Larcher de Brito. I must say, I grunt myself, but young Michelle is something else, on a whole different level than Seles or Sharapova. She may call it being “aggresive,” but it sounds more homicidal than anything else (click on below for an auditory sample, if you dare). The Frenchwoman Rezai took her out, but not before the two both started snipping at each other and the chair umpire after Rezai started complaining about Brito’s grunting. Meow, meow, ladies, play nice.

The best catfight of them all came earlier today, and perhaps not surprisingly, it involved the grande dame of drama herself, Serena Williams. But to her defense, Serena was absolutely in the right in this situation. Here’s what happened: Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez hit a drop shot. Serena rushed to the net and crushed a backhand at Maria. The ball hit Maria’s forearm THEN her racket and went over to Serena’s side of the court. The umpire awarded the point to Maria, to Serena’s understandable dismay. The umpire didn’t even bother asking Maria if the ball hit her, which instant replays show it clearly did.

Here’s the video:

Serena was absolutely livid (I would have been, too), but she came back to win it in three (Hurray for justice!) After the match, she called Maria a cheater, while Maria dismissed the whole situation, saying it was “stupid.” Hmm. No, Maria, what IS stupid is trying to pretend that you didn’t feel a nearly 100 mile-per-hour rocket crashing into your arm. For that, here is a song dedicated just for you and your (lack of) honor:

Shame On You – Indigo Girls

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