China Open 2011

The China Open this year didn’t pull as many top names as it would have liked… with Novak Djokovic and Venus Williams dropping out at the last minute… but they sure did put on a great show!

At the National Tennis Complex, with brand new center court stadium, spectators had the option of watching matches on 10 courts… 7 of which only requiring a ground pass and perfect timing to get a seat. The great part about the “open” courts was that, if you did time it right you could be watching men’s final runner-up Marin Cilic take on fellow Croatian (and doubles partner) Ivan Ljubicic… or the American brothers, Bob and Mike Bryan, smash through to the doubles quarter-finals. I had passes to all center court games and took full advantage during this Golden Week in China. Minus watching Andy RODDICK and LI Na getting edged out in the first round… the games were exciting and entertaining. I did have a great time following some of my faves, like Jo-Wilfred TSONGA (France) and Paul CAPDEVILLE (Chile).

The build up was well worth it… and the finals did not disappoint.

Top honors went to Tomas BERDYCH, of the Czech Republic, and Agnieszka RADWANSKA, of Poland… and they both earned it. Blood, sweat, and tears….. and the occasional tennis battle cry! =)

I must say though, of all the games I had the pleasure of watching… it was the women’s final match that was hands down THE best! Those ladies really know how to put on a show… it was three sets of nail-biting, neck breaking, glory. Going into the match Radwanska was the favorite to win, but Germany’s Andrea PETKOVIC was not going out without a fight. After what appeared to be a game-ending knee injury as Petkovic had just rallied back to win 3 straight games in the first set… she called in the professionals to work a miracle. AND SHE DID! I don’t know what kind of special sauce/super-human sports medicine that little tennis fairy put on Petkovic’s knee, but it brought her back to life. She lost the first set 7-5, but took Radwanska to school winning the second set 6-0. I repeat… the lady with the knee injury won the second set 6-0. Athleticism at it’s finest. PAIN IS TEMPORARY!!! The two went game for game in the third set until Radwanska broke Petkovic’s service to gain a 5-3 lead and eventually close out the match by winning the next game. I would pay to watch those two do it all over again.

What at way to end a great tournament and a super long vacation!!!

Signing off… ETT =)

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