Assuming that Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova play without any enhancements other than the sounds they make on the court, we can safely say that Azarenka is going to be here a very long time. She plays at a level that approaches the Williams sisters', everywhere but at the net.
Also, Sharapova is not done yet.
Perhaps the ghost of Bobby Riggs is going to rise at this US Open, admitting that the women's game is so close to men that some day we might have mixed singles as well as mixed doubles.
There were some gender distinctions during this match worth noting.
The most important is that Mary Carillo seemed so much more appropriate as a TV commentator than either John McEnroe or Bill Macatee. Why were we not allowed two woman commentators? Only CBS and perhaps contracts know for sure.
Another came during perhaps the best comment during the Open when Carillo was watching Azarenka strike a ball in retaliation for a deep cross-court from Sharapova to her far backhand corner. Carillo made an allusion no man could make without any backlash. And the statement was outstanding on so many levels, it reminds one of how sharp and succinct Carillo is when announcing tennis matches on TV.
She simply said Azarenka does not take dictation well.
The plain meaning was clear. Sharapova could not dictate play to Azarenka.
But it also said something about the queenly aspect of Sharapova, shown in face and attitude, as if she is royalty. Her statement also seemed to say that Sharapova will not be able to subordinate her opponent by delegating her to some lower station in the tennis world.
This excellent match shows that she may not do so ever again.
Despite the strong effort by Sharapova to force slow pace and solid strokes after what were at least close to illegal amounts of delay, her serve disappeared during large stretches of the second and third set.
Azarenka dictated much of the play in the last two sets to win 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 largely because of the weakening serve, ending the match on the break she had been waiting for during the long deuce games that characterized so much of the set.
Mary Carillo also took what may be her first on-air position on the way tennis is treating the yelling controversy. Mary Carillo is now up in arms over the fact that Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova and all other players active when the rule is implemented will be excluded from the rule.
After the first set and into the second, the famous and best announcer said she believes that allowing these players to keep making their noises while precluding new players just coming up from doing the same is just plain wrong. She joined many who believe that the noise is hurting the game, calling for it to end.
When Azarenka meets Serena Williams, we will once again face Azarenka's unique eeoww.
But she will require more against Serena to best her in three sets, which it will take if she is to become the US Open champion.
Most pundits feel that Sharapova and Azarenka are no match for Serena, and that Serena will prevail.
There is little doubt but that Serena is probably the better pick, but somehow it seems likely to be another great match.
Just with less noise than during Azarenka's match since Serena will be largely silent.
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