Today I traveled down to Carson, California to check out some of the quarterfinal action at the L.A. Women’s Tournament. I had never been to the venue, the Home Depot Center, before and was quite impressed with the modern facilities. However, the lack of a crowd there, had me wondering about a few things. But first to the tennis.
The first match had rising Romanian Sorana Cirstea against 8th seed Agnieszka Radwanska. The first was back and forth until Cirstea won in a tiebreak. The second set, Cirstea appeared to have some foot problems and called for the trainer. She went away in the second set losing 1-6. Apparently she was saving herself for the third which was close until “Aggie” got up a break 5-4 and served for it. But when Cirstea hit a vicious passing shot at Aggie, causing her to fall down, she lost serve. Eventually Cirstea found her groundstroke game again and won 7-6, 1-6, 7-5. The match took two and half hours in the hot sun. Cirstea somewhat reminds me of Mauresmo as their service motion is similar and she can hit a heavy ball.
The second match had Zheng Jie, fresh off her win over #1 Dinara Safina, against rising Aussie player Sam Stosur. Stosur got off to a slow start in the first set and hit too many unforced errors. Although coming back from a 1-4 deficit, she still lost the first set 4-6. In the second set, Stosur used her effective kick serve along with a serve and volley game to win the second set 6-3. Stosur broke Zheng in the opening game of the third set and held on to win the third set 6-4. She will now face Cirstea in the semis.
Stosur had her breakthrough at this year’s French Open getting to the semis there. But I like her chances at the U.S. Open this year. She has a nice all court game and her forehand can be a real weapon when she sets it up. I think she could win L.A. depending on how her form holds.
Despite the top 20 lineup, there were probably about 100 people in the stands today. I don’t know if that’s due to the schedule or who was playing. I’m sure the evening matches, where they usually put the top players, get a larger crowd, but the WTA needs to figure out a way to get people in the seats.