Venus Like Roddick Succumbs to the Number “82” at Wimbledon.

After the intensity and star power of “Magic Monday” yesterday, it would be acceptable to take today off from watching Wimbledon action if nothing else to rest up for the fireworks (pun intended) of the the final weekend. But as usual, this wild fortnight continues to serve up more surprises as an expected semifinal did not come to pass while the pre-tournament favorite now seems to have the odds stacked in her favor. And although the initial reaction to Venus Williams losing earlier than expected was shock and dismay, perhaps those who follow numerology weren’t surprised at all as apparently the number 82 is becoming very fortuitous indeed.

For the second day in a row, a favored American player lost to the currently ranked No. 82 player in the world. This time the spooky honors goes to Tsvetana Pironkova, a Bulgarian who beat Venus before at the Australian Open a few years ago and found the same magic again with a convincing 6-2, 6-3 win. Mind you, I was watching the Kim Clijsters/Vera Zvonareva match at the time, but when I heard the final scoreline, I didn’t need to tune in for I knew that Venus had suffered another day where she and her game simply didn’t show up. We’ve seen this before at other Slams and even in the Miami final where Venus lost to Clijsters in warp speed fashion, but that it’s happened at Wimbledon does not bode for Venus. But all credit to Pironkova who stuck to her game plan and didn’t let the moment get to her. After all, sometimes half the battle of winning is just showing up.

And speaking of showing up, who is this Vera Zvonareva that we saw today on Centre Court and what has she done with the old Vera? The one who in the past when losing a match would destroy racquets with vicious ruthlessness, as she did in Charleston earlier this year, and fire coaches between sets. Perhaps the fact that she doesn’t have a coach right now to fire was what forced her to remain calm and not throw in the towel she kept wrapped over her head during changeovers when she lost the first set to Clijsters. Instead it was Clijsters who allowed Zvonareva’s steady play to rattle her into committing more errors than she should have in her 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 loss. Zvonareva will now take on Pironkova in the semifinal and I certainly hope the new Vera shows up again for that one.

Na Li certainly showed up for most of her first set against defending champion Serena Williams. But, as with many tennis matches, sometimes the best and worst sides of a player appear in the same game. Tied at 5-5, Na Li hit an ace for 15-0 and then raced off to a 40-love lead, looking as if she would press Williams to earn the first set. But then, another player showed up to serve two double faults and spray easy forehands well long and before it was over, the other Na Li gave Williams the break and probably the match right there as Williams went on to a 7-5, 6-3 win.

Raise your hand if you watched the Petra Kvitova vs Kaia Kanepi match? Ok I didn’t either and from what I read during Xan Brooks’s immaculate reporting for the Guardian, both players found new and and unique ways of dumping their shots into the net before Kvitova finally won 4-6, 7-6, 8-6 after surviving five match points. Despite this being a tremendous win and opportunity for the young Czech player, you can’t like her chances in the semifinal against Serena Williams after Kvitova, when asked if she thought she could win the tournament, said in point blank fashion “No, I don’t think so.” Maybe she’s right but perhaps she can hope that Serena, like her sister, doesn’t show up. I mean, like literally Serena doesn’t even show up to the court that day.

For those that follow numerology, one has to crunch numbers that correspond to your name or your birth year or whatever into a single digit from one to nine that describe your personality or life path. For example, the number 82 would then have its individual digits added together (8 +2) to equal 10. The number 10 would then have its digits added again (1 +0) to get the final number – 1. The number one in numerology is usually ascribed the meaning of “leader” or “one who rules” along with have the personality traits of being independent, original, ambitious, determined, and self-assured.

Sounds about right to me.


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