She's never been past the second round of a Grand Slam, and she's never played in the main draw of the US Open. So 26-year-old Andrea Hlavackova surprised everyone when she beat 14th seed Maria Kirilenko, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, in the Grandstand on Saturday.
Haters, I'm happy to say swearing helped get her there. In her post-match interview on the court, she revealed her inner monologue on match point:
"I keep repeating to myself: Don't worry you're going to get another chance... this is not a last chance... But damn, make it!"
Fellow tennis blogger PJ Simmons captured the moment on his website, The Road to 4.5 Tennis. It, too, is about tennis, but emphasizes the "love" part more than the "hate." Should I hate him for this?
No wonder Hlavackava was worried. She was only winning 52% of her first serve points. (Kirilenko wasn't doing much better, at 53%). She had 8 aces, sure, but she also had 6 double faults. And the biggest stresser? She faced 11 break points. Kirilenko, to her unending I Hate Tennis sadness, was only able to convert 3.
This battle of the wimpy serves won't happen in her next match, that's for sure. Andrea Hlavackava faces the best server in the women's game tomorrow, Miss Serena Williams.
Perhaps Hlavackava's swearing in that match will be audible.