Monday, September 27, 2010

What Is Old, and What Is New?

On the day before her 40th birthday, Kimiko Date Krumm defeated Maria Sharapova in three sets at the Tokyo Toray Pan Pacific Open. Way to deliver in front of a home crowd.

What I noticed aside from the obvious point that Sharapova is having major issues that implicate more than just an uncertain shoulder was that she was wearing her US Open dress. What? The top stars--and someone like Sharapova especially, who makes such a point to be fashionable on court--almost never repeat outfits. And to repeat a dress from a tournament as visible as the US Open... did she lose too early there? Haha. I know this is a really trivial point, but I've really never seen her do this before.

I just added in this picture for good measure, simply because it's kind of cute and the dark fuschia complements the aqua well. And also because it's an example of an unremarkable dress that could be repeated across many tournaments without anyone really noticing.

I actually hit with Date Krumm several years ago at my local tennis club. I remember missing several shots until one of the coaches said in quite a sympathetic voice, "She's nervous," which actually calmed me down. But that's not the point, really. I hadn't known who she was until she showed up at the club and didn't realize that she had been as high as No. 4 in the world, but I was struck by the athleticism and fitness she exuded. Sharapova references Date Krumm's fitness in the press conference after her loss, and it's very interesting to realize that we are all similarly impressed. Date Krumm just seemed to have a really active body--she was just hitting with some club kids, but immediately became sweaty. I guess that's a weird anecdotal point, but it's stuck with me.

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