Last Saturday, a bunch of friends and I trekked down to the HP Pavilion to watch the SAP Open semifinals. I’ve played tennis since I was in grade school, but I can’t say I follow the pros much, and I’d only watched it live a couple times, so I was excited.
We first watched the singles semi, Lleyton Hewitt and Vince Spadea. Hewitt was the clear favorite, and he won in straight sets. If I’d had to wager just from watching them play, though, I don’t know. I couldn’t pinpoint a lot that differentiated them.
They played well, but both made their fair share of unforced errors, and both had erratic serves. Hewitt went an entire game in the first set without making a first serve. Both had solid net game, but neither came to net much. OK, Hewitt was a little more consistent, and clearly better at serve return…but that’s all I could see.
The second match was doubles, Goldstein and Thomas vs. Aspelin and Perry. It was faster paced, due mostly to the no-ad scoring and tiebreak third set. I’d never seen that kind of setup before. Still, it was lots of fun to watch. Aspelin/Perry were seeded higher, but Goldstein/Thomas dominated. They hit with a lot of power, but more importantly, they’d clearly played together for a long time. Synchronized swimmers would have been jealous of them. :P