Du Maurier Canadian Open, Montreal: Aug. 5-11
In her first-round doubles match, Amanda gained a bit of revenge against Clare Wood, who was on the British doubles team that knocked her and de Swardt out of the Olympics. In her second-round singles match, Amanda double-bageled qualifier Jolene Watanabe on Court 1. In the middle of the match, Watanabe shouted to no one in particular, "I just want to win one game!" Near the end of the match, Watanabe wailed, "I'm trying my hardest!" It was the first time I ever felt sorry for one of Amanda's opponents.
Alas, next up was Arantxa, who had double-bageled her second-round opponent as well. The first set was a closely contested, see-saw battle. Amanda fought back from 5-3 to tie it at 5-5. But Arantxa eventually prevailed and used the momentum to win the second set more easily, although Amanda never gave up. In fact, in the final game Amanda ended a spectacular rally with a put-away volley at the net and received a rousing ovation.
Amanda and Lori McNeil formed an experienced and dangerous doubles team. In the second round they easily defeated Dechaume-Testud in a match interrupted by a rain delay. But in the third round, they ran up against Sabatini/Schultz, who have been playing together for more than a year. Schultz had some trouble getting her bullet-like first serve in, but they still were a bit too much for Coetzer/McNeil, who I thought played a bit too passively. Still, Sabatini/Schultz had to overcome a 5-4 deficit in the second-set tiebreak to win.
I would be remiss if I didn't reveal that I spoke to Amanda several times during the course of the week, after matches and practices. She was as friendly and personable as any top athlete I've ever met, and I've met a ton. Anyway, as a result of my chats with her and the help of many contributors, this page will be getting better and better as the weeks go by.