Hopman Pairs: An Ace-Off in Perth
With their taller statures and typically higher velocity deliveries, the top men who participate in Perth’s Hopman Cup can expect to have better-than-average serving days during the mixed doubles event. America’s John Isner highlighted this disparity to comedic effect in 2011, when the 6’10” Goliath was given the chance to serve a veritable David at 5’6″, Justine Henin:
In today’s encounter between Great Britain and France, Andy Murray and Heather Watson took on Benoit Paire and Alizé Cornet to decide their first Group B encounter. Ever the stereotype buster, the 2013 Wimbledon champion has earned much of his success on his expert return of serve. Across the net, last year’s Vine MVP is hardly known for having the bionic shoulder of a Sabine Lisicki.
Where the colorful Frenchwoman does excel is in her ability to make a highlight reel all her own. Down a set, but up a break on the British pair, Alizé Cornet stepped to the line and dropped a bomb down the T, just out of Murray’s reach.
The reaction was, of course, vintage Cornet:
Murray looked far from displeased, even cracking a smile – on a tennis court, no less! He would get his revenge in the next game, pulling a page from the Cornet handbook for his victory celebration:
Authority in all things, Twitter thought this exchange was everything:https://twitter.com/roobynVC/status/552134646763642880
In the never-ending debate regarding what can and cannot be gleaned from exhibition tennis, one thing is clear: anything that shows fans – would be or otherwise – the personalities of our players is always a good thing.
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There is also further footage of Alize finger-wagging Andy for his celebration after aceing her. Mixed dubs is funtastic.
Maybe this proves that placement is as important as power when it comes to serving aces. Btw, it will surprise no one that the sexist UK press hasn’t mentioned this.