Got a chance to see a former (and hopefully, future) WTA pro Vasilisa Bardina in action at the Boulder Open tournament. She was ranked as high as #48 on WTA in 2007, before being forced to retire due to injuries. I believe she's looking to make a comeback early next year. Well I didn't know any of that while watching the ladies Open final yesterday. Had I known, my jaw might have been saved from being dropped to the floor, repeatedly. The woman she played (also Russian as it happened) was a former college player, and has had a lot of success in the local Open tournaments lately, especially in doubles and mixed - a very good player obviously, one of the top women players in Denver. What I saw was an illustration of the differences between a good Open level player vs. a (somewhat rusty) pro player, and a remainder of how many levels there are in this sport. The match ended in under an hour with 6:0 6:1 score. That one lost game was due to Vasilisa double-faulting three times in a row, then drilling an easy forehand into the net, something that she explained in an interview to the local paper as a lapse in concentration... though to me, it definitely looked like a charity game donated to her dispirited opponent, who aside from that game haven't won more than a handful of points in the entire match. So here you have it: a good Open level player struggling to win a few points... in NTRP terms, the disparity was like a 3.0 playing a 5.0. It was quite an amazing display. When pros are battling each other, especially when viewed on TV, it's easy to lose sight of just how humongous the gap in ability is between them and the mere good players. I'm a fan now, and will be watching her career going forward... hopefully she can get back on tour and do some damage there.