MONTREAL – Sascha Bajin was waiting, getting the practice balls, a few new cans, the towels, the freshly-strung racquets.
There was nothing more he could do. And still his boss, Serena Williams hadn't arrived at the practice court to warmup up for her Rogers Cup debut, her second-round match against Samantha Stosur of Australia.
Bajin joked that she might not show up. But she did, about 15 minutes late, doggie in tow (we're still trying to figure out who brought it, and how; she certainly didn't have it. Coach Patrick Mouratoglou must have secreted it in his big tennis bag).
On the next court, Stosur was doing her own warmup.
Williams on the practice court is a silent one. She barely talks at all, to anyone. Not to Bajin, not to coach Mouratoglou. Not even to her mother if she happens to be on hand (she wasn't).
The only thing Serena really said during a serious, high-intensity 45-minute practice was to ask Bajin to kick his serves up a little higher to her backhand, to better imitate Stosur's delivery.
That whirring sound you hear at times is one of the generators that kept the tournament site working all day.
Williams hit a ton of cross-court backhands, getting ready to target Stosur's weaker side. And she hit most of her forehands inside out, for the same purpose.
In the end, she crushed Stosur 6-0, 6-2. And the warmup lasted longer than the actual match, which was clocked at 58 minutes but included a rain delay and a re-warmup.
Since Williams hasn't set foot in Montreal since 2000, there were a lot of curious spectators. The consensus among the folks Yahoo! Sports talked to was that 1) she was a lot smaller in person than she appears on television and 2) she's a lot prettier.