Day 1 and 2 report
Just back from 1st round action. Not sure if anyone is intersted but I'll type in what I saw anyhow!!
To start with, OZ open organisers maybe not so clever with scheduling of courts. Like they are using Court 5 again for mtches (didn't last year) but have a temp stadium on Court 15 (which they used for matches last year) but not using it for matches???? They also made soem poor selctions for matches on Court 5 and 10- the two courts with lowest fan watching capacity.
Gallovits def Dubois.
Wanted to see Steph as hadn't seen before. She was outclassed againt Edina. Edina is fun to watch- a lot of varity- great spins- reminds me of Zvereva. Steph tried hard- is a fiesty battler- some Quebecian Canandians I was talking to said she yelled out shut up you bitch at one point!!
Amelie def Poutchek
Pouthek is also a tricky player, mixing it up. I think it was her variety and a very tense Amelie that caused the 06 Champ to drop the first set. Amelie really couldn't do much in the 1st, every time she tried to hit harder she made a mistake. She even yelled out in frustration, which is unusual for her. strangely, loosing the first was almost like a relaxation pill and she soon fuond her groove and over ran Pitchek.
Parts of Rezai def K Bondarenko
Rezai is fun to watch as she jyst goes for it. She seems a bit fitter. In the games I saw, she was too powerful for Kat
Tatiana def Steph Cohen A
Saw the rist set, Steph made too many errors and Tati was relaxed and hitting some great shots. I was surpised to see tati lost the second set when I checked out the scoreboard- obvioulsy Steph improved to take the 2nd
End of the 2nd set of Dellaqua and Knapp.
Not really that big a corwd for the Aussie. again, i was keen to check out Karin- one of the big big improvers last year that hasn't got a lot of media attention. In the games I watched, it seemed casey was just starting to relax and take charge and karin if anything seemd not to go for her shots as much. Karin is now with Fila.
Flavia def Cibulkova- end of 2nd and the 3rd set
really good match t watch- 2 very evenly matched players. From what I saw, a lot of momentom swings. I thought poor Flavia was down for the count at the start of the 3rd- down 2-1 and 30-00, she had rolkled her anke in the prvious game as well and wasn't moving great. Cibulkova is fiercly intense and competetive but also a very good sport, clapping Flavia's errors/. Maybe it was comparing her to Cibulkova but Flavia didn't seem that intense...glad she got through it
Franny s def Emelie Loit
NOw this was a bizzare match. i really like both players, particularly Emelie and I have been fortunate enuogh to see her a bit over the years. To be honest, I thought she may have been injured, she had no intensity, as in none. nothing wrong with smiling but she was smiling most of the time in amazement it seemed when she won a point. She didn't move her feet (normally she is light footed and runs around her backhand to hit that inside out forhand) and hit drop shot rama - which often won the point She let rip in rallets causing spectacular winnners but also shocking errors...and she didn all this and almost wont he set! Poor Franny was huffinga nd puffing and trying ehr hardest, must have been frustrating for her. As Emelie isn't playing doubles, maybe she is injured????? Steph Cohen, & Sfar watched Emelie has didfferent coach (no longer Sam (i think his name was)
1st set of Razzano vs Harkleroad
Evenly played maych, Virginie just a little but too powerful from the set I saw. Harkelroad looks a bit thinner (and taller!!??)
Day 2 was bad for a lot of my fav's esp my Argentines..
Wozniaki def Gisella (court 10- very silly as Gisella has had a bit of coverage in Oz recently for playing Hopman Cup -this years and others- and Caroline had a lot of Danish fans)
Caroline wa just too strong and kept her erros down to brush aside Gisella. Larry Stefanki (spelling) watched on.
Cornet def Clarissa Fernandez
Lok, great signs for Clarissa. She played a really good game and certaibnly had her chances- up a break int he 2nd and 40-0 I'd say against alot of players ranked 75 onwards she woudl ahve won. She was consistant, moved well- Cornet just had a bit more power - particularly on her serve. She played 300% timeds better than her aweful form losing to Ondraskova last year. Corbet got in troubl;e before thigs strated, her sponsership logo was on her hip and had to be chnaced to her chest and her locaste cap had to big a writing- meaning Pammy Whyncroft had to go get an Oz Open visa. Cornet screamed at her coach in French for this--um did he dress her?? Cohen aloro and Emelie loit (not together) watched on
Koryttseva def maria Salerni
Walked awy form this one after 5 or so games. Waited ages to see amria play again in Oz and she was really disappointing. Bit slow, unfocused, esp compared to Korytsseva - who was mega focused. She also has a shiocker of a grunt. Annabel Medina watched on with Salerni's coach, and Vivi R -pascal's coach/ friend (who has been supporting her and Paol's since I can remeber)
Mirza def Iroda
Like Clarissa, just really good signs for iroda despite her loss. Her home brand fluro organise outfirt wasnt the best but she played realy realy well- massive serves - great reallies...to be honest, she could have won the match- she was up 4-1 30-00 and again, hyperthetically, ould hav beated a lot of ladies int he top 50. It was really relly delightful to see- especially after her absoluet shocker loss to Adamscak the year before. I realy hope she sticks with it- doens't get injured because she could certainly make the Top 50 again the way she played. Mirza was just a little more consistant and plaed the big points better
Parts of Makarova and Szavay
Hadn't watched either player really keen to see the Hungarian after her big riose the year before. Watched the first 3 games and where she was so loose and made error and error. she has a really natual flowing style and was just missing all the time. Saw she came back and thought to myself oh, she has found her touch, only to look at the scoreboard to see her down 5-2 in the thid. Watched her and Salerni's match togethr- where she again made 2nd serve unbreturnable returns next to hopeless mistakes...really diasppointing. Makarova is a tall leftie, again pretty intensse and swqeeled a lot
Part of Johannson and Domachowska
The last time I saw marta I wondered how she got into the top 100 after she played a dreadful doubls match with Rovy Vinci in Oz a few years ago. Now I can't see how she woujldn't be there. She so remidns me of Kveta Peske- with her agresivve groundies and even physically a bit as well. I had seen mathilde beat groebfeld at the french last year and also watched her ranking climb with some solid reults but with all due respect- the Frech Fed really made an unusal choice for their WC. (esp when they have traionally used up and comers such as Bartoli, Razzano, Cornet and last year Feedossova or for those who just missed the cut- Cammy pin) even more o since she didn't paky any lead ups. She looked realy out of form and outclassed on this day, hich was a real shame. Walter bartoli (shouldn't have bothered luf) watched, as did Carlos Rodrigues. (he and Mr Bartoli shared a joke and laugh- whcih was intstigated by Mr Bartoli!!) Cohen aloro watched a bit
Match of the 1st round for me: Sofia def Marion
Good match between too clean hard hitters. The match had heaps of fun long rallies. I really like both players and have been fortunate to watch them over the last few years. The court was fun with the Sweded in full force.Sofia was her happy go lucky smiley self but she had her I wanna play and win face on for the day. Sofia looks as fit as she has been and given her results this year, focused as well . Marion was , well up to her tricks. She took so much time in between points- not for her Wumbeldon routine though, just stuffing around- had a injry time out in the first et complaining of a back/side issue, took a bathroom and changed her shoes at the end of the first set and in the last set, would limp and look like she hurt her ankle or would grab her thigh (only after she lost a point and would move freely in the next point) Lucky the happy go lucky Sofia wasn't put off by the tactics and wouldn basically not get her ready position this marion was literally about to serve but started to look at the umpire after a while and MArion didn get a warning after the first game of the 3rd for taking way too long to change ends. It was a really close match. I am never one to talk about being heavy or sayiong mean things about people's weights but Marion needs to get fitter. Not even aboutb loosing weight about really improving her court cverage. It is so amazed and find it remarkable that Marion gets as many balls back as she does- she has great hands and anticpation. As Marty Nav says, if she was just a bit fitter she could be a permanenat Top 10'er, rather than just a vistor. All credit to Sofia though- although she had a few moments of wayward concentration she remained pretty focused- like she was against Safina two years ago - which makes her I don;t really care attitude and poor effort against Sugiyamna last year even worse.
Parts of Sev Bremond and Li
I love Seva nd have been relly saddended to see her results and ranmking drop. I watched the first 8 or so games and thought she would get thrashed by Li who seemed to be a class above- I ould't watch anymore so left and came back to see Sev win the 2nd and really play a god match in the 3rd. Li was just a bit stronger in every aspect. Sev sgowed some good signs thougha nd will hopefully be able to climb up the rankings again
Parts of Cammy Pin and Niculescu
The romanian is another one of these really really hungary young players who hits two hds and grnts and really carries on. The cool and diminutive Pin kept her wits about her and moved Monuica around and used placement instead of power to win through. Cammy is hitting the ball a bit harder thogh
first set of Anne Kremer and Lineskaya
Really happty to see Annie do well. She really had great footwork and super movement and uses placement rather than power. At 32 she is still going as strong as she did 7 or 8 years agio when I first watched her. Maybe she is hanging u0t for another Olympics -maybe she loves it and keeps going- her style of play and body must get exhausted with her style of play. Linskaya looked so much better than when I last saw her (platying i thihnk Kirilenko 2 or 3 years ago) She also wore that pink adidas dress jelena d wore which is really ny unflattering for anyone who does't have 0% body fat- any won are they by the wat!!?? She just made too many erros and still needs to improve her mobility. I wantd to watch more ut had a late night at the tennis the day before and have a cold so needed to head home
Most of Camerin def Wheeler
Love maria and have seen her play really really gutsy matahces against higher ranked Russians (Vesnina and Bychkova- who was higher ranked at the time) saving match points over the last 2 years and with all due with respect to our Aussie WC was hoping for a less nerve raking match. and it was I got. Fiesty Camerin revved herself up and didn't give Wheel's supporters a chance too get excited but simply outplaying her. They have the same game but Camerin is much better at it. The really sad thing is that Wheels has been in good form for her- wining the play off and a round in Syd qualies- but the sadder thing is how one diminsional her game is. She is either not so smart or two pig headed or choice 3 can't but why she didn't chnage her tactics- a loopy lob, come to the net i dunno. Wheel's certainly tried really outclassed
If I think of anyother thinsg- i'll let you know.
Hope you enjoyed