Birmingham 2012: Andrew's eyewitness reports & photos (+Thursday 14th June 2012)
AEGON CLASSIC (Edgbaston, Birmingham, England; grass; WTA International)
I don’t have time to finish my full point-by-point reports or post my photos until after Wimbledon, so for now, here’s a brief summary of each Daniela match for which a full report is forthcoming:
1. Wednesday 13th: Second round: Czink v Hantuchová
2. Thursday 14th: Doubles: Kops-Jones/Spears v Hantuchová/Lisicki
1. Second round: Czink v Hantuchová (Wednesday 13th June 2012)
- DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [3,EF] lt. Melina Czink, 5-7 6-7 (5/7)
This match was a farce. Originally scheduled sixth on Centre Court, it was moved to Court 4 after a rain-delay caused the prior match to start late. I decided to stay on Centre Court watching Sabine Lisicki open the defence of her title against Urszula Radwańska. When Sabine had finished losing, I went straight to Court 4 to find Daniela just starting the second set. I couldn’t get a seat due to the large crowd, so I had to watch what remained of the match leaning over a wall.
Daniela was playing her first match since Fed Cup in April, in which she aggravated a stress-fracture in her left foot. She led 5-3* in the second set, but after some good play by Czink, Daniela double-faulted to make it 5-5*, and a series of errors in the tiebreak sealed her fate.
2. Doubles: First round: Kops-Jones/Spears v Hantuchová/Lisicki (Thursday 14th June 2012)
- Daniela Hantuchová [EF]/Sabine Lisicki [EF] lt. RAQUEL KOPS-JONES/ABIGAIL SPEARS, 0-6 3-6
How fitting that the only two members of my Eternal Fanship at Birmingham 2012 should have teamed up in the doubles! I had a wonderful time watching them hitting together on the near practice-court earlier in the day.
Sabine had struggled with illness in her singles-loss the day before, but on Thursday she looked much healthier and happier; she was even smiling when she was serving at 0-6 *0-1; she looked very pleased when she won that game.
The outside courts were in a dreadful state after the rain earlier in the week. They were more like sandpits than grass-courts; I could actually see sand flying off the ball. It was also very windy; every strong gust would blow a big cloud of sand across the courts.
Daniela and Sabine were playing doubles together for only the second time, and were beaten by an established team who simply played better together than my girls did, with a lot of winning volleys and smashes.
Later in the day, I saw Daniela practising with a couple of coaches. I was impressed by her dedication: I found her practising within an hour of her doubles-loss, and she didn’t leave for 55 minutes, the last few of which she spent serving in the rain after all the other players had left.
Dr. Andrew Broad
Last edited by andrewbroad; Jun 21st, 2013 at 11:20 PM.
Reason: edit Title