Birmingham 2007: Andrew's eyewitness report & photos -
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Birmingham 2007: Andrew's eyewitness report & photos

Now that I'm a demi-fan of Michaëlla, I might as well go back and share my Birmingham 2007 report with the Michaëlla Krajíček community:

DFS CLASSIC (Edgbaston, Birmingham, England; grass; WTA Tier III)

1. Photos
2. First-round eyewitness report: Fedak v Krajíček

1. Photos

Permission to copy my Birmingham photos is granted provided that:
(a) no money is exchanged;
(b) they are labelled as "Copyright 2007 Andrew Broad".
Please let me know if you do use them on another website.

I have uploaded all the photos I took at Birmingham 2007, in one big zip-file, to:
MON: (11 of Michaëlla)
TUE: (1 of Michaëlla)
WED: (0 of Michaëlla)
THU: no play due to rain
FRI: (0 of Michaëlla)
SAT: (0 of Michaëlla)
SUN: (0 of Michaëlla)

2. First-round eyewitness report: Fedak v Krajíček
(Monday 11th June 2007)

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ Yuliana Fedak [Q] d. Michaëlla Krajíček, 7-6 (7/5) 6-4

I saw the whole match on Centre Court. I like both players, but I wish Michaëlla would revert to the hairstyle she had when she won 's-Hertogenbosch 2006. She looked so much cuter and more beautiful when she had a ponytail than with this short, boyish haircut.

Yuliana, who turned 24 three days before this match, is one of the cutest, prettiest players on the WTA Tour, and she looks absolutely delectable now.

Yuliana has improved beyond recognition from the weak player whom Maria Kirilenko beat in the first round of Birmingham 2005. Yuliana now has wonderful court-craft, all-court flair, and more power than two years ago, as well as frustrating opponents by getting a lot of balls back.

Big-serving Michaëlla, who has long take-backs on her groundstrokes, tried to overpower Yuliana predominantly from the baseline until she [Michaëlla] was *2-4 down, then came to the net a lot, led 5-4* (30/0), 6-5* (30/0) and 6-6 (5/1*), but Yuliana staged an amazing recovery to win the last 6 points of the tiebreak and take the first set.

Yuliana romped to a 5-2* lead in the second set (saving 3 break-points at *4-2), but failed to serve it out at *5-3 despite a match-point miraculously saved by Michaëlla with an off-forehand return-winner that caught the outside edge of the sideline!

Nevertheless, Yuliana broke to love to seal a 7-6 6-4 victory. It was a lovely match to start my Birmingham 2007 experience - the best of the day in terms of the quality of the rallies.

First set
FEDAK _* *@*___* *T 7(7)
KRAJÍ * *___*@* *__ 6(5)

The match started at 13:11 BST.

Michaëlla serving 0-0: Double fault. 0/15. Michaëlla hit a forehand long on the third stroke. 0/30. A long rally ended with Michaëlla hitting a backhand winner down the line. 15/30. Yuliana's depth and pace forced Michaëlla to hit a forehand lob long. 15/40 (2 BPs). Service-winner. 30/40. A very long rally ended with Yuliana netting a forehand, and Michaëlla said "c'mon". 40/40. Michaëlla hit an error-forcing crosscourt backhand. Ad Michaëlla. Yuliana went for a backhand winner down the line, but it was just wide.

Yuliana serving 0-1: Michaëlla took the initiative at the net, and hit a forehand volley-winner. 0/15. Yuliana forced a short ball from Michaëlla at the net, and hit a backhand pass-winner down the line. 15/15. Michaëlla hit an aggressive forehand just long. 30/15. Yuliana hit a fantastic down-the-line forehand winner off an awkward low ball from Michaëlla. 40/15. Yuliana hit an off-forehand winner behind Michaëlla.

Michaëlla serving 1-1: Michaëlla netted a backhand dropshot. 0/15. Michaëlla went for a forehand winner down the line, but it was just wide. 0/30. Double fault (second serve into the net). 0/40 (3 BPs). Ace out wide. 15/40. A good serve set up a forehand winner down the line. 30/40. Michaëlla hit a forehand smash-winner and screamed "c'mon!" 40/40. Yuliana netted a cheap forehand return. Ad Michaëlla. Double fault (second serve just long). Deuce #2. Michaëlla hit a wild forehand long. Ad Yuliana (BP #4). Service-winner. Deuce #3. After two skyscraper-lobs from Michaëlla, Yuliana painted the sideline with a crosscourt forehand winner. Ad Yuliana (BP #5). Service-winner out wide. Deuce #4. Michaëlla netted a backhand. Ad Yuliana (BP #6). Yuliana hit a wonderful return onto the baseline off a hard serve, but hit a backhand wide. Deuce #5. A long rally ended with Michaëlla hitting a virtual forehand winner. Ad Michaëlla. Service-winner.

Yuliana serving 1-2: Michaëlla netted a backhand volley after Yuliana's passing-shot forced her to half-volley. 15/0. Michaëlla got away with a very short second serve as Yuliana hit a forehand return wide. 30/0. Michaëlla netted a backhand, and Yuliana said "c'mon". 40/0. Yuliana mishit a crosscourt forehand, and it turned into a dropshot-winner!

Michaëlla serving 2-2: Ace out wide. 15/0. A service-winner down the middle forced Yuliana to net a forehand return. 30/0. Yuliana hit a drop-volley in the middle of a delightful rally, which ended with Michaëlla hitting a forehand smash wide. 30/15. Michaëlla backhand wide. 30/30. Yuliana hit a forehand lob pass-winner down the line, off a good approach from Michaëlla! 30/40 (BP). A short ball from Yuliana forced Michaëlla to hit a forehand long, giving Yuliana the first break.

Yuliana serving 3-2: Michaëlla hit some nice short angles, but netted a backhand and screamed. 15/0. Michaëlla went for a crosscourt backhand return-winner, but it was just wide. 30/0. Michaëlla backhand volley-winner. 30/15. Yuliana hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line. 40/15. Yuliana played an error-forcing one-two punch.

Michaëlla serving 2-4: Michaëlla backhand just long. 0/15. Yuliana mishit a backhand long. 15/15. A hard, deep serve forced Yuliana to earth a backhand return. 30/15. Yuliana backhand wide. 40/15. A dipping return at Michaëlla's feet forced her to hit a backhand volley wide. 40/30. Yuliana lobbed long after two smashes from Michaëlla.

I sensed a tiny shift in momentum to Michaëlla in that game. It seemed that coming to the net more would give her the edge over Yuliana.

Yuliana serving 4-3: Yuliana backhand long. 0/15. Yuliana forehand smash-winner. 15/15. Michaëlla came to the net, forcing Yuliana to hit a backhand pass wide. 15/30. Michaëlla came to the net, forcing Yuliana to hit a backhand lob wide. 15/40 (2 BPs). Early in a long rally, I thought that a low ball from Yuliana was going to force Michaëlla into error, but Michaëlla ended up hitting an off-forehand winner to break back.

Michaëlla serving 4-4: Yuliana hit a forehand winner off a short, high ball from Michaëlla. 0/15. Service-winner out wide. 15/15. Michaëlla served & volleyed with a backhand volley-winner. 30/15. Ace out wide, in the corner. 40/15. Second serve: Yuliana netted a forehand. Michaëlla was looking to serve & volley on every serve now.

Yuliana serving 4-5: A high dropshot from Yuliana got the treatment it deserved: Michaëlla crosscourt backhand winner. 0/15. Yuliana complained about her first serve being called out, then netted a backhand. 0/30. Michaëlla backhand lob just long. 15/30. Michaëlla backhand long. 30/30. Service-winner. 40/30. Michaëlla forehand long. Yuliana said "c'mon" - she was talking to herself a lot now.

Michaëlla serving 5-5: Michaëlla netted a backhand, and Yuliana said "c'mon". 0/15. Yuliana got away with a poor dropshot as Michaëlla netted a forehand off it. 0/30. Yuliana forehand just long. 15/30. And again. 30/30. Yuliana hit a defensive forehand lob long. 40/30. Michaëlla forced a short ball from Yuliana, and hit a crosscourt forehand winner. Yuliana kept saying, "Ya ya ya ya ya, c'mon" after points.

Yuliana serving 5-6: Yuliana sprayed a forehand wide off a long ball from Michaëlla. 0/15. Yuliana crosscourt backhand just wide. 0/30. Yuliana's second serve was just inside the centre-line(!); after a rally, Michaëlla hit an off-forehand wide. 15/30. After a delightful sliced forehand, Yuliana hit a forehand winner down the line, though I thought it might have been wide! 30/30. Michaëlla netted a forehand off a short ball from Yuliana, and shouted something long in Dutch. 40/30. Yuliana hit a forehand winner down the line and said "c'mon"; Michaëlla threw her racket.

Wow - Yuliana had to recover from 0/30 both times she served to stay in the first set, and could easily have been facing set-points if her balls on the lines at 0/30 and 15/30 had been called out!

6-6 tiebreak (all scores Fedak/Krajíček):
{0/0*} Michaëlla serve + crosscourt forehand winner.
{*0/1} Michaëlla hit a lob over Yuliana's head; Yuliana hit a backhand long and yelped.
{*0/2} Yuliana hit two hard forehands down the line followed by a forehand dropshot; Michaëlla hit a backhand pass wide.
{1/2*} Yuliana forehand down the line just wide.
{1/3*} Yuliana hit a forehand long, provoking a loud "c'mon" from Michaëlla.
{*1/4} Michaëlla hit a short forehand smash-winner.
{*1/5} Michaëlla forehand return wide.
{2/5*} Michaëlla hit a forehand long, and complained about Yuliana's shot on the baseline earlier in the rally.
{3/5*} Michaëlla hit a big serve, but netted a forehand on the third stroke.
{*4/5} Michaëlla forehand just wide.
{*5/5} Yuliana hit a backhand winner onto the sideline.
{6/5*} Michaëlla hit a forehand just wide. Yuliana won the first set 7-6 (7/5) at 14:17 (1h06m).

Second set
FEDAK * *@ @*__@ 6
KRAJÍ _*__@__*@_ 4

Yuliana serving 0-0: Michaëlla forehand return-winner down the line. 0/15. Michaëlla backhand just wide. 15/15. Michaëlla hit a backhand long, and shouted something that sounded like "yo purto!" (my best attempt at writing it down with no knowledge of Dutch). 30/15. Michaëlla netted a forehand return. 40/15. Michaëlla netted a backhand.

Michaëlla serving 0-1: Michaëlla hit a crosscourt forehand winner on the third stroke. 15/0. Service-winner down the middle. 30/0. Yuliana chopped a forehand return-winner crosscourt. 30/15. Yuliana almost netted a forehand smash earlier in the rally, but hit a backhand volley-winner. 30/30. Yuliana hit a wild off-forehand wide. 40/30. Michaëlla netted a forehand smash. 40/40. Yuliana netted a sliced forehand return. Ad Michaëlla. She made Yuliana run from Yuliana's backhand-sideline to Yuliana's forehand-sideline; Michaëlla hit a forehand drop-volley winner.

Yuliana serving 1-1: A serve out wide forced a short return; Yuliana backhand winner down the line. 15/0. Michaëlla came to the net behind a sliced backhand down the line, but it was a clean winner. 15/15. Ace down the middle, in the corner. 30/15. Yuliana hit a backhand halfway up the net. 30/30. Michaëlla forehand return wide. 40/30. Yuliana came to the net with an off-forehand + crosscourt forehand volley-winner.

Michaëlla serving 1-2: Michaëlla sprayed a forehand wide. 0/15. Double fault. Michaëlla did an energy-bounce à la Marion Bartoli. 0/30. Double fault. 0/40 (3 BPs). Michaëlla hit a forehand long, and I got the impression that something was badly wrong with her in that game.

Yuliana serving 3-1: Double fault (it's catching!). 0/15. Michaëlla punished a short second serve with an off-forehand return-winner. 0/30. Michaëlla backhand wide. 15/30. Michaëlla backhand very long. 30/30. Yuliana mishit a forehand very long. 30/40 (BP). Michaëlla broke back with a crosscourt backhand winner into the corner.

Michaëlla serving 2-3: Yuliana failed to capitalise on a wonderful deep forehand return, as Michaëlla hit a forehand volley-winner after an exchange of dropshots. 15/0. Double fault. Michaëlla slapped her thigh. 15/15. Michaëlla hit a forehand into the bottom of the net, and shouted something long in Dutch. 15/30. Ace down the middle. 30/30. Double fault (second serve into the net). 30/40 (BP). A low ball from Michaëlla induced Yuliana to net a backhand. 40/40. Yuliana's width forced Michaëlla to net a backhand. Ad Yuliana (BP #2). Yuliana reinstated her break with a delectable backhand drop-volley winner.

Yuliana serving 4-2: Michaëlla hit a hard backhand down the line, forcing Yuliana to hit a forehand wide. 0/15. Yuliana backhand just wide. 0/30. Yuliana hit a reflex forehand pass-winner at a short crosscourt angle! 15/30. Yuliana hit a backhand long after some nice grunting, reminiscent of Iva Majoli. 15/40 (2 BPs). Yuliana crosscourt backhand winner. 30/40. Yuliana's off-forehand clipped the netcord, forcing a floater from Michaëlla, which Yuliana dispatched with a two-handed backhand volley-winner down the line. 40/40. Michaëlla crosscourt backhand drive-volley winner. Ad Michaëlla (BP #3). Michaëlla backhand just long. Deuce #2. Yuliana forehand pass winner down the line, on the sideline. Ad Yuliana. Yuliana hit a serve out wide, and guided a forehand volley-winner crosscourt.

I got the impression that Michaëlla was upset at the changeover, though I was too far away to see as well as I wanted to.

Michaëlla serving 2-5: Yuliana hit a stinging off-forehand, forcing Michaëlla to hit a backhand long. 0/15. Yuliana netted a backhand return. 15/15. Yuliana netted a backhand return. 30/15. Ace down the middle, in the corner. 40/15. Serve + crosscourt forehand volley-winner.

Yuliana serving for the match at 5-3: Yuliana tried to serve & volley, but Michaëlla hit a down the line backhand pass - a virtual winner. 0/15. Michaëlla took the initiative and hit an off-forehand volley-winner. 0/30. Ace down the middle, just inside the service-line. 15/30. Yuliana spread Michaëlla, but Michaëlla came to the net and hit a forehand volley that forced Yuliana to net a backhand pass. 15/40 (2 BPs). Michaëlla chipped & charged, but Yuliana came up with a stunning crosscourt forehand pass-winner down the line, into the corner! 30/40. Michaëlla hit a crosscourt backhand just wide, and said, "No, no, no. C'mon. You sure the ball was out?" 40/40. Michaëlla netted a forehand return. Ad Yuliana (MP #1). Michaëlla saved it with a miraculous off-forehand return-winner that caught the outside edge of the sideline! Deuce #2. Yuliana backhand long. Ad Michaëlla (BP #3). Michaëlla opened her shoulders and hit a forehand return-winner down Yuliana's forehand-line.

Michaëlla serving 4-5: Yuliana ran down a drop-volley and hit a forehand pass-winner down the line. 0/15. Michaëlla mishit a forehand lob long. 0/30. Michaëlla came to the net behind a slow, weak approach that allowed Yuliana to nail a backhand pass that forced Michaëlla to net a backhand volley. 0/40 (MP #2). Yuliana backhand return wide. 15/40 (MP #3). Michaëlla hit a good serve, but Yuliana hit a good return, and Michaëlla netted a forehand volley. Yuliana won 7-6 (7/5) 6-4 at 15:00 (second set 43m, match 1h49m).
Another qualifier to successfully negotiate the first round was Vakulenko's compatriot Fedak, and the world No.129 was responsible for the day's biggest upset when she ousted No.14 seed Krajíček from the draw. The match was a tightly contested affair, and the final result hinged on just a handful of points, but it was the 24-year-old Ukrainian who held her nerve at these crucial moments; reeling off six straight points to snatch the first-set tiebreak, and then breaking Krajíček in the final game of the match to secure a 7-6(5) 6-4 win.

Dr. Andrew Broad

My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki

Last edited by andrewbroad; Mar 30th, 2008 at 09:06 AM.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 2008, 09:05 AM
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Re: Birmingham 2007: Andrew's eyewitness report & photos

Do you have fun writing all this?
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2008, 11:07 PM
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Re: Birmingham 2007: Andrew's eyewitness report & photos

Jesus that was a long repot. I'd never keep such detailed notes on a match! But thanks nevertheless.

She & Him @ Melkweg "The Max", Amsterdam 6th May 2010
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