Report of Monday and Tuesday Matches From the Rogers Cup
This is my personal report of the Monday and Tuesday matches that I saw or knew about at the Rogers Cup in Toronto. There should be other reports from some other posters later too
(Q) Alina Jidkova (RUS) def. (13) Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 4-6, 6-4, 4-4 40-15 ret.
I saw bits and parts of this match, but watched the end. Cdpoulin said that Daniela did not look well at the beginning of the match. Alina has a pusher style which would aggravate Daniela's game, and it worked. She won the first set and then had chances for 5-5 in the second set while serving but couldn't do it. She threw her racquet when she lost the second set, because she knew she could have hung in there. In the third, Alina really played well and but Daniela looked ok but tired. Suddenly, while serving at 15-40, Daniela almost fell and then just came to the net and said that she could not play anymore. She had heat exhaustion. She then shook Alina's hand and went to sit down and started crying. Alina, who suffered from heat exhaustion after her win over Krivencheva in qualifying, went over to Daniela and consoled her. The umpire called the trainer and the trainer hugged Daniela too. Daniela was so weak that they had to get a cart to come on court and take her away. Perhaps it was Daniela having too much match play and coming straight from a final in LA to play a match on Monday (Clijsters got tuesday night, which is MUCH better). Daniela didn't look that bad, but i don't think she would just quit like that if she really didn't feel that she could stay in there.
Anabel Medina Guerrigues (ESP) def. (Q) Lucie Safarova (CZE) 4-6, 7-5, 6-1
I saw this match mid way through, and Anabel was dominating play. Lucie was giving away too many free points and wasn't in the match at all in the third set. Lucie also had a dress that did not look good for her lol.
Shinobu Asagoe (JPN) def. (WC) Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 6-2, 6-2
Canada's player of the year (controversial might I add), who is of Polish background (!!!!), really did not play well and was giving away so many free points with forehands going long and just poor play. Asagoe won easily and Wozniak should be happy she won 4 games.
(Q) Laura Granville (USA) def. Roberta Vinci (ITA) 6-2, 6-1
This was a close match, despite the scoreline. Laura played quite well, but Roberta just messed up on the crucial points. Vinci had her chances, but Laura played really well. Vinci was also struggling a bit at the net, missing easy volleys or put aways. A good match nonetheless.
(LL) Antonella Serra-Zanetti (ITA) def. (WC) Stephanie Dubois (CAN) 6-3, 6-2
In the match that made me get home at 2 in the morning, I was so sad to see Dubois lose fairly easily. The first set was great, with Dubois opening with a hold on her serve. She had chances to go up 2-0, but Antonella saved break points to tie it up at 1-1. Antonella then broke for 2-1, Steph broke back for 2-2, Antonella broke for 3-2, Steph broke back for 3-3. Then Stephanie fell apart. She got nervous, Antonella used angles and got Stephanie moving around the court and making an eventual error. Stephanie had some great passing shots and a much better serve. Antonella's serve is pathetic. Not only is it slow, she pushes the ball! It is like a "club serve" as Austin often says. But well played by Antonella in terms of strategy, as she really moved Steph around the court and forced Steph to make errors. Steph started choking as the match went on, making double faults and easy errors. In the second set, Steph held to lead 1-0, which was her last and only second hold of the match. Antonella ran away from that point on.
(14) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) def. (Q) Maria Antonia Sanchez Lorenzo (ESP) 6-4, 7-5
As much as I wanted Maria Antonia to win this match, Flavia played well. She has beautiful groundstrokes, really hit hard. I was glad to see that Maria gave Flavia a good match. Maria had chances to win the second set but Flavia managed to pull it out. Overall, a close, hard hitting match that saw the Italian prevail. But Maria is getting out of her slump in terms of quality of play, so that is a good sign at least.
(12) Ana Ivanovic (SCG) def. (Q) Tathiana Garbin (ITA) 6-2, 7-6(3)
Ana took control of this match right from the get go, but that doesn't necessarily mean she was playing very well. Ana was streaky and Tathiana was making easy errors. Leading 6-2, 5-2, Tathiana made a comeback and pulled up to lead 6-5 in the second set. Ana fought for a tiebreak, where she won easily because Tathiana had a hard time keeping the ball in play! I knew Ana was vulnerable to losing in the tournament as this match was not good for her. She was very streaky and made too many easy mistakes. Fortunately, her first round opponent did much the same and had a lesser quality in shots. By the way, Ana is very beautiful!
Marion Bartoli (FRA) def. Maria Kirilenko (RUS) 6-4, 3-0 ret.
I watched a bit of this match and then while going back to see it, I saw Maria being driven away in a cart. I thought maybe it was a toilet break but then found out she had retired. Very odd.
Virginie Razzano (FRA) def. (LL) Virginia Ruano-Pascual (ESP) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
This was a close match, but I think Razzano should have won it in two sets. If I'm not mistaken, I think she had a 6-3 3-2 lead. I came back and she was fighting in the third set. But a hard hitting match that went on for a long time.
(Q) Rika Fujiwara (JPN) def. (Q) Maria Elena Camerin (ITA) 6-0, 6-3
I came into this match at Fujiwara leading 3-0. I was rolling my eyes as this was similar to the Camerin-Sromova match, where Camerin got off to a bad start and just couldn't win a game. I was hoping that Maria Elena would be able to pull out a win again. Fujiwara was playing very aggressively and it was working. She had some really nice winners, including many from the backhand side. After losing 6-0, amid the shouts of "Forca!" Pointo do pointo!" and "Vit! Vit!" from Garbin and other Camerin italian friends and coaches who were watching and sitting right next to me, Camerin opened the second set with a break. However, she then lost serve easily. Camerin then broke Fujiwara easily, only to AGAIN lose serve easily. Camerin broke again. Fujiwara broke back again. Then in a close game, Fujiwara hit some great shots to win her serve in a close game. I knew this was a turning point in the match, as Camerin was having an immensely tough time holding serve and had yet to do so the entire match. Although Camerin made some mini-comebacks, Fujiwara was able to win the crucial points of the match with Camerin giving away easy errors and shouting often in Italian. I was surprised to see Fujiwara constantly saying "C'mon!" as it appeared that she spoke good English (I wondered if she was like Miyagi, american born but representing Japan but I guess that is not true). Anywho, Camerin became more disenchanted and apathetic as she kept losing points and Fujiwara was able to win the match fairly easily. I am shocked that Hana beat Fujiwara, as Fujiwara really played well in this match and had some great aggressive play that gave her many winners and quick points.
Nicole Vaidisova (CZE) def. (LL) Shenay Perry (USA) 6-3, 6-2
I was expecting to see Chakvetadze, but then I saw Perry roll around the cart with Nicole. I wondered why Jamea did not get in as she had the higher seeding, but then found out she withdrew from her final round of qualfying match. Anyway, I love Shenay's one handed backhand! She has a great serve but her forehand has a weird motion and had many errors. Vaidisova hits hard but was really funny to watch. She constantly got mad at herself and shouted in Czech and kept looking at her coach and mother in the empty right side of the stands. This was when she was leading 4-2 or 6-3 or 6-3 2-0. She really wanted perfection and strived hard for it. Shenay got mad that she gave away some easy points with some returns in the net, at one point shouting "Get under the ball! SHIT!" Shenay hit hard but Vaidisova was able to play more consistent and hit some good winners. A good match though.
(Q) Zheng Jie (CHN) def. (Q) Maria Emilia Salerni (ARG) 6-3, 6-4
Maria is so pretty! I did not see much of the match, just looked at Salerni from afar.
Maria Vento-Kabchi (VEN) def. (WC) Marie Eve Pelletier (CAN) 6-0, 6-1
Watching this, I felt so bad for Marie Eve. She wasn't playing bad, but she just was facing a brick wall in Vento-Kabchi, who was coming up with winners from everywhere. Pelletier fell down 6-0 4-0, and then went up 40-0 on her serve. After falling back to deuce, I felt like it would be a double bagel. But thankfully, Marie Eve was able to pull out a game. Vento-Kabchi played really well, I must say I really underestimated her. Marie Eve did her best, albeit she could have mixed up her play a bit more to try to get Vento-Kabchi out of her zone, but Vento-Kabchi came up with a return for everything.
Li Na (CHN) def. (11) Jelena Jankovic (SCG) 6-4, 5-7, 6-2
What a match! Jelena started off very poorly, going down 40-0 due to three double faults. She was serving horribly, hardly ever getting a first serve in. She kept shouting throughout the match in Serbian that she could not get one serve in, and kept looking into the stands at her mother and coach. Na Li played aggressively and it was no shock that she was able to win the first set. I really thought Li would win it in two, as she led 6-4 4-2. But Jankovic managed to overcome her poor serve (which was now becoming ok) to force a third set. Unfortunately, in the third, Jankovic gave away too many free points and blew her chances to win games and make the match closer.
Conchita Martinez (ESP) def. Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER) 6-1, 6-7(1), 7-5
Conchita won the first set easily and became very frustrated with her play even though it was only 3-3 or 4-4. She threw her racquet and was frustrated with Anna-Lena dictating play. Suppsedly according to Cdpoulin, Conchita choked in the tiebreak, which is why she lost it easily. She only kept three balls in play in the whole tiebreak. In the third, it was a great match. However, there were so many overrules and bad calls (or questionable at least), that made both players frustrated. THe crowd was SOOOOOOO in favour of Conchita, whistling and getting angry when a call went against Conchita. But when it happened to Anna-Lena, the crowd fell silent. Cdpoulin1 got stares for cheering Anna-Lena, which was often followed up with a "Vamos Conchita" from a throng of Spanish fans. Poor Anna-Lena, she led 5-4 in the third and was broken in a tight game. She then fell apart and lost it 7-5, losing on her serve in the last game of the match. I was surprised Conchita was able to win, but thats because she just counterpunched Anna-Lena to death. Conchita's serve aint that fast and she kept slicing and making long rallies. Anna-Lena then made easy mistakes eventually.
Dally Randriantefy (MAD) def. (Q) Shikha Uberoi (IND) 6-3, 6-2
With Neha cheering Shikha on, Dally really put on quite a show, playing more aggressively then usual. She really forced errors out of Shikha and just played really well. Too bad for Shikha, but Dally was just on. Dally was thrilled with the match, hugging some friends and being so overjoyed with her win (for obvious reasons).
Hana Sromova (CZE) / Jie Zheng (CHN) def. Maureen Drake (CAN) / Kim Grant (RSA) 6-2, 6-4
After seeing Drake and Grant constantly practicing, I was quite happy to see this match. But I had to alternate beteween seeing this match and seeing Marta Domachowska practice. Sromova and Zheng were an odd couple to me, but played well, much in part due to Zheng's great play and Sromova playing quite consistently. Grant had some trouble at the net early on and Drake hit some shots out quite often, getting quite vocal with herself. Sromova lost her serve easily to bring the score to 3-1 and then Grant was able to hold serve with some strong serves to make it 3-2. Sromova/Zheng then capitalized on easy mistakes from Grant/Drake to win the first set fairly easily. I didn't see much of the second set, but Grant/Drake obviously put up a tougher fight but Zheng still played some shots that were just great and Sromova really played some great groundstrokes and consistently enough to help win the match for her and Zheng. A great win for Hana in doubles.
Dulko (ARG) / Kirilenko (RUS) def. (WC) Pelletier / Wozniak (CAN/CAN) 6-1 6-1
No surprise here. Dulko and Kirilenko had some close games with Pelletier and Wozniak but really overpowered Pelletier and Wozniak. Kirilenko played with a brace on her right knee, but that did not seem to affect her play. I am not surprised that Dulko/Kirilenko decided to play this match despite Maria's injury, as Marie-Eve played ok but Wozniak made plenty of easy mistakes and silly errors to pretty much give away the match.
Dekmeijere / Kostanic (LAT/CRO) def. Russell / Craybas (USA/USA) 6-2, 6-3
Russell was the weakest link here, hitting almost all of the unforced errors. Liga was playing so-so and Kostanic was hitting hard and having some nice shots and winners. Craybas hit hard and had some winners here and there, but really could not prevent her partner from hitting so many volleys in the net and balls out. Russell was really off in this match and that helped guide Liga/Jelena to victory.
So that was my trip to the tournament. I am so happy with how everything went! (see below)
POLISH UPDATE!: I got a picture of Marta Domachowska! I asked her if I could take a picture with me and her and she said yes. As Randy H was so fixated on the Drake doubles match , so I had to ask a Tennis Canada ball kid to take the picture. It looked awkward, as I had to lean back as Marta was behind a small chained fence. Marta was practicing with Talaja with Marta's spanish coach looking on. Marta hit some great shots and was really playing well. Talaja kept laughing and joking with Marta to ease it up lol. I am surprised, as obviously Marta lost her doubles match. I guess she plays more aggressively in practice then in matches? She was hitting so hard and had some beautiful forehands in practice, it is too bad she lost her doubles match. But I am so glad I was able to speak to her and talk to her! She has tons of potential (i knew that already, but now I know it even more).
So thats about it! It was a great tournament! So many withdrawals, but I still enjoyed it! Many good matches and great players! I was glad I was able to see Liga ( who is very tall and could lose a bit of weight), Marta Domachowska, some Canadian up and comers (especially Heidi ) and some other great players and matches.