My Birmingham reports (days 1, 2, 3 + 5) UPDATED for QFs! - TennisForum.com

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post #1 of 72 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 2006, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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My Birmingham reports (days 1, 2, 3 + 5) UPDATED for QFs!

Hey guys, I spent the whole afternoon at the DFS Classic today! Most of the players seemed to be walking around, even if there weren't very many high-profile matches going on today! The only top players I didn't see were Sharapova and Hantuchova!

We got there at about 11.15 after asking for directions from a lovely old woman Bearing in mind this is only the second tennis tournament I've ever been to (the other being Wimbledon last year where I only saw a couple of doubles matches), I was very excited! So then imagine how I reacted when a shuttle bus pulled up as we were queueing to get tickets and Vera Zvonareva, Alicia Molik and Sania Mirza got out! My friends aren't really tennis fans so they were very amused by how excited I was about seeing Alicia Jelena Jankovic also emerged out of the players lounge (or whatever it is) moments later!

When we got in, we went straight to centre court and watched the Arvidsson-Czink match. I wasn't expecting much but it was actually a very high quality match. Sofia struggled with her serve early on but when she started getting them in it was very effective! In fact, it was great service from both women, Czink's lefty serve was working well! Czink was 5-2 up in the first set due to some very impressive aggressive play but Sofia started to play better and Czink started to make some more errors and ended up losing the set in the tiebreak.

I missed some of the second set because I went to look around the grounds and watched Alicia Molik practice for a bit - she was practicing with Pratty and i think her coach? On the court right next to her, Vera was running up and down with some guy (coach?) and Mara Santangelo and Elena Likhotseva were there as well. I saw Vera EVERYWHERE today, I saw her arrive at 11.15 and she was still there when I left at about 4.30.

I went back in to watch the Arvidsson-Czink match but spent most of my time at the top overlooking the practice courts Alicia and Pratty left sometime during that third set but then Daniilidou came on with her coach and hitting partner (I don't think she was a player, I had never seen her before). Daniilidou was mainly practicing her serves, her coach was demonstrating technique. Eleni was hitting some impressive serves but the whole time I was thinking that its her second serve she should be practicing

After the Arvidsson match, we went outside and hung around the main practice area where Francesca was practicing with someone I didn't really recognise. Likhotseva was also there with the same guy Zvonareva was with earlier (does he coach both of them?). At some point I saw Vera on these practice courts as well. But THEN the legend that is Martina Navratilova walked right past me onto the practice courts!! I was surprised to see her because I knew she had withdrawn (she had her knee bandaged btw). Anyway, she stood and watched Francesca practice for a couple of minutes and then talked to her briefly - I think she was coaching her! A storm had been rumbling away in the distance throughout the third set of the Arvidsson match and it finally arrived and absolutely p*ssed it down! So Martina got off there quickly but was stopped by this group of kids who tried to get her autograph and my friends pushed me to go to (I'm pretty shy). Martina muttered something about the pen not working and I thought she was going to get one from the reception area a few seconds away so I went after her like some loser But she just disappeared But THEN when I got back to my friends they were jumping up and down like idiots because it turned out that whilst I had been chasing Martina, Fran had got off the courts and raced underneath my friends' umbrellas! Apparently she gave them a big goofy grin and said something that none of them understood and ran off again

After the rain had passed, I went the more secluded practice courts behind the centre court and guess who was there? Yup, Vera Z! I watched her practice with the same guy again - she was practicing volleys and passing shots - and some of the kids on the court right next to her saw me taking pictures of her and thought that because someone recognised her she must be Maria Sharapova! So then one of the cocky ones shouted over to her coach and asked him if she was Maria Sharapova Vera seemed to have a good laugh about it anyway After a few minutes, her coach left and Vera was just there alone surrounded by these kids as she did some stretches! So I somehow plucked up the courage to go and speak to her and get her autograph! She seemed really sweet That was the first autograph I'd ever gotten and shortly after I got Frannie's as well

I sat through about 5 games of the Borwell-South match before deciding it was going to be as boring as I thought it would be! I spent the rest of the afternoon near Court 1 where I saw the latter half of Vesnina-Razzano. Vesnina was VERY impressive in the final set which she raced through 6-0! I'm definitely going to keep my eye on her in the future At the same time as that match, Brandi vs Tu and Rolle vs Foretz were playing. There were some strange noises coming from the Tu match And I had never heard of Rolle before but she seems very fiery! She was throwing her racket everywhere and having temper tamptrums!! I went to see who was practicing again and saw Sammy , Sania and Yan and Li (I think) Also, Raymond, Likhotseva and Sugiyama all walked past me! I love this tournament already, it just seems so relaced with the players feeling free to walk around everywhere. I went back to the outside courts but we decided to go home, very sun-burnt, a while later. But I noticed before we went that there were quite a few players hanging around the outside courts, Vesinina hung around after her match, I think Shenay Perry was there and of course, it wouldn't have been a complete day without it, I saw Vera YET AGAIN joking with her coach amongst the spectators just before I left

Sorry for the length of this! I enjoyed it so much, I had to share Feel free to ask questions etc

Last edited by ~Rachel~; Jun 16th, 2006 at 08:02 PM.
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post #2 of 72 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 2006, 08:02 PM
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Thanks I love the Fran bit


NaraChiricoRiskeDuval
DiyasStephensIshizuVan UytvanckMcHale
SvitolinaMiyamuraGonzalezAoyamaWatson
I miss Ai, Erika, Rebecca and Shinobu
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post #3 of 72 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 2006, 08:04 PM
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Fran had got off the courts and raced underneath my friends' umbrellas! Apparently she gave them a big goofy grin and said something that none of them understood and ran off again

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post #4 of 72 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 2006, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Rachel~
But THEN when I got back to my friends they were jumping up and down like idiots because it turned out that whilst I had been chasing Martina, Fran had got off the courts and raced underneath my friends' umbrellas! Apparently she gave them a big goofy grin and said something that none of them understood and ran off again
Haha! Franny is so funny I'm sure Fran was speaking in Italian or in English with a thick Italian accent haha!
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post #5 of 72 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 2006, 08:13 PM
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I was there all day today too, and everyone does just seem so relaxed, it's great. There were so many players watching the Tu/Brandi match - seemed bizarre - I saw Anne Kremer, Elena L, Anna C, Czink, Zvonereva, Perry, Craybas and a few other players I didn't recognise.
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post #6 of 72 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 2006, 08:19 PM
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Great...Thanks for sharing your experience. Will you be there tomorrow?

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post #7 of 72 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 2006, 08:20 PM
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Sounds like you had a great time! Thanks for the reports. I guess I always thought tennis players had a special entrance etc... I was surprised the first tournament that I went to that Jelena Dokic was walking out of the grounds in front of me.

Have FUN! Take lots of photo's and keep the reports coming!
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post #8 of 72 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 2006, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses guys! I certainly had a good time

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Great...Thanks for sharing your experience. Will you be there tomorrow?
Yeah I'm definitely going tomorrow, I really want to see the Vera-Alicia match amongst others
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post #9 of 72 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 2006, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Have FUN! Take lots of photo's and keep the reports coming!
Thanks I will I took some photos today as well and I'll upload them at some point if people are interested (probs tomorrow or the day after) but I have to worn you I only have a standard camera so there not up to Nouf's or East Players' standards!
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post #10 of 72 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 2006, 08:39 PM
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Were Lisa, Elena L and Ai wakling together around? Did you see the MoritA vs O'Brien match?

Glad you're enjoying it! Souds like alot of fun!!! Great report!!

Go Ai, Venus, Na, Tamarine!
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post #11 of 72 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 2006, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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^^ I saw Lisa and Ai but Lisa was with her coach and Ai was on her own. Elena L I saw on her own as well but she was also around Santangelo, Zvonareva and Zvonareva's coach - he could be Likhotseva's coach actually, I'm not sure
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post #12 of 72 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 2006, 08:44 PM
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Elena L was with a load of other Russian girls and I think her coach.
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post #13 of 72 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 2006, 08:51 PM
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Any any of you guys see Morita-O'Brien?

Go Ai, Venus, Na, Tamarine!
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post #14 of 72 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 2006, 08:55 PM
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Saw a bit of it, Morita did very well considering I believe it was her first match on grass
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post #15 of 72 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 2006, 08:57 PM
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ok great thamks!

Go Ai, Venus, Na, Tamarine!
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