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post #1 of 114 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 2008, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Sugi's Pictures and Reports from Birmingham! Enjoy

I went to Birmingham yesterday and today and decided to share my day with you all. (Sunday and Monday)

I had a good time. Two of my friends came with me who like tennis and play it, but don't follow it lots. On Qualifying we didn't do much, just watched small parts of matches and practices and the weather was very hot.

The British tennis players and their matches
I watched a good match which featured Naomi Cavaday on Centre Court. In the second set, after bageling Craybas, she came down from 0-3. She was really good and at times played like a top 100 player, overpowering Craybas from the back. If Naomi plays like that, she will be dangerous at Wimbledon. I also loved Naomi's lefty forehand. It was a powerful shot. After the first set, Craybas made a few small adjustments to her game, but Cavaday kept dictating play. Amanda Elliott also really impressed me, winning two matches on Sunday and troubling Rezai the next day. I saw a small part of her match against Schultz-McCarthy and she has an entertaining game, and isn't afraid to serve and volley which I like in a player. I hope she gets a wildcard to Wimbledon. I also found Naomi Broady very striking. She has such an interesting game, with her one handed backhand and strong serve. She is also extremely attractive, and if she makes it big, she will have a large fanbase on tennisforum. After losing to Ruutel, she left the court crying and looking sad. I also saw Elena Baltacha walking around the venue several times and she looked pretty good . I saw her once at Antwerp a few years ago, but now she looks to be more in shape and fitter in my opinion. I wasn't very impressed with Anna Fitzpatrick. She lost to Melanie South in straight sets and Anna didn't make much of an impression on me, I found her quite forgettable. Broady and Elliott impressed me more.

The British fans, including the infamous Mr Bean and Mr Clappy
A few days before I left, I was reading a thread about the infamous Mr Bean and Mr Clappy, possibly some of the most famous tennis fans on tennisforum.com, with that long popular thread about them and encounters. One of the first people I saw on Monday was Mr Bean. My friends and I headed to the catering tent just past mid-day to get some coffee and I saw Mr Clappy there, wearing a straw cowboy hat . And a few moments later, Mr Bean (what is his name actually?) stormed in and shouted out loudly “Who is Alla Kudryavtseva?” I also eavesdropped a bit on their conversation. Mr Clappy wants to see a Dechy vs Vaidisova final, to which Mr. Bean exclaimed in his nasally voice “but Dechy is awful”
In general, I found the British fans some of the nicest out of all the tournaments I have been to, as I was queuing for my seat in Centre Court, I talked to a nice elderly lady who goes here every year, which was interesting and another fan I liked was an elderly man watching Yanina play. Every time she hit the ball he would comment on it “good!” or “good shot!” or “well done” or “excellent” or pretty much anything complimentary towards Yanina. It was really funny.

The crêpe Shop
It seems the favourite hangout for the players here in Birmingham, is the “crêpe” shop/wagon place, which I heard about before hand. During my two days there, I saw so many players waiting in line for crêpes. On Sunday, Michaella Krajicek was lining up for one and today, after her loss Morita had one, with a cup of coffee, obviously to drown her sorrows , as did Rika Fujiwara, Aiko Nakamura and Chia-Jung Chuang. My friends had told me how good they were, and although I don't like pancakes normally, I decided to try one and I can see why they are popular. As I was queuing, Sybille Bammer was behind me and had the same one as me.
However, the funniest moment of the day was without a doubt while I was watching Wickmayer vs Fedossova. and Bartoli walked past with not one, but two! crêpes in her hand and proceeded to taking a seat and watching the doubles match which featured the Bondarenko sisters. I saw her eating one, and she was holding the other in her hand. She was alone also, so I presume she was going to have the other one for herself also.

Matches
I have now given a bitt of gossip, so I decided to talk more about matches, which I guess interests some of you more. During the qualifying day, Ruutel really impressed me. I think she will be a danger in the main draw and Wimbledon qualifying, she has a good game for Grass and I will be keeping an eye out for her name in the Grass tournaments. In her match against Broady, she was hitting the balls deep into the court. I was looking forward to watching Kops-Jones as I heard she had a good game for grass. But unfortunately I arrived very late and by the time I found the courts, I only managed to see the last few points and wasn't how I expected her to be, she was pretty bland and couldn't do much against Gajdosova who was playing really well, and serving very well also. From the small bit I saw of Schultz-McCarthy against Elliott, it seemed Brenda's serve isn't as it was a few years ago at the Ordina Open, when I watched her beat Granville, so after seeing her play, I realised why she was getting poor results this year. I saw small parts of Morita vs Cirstea and Ayumi was just terrible. She lacks any “oomph” in her shots and didn't even look that sad by her loss. To me, it was a really sad sight when you take into account that last year she made the 3rd round, defeating Sugiyama and Craybas en-route. She just didn't really look that sad by her loss also. and something needs to be done, I think. She has now lost 7 or 8 consecutive matches and I didn't enjoy watching her at all, her beautiful double handed ground strokes were a mess, as was her serve. I saw the majority of Nakamura vs Obziler and Aiko played very well, dictating play and being consistent with her two handed groundstrokes. Obziler was so bitchy and complained so much. Aiko has had a few poor losses lately and had trouble closing out the sets and needed a lot of help to do so, but managed to, thanks to Obziler's errors. I am thinking that with more wins, Aiko will become more confident and won't have troule doing this. Aiko also had a really good attitude, she didn't get down on herself and seemed really focused on the match. Often pumping her fist and saying “Come on!” After losing the 1st set, 60, Olaru took a bathroom break. and I could hear her screaming and complaining from a different court. Wickmayer really impressed me against Fedossova. She was down a break in the second and was hitting the ball really hard. She also volleyed a few times, which is good in my opinion. I think Yanina will have a good grass season. Fedossova wasn't bad also, she got lots of Yanina's shots back, but made some errors at the crucial points. She has a pretty nice forehand also and I liked watching Fedossova. The doubles match with Chuang and Fujiwara against Raymond and Stosur was also good. I saw Raymond around several times on Sunday and it took me a while to realise who she was. She has put on some weight since last time I have seen her. Chia-Jung and Rika are a very good team and could go a long way in the doubles tournament, their two styles of play compliment each other well. All 4 of them are experienced doubles players, as I remember Fujiwara made the YEC in doubles quite some time ago, so the 4 players are all good doubles players and shouldn't have met in the first round. Chuang served well and was really strong from the baseline, whilst Rika was better at the net with some good finesse shots. The Taiwanese/Japanese pairing started slowly, down 1-4 or so, in the first set before levelling it and winning the set. I think the slow start was perhaps because they aren't used to playing together much. Stosur and Raymond were the weaker team and a shadow of their former self a few years ago when they pretty much dominated the doubles tour. I saw small parts of other matches also, such as Shvedova vs Amanmuradova, and Shvedova seems to be serving well and had a good attitude, she was pumped and really wanted to win. I can't remember much. I should probably take a notebook and take notes.


NaraChiricoRiskeDuval
DiyasStephensIshizuVan UytvanckMcHale
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post #2 of 114 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 2008, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Sugi's Pictures and Reports from Birmingham! Enjoy

Practice Courts
I spent quite a bit of time on the practice courts, if anyone wants to ask a question, just ask. Vaidisova had a huge following, and my friend noticed the engagement ring on her finger. O'Brien was practicing with Krajicek on Sunday, and both were hitting quite well. Marina Erakovic was hitting with Julie Ditty and Marina was one of the nicest players I met during my time there. Akgul Amanmuradova was a practice whore, I saw her on the practice court 3(!) separate times during the day, as well as her match. After her loss, she was practicing soon after. Aiko Nakamura was practicing with Ayumi Morita before their morning matches and Alexandra Stevenson was always practicing with a trainer each morning. Mirza was with Dechy and Sania was pretty good I thought. Cetkovska hit with her trainer both days and was really powerful and had some nice dropshots from what I saw, I hope she uses them in her matches. On Monday morning, at the far practice court, Tamira and Sybille were practicing – an all Austrian practice session.
I also saw Niculescu, but I can't remember who with. Early evening, on Monday, Kumiko Iijima was hitting with Namigata and a coach. I read some pretty nasty comments about Kumiko on here, as she doesn't play well out of Asia, with reports I have read describing her as “awful” and “very bad.” I expected to see something awful as has been described to me, but instead I saw someone who had some nice strokes, but just lacked any power. I saw pretty much all the players practicing at one point in fact, but I will need to remember who they were with.

Funny Moments
Nakamura's coach, Natsuki Harada picked up a chair and was moved it everywhere to find the best vantage point before her match, and finally settled on it high up the hill and at an angle. The funny thing was the look on his face as he was so concentrated on finding the best spot. .
Bartoli and her crêpes were also very funny , although I mentioned it earlier. When she signed my book on Sunday, Kumiko Iijima dropped my pen and screamed really loudly, before apologising and returning it to me. She quickly walked away, a bit embarrassed I think. . On Sunday, I walked past Sunitha Rao vs Chanelle Scheepers and Sunitha had just broken Scheeper's serve and just lost a point and Sunitha's friend/coach? was shaking his head, saying out loud “she should really win this match.” She got broken during that service game and she threw her racket and her coach said. “oh dear, its only a game.” If you were there, it was quite funny, but probably not if you read it. During Nakamura's match, there were so many school children about and one row ahead of me, a boy said “Nakamura's the Chinese one, innit” . Soon after, a ball bounced off Obziler's racket and went over the fence and hit him on the head. The child wasn't hurt at all, and found it funny.

Other
Shortly after her match, Sorana Cirstea walked past wearing normal clothes, with her hair down and clutching a book under her arm. If it wasn't for the player pass, I wouldn't have recognised her. She sat on the bank reading a book amongst the crowd and no one recognised her. I

So to conclude, I had a great few days in Birmingham with my friends and I love the club here, it is very intimate and I hope to return. Although my friends aren't tennis fans, they also enjoyed it.

PS: I know there wasn't so much news on matches and how the players played, so sorry for my poor memory. I hope you enjoyed reading this and looking at my pictures.

Any questions, just ask. Here are my pictures. They are different sizes at first and some will have borders round but then that took too long so I just resized them:

Melinda Czink


Regina Kulikova


NaraChiricoRiskeDuval
DiyasStephensIshizuVan UytvanckMcHale
SvitolinaMiyamuraGonzalezAoyamaWatson
I miss Ai, Erika, Rebecca and Shinobu
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post #3 of 114 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 2008, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Sugi's Pictures and Reports from Birmingham! Enjoy

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Monique Adamczak


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post #4 of 114 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 2008, 02:55 PM
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Re: Sugi's Pictures and Reports from Birmingham! Enjoy

Thanks a lot great work

Anabel Medina Garrigues

Sabina Sharipova - Nigina Abduraimova

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post #5 of 114 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 2008, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Akgul Amanmuradova


Alla Kudryavtseva


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post #6 of 114 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 2008, 02:57 PM
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Re: Sugi's Pictures and Reports from Birmingham! Enjoy

I love reading this

Great report

@ Marion

Krajicek Bertens Wickmayer Jankovic Kerber Svitolina Hogenkamp de Vroome Flipkens Kerkhove Burger Rus Rezai Bacsinszky / Lena D. missing you
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post #7 of 114 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 2008, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Brenda Schultz McCarthy


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post #8 of 114 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 2008, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Sugi's Pictures and Reports from Birmingham! Enjoy

thankyou
I am posting things and the order seems messed up
hmmm

Alexandra Stevenson


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post #9 of 114 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 2008, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Sorana Cirstea


Chia-Jung Chuang


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post #10 of 114 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 2008, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Petra Cetkovska


Naomi Cavaday


Casey Dellacqua


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post #11 of 114 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 2008, 03:07 PM
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Re: Sugi's Pictures and Reports from Birmingham! Enjoy

Great reports! Was Cirstea playing well despite Ayumi's play?
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post #12 of 114 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 2008, 03:08 PM
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Re: Sugi's Pictures and Reports from Birmingham! Enjoy

Thanks a lot for your report -Sugi-
It was really good

**FAN 0F NAKAMURA**
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post #13 of 114 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 2008, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Amanda Elliott


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post #14 of 114 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 2008, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Marina Erakovic and Julie Ditty - Marina was the nicest player of the tournament to me, along with Iijima and Namigata





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post #15 of 114 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 2008, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Sugi's Pictures and Reports from Birmingham! Enjoy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natash. View Post
Great reports! Was Cirstea playing well despite Ayumi's play?
To be honest, I wasn't paying much attention, as I was sitting at Nakamura's match and when I looked over at Court 1, I was paying more of my attention at Ayumi. But Sorana seemed to be serving well, I think she hit a few aces. At the end of the first set, she called the trainer. She was very powerful also, and looked quite strong. I don't understand her double bagels lately.


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