I went to Hobart for Sat/Sun of quallies/start of MD. I will write my report about it here: (I will keep adding matches to this post, but I'm gonna occasionally post en then edit so i don;t lose anything hopefully):
Saturday: I got to the tennis centre at about 10:30am and went to see Marta-Lourdes. Marta was playing her usual all or nothing tennis and making too many errors, Lourdes was being the proverbial "brick wall" and getting everything back till Marta got frustrated and went for a dumb shot (and usually hit an error).
Mind you, I was swapping courts a bit to get pics of most players so i didn't see the whole match. Oh yeah, Flavia and Fran had just finished training too and they went up to another court to stretch down, so I also have some pics.
I also saw a little bit of the second set of Voegele-Strycova. Strycova won the first 6-2, but when I started watching in the secon,d she seemed to implode and was down 1-5 (I think - I did watch quite a few matches so...;0 ) so I left.
After that I went to watch a bit of training, and also of Czink-Poutchek. Czink was winning fairly easily, so I was more interested in training with Niculescu, Wozniak, Olaru...waiting to train were Vaidisova (so I asked her for a pic) and the Bondarenko sisters (who I didn;t ask for pics but i took anyway).
I will post pics, but I need to edit and upload first, so please be patient, it will not be tonight (my time), but probably tomorrow. Also be warned, training pics can be not so good coz there are bloody fences everywhere in the way.
On my way to Ula-Fran, I stopped by to watch a few games of Chan-Dzehalevich. Jesus can Chan whack the fuzz off the ball! I always think the Asian players won't have so much power because well in general Asian people are diminuitive and seem shy.
But Chan was hitting winners everywhere and setting up the points very well. i can see why she nearly beat Dementieva in Auckland!
Fran-Ula. Phew strange match. In the first set Fran could not buy a backhand. She was literally mistiming nearly every backhand, resulting in the ball goin wide or long just about every time. It was strange to watch. I me 1-2 mis timers you can understand, but she was having like 1-2 per game in the first set! Ula just played steady and had some nice point construction. Fran was doing better when she was playing on the forehand side, but Ula held her nerve to take the first set. In the second, Fran's timing came back a bit on her backhand, and she was getting mose in then. She picked up her game a bit, and Ula's level dropped a bit. This lead to Ula starting to get sooky and whiny on court. You know; bouncing the racquet, talking to herself in Polish, questioning calls - all from about the middle of the set, because it was pretty even. she was lucky to take out the tb, and I felt kinda bad for Fran, even though I wanted Ula to win, it was clear Fran was not playing at her normal level. Flavia and her coach watched most of the match too (yes Linda, I took pics of them too
Oh, I caught the end of Mirkovic-Gallovits before Fran-Ula. Really don;t have anything to say coz i saw like 2 games and I was trying to take pics, so I really didn't "see" the games.
After that, I went to say hi to Kirstin in player transport, and we got talking, and so lots of players werecoming in, and most were very nice. Alla Kudryavtseva is funny. She thinks Safin is cute, and Verdasco not so much.
Her english was actually very good (well sometimes I have trouble understand Russians when they speak english).
Also talked to Nat grandin and Abi Spears - Abi was funny too, she wanted to go do fitness but the gym was closing (it's offsite - about 50m down the road), and she had out some stretching "string" thing and she was joking that she used it on her guys.
Flavia came in to ask for a car to take her to the hotel, and Kirstin and I were teasing her...I said "no, walk", and Kirstin asked her if maybe she wanted 2 cars - one for her and one for her bag.
Oh, I forgot that Peer was in the player transport too, and she asked if kirstin and I were sisters.
We look totally NOTHING alike.
And I also asked Nat Grandin for a pic just before she was gonna train abnd so when I went to take it, she said, "Oh don't you wanna be in it?".
I said, "No, that'd ruin a good pic"!
Sunday: got to the tennis about 9:45am and waited for Ula's match against Steph. Steph was there a few mins early, and Ula was a couple of mins late. Steph was asking the umpire what was happening - was Ula coming.
This match started completely different than the match against Fran. Steph got off to a good start, and Ula was hitting alot of errors. She was shity by about the 3rd or 4th game. I must say that while i like Ula, her tantrums are starting to get slightly annoying. I left at about 5-2 for Steph in the first, because it really looked like it was gonna be an easy match for Steph with Ula being her normal mental case self...found out later I was wrong and Ula won.
Plus I wanted to see Kudryavtseva-Camerin too as I now like Alla. I got there and it was almost the end of the 1st set - like 5-3 or so. Camerin won the first set 6-3. Then in the 2nd set it was a break fest, with neither girls seeming strong on serve, excet for one service game from Alla that she held pretty easily, but then she would break Camerin and just get broken right back. MEC was up a break, and then i thin kshe went up a second break, but she just couldn't seen to close out the match. All the games were close, with both hitting sometimes a nice winner, and sometimes a bad error. Both players were yelling at themselves after just about every couple of points (when they lost a point). Well MEC was saying "forza" alot when she was winning a point too.