Pictures can be found here ---> http://picasaweb.google.com/105400763708269847141
Went to Eastbourne yesterday for qualies and watched a lot of MD players practice, here's a few brief notes.
- Sania playing better than I expected on her return. Seems to have gained a little bit of weight though? Still playing a bit too much like Rezai for my liking, she hits the ball hard enough normally but still gets tempted to unleash on balls when she's not in the right position. Missed a lot of 2nd serve returns when she tried to thump a winner. I think she's changed her service motion since I last watched her a well.
- Pironkova - Srebotnik was the strangest match. Pironkova looked like she'd just got out of bed and couldn't be arsed with a warm up. Didn't hit a single volley, and barely hit a ball inside the court. Then after the match, Pironkova had a face like thunder, pretty much stormed off the court. Srebotnik gave her team high fives and was laughing, joking and signing autographs. Weird.
- Big love fest for Schiavone going on. She was getting hugs and kisses from every player
she arrived at the practice courts and Kleybanova (who she was about to practice with) gave her a standing ovation. Also practiced with Pennetta later on, that was really enjoyable to watch.
- Pavlyuchenkova is so sweet. I used to like her but think she was a bit of a bitch, but she seems much more pleasant now and is friendly with a lot of the players on tour. She's so talented, hits the ball beautifully. But her footwork is truly horrible. I think her coach sucks as well. He just stands there doing nothing. She should ditch him if she's gonna fulfil her potential. Maybe employ me
- Overheard Oudin having a conversation with Pavly. Pavly asked her if she went to Birmingham after RG. Amazing comment by Oudin - she said "no, I went back to the States to practice on hard courts. I find it better to practice on them than grass, you get to hit more balls". Her coach is the opposite as well - super harsh. She's got a very good work ethic, though she seemed to be struggling with her serve.
- Ok so I know Wozniacki and Radwanska are good friends. But seriously, I'm beginning to think they might be joined at the hip
Wherever one goes, the other follows. Sort of cute I suppose.
- Azarenka seemed in good spirits despite a fair bit of strapping on her legs. Said she went on a big shopping spree in Vienna, then took the piss out of the British announcer who was saying all the foreign names wrongly
I like her more each time I see her.
- Speaking of players I like....Sorana
of course her looks help, but she's such a nice girl. Unbelievably polite and pleasant. Her mother is nice too, she took a pic of us
- Hantuchova seemed to be playing really well. Had a hit with Pavlyuchenkova in the morning and Li Na in the afternoon. I don't usually rate her that highly but I reckon she'll have a good week.
- Wow Sprem's grunt is really horrendous. She sounds like she's being punched in the stomach as she hits the ball. Remarkably unattractive.
Will upload some pics after the footy. I had a photo with Pennetta, Oudin, Hantuchova, Heather Watson (not getting uploaded, it's horrible
), Pavlyuchenkova, Mirza and Cirstea.