DefyingGravity Cincinnati Report: 1 Day Only, But WOW! - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 68 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2011, 03:54 AM Thread Starter
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DefyingGravity Cincinnati Report: 1 Day Only, But WOW!

So today, I made the 3 hour drive to Cincinnati from my college town in Ohio to go to the Western and Southern Open. Today, my mom and I wanted to only see the women, even though we had a Grandstand ticket and all the players on Grandstand were men, so we essentially bought seats that weren't used .

I did, however see the following WTA matches/practices:

-Vera Zvonareva 10:30 a.m.
-Flavia Pennetta vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 11:00 a.m.
-Li Na, Alexandra Dulgheru, Alberta Brianti, BoJJ 12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
-Kateryna/Alona Bondarenko (Richard Williams and Lakeisha walked past and talked with my mom and I. He handed me a bottle of water, while ignoring the white woman who looked more thirsty than I was by far)- 1:00 p.m.
-Petkovic/Schiavone vs. Kuznetsova/Goerges - 2:00 p.m. (super tie-break only)
-Wandering around
-Hantuchova/Lisicki doubles practice; Jie Zheng and the Chinese delegation; Petra Kvitova - 4:00 p.m.
-Kuznetsova practice - 5:00 p.m.
-Bartoli vs. A. Bondarenko - 5:30 p.m.
-Hantuchova/Lisicki vs. Daniilidou/Hercog - 6:30 p.m. (Mariana Alves sat behind me)
-Kvitova vs. Scheepers 7:00 p.m. - ish (partial)

Pictures of:

Zvonareva
Flavia vs. Pavlyuchenkova
Dulgheru
Brianti
BoJJ
Li
Kateryna and Alona
Richard and Lakeisha
Hantuchova
Lisicki
Hlavackova (or how you spell it)
Kvitova
Kuznetsova
Hantuchova/Lisicki vs. Daniilidou/Hercog
Kvitova vs. Scheepers

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Sailor Darth Vika (2), Sailor Sveta (2), Sailor Simona, Sailor Pliskova
Sailor St. Kim (4), Sailor Mahree (2), Sailor Seles (9), Sailor Dokic, Sailor Testud, Sailor Zheng
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post #2 of 68 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2011, 03:56 AM
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Re: DefyingGravity Cincinnati Report: 1 Day Only, But WOW!

Na was practicing with Alex, BoJo and Alberta

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post #3 of 68 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2011, 04:01 AM Thread Starter
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Re: DefyingGravity Cincinnati Report: 1 Day Only, But WOW!

Vera's practice: I only got to see her serve as to not be late for the Pavlyuchenkova/Pennetta match. She's still cute as ever to me.

Pavlyuchenkova vs. Pennetta: First thing, Anastasia is not really earning the "Baby fat" nickname in real life. Some of the girls are just amazingly skinny compared to her. This was my first time going to the outer courts of Cincinnati not just for practice, and they've done an amazing job renovating and replanning the place so that the combined event would be smooth. Court 9 is wonderful, about 1500 seater that's sunken into the ground. Flavia's game is really so emotionally charged, even though at it's core, it's based on percentage tennis. The first set was proof of that. She played well, she was winning a lot of points and there wasn't much between her and Pavs. The only difference is that Pavs was being the more positive player in the first set. Flavia and her emotions made her miss things by very narrow margins, and a couple of close calls got her on edge. The second set was much better, and she executed a game plan of moving Anastasia around the court and making her play the ball more than she would like. Anastasia really could crack the ball, but she ran into patches of really excellent play and then error after error. Flavia's steady game proved to be much more effective in the long run, as evidenced by her win. The crowd in Cincinnati really liked Flavia (or perhaps, they just know her as opposed to Pavs) and got behind her. Anastasia couldn't get any love from the crowd, and it was kind of sad.

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Sailor Darth Vika (2), Sailor Sveta (2), Sailor Simona, Sailor Pliskova
Sailor St. Kim (4), Sailor Mahree (2), Sailor Seles (9), Sailor Dokic, Sailor Testud, Sailor Zheng
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post #4 of 68 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2011, 04:01 AM
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Re: DefyingGravity Cincinnati Report: 1 Day Only, But WOW!

How did Jie look in practice? And what about Kvitova in her match?

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post #5 of 68 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2011, 04:02 AM Thread Starter
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Re: DefyingGravity Cincinnati Report: 1 Day Only, But WOW!

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Originally Posted by NA-GOAT View Post
Na was practicing with Alex, BoJo and Alberta
Not exactly. She and her husband showed up on the court that Alex, BoJJ, and Alberta were practicing on. Dulgheru and Briatni hit to each other (for their doubles) while BoJJ just hit with her coach. Then once BoJJ got off the court, Li and her husband got on the court with her coach and then Alex and Alberta trickled off.

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Princess Garbi (RG '16), Sailor Ana ('08 RG), Sailor Venus (7), Sailor GOATra (2), Sailor Kerber ('16 AO & USO)
Sailor Darth Vika (2), Sailor Sveta (2), Sailor Simona, Sailor Pliskova
Sailor St. Kim (4), Sailor Mahree (2), Sailor Seles (9), Sailor Dokic, Sailor Testud, Sailor Zheng

Last edited by DefyingGravity; Aug 17th, 2011 at 02:22 PM.
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post #6 of 68 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2011, 04:03 AM
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Re: DefyingGravity Cincinnati Report: 1 Day Only, But WOW!

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Originally Posted by DefyingGravity View Post
Vera's practice: I only got to see her serve as to not be late for the Pavlyuchenkova/Pennetta match. She's still cute as ever to me.

Pavlyuchenkova vs. Pennetta: First thing, Anastasia is not really earning the "Baby fat" nickname in real life. Some of the girls are just amazingly skinny compared to her. This was my first time going to the outer courts of Cincinnati not just for practice, and they've done an amazing job renovating and replanning the place so that the combined event would be smooth. Court 9 is wonderful, about 1500 seater that's sunken into the ground. Flavia's game is really so emotionally charged, even though at it's core, it's based on percentage tennis. The first set was proof of that. She played well, she was winning a lot of points and there wasn't much between her and Pavs. The only difference is that Pavs was being the more positive player in the first set. Flavia and her emotions made her miss things by very narrow margins, and a couple of close calls got her on edge. The second set was much better, and she executed a game plan of moving Anastasia around the court and making her play the ball more than she would like. Anastasia really could crack the ball, but she ran into patches of really excellent play and then error after error. Flavia's steady game proved to be much more effective in the long run, as evidenced by her win. The crowd in Cincinnati really liked Flavia (or perhaps, they just know her as opposed to Pavs) and got behind her. Anastasia couldn't get any love from the crowd, and it was kind of sad.
Nastya If I were there I would have rooted for her.

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post #7 of 68 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2011, 04:05 AM Thread Starter
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Re: DefyingGravity Cincinnati Report: 1 Day Only, But WOW!

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Originally Posted by Inger67 View Post
How did Jie look in practice? And what about Kvitova in her match?
Jie looked pretty solid out there, and she came and supported a special Chinese delegation sponsored by Western and Southern to fly over. They watched Na's match against Safarova and then went and hit on the court. It was kind of cool, and Jie talked to a Chinese reporter and TV crew.

People assumed that was Li Na out there . It was really irritating.

I'll get to Kvitova's match, but her practice was really cool. She really cracks the hell out of the ball, in practice and in match. She's also a sweetheart that NO ONE recognized. It was embarrassing, and I couldn't believe it because the reigning Wimbledon champion...walked around...with no entourage. Got a picture with her though.

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Sailor St. Kim (4), Sailor Mahree (2), Sailor Seles (9), Sailor Dokic, Sailor Testud, Sailor Zheng
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post #8 of 68 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2011, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
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Re: DefyingGravity Cincinnati Report: 1 Day Only, But WOW!

The practice that includes Li, Dulgheru, Brianti, and BoJJ

Bojana looks nothing like she does on TV. Absolutely nothing like it. Her body is pretty damn good. I'd definitely tap that, . She was hitting with her coach/hitting partner and she was killing him. He could not handle her pace at all, and she hits nearly as hard as Kvitova and Li whenever she wants to. Dulgheru and Brianti hit with such wonderful rhythm and timing. It was really beautiful to watch the different levels of spin (topspin, flat, slice) without dropping a beat. Brianti's backhand was just absolutely wonderful in person. It's got a bit of a stiff arm to it, and since I don't hit with a one hander, I can't tell if that's a technical kind of setback or not. Dulgheru's outfit was cute too. I'll post pictures up on Thursday night, when I get my cable, and you'll see. It's a blue K-Swiss top that Mom really liked.

Li shows up right after BoJJ leaves, but as Dulgheru and Brianti still practice. She and Thomas and her husband have an amazing chemistry, and she seemed much more relaxed than at Wimbledon. She was hitting with her husband after the Safarova match, and what really impressed me was that she was, at times, out hitting her husband (well, shouldn't be a surprise, but still). They have wonderful chemistry when they hit with each other too. It's almost like the perfect tennis couple that you would see out on a public court. She smiled, and he smiled back at her and Michael seemed very cool and chill. His accent was sweet too, but I couldn't pick up on where he was from.

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Sailor Darth Vika (2), Sailor Sveta (2), Sailor Simona, Sailor Pliskova
Sailor St. Kim (4), Sailor Mahree (2), Sailor Seles (9), Sailor Dokic, Sailor Testud, Sailor Zheng

Last edited by DefyingGravity; Aug 17th, 2011 at 02:22 PM.
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post #9 of 68 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2011, 04:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: DefyingGravity Cincinnati Report: 1 Day Only, But WOW!

Kateryna and Alona Bondarenko's practice (with Richard and Lakeisha interrupting slightly)

Kateryna and Alona are SO SKINNY. Alona looked a tad unhealthy to my mom and I, but that's just for our taste. We've had this debate on this forum before. Alona had worked herself out enough and basically the time I was there, she sat down, re did her grip, and drank some of the cool little Gatorade-style drinks and Evian waters. Kateryna was busting her ass out there, and I have so much more respect for her. She was doing drill after drill, hitting it as hard as she could with depth and changing direction and incorporated volleys. She was so good in practice. My favorite practice session by far to watch.

Then Richard and Lakeisha just kind of showed up before Serena took court at Stadium. Richard looks a little frail, and Lakeisha (to those who would never have guessed she wasn't Serena's mom) was wearing a tight purple/fuschia top and grey/light black Nike tight capris and she showed off a Serena-like ass in them too. Lakeisha seemed like a cool girl, though she was quiet. Richard talked to my mom and I, asking how we were doing, and we asked how Serena was, and he said she was doing pretty good. He then interrupted the conversation the Bondarenkos were having with their coaches/hitting partners and walked on court to get 3 Evians and made Lakeisha get a red drink. He then walks past me, and just hands me an Evian, saying "It's hot out here; keep drinking some water". That made the white woman that I have now since became friends very jealous, because I got the water and she didn't. I'm keeping the water bottle forever, and it's been renamed the "Richard" bottle (yes, I know...that's stupid, ). And then he and Lakeisha made their way to the player's area to go give Serena the drinks.

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Sailor Darth Vika (2), Sailor Sveta (2), Sailor Simona, Sailor Pliskova
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post #10 of 68 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2011, 04:19 AM
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Re: DefyingGravity Cincinnati Report: 1 Day Only, But WOW!

How bad were Dani and Sabine!?

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post #11 of 68 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2011, 04:23 AM
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Re: DefyingGravity Cincinnati Report: 1 Day Only, But WOW!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DefyingGravity View Post
Kateryna and Alona Bondarenko's practice (with Richard and Lakeisha interrupting slightly)

Kateryna and Alona are SO SKINNY. Alona looked a tad unhealthy to my mom and I, but that's just for our taste. We've had this debate on this forum before. Alona had worked herself out enough and basically the time I was there, she sat down, re did her grip, and drank some of the cool little Gatorade-style drinks and Evian waters. Kateryna was busting her ass out there, and I have so much more respect for her. She was doing drill after drill, hitting it as hard as she could with depth and changing direction and incorporated volleys. She was so good in practice. My favorite practice session by far to watch.

Then Richard and Lakeisha just kind of showed up before Serena took court at Stadium. Richard looks a little frail, and Lakeisha (to those who would never have guessed she wasn't Serena's mom) was wearing a tight purple/fuschia top and grey/light black Nike tight capris and she showed off a Serena-like ass in them too. Lakeisha seemed like a cool girl, though she was quiet. Richard talked to my mom and I, asking how we were doing, and we asked how Serena was, and he said she was doing pretty good. He then interrupted the conversation the Bondarenkos were having with their coaches/hitting partners and walked on court to get 3 Evians and made Lakeisha get a red drink. He then walks past me, and just hands me an Evian, saying "It's hot out here; keep drinking some water". That made the white woman that I have now since became friends very jealous, because I got the water and she didn't. I'm keeping the water bottle forever, and it's been renamed the "Richard" bottle (yes, I know...that's stupid, ). And then he and Lakeisha made their way to the player's area to go give Serena the drinks.
You should have asked how Venus was doing?

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post #12 of 68 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2011, 04:23 AM Thread Starter
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Re: DefyingGravity Cincinnati Report: 1 Day Only, But WOW!

Petkovic/Schiavone vs. Kuznetsova/Goerges

Wow, wow, wow, I've not seen a women's match on an outside court be that packed except when Lindsay Davenport played doubles with Hantuchova at Miami in 2008. It was seriously attracting more attention than the Simon match on Court 3 (the third biggest court, about a 2500-4000 seater) and the Gulbis-Dodig match behind me when I was still watching Kateryna. And it was so intense. The crowd really loved Schiavone and Petkovic, because their outgoing, fun personalities really got the crowd involved. They even did a chest bump or two.

Petkovic...is ripped. Seriously, she could take out any dude. I felt scared for my life looking at her shoulders. But for being so ripped, her serve motion isn't using any of that strength effectively, and if you get to see her live, you'll notice that even more. She couldn't get a return in court either. It was embarrassing. She lost Schiavone about 4 points.

Francesca looks exactly how I pictured her, short, but still surprisingly strong. Her next to Petkovic was actually quite cute for the little height difference, and I can imagine how the Ivanorazzi would have been a better fit for Petkovic having seen her chemistry with Schiavone. They were having fun, but they didn't click as a team, you know? Kuznetsova and Goerges, on the other hand...they were two singles players who played doubles. It was sort of like they just didn't want to come to the net unless they had to. Goerges is an absolute stunner in person, though. She reminded my mom of Mary Joe Fernandez, and I can so see the slight resemblance now. Julia's forehand was pretty key. Actually, the combination of her and Sveta with the forehands were just so crucial to their win. Also, Sveta's serve was pretty awesome. She knew when to just put it in the court.

The way that they had to leave their court after the really intense match and amazing crowd was that they had to walk out in front of the west-side stands of Court 4, and walk down a pathway behind the court towards the main walk. Everyone crowded to get Schiavo, but she, Kuznetsova, Goerges, and Petkovic ALL had to hurry away from the match, got on two golf carts, and cutely drove away in the opposite direction and around to the player entrance area at the Stadium court.

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Re: DefyingGravity Cincinnati Report: 1 Day Only, But WOW!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniela-Is-Mine View Post
How bad were Dani and Sabine!?
You know, they really weren't THAT bad.

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Re: DefyingGravity Cincinnati Report: 1 Day Only, But WOW!

Jankovic vs. Benesova

Wow oh wow, it was cool to see Jelena play after just meeting her in Miami. She is so flexible, and when you see her action shots, her arms just are so flexible, and I think her power comes from her elasticity. Her new service motion that she had been working on was really clicking today, and she made me jokingly say: "Did she borrow her serve from Serena today?" It was awesome to see her serving well, and she was moving so stellarly. Pretty much the most inform player that I saw today. Everything worked. Her slice, her volley, her forehand, her backhand was getting some pace on it and Benesova just looked upset out there. Poor Iveta just did not have any crowd love either, and the Jelena-partisan crowd ate up Jankovic. She is so well liked here, which is great to see that we don't all just care about Sharapova and Serena, but that Pennetta, Jankovic, and Schiavone are all crowd favorites too. Iveta didn't play bad at all. She was not allowed to do anything. Jelena's speed around the court pretty much negated everything that Iveta could possibly do. Her getting on the scoreboard in the second set had nothing to do with a drop in Jankovic's play. Iveta had to step up.

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post #15 of 68 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2011, 04:35 AM Thread Starter
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Re: DefyingGravity Cincinnati Report: 1 Day Only, But WOW!

Hantuchova/Lisicki practice; Jie practice and Chinese delegation interview

Daniela is so skinny. I thought that she could do with a burger or something, because she's just SO skinny. Her timing is just beautiful though, and her pace in practice doesn't match her pace in the doubles match today. It was two different Danielas. There was the Daniela that was Anotoxfa, hitting hard, hitting beautiful touch volleys, angles, and lobs and made Lisicki jokingly say: "Save that for the match". And then there was the normal, Hantuchova that sort of placed the ball well but didn't hit with much pace. Upsetting that Daniela didn't keep her practice momentum in the match.

Sabine looks great in person. Television, especially at Wimbledon, made her look like she had love handles going on. False. Her outfit was not cut for her body type and the TV adds 10-15 pounds on her. Her legs are so strong. She was smiling in practice and she looked very carefree. She really enjoys her tennis, and she really enjoys Daniela. The two girls sitting down and talking to each other after their somewhat short practice was nothing short of adorable friendship. Daniela laughed and joked with her, flipping her ponytail over her visor and giggling while Sabine smiled. This could really be a GREAT friendship and doubles team.

Jie was practicing for a little bit near the Chinese delegation special guests. Jie looked solid as usual, but it wasn't an intense practice, especially since she had her doubles match a couple of hours earlier. She basically practiced so that Chinese television could see her and then she gave a cute little Chinese interview and stood with the kids (who were all taller than her just about ). Adorable, and she's got a little ass on her too. The three women on the practice courts were absolutely stellar and guys could not take their eyes off any of them. Seriously. And Lisicki and Hantuchova's grunts were essentially making their session sound like softcore porn.

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Sailor Darth Vika (2), Sailor Sveta (2), Sailor Simona, Sailor Pliskova
Sailor St. Kim (4), Sailor Mahree (2), Sailor Seles (9), Sailor Dokic, Sailor Testud, Sailor Zheng
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