Re: Broke Ass Portugal Open 2013 - brief notes
Day 4 - Tuesday - 1R
Peng d. Bartoli 6-0, 1-6, 6-4
Not bad at all, but as the score indicates Peng and Bartoli never really played well at the same time.
Early on Bartoli's current high % CC power pushing wasn't working at all and her attempts at aggressive ROS were mostly misfiring; her shots just didn't have much in them. Peng's footwork is famously bad, yet still considerably better than Bartoli's, and she can play some defense on clay, moonball when required, and was aiming for the corners for easy winners without taking all that many risks (Bartoli remains one of the players against whom it is easier to hit winners against from the baseline - extremely easy to wrongfoot) - her BH DTL was doing a lot of damage. Accordingly, Bartoli lost the first set in about 20 mins.
Bartoli finally realised she couldn't rally, and had to start on top of every single point; accordingly, she began stepping inside the court and moving forward to finish points off with drive volleys. Turned the match around and took the second set.
Third set both players were firing aces and holding serve easily; eventually Bartoli blinked first and giftwrapped the decisive break with a DF. There was some seriously boneheaded shot selection from Peng while serving at *4-3, but she held in the end and later serve out the match with ease.
Oprandi d. Bertens 6-3, 6-3
From 2-1 in the first to the end.
Bertens seems to be a B-list claycourt power player - big serve, deep, flat shots off both sides. Doesn't seem to have overwhelming firepower (she wasn't hitting through Oprandi), but seems comfortable on clay: slides, makes use of defensive slices and isn't entirely hopeless in touch shot exchanges at the net. However, either her game is still a bit rough or she was having a bad day at the office - was too erratic throughout, and her attitude wasn't the best; at *3-1 down in the second she gave up on the match, which didn't prevent the closing stages of that set from being a mix of (some) gutsy winners and (many) godawful wild errors from both.
Oprandi was a surprise - besides the usual stuff (outrageous dropshot winners from 3 meters behind the baseline, dropshot winners on ROS, apparently last ditch scooped up squash shots and defensive slices that are both extremely accurate and very tricky to handle and allowed her to deal with Bertens' pace with some ease), her ground game was far from lacking in accuracy and weight - she was trading blow for blow with Bertens from the baseline, and nearly always being more consistent. Only her ROS seemed a bit lazy at times.
Kanepi d. Mladenovic 6-4, 6-3
From 2-1 in the second.
Didn't see enough to draw any conclusions re: Mladenovic, other than the fact that she's very photogenic and that she commendably insisted on playing right at the baseline. Bit I saw her BH seemed flatter and more penetrating than her FH, which she was hitting with more spin and margin, but I heard that her FH is actually her weapon of choice.
Kanepi was having a good FH day and serving big. Had a good go at nearly all of Mladenovic's 2nd serves.
Schiavone d. Lourdes Dominguez Lino 6-2, 4-6, 6-3
First two sets.
Old skool claycourt tennis - but high on endless moonball rallies and low on actual cute stuff. I remember watching a much more entertaining match featuring the whole Ye Olde Claycourte Bag of Tricks between Garbin and Mamic at this very same court (Centralito) some years ago. This was just boring, no matter how often both managed to loop the ball up CC into the corners during those endless rallies.
Puig d. Görges 7-6(3), 6-2
Match featured all of Görges' well known flaws, only amplified. Return game was completely ineffective throughout (couldn't get a damned BH ROS in to save her life) to the extent that you had to wonder if she was even bothering to contest Puig's service games, couldn't even loop up her BH to keep herself in rallies, threw away the TB with a bunch of sloppy errors.
Puig plays like an Asian player - very agile due to a low centre of gravity, scrambles a lot, hits flat. Was clever enough to exploit Görges' limitations on return, and made good use of her ability to rally at a much faster pace.
U. Radwanska d. Cibulkova 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
Last two sets.
Hard fought, well contested match. Few points won outright with serve (both returned quite well).
Despite U-Rad's excellent defensive skills, Cibulkova managed to hit through her on occasion. However Cibulkova's usual MO was to crank up the pace of the rally and/or open angles into U-Rad's FH side until U-Rad's FH cracked. This was laborious given how consistent U-Rad can be, and there were a lot of lengthy, tough rallies as Cibulkova's rally BH was both more consistent and hit deeper than the usual. Somewhat surprisingly, U-Rad prevailed by digging in and keeping herself in those grueling rallies rather than throwing cute stuff back at Cibulkova.
Last edited by Corswandt; May 1st, 2013 at 08:40 AM.