Re: Australian Open 2009 reports and pics
Friday 16 January 2009
Today it was pretty cold for summer, I think it was only about 21 degrees. There was a strong cold wind swirling around for most of the day, making it difficult for a lot of the players.
Alexandra Panova(RUS) def. Zi Yan(CHN) 7-6(2) 2-6 9-7
This was the first women's match I saw after I arrived. They were in a first set tiebreak, in which Zi made tons of crap UEs and double faults and lost easily. I then left the match in disgust. I came back early in the 3rd set and Zi had lifted her game. She was playing aggressively and had cut down her UEs. She broke and led 4-2 in the 3rd set. However she was broken back and the match became a struggle. At about 5-4 Zi was serving for the match and had match point, but I think Panova hit a winner to save it. They both kept breaking each other and had some great flat hitting rallies, but Panova was slightly more consistent and eventually was the one to prevail.
Betina Jozami(ARG) def. Ksenia Palkina(KGZ) 2-6 6-4 6-4
When I arrived at this match Palkina was leading a set and 3-1. However Jozami started to play well and managed to come back to take the 2nd set and get an early break in the 3rd. Palkina fought back to level at 4-4 in the 3rd, but then Jozami broke again and served it out to win 6-4. It was the first time I had seen Jozami and her game impressed me. She has a good serve and powerful groundstrokes. She was aggressive from the baseline and hit most of her groundstrokes to the sidelines. She dropshotted Palkina a lot and was successful with the dropshot about 9/10 times, as Palkina is pretty slow moving forwards. Jozami kept doing this and Palkina couldn't do anything about it. Jozami was getting really fired up and shouted really loudly to herself after good points.
Sesil Karatantcheva(BUL) def. Madison Brengle(USA)1-6 7-5 6-2
This was the last match to finish today. I watched the scoreboard from the next court and came to watch when it was 6-1 5-3 to Brengle as I thought it would be over soon. I arrived in time to witness a colossal choke from Brengle, as she badly doublefaulted her service game away when serving for the match. After she lost her serve she hardly got a ball into play, and lost the next 9 games in a row, so the score was 6-1 5-7 0-5. In all these games Brengle lost by hitting atrocious shots and Sesil really didn't have to do much other than get the ball into play. It was one of the most pathetic chokes I have witnessed. Brengle was getting really annoyed and was constantly berating herself. There was a noisy group of Bulgarians who were singing and chanting in Bulgarian and went crazy every time Sesil won a point. Even when she won a really unimportant point they would go off as if she'd just won the match, it was quite annoying. At 5-0 down Brengle decided to go for broke and managed to win a couple of games but then Sesil held on to win the match. Sesil did not really impress me at all and she doesn't seem to be as good as she was a few years ago. Her serve is so bad and she doesn't seem to be as aggressive with her groundstrokes. I won't be surprised if she loses in the next round as she really should have been cleaned up by Brengle.
Vania King(USA) def. Eleni Daniilidou(GRE) 6-7(5) 6-2 6-1
This was a high quality match. It was very close in the first set which Eleni won in a tiebreak. Both were playing excellent tennis. After the first set Vania maintained a high level while Eleni made a few more UEs. Vania really did well to keep the balls deep and move Eleni around until she had an opportunity to finish the point. Vania hit a lot of great winners and deserved to win.
Melanie Oudin(USA) def. Catalina Castano(COL) 7-5 7-5
Oudin has a nice game, she has good solid groundstrokes with pace on them and a decent serve. There were many breaks in the match. Oudin was up 5-3 in the first set but got a bit tight and let it get back to 5-5, then managed to close it out 7-5. Early in the 2nd set no one could hold serve, but finally Oudin held for a 4-2 lead. When Oudin was up 5-3 she choked again, and it went back to 5-5, but then Oudin again won 7-5. Both players struggled with their serve in the wind, and Castano struggled to get her flat shots over the net.
Kimiko Date Krumm(JPN) def. Maret Ani(EST) 6-4 4-6 6-0
Kimiko was making most of the play and dictating the points in this match. She was travelling comfortably until about 3-3 when Kimiko went off the boil and made a string of UEs to lose the set 6-4. In the 3rd set Kimiko regrouped and started playing well again, Ani could hardly get a ball in court and made many double faults. Ani called the trainer in the 3rd set to get treatment on her right arm. At 5-0 up Kimiko had trouble closing out the match, she kept choking her match points and needed so many chances before she finally took one match point with a drop volley winner. I think Kimiko will make the main draw but will have to stop her lapses and cut down on UEs as well as stop choking in order to have a chance to progress in the main draw.
Alberta Brianti(ITA) def. Michelle Larcher De Brito(POR) 6-2 6-3
This was my first time watching Larcher de Brito. She did not start well. In her first 2 service games she made about 5 double faults and quickly went down 3-0. She is a bit of a brainless ball basher and just tries to hit every ball hard and close to the lines with a loud grunt. I did not once see Michelle attempt any other different shot, such as a dropshot, slice, lob, volley etc, all just topspin groundstrokes hard and towards the lines. As she's still young she doesn't even have a lot of power yet. Brianti played very smart, she sliced a lot and hit some excellent defensive shots. Brianti was actually in great form and will be hard to beat. Michelle has quite a temper and was throwing her racquet, hitting the balls in anger and shouting a lot. I suppose she can improve in the future and is still very good for a 15 year old but there are obvious deficiencies there.
Viktoriya Kutuzova(UKR) def. Alexandra Stevenson(USA) 6-3 6-2
Alex had break points early on but couldn't take them and it went downhill for Alex from there. She just made way too many unforced errors and Kutuzova just needed to maintain the rally and get the ball back into play. Alex had the trainer out in the 2nd set to treat her right shoulder, but it didn't seem to improve and she lost quite easily.
Kathrin Woerle(GER) def. Georgie Stoop(GBR)6-3 5-7 14-12
I didn't see much of this, only a few games from when Stoop was 5-1 up in the 2nd set. Stoop has a good forehand and a decent serve, Woerle was playing pretty well too.
Stefanie Voegele(SUI) def. Silvia Soler Espinosa(ESP) 6-3 7-5
Voegele played well, she had nice consistent flat groundstrokes and was the more aggressive player. Soler Espinosa is a typical Spanish player with loopy groundstrokes and a very loud grunt on every ball.