Ekaterina Ivanova def. Catarina Ferreira 61 61
Once again, my plans to watch Diatchenko were down the toilet. I also wanted to see Ivanova, so I decided to go to this match, hoping an easy win in something like 55/60 (it went for 80)minutes and then to go to watch Vitalia, which was supposed to be more even and last longer.
So, for my surprise, this was much more balanced than the score suggests. Catarina didn't deserve a double breadstick. Something like 6-3 6-3 would be more accurate to demonstrate what happened. Catarina managed fight toe to toe in rallies with Ekaterina (
), the problem is she doesn't have a killer shot, unlike Ekaterina who has an accurate, agressive and great to watch BH. She also used the dropshots a lot that even not that good were enough to win the point because Catarina always arrived late. Her serve can give some quick points sometimes too. Her FH seems more shaky, less powerfull and sometimes off timing. That's why Catarina's serve to her FH gave to the portuguese fast points time to time (which isn't good to Ekaterina, because Catarina's serve simply hasn't anything: no power, no spin, no effect). So, overall Catarina fought and fought really hard all the points, her best quality in court, make some good FHs (and even a BH DTL winner
), but Ekaterina is from another level and on big points she usually showed it.
After that my younger cousin wanted to play "Guitar Hero" so I let him try once, and then we went to watch Diatchenko, but I just saw it leaving the court really angry (I presumed, in that moment, she lost), but still I was brave enough to ask for an autograph
Ekaterina Dzehalevich vs. Yurika Sema 64 62
Immediatelly when I arrived I was surprised with Sema being a lefty. I had no idea. I also saw Corswandt, but he doesn't know who I am
Ekaterina (another Ekaterina today
) had a bad start commiting a bunch of errors and quickly Sema had a *3-1 lead. She finally cut the errors, made some great shots, especially on her stronger side, the BH, and rebroke. Her 1st serve is great time to time, her BH too, being her FH not that great, but nice to clay and for this level. The decisive break happened at 4-4, a very long game, had like 6/7 deuces. Then Ekaterina won 3 points in a row after being down 15-30 on her serve to win the set.
The 2nd set was even during the first games, but always seemed that Ekaterina was in control of the match. After 1st break, she went to win with no much problems. I think Yurika's game is not suitable to clay, bening her 2 handed BH very flat and she's not very fast.
Ekaterina's coach / brother, boyfriend, husband or something like that, was there, always fist pumping when she won a point, even on Yurika's DF
In the end, I got her autograph.
Michelle Brito def. Alexandra Dulgheru 76 46 75
Finally the big match of the day finally started around at 16h30. So, it wasn't that hot, which is probably the only good thing of playing a 3h42min match.
Unfortunaly, only watched 1st and 2nd sets, because my rid to home was waiting, but totally worthed it. Even my younger cousin, he doesn't get excited with tennis, got nervous and yelling "Vai" (something like "camon") during the match.
By way way far the best match I've watched in qualifying in 3 years of Estoril. Much drama, intensity, great rallies, you can't ask for more on a quali day.
As you can see on stats, serves aren't the main weapons of both. Michelle now can serve above 150km/h sometimes, but her 2nd simply is just to start the point. Alexandra take advantage with some great FH DTL returns during the 2nd set. Alexandra's serve is kind of similar to Michelle, the main difference is she puts some kick on it on both, mixed with flat ones. Same serve speed as Michelle.
The match always followed the same pattern: Michelle ball bashing, ball bashing, with Alexandra defending, defending, but with brains, mixing FH moonballs, BH double-handed slice or flat ones, short top spinned FH, waiting for the opportunity to attack (making a lot of drop shots, not worked in the 1st, but it started in the 2nd, you could see Michelle wasn't that fast moving to the net as the 1st) or simply expectating Michelle's errors.
Michelle's CC BH is so accurate, she barely missed, hitting the left baseline corner so many times, making Alexandra almost half volley a lot.
In the 1st set Michelle had a 5-3 lead, but wasted it with some 3 awful games. Then, it was Alexandra, serving for the set at *6-5, accusing the pressure and letting the opportunity escape. On the TB, Michelle's determination prevailed. On the 4th SP to Michelle, she finally closed with a funny point: both moonballed a couple of times (Michelle moonballing, can you believe it?) and Alexandra came to net after a moonball. She makes a FH CC inconclusive volley that Michelle's take advantage with a great FH DTL passing shot on the run.
In the 2nd set, Michelle faced break points in all her service games, being broken at *3-4 at *4-5. Once again, Alexandra accused the pressure of serving at *5-3, but credits also to Michelle for not making errors. The difference this time, was that Alexandra had Michelle's serve to win the set with a Michelle's too much deep FH (I think it was FH).
A funny thing happened at deuce that game: the umpire calls "correction, the ball was good, replay the point" and Michelle answers "Nobodly called out". But it wasn't the only error from the umpire.
At the 3-3 at the 2nd, it lasted for 6/7 deuces, when it was on the advantage, suddenly the umpire calls 15-30 with Dulgheru leading 4-3* and on Michele's serve, altough anybody could see Alexandra was serving, and so he continued for the next point and called 30-30 when Alexandra DFs and Michelle wins the point on her serve. Everybody was complaining, I was yelling "deuce", and Alexandra simply didn't know what was happening when she was about to serve.
Serious, what the hell???
So, it's all for today. Hoping to see Iveta vs Neuza, Michelle vs Bovina and ALG vs Parmentier tomorrow.