I'll be posting my reports from Cincy here! I'm going Monday through Wednesday!
Niculescu def. Lisicki
I arrived at 3-2 in the first. Unfortunately, Sabine was extremely rusty. She hit some good shots every once in a while, but for most of the match was an Unforced Error Machine. She even was trying drop shots at horrible times. Niculescu didn't really have to do much, and eventually Lisicki would make the error. I left after the first set and the second didn't last much longer, so I'd imagine it was the same story. Niculescu had a weird slice that was giving Lisicki trouble also.
Llagostera Vives def. King
I only saw the second set, but from what I could tell it was a really streaky match. Vania would play well a couple games, then Llagostera would, and so on and so on. Vania was getting pretty frustrated out there, so I'm guessing that's what her downfall was in the third. The players were pretty evenly matched though it seemed. Both were striking the ball pretty well.
Errani def. Hampton
I saw the whole match. Jamie started out extremely slowly. The first serve wasn't working, she wasn't striking the ball cleanly, and she was really negative on the court. Then once her first serve started getting going (it is usually 105-115) she started getting into the match and actually made the first set pretty competitive! The second set was a lot closer than the score indicates, but ultimately Jamie made too many mistakes. I liked Jamie's serve a lot and also her net game. Her backhand is better than her forehand in my opinion, but I wouldn't necessarily call it a weapon. She needs to work on getting to/doing something with a drop shot. Honestly I think Errani is overranked. She doesn't do anything well except get a lot back and hit nice drop volleys every now and then.
Peer def. Govortsova
Peer was solid, hitting deep and some nice winners. Govortsova hits really hard and I think that if she cleans up her game, she can be top 20. Govortsova's retirement seemed to come out of nowhere. She had no tape, didn't seemed pained, but then after being broken again, threw in the towel. I hope she's ok!
Mirza/Niculescu def. Hampton/Oudin
Jamie Hampton could be a great doubles player someday! Her serve sets her team up nicely, she has great volleys, a killey overhead, and good instincts at the net. While all four players played well in patches, Mirza was the most solid in my opinion. I don't think she was broken at all and was striking the ball nicely. Niculescu got a warning for smacking her racket on the court. She acts bratty out there in my opinion. But yeah, both sets were really close and came down to a few points. The more experienced players won.
Ivanovic def. Azarenka
This was such a great match. Vika came out on fire, hitting lots of winners and really deep. Ana started to play better at the end of the first, but Vika closed it out no problem. In the second set Ana still raised her level, but Vika was still in control. She was two points away on a couple occasions, but couldn't do it. The crowd was totally behind Ana, Vika got tight, couldn't serve it out, got angry and threw her racquet, etc. etc. and lost the second set, despite fighting from down 6-4 or something. Third set she never recoverd. Ana thrived on the crowd support, and was hitting the ball cleaner and harder than I've seen her in months. Unfortunately, the constant Ajdes and fist pumping that I hate so much are back. Vika's serve completely left her (and Ana was killing Vika's second most of the match), and she wasn't able to pull it together. It was really a shame that this was a R1, because both players were hitting great when in the lead.