Thanks for the update. Did you catch any other matches?
Di received another WC into next week's event. Good luck to her!
No problem, updates are what we do.
Yes, I saw some other matches, some women's, some men's. I saw some of Dianne and Lucy Barlow losing to Renee Binnie and Allison Bai. Dianne and Lucy had good chances in the first set and were actually winning the first set before I left. In the end they lost 7-5 6-2. Quite a lot of attempted poaches that flew miles out for the NZ pair, but otherwise quite a good doubles team. Lucy is tiny but a pretty solid player. Binnie and Bai ended up in the doubles final so that wasn't too bad a loss.
I saw some of the other kiwis, some of Shona Lee and Chelsea Te Tai's match (Shona started poorly, and Chelsea hits hard, with a bit of an odd but powerful one handed backhand). Chelsea was too erratic though, and Shona was quite consistent. (Shona won 6-2 6-0). I saw top seed Sandy Gumulya struggle past Alenka Hubacek in three sets (third set tiebreak). Hubacek has a good serve. I saw some of Lertcheewakarn losing 6-4 6-1 to Yang from Hong Kong. Lertcheewakarn didn't look very impressive, neither powerful nor consistent. I expected more. I also saw some of locals Brittany Teei and Chelsea Te Tai's doubles match, where they lost 6-0 6-3 to Tangphong and Wannasuk. I felt that Brittany was a better doubles player than Chelsea (Chelsea's volleys were a bit suspect), but they were always going to find it tough anyway. But most of the other matches I watched were men's matches.
In the end, my suspicion that if Dianne had beaten Zhang she would have had a chance to win the tournament was well-founded. Zhang won the tournament, winning the final 6-1 6-0 over the second seed Hwang (her doubles partner). Many of the girls seemed at a similar level, Dianne seems to be capable of beating them all at this tournament level. Dianne probably had the biggest and most accurate forehand in the tournament, but her serve is
. It puts a lot of pressure on her because every time she lands a serve she has to make it count. Sometimes after a point had started on her serve the umpire would call let, because a ball had rolled onto their court, and Dianne was always noticeably frustrated by this, because she had already managed to get a serve in and it meant she had to serve again.
A good server would welcome the opportunity to hit another first serve. So she really needs to improve that if she wants to have any chance to rise to the next level.
I think Dianne can do very well in the upcoming futures. The field is very similar to last week, although I have no idea what the draw will be like. She can beat any one of them in my opinion, although a couple of them, like Zhang, probably have a slight edge on her, but only because of her serve.