Few notes from yesterday;
Brengle d. Oprandi - both players were complaining a lot from the start but Romina really didn't want to be there and I'm pretty sure she mumbled 'what the hell am I doing in this fucking country' towards the end of the first set.
She served for the first set at *54 but got broken. I actually thought she looked much more threatening when she was hitting normal strokes and her in-to-out FH was very effective at certain points in the match. Her slices were all rather inoccuous and she didn't have too much success with the drop-shots which Brengle read very well and got up to very quickly. Oprandi's level dropped a lot in the second set but Brengle played very well. She doesn't hit the ball that hard but she hits it very flat (I was watching it from behind the baseline and her BH had little margin for error with the height over the net) and she went down the lines quite a lot to keep Oprandi on the run while Oprandi played quite centrally in a lot of the rallies.
It's always hard to tell with Romina but she might have been carrying an injury. I think she had some strapping on her thigh and she looked a bit lame when she left the court and the guy standing next to me said she had some quite intensive treatment on an injury yesterday but she looked fine in her doubles match.
Dolonc vs. Kerkhove - wasn't paying too much attention to this match. Kerhkove has a pretty big serve and groundstrokes but Dolonc has far superior rallying shots and moves much, much better.
Daniilidou vs. Bychkova - really enjoyed this match. There were a lot of long, grueling rallies with both players trying loads different stuff to win the rallies. Eleni has a new coach and she's looking in pretty good shape (I doubt she would have been able to stick in some of the rallies about 2-3y ago) and her serve held up very well through the match which isn't very Eleni-esque. Bychkova's first serve still has a lot of pace on it but the placement got a bit predictable and it kinda deserted her at pivotal points (when she served for the first set and serving to stay in the match). She hit her BH DTL very well at some points in the match too. TBH the match was very closely contested and could have gone either way but I think Eleni's greater versatility and consistency probably clinched it.
I'm quite surprised Eleni got back into it because she was acting in a very defeatist manner after the first set. She said 'can't believe I'm losing even though I'm playing my best fucking tennis' and there were a lot of other assorted f-bombs during the match (and during the day!). She also said something else under her breath which had the people next to me in fits for a while.
Whenever I glanced over at Koehler vs. Birnerova, every
rally seemed to end in some crass UE (normally an error from Koehler's BH!)
I saw Webley-Smith almost beat Zakopalova at Wimbledon a few years ago. She was playing superb tennis on that day but she was absolutely awful in doubles yesterday.