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post #1 of (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 2010, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Birmingham 2010: Andrew's eyewitness reports & photos (1r + 2r + 3r)

AEGON CLASSIC (Edgbaston, Birmingham, England; grass; WTA International)

1. Photos
2. First-round eyewitness report: Chakvetadze v South

Master-thread for my Birmingham 2010 reports & photos:
Andrew's eyewitness reports & photos (final added 23rd July 2010)

1. Photos (Monday 7th June 2010)

Permission to copy my Birmingham photos is granted provided that:
(a) no money is exchanged;
(b) they are labelled as "Copyright Andrew Broad 2010".
Please let me know if you do use them on another website.

Since I don't have time to upload hundreds of photos a day individually, I have uploaded each batch of photos as a large zip-file (approximately as many megabytes as photos).

Monday's photos are in three volumes (Anna appears in Parts 1 and 3).

Monday Part 1 (Photos 001 to 113)

Anna Chakvetadze (111 photos)
Melanie South (3)
Melinda Czink (3)
Marina Eraković (1)

Anna looks bigger and more muscular than in the past. She was wearing a support on her left ankle – the one she sprained at Indian Wells. Unfortunately I missed her handshake with South, because the moment I switched my camera on to take it, the batteries died. But I replaced them in time to take some nice close-ups of Anna as she came off Court 1 (Photos 094–113).

Monday Part 3 (Photos 310 to 501)

Anna Chakvetadze (15 photos)
Sandra Záhlavová (31)
Sesil Karatantcheva (31)
Naomi Broady (26)
Katie O'Brien (24)
Yanina Wickmayer (21)
Stefanie Vögele (9)
Magdaléna Rybáriková (7)
Angelique Kerber (7)
Michaëlla Krajíček (5)
Alison Riske (5)
Shenay Perry (5)
Maria Sharapova posters (2)
Karolina Šprem (2)
Alicia Molik (2)
Michelle Larcher de Brito (1)
Maria Kirilenko poster (1)
Aravane Rezaď poster (1)
Sania Mirza poster (1)
Elena Baltacha poster (1)
Anne Keothavong poster (1)

By following Anna to the car-park (I realise that may come across as 'stalkerish', but it's just by the main entrance), I learned that she is friends with Vögele, for they met there, had a brief chat, and left together on a bus (Photos 348–351), while Anna's father stayed on the grounds.

2. First-round eyewitness report: Chakvetadze v South (Monday 7th June 2010)

+ Anna Chakvetadze [EF] d. Melanie South, 3-6 6-4 6-4

Anna produced an amazing fightback to recover from 3-6 *1-4 (15/40), and from *1-4 (15/30) down in the third set too!

Anna struggled to find her range in the first set, letting South use the fast, low-bouncing grass to South's advantage, rather than Anna using it to her own advantage. South was playing well, but Anna had no answer on South's serve, although she did hit some nice winners in her own service-games, including a delectable backhand drop-volley winner at *1-3 (0/15).

When Anna went 3-6 *0-3 down, there was a look of despair on her face, and she was so desperate to break up the play that she even attempted a dropshot-return at 3-6 0-2* (0/15*). South was serving well and hitting the ball well, but it was a subdued performance by Anna up to that point.

But when Anna found herself facing two virtual match-points at 3-6 *1-4 (15/40), she caught fire! She started her fightback immediately with three clean winners in a row: a beautiful forehand dropshot-winner, a crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline, and another crosscourt forehand winner. She held for 2-4* with an off-forehand punch-volley winner, then hit an off-backhand winner and a backhand drop-volley winner to get 30/0*... in fact, Anna won the last 5 games of the second set from *1-4. She was pumped up now, stimulating herself with "c'mon"s and fist-pumps.

South started playing better again in the third set, recovering from *1-1 (0/30) with four forehand winners in a row. Anna remained intense, but was broken for 1-3* on a dead netcord-winner.

Anna found herself in a similar hole to the one from which she had recovered in the second set: this time *1-4 (15/30). History repeated itself – although this time, the turnaround had more to do with South's errors than Anna's winners. That's the psychological side of tennis: when you've blown one lead, your mind goes back to it and you're even more liable to blow another. But I can credit Anna for staying positive: by this stage, she was saying "c'mon" after every point that she won.

South actually won more points than Anna (83-82), but that's the beauty of tennis-scoring: it's not how many points you win, but who wins the last point.

My full report – with a description of every point – is on my new website:

Dr. Andrew Broad

My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki

Last edited by andrewbroad; Jun 19th, 2010 at 12:53 AM. Reason: edit Title
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