here I am again...trying to write down a whole new day of tennis at the Proximus Games in Antwerp
first match of the day
Els Callens bt. Dally Randriantefy 6-1 6-2
Do I need to say more...the score is really clear. The match started with two servicebreaks..then it was all Els Callens. She used her serve well, made the big points and she was just too strong. I saw Dally in qualifying too..and she has the strange habit to hit the ball high when she is getting into trouble. In qualifying the opponents just hit that ball back...but better opponents punish this. So did Els, everytime Dally did that she got punished for it. In second set Dally even managed to hold her serve twice...quite a miracle, I didn't expect that after the first one..anyway pretty boring match
Patty Schnyder df Elke Clijsters 6-2 6-3
Another one-sided match on court 1. Elke did her best, but she is just not good enough (yet) to play at this level. She missed lots of easy balls, made really dumb errors..and Patty just played her game. Patty didn't have to push or play her best game at all. Easy win, no problem at all.. boring match #2
Nathalie Dechy df Claudine Schaul 6-4 6-3
This was THE match of the day for me..as Claudine fan. Remembering her bad loss in singles against Dally and in doubles (double bagel against Ai/kim), I didn't know what to expect from this match. I was scared Nathalie would roll over Claudine and would finish her in no time. I was glad it turned out differently.
I think Claudine played the match of her life. Nathalie and Claudine both broke serves quite often. Claudine impressed with her solid game, and the way she often dominated the rallies. Nathalie finished both sets by breaking Claudine, I guess she was still too nervous at the end. And of course, Nathalie is a really good player. It's great to mention that there were only a few Claudine fans in the crowd at the beginning..'cause nobody knew her. At the end lots of people cheered for her. She made lots of new fans. The way she always managed to get back while Nathalie was a break ahead...just marvelous. I enjoyed this match a lot.
I guess this is what I love about being a fan of a lower-ranked player. Even if they lose you can be happy...
Kim Clijsters bt. Myriam Casanova 6-3 6-2
As often happens with Kim's matches...the score is not according to the difference on court. Myriam played well, made several good points and brought many balls back. Kim was obviously not at her best, afterall it was her first match after the Australian Open loss against Serena Williams. Kim made many errors, but she also had several winners, and she made the points when she needed to. May be the presence of Lleyton Hewitt (who was sitting in front of me) helped Kim to win this pretty easily...
oh yes..this was boring match #3
Ai Sugiyama bt Jelena Dokic 7-5 5-7 6-3
This match was definitly the highest level I've seen on the Diamond Games so far. The first set started terribly...8 UE's of Dokic and Ai leading 2-0. Jelena came back, started to play better and better, but Ai was constantly leading. She even managed to win the set, and that was quite surprising to me. Second set then. Dokic was playing at a nice level..not her best, but really good. Ai is a huge fighter, and she showed that today. She run and run and run. Jelena had problems with finishing the points..but still the second set was hers. Third set...3-3. Ai broke easily, held her serve...and then managed to break again, winning the final set 6-3.
Conclusion: Jelena gave this away. She made almost all the points, for herself and for her opponent. Too many errors, too many easy balls missed. Ai deserved the victory, she fought hard, and the crowd was cheering for her all the time.
Good match, but should have had another winner
well that was it for today...don't have time to write more details about players games