Wow, what a fight - kudos to Donna for bringing it safely to the finish!
I didn't know much (read: anything) about Sanchez before this match, so was a little puzzled about what to expect, but she proved to be a better player than I expected honestly. That was particularly evident in the first set, where Donna's level wasn't exactly where you'd expect it. Her serve wasn't very good, and she just kept bashing the ball as if she wanted to fire Sanchez into the oblivion. Needless to say, it didn't work. Sanchez pounded the ball right back and kept herself in many of the rallies without much trouble. The thing is, in that first set Donna wasn't ready to take (m)any risks, so her shots landed around mid-court most of the time as she was hoping that the brute force will be enough to take care of Sanchez.
In the second she seemed to have figured this out so she eased the pace a little and started going for some angles. This, of course, proved too much for Sanchez as she began to make more and more mistakes, growing her own frustration. I would assume that having to qualify i.e. play extra matches here didn't help her at this time cause one would imagine she was getting tired by the end of the second. In the third Donna could get back to Plan A, which she did, and pound her way to victory, again not going for too much on most of the points. But was it a long and a brutally tough one or what... I expect to hear much more of Sanchez in the following years.
Next up Cirstea, boy, will that be a tough cookie. Luckily Donna loves cookies. Let's just hope she doesn't break all her teeth today. Cirstea is beyond experienced, a great player on a number of surfaces and currently on a roll. I was actually surprised to have seen her lose a set to Jovanovski yesterday, as Bojana is not exactly a grasscourt specialist, but who knows what might've happened in that one. There's one thing we can be sure of today, the match won't be a boring one and Donna will have to be at her absolute best, ready to give it 150% if she is to stand any chance of winning. But as we often say, she's already done great this week, anything more would be a bonus
The only detail I'd like to see get better today is that freakin' computer graphics of WTA Birmingham, which seems to have went through it's last update some time in the mid 19th century, when tennis was first played at this club. The scores shown on screen oftentimes don't have anything to do with the match in question
OK, jokes aside, as long as Donna is winning I don't need computer graphics.
Good luck girl, be ready, be gready, be wise, be confident and show what you're made of