Hello to everyone-I would love to be able to write a huge in-depth report but time and energy just don't allow it... I will still do my best to type the highlights of the last 2 days...
As for the matches...
Vanessa Webb is too slow to win on red clay... it is not as if Alexandra Kravets is a wonderkid, but Vanessa simply couldn't do it athletically or with a defensive baseline game (yes, she only served-and-volleyed a few times each set).
Alejandra Recio had no chance against Giulia Casoni (spelling) who is a solid claycourter and quite nice-looking. Svetlana Krivencheva doesn't seem to have much of a game, let alone a forehand that she kept trying to run around to hit-she went out to Sophie Lefevre, who is constantly conversing to herself in French, but in a fun way (and saying practical things, not just self-berating). Olga B HAD Paula in the 2nd set but then let it go and just went through slapping the ball in set 3, still smiling though to herself. Rossana played great stuff and Sunitha was off-Sunitha chatted with me afterwards, since she was shocked I speak English (some man was yelling at her in Spanish about how she can't play tennis in one of the tournament desk sites and I got her out of that). Ivana Lisjak has lots of power and Nuria just couldn't do anything to stop it... LIndsa Lee-W was on and off but finally did well to win her match while Liezel Huber was down 1-4 and 3-5 in set 3 before taking a solid tiebreaker against Shiho Hisamatsu, a feisty girl with decent strokes.
Day 2-Galina Voskoboeva seems to be a good player but couldn't handle Martinez Granados-couldn't see much of the match as I was focusing on Jidkova/Sassi... the Italian is nothing huge but keeps the ball deep, a good strategy on clay, while Jidkova just laid into herself, being very self-critical and letting the raquet fly, fly, fly. I was surprised that Kravets beat Casoni because she had lost the first set when I left but she must have found confidence, which she seems to have a lot of for a young-looking girl. Gagliardi smashed Lefevre, she has some good touch, but Manu seems to have an attitude, even retorting to her coach in English after the match that she wasn't trying too much on a volley that would have ensured a double bagel. Cargill was playing a Lisjak who didn't want to lose-I think Lisjak has potential, her shots are really solid. Vento-Kabchi finally put out Paula García after tense moments in the second set and a double fault on her first match point. Rossana was too much for Liezel, and her little daughter is adorable running around all over the place (and HITTING with Paola Suarez in the morning, she is precious). Finally, Lindsay lost a match she should not have, being up 6-5 serving in set 1 and convincingly going up 3-0 in the second... I did not see how she destructed at the end but that is a poor effort to go down in such fashion.
Pato Tarabini practicing today looking great, honestly, even at her age having every shot in the book... Magui smacking the ball well, Ruano-Pascual hitting with Wartusch, Maria Antonia playing with Maria Jose and hitting well (looking great, too)... best off court pictures and moments with a very nice Fabiola Zuluaga yesterday, who was very nice, and Barbara Schett (practicing with Janette and looking good, for once).
If anyone wants to meet up send me a message, it is hot out there but interesting because a lot of these players I hadn't seen yet live.