Hmmm if you thought the website was a mess, good thing you weren't there in person. Everything was like half-built, half there half not...seriously the shape its in right now makes it look like a 10K tournament site. The qualy field as you can tell by the draw sucks ass, its basically a 10K challenger out there with lowly ranked Americans left and right. I had fun trying to match names with players, but of course more than half of these players have never been photographed so you can imagine the fun involved.
The practice courts was the site of all the action:
Bartoli and Daniilidou
were hitting together. I'm suprised at 1) how buff Bartoli is...she's got some thick arms for a lil French girl
and she's suprisingly a lot tanner than the pics of her online, 2) she really whacks the ball hard off of both sides. That being said I was wondering why she isn't ranked any higher, and all you have to do is look at her serve. She has a lot of extraneous movements in her service motion, particularly the ball toss. I can see how the ball toss would affect her serving. Either than serving she's got a great game, has nice feel at the net.
While watching Daniilidou, it makes you wonder how in the heck she is in a slump. She hits the ball with good pace and depth...and then there's the serve. Eleni has a semi-hitch in her serve...don't know if she's always had that but it would seem to me that she would lose some power. Daniilidou is a fun loving girl though, she joked around with Petrova for a little bit.
Amber Liu and Cara Black
were hitting together. I was so excited to see Cara, her being one of my favorite players and all and never really getting to see her. The whole day I was watching I really don't understand why some girls aren't ranked higher than they are. They seem to have nice groundies with a fair amount of pace, and pretty decent serves. After Cara and Amber hit, Petrova came on and Cara's coach teased Petrova and her hitting partner. Petrova was hitting half court (from the service lines to the net) and he yelled out "Use the whole court"
is at Stanford already. She was looking super super super skinny...everyone on the grounds was talking about it. Seriously, it looked like you could break her in half if you bent her. She hit for awhile, struggled with overheads particularly...if you ask me the problem is she jerks her to the side too much.
practiced after her...she seemed like she was having a good time...chewing bubble gum and talking on her cell phone. You know how embarassing this tournament is? Irvin and her coach had to borrow balls from Petrova and her coach because there weren't enough balls.
Other players I saw practicing were Yoon Jeon Cho, Craybas with Mashona Washington and with Sarah Taylor.