I had a bit of an ADD thing going on, so I went back and forth with a lot of matches so I could catch as many as possible. Heres what I got.
Kelly McCain d. Vanessa Webb 36 64 63
It's easy to see why Vanessa got where she is and why she hasnt gone further. She's got a nice looking game, lots of spins and slices and she is a solid net rusher. However, all she does on her backhand is slice it and it stays up for the most part. McCain has more power on her shots since last year and has lost some weight, but her serve is a liability. McCain only held serve once out of 5 tries in the first set and appeared to be clueless when Webb went up to net. However, Vanessas arm appeared to be bothering her in the next two sets. She didnt outwardly show it, but she completely changed her service motion and seemed to be grimacing a lot more when she hit in. Her backhands became softer and higher as well. McCain took advantage with some nice backhand drives followed by a trip to net for a winner. Webbs serve went absolutely haywire in the third set. She coughed up some absolutely horrible shanks in periods of 3 or 4 in a row. She went down 5-2 in the third, broke McCain, but hit three doubles in the final game, including one on match point to end her professional career.
Lilia Osterloh d. Jewel Peterson 36 63 64
The stands were relatively empty at first, but by the end Court 11 was PACKED and really getting into this match. For those who say Lilia isnt motivated and does not care, you should have seen this match. She was fired up! However, it is easy to see why her ranking has plummeted so much. She is incredibly inconsistent. Her opponent, Jewel Peterson, a top NCAA player, was actually hitting harder than some of the guys playing here. But she too couldnt guarantee herself even a full game of solid play with her shots. She hits with 2 hands off both sides and hits the ball as hard as she possibly can, completely flat. The first set was ugly, with very few rallies going longer than 5 or 6 shots. The second set was more or less a repeat, only with Lilia winning these points. They both got their game together in the third and produced some amazing rallies. They went on serve until 4-3 when Lilia took a timeout for a blister on her foot. The timeout threw Petersons momentum off, and Lilia held and broke at love, before confidently serving out the match. This wasnt her best performance, but it was a very good mental win for Lilia.
After the match, I went to get a pic with her and I asked this guy if he wouldnt mind taking one of the two of us. He looked at me and said "I don't want to," and threw it to his friend. Lilia looked at him w/disgust and said "You don't have to if you don't want to, it's just a fan wanting a picture, you know nice people." His response: He didn't know how to work the disposable camera I had
"Ummm, push the button," she replied. "Pretty straightforward." LOL. She was a sweetheart to all of her fans that day.
Ally Baker d. Mirjana Lucic 57 61 64
I only saw the third set of this match but I will say this: The thirty pounds Mirjana lost last year fucking flew back on. She was trying to cover it up (unsuccessfully) with the outfit she was wearing. Lots of errors from both players this match. Not much to report. Mirjana turned in a performance that would have left any seriously committed athlete in tears. I'm surprised she was so nonchalant about it during and after the match.
Alina Jidkova d. Nathalie Grandin 64 61
Alina looked annoyed that she even had to play qualies. She was simply too good for Grandin, they went on serve the whole until 4-5 when Grandin was broken. Jidkova went from there and started ripping amazing backhand winners. Grandin is HUGE!!! OMG diet time girl! And if you're not gonna do that, please Nathalie, do not wear tight tennis clothing in public ever again. She's a sweet girl, but it's blatantly obvious what she needs to do to make it to the next level. She's got all the shots, but her fitness is just...yeah.
Alyona Bondarenko d. Rika Fujiwara 76 57 75
MATCH OF THE DAY!!! Simply amazing drama for 3hrs and 45min. First off, Rika's legs are RIPPPEEDDDD! Oh my goodness! For a little girl, she is friggin strong. Bondarenko has a beautiful figure as well. They both went back and forth this whole match, Alyona being the aggressor while Rika scrambled and hustled before unleashing some nasty groundstroke winners. Rika is also amazing at net. No problems getting low for her lol. Alyona was up 5-4 and blew it, 6-5 and blew it with a set point, and required 6 set points in the Tiebreak to take it 12-10. Alyona went up 5-2 in the second and Rika appeared to be getting frustrated. However, Bondarenko completely choked. She lost her serve at 5-2, blew two match balls on Fujiwaras serve at 5-3, and then lost her serve again at 5-4. Shockingly, Rika won the second set 7-5 after over 2 1/2 hrs of play. Fujiwara went up 3-0 and it appeared Alyona the mental midget would cave in. However, she fought back to 3-3 as Rika started getting tight. They held serve all the way to 5-5, when Bondarenko held to stay in the match. After a 5 deuce game with winners all over the place, Bondarenko broke and then served it out at 15. The look of relief on her face was priceless.
After the match, a bunch of kids went to get Rikas autograph and their mothers were pushing them away, explaining that Rika just lost a 4 hr match and probably wouldnt be in the mood. To everyone shock (and mine), Rika walked out the gate and started signing for the kids and posing for pictures as well. She really has a lot of class and character. I don't know many people who would do that. I have a new favorite player now
IMO, Bondarenko will now qualify for the MD as well
Eva Birnerova d. Cory Ann Avants 61 67 63
The tennis sucked. But the drama. Oh the drama. Cory Ann went totally balls to the wall in the first set with her shotmaking...and missed completely. She failed to hold serve the whole set, losing it 6-1. Digusted, she took a bathroom break to change clothes and came out swinging. Cory Ann hits with two hands on both sides and can hit some amazing stuff. But her serve is pitiful. She probably got about 20% first serves in (no joke) and Birnerova teed off on her second. But that was the problem. Teeing off didn't necessarily mean going in the court. Eva made a shitload of errors thia match. Her coach was a lil crazy as well, constantly giving her hand signals. After one error from Cory Ann, she looked up at Evas support group and shouted "NICE COACHING! YOU'VE BEEN DOING IT THE WHOLE FRIGGIN TIME!" Evas coach then began to point at Cory Ann over the next couple of games, mimicking Avant's thigh slapping and reactions after points. Cory Ann looked up midway in the second at Birnerova's coach and said "If you have something to say, come down here and say it to my face."
Cory Ann's coach told Eva's coach to stop and he just looked at him and said "I'm tired of this, shut uppa you, nobody wants to hear you." The two of them began bickering and the referee had to tell them to, ahem, pipe down.
The two traded service holds (FINALLY!) until 4-4 when Avants broke with some great forehands. Avants served for the set twice at 5-4 and 6-5, but couldnt capitalize. Neither player could keep the ball in for longer than 4 shots. Birnerova went up 5-0 in the tiebreak, but as some of you may know, Cory Ann Avants is the biggest fighter on the WTA Tour. She clawed all the way back to win the tiebreak 7-5 and let out a primal scream afterwards. Birnerova stood there complaining about the call on set point, and to be honest she was right. The ball was clearly 6-8 inches out
Avants may have had the will, but she didnt have a serve. Neither did Birnerova, and the two traded 7 straight service breaks before Eva held to go up 5-3. Cory Ann went down 0-40 on her serve and got two down with a volley error from Birnerova and a backhand rifle from Avants. However, Cory Ann only has so many lives and she plopped a backhand wide to give Eva the match. Her coach tried to console her afterwards, but she looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said "I'm sorry." Poor kid