Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Bangkok, THAILAND
TAMARINE ROLLS ON
Thai twins win their first match
Tamarine Tanasugarn and the Ratiwatana twins kept the Thai flag flying at Wimbledon with the former reaching the third round and the latter winning the first Grand Slam match of their career.
Tamarine put behind her frustration about bad light the previous night to win the delayed second-round match against Japanese Shinobu Asagoe 6-3 7-5.
After play was suspended at 6-3 5-5 on Wednesday due to failing light, Tamarine got into an argument with umpire Fiona Edwards. Her plea for a suspension of play earlier had fallen on deaf ears.
Things were different yesterday as bright sun greeted the players and Tamarine took just 10 minutes to close out the match 6-3 7-5 to reach the third round at the All England Club for the eight time.
The Thai fought a long duel at deuce with the Japanese in the 12th game and when she hit a difficult running forehand past Asagoe to set up the fourth match point, the Japanese looked completely worn out and thoroughly intimidated. She gave up the match easily with a double fault.
"I achieved what I had targeted. My ranking will not improve unless I reach round three. It's a relief to win the match because we were both a bit tense,'' said Tamarine, who apologised for getting a bit carried away on Wednesday.
"I'd never been in such a situation before. I really couldn't see the balls from 2-2 in the second set. I feel bad to have done that and I'm sorry that fans at home had to bear that on TV,'' said Tamarine, who also cleared the air with Edwards after the match.
In today's fourth round, Tamarine will take on last year's Wimbledon junior champion Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland. The Thai expects a very physical challenging match from the teenager.
"It's hard to play someone you have never seen before. But she's the junior champion and must be really good. Young players come into a match with a nothing-to-lose attitude,'' said Tamarine, who will be attempting to reach the fourth round for the seventh time.
Meanwhile, Sonchat and Sanchai Ratiwatana made the draw of a Major for the first time when Luis Horna of Peru and Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina withdrew due to injuries. They made the most of the occasion by beating American Kein Kim and Filipino Cecil Mamiit 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-7 (7-5) 8-6 and got revenge for their loss in the final qualifying round last week.
"It's nice to win the match after waiting to play for more than a week. We are so glad to play our first match in a Grand Slam event and particularly in Wimbledon. It's unbelievable,'' said Sanchai, who had to hang around as "lucky losers" for eight days.
In the Tamarine-Asagoe match on Wednesday, the Thai won a breakthrough in the fifth game when Asagoe double faulted and then pounded a forehand into the net. Serving for the match at 5-3, Tamarine saved a break point by sending a shot to the backhand of her rival. Lady Luck smiled on the Thai as Asagoe mishit a bad bouncing ball and conceded the set.
The normally mid-mannered Tamarine displayed her emotions on court, disagreeing with the chair umpire who turned down her request for play to be delayed because of bad light. She missed shots, yelled at herself and smacked the ball high into the air after dropping her service game to fall 2-3 behind.
The Thai tried to keep her cool but to no avail. She played with pent-up anger and at times glared at the umpire and her opponent with what looked like resentment whenever she won points.
The more furious she was, the more aggressive and focused she became. She traded exciting shots with the Japanese and frantically chased the balls to escape a set point at 4-5. Asagoe then sprayed a backhand wide to drop serves and let Tamarine back in the match at 5-5 before play halted.
Andre Agassi, playing his 14th and last Wimbledon, advanced to the third round yesterday with a 6-4 7-6 (2) 6-4 win over Italy's Andreas Seppi.
The 36-year-old American, the oldest player in the men's draw, dropped serve only once - in the first game of the second set - and broke three times to subdue the 68th-ranked Seppi.
Agassi will next face the winner of yesterday's match between French Open champion Rafael Nadal and American qualifier Robert Kendrick.
Maria Sharapova, the 2004 women's champion, overpowered Ashley Harkleroad 6-2 6-2 in 67 minutes. The match was slightly tougher than her 51-minute 6-2 6-0 win the previous day over Anna Smashnova.
Meanwhile, Roger Federer looked untouchable on Tuesday as he routed four-time semi-finalist Tim Henman 6-4 6-0 6-2 on Centre Court to reach the third round, extending his grass-court winning streak to 43 matches. He dropped only seven games in his previous match against Richard Gasquet, who was coming off a grass-court tournament win in Nottingham.
My favorite players are Chris Evert and Jimmy Connors.
Congrats to Tammy for her fourth title in Japan Women's Open 2010.