Birmingham 2008: Andrew's eyewitness report & photos -
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Birmingham 2008: Andrew's eyewitness report & photos

DFS CLASSIC (Edgbaston, Birmingham, England; grass; WTA Tier III)

1. My photos
2. Second round: Mirza v Eraković
3. Articles

Master-reports for Birmingham 2008:
Andrew's eyewitness reports & photos (Monday to Sunday)

1. My photos

Permission to copy my Birmingham photos is granted provided that:
(a) no money is exchanged;
(b) they are labelled as "Copyright 2008 Andrew Broad".
Please let me know if you do use them on another website.

I have uploaded all my photos for Wednesday 11th June 2008, in one big zip-file, to:

Wednesday's players:

Nicole Vaidišová (61)
Sania Mirza (30)
Yaroslava Shvedova (30)
Petra Cetkovská (28)
Marion Bartoli (21)
Katie O'Brien (16)
Sorana Cîrstea (14)
Marta Domachowska (13)
Marina Eraković (13)
Aiko Nakamura (10)
Michaëlla Krajíček (7)
Nathalie Dechy (6)
Ioana Raluca Olaru (4)
MC Vicki Stone (4)
Maria Sharapova poster (1)
Monica Niculescu (1)
Tatiana Poutchek (1)

2. Second round: Mirza v Eraković (Wednesday 11th June)

- SANIA MIRZA [6,DF] lt. Marina Eraković, 3-6 0-6

This was Sania's first match since Indian Wells after right-wrist surgery in April, and she turned in an increasingly listless performance.

20-year-old Eraković, who won ITF Surbiton the previous week, deserved her victory. She has a big serve, and hit a lot of sliced backhands as well as two-handed backhands. She's a good-looking girl; I just wish she wouldn't wear a man's tennis-kit.

The match was second on Centre Court. Sania won the toss and elected to receive, and the match started at 13:29 BST.

First set
MIRZA _*___* *_ 3
ERAKO * *@* * * 6

Eraković serving 0-0: Ace out wide: just inside the sideline. 15/0. Eraković netted a forehand on the third stroke. 15/15. Ace down the middle. 30/15. Sania netted a backhand return. 40/15. Sania netted a backhand.

Sania serving 0-1: It was windy. Eraković hit a wild forehand very wide. 15/0. Double fault (second serve into the net). 15/15. Sania forehand winner down the line. 30/15. Service-winner out wide. 40/15. Eraković netted a forehand.

Eraković serving 1-1: Sania forehand return long. 15/0. Eraković off-forehand winner. 30/0. Forehand return long. 40/0. Backhand return long.

Sania serving 1-2: Sania netted a forehand on the third stroke. 0/15. Sania hit two forehands long. 0/40. Eraković forehand wide. 15/40. Eraković tried a backhand dropshot, but Sania ran it down and hit a forehand winner down the line. 30/40. Sania netted a backhand.

Eraković serving 3-1: Service-winner out wide. 0/15. Serve out wide + off-forehand winner back behind Sania: just inside the sideline. 15/15. Eraković played a great spreading rally, hitting both sidelines with consecutive shots(!) to force Sania into netting a forehand. 30/15. Forehand return long. 40/15. Service-winner down the middle.

Sania serving 1-4: Sania spread Eraković, forcing her to hit a forehand long. 15/0. Service-winner down the middle. 30/0. Eraković hit a deep forehand winner just inside the baseline. 30/15. Eraković forehand long. 40/15. Serve + crosscourt forehand winner.

Eraković serving 4-2: Sania backhand long. 15/0. Ace down the middle as three geese flew over Centre Court. 30/0. Forehand return wide. 40/0. Service-winner out wide.

Sania serving 2-5: Sania backhand long. 0/15. Eraković off-forehand wide. 15/15. Eraković netted a sliced backhand. 30/15. Sania forehand long. 30/30. Forehand return long. 40/30. With Eraković mixing sliced and two-handed backhands, Sania netted a forehand. 40/40. Eraković went for a down-the-line forehand winner, but it was wide. Ad Sania. Eraković netted a backhand return.

Eraković serving 5-3: Eraković netted a sliced backhand off a deep, low ball. 0/15. Sania's return forced a short ball, which she dispatched with an off-forehand winner. 0/30. Sania netted a cheap backhand return. 15/30. Sania forehand return wide. 30/30. Service-winner down the middle. 40/30. Serve + off-forehand winner. Eraković won the first set 6-3 at 13:57 (28m).

Sania called for her coach at the set-break. I don't know what he said, but Sania would have done well to keep the ball in play rather than going for so much in that last game, as is her wont. If your young, inexperienced opponent is serving for the set, make her play the ball - give her a chance to get nervous.

(I must admit I thought Eraković was only 18 when I watched her at Birmingham; I got quite a shock when I checked and realised that she's 20 already!)

Second set
MIRZA ______ 0
ERAKO @*@*@* 6

Sania serving 0-0: Sania forced a short ball, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand winner. 15/0. Eraković hit a deep forehand onto the baseline, forcing Sania to earth a forehand lob. 15/15. Eraković's forehand down the line forced Sania to hit a forehand wide. 15/30. Eraković crosscourt forehand winner. 15/40. Serve + forehand winner down Eraković's forehand-sideline. 30/40. Serve out wide + crosscourt forehand forced Eraković to net a forehand. 40/40. Eraković's off-forehand forced Sania to net a backhand. Ad Eraković. Her deep return forced Sania to hit a forehand long.

Eraković serving 1-0: Sania forehand long. 15/0. Double fault (second serve into the net). 15/15. Eraković forehand very long. 15/30. Service-winner. 30/30. Serve out wide + forehand winner down the line. 40/30. Sania dumped a backhand return into the net.

Sania serving 0-2: Sania forehand long. 0/15. Eraković forehand long. 15/15. Sania came to the net: Eraković hit a forehand long, and yelled. 30/15. Eraković forced a short ball, and dispatched it with an off-forehand winner back behind Sania. 30/30. Serve + forehand winner down the line. 40/30. Sania forehand long on the third stroke. 40/40. Sania forehand long. Ad Eraković. Double fault (second serve long).

It was now quite windy.

Eraković serving 3-0: Sania backhand wide. 15/0. Sania backhand long. 30/0. Service-winner out wide. 40/0. Eraković forehand winner down the line.

Sania serving 0-4: Eraković forehand return wide. 15/0. Sania backhand long. 15/15. Eraković spread Sania, forcing her to net a forehand. 15/30. Service-winner down the middle. 30/30. Eraković backhand long. 40/30. Double fault (second serve long). 40/40. Eraković backhand wide. Ad Sania. Eraković came to the net behind a sliced-backhand approach onto the baseline (it looked long), forcing Sania to net a forehand. Deuce #2. Double fault (second serve into the net). Ad Eraković (BP). She netted a backhand. Deuce #3. Sania forehand very long. Ad Eraković (BP #2). Sania sprayed a forehand wide.

Sania was flexing her wrist at the changeover.

Eraković serving 5-0: Eraković came to the net and hit two volleys (forehand + backhand), but Sania hit a crosscourt forehand pass-winner. 0/15. Eraković hit a sliced backhand approach down the line wide, and yelled. 0/30. Ace down the middle: on the centre-line. 15/30. With the wind rising again, Eraković hit an error-forcing off-forehand. 30/30. Serve + error-forcing crosscourt backhand. 40/30 (MP #1). Serve + crosscourt forehand winner. Eraković won 6-3 6-0 at 14:24 (second set 27m, match 55m).

Eraković's on-court interview: "I know Sania has been injured and she just came back, so this was probably a tough match for her. I'm just happy I won, and we'll see what happens next time. I like to play on grass."

It's sad to see that Sania's wrist-surgery does not appear to have been a success; she retired with her wrist-injury at the Olympics, and has not played since.

3. Articles

Brits battle but bow out in Birmingham
Sania Mirza lost her second-round contest against rising New Zealand star Marina Eraković. No.6 seed Mirza, playing her first match since she had wrist-surgery in March, found it tough going against Eraković: the Women's Singles winner in Surbiton last week.

"I'm just happy to be out there playing and competing right now," said the popular Indian player following her 3-6 0-6 loss. "I'm not expecting anything right now; I am just happy to be healthy."
Mirza loses 6-3 6-0 to Eraković at Birmingham: her comeback-event after wrist-surgery in April. "I'm only here to get matches. I still feel pain in the wrist," she said. "It doesn't matter that I'm not winning at the moment; the fact is I'm back."

Dr. Andrew Broad
(see profile or signature for links)

My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki

Last edited by andrewbroad; Nov 8th, 2008 at 11:07 PM.
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