Learning experience for Marama
By David Long at the ASB Bank Tennis Centre
Paula Marama hopes to learn from her first experience at a WTA tournament after going down 6-2 6-0 to the vastly more experienced Jill Craybas on Sunday afternoon.
In patches Marama demonstrated the potential she has as a tennis player, but also showed that she's got a few rough edges to smooth down just yet.
After the match Marama said she now appreciates the intensity of tennis required to win this class of matches.
"She had a lot of experience at this level and was very consistent and fast," Marama said. "Now I know what it's like to play at this level.
"I have to be more aggressive and a lot more consistent too."
Marama told nzoom.com after beating Diane Hollands in the first round of qualifying that she wanted to cut down on the number of errors she's making for the match against Craybas, and she felt that to some degree she achieved that.
"Maybe just a little but not so much," she said. "I was working on that because I wanted to do something good here, but it didn't come off."
Marama will play with her sister, Eden, in the first round of doubles on Tuesday and her plan is to go out and enjoy the experience, although they have a good chance of winning against the poorly ranked American duo of Jennifer Hopkins and Janet Lee while Craybas goes on to play Meilen Tu in the final round of qualifying on Monday.
It may not have been a tough match for Craybas in the second round, but she felt that Marama is a player with plenty of potential.
Craybas observed Marama in her first round victory over Diane Hollands on Saturday and was impressed by what she saw of the 19-year-old.
"I knew she had a big serve," Craybas said. "My coach and I were commenting that she's a talented player, just the way she hits the ball and the way she moves.
"I don't really know that much about her, maybe if she had a bit more experience or something, it seemed like she hadn't played a lot of matches.
"But I think she could do well, she's got a big serve, she's strong and she's definitely talented.
"I was moving a little bit to try and put her off with her serve, but my return is probably one of my strengths and usually I'm not too worried the opponent's serve.
"It's always different watching someone play from actually playing them, so it was still difficult to get accustomed in the beginning because I've never played her before.
"I didn't really have a certain game plan against her I was just had what I'd been working on and what I knew could win."