I was in Berlin today, and it was great.
So here's my report. I'll start with the matches, then a bit on the draw "ceremony"
and finally about practice, players around the gorund and everything else.
Sorry that it's so long, but I'm also doing this for myself, so I don't blame you if you don't read everything.
1. Jelena Kostanic def. Samantha Stosur 6-2 6-0
I arrived a bit late, and when I finally got onto Center Court that match was almost over. No surprise though, as Jelena is in great form and simply better than Samantha whose serve isn't that dangerous on clay and the rest of her game is pretty bad anyway.
2. Emmanuelle Gagliardi def. Barbara Rittner 7-6 (0) 6-4
Barbara should retire. Her attitude was so negative, really annoying. You would think that she's happy to play again after being out for several months, but instead she was mad at herself the whole time.
If she hates playing tennis so much then it's better to give it up.
Barbara led 5-2 in the first with 2 breaks. Then she lost her serve but she had 2 set-points in the next game which she wasted with stupid errors, and when you looked at her you could already guess that she would end up losing the set. Of course she lost her next service game as well without fight, somehow got into the tie-break which she pretty much tanked.
Emmanuelle was solid the whole match, nothing impressive but it was enough to beat pathetic Rttner.
Emmanuelle broke for 3-2 in the 2nd. At 4-3 she had to face 15-40 on her serve but but Barbara helped her out with 4 terrible errors. A few minutes later it was over.
3. Katarina Srebotnik def. Antonella SZ 7-5 2-6 6-4
This took more than 2 1/2 hours. Too much I have to say because the quality was pretty low. Katarina is in bad form, she made tons of errors but in the end it was enough to win.
Antonella had her chances, especially in the first set. But in the crucial situations she suffered from her weak serve and unforced errors which she just can't afford considering that she has no weapons.
4. Tathiana Garbin def. Sandra Kloesel 6-4 4-6 6-4
I only saw the 3rd set and it wasn't really a great match.
Tathiana played quite passive and mainly waited for errors.
Sandra's game is solid but quite boring, very little variety.
At 1-1 in the 3rd Tathiana had a long dispute with the umpire, she even asked for the supervisor (she hit an ace which was called out and the umpire said "replay the point"). She didn't get that point, but still it seemed to help her as she wnet up 4-1 after that. Then she really got to passive and lost her serve at 5-3, but with some errors of Sandra she amanged to break right back and win. More on Tathiana in the 3rd section.
1. Syna Schreiber def. Rita Grande 6-0 6-0
YES THIS MATCH DID TAKE PLACE.
First of all I had no idea that Syna Schreiber = Syna Schmidle, so I was like "who is that?"
When I arrived it was already 5-0 in favour of Sina which was quite a shock.
Syna played really well. She's a leftie with two-handed backhand. She was patient in the rallies but hit many great winners as well.
Rita was awful. She was in the defensive all the time which is okay if you don't make error after error, but that is what Rita did, even on easy shots.
There was a really long game at 0-6 0-1, if Rita had won that it might have become a match. But after she lost it she pretty much gave up and didn't really care so it was a cakewalk for Syna.
2. Els Callens def. Angelika Bachmann 3-6 6-4 6-4
Both played very aggressive. Especially Els was always going for the winner, but that was often too much. In the first set she had many wild shots and errors, so Angelika had an easy time. Sets 2 and 3 were really close. 2nd set, t was 4-4 then Els broke. 3rd set, Els broke at 2-2 when Angelika made 2 DF's. She had chances to break back but Els finally came through. She has to play better tomorrow though.
3. Tatiana Perebiynis def. Angelique Kerber 6-1 6-1
Saw very little of this.
All I know is that Tatina looks different from what I expected, and that Angelique is left-handed. And that she got thrashed badly.
4. Marion Bartoli def. Adriana SZ 6-1 6-4
Funny as both are two-handed on both sides. But Marion was better, more power and less errors. Even her serve was OK.l Bad day for the SZ's.
5. Maria Elena Camerin def. Elena Tatarkova
. All I know is that Elena replaced Birnerova.
1. Gala Leon Garcia def. Mervana Jugic-Salkic 6-3 6-4
Nice match. Mervana has powerful groundstrokes, especially the forehand. But also lots of unforced errors, so Gala most of the time kept the ball in play with good placement which was enough in the end.
The last game was crazy. Gala serving at 6-3 5-4, is down 0-40, wins the next 4 points, has 4 match-points, then Mervana another break-point, and Gala finally wins on her 5th MP.
2. Roberta Vinci def. Jie Zheng 6-4 6-1
Good win for Roberta. She has a nice game with a one-handed backhand /topspin and slice) and great volleys.
Jie is more a power-player but she didn't seem to be comfortable with playing on clay, so she made too many errors.
3. Virginia Ruano-Pascual def. Vanessa Henke 6-2 6-3
Easy win for Virginia. It was enough for her to keep the ball in play. Vanessa was really inconsistent from the baseline and also moved badly.
4. Stephanie Cohen-Aloro def. Sofia Arvidsson 6-2 6-1
Stephanie dominated this one. Her backhand is really nice, and she has a complete game with lots of variety. Sofia on the other hand didn't impress me at all. Her game was quite boring, and she had absolutely no chance.
5. Dally Randriantefy def. Kveta Peschke 6-2 1-6 7-6 (3)
Fun match. I watched it from 4-1 Dally in the first set. Really up-and-down until the end.
In the first set, Dally played solid while Kveta seemed to have her mind elsewhere.
Th 2nd set was totally different. It began with 3 love-games for Kveta who really dominated now, taking balls early and scoring lots of winners. She was close to her best tennis here which was nice to see.
And that seemed to continue in the 3rd, as she was up 2-0 again with a chance for 3-0. But suddenly and without reason she started to rush, going to the net at the wrong time and making more and more errors. And Dally had better length again. So Dally went up 5-2. BTW Meilen Tu watched the match, she talked to Dally's coach and and supported Dally with "allez!".
Then another turnaround. Dally choked a bit and Kveta focused better again. 5-5, then tie-break. Dally was more solid there and finished it off with a beautiful drop-shot.
1. Marta Marrero def. Zuzana Ondraskova 6-2 6-2
Nice rallies, but most of the time they ended with Marta winning the point. Lots of close games, but still an easy win for Marta. Zuzana was pretty down at the end, she seemed to cry a bit.
2. Anabel Medina Garrigues def. Camille Pin 6-1 6-2
Anabel dominated this one from the baseline. Camille's shots were just too weak, and I think she never hold serve. She's cute though.
3. Meilen Tu def. Sandra Kleinova
I only saw a few points but Meilen was impressive in them. Very powerful from the baseline, flat and well-placed shots and Sandra had no chance.
She called one of Meilen's shots good BTW so maybe she isn't that evil. Although it was at 1-6 0-5 so it didn't really matter.
4. Silvija Talaja def. Lubomira Kurhajcova 7-6 (4) 3-6 6-1
Nice battle, at least in the first 2 sets. Lubomira was the more aggressive player, especially with her forehand, but Silvija moved really well, got lots of balls back and scored some nice winners too.
Lubo led 5-3 in the first but couldn't hold. From then on she whined a lot to her coach. Silvija deservedly won the tie-break.
She seemed to cruise after that, going up 3-0 in the 2nd. But at 3-1 she couldn't hold despite leading 40-15, and Lubo came back. At 3-5 and set-point down, the same happened as in the Garbin-Kloesel match: Silvija with a winning first serve, called out, overrurled but Silvija didn't get the point. She complained and asked for the supervisor.
He came but nothing changed. On the replay Silvija missed an easy overhead to lose the set. She was really pissed and went for a toilet-break.
That helped. She broke for 3-1 in the 3rd and was never in danger again, as Lubo looked more and more tired.
1. Julia Vakulenko def. Angelika Roesch 6-1 6-4
I arrived at this match at 6-1 3-4 and Julia Serving. After watching one point I knew how this match would end, and I was right.
Julia's game is really crazy, she changes from flat and powerful groundstrokes immediately to moon-balls. And these are REAL moon-balls, extremely high, slow and without much spin.
Of course these shots are perfect to drive Angelika nuts as she had her usual bad temper. She rushed between points, then was angry that Julia wasn't ready to return.
Needless to say that Julia only needed 5 more minutes to win the match.
2. Barbora Strycova def. Tian Tian Sun 7-5 6-3
Interesting match because Barbora had a bad fall (which I didn't see) at 7-5 3-1. Until she had struggled a bit but overall had been the better player, while Tian was solid but not more.
Barbora got treatment on her ankle and it didn't look too good. But she continued, and as usual it was the opponent who suffered the most from the injury. Instead of making Barbora run, Tian kept missing. Barbora broke again for 5-2, then led 40-0 but gave away the game. She seemed to be troubles by the injury, so still hope for Tian but again she made errors, lost serve and the match.
3. Michaela Pastikova def. Alina Jidkova 7-5 6-2
. All I know is that Alina led 4-2 in the first set.