though i would really like to go every day, today was the only day i could go to the swisscom challenge. not enough money, too much work, i'm afraid...
at least i could catch the 4 final qualifying matches. so here's my report:
golovin def. loit
well, what kind of losers go to see a qualifying match on a sunday morning, 10 a.m.? erm, me, for example. but not too many other people, it seemed... the arena was almost empty, which didn't exactly guarantee a great atmosphere....
golovin, though slightly less impressing than i imagined her to be, was always in control in this match, i guess she just didn't have to show more, because loit was bad today. there was a good phase in the 2nd set, where emilie caught up from 1:3 to 3:3 - it probably lasted about as long as the rest of the match. and though loit seemed to get into the match more during that phase, golovin stayed very calm and focused all through the match. loit, meanwhile, threw her racket around, lots of times, smashed balls into the crowd (okay, into those 5 people), and screamed in frustration, which frankly made her look a bit silly at this hour in a qualifying match.
asagoe def. chladkova
the arena was filling up nicely now.
there was no barbie to butch for shinobu today, but she certainly played very well. it's all very breezy and light, the way she plays, but nontheless sharp and flat, which makes her quite enjoyable to watch. she could have won this much easier, she was leading 5:4 and 6:5, serving for the 1st set twice, but could only close it out in the tie-break. also towards the end of the 2nd set she seemed a bit shaky, but denisa made too many errors. i never realized what a horrible 2nd serve chladokova has
shinobu hit quite a few winners off those.
ai came to watch the match for a bit.
mikaelian def. pennetta
a lot of people had finally arrived to catch the 1st match invloving a swiss player.
it was a long time since i'd last seen MGM play. she's had a terrible year, including surgery, but now she seems to be back (kind of). one thing that she seems to have gotten rid of is the weight problem - she looked very slim indeed. which led me to believe that some of her power has gone, but also that she moved slightly better than before.
flavia was up 4:2 in the 1st set and though marie almost always had a lead in those games, she seemed too nervous. she fought back, played a very good tie break and the 2nd set was all mikaelian. flavia didn't play bad, albeit a bit uninspired, but her serve let her down, while marie-gaïané served pretty well, which was the key. and her backhand worked brilliantly today (it's her best shot anyway).
i hope she can repeat this win, now that the 2 have drawn each other in the main draw as well!
ivanovic def. kostanic.
i had never seen ana play before. and wow! i'm impressed
! she's a big, young girl, and yes, she plays powerful tennis (what a surprise these days, isn't it?
), including a nice serve, but she doesn't just hit the crap out of the ball, she really controls it, it looks very smooth, plus, unlike all those dokic-clones, she has a very good defensive game. kostanic tried everything, in fact she didn't play bad at all, but she just didn't find an answer. i really think that the pure physical advantage of ivanovic kinda made the difference.
ivanovic vs. golovin - could be very interesting!
greetings from zurich: beat