What a fucking hot day.
Some great matches, some shit matches, some awkward moments, some controversial moments, and everything in between.
Sesil Karatantcheva d Chanelle Scheepers 62 76
Chanelle is just gorgeous. I saw her here a couple years ago and was really impressed with her game, so I was curious to have a look at this match, also due to the fact she was playing this Sesil person I’ve heard so much about. Saw various bits and pieces of this match. Sesil had things well under control for a set and a half. She is a very very very good player as you all know, hits with lots of power and has a huge serve. A couple of her serves just went through Chanelle’s racket. She was also wearing a tight top with one sleeve going down past her elbow, reminiscent of the one Martina Hingis wore a couple years ago. I saw a bit of Chanelle’s comeback, and she did very well to force a TB. She has some wonderful groundstrokes and is a fit and quick girl. This was a fairly good match in the end, but it was clear who the better player is. I expect Sesil to qualify comfortably, just depends on how she deals with the expectation I guess. As V.Melb said in her report, there were lots of various players stopping by to have a snoop at some stage….obviously wary of this kid.
Daniela Dominikovic d Adriana Szili 46 61 64
One of the lowest quality matches of the day, but that is to be expected when you have two players outside the top 400 playing. Daniela made this a lot more difficult for herself than she should have…she is clearly a better player than Szili, but at just 17 she’s obviously still learning and developing. Adriana doesn’t hit with much pace, but she is dogged and very quick. She’s a consistent baseliner and a big fighter, but what was once a very big talent can now be put into the ‘nothing special’ basket. I can see her reaching a career high of 350-400, but nothing higher…she is a pretty cool chick though (hey anyone that’s lists Radiohead and The Cure as their favourite bands scores big with me
), chatting happily with her mum and Tiffany Welford after the match and being quite gracious in the process. Every time I see Adriana she shows great sportsmanship, and rarely cracks up emotionally. Now onto Dani…has a beautiful forehand motion, with a big swing, and when she gets it cracking it’s a real weapon. She goes for her shots and isn’t afraid to hit a winner (a more aggressive player than sister Evie), but today was playing with no real killer instinct or aggression. Still, a good win for her and she was delighted with the win. I expect she’ll get bitch slapped by Shahar Peer tomorrow, but the experience will be great for her I think. Definitely a decent future prospect is Dominikovic Jr. Keen spectators at various stages were Tiffany Welford (sitting with Mrs.Szili), Dubravka Cupac (before her match was to begin), Evie, Evie’s boyfriend
, and Mrs. Dominikovic who bears a remarkable resemblance to Svetlana Kuznetsova
Jaslyn Hewitt d Dominika Nociarova 75 57 62
Nice performance from Jaslyn and a thoroughly deserved win. She should have won this in two. Dominika, aside from having an unflattering bogan orange/burgundy tone in her hair, is not much of a player…on Rebound Ace anyway. You can tell, she would be more at home on a clay court perhaps. She has some nice crafty shots, and is a sturdy baseliner (not much power at all), but her ranking of 220ish is just about right I think, and I’d be surprised if she went 150. Jaslyn scrambled remarkably well today and hit some amazing shots after some grueling rallies. She seemed to have an injury at the later stages of the first set, but seemed to get that in check. Nokia also seemed to have some sort of pain in her right hand and began to serve underarm (it was obvious the poor dear was wilting in the scorching sun as well) and did so for most of the final set
Jaslyn was the stronger player today, but the reason why she is ranked 100 odd spots below Nokia is that she doesn’t have the consistency all year round. Maybe this year, things might change for her.
Shahar Peer d Libuse Prusova 61 60
wow! I made a point of seeing some of this match as I wanted to see Peer in action…I’ve been following her results recently, and was interested in how she played. She has a lot of power and rarely seems to miss (I’ll put that down to not having the toughest of opposition, however). A really big talent and was one of the most (if not the most) impressive players I saw today. The third round qualifying match with Sesil (which should come about) will be a corker. Go Shahar
Jamea Jackson d Stanislava Hrozenska 75 60
Jamea was another one on my list of ‘must see’ players along with Sesil K, Shahar Peer, Shikha Uberoi, Michaella Krajicek and Angela Haynes. She is a really impressive player, a little dynamo from the back of the court. Stanislava (Stan) is decent I guess, but was outplayed on the big points. She is just your run of the mill Slovak baseliner, doesn’t seem to have anything special, but she does possess some nice shots. Anyway, it was all Jamea…I really like this girl and am annoyed she plays Angela Haynes tomorrow because I wanted both to qualify. Should be a great match though…Jamea watched a bit of the Haynes/Brinerova match after her win.
Angela Haynes d Eva Birnerova 61 16 61
Angela completely won me over today. Her tennis and her spunky personality. I’ve been a fan since last year’s qualies, but she really took the time to shine this year. That second set lapse was largely due to some surprisingly strong play from the previously lackluster Eva, but Angela quickly regrouped and it was clear she was the better player and would romp that final set. She really gives the ball a mighty thrashing, has big lefty groundstrokes and a pretty big serve too. Also looks pretty funky with her bandana tied over her head
Top 100 here we come. The only negative thing is that she tends to go walkabout and the errors start flying, one after the other. If she can keep her focus I see no reason why Angela can’t have a decent career. She didn’t play her best today, far from it, so I’m confident she can get better. I don’t know if she will get past Jamea based on today’s form between the two, but I can hope. I saw her on later that day, and noticed Anne Kremer walking past…Angela yelled out ‘Hey Kramer! Ya seen ma daddy?’…
Anne smiled and said ‘no’. They had a bit of a chat, looks like they are friends on the tour.
Yoon Jeong Cho d Roberta Vinci 61 62
An expected result, but a shitty score from Roby. It seems like she’ll never amount to much in singles, which is a shame because I think she has a great all round game, but doesn’t seem to have anything that can hurt her opposition. Cho was a class above and it was smooth sailing for her.
Jessica Kirkland d Lauren Breadmore 76 62
Only two sets were played, but fucking HELL this went on forever! If anyone goes to watch a Lauren Breadmore match, make sure you take a comfy cushion so your arse doesn’t get numb. Lauren is one of the greatest fighters out there, she is a brick wall and will chase everything down. She’s a former cross country junior champion in this state, so that’s hardly a surprise
The good thing about Breadmore is that she is never daunted when she plays these big hitting girls…she just takes it to them and makes them hit extra balls, and therefore most of the rallies go on, and on…and.on. At Melbourne Park Lauren can stay with just about anyone it seems
Jessica is a big hitter, seems to still be on that obligatory learning curve from juniors to pros, but she has a pretty impressive game for someone so young (17 I think?). She’s got a long way to go, and I can’t see her being a future ‘star’, as such, but the top 100 is definitely on the cards. She can go further than that but that all depends on her I guess. Lauren just ran out of puff after running all over the place…she led 4-1, and then in the TB led 5-2 and blew it. After that it was all over. After losing the set a feisty Lauren (already she had yelled out ‘tosser!’ and ‘wanker!’ to anyone that would care to listen) slammed the ball into a neighbouring court…Jessica asked the umpire ‘are you gonna give her a warning for that?’
Not a bad match, but it was always going to be on Jessica’s hands..and she handled the feisty opposition well. Good fighting win.
Shikha Uberoi d Lioudmila Skavronskaia 61 64
I fell in love with Uberoi at the US Open against Venus so I just had to see her in action. Boy, can she hit a mean ball. She was always in charge of this match against a slightly out of sorts and dejcted Skavronskaia (who is quite an imposing figure, tall girl!). Shikha was painting the lines and serving remarkably well, sending down some really big bombs. She’s just a great competitor
. She finished it off with a big ace and let out a shriek of delight. Little sis Neha and her family were pretty happy with the win as well. I was with a friend, who doesn’t really know a thing about tennis, and he commented that Shikha is very ‘bouncy’. She’s always bumbling about and jumping up and down between points, a sign of great fitness and confidence. Best of luck in the next round
Lourdes Dominguez Lino d Shayna McDowell 64 62
Really good effort from 15 year old Shayna. She hits very hard, and it’s not hard to see why she almost beat Antonella Serra-Zanetti last week in Canberra, a player that can be overpowered quite easily. I thought she could’ve been a chance in this match against clay specialist Lourdes, but not to be. Lourdes played soild, if unspectacular tennis, to get a fairly comfortable win. After the match Marta Marrero was there to congratulate her and took a photo of her with her spiffy camera. Shayna impressed me. She is a pretty tall and well developed kid (physically), and goes for her shots. With some more tournaments and experience I think she has a bright future.
Zsofia Gubacsi d Dubravka Cupac 61 62
Ugh! Dubz! She was an unforced error machine today. You could have just stuck a cardboard cut out of Gubacsi on the other side and she would have won. Dubz just went for winner after winner and committed about 400 unforced errors. Was a sorry sight. She has a big game, lots of power, and it would be quite scary to think how much better she could be if she learned how to play some smart tennis. I think she just turned 19, so it’s not too late to fix up this impatient game…the talent is there, go and use it. One thing about Dubz is she's quite entertaining
Was heard to say out loud 'She cant volley Dubz! Make her volley!!'...lol
Tian Tian Sun d Zuzana Kucova 60 46 62
Only reason I’m including this is that there was a fair bit of controversy at 5-2 in the final set! I walked over and noticed that the umpire had held up play as he had just called the supervisor…he had a chat to a ball kid and it was apparent that Zuzana had slammed a ball into the fence and it instead landed on a ball kids stomach, as you do. The umpire then walked up to Zuzana who was ready to start play at 2-5, and informed her that they can only resume play once the supervisor had arrived. Zuzana asked why, and he told her it was because she had hit the ball boy! She looked a bit shocked and said ‘but I said sorry, I didn’t mean it’…I think the problem here was, that the umpire didn’t see her apologise and so she didn’t acknowledge that she hit him…Zuzana then walked up to the kid and asked him if he was OK, and looked concerned, and he seemed fine and told her he was OK…I wasn’t there when it happened, so I don’t know what exactly occured. I asked a casual observer ‘did she punch him in the gut?’, hoping for some juicy goss, but to no avail. Anyway, the supervisor arrived and after some discussion they gave her a point penalty. So Sun served at 15-00, then romped home with a quick game to love after Zuzana clearly tanked the game as she was upset. Following the match she was chatting to the supervisor again and she burst into tears. Poor thing, she clearly didn’t mean to do it and obviously was a bit embarrassed…one of the other supervisor’s was telling her ‘we know you didn’t mean it but you have to take responsibility for your actions’…yada yada…they were a bit harsh on her, but she should’ve just copped it on the chin…just like the kid copped it in the belly
Stanislava Hrozenska tried to defend her friend after the match but she was quickly put in her place by Mr and Mrs Supervisor. That’ll teach her to stick her beak in.
Michaella Krajicek d Stephanie Dubois 64 63
Nice, measured performance from Michaella
She was clearly the better player today. Stephanie is also an impressive young player, and there wasn’t much between them at the beginning as they both hit with nice pace. Michaella just handled the heat better, and just played the points better when they counted. Big big talent is this kid. Hope she does well….
Olivia Lukaszewicz d Jarmila Gajdosova 61 26 64
Who would’ve thought? I had a strange feeling in me waters that this could go Liv’s way. Jarmila was seen jumping and pacing about for about 45 minutes waiting for the Vierin-Chuang match to finish, as they were on next. This might have stuffed up her rhythm as she was obviously keen to get out there. Olivia played some great points and stayed with Jarmila in a lot of the rallies, which impressed me…but on occasion Liv would hit out and create some silly errors. Jarmila has a powerful game and it’s not hard to see why she was touted as a future star a year or two ago. She just needs to tighten up her game, cut down on her error rate, and basically get her head in check. Her attitude isn’t that great as she doesn’t look like she believes she can win…always down on herself. Olivia hits quite hard and can definitely stay with big hitters. Her serve is her major weakness, basically it is shit. Shit. Hopeless. First serve % is bad, and her second serve is very weak. Work on that serve lovey! With some more training and development she will improve further, and at just 16 I think things are looking good for her. She’ll never be a world beater but there is a bright future ahead if she continues to work on her game…I firmly believe that. She is clearly the best 16 year old in the country, no one else at her age in OZ hits like her, so I’d like to see Tennis Australia continue to invest interest in her, because they’re on a good thing in the long term. Jarmila is clearly the better player of the two and should’ve won, but it just wasn’t her day. Kudos to Olivia, well done and well deserved!
After this match it was time to go home, but I wanted to stop by and catch my fave player in qualies, Sunitha Rao. Unfortunately I missed the match, but was happy to hear she beat Stephanie Gerlein of Germany in 3. I saw Gerlein walking back to the locker room, and she was in tears after the loss, being comforted by her coach. Hopefully Sunitha can keep it up tomorrow!
Now for some word salad…various tidbits – in a nutshell…
Lina K has returned...two years ago I was privy to witness one of the best ever qualifying matches I've ever seen, Lina K v Fujiwara, which Lina won...I was hoping for another great match this time, but it was all Lina...good to see her back...Amanda Janes has a beautiful game to watch, nice lefty all court game, but she was outclassed by fellow lefty Nan-Nan Liu…Cara Black is so thin she is practically transparent, go and eat a few spare ribs dear….oh, and her singles game is just about done I feel….Edina Gallovits is a pretty good talent, why is she not ranked higher? She hits a pretty hard, clean ball….Sandra Kloesel wins the award for ‘nude streaker of the day’….she jogged past me wearing something that resembled a kerchief…Hanna Nooni is a bit of a firecracker…one can hear an outburst a fair few courts away….Milagros Sequera has a cute little pixie hair do…don’t know why that is worth mentioning…I saw Annabel Ellwood (former Aussie player) walking around at one stage, and she had an elastic with a plastic ornament tied in her hair that looked like one my cousin used to wear when she was 7, back in 1985….speaking of hair styles, Yvonne Meusberger and Yulia Beygelzimer look like my aunties, with their unflattering do’s…Marie-Eve Pelletier had an annoying contingent of fans (as always, as she is coached and housed by an Aussie when she comes down here)…this time they were all children and one felt the urge on many an occasion to assassinate them all….a few ballkids wilted in the summer sun (it was fucking ridiculously hot today), and had to be carted off…one of them looked quite drunk…unfortunatelt I didn’t get to see Maureen Drake this year
Hope it’s not the last time she comes down…Adriana Barna and Lana Popadic win the ‘who cares’ award…neither seemed to really show much interest, and this was one of the most boring matches of the day….Lucie Safarova is a BIG hitter with a bright future, and I couldn’t help but feel sad for her, losing 6-0 in the 3rd after losing a tight second set TB….Chia-Jung Chuang and Nathalie Vierin. 4 fucking HOURS girls….Lilia Osterloh seems to orgasm everytime she hits the ball...was a nice summer distraction for the ears at least…Galina Voskoboeva is a gentle giant that looks all of about 6 years old….nice girl and pretty good game…Timea Baczinsky on the other hand didn’t impress at all, despite what I’ve heard…Marie-Gayanaya (or however the fuck she spells it) Mikaelian has lost a LOT of weight…I thought it was a late replacement or something, as she honestly looked like a different person….unfortunately her game is stuck in no mans land, but here’s hoping she gets back on track…as an aside, I cant remember what her opponent Vanessa Henke looks or plays like…
, Martina Muller couldn’t stop jogging around the grounds after her win, I just felt like telling her to go jump in the spa and cool off, as she was giving me a headache….Ekaterina Bychkova is a cutie pie, and was wearing a vicious pink number that looked great…she has a bright future but really should have smacked Meusberger away in easier fashion…I saw Barbara Rittner walking around with one or two German players…she looked fitter than them
….Ting Li has a really mean dykey crew cut that may one day rival Denisa Chladkova’s….aside from this, she also plays some good tennis, as does the beaten opponent Laura Pous-Tio….er, what else…nothing.