Sunday, March 27
Hrbaty vs Safin – After Safin lost the 1st set, it didn’t seem like he was really in the 2nd set, especially with Hrbaty returning everything.
Molik vs Dulko – This was a tighter match than I thought it would be. Dulko had chances in the 3rd set but couldn’t convert while Alicia was more solid.
Monfils vs Lee – This was a good match. Monfils is the type of player who would make or try to make the spectacular shots while Lee is just a solid player. Gael just had a quick start in the 3rd set tiebreaker and didn’t look back. In terms of attitude, Monfils is interesting. He would often give Lee an applause with his racket after a good shot but he would also show the vicht, like Hewitt, or pound his chest with his fist. After he won, he threw two shirts and other stuff into the crowd and walked off without wearing a shirt.
Nadal vs Verdasco – After the Monfils match, this was a letdown. Verdasco tried to hit winners but they either landed out or into the net. And Nadal needs to wear looser pants as observed by me and others around me.
Golovin vs Bovina – As in other matches, Golovin seemed more comfortable in the underdog role. Both players were holding pretty easily in the 2nd set, even though it was played in windy conditions on an outside court. Tatiana wrapped up the match with an ace. As for Elena, she needs to know that hitting a ball hard doesn’t matter if it doesn’t go in. There were relatively important points in the 2nd set where she had the upper hand in a rally but lost the points when she hit a hard shot out or into the net.
Monday, March 28
Henin-Hardenne vs Molik – I only watched the end of the 3rd set but I should have watched it earlier. After the other matches, it was enjoyable watching these two play with their one handed backhands and the angles that they try to play. Alicia needs a little more speed to match up with a player like Justine though.
Ancic vs Haas – Watched the 1st set of this match. It was tight but Ancic was able to match Haas on the ground and was able to win points at the net also.
Clijsters vs Myskina – Most in the crowd were pulling for Clijsters. Myskina just made too many errors to match up with Kim.
Dementieva vs Golovin – A lot to say about this match. First about the match itself, it was filled with errors but there were some good rallies. Elena had two double faults to end the 1st set. She also had a better second serve on display even though it was sometimes inconsistent. Tatiana tried to rally with Dementieva but Elena’s ground strokes were too solid and she kept fighting back even after losing the 1st set. Elena never gave Tatiana any short balls that she could attack. Tatiana never tried to draw Elena to the net, where she could use her good passing shot, which was something that Tatiana did in her previous match.
This match was played on a fairly good size court but the crowd was basically dead. It didn’t help that there were a lot of errors but it was still dead. In fact at one point, there was a long rally that ended with a clean winner by Dementieva to little applause. After Elena hit it, she raised her hands and I thought that the umpire might have overruled it and she was protesting but that wasn’t the case. I think she was trying to say to the crowd that you should make some noise when there is a good and long rally that ends with a winner. Sadly, it didn’t work much.
There was also a strange incident in the stands. In the middle of the match, I decided to move closer to the Golovin camp so I missed with happened in the beginning. Once I got there, I saw this guy wearing black pants and hard black shoes and holding a tennis racket. Now, his wardrobe raised my eyebrow as everybody else was wearing light clothing and tennis shoes. Then as play resumed, he got irritated when a call went against Elena to end a game and made a comment towards the court basically saying that that was five calls that were wrong and yelled some minor threats toward the umpire and linesperson. Since I just got there, I couldn’t tell whether he was a fan of one player or just irritated at the calls. I personally thought it was a well-called match. However, while he was making his verbal statements, he was also waving around his racket and he was standing behind a rail where Tatiana’s mother was sitting. There was an older male sitting with Tatiana’s mother who basically told him to cool down. There were also two staff members sitting nearby who intervened and told him to cool down. This led to two brief intense conversations between one of the staff member and the “fan” who then decided to go to the other side of the court. This staff member was not to be messed with as he got on his cell phone and soon, two police officers came and escorted the “fan” out of the court. And all of this was from a match where everybody else was sitting on their hands and not making any reactions.
Ivanovic/Vaidisova vs Garbin/Krizan – Garbin/Krizan actually played like a doubles team but lost. Ivanovic/Vaidisova were just too talented individually. Ivanovic and Vaidisova gave a hand slap before each point but it didn’t seem like they were that tight.
Finally, in Miami, there was a lot of support for the South American players but the Colombians seemed especially into it. There were some good chants that they created for Castano, which was why I put some Vcash for Castano against Schnyder. Something to remember for next year.