Just back from Berlin.
Very nice day with great weather, unfortunately I forgot sunscreen so I look a bit like that:
The tournament site looks very different this year, there's a cardboard Arabian buliding and also more tents than last year. The practice courts are now at the other end as well as Court 5 which is a bit annoying. Apart from that it looks pretty good.
I will first do the qualifying matches and then everything else (including Caroline Schneider
Jana Kandarr def. Elena Baltacha 2-6 6-3 6-4
Jana lost the first three games in 5 minutes.
Her serve didn't work and she looked extremely rusty so I was worried that this might end in a disaster. I then left for a while. At the beginning of the second Jana held serve more consistently. I left again
and when I came back Jana had won the 2nd set.
I watched the complete third set. The quality was not too good because both made a lot of errors. Elena is a feisty player and grunts and screams a lot but her forehand was absolutely terrible, basically that was the reason for her loss. She also lacks a major weapon and couldn't finish off the points.
Jana was *2-1 up but wasted the next game with double-faults. At 3-4 she was in danger of losing serve again but at 30-30 she hit a 2nd serve ace which was great. At 4-4 Elena led 40-15 but lost serve with FH errors. Jana then had a very solid service game to win the match.
Angelique Kerber def. Selima Sfar 4-6 6-2 6-4
Longest match of the day (I think). I "only" watched the third set which lasted about an hour. The 4th game alone took 20 minutes then Angelique lost it with very bad errors to go down 1-3. At that moment it didn't look good for her because she was way too passive and Selima lulled her with her slow shots. Actually Selima was very passive too and rarely appeared at the net, although she's a great fighter.
But somehow Angelique managed to turn it around. Everytime she went for her backhand, she scored winners. She didn't look tired either and served it out nicely.
Martina Müller def. Maria Geznenge 6-0 6-2
Martina was solid. Geznenge was horrible. Her service motion is a copy of Kleinova's, except that it's even worse. In the rallies she would always make the error sooner or later.
Meilen Tu def. Lilia Osterloh 6-4 6-2
Libuse Prusova def. Zsofia Gubacsi 6-4 1-6 6-2
Didn't see too much of it. Both were solid from the baseline but suffered from bad serving. At the end Libuse was a bit more consistent and aggressive on the returns. She had a nice smile after match-point.
Vanessa Henke def. Zuzana Ondraskova 6-7 (2) 6-2 1-0 ret.
I only watched it from 2nd set on, but I heard "the trainer has been called" at 5-5 and later I saw that Zuzana had her thigh taped.
The second set was very close early on. Vanessa broke but struggled a lot with her serve. Lots of drop-shots from both sides, especially from Vanessa, probably because of Zuzana's injury.
And it worked, she held and broke again to win the set. An early break in the third with more drop-shots and Zuzana had enough. Well done Vanessa, very smart play.
Kveta Peschke def. Andrea Petkovic 6-0 6-1
As expected. Kveta was solid and always in control.
Andrea should re-consider her tennis career. She isn't making any progress and has already been passed by younger players like Kerber. And her attitude is awful, she already cried during the match and then like a little girl after she had lost.
She will go nowhere if she doesn't change something pretty soon.
Angela Haynes def. Tatjana Malek 6-2 7-5
Interesting match. These two have similar games, lots of variety with spins and slices (Angela is left-handed though). Overall Angela was a bit more consistent and aggressive. Tatjana had some nice points but also made many stupid errors. She looked a bit tired too. She came back from 3-5 to 5-5 in the second but lost the next two games pretty easily.
BTW, her nickname is indeed "Tadde" because that's what Barbara Rittner said to encourage her.
Sabine Klaschka def. Yvonne Meusburger 6-0 6-3
This was already the third match in 2005 between these two, and for the third time Sabine won. Her mighty groundstrokes were 'on' today and she totally dominated the match, apart from the last few games where she struggled a little. Great performance.
Too bad that she's friends with Roesch.
Meusburger looked pretty average. I'm surprised she's ranked that high. She has no weapons and her forehand is a little weird too.
Sabine Lisicki def. Cara Black 6-4 6-1
I didn't see much of it but what I saw was impressive. Sabine has a great game and blasted Cara off the court. There was a crucial moment in the first set when Sabine was 15-40 down on her serve at 4-4 but she escaped with great winners and then broke for the set. Cara tried to use a lot of slice and stuff but her shots lacked depth so she was just too weak.
I think Sabine has a good chance against Panova.
Katerina Bohmova def. Roesch 7-5 6-1
Only saw the last two games. Roesch was bitchy and annoyed as usual and lost easily. Retire already.
Bohmova is a solid left-handed, that's all I can remember.
Tzipora Obziler def. Angelika Bachmann 1-6 6-3 7-5
Only saw the beginning and the end of the second and the third set.
Early on Tzipora could not find the court and Angelika led 4-0.
Late in the second Tzipora was much more consistent and dominated the rallies.
When I came back in the third it was 5-5 deuce. I think Angelika had a 5-3 lead but in the last points Tzipora was in command and wrongfooted Angelika several times with counterattacks. Too bad Angelika.
Yuliana Fedak def. Adriana Barna 6-2 7-6 (6)
Most disappointing result of the day for me.
I saw most of the second set. Yuliana is small but very fast, her groundstrokes are nothing special although she hit some nice winners. Serve is shaky and almost cost her the second set.
Adriana played pretty well actually. Forehand was good, backhand is still the weaker shot and tends to end up too short but she had quite a few down the line winners with it. Serve was OK too, and she fought well.
Adriana served for the second set at 6-5. She had 30-30 but lost the next two points with UE's. Her biggest problem is the same as her sister's: She doesn't know how to finish off rallies.
She lacks a real winning shot and she also hit some pretty bad overheads and volleys. That's what is keeping her from going further up.
She still had a 4-1 lead in the tie-break but got too passive then and Yuliana won the next 5 points. Adriana came bacl to 6-6 but it was too late.
Stephanie Gehrlein def. Sandra Kleinova 6-3 6-2
Nice win Stephanie.
Both hit flat and hard but today Stephanie did that much better and scored a comfortable win. Keep it up please.
Tatiana Panova def. Antonia Matic 3-6 7-5 6-4
I arrived at this match when Antonia was leading 6-3 5-2 with two breaks. Well, whatever she had done to take this lead, she didn't do it anymore in the following games. This was one of the worst chokes I have ever seen. Suddenly she couldn't hit a proper shot. Either she would hit miles out or be way too short = easy points for Tatiana. There was a glimmer of hope when she made a great point at the net for deuce at 5-4 but she lost the next two points and then easily the following games.
I left after the set because I thought Antonia would lose the third 0-6. Anyway, she did lose, that's all that matters.
This was a winnable match as Tatiana didn't play well at all and therefore a huge chance wasted.