Here is my report of the Rogers Cup trip, loved it! Stayed from Saturday to Tuesday night. For the ones wanting the Qualies report, please check that thread: . Here is the main points of my trip to the tournament, hope you enjoy it!
Mirror, mirror: Who is the most impressive newcomer?
With all those withdrawals due to the numerous injuries or illness, the field became interesting mostly because of the youngsters pushing to get into the light. Most of them were very impressive, others were victims of the hype factor. Letís start with the impressive ones. Dinara Safina was incredible in her practices and her first round match, she was surprisingly very friendly, very happy. Her groundstrokes are incredibly solid, very hard-hitting. She is very tall, very athletic and, when I took a picture with her, kinda frightening to be standing close to
Her main problem is impatience, which I guess played a huge factor in her loss against Conchita. Also impressive was Nicole Vaidisova, very tall, lean, hitís the ball really cleanly. Iím really eager to see what will happen with her in the quarters against Justine! Anna-Lena Groenefeld was also very good, she lost her baby fat from the previous pictures I saw her, she hits incredibly hard and flat, not a lot of margin for error, which cost her the match against Conchita (see below). Sesil Karantcheva is also on top of that list: her first set against Craybas was flawless, she did winners after winners to poor Jill whose defensive game wasnít working. Then in the second jill started to attack more, worked very well but Sesil was able to regroup. I saw Sesil in Quebec city, was impressed, but her game as became so much better in about 9 months! The amelioration is amazing: gher backhand always was strong, her forehand and serve really are better, though they always need some work. Finally, Ana Ivanovic
Love her, very very nice, so sweet, so cute, so fun. Her groundstroke are so hard, so deep, to natural, she could go really far. Then in the a-little-less impressive category: Linetskaya, Safarova, Golovin and Kirilenko. Linetskaya practiced a lot, clearly lost some weight which is a good thing, but her weight loss prevented her from keeping her groundstrokes to the hard-level they were. Her loss to Diaz-Oliva was clearly bad for her confidence, since her great match to Maria she seems to go down a little. Clearly a player who wants a lot though, her future can only be bright. As for Lucie Safarova, I had high hopes for her. Marie-Eve played her and said only compliments, and her title earlier this year seemed promising. But I was expecting too much for the girl. Yes she is talented, she hitís the ball well, but she has nothing to go
about. Her mental lapses in her match against Anabel cost her the match, and her performance in qualies wasnít that stellar. Maybe she is better on clay courts. As for Tati, I know she had a big break after Wimbledon, an injury, but I expected more from the Franco-Russian. Her match against Sprem wasnít that impressive, and her two second sets against Gisela were horrendous. She has weird strokes, a certain sliced spin on them, hits very low, very deep, but lacks that spark to be a future Grand Slam Champion. As for Maria K, she is very nice, very cute, hits well, but her *injury* time-outs and her retirement against Bartoli were weird, especially because she seemed perfectly ok in doubles the next day. Anyways, she seems to be incredibly sweet. Talking about Bartoli, poor girl, she is clearly stuck in her fatherís dreams, changed her technique to that weird *S* movement after her shots, cried after her loss to Ana. Really sad, hope sheíll find a way to get out of that vicious cycle.
Letís start with this. Me loves my Daniela. Adore her even. So when her match was starting, a little group for the cocktail party were there to cheer her on, constantly yelling some *Come on Daniela*s or *Podme Danka*s. But the moment Daniela came on court, we knew something was wrong. She looked green, tired, weak physically and mentally. The moment she arrived in Toronto she was like that, practicing only for few minutes and leaving incredibly fast from the practice courts. Anyways, the first set was close, un til 4-4. No break, but Jidkovaís retrieving game got to Daniela in the end of the set which she lost 6-4. Scared, our group started yelling even more, just before hearing Daniela asking for the trainer for a headache and fatigue. Daniela started strong in the second set, the drugs given to her seemed to help. She ahd a 2 breaks lead at 4-1, then was broken and saw Jidkova come back to 4-3. She then held two times to secure than second set, fighting like crazy against herself mostly. Pumped she was, so pumped we were. Even the umpire said: *Even though players enjoy your enthusiasm, please remain quiet during the points*
Daniela went up a break in the third, up 3-1, but we was broken right after. Until 4-3, Daniela managed to hold to her serve, hold her body in place. But then she had a break point at 30-40, only to see Jidkova do a great serve. Then Daniela started serving, but we knew something was wrong. She couldnít push on her legs to serve, she was kneeling on the floor after points or lying on the back wall. When Jidkova went up to 15-40 on a double fault ( where Daniela stumpled and always feel on second serve), Daniela decided to make it stop
All of us were devastated, she was crying, Jidkova came and tried to console her, but clearly didnít work, the trainer came, hugged her, they made the golf cart come directly on the court, she wasnít able to walk. She then stood up, towel on her head, tears on her face, sat in the golf cart and went away. Everybody felt so ackward, it was the saddest thinge ver. Everyone wanted to hug her, especially us. At least she knew we were there for her. Then Nigel passed in front of us, I said to him: * Please take care of her ok?*, he looked at me, kinda rolled is eyes and did a weird non-approving nod. That bitch
Anyways, it left all of us incredibly sad, and I had that feeling for the next few days afterwards :cry:
As you might have read in the Qualifying report, the Canadians, as usual, did pretty bad, only one of them winning a set. It all continued in the main draw. First up on Monday was Aleksandra Wozniak, young junior who just turned pro. Tennis Canada seems to put a lot of hype around Wozniak, the new tennis star, etc. But clearly, she has nothing to follow that hype. Even though she was up to number 3 in juniors (but in the lowest time for juniors ever), she clearly needs to work on things to do well in pros. She faced, for the second year in a row Shinobu Asagoe, who had beaten her 6-3 6-2 last year. Well the story was the same this year. Aleks played uninspired tennis, at times moon-balling, looking slow on the court, doing nothing with the ball. Her fitness was clearly deficient. I hope now Tennis Canada realizes that they need to stop putting pressure on her. Then during the night session was Marie-Eve Pelletier, number 1 Canadian, but in a rough patch right now. Marie-Eve played solid tennis, hitting pretty hard from her backhand, shaky on her forehand as usual. But unlucky she was on that night, Maria Vento-Kachi was a wall, everything she tried worked. At 6-0 4-0, everybody was scared for a double bagel until marie-eve went up 40-0...but then Maria came back to deuce, but Marie-Eve dig deep and managed to get a game. Poor marie-Eve seemed so disappointend, another opportunity lost in Canada
. Then the next day, Marie-Eve and Aleks paired up in doubles to face Kirilenko/Dulko. Both Canadians arenít natural doubles players, so it showed, as two singles players face a doubles team. Marie-Eve played again really good, but always to see aleks miss an easy ball on the other side. The end result wasnít that great. 6-1 6-1, but there were at least 6 games going to deuce. Definitely a week to forget for those two. Stephanie Dubois was on Tuesday night, I had high hopes on her. I always thought she was the one to watch for, and she proved it, already in top 150 at 18 years old. She faced Antonella Serra-Zanetti, the veteran from Italy. Steph started great as usual, her groudies are so solid, she hits incredibly hard, too hard at times. And that is what happened. Until 3-3 it was close, but Stephanie was really excited, jumping everywhere, fist-pumping, yelling, etc. Like usual actually
But then she started mising easier balls, and it went fast from there. She won her serve only once more and lsot 6-3 6-2. I still think she showed she had it in her more than the other girls. Sadly I couldnít make it for the doubles on Wednesday night, looked like a great match, 7-6 (5) in the third, with Ivanovic, loveliest tennis team ever. Sadly they lost, but they fought very well saving match points and everything! Maureen also played doubles, didnít see it, but she lost in two sets with Kim Grant Anyways, another tough week for Canadians, none of them winning a match.
Well it is womenís tennis. What do you expect, there is going to be some close matches, some yells, some cries, some tears. And it happened! First match was Jelena Jankovic and Na Li. Very good match, very solid rom both sides. Na won, though I strongly think Jankovic had everything better and should have won. Jelena came on court already pissed, and the first game, with three double faults, didnít help. Her serve and forehand werenít there, and it seemed after every point she would yell to her coach, hitting balls in the fence, yell at ballboys (she wanted to take the ball from always the same side). She managed to win the second set with her incredible backhand, cleary one of the best of the group, but couldnít manage to keep her cool in the third set. What a difference between both girls, Na Li was robotic, no emotions. Martinez/Groenefeld gave loads of yells also, from the corwd, the players, the coaches. The atmosphere was WILD, people yelling for conchita, an incredible number of bad calls, boos, amazing rallies, most of them were conchita was mixing it up and Anna-Lena was hitting hard. Conchita was the same with the ball boys, wanting that ball from that ballboy. Groenefeld was annoyed at the line calls against her (with reason, if I might add). Finally she choked it in the third, Martinez winning. Unexpectedly, the handshake was pretty jovial, both kissing at the net. Dinara Safina, though she was so jovial this week, had a bad moment in practice, where she yelled and threw her racket. Only thing I saw from her in all of those 5 days
Didnít see it, but Bartoliís tantrum seemed to be the best! Choking against Ana, she cried all her body water out for long minutes, lying on the grass,. That girl clearly needs some help to get out of that situation, noticed it in Quebec city, even heard many players talking about it.
People I met, people I missÖ
Met incredibly nice players and fans in Toronto. I miss all of them. First of all, Paul(polish prodigy) and Randy(Randy H), GAWD we had so much fun
Though I killed both of you easily when we played tennis
Anik (DinaraSafinaFan), who knew we would hit it off like we did after all those virtual fights we had
What a great tema we made to take pictures! Nicolas (Zoltan), so nice, so sweet, great accent, great to make fun of
, Maria (beauty_is_pink), most fabulous person ever, what a great cheerleader team we made for Daniela! Pierre (RussianFan) good to meet you! Great conversations we had! And for the players, Steph, as nice as ever, Valerie, good to finally talk to ya, Sharon, cutest mini-player ever!, Ana, was a sweety you are!, Dinara, learnt to love ya!, Dechy, great talking French with you! Here joined are pictures taken by Anik of me and Sharon, then me and Ana, some with Dechy and Safina, both with Maria, are to come! Thanks for those Nic!( I look horrible and like a tourist, but they still are fun!)