I got to the site at around 8:45, and was really excited to finally see both men and women back in New Haven. Note that this report features both men's and women's match.
The first match I saw was on Grandstand, between Jan-Michael Gambill and Frantisek Cermak. Apparently JMG is back to the double handed forehand. He looked great though. He was very fit, and looked like he put on more muscle. His serve was great, and his return was quite impressive against the big serving Cermak. The first set was quite fun, with Jan-Mike getting the only break. Second set started off well for Cermak. He held serve easily, and had three points for a 2-0 lead, but JMG came up with two big serves to save them, and the other was won off of a volley winner (I think, can't be totally sure of that last point). JMG cruised through the next few games, until serving again at 3-5 down BP. Again, he saved them, and then broke for the match. He never lost serve, his backhand was booming, and I was quite confident about him "upsetting" the #1 qualy seed at that point (apparently I was wrong). Cermak is nothing special at all off the ground, but his serve is great. No spped meters on that court, but I'd say he was easily serving some up in the 130's at some points. I think he could climb the rankings further, but his ground game will really hold him back.
Next match I watched was again a men's match. The #4 seed in qualies, Razvan Sabau was playing young American Phillip Simmonds. This kid was young, really young. Not sure how old he was exactly, but I don't think he could have been any older than 20. Sabau's serve sucked, that was the first thing I really took notice of in the match. The first set was quite boring, and I debating leaving. But I stuck around, and I'm really glad I did. In the second set, there were some amazing points. Simmonds is quite talented, but his shot selection is very poor. He goes for broke on alot of his shots, which resulted in either a) winner, or b) error, sent four feet long. But, his movement was really excellent, and so was his serve. He had alot of aces, even a few off of the second serve. He actually was up a break at 2-1 in the third, but totally died from then on. Sabau really turned it up. He was screaming at himself and getting really angry, and apparently that motivated him to start moving to everything. Simmonds has a future though. If he can learn to control his ground game more, he could break into the top 100 at least. That serve is top notch.
Now it was time for lunch. So I snacked, and then about an hour later went over to Court One to check out what was going on there. I arrived right at the start of the Haynes Peschke match. This match kind of says it all about Angela, and why she's ranked where she is. The first set, Angela had alot of errors and was quite inconsistent, especially with her serve. Kveta has some really nice backhands, and just really frustrated Angela. The second set, Angela totally dominated. Her serve was booming, forehand cracking, and what an attitude...I haven't seen someone so fired up about playing, ever. She outdoes Serena, Lleyton, et al. She raced to a 5-1 lead, played a crap game to lose serve, but then broke for the set. She looked like a top 30 player there. The third set started out the same, a huge service hold to deuce. And then, she just died. As I said before, this match is Angela in a nutshell. She's wildly inconsistent. She stopped hitting winners, her serve became ineffective, and Kveta began controlling the match with her backhand. Angela lost five games in a row, and went down 0-40. But then, she really showed something. She saved tripple match point, all with either winners or huge serves, and made it 5-2. Even down 0-40, she was pumpnig her fist and fighting to stay in the match. It really says alot about her character. Kveta then served out the match to love with a really great game. It was a good match, but it was even better in showing Angela as a person. She's probably one of the nicest and most polite girls on tour, in addition to being one of the most inconsistent. If she can find a way to keep it in the court during her "off" game, she will be top 30, at least.
I also saw all of the Kirilenko Gullickson match. Really, really strange match. I wanted Masha K to win coming into the match, but Carly won both me and most of the crowd over. She played extremely well to go up 5-3 in the first, especially off the serve. But, Maria turned it up, and Carly tanked it up. Suddenly, it was 7-5 4-0 40-0 Maria, and Carly looked like she checked out of the match. But Carly began to pull herself out of a horrible attitude and slumping game, and saved five break points to hold for 1-4. Things went really fast from there. Within minutes, Carly got herself back to one break down at 3-4. Then came the "injury" timeout. I know that Maria is battling a knee injury, but I don't know if it required immediate medical attention. I couldn't see it effecting her game, including her movement, at all. But, it really didn't help her. Carly broke again, to deuce, and then held for a 5-4 lead. Both held into the tiebreak, which turned into a marathon. Carly really blew it here. She was up 5-3, and then had the set on her racquet at 6-5. But her serve dropped off, and she started making alot of errors. She lost both her service points to go down match point at 6-7. She saved one for 7-7, then ended up losing 5-7 6-7 (7) off of another forehand error. Carly has alot of positive aspects to her game - namely the serve and backhand. She also has some horrible attributes - the forehand, consistency and attitude. Anyway, I hope Maria K qualifies now.
I left after that. Overall, a good day of matches.