Australian Open 2007: Andrew's reports (semi-final TV-report added) -
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Australian Open 2007: Andrew's reports (semi-final TV-report added)

AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Rebound Ace); Grand Slam)

This post is a Nicole-filtered version of my full tournament-preview, which you can find at

1. Photos (full version only)
2. UK TV-alert
3. First-round draw
4. Maria Sharapova preview (full version only)
5. Vera Zvonarëva preview (full version only)
6. Anna Chakvetadze preview (full version only)
7. Daniela Hantuchová preview (full version only)
8. Iroda Tulyaganova preview (full version only)
9. Nicole Vaidišová preview
10. Andrew's wishes (full version only)
11. Qualifying (full version only)
12. Order of Play for Monday

2. UK TV-alert

The evening-sessions of the Australian Open will be televised on BBCi from 08:30 GMT each day of the tournament (digital viewers press Red or select the appropriate Freeview-channel - 301 or 302, I don't know which yet).

My understanding is that this coverage will consist of the women's match on the evening-session of the Rod Laver Arena (today Serena Williams v Mara Santangelo), followed by the men's match, followed by recorded coverage of any Andy Murray match that will have taken place during the day-session (his matches will also be broadcast live on BBCi during the British night, and possibly on BBC 1 or BBC 2 if he reaches the third round - I mention this just in case they happen to slip any women's tennis into such coverage; in 2002, they showed five minutes of Daniela Hantuchová against Venus Williams).

Last year, the women's semi-finals took place during the day-session, and recorded coverage was shown on BBCi following live coverage of the evening-session that day.

The women's and men's singles-finals will be broadcast live on BBC 1 and BBC 2, respectively.

3. First-round draw
3.1 Top quarter: Sharapova, Zvonarëva, Chakvetadze

* Roberta Vinci v Anastassia Rodionova (ˇforza Roberta!)
* Renata Vorácová [Q] v Meghann Shaughnessy
* Emmanuelle Gagliardi v TATHIANA GARBIN [30]

* VERA ZVONARËVA [22,EF] v Tzipora Obziler (DAVAI VERA!)
* Séverine Brémond v Tamira Paszek [Q] (allez Séverine!)
* Varvara Lepchenko v Agnieszka Radwanska (davai Varvara!)
* ANA IVANOVIC [13,DF] v Vania King (ajde Ana!)

* ANNA CHAKVETADZE [12,EF] v Sybille Bammer (DAVAI ANNA!)
* Yulia Beygelzimer v Laura Granville
* Sophie Ferguson [WC] v Jelena Kostanic Tosic
* Klára Zakopalová [Q] v SAMANTHA STOSUR [24] (pojdme Klára!)

* FLAVIA PENNETTA [28,DF] v Kaia Kanepi (ˇforza Flavia!)
* Alicia Molik [WC] v Chan,Yung-Jan (go Alicia!)
* Peng,Shuai [s] v Andreja Klepac [Q] (jia you Shuai!)
* Madison Brengle [WC] v PATTY SCHNYDER [8]

3.2 Second quarter: Hantuchová

* KIM CLIJSTERS [4] v Vasilisa Bardina (davai Vasilisa!)
* Akiko Morigami [s] v Tsvetana Pironkova (my Reason says Akiko, but my Passion says Tsvetana)
* Nicole Pratt v Virginie Razzano
* ALYONA BONDARENKO [29] v Stéphanie Cohen-Aloro [Q] (davai Alyona!)

* Sandra Záhlavová [Q] v ANNA-LENA GRÖNEFELD [17] (pojdme Sandra!)
* Ashley Harkleroad v Yuan,Meng (go Ashley!)
* Aravane Rezaď v Emilie Loit (allez Aravane!)

* Ekaterina Bychkova v DINARA SAFINA [9] (davai Ekaterina!)
* Youlia Fedossova [WC] v Catalina Castańo
* Ahsha Rolle v Lourdes Domínguez Lino
* Elena Bovina v LI,NA [19]

* Aiko Nakamura [s] v ELENI DANIILIDOU [32] (ganbatte Aiko!)
* Sania Mirza [DF] v Olga Savchuk (go Sania!)
* Alla Kudryavtseva [Q] v Emma Laine
* Nathalie Dechy v MARTINA HINGIS [6]

3.3 Third quarter: Tulyaganova

* NADIA PETROVA [5] v Tamarine Tanasugarn
* Gisela Dulko [DF] v Sun,Tiantian (ˇvamos Gisela!)
* Michaëlla Krajícek v Anne Kremer [Q] (kom op Michaëlla!)
* Serena Williams v MARA SANTANGELO [27]

* MARION BARTOLI [18,S] v Vera Dushevina (allez Marion!)
* Yuliana Fedak v Victoria Azarenka (davai Yuliana!)
* Virginia Ruano Pascual v Melinda Czink (ˇvamos Virginia!)
* Aleksandra Wozniak v JELENA JANKOVIC [11]

* SHAHAR PEER [16] v Romina Oprandi (kadima Shahar!)
* Edina Gallovits v Meilen Tu
* Zuzana Ondrášková v Clarisa Fernández (pojdme Zuzana!)
* TATIANA GOLOVIN [20,DF] v Anna Smashnova (allez Tatiana!)

* MARIA KIRILENKO [26,DF] v Karolina Šprem [DF] (my loyalty Maria)
* Julia Vakulenko [Q] v Elena Likhovtseva (may the better win!)
* Iroda Tulyaganova [WC,EF] v Monique Adamczak [WC] (DAVAI IRODA!)
* Jessica Moore [WC] v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [3]

3.4 Bottom quarter: Vaidišová

* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [7] v Stéphanie Foretz (davai Elena!)
* Martina Müller v Jorgelina Cravero [Q]
* Maria Elena Camerin v Kirsten Flipkens (my loyalty to Maria Elena)
* Elena Vesnina v ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES [25] (davai Elena!)

* KATARINA SREBOTNIK [21] v Casey Dell'Acqua [WC] (dajmo Katarina!)
* Iveta Benešová v Galina Voskoboeva (pojdme Iveta!)
* Jarmila Gajdošová v Milagros Sequera
* NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [10,EF] v Jill Craybas (pojdme Nicole!)

* FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [14] v Sandra Klösel
* Lucie Šafárová v Alberta Brianti (pojdme Lucie!)
* Laura Pous Tio v Anastasiya Yakimova
* Sofia Arvidsson v AI SUGIYAMA [23]

* ZHENG,JIE [31] v Julia Schruff
* Martina Suchá v Eva Birnerová (podme Martina!)
* Marta Domachowska v Olga Poutchkova (dawaj Marta!)
* Shenay Perry v AMÉLIE MAURESMO [2] (anyone but Mauresmo)

9. Nicole Vaidišová preview
9.1 First round

How worried should we be about #64-ranked Jill Craybas, who beat a 15-year-old Nicole 6-2 6-4 at ITF Midland 2004? Craybas reached the semi-finals of Auckland with wins over Aiko Nakamura, Gisela Dulko and Paola Suárez, then lost to Vera Zvonarëva. She then failed to qualify for Sydney.

So I guess the answer is: a little bit worried, but not much - especially if Nicole plays like she did at Sydney and not like she did at Hong Kong!

9.2 Second round

#74 Jarmila Gajdošová or #95 Milagros Sequera, whom a 15-year-old Nicole beat 6-4 6-1 en route to the Vancouver 2004 title? It should be a routine win for Nicole either way.

9.3 Third round

Katarina Srebotnik [21] is a talented player with spider-like court-craft, but hardly a name that fills me with dread - especially since 15-year-old Nicole beat her 7-5 6-1 at Miami 2005. And that was the score by which Katarina lost to Li,Na in the quarter-finals of Sydney, having beaten Svetlana Kuznetsova by retirement.

I would prefer an all-Czech match with beautiful Iveta Benešová. Iveta is #84, and her only singles-action so far in 2007 has been a first-round loss on the Gold Coast, where she was a doubles-finalist with the girl she plays in the first round here: Galina Voskoboeva.

Iveta has the history to give Nicole a very interesting match. She beat Nicole in their only previous meeting: 2-6 6-4 6-4 at Hobart 2005 (she also won her only previous match against Srebotnik). She also knocked Mary Pierce out of the Australian Open 2006.

9.4 Fourth round

Reaching the fourth round again is the result that I expect of Nicole at this Australian Open. She would most likely be facing Elena Dementieva [7], who beat her 3-6 6-3 6-2 at Hong Kong, and also took a set off Maria Sharapova.

Dementieva also beat Nicole in their only match on the WTA Tour: 3-6 6-1 6-2 at Tokyo 2006.

I've often wondered why big servers like Maria and Nicole struggle as much as they do against Dementieva and her weak sliced serve, which produces so many double faults at key moments, and can only go to the right-hander's forehand. I think Dementieva makes up for it with her unusual ability to neutralise her opponent's initiative early in the rally, as well as superior fitness and a great crosscourt forehand.

There is room for optimism if the same Nicole that lost to #166 Yan,Zi could take a set off Dementieva in Hong Kong, and then improve sufficiently to reach the semi-finals of Sydney with a 6-4 6-2 win over Ana Ivanovic and a 6-4 4-6 6-4 loss to the on-form Jelena Jankovic.

A less-likely fourth-round opponent is Anabel Medina Garrigues [25], who has beaten Dementieva before, and featured in the Hopman Cup final a week ago. But I'd be very surprised if the quarter-finalist that emerges from this match is anyone other than Nicole or Dementieva - either of whom is a potential finalist from such an open bottom half.

9.5 Quarter-finals

Defending champion Amélie Mauresmo [2] was thrashed 7-5 6-0 by Jelena Jankovic at Sydney, having almost lost her opening match to Tatiana Golovin, who loves to choke.

Mauresmo also lost early at Sydney and Eastbourne 2006 - the weeks before the Grand Slams that she won - but this time, she admitted that she is struggling with her game. And of course defending a Grand Slam champion is a tremendous amount of pressure, especially for a famous choker such as Mauresmo.

Nicole's head-to-head against Mauresmo is 2-2. Mauresmo won their first two meetings: 7-5 7-5 at Philadelphia 2005, and 6-1 6-1 in 4r Australian Open 2006. But Nicole has won their last two: 6-7 6-1 6-2 in 4r French Open 2006, and 1-6 7-5 7-6 at Moscow 2006. So Nicole has the momentum against Mauresmo, and also did much better at Sydney.

If Mauresmo doesn't make it to the quarter-finals - which is quite conceivable after Sydney - then that eighth of the draw is wide open. The other seeds are Francesca Schiavone [14], Ai Sugiyama [23] and Zheng,Jie [31], while youngsters Lucie Šafárová, Marta Domachowska and Olga Poutchkova may also pose a threat - if not Shenay Perry in the first round.

I don't think it will be that easy to get rid of Mauresmo, though. Jankovic - okay, she's on great form at the moment - but for the players in her eighth, it's very hard to seal a victory against a top-three player - even an off-form one. Mauresmo still has time to get her act together, and any match she wins will make her more dangerous to the rest of the field.

9.6 Semi-finals

The third quarter of the draw is the most open, with Svetlana Kuznetsova [3] and Nadia Petrova [5] having withdrawn from Sydney illness and injury, respectively. That could be good news for Nicole, who is 0-2 against Kuznetsova and 1-3 against Petrova (the one she won was the Bangkok 2005 final!).

I predict that Jelena Jankovic [11] will emerge as the semi-finalist from that quarter. She is on great form, having won Auckland and almost beaten Clijsters in the Sydney final (served for the match in the second set and had match-points) - but 'almost' is the operative word. Jankovic also choked dramatically when leading Justine Henin-Hardenne 6-4 *4-2 (40/30) in the semi-finals of the US Open, then lost every game in the rest of the match. Fatigue may also be a factor after playing two full weeks before the Australian Open.

Nicole leads Jankovic 4-2 head to head. She lost to her 5-7 6-3 6-2 in the third round of the US Open 2006, and 6-4 4-6 6-4 at Sydney. Jankovic would have to be the favourite on Auckland and Sydney form, but Nicole would certainly have a fighting chance.

Imagine it: Nicole v Jankovic in the semi-finals, having both blown golden opportunities to win their previous Grand Slam semi-finals! It would probably be another three-setter, and come down to who's stronger mentally - and that might well be Nicole, given Jankovic's two chokes as mentioned above.

My ideal semi-finalist from that quarter would be Iroda Tulyaganova, who will be playing her first Grand Slam since Wimbledon 2003 due to an elbow-injury that ruined the next three years for her. A former world #16, Iroda is making her way back up the rankings - currently #131. She won the Asian Championships last September to earn her wild card here.

Iroda is one of the most exciting, powerful, versatile and athletic players I have ever seen, and with the draw she's got, I don't think a quarter-final is out of the question!

9.7 Final

Realistically, we'll be looking at either Maria Sharapova or Kim Clijsters as the finalist from the top half - should those two meet in the semi-finals, as per their seedings, I'll want Maria to win more than anything else about this Australian Open (Maria beat Clijsters in their last two meetings on the WTA Tour, but Clijsters leads their head-to-head 4-2, and also beat Maria in an exhibition at Hong Kong a week ago).

Nicole v Maria that would be a very exciting match - not just because they're both members of my Eternal Fanship, but because Nicole is the best player who is younger than Maria, and certainly has the weapons (particularly her serve and forehand) to win many Grand Slams.

Maria, you see, has never lost a WTA Tour or Grand Slam match to a player who is younger than herself! But 15-year-old Nicole beat her 5-3 in a World Team Tennis rubber on 14th July 2004 - eleven days after Maria won Wimbledon!

Nicole trails Clijsters 0-2 head-to-head, both in straight sets. I don't think I'd enjoy that final, and I could only hope that Nicole would be on top form to have got so far.

12. Order of Play for Monday

Vodafone Arena (start 11:00 AEST = 00:00 GMT)
MS 1r: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga v ANDY RODDICK [6]
WS 1r: NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [10,EF] v Jill Craybas
MS 1r: IVAN LJUBICIC [4] v Mardy Fish
WS 1r: Jessica Moore [WC] v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [3]

Full order of play:

Dr. Andrew Broad

My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki

Last edited by andrewbroad; Mar 15th, 2008 at 11:04 PM. Reason: edit Title
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 2007, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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Andrew's first-round report

AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Rebound Ace); Grand Slam)

This message consists of the Nicole-related material from my Day 1 and Day 2 round-ups, merged together:

1. Photos (Day 1 & Day 2)
3. First-round report (Day 1)
5. Second-round draw (Day 2)
8. Women's Doubles: First-round draw (Day 1)
7. Order of Play for Wednesday (Day 2)

(The non-monotonic section-numbering is intentional.)

1. Photos

Nicole Vaidišová: (to 62)

Search Getty Images for "vaidisova"

Various players including Nicole:

3. First round (Monday 15th January)

+ NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [10,EF] d. Jill Craybas, 6-4 5-7 6-1

A tough match for Nicole in the heat of the day. She broke for *3-2 in the first set, and saved 4 break-points as she served for it at 5-4.

In the second set, she broke for *4-3, only to be broken back immediately, and again in the last game.

"Vaidišová stutters into second round in Melbourne" (Reuters):
Czech teenager Nicole Vaidišová suffered a second set stutter before prevailing over American veteran Jill Craybas 6-4 5-7 6-1 in her opening match at the Australian Open on Monday.

The 17-year-old, who reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros in her breakthrough year of 2006, smashed 13 aces as she finally overhauled the athletic 32-year-old American and now faces Venezuela's Milagros Sequera in the second round.

A single break was sufficient for the 10th seed to take the first set in 39 minutes but Craybas, who has never passed the third round in seven attempts at Melbourne Park, hit back with two breaks to take the second.

Vaidišová, a fourth-round loser to champion Amélie Mauresmo last year, ran away with it in the third, breaking the Craybas serve three times to seal victory in an hour and 52 minutes with a crunching forehand service-return down the line.

3.1 Nicole quotes

"I complicated my way to quicklier win - I could win in straight sets, but in the end of second set I hit many unnecessary unforced errors and I gave Jill this set. Craybas was in match again, but in third set I had match in my control.

"I know a little Venezuelan against I will play in second round. I should to win without problems if I will play without my today's drop-out.

"I'm very glad with the beginning in this season. I played really well in Sydney, which was important in /this/ match. Surprisingly, I very well served - 18 aces is nice success, but it's important who stand against you. I played many matches in Vodafone Arena, and I feel well here."

[Re. her finger-injury]
"It doesn't mind me now, but in Hong Kong I can't play my the best tennis. It was really ugly and open injury, and I dislike blood - I nearly fainted! I slipped in shower with blade in my hand and injury was in the world.

"I feel pleasantly in this dress, maybe because of I'm part of production my collection. It's long process which is 18 months long; now I know in which I will play at Australian Open 2008. I study many fashionable magazines during the year, and I send styles and colours to the centre of firm. Then I fly to Boston where I try all clothes from collection."

5. Second-round draw
5.1 Top half (to be played on Thursday)

* MARIA SHARAPOVA [1,EF] v Anastassia Rodionova (DAVAI MARIA!)
* Renata Vorácová [Q] v TATHIANA GARBIN [30]
* (VERA ZVONARËVA [22,EF] v Tzipora Obziler) v (Séverine Brémond v Tamira Paszek [Q])
* ANA IVANOVIC [13,DF] v Agnieszka Radwanska (ajde Ana!)

* ANNA CHAKVETADZE [12,EF] v Laura Granville (DAVAI ANNA!)
* Jelena Kostanic Tošic v SAMANTHA STOSUR [24]
* Alicia Molik [WC] v Kaia Kanepi (go Alicia!)
* (Peng,Shuai [s] v Andreja Klepac [Q]) v (Madison Brengle [WC] v PATTY SCHNYDER [8])

* Akiko Morigami [s] v KIM CLIJSTERS [4] (ganbatte Akiko!)
* ALYONA BONDARENKO [29] v Virginie Razzano (davai Alyona!)
* (Sandra Záhlavová [Q] v ANNA-LENA GRÖNEFELD [17]) v (Ashley Harkleroad v Yuan,Meng)
* (Aravane Rezaď v Emilie Loit) v (DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [15,EF] v Alizé Cornet)

* (Ekaterina Bychkova v DINARA SAFINA [9]) v (Youlia Fedossova [WC] v Catalina Castańo)
* (Ahsha Rolle v Lourdes Domínguez Lino) v (Elena Bovina v LI,NA [19])
* Sania Mirza [DF] v Aiko Nakamura [s]
* Alla Kudryavtseva [Q] v MARTINA HINGIS [6]

5.2 Bottom half (to be played on Wednesday)

* Gisela Dulko [DF] v NADIA PETROVA [5] (ˇvamos Gisela!)
* Anne Kremer [Q] v Serena Williams (dajee Anne!)
* MARION BARTOLI [18,S] v Victoria Azarenka (allez Marion!)
* Virginia Ruano Pascual v JELENA JANKOVIC [11] (ˇvamos Virginia!)

* SHAHAR PEER [16] v Meilen Tu (kadima Shahar!)
* TATIANA GOLOVIN [20,DF] v Zuzana Ondrášková (loyalty to Tatiana)
* MARIA KIRILENKO [26,DF] v Julia Vakulenko [Q] (loyalty to Maria)
* Monique Adamczak [WC] v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [3] (I want Adamczak to win this, to vindicate Iroda)

* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [7] v Martina Müller (davai Elena!)
* Maria Elena Camerin v Elena Vesnina (my loyalty is to Maria Elena)
* Iveta Benešová v KATARINA SREBOTNIK [21] (my loyalty is to Iveta)
* NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [10,EF] v Milagros Sequera (POJDME NICOLE!)

* Lucie Šafárová v FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [14] (podjme Lucie!)
* Anastasiya Yakimova v AI SUGIYAMA [23]
* Eva Birnerová v Julia Schruff (I find Birnerová more attractive)
* Olga Poutchkova v AMÉLIE MAURESMO [2] (davai Olga!)

8. Women's Doubles: First-round draw (Nicole-filtered)

* Nicole Vaidišová [EF]/Emma Laine v Bethanie Mattek/Shenay Perry

Full WD draw:

7. Order of Play for Wednesday (Nicole-filtered)

Show-Court 2 (start 11:00 AEST = 00:00 GMT)
MS 2r: JUAN CARLOS FERRERO [24] v Danai Udomchoke
WS 2r: ELENA DEMENTIEVA [7] v Martina Müller
MS 2r: MARIO ANCIC [9] v Guillermo García-López
WS 2r: NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [10,EF] v Milagros Sequera

Dr. Andrew Broad

My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2007, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Andrew's second-round report

AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Rebound Ace); Grand Slam)

This message is a Nicole-filtered subset of my Day 3 round-up...

1. Photos
7. Second-round report
11. Mixed Doubles: First-round draw
12. Order of Play for Thursday

...merged with a subset of my Day 4 round-up:

1. Photos
7. Third-round draw
9. Women's Doubles
10. Order of Play for Friday

To avoid a clash between the two Section 7's, the new Section 7 is Section 8 of this message.

1. Photos (merged & Nicole-filtered)

Nicole Vaidišov&#225; - lovely gestures make her my beauty of the day:
Search Getty Images for "vaidisova"

Various players on court, including Nicole:

7. Second round (Wednesday 17th January)

I must confess that I was so absorbed with watching Olga Poutchkova on BBCi, I didn't notice this match starting on the scoreboard in front of me!

With the outside courts suspended for rain, this was moved from Show-Court 2 to the Vodafone Arena.

First set

Sequera serving 1-4: 15/30, 30/40, 40/40, ad S, held.
Nicole serving 4-2: held to love.
Sequera serving 2-5: 0/15, 15/15, 30/15, 30/40 (SP), Nicole won the first set 21:23 AEST (25 minutes).

Second set
VAIDIŠO *@* *@* 6
SEQUERA ___*___ 1

Nicole serving 0-0: 0/15, 15/15, 30/15, 30/30, 40/30, held.
Sequera serving 0-1: 30/0 -> 30/40 (BP), broken.

Well pegged back by Nicole!

Nicole serving 2-0: 15/0, 15/30, 40/30, 40/40, ad N, held.

A tough service-game for Nicole (glad she didn't lose the 15/30 point!), and those are the ones you have to get through to be a top player - it's all about winning the key points. A few tests like this may help Nicole in later rounds.

Long delay here. Obviously the roof is closed on the Vodafone Arena (following a rain-delay earlier in the evening), so this must be a medical time-out (the photos show the trainer attending to a barefoot Sequera).

Sequera serving 0-3: 0/30, 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs) -> 40/40, ad S, held.

Missed opportunities for a *4-0 lead there.

Nicole serving 3-1: 15/0, 15/15, 30/15, 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad N, held.

Phew! 3-2* would have had quite a different complexion than 4-1*.

Sequera serving 1-4: broken to love.
Nicole serving 5-1: 0/15, 15/15, 15/30, 40/30 (MP #1), Nicole won 6-2 6-1 at 21:53 (second set 30 minutes, match 55 minutes).

And another little test passed in that last game.

8. Third-round draw
8.1 Top half (to be played on Saturday)

* VERA ZVONAR&#203;VA [22,EF] v ANA IVANOVIC [13,DF] (both nice; my loyalty is to Vera)
* ANNA CHAKVETADZE [12,EF] v Jelena Kostanic Tošic (DAVAI ANNA!)
* Alicia Molik [WC] v PATTY SCHNYDER [8] (go Alicia!)

* ALYONA BONDARENKO [29] v KIM CLIJSTERS [4] (davai Alyona!)
* DANIELA HANTUCHOV&#193; [15,EF] v Ashley Harkleroad (both nice; my loyalty is to Daniela)
* DINARA SAFINA [9] v LI,NA [19]
* Aiko Nakamura [s] v MARTINA HINGIS [6] (ganbatte Aiko!)

8.2 Bottom half (to be played on Friday)

* NADIA PETROVA [5] v Serena Williams
* Victoria Azarenka v JELENA JANKOVIC [11]
* TATIANA GOLOVIN [20,DF] v SHAHAR PEER [16] (both nice; my loyalty is to Tatiana)

* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [7] v Maria Elena Camerin (my loyalty is to Maria Elena)
* Lucie Šaf&#225;rov&#225; v Anastasiya Yakimova (pojdme Lucie!)
* Eva Birnerov&#225; v AM&#201;LIE MAURESMO [2] (pojdme Eva!)

9. Women's Doubles (Nicole-filtered)
9.1 First round (Thursday 18th January)

- Nicole Vaidišov&#225; [EF]/Emma Laine lt. Bethanie Mattek/Shenay Perry, 6-7 (6/8) 2-6

10. Order of Play for Friday

Show-Court 2 (start 11:00 AEST = 00:00 GMT)
WD 2r: Sun,Shengnan/Sun,Tiantian v Elena Bovina/Alla Kudryavtseva
MS 3r: RADEK ŠTEP&#193;NEK [20] v DAVID FERRER [16]
MD 2r: Ruben Ram&#237;rez Hidalgo/Sergio Roitman v (JONAS BJ&#214;RKMAN/MAX MIRNYI)[2]

Full order of play:

Dr. Andrew Broad

My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki
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Andrew's third-round report

AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Rebound Ace); Grand Slam)

This message is a Nicole-filtered subset of my Day 5 round-up...

1. Photos
3. Third-round report

...merged with a Nicole-filtered subset of my Day 6 round-up:

1. Photos
5. Fourth-round draw
8. Order of Play for Sunday

1. Photos (merged & Nicole-filtered)

Nicole Vaidišová:

Various players including Nicole:

Search Getty Images for "vaidisova"

3. Third round (Friday 19th January)

Nice winner, nice loser:

It was a pretty spectacular performance from Nicole in statistical terms, with 12 aces and a W:UE ratio of 34:21! She won 89% of the points when she got her first serve in, and did very well at the net, where she won 13 of 14 points.

Nicole has now hit 36 aces in the tournament - more than any other woman. She only has the joint-12th fastest serve, but it's the regularity with which she hits lines and corners that makes it the best serve in women's tennis IMO.

This match was originally scheduled for Show-Court 2, but was actually played on Court 6 after a rain-delay, starting at 17:05 AEST. I caught up with live scores from: (to 141)

First set
VAIDIŠOVÁ _* *@*__@* 6
SREBOTNIK * *___*@__ 4

Nicole serving 0-1: held after saving a break-point.
Kata serving 1-1: held after recovering from 0/30.

Kata serving 2-2: broken to love.

Kata serving 2-4: 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad N (BP #2), Deuce #2, held.
Nicole serving 4-3: It's never easy to serve after squandering break-points in the previous game. Kata broke back.
Kata serving 4-4: broken.
Nicole serving 5-4: 0/40 (3 BPs) -> 40/40, ad N (SP #1), Nicole won the first set 6-4 at 17:39 (34 minutes).

Nicole does have a champion's response to big points against her!

Second set
VAIDIŠOVÁ @* * * * * 6
SREBOTNIK __* * * *_ 4

Nicole serving 4-3: held to love.
Kata serving 3-5: recovered from 15/30 to hold
Nicole serving 5-4: She won 6-4 6-4 at 18:12 (second set 33 minutes, match 1h07m).

Nicole quotes

{before the match}

"I didn't play with Katarina official match, but I know her from training, so I know what I can expect from her.

"She has very good serve, and she often play in the net, so I must force her to run. But I don't much think about tactic change; I will trust for my solid performance."

{after the match}

"I think we got all the delays we could possibly have. We had the rain, we had the heat. Just waiting for a tornado to come or something!"

"Of course I'm glad with this result, but I should advance always to 4th round with my ambitions. Only if I will win in 4th round, it will be success for me.

"It will be more playable - I played well last year, but I didn't have chance against Mauresmo, who played really fantastic tennis. Dementieva is in top ten too - I played against her not long ago [Hong Kong exhibition], and I trust against her.

"Beyond it was my first match in new season, I hadn't played many matches before - I can't play my best - while I'm better and better in every match in Melbourne, and I'm a more experienced player since last Australian Open. Dementieva has a really uneasy serve with rotation, but her weakness is her serve.

"It's nice that I serve really well, and in unfavourable moments as today in first set, it's important. Only thing which wasn't certain - and I afraid of it - was weather. When I served at score 5-4 in second set, it started gently raining, and I prayed for they don't interrupt match."

Nicole quotes from second round

"I had full control of this match from beginning to the end; nothing couldn complicate my win. It was easy win, but I'm never fully glad with my performance.

"It was really long: after my noon training, I went to this area again at 4pm, and I had to wait for long time. Ancic played his match for a long time, and then it rained, and I wasn't certain when we will play our match.

"It had to be horrible - playing in this big heat, it was really extreme. I went to training at 5pm yesterday, kept up only for 30 minutes.

"The hottest weather on Florida is before US Open, which is good preparation. In period in which is the hottest weather I'm not on Florida, so yesterday in Melbourne was really uncomfortable experience."

Fourth-round preview

I stand by what I said in my tournament-preview. Dementieva has reached the fourth round with the following results:

1r + Stéphanie Foretz, 6-1 6-2
2r + Martina Müller, 7-5 3-6 6-0
3r + Maria Elena Camerin, 6-1 6-3

Nicole has to really focus on her service-games, and serve as well as she did against Srebotnik, because Dementieva has been the most prolific breaker of the tournament so far (as she has to be, to hold down a top-ten ranking with that serve!).

5. Fourth-round draw (Nicole-filtered)
5.1 Top half (to be played on Monday)

* MARIA SHARAPOVA [1,EF] v VERA ZVONARËVA [22,EF] (mouthwatering match!)
* (ANNA CHAKVETADZE [12,EF] v Jelena Kostanic Tošic) v PATTY SCHNYDER [8]
* (DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [15,EF] v Ashley Harkleroad) v KIM CLIJSTERS [4]

5.2 Bottom half (to be played on Sunday)

* JELENA JANKOVIC [11] v Serena Williams (ajde Jelena!)
* SHAHAR PEER [16] v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [3] (kadima Shahar!)
* Lucie Šafárová v AMÉLIE MAURESMO [2] (pojdme Lucie!)

8. Order of Play for Sunday (Nicole-filtered)

Vodafone Arena (start 11:00 AEST = 00:00 GMT)
MS 3r: Florian Mayer v TOMMY HAAS [12]

Full order of play:

Dr. Andrew Broad

My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Andrew's fourth-round report

AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Rebound Ace); Grand Slam)

This message is a Nicole-filtered subset of my Day 7 round-up...

1. Photos
7. Fourth-round report

...merged with a Nicole-filtered subset of my Day 8 round-up:

6. Quarter-final draw
11. Order of Play for Tuesday

Note that Section 7 occurs before Section 6 in this report!

1. Photos (Nicole-filtered)

Nicole Vaidišová and Elena Dementieva: (pp. 63-65) (10/13)

Various players including Nicole:

Search Getty Images for "vaidisova"

7. Fourth-round report (Sunday 21st January)


Pritha Sarkar (Reuters):
Seventh seed Dementieva's fragile serve was once again exposed during a 6-3 6-3 defeat by Czech Nicole Vaidišová, who at 10th is now the highest seed left in the bottom half of the draw.
Solid aggressive play was Vaidišová's key to success; she took the dictating role for a majority of the points, hitting 27 winners to 26 errors while Dementieva had eight winners to 16 errors. The Czech teenager's win sent her into her second major quarter-final - she was a semi-finalist at Roland Garros last year.

Nicole quotes

"I can be definitely happy the way I played. I've been improving match by match. I feel good. I don't think I'm surpassing my expectations, because I knew I was playing well. I had a good off-season, also a good run in Sydney. Just very happy I won today, and very excited about my next match."

How far can Nicole go here?

Not to put any pressure on Nicole, but she is seeded to reach the final now! But even if she 'Czechmates' Lucie Šafářová, she still has unseeded former champion Serena Williams lurking like a pawn on the seventh rank...

6. Quarter-final draw
6.1 Top half (to be played on Wednesday)

* MARIA SHARAPOVA [1,EF] v ANNA CHAKVETADZE [12,EF] (another mouthwatering match!)
* MARTINA HINGIS [6] v KIM CLIJSTERS [4] (hopp Martina!)

6.2 Bottom half (to be played on Tuesday)

* SHAHAR PEER [16] v Serena Williams (kadima Shahar!)
* NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [10,EF] v Lucie Šafářová (both nice; my loyalty is to Nicole)

11. Order of Play for Tuesday

Rod Laver Arena (start 11:00 AEST = 00:00 GMT)
WS qf: NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [10,EF] v Lucie Šafářová
WS qf: SHAHAR PEER [16] v Serena Williams
MS qf: Mardy Fish v ANDY RODDICK [6]
Evening-session (start 19:30 AEST = 08:30 GMT)

Full order of play:

Dr. Andrew Broad

My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki
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Andrew's quarter-final report

AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Rebound Ace); Grand Slam)

This message is a Nicole-filtered subset of my Day 9 round-up...

1. Photos & multimedia
3. Vaidišová v Šafářová quarter-final report

...merged with a Nicole-filtered subset of my Day 10 round-up:

5. Semi-final draw (to be played on Thursday)
8. Order of Play for Thursday

1. Photos & multimedia (Nicole-filtered)
1.1 Photos

Nicole Vaidišová and Lucie Šafářová:

Nicole Vaidišová:

Nicole Vaidišová, Lucie Šafářová, Shahar Pe'er:

Nicole Vaidišová and Shahar Pe'er:

Search Getty Images for "vaidisova"

1.2 Videos

Nicole Vaidišová 4r interview:

Vaidišová v Šafářová last game + Nicole interview:

1.3 Audio

Mad Minute with Nicole Vaidišová:

3. Vaidišová v Šafářová quarter-final report (Tuesday 23rd January)

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [10,EF] d. Lucie Šafářová, 6-1 6-4

The second set got rather tight, with Nicole saving two break-points at 3-4 that would have left Lucie serving to win the set 6-3!

It was a positive performance from Nicole, with a W:UE ratio of 21:15 (Lucie 19:21) and 8 aces.

Nicole has now served 45 aces in the tournament, but has been overtaken as ace-leader by her semi-final opponent Serena Williams (47 aces), who is also the service-speed leader of the tournament so far.

Vaidišová blasts into semis
by Bren O'Brien <>
Tuesday, 23 January, 2007

Women's No.10 seed Nicole Vaidišová is through to her second Grand Slam semifinal after an authoritative win over compatriot Lucie Šafářová on Rod Laver Arena.

In the first match of Day Nine, Vaidišová endured none of the problems that defending champion Amélie Mauresmo had against Šafářová in the fourth round, progressing in 71 minutes 6-1 6-4.

Vaidišová, who had progressed to the quarter-finals without great ceremony, showed no sentiment for her Czech compatriot in the first set, breaking her in the fourth and sixth games. She conceded just seven points on her own serve and hit 14 winners to grab the momentum.

The pair exchanged breaks early in the second set, with the No.10 seed determined not to let the unseeded Šafářová get back in the match. She played some excellent tennis, breaking in the ninth game and then serving out for the match.

For Vaidišová, it is the second time she has reached this level in Grand Slam tennis, after her final-four appearance at Roland Garros in 2006. Šafářová departs with her best-ever Grand Slam effort and the scalp of the No.2 seed under her belt.

Nicole Vaidišová won the battle of the Czech teenagers with Lucie Šafářová 6-1 6-4 to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open on Tuesday.

The 10th seed, 17, advanced to her second career Grand Slam semi-final with an elegant display of power-hitting against her 19-year-old rival in a one-sided quarter-final on Rod Laver Arena.

Šafářová, who dispatched reigning champion Amélie Mauresmo in the fourth round, struggled to match Vaidišová's accuracy and speed round the court and, despite improving in the second set, went down in an hour and 11 minutes.

Bidding to become the first Czech woman to reach the semi-finals at Melbourne Park since Jana Novotná in 1991, it was the younger Vaidišová who was the quickest out of the blocks.

Showing the kind of form that got her to the last four at Roland Garros last year, she worked her opponent around the court with a crisp crosscourt backhand earning her the first break of serve for a 3-1 lead.

Šafářová, the world number 70, looked a different player to the one that outclassed second seed Mauresmo on Sunday, and was broken again in the sixth game to give Vaidišová a 5-1 advantage.

She carried the momentum into the second with an opening service-break before Šafářová finally found some form to level the set at 2-2.

Šafářová, her right thigh heavily strapped after an injury picked up at the Hopman Cup, missed her chance for a second break when she wasted two break-points with Vaidišová serving at 3-4.

The 17-year-old held on, a drifting long backhand from Šafářová gave her the ultimately decisive break for a 5-4 lead, and she sealed the win when Šafářová's backhand service-return sailed wide.

Nicole quotes

"I'm definitely very, very happy and excited. The first Grand Slam of the year, you have some off-season. You don't know how you're going to come back. But I've had a great start of the year. Now I want to just keep improving.

"I've had some tough matches, a compatriot in the quarter-finals is always tough, but I'm so happy I'm through; it feels great.

"It's great for Czech tennis to have two quarter-finalists, one in the semis. Of course you don't want to play your friend, but I'm just happy I got through it.

"I'm really happy the way I returned her serve. She's tricky. She's a lefty. She can have those weird rotation slices. I read it well. [I'm] happy about that.

"I'm very happy. Maybe that [French Open 2006] was the first time. You're so, so excited. Now you try to be calm more about it. Just go back, relax. But I had my whole family there. Here, it's my dad, my agent.

"But still very, very excited, definitely. It's a position I've been before, so I know how to handle it better."

[How much mental training did you do in the off-season?]
"Not too much crazy. Nothing in particular. I think as you age, you get more mature, I hope. But it's definitely improving everything, just getting better. I'm definitely able to handle tough situations better, break-points better. I was down a couple break-points today. Handled that well. Got my first break back. That makes the match."

[Re. the possibility of winning her first Grand Slam]
"I think I would start to think about that possibility in the final at match-point. So far you say one or two matches, but now those are the matches that are so tough. My whole approach was, as before to a Grand Slam, take it match by match. I'll give it a hundred percent each and then we'll see. I'm going to stick to it and keep doing that - not look ahead.

"Deep down I'm Czech. Czech is home for me. I try to go as much as possible that's home. Family is there. Everybody is there. I'm very proud to play for Czech. I would love to play in the Olympics. Didn't get a chance last time. But of course, Florida gives a great opportunity for practice. Some great conditions. Try to use those.

"I try when I get off the court. I do things I think everybody else does. I go to movies, hang out with my friends, my family. I try to have as normal a life as possible. You get the thinking. You speak with them a lot. You get a mix of both. So you're definitely influenced by it a little bit, for sure.

"Everywhere I go, I have a Czech mind. It's not like when I got to Asia I try to change to my Asia mind, then use my Australia mind. I'm definitely influenced by America, but still keeping my one Czech mind."

[Re. Lucie]
"We know each other. We played the Fed Cups together. We say, 'Hi,' but we're not very close friends."

Lucie quotes

"I knew it would be tough because she has a similar game to me: fast, flat. I knew if I would like to win, I would have to serve well - and that was the difference: she was serving so well, and I wasn't able to... she was hitting the returns, and she was more aggressive today.

"I'm very happy with this tournament. I got a lot of experience and confidence. I have to work harder. I have to improve my game, my serve, and try to play better and better.

"I think Nicole has a big chance to be in the final."

[What does Nicole have to improve to win the title?]
"It's tough to say. I am not a tennis-coach."

Semi-final preview

Two years ago, a 17-year-old Maria Sharapova was facing Serena Williams in the Australian Open semi-finals. Maria served for the match at 6-2 *5-4, and again at *5-4 in the third - where she missed three match-points. Williams went on to win the match, and then the title.

Eight months ago, it was Nicole who blew a set and *5-4 lead in a Grand Slam semi-final, as she lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova at the French Open.

I must admit that of all the potential semi-finalists I mentioned in my tournament-preview - and I did mention Lucie Šafářová as a potential quarter-finalist - I never imagined that Serena Williams would get this far after losing to Sybille Bammer at Hobart. And I certainly wouldn't have believed that Williams could reach the final.

Williams has won seven Grand Slam singles-titles and been ranked #1 for 57 weeks, but she's now down to #81 after a year of very few tournaments due to injuries and off-court distractions (most recently a seven-week breach-of-contract lawsuit, every day of which required her to be in court as opposed to on court).

So Nicole has to forget about the rankings completely for this match, and treat it as though she were playing the first match in tennis-history, against an opponent presumed to be her equal.

Williams may be out of shape and way below her best - she was two points away from losing as Shahar Pe'er served for the match in the quarter-finals - but one thing she still is is a fighter. "I'm the ultimate competitor," said the ever-modest Williams after that match.

Nicole's easy run to the semi-finals (after dropping one set in the first round) could give her a huge physical advantage over an out-of-shape Williams who only won her quarter-final 8-6 in the third. Nicole even has some three hours more than Williams to recover, because Williams's quarter-final started just after Nicole's finished.

Nicole won't be intimidated by facing Serena in the semis, because she's already beaten the other Williams-sister, Venus, in the quarter-finals of the French Open, and she's already had the experience of a Grand Slam semi-final - albeit a choky one.

So Nicole is going to go out there feeling that she belongs, and I certainly don't expect her to get rolled over by Williams on both their current forms. The question is: will she believe that she can close out the match if she gets the opportunity to do so?

I believe the answer is yes! Nicole's career is not yet littered with examples of choking (unlike her compatriot Jana Novotná); she's very mature, and she's a bit more experienced than she was eight months ago. After a shaky start to the year at Hong Kong, she's on a roll now, and seems to be going from strength to strength since the start of Sydney.

One slightly worrying factor is that Nicole lost to Jelena Janković at Sydney, and Janković - who started this tournament as one of the favourites for the title - did get rolled over by Williams here.

But it's a gross oversimplification in tennis to say that if A beats B and B beats C, then A will beat C. Nicole has weapons that I cannot imagine Janković possessing, from the few times I've seen Janković play (most recently when she knocked Venus Williams out of Wimbledon 2006).

I have no doubt that Nicole has the ability to take down an out-of-shape and over-the-hill Williams; the question is whether she has (a) the nerve, and (b) the footwork.

The quality of a player's footwork often improves with confidence and self-belief, and deteriorates with nerves and anxiety - and that's when she ends up making unforced errors because she's not in position, and therefore hits the ball either too early or too late.

Nicole quotes about Serena Williams

"I watched her practise [at Nick] Bollettieri's [academy]. I was 11 years old, 12. I was very excited to see her play, to see her there. She came and practised, or playing matches. I was definitely a big fan of hers - I admired the way she played. I was definitely very impressed with her.

[Re. Williams's intimidating presence]
"I think for some people, yeah. But on court, when you play, you don't think if she has won a Slam or not. I block that out. I don't think I'll be going out there scared - but, of course, a lot of respect for what she's done.

"It's a semi-final: it's going to be tough no matter what. She's definitely a great champion. I expect a tough match from her. At the end of the day, when you step on the court, you don't look who's against you, you just play your game and try to win."

5. Semi-final draw (to be played on Thursday)

* NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [10,EF] v Serena Williams (POJDME NICOLE!!)

8. Order of Play for Thursday

Rod Laver Arena (start 11:00 AEST = 00:00 GMT)
WS sf: NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [10,EF] v Serena Williams
Evening-session (start 19:30 AEST = 08:30 GMT)
XD qf: Elena Likhovtseva/Daniel Nestor v (LEANDER PAES/SAMANTHA STOSUR)[3]

Full order of play:

Dr. Andrew Broad

My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2007, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
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Andrew's semi-final report

AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Rebound Ace); Grand Slam)

This is a Nicole-filtered subset of my semi-final round-up...

1. Photos & video
4. Vaidišov&#225; v Williams semi-final report

...merged with a Nicole-filtered subset of my final round-up:

3. Wooden-Spoon List
7. Jon Wertheim's parting-shots
8. WTA Singles Rankings (as of 29th January 2007)

Section 3 has been renumbered Section 5.

1. Photos & video (Nicole-filtered)
1.1 Photos

Nicole Vaidišov&#225;: (to 67) (Thursday 25 January: two galleries!)

Nicole was quite possibly the hottest babe of the tournament!

Nicole Vaidišov&#225; and Maria Sharapova: (Semifinals - day 1)

Search Getty Images for "vaidisova"

1.2 Video

Highlights of semi-finals:

4. Vaidišov&#225; v Williams semi-final report (Thursday 25th January)

- NICOLE VAIDIŠOV&#193; [10,EF] lt. Serena Williams, 6-7 (5/7) 4-6

Before the tournament started, I would never have believed that Williams was going to reach the final. She came in ranked #81, having lost to Sybille Bammer at Hobart! But she'll jump back up to #18 on Monday - #14 if she wins the final.

And Nicole will rise to #9 on Monday - her career-high ranking, which she previously held for two weeks in August 2006.

In contrast to the other semi-final, both players had positive W:UE ratios: Nicole 31-29, Williams 23-15. But Nicole did herself no favours by getting only 51% of first serves in when she was winning only 37% on her second serve - and 7 double faults is a bit high (3 of them coming on Nicole's broken service-game at 1-3 in the second, after she had 40/15!).

4.1 Articles
------------ {before the match}:
These two have never played before, but it's likely that first-strike tennis will be the theme of their first meeting. The two women both have big serves (they are the top two on the ace leaderboard so far at this event, Vaidišov&#225; is second with 45; Williams is first with 47), and crack their groundstrokes with authority.

Although it might be argued that the Czech teenager comes in with more matches under her belt, nothing replaces the mental edge one would have with seven Grand Slam titles to her credit: Williams has two Australian Opens, two Wimbledons, two US Opens and one French Open.
<<< {after the match}:
One of the WTA Tour's greatest players of all time, Serena Williams, declared at the beginning of the tournament she was ready to compete and the best was yet to come. Critics posed questions but the American made it a reality - on a sunny Thursday in Melbourne, she reached the Australian Open final with a resonant semi-final victory over Nicole Vaidišov&#225;.

Williams was the first to reach Saturday's final, coming back from behind several times in the first set and holding off a late surge in the second to notch a 7-6(5) 6-4 semifinal win over No.10 seed Vaidišov&#225;.

There were a handful of times early on where it seemed like Vaidišov&#225; would be holding the upper hand in the match. She broke in the very first game and went up 2-0; she also had a chance to serve out the first set at 5-4, even holding a set-point. But Williams fought back every time, saving that set-point with a massive crosscourt forehand and racing out to a 5/2 lead in the tie-break. Although she allowed the Czech teenager to rally back to 5/5, she finally closed it out after a big backhand winner and a forehand into the net from her opponent.

The American carried that momentum through the beginnings of the second set in a big way, rapidly going ahead 5-1; but things wouldn't end so easily. Slowly, Vaidišov&#225; began rediscovering the range on her serves and groundstrokes. First she managed to duck out of a 0/40 deficit while serving 3-5, saving four match-points along the way, then pushed harder in the last game of the match, saving a fifth match-point with a huge crosscourt backhand winner. But Williams ended the proceedings with a forehand volley into the open court on her sixth.

Associated Press:
Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam singles champion, weathered Vaidišov&#225;'s powerful forehands and gave back plenty of her own, sometimes surprising the 17-year-old Czech player with her speed around the court and the pace of her ball.

After leading 5-1 in the second, she needed six match-points before sealing it with an overhead.

"Yahooo!" she said, laughing and celebrating the win.

BBC Sport:
Vaidišov&#225; accelerated into a two-game lead at the start of the first set as Williams struggled to find her range.

But the seven-time Grand Slam winner broke back in the sixth game as unforced errors began to creep into Vaidišov&#225;'s game.

Williams built a 5/1 lead in the subsequent tiebreak, and held on to take the set despite being pegged back by her teenage opponent.

When she roared into a 5-1 lead in the second set, the result seemed a foregone conclusion - only for Vaidišov&#225; to rally to 5-4 after saving three match-points in the ninth game.

But Williams' experience and superior consistency then saw her home, a heavily-sliced ace and crunching volley at the net sealing her win.

Bren O'Brien at
Vaidišov&#225; got a break in the opening game of the match, before Williams snatched it back in the sixth game. The Czech teenager then broke again and she served for the set in the tenth game.

But Williams rescued a set-point and took it to a tiebreaker, where she won the first four points. Vaidišov&#225; rallied to square it at 5/5, but cost herself the set with a forehand into the net when Williams had set-point.

The first three games of the second set went against serve, before Williams held for a 3-1 lead. A crucial double fault in Vaidišov&#225;'s next service-game handed Williams another break, and she soon had a grip on a spot in the final with a 5-1 advantage. The Czech held her next service-game, and then got a break back with sensational backhand winner which left the American flat-footed.

The brave 17-year-old then saved four match-points in her next service-game, getting the scoreline back to 4-5. She rescued another as Williams served for the match, before Williams finally sealed it with an overhead smash.

Paul Gough at
Williams again dispelled any doubts about her fitness as she was forced to work hard in her semi-final win as 17-year-old Vaidišov&#225; - appearing in her first Australian Open semi-final - broke Williams in the first game of the match.

The tall Czech then served for the first set at 5-4, but Williams broke back before claiming the set in a tiebreaker 7-5.

And when Williams broke Vaidišov&#225; twice in the second set to race to a 5-1 lead, the match appeared over.

But despite winning just 22% of points on her second serve in the second set, Vaidišov&#225; fought back, breaking Williams when she served for the match in the eighth game, before saving four match-points to hold serve in the ninth game.

Williams was still up a break however, and in the tenth game finally served the match out, clinching victory on her sixth match-point.

Pritha Sarkar (Reuters):
Comeback-queen Williams proved that she still belonged among the elite, and doused the youthful exuberance of Czech 10th seed Nicole Vaidišov&#225; 7-6 6-4 with a ruthless exhibition of power-hitting.

She needed six match-points to kill off the plucky challenge of Vaidišov&#225;, and greeted her moment of triumph by arching backwards before letting out an almighty roar of relief.

Serena Williams powered past Czech teenager Nicole Vaidišov&#225; 7-6 6-4 to reach the Australian Open final for the third time on Thursday.

The unseeded American - Melbourne Park champion in 2003 and 2005 - edged a first-set tiebreak and thwarted a late fightback from the 10th seed in the second to win through in an hour and 46 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

Williams, the former world number one who stands at 81st in the rankings after a 2006 season blighted by injury, saved a set-point in the ninth game of the first, before wrapping up the tiebreak 7/5.

The 17-year-old Czech looked edgy after the setback of losing the first set, but recovered from 5-1 down in the second to give Williams a fright before the seven-times Grand Slam winner served out for victory on her sixth match-point.

Miles Evans (Reuters):
Williams, the former world number one who stands at 81st in the rankings after a 2006 season blighted by injury, made a slow start on her first Grand Slam semi-final appearance since she won at Melbourne Park two years ago.

Vaidišov&#225;, a semi-finalist at Roland Garros last year, won Williams's opening service-game with a crunching forehand winner, and confidently held her own serve for a 2-0 lead.

But Williams soon found the pace and aggression that had seen off four seeds this week, and a nervy double fault from Vaidišov&#225; helped her level at 3-3.


A huge net cord gave the Czech another break for a 5-4 lead and she missed out on her only set-point in the next game before she was broken herself after netting a loose backhand.

Williams edged ahead 6-5 courtesy of an ace, and a confident hold from the Czech forced a tiebreak.

Williams raced into a 4/1 lead, but at 5/2 served two double faults to give her opponent a chink of hope.

But an easy putaway, accompanied by a triumphant scream, gave Williams set-point at 6/5, and she won it after 58 minutes when Vaidišov&#225; netted a high forehand.

Williams eased into a 5-1 lead in the second set and seemed on course for an easy victory - three double faults in game #5 from Vaidišov&#225; helping the American secure a double break.

But the Czech dug deep and saved four match-points in game #9 before holding to make Williams serve out for the match at 5-4.

Williams had used up all her Hawk-eye challenges when a wide forehand from Vaidišov&#225; on her fifth match-point was called good, but the American made no mistake when she punched away a forehand volley to seal victory on match-point #6.

Paul Alexander, Associated Press Writer:
Williams sprinted ahead 4/0 in the tiebreaker, then doubled-faulted on consecutive points as Vaidišov&#225; rallied to tie it at 5. Grunting louder with each shot, Williams whacked a backhand crosscourt winner to get a set-point, then growled loudly when Vaidišov&#225; then hit a forehand into the net.

Williams jumped ahead 5-1 in the second set. Vaidišov&#225; broke her as she served for the match to pull within 3-5, then fended off four match-points in the next game.

Serving again to finish it off, Williams lost match point No. 5 when Vaidišov&#225; hit a backhand cross-court winner. Williams started to celebrate, thinking the ball was out, then clearly wanted to question the no-call but had used up her challenges already.

She fired an ace on a second serve to set up match point No. 6. and cashed this one.

PA SportsTicker:
After opening the match with a service break, Vaidišov&#225; took advantage of a shot that clipped the net and bounced off the sideline for another break to take a 5-4 lead in the first set.

However, Williams fought off a set-point and broke back in the next game to tie the set, and she overcame back-to-back double faults to capture the tiebreaker.

Trailing 5-3 in the second set, the 17-year-old Vaidišov&#225; rallied from four match-points on her serve to prolong the match.

In the next game, Williams thought she won the match when Vaidišov&#225; hit a shot that video replays showed to be wide by about one inch. However, Williams could not ask for a review because she had used her two challenges earlier in the set.

Undaunted, Williams served an ace, and smacked an overhead at the net on the next point to take the match in 1 hour, 46 minutes.

Neil Sands (Agence France Presse):
An ultraconfident Serena Williams battled into the Australian Open final, downing Czech teenager Nicole Vaidišov&#225; to keep her remarkable comeback alive.

Williams, the winner here in 2003 and 2005, set up a Grand Slam decider with top seed Maria Sharapova after staving off a determined challenge to beat Vaidišov&#225; 7-6 (7/5) 6-4.

The 25-year-old American was overjoyed to earn a shot at an eighth major title Saturday and a chance to become the first unseeded player to win the championship since 1978.

But Williams, whose world ranking has dropped to 81 as she returns from a long injury lay-off, said she always knew she would get back to the top, even though critics had written her off as unfit.

Williams had to graft for the win as her 17-year-old opponent staged a spirited late comeback but hung on to claim victory in one hour 46 minutes.

Williams dismissed as "outrageous" a suggestion from the host broadcaster Channel Seven that a teenaged boy in her box was using his watch to reflect sunlight into Vaidišov&#225;'s eyes as she served.

Vaidišov&#225; said she never noticed any reflection, and Tennis Australia denied a report it was investigating the alleged incident.

The Czech tenth seed came into the game vowing not to be intimidated by Williams, and gained a huge confidence-boost when she broke her opponent in the first game.

The teenager was not afraid to play her shots, hitting crosscourt winners and wrong-footing Williams a number of times.

Williams weathered the storm, and broke back after attacking Vaidišov&#225;'s second serve.

She was a picture of steely concentration, showing none of the rollercoaster of emotions that have been on display in her previous outings here this year.

Williams needed her big-match experience when the first set went to a tiebreak, and she blew a 5-1 lead, allowing Vaidišov&#225; to level at 5-5 before steadying her nerves and taking the set.

She seized the momentum with two early breaks, with Vaidišov&#225; breaking back only to gift Williams a break with two double faults.

Williams grabbed the opportunity and raced away to a 5-1 lead before Vaidišov&#225; staged a late fightback to claw her way back to 5-4, saving four match-points in the process.

She should have lost on a fifth match-point, but her return was incorrectly called in, and Williams was powerless to question the decision as she had run out of challenges that allow a player to use the Hawk-Eye system to check calls.

Williams made no mistake on the sixth match-point to keep alive her fairytale return.

Rohan Sullivan, Associated Press Writer:
Nicole Vaidišov&#225; reported no problems during her loss in the Australian Open semi-finals after a fan of Serena Williams was reportedly caught reflecting the glare off his watch into her eyes during the match.

A local TV broadcaster pointed out a man, sitting in Williams' players box, moving his watch around at various times and reflecting the sun onto the court.

Vaidišov&#225; said she didn't notice anything that would have distracted her from the match.

The issue was raised by respected television commentator John Barrett, who said flashes of glare were coming off the watch-face of a man sitting in front of Williams' mother, Oracene.

"It is an extraordinary coincidence that whenever Vaidišov&#225; is serving, that youngster seems to be getting [the sunlight] into the eyes of Vaidišov&#225;," Barrett said.

Semi-final opponents Serena Williams and Nicole Vaidišov&#225; laughed off a claim that a member of the American's entourage was trying to put off the Czech in their match at the Australian Open on Thursday.

Williams beat the 17-year-old 10th seed 7-6 6-4 for a place in her third final at Melbourne Park, but both were taken aback by claims made on a local television-channel that a male supporter in Williams's box was using the sun's reflection in his watch to distract Vaidišov&#225;.

The governing body of women's tennis (WTA), the International Tennis Federation (ITF) - who run the Grand Slams - and Tennis Australia, said no complaint had been received, and they would not be investigating the incident.

Television pictures showed the sun reflecting off the supporter's watch, and the commentators suggested it was more than 'coincidence' the reflection appeared when Vaidišov&#225; was serving.

If you really want to dazzle someone at that range, you need to use a proper mirror rather than a mere watch-face! I remember Thomas Muster complaining that a hostile Davis Cup crowd were doing that to him.

4.2 Scores

I caught up with live scores using the following thread: (pp.6-70)

Apparently Williams was warming up with a one-handed backhand!

The match started at 14:09 AEST.

First set
VAIDIŠOV @* *___*@__*_ 6(5)
WILLIAMS __* *@*__@* T 7(7)

Williams serving 0-0: 30/0 -> 30/30, 40/30, 40/40. Nicole backhand winner. Ad Nicole (BP), Deuce #2, ad Nicole (BP #2), broken.

jerk-in-the-box: "Well from the start Serena doesn't seem to be moving that well."

Nicole serving 1-0: 15/0. Ace. 30/0, 30/15, 40/15 -> 40/40. Williams backhand error. Ad Nicole, held.

mrserenawilliams: "Serena looking tentative"
Becool: "Serena making easy mistakes"

Williams serving 0-2: 0/15, 15/15, 30/15. Williams forehand error. 30/30, 40/30. Ace.
Nicole serving 2-1: 0/15. Return-winner. 0/30 -> 40/30, held.
Williams serving 1-3: held to love.
Nicole serving 3-2: 0/15, 15/15, 15/30. Double fault. 15/40 (2 BPs), 30/40. Ace #2. 40/40, ad Williams (BP #3), broken.

Williams serving 3-3: 15/0, 15/15, 30/15. Ace #2. 40/15, held.
Nicole serving 3-4: 15/0. Double fault #2. 15/15, 15/30, 30/30 (or 15/40?), 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad Nicole, held.
Williams serving 4-4: Double fault. 0/15, 30/15. Nicole forehand winner. 30/30. Nicole forehand winner down the line. 30/40 (BP), broken.

Nicole serving 5-4: Ace #3. 15/0. Double fault #3. 15/15, 30/15, 30/30, 30/40 (BP). Ace #4. 40/40, ad Nicole (SP #1), Deuce #2, ad Williams (BP #2), broken.

Tennisaddict: "She is like a female Berdych. Strong serve forehand combo.
"Rena only plays aggressive on breakpoints and stuff Do it all the time."

Williams serving 5-5: 0/15. Ace #3. 15/15, 15/30, 40/30, 40/40, ad Williams. Ace.


jerk-in-the-box: "Like someone said before, its like serena only plays aggressively when she has to then just sits back and does enought o let Nicole make an UE. It may be working to keep her in the match but it certainly wont win it."

Nicole serving 5-6: 30/0, 30/15, 40/15, held.

Derek: "Great forehand! Nicole is not choking. She's still going for her shots."

6-6 tiebreak (all scores Vaidišov&#225;/Williams): 0/4*, *1/4, *1/5, 2/5*. Two double faults! *4/5, *5/5, 5/6* (Williams SP #1). Nicole made an unforced error. Williams won the first set 7-6 (7/5) at 15:07 (58 minutes).

BK4ever {at 1/5}: "Now Nic being too impatient...going for too much too early"

Second set
VAIDIŠOV _@____*@*_ 4
WILLIAMS @ @*@*___* 6

Nicole serving 0-0: Double fault #4. 0/15, 0/40 (3 BPs), broken.

Derek: "1st serve has deserted her."

Williams serving 1-0: 0/30. Ace #5. 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs) -> 40/40, ad Nicole (BP #3). Ace #6. Deuce #2, ad Nicole (BP #4), broken.

Derek: "Nicole keeps dictating."
:tOMMYbOY:: "gorgeous play from nicole. "
Becool: "Serena Being Too Passive Again"

Nicole serving 1-1: 15/0, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 30/40 (BP), broken.

:tOMMYbOY:: "nicoles raquets are getting a beating."
BK4ever: "Nicole needs to be more patient. She is trying to hit every second ball for a winner."
GPlayer21: "Wow, this has been a really high quality match but, I notice that Serena is winning hte longer rallies. Nicole wants these points short and sweet. WHo else agrees?"

Williams serving 2-1: 30/0, 30/15, 40/15, 40/30, held.
Nicole serving 1-3: 0/15. Ace #5. 15/15, 40/15. Double faults #5 and #6. 40/40. Forehand return-winner. Ad Williams (BP). Double fault #7.

Williams serving 4-1: 15/0, 15/15, 30/15. Aces #7 and #8.
Nicole serving 1-5: 0/15. Nicole forehand winner. 15/15, 15/30, 40/30. Ace #6.

Good serving from 15/30 in that game. The 'gagarooney' begins!

Williams serving 5-2: 15/0, 15/15. Ace #9. 30/15, 30/40 (BP), broken.

:tOMMYbOY:: "omg WHAT a shot nicole. "

Nicole serving 3-5: Nicole made a "pathetic" backhand error. 0/15, 0/30. Williams "GIGANTIC forehand". 0/40 (3 MPs) -> 30/40. Nicole got a lucky netcord to save the third match-point. 40/40, ad Nicole. Williams lob-winner. Deuce #2, ad Williams (MP #4), Deuce #3. Williams hit a ball just out, and made an incorrect challenge. Ad Nicole, held.

Williams serving 5-4: 30/0 -> 30/30, 40/30 (MP #5). I gather that Nicole saved it with a great shot! 40/40. Ace #10 at 124mph. Ad Williams (MP #6), Williams won 7-6 (7/5) 6-4 at 15:55 (second set 48 minutes, match 1h46m).

4.3 Nicole quotes

"I think she used her chances much better. She's definitely a great champ - she played the tight points very well. I had my opportunities and I didn't use them. That was the big difference.

"I needed to keep the ball in play much more than I did. I was trying to go for a winner or easy shot too early. I think that was a little mistake."

[Re. the attempts to dazzle her with a watch-face]
"I didn't see that. I tried to focus, not pay attention to anything. I really didn't notice that."

[Re. Williams's grunting]
"I'm used to it. There's a lot of players who grunt a little too much. But I just, you know, like I said, I try to focus on my game, not really pay attention. I think after a couple of points, you kind of shut it out. No, it didn't distract me."

4.4 Williams quotes

{before the match}

"We'll both kind of have the feeling - we both are starting at 0-0 and we're going to go at it. I'm just happy to be playing again. Most of all, I'm happy I won't be ranked #81 anymore. That's how this one ends. Whatever happens, I'm ready to compete for the rest of the year and years to come."

{after the match}

"She played some incredible points on match-point, she just got relaxed - she reminded me a bit of myself.

"I love doubters. I have a lot of people even close to me who doubt. More than anything, what I love, besides obviously winning, is proving people wrong. Ever since I was young - even when I came out on Tour - it was 'Venus, Venus, Venus, Venus.' Oh, and the little sister. My whole goal in life was just to prove people wrong. And that's one thing I enjoy so much.

"I think that's something that I thrive on - people that don't believe. I think it just gives me strength. At the end of the day, it is something that helps me, which is awesome.

"I can't believe it. That's awesome! For me, it's always been important to play my match and my game. I think if I play well - which I don't think I've even reached yet at all in this tournament - it's really hard for anyone on the women's tour to beat me.

"My stamina, my mental ability, my sheer desire. I played a couple of good matches but I definitely haven't peaked.

"I would say I am happy, more than anything. It's not astonishing or surprising. Definitely something I have always expected.

"This rates really high in my list of achievements - especially with my ranking. This is the lowest I've been ranked getting into a Grand Slam final. I think more than anything, that's really exciting. I just love the competition and love the game.

"I've always been mentally strong. I think probably mentally stronger than a lot of players on the Tour. I think for me, tennis has always been 80% mental. I think if you can get a grasp on that, then I've always had a grasp on that. I've believed in myself more than anyone. Even though it was hard, I really believed in me and in my game.

"I just relax when I get down. You know, I just become really calm more than anything. And I just play some of my best tennis. And sometimes I try to pretend that I'm down - even though it really never works - so I can get into that mental space that I'm in when I am down.

"I know maybe what are my opponent's weaknesses are going into the match, but I don't focus on, 'Okay, I'm going to hit three balls to the backhand and I'm going to hit one over here.' I don't do that. That's too much thinking in it. Serena Williams is not a thinker; Serena Williams is a tennis-player. Got that?

"I'm like a chameleon. I can kind of change and get my game going to whatever the situation is. I kind of adapt to all situations.

"I just tried to stay focused and calm. It was great. I'm excited [about the final], I have nothing to lose, I'm having a lot of fun. I'm back in the top twenty and that means so much.

"I definitely felt I could have played better today, which is really encouraging: that I know I can do even better than what I'm doing now."

[Re. Hobart]
"No comparison. I was really excited that I went ahead to play Hobart because I was really rusty, and I can see the rust shedding from my game literally. I'm excited that I went there, because I would have hated to start two or three matches [here] the way I did in Hobart.

"I think whenever you've come back, you take two or three weeks off from not playing matches, you're still practising, you go to a match, you get sore, because in matches you do things totally different from when you're at practice. In Tasmania I was a little sore because I hadn't had the match-play. After that went away...

"I definitely am more fit now, 'cause I had a little more time to do some off-court stuff after Tasmania. Playing some long matches here, I don't know how much."

[Re. losing to Sybille Bammer at Hobart]
"I was really upset that I lost. Maybe it was for the best, because I was able to come here. The weather was warmer here. In Tasmania, it was really cold. I was able to come here and enjoy some warm weather. Maybe it was for the best.

"I was really angry. I just felt like I should have won. These girls are treeing on me. It was really frustrating. Like I said, maybe it was 'divine intervention,' I don't know."

[Re. taking advantage of "inexperienced" players to reach the final]
"I think Petrova was really experienced. And you might not know it, but these girls play a lot more tournaments than I play. Like Vaidišov&#225;: I think she has been in a semi-final before, and she has played probably twice as many tournaments last year alone than I have in the past two years. Petrova obviously is No. 5. She's played really well. Shahar Peer who honestly played me so tough. She's played so many tournaments. Trust me, she has a lot of experience.

"In general, all the players I have played, I think they have had a lot of experience and they are good players. They weren't easy pushovers. Obviously, Jelena Janković, she's been having some great results. It hasn't been an easy road. I've only played one player that wasn't seeded.

"So finals-experience, I think they have had opportunities to be in the finals just like I have. I just make that extra step to get there."

[Re. 5-1 to 5-5 in the second]
"I almost did a 'gagarooney' there. Basically, you know, gagging."

[Re. the attempts to dazzle Nicole using a watch-face]
"Ha, ha, ha, ha. That's the most outrageous thing I've ever heard. As if anyone would do that on purpose! That's so funny."

[Oh, they would, Serena, believe me!]

"No one saw the glare. I never saw the glare. If anything, it would have affected me. I never saw the glare. Vaidišov&#225; said she never saw the glare. What more is there to say? As of now, I'm not answering any more questions about a God-dang watch!"

5. Wooden-Spoon List

1. Serena Williams
7. Lucie Safarova
16. LI,NA (19)
22. Jelena Kostanic Tosic
23. Anastasiya Yakimova
24. Aiko Nakamura
25. Victoria Azarenka
27. Maria Elena Camerin
28. Ashley Harkleroad
30. Alicia Molik (WC)
31. Eva Birnerova
33. Anne Kremer (Q)
34. Anastassia Rodionova
35. Milagros Sequera
36. Akiko Morigami
37. Meilen Tu
38. Laura Granville
40. Alla Kudryavtseva (Q)
41. Virginia Ruano Pascual
42. Tamira Paszek (Q)
43. Martina Muller
44. Emilie Loit
45. Monique Adamczak (WC)
46. Peng,Shuai
47. Olga Poutchkova
48. Lourdes Dominguez Lino
49. Gisela Dulko
50. Renata Voracova (Q)
51. Iveta Benesova
52. Virginie Razzano
53. Zuzana Ondraskova
55. AI SUGIYAMA (23)
56. Sania Mirza
58. Agnieszka Radwanska
59. Elena Vesnina
61. Julia Vakulenko (Q)
62. Kaia Kanepi
63. Julia Schruff
64. Youlia Fedossova (WC)
66. Camille Pin
67. Jill Craybas
68. Vasilisa Bardina
69. Romina Oprandi
70. Sybille Bammer
71. Alberta Brianti
72. Nathalie Dechy
73. Aleksandra Wozniak
74. Tzipora Obziler
75. Stephanie Foretz
76. Alize Cornet (Q)
77. Jessica Moore (WC)
78. Madison Brengle (WC)
79. Shenay Perry
80. Elena Bovina
81. Tamarine Tanasugarn
82. Emmanuelle Gagliardi
83. Casey Dellacqua (WC)
84. Stephanie Cohen-Aloro (Q)
85. Anna Smashnova
86. Sophie Ferguson (WC)
87. Laura Pous Tio
89. Yuliana Fedak
90. Vania King
91. Kirsten Flipkens
92. Yuan,Meng
93. Karolina Sprem
94. Chan,Yung-Jan
95. Martina Sucha
96. Ekaterina Bychkova
97. Michaella Krajicek
98. Roberta Vinci
99. Jarmila Gajdosova
100. Tsvetana Pironkova
101. Edina Gallovits
102. Yulia Beygelzimer
103. Sandra Kloesel
104. Emma Laine
105. Melinda Czink
106. Severine Bremond
107. Jorgelina Cravero (Q)
108. Aravane Rezai
109. Iroda Tulyaganova (WC)
110. Andreja Klepac (Q)
111. Marta Domachowska
112. Ahsha Rolle (Q)
113. Sun,Tiantian
114. Meghann Shaughnessy
115. Galina Voskoboeva
116. Nicole Pratt
117. Clarisa Fernandez
118. Klara Zakopalova (Q)
119. Sofia Arvidsson
120. Olga Savchuk
121. Vera Dushevina
122. Varvara Lepchenko
124. Sandra Zahlavova (Q)
125. Elena Likhovtseva
127. ZHENG,JIE (31)
128. Catalina Castano

7. Jon Wertheim's parting-shots (Nicole-filtered)

Jon Wertheim <>:
14. Losing semi-finalist Nicole Vaidišov&#225; has tons of power... and when she planes some of her rough edges, she will win big prizes. But her habit of looking at her box after every point is really detrimental. It radiates insecurity. If I'm on the other side of the net, I'm thinking, "This girl is meat."

Full article at

8. WTA Singles Rankings (as of 29th January 2007)

1. Maria Sharapova (3918)
2. Justine Henin-Hardenne (3311)
3. Am&#233;lie Mauresmo (2900)
4. Kim Clijsters (2577)
5. Svetlana Kuznetsova (2554)
6. Martina Hingis (2139)
7. Nadia Petrova (2057)
8. Elena Dementieva (2013)
9. Nicole Vaidišov&#225; (1782)
10. Jelena Janković (1558)
11. Patty Schnyder (1544)
12. Dinara Safina (1527)
13. Anna Chakvetadze (1470)
14. Serena Williams (1269)
15. Shahar Peer (1209)
16. Ana Ivanović (1160)
17. Li,Na (1106)
18. Daniela Hantuchov&#225; (988)
19. Tatiana Golovin (950)
20. Anna-Lena Gr&#246;nefeld (944)
21. Vera Zvonar&#235;va (932)

Great to see Nicole and Maria back to their career-high rankings!

Dr. Andrew Broad

My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki
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Quarter-final TV-report

AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Rebound Ace); Grand Slam)

Yes: I am still working on last year's Australian Open! Like SPECTRE, I always deliver what I promise.

I have added a new TV-report of Nicole's quarter-final with Lucie Šaf&#225;řov&#225;, which I recently acquired from Tennis Videos International.

It was a mouthwatering match of brilliant tennis from both players, despite the easy-looking score.

My report is at:

I plan to add Nicole's semi-final next week.

Dr. Andrew Broad

My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 2008, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Semi-final TV-report

AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Rebound Ace); Grand Slam)

I have just uploaded my TV-report of Nicole's semi-final against Serena Williams, which I recently acquired from Tennis Videos International.

My report is at:

So that's it for the Australian Open 2007 as far as Nicole is concerned.

Dr. Andrew Broad

My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki

Last edited by andrewbroad; Mar 15th, 2008 at 11:08 PM.
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