I arrived at Ariake Tennis No Mori around 11:00am (an hour after play started) and headed to the Coliseum as Namigata put the finishing touches on Castano. It's good to see the Japanese ladies doing well on home turf (ala the one Japanese chick bounced Kirilenko out in the first round). I watched the last few games and called it a wrap. I looked for the Daniilidou match and hoped it was still going on, but it was over and I'd find out later that she had retired
While looking for the Daniilidou match....hold on....I was really pissed because I really wanted some Eleni action pics
Anyway while I was looking for the Daniilidou match, I saw Molik and Kostanic going at it. I snapped a few shots and ran off still thinking Daniilidou was still going on. I got a really good pic of Jelena's legs
After realizing that it wasn't wise to spend the morning runing from match to match, I plopped it down as Suarez was putting a waxing on Safarova. Safarova puts a lot of work into her shots and it's evident in her grunts. She didn't look tired or out of breath or anything, but you could tell some work was being done. Paola kept a cool head and let the youngster self-destruct by spraying UFE after UFE after UFE. Lucie has a nice technique though and I'd like to see her go far. Paola closed it out rather routinely and the final score was something like 6-4 6-4?? I noticed an odd thing about Paola's groundstrokes. They're different from other players in that instead of the ball arching it just kinda drifts in a straight line and drops about a foot inside the baseline. Seems really effective as Lucie was dippin' it low to scoop 'em up
After the match, Paola casually walked over and signed all the autos for her fans.
On the adjacent court, Zakopalova and Medina Garrigues were going at it and Anabel was grunting throughout the Suarez/Safarova match. Oh geez, and does Zako have a mouth on her
She was shouting, slamming balls, and talkin' all kinds of garbage
I moved over to that side of the court and watched part of it. Medina was driving in some deep strokes and throwing in a lot of "VAMOS!"s
Zako was just generally dejected and couldn't seem to get it together. She was hitting them hard and keeping them in the lines, but Anabel was just too good. Domachowska and Chan came to the court where Suarez was playing and it looked like a decent match. I only caught a couple points before I got a bite to eat
After I finished eating, I saw that Domachowska and her coach were sitting a couple benches away from the whole time. I don't even know when they came and sat down. Marta was sitting there staring straight ahead with a broken-hearted look in her eyes. Her coach was trying to say something to her, but I couldn't make anything out. In my mind I knew she must've lost
It was a really saddening sight and I thought about taking a picture to show the other side of tennis, but I couldn't bring myself to do it
Walked around for a little bit and saw Kostanic and Vania King playing doubles with some girls I didn't know....suppose I could've bothered to read the scoreboard and see who their names where
Anyway, Jelena was lookin' like a BEAST out there. I got a really masculine vibe from her.....the way she talks...the way she carries herself...the way she's built....hmmm predlez, no? But that's besides the point
Jelena was really pumped and she and King would high five each other twice between points and even when coming from the bench. King is an absolute powerhouse on groudstrokes. She was blasting balls everywhere. I was like, "WTF?!?!" Where has this girl been? I don't know the outcome, but if Kostanic/King lost, it definitely wasn't because of King
So I trucked it back to the courts I was previously at and saw Paola and Vivi walking on the courts for their doubles match with Nakamura/Morigami. Paola and Vivi had a simple yet apparent and utterly effective tactic: pin Morigami to the baseline and attack Nakamura. Naka was the clear weak point on her team. She was getting tired and grunting so loud during prolonged xcrt exchanges and (more often than not) choked at the net. Time and time again, Paola and Vivi would pin back Morigami and then blast a quick one at Nakamura
She's a lil cutey though
Also Paola and Vivi was laughing and smiling the whole time. They have so much fun on court
On the adjacent court Murray and Novak came on. And to put it short and sweet, Novak tamed the wild youngin'
Don't get me wrong though, Andy was blasting his serves, but as Jiri worked himself into the points, Andy would spray one long or dump it in the net. Novak even through in a couple aces of his own. Andy was shouting and screaming too
I could've sworn I heard him say, "BITCH!"
I hope not though, there were children present
Back to the Paola/Vivi match, they dusted off their opponents and the match ended with....you guessed it....an error by Nakamura
Now comes the fun part!!! The Federer/Troicki match was magnificent. Federer started off kinda slow and then started hitting all these awesome shots. Troicki it a couple himself, but for the most part, it was Troicki doing all the running. I guess Federer was doing a lot of running too, but he more like hops around than runs. Roger makes it look so easy
During this match I kinda grew a liking to Troicki. I remember when I first saw him working his way through the qualies. I was like, "Who is this dude and why does he always have his mouth open?" It's like that open-mouthed country bumpkin look. Okay, ANYWAY, Viktor was trying really hard out there and gave it a real go. The scoreline says it all! The match as GRRRREAT!
I also took some vids of the match showing Roger at net toying with his prey
I took a break after the match because I was craving that chicken on a stick stuff they sell here
As I went to the stand, I "overheard" the Spadea match. OMFG, he grunts like he's being slowly taken advantage of by a 2 x 4
I didn't even bother going to watch. The Paradorn/Suzuki match was something in itself too. All the Japs in the audience suddenly learned how to cheer for players because all I heard was, "C'mon Takao" "Takao ganbare" TAKAO TAKAO TAKAO TAKAO TAKAO!!!
Poor P-dorn didn't know what to do. I wanted to root for P-dorn, but I was afraid the whole stadium would mug me.
I didn't want to stand out any more than being the only black dude in the whole stadium
Paradorn's serve could really use some work. Suzuki played stellar from start to finish and Paradorn tried to come up with the goods towards the end, but it was too late. Paradorn even had a little bit of choke in him (double faulting in the 3rd set tiebreak
After that match I was a done deal. It was already late into the evening and I had an hour and a half worth of (rush hour) train riding ahead of me. Trust me, you've never lived until you've rode a PACKED train during Japanese rush hours
It's reminiscent of a can of sardine
Oh on another side note, each time I went to take my seat for the Federer and Paradorn matches, some lady was already in my seat!!!
I was like, "OH NO, HONEY!!!" I made them tricks get up QUICK!