UK TV-alert: Anna in Transworld Sport (Fed Cup February 2009)
(Transworld Sport may be televised in other countries, but the details in this message are specific to the UK.)
There is a 4-minute feature on the recent Russia v China Fed Cup tie in this week's Transworld Sport, which is repeated with sign-language at 02:30 GMT on Friday night (technically the morning of Saturday 21st February 2009) on Channel 4.
The tennis was 1 minute into Sunday's broadcast of Transworld Sport, and finished 5 minutes in, so I recommend 02:30 as a safe start-time for timer-record, and 02:40 as a safe stop-time (Transworld Sport has been known to start up to 5 minutes late).
The feature includes two points from the third rubber, in which Anna gave Russia an unassailable 3:0 lead with a 6-1 6-2 victory over Yan,Zi:
* Yan serving 0-2 (ad Anna): Anna hit a crosscourt backhand deep into the corner - a couple of inches from both the sideline and the baseline - forcing Yan to bunt back a defensive backhand that sat up nicely for Anna to hit a deep forehand down the line, behind which she went to the net; Yan responded well with a dipping crosscourt backhand, but Anna responded even better with a delectable off-backhand half-volley dropshot that landed very short and close to the sideline; Yan ran it down well to hit a one-handed forehand (she usually hits with two hands both sides) attempted pass down the line, but Anna cut it off with a crosscourt backhand volley-winner into the wide-open court. I think this point shows that Anna is an all-court player with great hands!
* Yan serving 1-6 2-5 (15/40): Serve out wide: crosscourt forehand return; Yan crosscourt forehand; Anna hit a deep forehand down the line; Yan hit a short crosscourt backhand; Anna hit a penetrating off-backhand deep into the corner, forcing Yan to scramble back a short, defensive forehand; Anna hit a pinpoint off-backhand deep into the corner, and moved inside the service-line to cut off Yan's attempted crosscourt forehand pass; Anna hit a delectable off-forehand drop-volley winner, which Yan - run as she did - couldn't get up. This point shows that Anna likes to play spreading rallies from the baseline and finish them off at the net, and both points show that she has great precision!
There was a nice close-up of Anna from behind: she was wearing a little black dress with bare shoulders apart from four thin straps, and her hair in that divine braided ponytail, with a thin, vertical headband to keep her bangs in place. She turned to the side and was smiling.
Dr. Andrew Broad