Wow i'm just looking at her draw and it seems pretty straight-forward now Sequera lost.....next is either Castellvi (who's not in very good form) or Govortsova (who should be beatable). Then there's Bachmann or Serra-Zanetti if she gets through...again, both are definitely beatable. And for the rest of the draw the only seeds left are Arvidsson, Keothavong, Brandi, Perianu and Haynes. Rossana can win here!
The final singles match on center court featured Rosanna de los Rios, currently #193 based on a limited schedule, against #5 seed Ivana Abramovic. Last year, de los Rios came through qualifying here but lost in the first round. Since then, she has had only one WTA match,but she did reach the final at the Indian Harbor Beach $50K, and she won the San Diego $50K in December. And who did she beat in the final? None other than Abramovic.
You may remember de los Rios as the mom who once made a big splash at Roland Garros by reaching the fourth round in 2000. She's here with her family; her daughter looks about eight now. It looks like they have her scouting the opposition; she was watching the players on the practice court as her mom was breaking Abramovic to start the match.
Abramovic is a veteran, too, though not as experienced as de los Rios; he played her first WTA match at Bogota 2003. Her big results in the last year are a first round win at Bogota 2006 (one of only two WTA matches she's had in that time), a final at the Saint Gaudens $50K, and the San Diego final she lost to de los Rios. She came in ranked #165.
De los Rios looked to me as if she were tired, somehow. It was just an impression, though. Abramovic is a little bigger and taller, but I don't think she hits harder, particularly on the forehand. Both have two-handed backhands. De los Rios has a rather high toss -- no problem here, but not so good outdoors. And her specialty is clay. It looks as if Abramovic also prefers clay, but it's not as clear from her more limited record.
De los Rios in the first set was overhitting just a little -- she kept just missing the lines. And every drop shot she hit landed in the net. Abramovic was mostly letting her commit suicide. After that initial break, de los Rios lost six straight games to lose the first set.
De los Rios was faster to get upset than Sequera. She started talking to herself in game five. Her camp was pretty clearly telling her to calm down. It looked like the daughter was asking, "What's wrong with Mom?"
Game four of the second set seemed to provide the answer. In the middle of the game, de los Rios ran to the sideline and started putting eye drops in her eyes. With that low humidity, I can understand why. Certainly she seemed to be seeing better; the second set started with five straight holds. And then it was de los Rios who broke for 4-2.
And suddenly it was Abramovic who looked tired. It hadn't been that long a match, and she looks to be in good shape, but she was really sucking air between points. Was she running out of gas? She lot the next two games also, letting de los Rios take the set 6-2.
De los Rios on the changeover pulled a book out of her bag and looked something up. It didn't appear to be a Jim Courier-type thing; she was looking for something specific. Whatever it was, it was the wrong answer -- she was broken in the first game of the third set. Only to immediately break back. Looking at Abramovic, it appears that she looks most winded after a service game. Which probably says something about how she serves, though I didn't notice anything.
That was about the end for Abramovic. De los Rios, after the break-back, won five of the next six games to advance 1-6 6-2 6-2.
Her daughter Ana Paula by that time was on the practice court hitting with one of the club people. Kid has a pretty good forehand already.
What an AWESOME article! I really think she has a shot at winning this tourney. However, if she reaches the SF here then she will not be able to play in the Memphis Qualis So, if she reaches the SF...she better win!
Is she definitely in the Memphis qualies list Heath?
Well I would rather her reach the semifinals or final here or even win it than to play Memphis...it would do wonders for her confidence to pretty much start the year with an ITF. Perianu lost in the first round now too, so just 4 seeds remain.
De Los Rios/Scheepers won their first round match today 57 64 63 They now take on the top seeds Fusano/Tsoubanos, but Rossana beat Fusano/Tsoubanos two weeks ago with Story Tweedie-Yates in straight sets so her and Chanelle are more than capable of pulling out an upset!
I'm playing tennis down in Sydney tomorrow so I will have to wait a long time till I get back to find out Rossana's singles and doubles 2R results!
She got Garbin the #2 seed in the first round. I'm not surprised since her draws are always rigged in a bad way so it's no surprise she got another tough draw. Hopefully Garbin withdraws, but even if she doesn't, Rossana can still win!! Good luck Rossana