I got a bit of a late start this morning (10am), but after a strong black fresh brewed I was good to go lol!! I wasn't too concerned even though play was scheduled to begin at 10am because it was raining all morning....bleh typical Japan weather
I also took the wrong train at one point, but figured it out soon enough to add only 15 minutes to my time. Whew. The rain had lessened when I got to Ariake and play was underway. I started out by the show courts near the entrance and took some great pics of MashaK practicing. A LOT of people where flocked to her and I wonder how she deals with it. People where hanging all over the fence to get pictures of her lol. Guess it ain't easy being pretty. From there, I swung by the Coliseum to see the ending of the ATP match and wasn't terribly pleased and left to watch Delic/Spadea outside. Someone should tell Vince that rapping during changeovers isn't cute.....in the least....
Delic was looking a mess and was working too hard to get very little from it. His forehand was enough to keep the ball in play, but the backhand sprayed errors like an aerosol can. I don't think Vince even broke a sweat.... Back to the drawing board Amer
After than sound thumping, I went to see the ATP players practicing by the entrance and none other than
Feliciano Lopez was gracing the fans with her presence....if not, her 'ass'ets
He wasn't looking terribly into it and was more or less having fun instead of 'practicing.' Across the walkway from him, Kostanic-Tosic was embroiled with Spanish Mama Dominguez-Lino. A good tip for Jelena would have been to come to net more and end the moonball madness!!! Lourdes played every point WELL behind the baseline and ought to be ashamed!! You're playing on a hardcourt, hun. After the first set I couldn't watch anymore. Lourdes' forehand technique was driving me nutz. I wanted to hop the fence and give her a quick one-on-one
Jelena was looking great on the other hand. She was really jumping on the forehands and played decent backhands. Her little 2-handed backhand slice has got to go though. She gets down so low when she hits it and gets herself out of position.
Next up was the Rolle/Pennetta match. I was secretly hoping Ahsha could pull the upset, but Flavia's experience and steadiness rained on that parade. I like to watch Rolle's backhand and the straight-forwardness of her forehand. When she hits a forehand, that's just it. No added frills or flashiness. She plays a go-for-broke game which kept things pretty close in the first set. She came out serving strong and hitting with some authority. But when she realized that Flavia's game was steady and with wise ball placement, things went downhill quick lol. A couple bad calls came around 5-5 1st set and Ahsha must've taken a page out of Amer Delic's book on How to Spray One-handed Backhands Like an Aerosol Can
(with a forward from Dudi Sela
) Baby girl folded like a cheap lawn chair lol. Flavia was dazzling though. She took out her running shoes while Ahsha blasted away and then switching into overdrive to wrap things up.
Afterwards, I made my way to the stadium to see Sugiyama give a wretched performance before the homecrowd. I was upset with Ai. Really. She too was putting more work into the ball than she was getting out of it. But full credit to Meng. She was dangerous out there and is possibly one to go deep in the draw. But next came Venus/Craybas and I was happily sated
The match began a bit rocky (I think there were 3 breaks in the 1st 3 games LOL). But after that, Venus thawed out and heated up....leaving Jill burnt up
Venus....ohhhh Venus.... I'm glad you came but why the heck are you playing here??? Venus damned near killed Jill
One time she thonked a service winner deep into Jill's body and Jill had to block it for her own safety. It was a travesty. But Jill remained calm and utilized some of that veteran experience to dish out a few good points. I think she had around 3 outright winners for the entire match. It was no contest, really. Jill even tried movin' the big girl around, but Venus wasn't having any of that. It was a senseless barrage of winner after winner....and we loved it
I saw Oracene and one of Venus' very busty sisters in the crowd and took a quick pic :-) Also, I see Venus has been working on her dance moves??? She was doing the Bankhead Bounce as she left the court
Maybe if she wasn't too busy shakin' her @$$ she could've gave a brotha her autograph lol j/k
There was a slight moment of panic in the second set when Venus hit the ball and went down on the court. I didn't see becaue I followed to ball over the net to see Jill hit it and I heard the crowd gasp, but when I looked back at Vee she was already up and running to the deuce court. I think it was something with her right hand, like she broke a nail or something. Whatever it was, it pissed her off because she ripped a forehand winner on the next point, as if to tell Jill that her hand was fine lol.
I got tired of sitting in the nasty bucket seats in the Coliseum so I went back outside lol. I ran into Tursunov on the outer courts and took a pic with him. He was really nice about it and burst out laughing when I told him, "We love your blog." LOL. I left pretty quickly though, because I was having a hard time keeping my hands to myself
Next up was the Kirilenko/Pin match. When I got there, Maria had already snatched the 1st set and things were going smoothly....until I came along and sat front row and started shouting, "ALLEZ CAMILLE!!!" I must've been the only one rooting for Cammy, and apparently that did the trick! Not really, Maria just ran out of steam. I like her groundstrokes because they're aesthetically pleasing, but they were no match for Pin's scrabbling and feistiness. Pin's serve has absolutely nothing on it and her groundies aren't a force to reckon with either. So I'm assuming the cute-as-a-button Pin appeal was what did Maria in. She couldn't stand having another diva cuter than her on the same court and began spraying balls like there was no tomorrow LOL! Full props to Penny though. She did herself many favors by running from corner to corner and aiming (somewhat) close to the sidelines. And once again, there was a huge flock of Japanese guys falling all over each other to get pictures of Maria lol.....and just like last year, she went out in the first round
So it's late afternoon early evening and Molik was dazzling under the show court lights. Alicia gave a tremendous effort today and nearly all her balls landed in. There was no rallying or high percentage tennis coming from Molik. Just raw unadulterated power
And pool lil Morigama did her best to deal with it. Alicia was doing everything from pegging serves to blasting winners. Aikiko wasn't helping herself with her two hands on both sides either.... Not much to say from this match, just another Molik beatdown. I wonder if how she played tonight was what posters here say her real potential is if she was injury free. If that's the case right now, Alicia should go far in this tourney because she certainly looked unencumbered tonight.
It was well after dark and Baltacha was still duking it out with Zan Yi. Zan took the first set, but that didn't stop Bally one bit. Baltacha was still working extemely hard to get points, but things came together (namely Zan hitting balls into the net) in the 2nd set. But let's talk about Zan!!! What do they feed this girl???!!!! Zan is like a machine. She must've taken some notes from Safarova because she hits EVERY ball like her life depends on it. I was pretty sure she would win this match until Bally started moving her around more (mostly side to side) and pinning her to the baseline. I left right after Bally won the 2nd set, because I really want her to win but my nerves can't take the pained expression she constantly wears on her face. And yes, there was plenty of trash-talking and thigh-slapping coming from her side of the net. I'm glad to see that Bally eventually won this match though
(You've got to quit dropping the opening set though babe).
So I ended the day with a subdued match between Razzano and Tanasugarn. In a nutshell, Tammy was a m3$$ and Virginie played tactically precise. One note of mention is the booty bounce Razzano does every couple games lol. She'll turn her back to the net and do some kind of hopscotch rump shaker that left me wondering what hotel she's staying at
Great girl though! I gave her a couple "Allezs" and she wrapped things up pretty quickly. Tammy was at a complete loss tonight. It wasn't to pleasing hearing her scream and throw her racquet, but in the end she took it on the chin. Well I'm pooped!!! See you tomorrow