Got a super early start in the morning and arrived at Ariake just in time for the Venus/ Wozniacki match. I decided to take notes throughout the match because my memory isn't what it used to be
The first couple of games were total Venus domination. Venus came out asserting herself early to get the message across. However Venus' second service game was pretty long. In it, Venus threw in 2 DFs. Even though Wozzy's shots were short and fluffy compared to Vee's, she broke Venus when Venus double faulted
At 5-3 30-15, Venus hit a deep backhand DTL that wrong-footed Carolina and Caro took a NASTY spill. We all gasped and Caro was down for a good minute. Venus punctuated the set with an ace and Wozzy didn't even move to return it
Wozzy took a meddy time out after the 1st set. I also noticed that Wozzy never came to net in the 1st set, while Venus was in and out of the net. In the first game of the 2nd set, both Wozzy and Vee were coming to net (Venus benefited more from it though). Wozzy quickly went down *0-40, but Venus began spewing UFEs (
) and Wozzy held
Wozzy broke to go up *2-0 when Venus decided to DF on game point again
Venus broke right back to get on serve though *1-2. At 1-2 30-0, Vee really moved Wozzy around. Wozzy's shots were coming back sooooo short and Venus was teeing off like Tiger Woods
At *40-0 Venus, Caro came in and hit a very nice drop volley, but Venus whacked to hold 2-2. The next game Caro was being brutally overpowered, but was able to hold serve *3-2 when Venus spewed a backhand at net. The next game was another long one and Wozzy hung in very well. She even broke Venus to go up *4-2 when she crushed a backhand DTL winner off of Venus' lackluster 2nd serve. Vee really paid the price for flashing off her questionable 2nd serve. The fist point of the next game was pretty funny because Venus crushed a backhand DTL return winner as if to say, "I can do it too babe
" Everyone in the audience chuckled because we knew that's what it meant
Also in this game, Wozzy opted for the common technique of trying to break down the Venus forehand. Vee's forehand held up though and she held to get to *3-4. The rest of the match was pretty even and Venus played a little bit better than Wozniacki to close out the match. Good stuff. I hung around for the Pennetta/Razzano match and Virginie was looking great on centre court. She played her game well and kept Flavia on the run with her super flat groundies. Razzy got some pretty nasty calls from the linesman ALL of the match and stopped at one point to have a damned near 5 minute chat with the chair ump. The chair ump wasn't phazed and Flavia enjoyed catching her breath
Flavia was looking a mess though and took a meddy time out to have her lower back worked on after the 1st set. The 2nd set had sooo many long points and I fell asleep halfway through the set
I woke up on just in time to see Virginie put the finishing touches on Flavia to close out the match Next up was the Lopez/Ferrer match which was comical at best. It'd looked like Lopez spent the entire match trying to come up with a game plan. While Ferrer spent the whole match scrambling and forcing the issue. Feliciano Lopez is all serve. Plain and simple. Without his serve, I dunno what he'd be ranked but it wouldn't be high......
But that's what I like about the Lopez game. Ferrer was so good at scrambling that eventually he'd find and opening where he could hit a nice deep shot. That then took time away from Lopez and he wouldn't have time to hit his hallwark backhand slice (
). This led to Lopez hitting a regular forehand/backhand that more often than not went long. It looked like Lopez wasn't comfortable hitting a regular groundstroke. He'd much rather hit backhand slices from the baseline or put away volleys at net. An intriguing style of play that in a way I like to watch. Lopez has to have some of the most superflat groundstrokes on the tour. Someone should share with him the wonders of topspin
Ferrer wasn't intrigued in the least though and put Lopez away with a quickness. You know, I'm next a Ferrer fan but he must be given credit for his intense hustling and die hard stickablility. Ferrer plays with the most fired up intensity of anyone I saw at the tournament. He even had that determination written all over his face when he was just walking around the tournament grounds Amazing player and I wonder what is his motivation to fight so hard!!
After that, I watched the Hewitt/Karlovic match and was immediately turned off
Now, Ivo Karlovic is REALLY all serve and nothing else. He has a hell of a serve though. And compared to Lleyton, it looked like Karlovic was serving out of tree
Hewitt's serve looks freaky because he turns his whole back to the net during the service motion. Real flexible guy I guess. I promptly fell asleep after the first couple of games of this match and woke up when it started raining and they were closing the roof of the Coliseum. I went to go and get a quick snack and had a rather rude encounter with a Japanese person and was so pissed off that I left. And I was REALLY looking forward to the Gasquet/Verdasco match too. That's how pissed I was
And that concluded my reports from this year's AIG Open
It was fun, but I'm glad it's over because being around that many Japanese people was.......
Some lessons learned:
Dominguez needs better forehand technique lest she break her wrist.
Tursunov should focus on the matches at hand vice eyeing the female players.
Nat Grandin is a h@wt predlez m3$$.
Rolle should purchase an abroller.
Alicia Molik played amazing and it's a pity she ran into Venus so early.
Virginie Razzano played great all tournament and really wears down her oppoents with her methodically flat shots and well-placed serves.
Camille Pin really is CUTE AS A BUTTON and sounds like a little angel when she says, "Merci".
Elena Baltacha fights so hard with weapons she doesn't have. Maybe her problem is mental?
Elena Baltacha's coach is the h@wt3st coach EVER!
OTOH, Gallovit's coach looks like a drug dealer.
Tanasugarn is cute as a button, but gets killed in her matches. Maybe she should talke with Pin.
Flavia Pennetta is a goddess on and off court.
Venus likes to shake her @$$ after her matches.
Jelena Kostanic is the official WTA Tour dropshot queen.
Camille Pin is the official WTA Tour toss the ball and catch it while saying Merci queen.
Feliciano Lopez must secretly strive to mirror Amelie Mauresmo's playing style....and looks......