For two years, the FWTT has been one of the best, if not the best tour around. With exciting faces and personalities, the jaw-dropping games and surprises, we loved every minute of it. We?ve laughed, we?ve cried, we?ve gotten mad and said strong words. We?ve done almost anything imaginable. So, why not capture it all in our very own magazine?
In this premiere issue, we hear from the tour person himself, ALX on his thoughts about the tour, Selima on her accident, Jane Wong on her troubles on tour along with tournament and match reviews. There also would be regulars Ruflina T., Jane Wong, Dani T. and Tanya Hingis.
We hope you enjoy our first offering as we have enjoyed playing on the tour we all loved.
Lindsay Anne Sarile
Jun 8th, 2002, 03:47 AM
Daniela Turundzhov smiles for us before a training session at the Citta Di Prato event in Italy.
This week I?m in Italy for the Citta di Prato Event. It?s a Grade 2 event on the familiar Red Clay of Europe, not my favourite surface in the world. Just kidding, I?m starting to become a lot more comfortable on the clay and with every match I feel I?m improving strategically. I arrived in Italy yesterday and after a good rest, I hit the practise courts this morning for a solid 3 hour session. I?m having a fantastic time on tour right now, I?m starting to gain a lot of confidence, however Italy?s doing nothing for my figure, how can you resist all that food? I don?t even want to think about what I?m going to have for dinner but hey, I?m a young woman and I should be able to enjoy life and that includes food. A lot of the players I see on tour can get so obsessed about what they eat that they?ll go hungry so they?ll ?look? in shape. I don?t think this is healthy and all girls out there should know that it?s important to enjoy food, as well as being active. I?m using this week as a very important lead-up to my upcoming clay events. After this week, I move to Santa Croce, then the Italian Open, Astrid Bowl and ending in the French Open juniors, which is expected to be my last event on the junior tour. I?ve got a very important few weeks ahead of me. I missed a few weeks through injury and then played some pro events, which means I lost ground on the top few players on the Tour. My job now is to maintain a spot in the top 10 by the time the French Open comes around, which means I?ll make the permanent move to the Pro Tour.
Speaking of the pro tour, last week was a very exciting week in Hamburg. Regla (Torres) played a spectacular event and deserved to win, Tiffani (Eggert) is playing some brilliant tennis at the moment as well, and she?s looking like a good bet for Paris. I was a little disappointed with my effort against Larisa (Ferrer). I felt I was playing well beforehand, beating Karla Herrera in the first round, but I lacked experience against Larisa. She gets everything back on clay and I didn?t have the patience to win. There was also the event in France, Jahfson won that event, a good effort from her. Speaking of Jahfson, I bet you guys have heard a lot in the past week. I am deeply embarassed at my comments, I guess it was just my emotions and frustration. I spoke with a few players and I?ve decided to ignore what happens off the court and concentrate on my tennis. I simply cannot believe what I said, it?s so embarassing to think I could say things like that and I apologise to my fans.
[SIZE=1] Daniela Turundzhov during practise at the Citta di Prato event.[/IMG]
I?ve been hanging out in Italy for the past day or so. Like I said I trained this morning, with my sister and Mirjana Huubere, my close friend who?s begun her run on the juniors. It was so good to catch up, it?s been too long since we last saw eachother and there were a few tears and lots of laughter. We also hung out with another Aussie, Catherine Pierce. Coincidentally I?m playing doubles with Catherine, or Cathy as I call her this week and we are confident we can perform well. The draws haven?t been released yet, so we?re all anxious to see how we go. I?m not sure whether I?ll be seeded, I haven?t paid much attention to the rankings lately, so it?ll be interesting to see the draw. I have a few plans for tonight, the Aussie girls are going out to enjoy ourselves. It?s been a long time since we?ve all been together and we need to catch up, too bad we can?t go dancing, still a little young I?m afraid. My sister is also having a really good time, she?s become so relaxed after leaving the tour, and she?s a fantastic coach. I know I?m very lucky to have someone so close to me travelling with me, which is not always possible for the other girls.
I?m not sure if this was mentioned in the news or not but I?ve been approached by the Yugoslav Tennis Federation to play for Yugoslavia once I join the pro tour, and I can safely assure you that this is not going to happen, despite what might have been said in the press. I have no intentions to represent Yugoslavia, I am Australian and will continue to represent my country.
Also, I'm a little anxious about going out tonight. Mirjana has been known to like the bottle.........a lot! In fact, she's a chronic alcoholic (shhhhhh, don't tell anyone!) and her behaviour can get us in trouble at times. You won't understand how bad it is, until you've had to sprint 6 km to a hotel room, after going out for celebrations after winning the Australian Open Junior Doubles, all because Mirjana found it funny to use the cloth tied around the head of some Arabic Men as a shawl. I managed to get back alright, but Mirjrna was too un-coordinated with all the alcohol and let?s just say she?s arranged to be married to some guy named Ahmed in Saudi Arabia.
Anyway, I have to go now, we?re going to go out and have some fun.
Jun 8th, 2002, 03:48 AM
First Serving with Tiffani Eggert
The serve is a key stroke in tennis. When it's working, it can single-handedly win a match for you. With an easy service hold, you can focus on breaking your opponent every time. It also can boost your confidence tremendously.
Most important, you need a good straight ball toss. You want to toss the ball 3 to 5 feet above your arm extended in the air. For a first serve you need to toss the ball slightly in front of you. Once you've mastered the ball toss, the next important step is contact. You want to extend your arm as high as you can and make contact at that point. Then you must snap your wrist forward and down. It is also important to keep your head up and watching the ball. And to follow through with your swing.
You want to throw your weight into the ball. The weight comes from your knees. You throw yourself forward. This is what helped me with my game. My serve had always been too weak and easy for players to pounce on. Putting your weight into the body, reallly helps to add the KPH to your serve.
Huubere the underdog in this match played one of her best matches against her FWT Tour doubles partner Ferrer from Great Britain. A wonderful match full of winners and and an unexpected winner at the end. However Australia lost the tie 2-3 and Great Britain will play in next round.
*Betty Barclay Cup - Hamburg Quaterfinals* Regla Torres (Spa) def. Eva Sorrenta (Can) 5-7 7-5 7-6(6)
Torres won a lost match in Germany against Canada's Eva Sorrenta. Both players fought on Centre Court, both players saved setpoints and both players saved several matchpoints. In this grazy match Torres and Sorrenta gave away chances to win this match and at the end Regla was the lucky girl and moved in the semis.
*Statistics:* Match Duration: 2h38min------Surface: clay-----Chair Umpire: Anne Laserre-Ulrich (Fra)
The new tennisstar against the "old" tennishero. The player of the month, Tiffani Eggert defeated world number one Larissa Ferrer in a thrilling match. Belgian's tennisstar did not give up in the final set after a 0-4 trailing against title favourite Ferrer from Great Britain. Both players showed a fantastic performance on the Rothenbaum in Hamburg.
*Statistics:* Match Duration: 1h54min------Surface: clay-----Chair Umpire: Roland Herfel (Ger)
T. Hingis: How did you suddenly do so consistently well at the clay season last year?
J. Wong: Well last year, before the clay season started, I talked to my coach and he said that I was not fulfilling my potential, he changed my game and made me more consistent on the backhand by changing my grip from one handed to two handed. And with every match win, I just got more confident, and confidence is a big part in my game
Is it true that you are planning to retire?
Well, it is true that I am considering retiring. I mean it is just been released that my sponsor withdrew my sponsorship deal, and my financial situation is really bad. I just have to say this, if I will try to do my best to play tennis in FWTT I will do my best to, but if I am to declare bankruptcies, there is no way that I can afford playing on the tour, the bank wouldn?t allow for that.
You seem to have made more than enough money from your clay stint and results after that.Why dont you face it and admit that you are running away from the tour,and your slump?
Well, a good question. I mean first, by all means I don't think I am playing that bad, I won Amelia, and then reached quarters in Berlin last week, but if you compare my result from last year, of course this is really bad. Maybe you are right, I am trying to escape reality, but there are priorities at the moment, first I will try to defend my Roland Garros, I have been training very hard to continue. And after that I will return home and hope I can sort out my financial problem, I will do my best to pay off all the debt, and I will sell all my existing properties.
Please describe your peculiar relationship with Ruflina. Do you hate her to death? Or love her?
Ruflina is my best friend, ever since she asked me through my agent, on whether I would want to play doubles with her around US Open last season. We have been the best of friends. She has been of great support when I was down and when I was attacked. I get on very well with her. I am wondering why you use the word love and hate, I think ?respect? is a much better word
Madonika is suggesting that the "respect" is going to 'great' levels
Well, first of all. I have utmost respect for Madonika in terms for tennis, but sometimes you have to take er comment lightly, she is young and she will learn. Regarding the suspected 'relationship' with Ruflina, all I can do is laugh.I have a boyfriend back home. Just because I kept quiet about it, doesn't mean that I am a homosexual.
Would you be convinced if Ruflina divorced her husband Ilkumbo to be with you?
I know a lot of people would like to see me in such situations. But let me assure them, the chance of that happening is very unlikely like finding water in a desert! Ha ha!
Do you mean to say that you are a staunch homophobic as widely rumored?
I thought I had straightened out this controversy already. I agree I said things I shouldn't have , but I was mad at Angie for blasting me for no reason. So anyway I hope there are no ill feelings among the players whenever I speak now.
Your doubles partnership with and relationship with Ruflina seems to be unequal. After Ruflina's better performance in the latter half of last year, you seem to be nothing more than Ruflina's slave. She does all the work, and laughs at how helpless you are on court Are you a tool to please Ruflina's ego?
I don't think so, I believe that I am contributing to the team, I know that doubles cannot be played by one person only.
Yes it is believed that you just stand on the court, while she does all the playing. After all she needs another player to stand on the court as her partner?
No comment I think the fans and other players know better. I have had success in doubles with other partners before. If I couldn?t play tennis, I wouldn?t be in the top 10.
Finally ,what do you think of Madonika Diva Jahfson?
Madonika just shoots her mouth sometimes but she has never been rude to me in person.
Ok. Thank you Jane, As I sign off, all we can ask you to do I keep dreaming about winning French Open However I believe you ?can? the French Open, many years later. Thanks Jane
Jun 8th, 2002, 03:52 AM
BEHIND THE BASELINE:
Selima Valentine talks for the fist time after her tragic accident in Amelia island
how are you doing now after accident?
Oh, i'm physically fine now, thanx. but mentally it could be much better. there are still nights, when i wake up covered in sweat after a nightmare, crying and trembling all over. i must admit, that the first days after i woke up from coma were much harder, i had many more of these dreams about the accident. i saw and still do sometimes, Lasse and me covered in blood, our bodies without soul, dead but now, it's becoming a little bit better now.
What kind of treatment have undergone?
First of all, I want to thank all the people in the charleston state hospital. the docs, nurses, everyone. without them i wouldn't be here in Hamburg talking to u. they did such a great work. they rescued my left hand and within maybe my career with an emergency operation. I lost a lot bllod, that's also why they set me in artificial coma for 2 ˝ weeks. At the moment i have a personal psychologist with whom I am talking everyday about what happened. He supports me a lot.
Are u comfortable discussing the incident now?
Dan, my psychologist, told me that I have to talk about it as much as I am able to, cause it's much better that depressing or suppressing all memory of something. so i do. i have no problem with it, but cannot say
that I am comfortable with it.
How is your companion? Have you talked with him about what happened?
Lasse is fine, woke up from coma one week before I did and started already playing the tour. this week he's playing in hamburg the masters series, where he will face Marat Safin in the semis. - if i have
talked to him about what happened? - Sure, we're living together. But for him it?s much harder, as he thinks ?I was the driver, it was my fault, why wasn't i able to do anything". But we all know that he wasn't responsible for the horrible crash, where many people died and were injured. We all know tht this stupid truck. H assimilates the incident by playing tennis, more than he did in the past. I prefer talking about it.
what has your family??
Oh, they came just after the accident happened. my mom and dad, my sister luna. that helped me a lot, while i was lying in coma, I understood everything they told me. that was the best thing they could have done, being by my side. also when lasse went out of the hospital treatment, he stayed in charleston and visited me everyday, brought be everyday new baskets of flowers. vanessa stroven, former doubles partner
of mine and one of my best friends, was also there for me. she had to give up her career after her accident in tokyo two years ago. there I was there for her and now she was there for me. she knew through what I was going. jelena, sabine, marteena, ruffy, jane and mary, tiff visited me nearly everyday, while they were playing in charleston, where I was supposed to play as well. I love these girls. But there were also many
other players who showed their support, like lindsay-anne or lari liashenko, towards my family and me. oh I love these girls and cannot wait any longer to see them all on the tour again. I think it's terrible when u see them only on tv. (laugh)
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
[B]I want to become fitter than i was befor and claim my second us open title. I am also commited to play in tashkent and wimbledon, but don't know if i can play. i didn't even started my practise sessions again. It will depend on my conditions and form. we'll see. at the end of the year i will do my a-levels and subscribe at the university in hamburg where I will follow a special study program, so that i will be able to continue
Do you think there was a dramatic change in your life?
Now I live every day as if it would be the last one. I enjoy every minute, every second of my life.
Do you think that this would affect your tennis career or your play?
Do you think you would be able to go back in form?
I had so many up and downs in my career for now and everytime I found my form again. this time it will be the same - hopefully.
What are the things that you have learned from this ordeal? What are the things that now that you would never take for granted again?
Now I know who are my real friends, as there were also many who turned back, didn't even call me... life is a present from god. I pray every day and thank god now, that he gave me a second chance.
Thank you selima.
[B]Your welcome and thank you too.
Jun 8th, 2002, 03:54 AM
We're ready for Grass Stains
*Did you know that in the last 2 years the player who wins Eastbourne has won Wimbledon? ;) --- Alx
Welcome to the Grandslam that everyone wants to win the most. Stepping into center, one dreams of conquering through their 7 given foes and ending up being adored by the duchess of kent and holding up the illustrious Golden Dish.
But then again, playing here are like dreams themselves. It could be pumped-up one where you win every single time you go for it or it could be a really horrendous nightmare that when you hit the ball, it can?t seem to find the court.
And going for it is what its all about. this surface doesn?t reward safe play. It gives dividend when you go all out. a kamikaze attack to the net, pounding the ball down-the-line or serving so beautifully that your coach is crying happy tears.
How would the players go about it playing this wonderful tournament? How could one survive? Would Sabine repeat? Would Ruflina triumph? Would Larissa or Larisa take it?
?Wimbledon is my favourite tournament, I like the people, the strawberries, the originality and of course this special feeling. I think you know what I mean, Wimbledon is important for all tennisplayers. A victory on the Centre Court is a great moment, if you win the last final match, you become a hero. A hero in tennis and you can say "hey man I am proud to be a Wimbledon Champion. Playing on grass is something different. Serve & volley is one of the weapons on this fast surface, but everybody can win on it. I prefer to play serve & volley, I like to play near the net. This year I have to defend my title, this will be tough. I do not think I am the favourite after my worst clay season. Larisa, Ruflina, Paula and Byranne will be the favourites to win this year. But let me tell you something about my Wimbledon history...in 2000 I lost to Ferrer on Centre Court 6-8, but this was one of my best matches on this green grass. Last year my special dream came true. I was seeded 14th, I had nothing to lose and I did not expect anything. My first round match against Spain's Conde-Martinez was tough, I made too many unforced errors but I could win it. Against Brenda [Van Haak] and Krouklikova my service was the winner at the end of this matches. In the semis the thriller started against top player Ferrer. In the final set she was leading 5-2 I believe, I came back, saved several matchpoints and could win it with an ace 15-13 was the final set. This was unbelievable but in the finals Ruffy and I played an awesome match full of winners and nice rallies...I won't forget the matchpoint....my tears dropped down on court. This was fantastic!?
--- Sabine Graf
Wimbledon means a lot to me! That is where I played my first tournament and where I had my first win. It's really nice there! They treated me very well and I remember Me and Monica [Gambill] played a doubles match and lost in three sets, the crowd where always cheering us on. I will be training hard on grass, and playing in the Ordina Open to get some match practice.?
--- Sophia Sabatini
I really like WImbledon, the atmosphere at the tournament. It definitely has a lot of tradition and that is something you can feel when you are playing on any of the courts. The people get involved very well. The rain delays do annoy me a fair bit though, and i think it would be better if the matches started earlier in the day, but i do like the tournament none-the-less. Grass is definitely not my favourite surface. I have a lot of difficulty in adjusting to the quick low bounces. However, last year i did better at Wimbledon then the French or Australian open's so you never know what is going to happen. That is definitely my attitude for this year. I am going in there positive, not letting the surface get to me. I haven't been playing that well lately, so I am going to have to practice a lot on grass this year. Last year, I played tashkent, on hardcourts in between the French and Wimbledon, and i think that was a mistake. This year I'll be playing Birmingham and Eastbourne, and I hope i can get some competitive matches against top players in. I know that my game is not suited perfectly for grass, but i need to remain positive and not try to change my game to suit the surface - that is when you run into problems.?
--- Marteena Huubere
To me wimbledon is the most important grandslam.Even though grass is not my best surface it is the most important to me cos i'm british and it has a long history.This year should be the best wimbledon ever with the depth on the FWT tour at the moment at its highest level ever.Larisa Ferrer doesn't have it all her own way. My main aim for wimbledon is to win a match as my grandslam results have always been poor.I'm going to train hard and change my game slightly so i come into the net more?
--- Monica Gambill
"I am really looking forward to play the tournament and one of my favorite tournaments because grass is more suit to my games. So, my goal is winning Wimbledon this year!"
--- Bryanne Applegate
What is certain though that there bounds to be upsets, there bounds to be giant-killers, there bounds to be exciting moments. So, get out your whites and get ready to go green.
Jun 8th, 2002, 03:55 AM
the FWTT INTERVIEW of the MONTH
let?s delve into the mind of the person who works hard in making this a wonderful tour
Why did you start fwtt?
I started FWTT because I wanted to make a game that was different from all, almost all games before were about the same type. I got the idea when I got a pc tennis game were i wanted to create a new tennis player and not the ones that are already there so I thought on doing a game in the old Sanex WTA message board were people could create their own players. then the scoring of using 100 pts was like came from my brain I don?t know how ;) then things developed by time. in the first event for example points were posted on board but then it was on email. then joshua lemere posted the first ever article and the other players followed it and started to make the game more realistically. i simply run it but everybody has put something to the game to make it better.
When did you start fwtt?
I started the game before the 10th of april i dont remember the exact date. but the 10th of april of 2000 the first ever tournament started in hilton head. there our first champion was canadian Caroline Whitten.
What do you think of the tour now in comparison to two years ago?
It is very different, not everybody who started by that time are still playing in fact only one of the 4 semifinalists of hilton head 2000 is still playing and it is Jane Wong. Also the game has grown much more and things are done different, people post everytime more and more things and create their own ideas. Its great.
Are you still having fun running the game?
Yes, it is really fun, sometimes when I see all the work it?s like oh my God! How can I do this, and sometimes is very hard and boring but when you see all the work you have done is really satisfactory. Its also fun doing the results and thinking how will the champion feel when she sees that she won.
What is the best thing about fwtt?
All is great in FWTT. Especially obviously the players who make an excellent job posting and interacting with the others making the game more fun and great.
I think all the players are nice, even though some think I don?t like them because I don?t reply the emails or private messages. But believe me, I read them but i almost never have time to answer. All are great people and are always trying to go far and far and never stay down, all want to be in the top.
What do you think of controversies from time to time?
Some are great ;) I think that controversies will never end. that is something that will never die in fwtt. some are funny some are bad but hopefully soon those bad controversies can become on funny ones :p
What do you think fo such players such as madonika diva jafhson and
I think both give fwtt a special spice meanwhile they are not hurting any other player. Both are great persons out of the game, with both you can have a really nice chat and is always nice to talk to them. They simply like to be noticed.
Do you think that fwtt will still be successful in a few years time?
I am not sure, there are now lot of games similar than fwtt. But we are going to try to continue there.
What is the most special thing about fwtt?
The most special thing of fwtt is that you can find new friends and meet new people through the game. I have met great people through the game who have become great internet friends and also a very nice way of learning from other people.
Welcome to the first edition of the FWTT Magazine sponsored by my good friend, Lindsay Anne Sarile. Let me introduce myself to all the readers. I am Ruflina Taliamanosoko-Kimjumba from Botswana. I am the current FWTT #2 player in the world and hope to provide a peak into the lives of the top players on tour with my monthly column.
Being the lone mother on the tour, my children attract quiet a bit of attention from the other players. Because of this, I am blessed with many close friends on the tour, particularly Jane Wong. She is my best friend and doubles partner of just about a year. Life has been hard for her lately regarding just about everything. The constant demands of the top player to play week in and week out and perform exceptionally well each week strain the body mentally and physically.
Since Jane and I play all identical events, I totally identify her with her tough schedule. Right now, we are on our sixteenth tournament in a row and next week at Roland Garros, will be our 17th. Many of the younger ranked players think we have the fast life. The endless money and fans and talent, but that is not always the case. Jane recently hit rock bottom. Last year at this time, she was winning countless clay events and padding her ranking to become a part of the FWTT elite. Because of this, she was awarded with numerous sponsorship contracts - as she is the biggest celebrity in her native country of Hong Kong - and all was good. But a few losses here and a few losses there have really hurt Jane.
Her sponsors, dissatisfied with her performance, dropped Jane last week because of poor showing in tournaments. In the meantime, the Asian stock market has become volatile, where most of Jane?s money was invested; thus she has lost a huge chunk of change within the past week.
Because of the sudden turn of events, Jane went back to her hometown in Hong Kong and spent some time with her mother. This is just what Jane needed to revitalize a slumping career. When we met each other in Strasbourg yesterday, I had never seen Jane so happy. She was totally at peace with herself and her performances.
This is one thing most every player must go through - absolute rock bottom. Once you hit there, you can only go up. Jane did this the hard way, but she now realizes that being a successful tennis players is not the only thing in life being a friend is the answer.
Jun 8th, 2002, 03:58 AM
by Jane Wong
Empty seats, how to get rid of them
Hi, I am Jane and welcome to my column, I would like to say a few things before I get to the main topic, I want to thanks Lindsay for arranging this magazine as FWTT has grown exponentially ever since it is started by the great Alx. I also like to thanks everyone who support me on tour ever since I started my career as a tennis player.
Okay let?s get going. I was talking to my sister last week where she is playing a challenger. She was really excited about the whole experience of playing pro events (as she is an easily excited person). The first thing she told me on the phone was like this. Jane, this is amazing you know, I just went to the stadium to watch a match and there are like 10 people there.? ?But when I get to the practice court, I saw Madonika and there are like 100 people lining up to see her play.?
Although I have nothing against Madonika and I think she is great for the game, that make me wonder about a few things. How will the girls feel when they see there are only 10 people watching their play and when a fellow pro attract 10 times as many people in a practice session. But further to the point, this is potentially a very dangerous thing for FWTT as it just shows that FWTT tournaments survive only with star power, without Madonika on that challenger, the attendance will not hit three digit overall, without any top 10 players playing in those event, it will be a disaster. So I want to discuss today a few ways to attract more crowds and generally try to raise the profile of FWTT.
Even if we are not talking about challengers, I play a lot of event this year and most of them are tier 1 and 2 events, I am lucky that my ranking at the moment is high enough that I can afford byes into the second round, but when I get to first round matches to scout my potential opponent I am shocked to find a lot of these seats are empty, even if I play my second round match which on that day would feature the likes of Larisa, Ruflina? generally high profile player, the court is half filled, surely for a tour which is expanding everyday, it is not pretty to see all those empty seats as it just seems like FWTT is a dying sport.
So I have addressed two things now, first is that star power have too much influence on the exposure of that particular tournament and second is that those tournament are very ill-attended early on. What can the FWTT organization do?
Well, I think that if the tournaments in the early rounds are not going to sell half of its ticket, why don?t they put the price into different tier and charge student half price for the early round matches? If those events are going be attended by like 10 people, why don't we give away ticket free and ask local schools to become involve as tennis is a healthy sport?
What the sport need now is to target the right people, students will be quite happily watching those women hitting a ball if the price is right.
Apart from price, there are a lot which can be done, why can't the tour who generate so much profit each year, subsidize low tier events and give them money to promote their tournament locally. A lot of research shows that the return for a well advertise event is much higher than an ill-advertise event although it is done at a much lower budget. Ultimately it comes to the fact that people will like to spend a day watching tennis if they know about it.
Anyway, I get back to my point about maybe giving tickets away for free, tournament don?t get all their money solely from ticket sales. A well attended event will attract potential sponsor in the future and ultimately the tour will be running at a even higher return rate. Surely a good business can see the potential of the tour and knows how to exploit it!
Well that's it for this month, next month I will take a break but I will be back.
Jun 8th, 2002, 03:59 AM
Ferrer takes clean sweep at Charleston
By Sophia Sabatini
World number 1 Larisa Ferrer won both the singles and doubles at the Family Circle Cup, as the FWTT tour celebrated its 3rd birthday.
Two seeds lost in round one. Sabine Graf, the third seed lost to Candela Sanchez-Connelly 1-6 6-3 6-4. Graf started strongly against the on-form Spaniard, but it soon became obvious why Graf does not like clay as Sanchez-Connelly wore down her opponent with consistent hitting from the baseline. Also Eva Sorrenta, the only player to be ranked inside the top ten since the start of FWTT and seeded 6th lost to Adriana Gonzalez from Spain 6-2 7-5. But as the quarterfinalâ??s approached, the seedâ??s fell one-by-one.
The only seeds to survive round two was the top seed Larisa Ferrer who beat Mazuelena Majlana (BUL) 6-3 3-6 7-6(4) in a close battle, where she saved match points and Tiffany Eggert the 8th seed who came back from a disastrous start to beat NI Anabel Conde-Martinez(ESP) 0-6 7-5 6-2. Jane Wong couldnâ??t defend her title as she lost to Karla Herrera 7-6(4) 1-6 6-2.
The Quarter-Finals created more shocks as Eggert lost to de la Courtiere 6-3 6-4 meaning Ferrer as the only seed in the tournament. And the brit Paula Masterton showed some excellent skill in beating Karla Herrera 7-5 5-7 7-6(5).
The semi-finals created twooutstanding matches. The first included world number 1 Larisa Ferrer versus Paula Masterton. Neither like clay but still managed to create a very close match. Ferrer hit back from a 4-1 deficit in the 1st set to beat her compatriot 7-6(4) 7-5. Paula was very happy to have reached the semi-finals ofa tier I event on clay. The other semi was more of a clay court match with dela Courtiere using her experience to beat Gisele Noventz 7-6(6) 6-2. Noventz had had one of her best tournaments beating world number two Taliamanosoko 6-3 1-6 6-4 but the 17 year olds consistency wavered as de la Courtiere moved intothe final.
The final created a classic match. de la Courtiere had already been to two finalâ??s and lost to Ferrer both times. In fact, she had never beaten her before. The first set was very close. Both women hit beautiful shots from the baseline, creating beautiful rallies as Ferrer edged it out 7-6(4). But de la Courtiere hit back. She added more power and guile to her game leaving the top seed looking flatfooted as she took the second set 6-2. But she couldnâ??t maintain the level for very long. de la Courtiere took a 2-0 lead in the final set but she seemed to run out of energy as Ferrer took her second clay court title this year, winning 7-6(4) 2-6 6-2.
Anjelica had only one thing to say, "F**k Larisa Ferrer. I don't know how she wins but she must have sold her soul."
She also announced that she would not be participating in singles after the French Open, a comment she later took back.
In the doubles Ferrer/Huubere def. Conde-Martinez/Vicario7-6(5) 7-6(1). The Spanish team pushed the top seeds a long way, but didn't do enough to win the title.
Jun 8th, 2002, 04:03 AM
Madrid - Znezana PRICA (YUG)
Strasbourg - Larissa FERRER (GBR)
Roland Garros - Jane WONG (HKG)
Tashkent - Eva SORRENTA (CAN)
Birmingham - Monica DE LA CAL (ESP)
'S-Herotgenbosch - Bryanne APPLEGATE (USA)
Eastbourne - Sabine GRAF (GER)
Wimbledon - Sabine GRAF (GER)
FWT TOUR SINGLES RANKINGS
Last entry: Rome
Next off: Madrid/Strasbourg