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LDF
Jun 23rd, 2007, 07:28 PM
Hey everyone :D

So, I went to down to Eastbourne on both Friday and Saturday...here's what happened.

Friday

We arrived in the city at around 10:15, and quickly booked into our hotel and left our cases there. The hotel was literally just across the road from the tennis - very convenient. :p

The first sight when I walked in was a huge poster of Lindsay :hearts: :lol:

Anyway, we walked around the grounds for a while before play began. Almost immediately I walked straight past Maria Kirilenko, who'd finished her practice session and seemed in a bit of a rush, so I didn't stop to ask for an autograph. We watched Amelie Mauresmo practice for a while, with Loic keeping a watchful eye, and also saw Nadia Petrova on the adjacent court. She was being fed a lot of slice BHs in preparation for the match. ;)

Match #1: Henin def Bartoli 6-1 6-3

Justine started off pretty well, hitting several nice BH winners and serving strongly. Marion, on the other hand, seemed a bit nervous and as a result was error-strewn. She couldn't hurt Justine with her groundstrokes, which were dropping a little short at times.

Justine's level fell in the second though; she made noticeably more errors, particularly off the FH. Marion had a chance midway through at 3-2 (15-30 on Justine's serve), but Justine picked it up there, and once Bartoli missed a sitter at 3-3 to give away the break it was all over. Match point showcased Marion's volleying 'skills' :tape:

Match #2: Mauresmo def Petrova 6-4 ret.

This match started off quite promisingly, with both players hitting a number of winners. Nadia played a sloppy game at 2-3 to hand Amelie the advantage. Amelie served horrendously at *5-3 however, throwing in 3 double faults, including one on break point. It all ended very quickly; Nadia's first serve collapsed in the last game, Mauresmo took the set on a net cord, and suddenly Nadia retired. At the time it seemed a bit surprising, but in retrospect we knew that she had a niggling injury. I also saw her sitting down with her coach earlier in the morning and flexing her arm.

Match #3: Molik def Morigami 4-6 6-3 [10-8]

This was the final of the 'Strawberry Tea Cup'. ;) It took place on Court 1, and we were much closer to the players than on Centre. I haven't been to a tennis tournament before, so seeing how low over the net and how hard the pros hit was something I only truly realised these few days. It was a hotly contested match, but Alicia Molik's serve proved to be the difference. She was quite emotional in victory; fell to her knees, kissed the court, etc. I was very happy for her. :D Akiko Morigami played her part - I loved how low she got to each shot. Both players gave me autographs :cool:

The trophy was in the shape of a tea cup, and filled with strawberries and cream :lol:, which Alicia shared out with the ball girls.

Match #4: Peschke/Stubbs def Black/Huber 6-3 2-6 7-6

We missed the first set of this match, which turned out to be pretty entertaining. Cara and Liezel were completely on top in the second set; both were volleying very well. There were plenty of crowd-pleasing rallies, with all four showing off their skills. I'd say that Rennae won it for her and Kveta though - she served to a good standard near the end and imposed herself at the net.

Match #5: Raymond/Stosur def Likhovtseva/Kirilenko 6-2 6-0

This match...sucked. :o Lisa and Sam were in a totally different class to the Russians, who never looked like posing a serious challenge. Kirilenko hit the top of the net a lot with her groundstrokes. Raymond and Stosur played okay, but it was difficult to judge how well they played as they weren't tested at all.

Other Stuff

- I'm sure I heard Elena Dementieva practicing during the Mauresmo-Petrova match. Whenever the court went quiet, I could hear Elena's distinctive grunt in the background :p

- The on-court announcer kept pronouncing 'Amelie' as 'Emily' :o

- After the Molik-Morigami match, I walked past Court 3 or 4 and saw Malena Gordo (ARG) beat Laura Slater (GBR) 10-8 in a champions tiebreak. Laura promptly broke into tears after the handshake :awww:

- [B]Caroline Wozniacki had to retire after losing the first set to Madison Brengle in the girls' final. I didn't see it, so I hope everything's okay with her. :unsure:

- There was no rain, which was a bit of a shock considering the dreary forecast. In fact I managed to get a nice tan ;)

I'm sure I've left out some things - if you want to ask anything, feel free to do so. :)

Farina Elia Fan
Jun 23rd, 2007, 07:40 PM
:yeah:


any bitches or any player who have become a new fav with you?

LDF
Jun 23rd, 2007, 07:42 PM
:yeah:


any bitches or any player who have become a new fav with you?

I interacted more with the players today - you'll see when I post the Saturday report ;)

heytennis
Jun 23rd, 2007, 07:42 PM
Thanks! Very interesting read.

I hope Wozniacki is okay for Wimbledon.

Farina Elia Fan
Jun 23rd, 2007, 07:43 PM
I interacted more with the players today - you'll see when I post the Saturday report ;)


ok :p

CooCooCachoo
Jun 23rd, 2007, 07:43 PM
Thanks! Very interesting read.

I hope Wozniacki is okay for Wimbledon.

She should be. She was at the AELTC today and didn't seem sad or injured.

ElusiveChanteuse
Jun 23rd, 2007, 07:45 PM
nice!:D:yeah:
:lol: at Elena's

The Daviator
Jun 23rd, 2007, 07:53 PM
Nice report :yeah: You were lucky with the final today :p

Tennis-Chick
Jun 23rd, 2007, 07:53 PM
Madi :D Sad for Wozniacki though!.

shrOOf
Jun 23rd, 2007, 08:03 PM
nice! :yeah:

Mileen
Jun 23rd, 2007, 08:27 PM
Thanks for sharing your report! Did you get any autograph later on? Did you take any pictures?

HTE
Jun 23rd, 2007, 10:20 PM
Thx :)

Thanks! Very interesting read.

I hope Wozniacki is okay for Wimbledon.

Caro has some sort of injury to her left arm, she didn't finish the match with Brengle because she feared to make it worse. She is confident that she will be all right to play at Wimbledon :)

rottweily
Jun 23rd, 2007, 10:28 PM
Thx, love to know what you thought about the final.

CrossCourt~Rally
Jun 23rd, 2007, 10:30 PM
Thanks for your report :D :bounce:

Derek.
Jun 23rd, 2007, 10:31 PM
Thanks. :)

Molik celebrated that big? :unsure:

Caro. :hug:

She wouldn't normally lose to Brengle. :o

Vamos.
Jun 23rd, 2007, 10:33 PM
LDF, I would love to hear about the post-match Final speeches if you heard them?

davidmario
Jun 24th, 2007, 01:20 AM
thanks for your report... I'm looking forward to the report of the doubles final...

Alicia Rocks
Jun 24th, 2007, 04:17 AM
Thanks. :)

Molik celebrated that big? :unsure:

Caro. :hug:

She wouldn't normally lose to Brengle. :o

:haha: Well I guess it Alicia was happy to win a 'singles' title no matter how small it was :p

LDF
Jun 24th, 2007, 11:23 AM
Saturday

My aim was to get a signature from all of the finalists (singles and doubles), so we decided to arrive as soon as the gates opened. Sure enough, when I walked over to Centre Court I saw Sam Stosur and Lisa Raymond coming out of West Stand (which is where the players’ lounge is). Sam seemed a little uptight and had her game face on, whereas Lisa was more relaxed and smiley. Anyway, they were both happy to give out autographs before they headed over to practice.

After that we went to the shopping area for a while, though we didn’t actually buy anything. :o I did however get to look at the new K-Factor racquets – they’re great, though I’m fine with my nCode for the moment. :p

Amelie Mauresmo and Justine Henin were out practicing with their coaches now. As I’d watched Amelie the day before, I went over to see Justine. Her backhand looks even more spectacular when you see it up close; it really is an amazing shot. As you’d expect, she was very businesslike during the session. One little boy nearby asked his mum ‘is that [Justine] Sharapova?’ :spit:

Near the end of Justine’s allotted time on the court, Kveta Peschke and Rennae Stubbs came over. I’ll admit, I didn’t recognise who Rennae was at first, but when I saw Kveta I realised who it was :p I got autographs from both, though Kveta was definitely the more welcoming and friendly of the two – and she’s quite attractive in real life ;) She said that she was enjoying her time in Eastbourne and thought that the crowd had been really good all week.

A moment later, Justine finished practicing and everyone got ready to try and nab an autograph off her. I was soooo close, but her guard pushed me out of the way and then said ‘Don’t push!’ – bitch. :o I ran around the crowd and tried to reach Justine when she was just about to head into the building, but the same guard shoved me away again. :rolleyes:

I was a bit annoyed at that point, but I turned around and who do I see walking my way – Amelie! She was also on her way to the players’ block, so I didn’t stop and have a chat with her or anything – just wished her good luck for the match. I may not have got Justine’s autograph, but getting Amelie’s was some consolation :p

There wasn’t too long to go until the singles final, but I stayed around the practice courts to watch Kveta and Rennae for a while. They seem to get on really well – both were smiling and laughing (especially Kveta). They put on some crowd-pleasing rallies at the net for the spectators and did some other volleying drills.

Match #1: Henin def Mauresmo 7-5 6-7(4) 7-6(2)

Justine started off slowly, allowing Amelie to boss the points. However, Amelie’s first serve wasn’t firing, so even at 4-1 (30-30) you felt Justine would mount a comeback. Amelie became a tad passive, hitting numerous shots up the middle in hope that Justine would make another error, but Justine found her range and produced some superb winners to take the last 2 games.

I thought it was all over at 4-2 (30-0) to Justine in the second set, but her level of play suddenly fell whilst Amelie’s rose. Justine lost all rhythm on her serve and began spraying the ball; she completely mis-hit three shots in one game! Amelie saved a GP for Justine at *4-3 with a beautiful drop volley and always looked the more likely to take the tiebreak.

I expected Justine to turn things around straight away, but her dodgy form continued. The turning point was at *2-4, when she played an excellent game, getting practically every first serve in; from then on (despite losing the next game), her confidence returned and she began timing the ball sweetly again. :yeah:

Amelie didn’t choke when serving for the match. If I remember correctly, Justine hit a couple of FH winners and forced an error on another point (not too sure).

The final set tiebreak was somewhat anticlimactic. Amelie hit a couple of awful forehands (including to end the match) and a double fault didn’t help her cause. Justine was very solid and deserved to come through.

Considering the blustery conditions, both women played very well. :bigclap: Amelie let herself down with some poor shot selection at times, and hit a number of routine forehands into the net. Her serve wasn’t as potent as in her previous matches, which was probably due to the swirling wind. Both players had trouble with their ball toss at times. She came up with some beautiful net play and crisp backhands though.

Edit: I sound quite critical there! Overall, it was a match full of great point construction, attacking play, lovely shotmaking and plenty of guile. Both players deserve praise for their performances.

The crowd created a really good atmosphere throughout the match. I’d say that overall more people were rooting for Amelie, but there was always generous applause for both players. I felt out of place sometimes, as I seemed to be the only Justine supporter in my section of the stand :o :lol: There were a couple of girls at the back who kept saying ‘Go Justiiiiiiine!’, especially near the end of the match. Next to us was a woman who, every now and then, would shout ‘Allez Amelie!’ (as many people did). She was a bit annoying, chatting during a lot of the match, and she spilt butter (or something that looked like it) all over her hands and bag :weirdo: :lol:

Justine and Amelie came both commented on the tricky conditions (Justine described them as ‘awful’), and said how they were happy to get some match practice on grass ahead of Wimbledon. Amelie was disappointed to have lost, but said she has to stay positive for next week. She was gracious in defeat, and got a huge cheer from the crowd after her speech. :)

Justine said she was very pleased to defend her title, and that it was important to come to Eastbourne to get used to the surface. She was asked about her chances at Wimbledon; she just said that her main goal at the moment is to focus on her first match and see how it goes from there.

When Sue Barker had finished the interviews, a few people nearby yelled out 'We love you Sue Barker!!'; Sue promptly scurried out of the stadium :lol:

It was a terrific final. :worship:

[Doubles report to come]

Petersmiler
Jun 24th, 2007, 11:32 AM
Were you in the south stand, LDF?

I was in the West Stand and I felt like I was the only Justine fan in that section! There was a young girl behind me shouting for her but the rest were either neutral or shouting for Amelie. I nearly lost my watch cheering for Justine towards the end!

LDF
Jun 24th, 2007, 12:25 PM
Were you in the south stand, LDF?

I was in the West Stand and I felt like I was the only Justine fan in that section! There was a young girl behind me shouting for her but the rest were either neutral or shouting for Amelie. I nearly lost my watch cheering for Justine towards the end!

I was indeed :)

I felt the same as you - I was surrounded by neutrals or Amelie fans :lol:

~Carsten~
Jun 24th, 2007, 12:30 PM
great report! :9
thx for sharing

hablo
Jun 24th, 2007, 02:44 PM
Thanks for the report.
I can't believe the crowd was more pro-Amélie. :lol:
Too bad it had to be so windy but I'm glad both players managed to play
well overall anyway.

rottweily
Jun 24th, 2007, 03:04 PM
Again thanks :D

Highlandman
Jun 24th, 2007, 03:34 PM
Good articles :yeah: Thank you :D

Gallofa
Jun 24th, 2007, 03:56 PM
- After the Molik-Morigami match, I walked past Court 3 or 4 and saw Malena Gordo (ARG) beat Laura Slater (GBR) [both juniors who I hadn't heard of] 10-8 in a champions tiebreak. Laura promptly broke into tears after the handshake :awww:

Poor Slater. That was the match for the last place in the junior event (the 11th and 12th spots, if my memory serves me right), so I guess Laura must had been disappointed to earn last place.

ElusiveChanteuse
Jun 24th, 2007, 04:22 PM
Good stuff!:D
Really enjoyed reading it!:yeah:

LDF
Jun 24th, 2007, 04:28 PM
Match #2: Raymond/Stosur def Peschke/Stubbs 6-7(5) 6-4 6-3

After the long singles final, we needed a break to have something to eat and drink, so we missed the beginning of this match. In fact we lost track of time and didn't catch any of the opening set!

This, like the singles, was a lengthy encounter - a minute shy of two and a half hours. I was impressed by the number of people that had stayed, because it was getting colder and the wind was picking up. Not to mention there were several dark clouds passing overhead and thunder rumbling nearby.

It was a high-quality match, and the players were very expressive throughout. Rennae was particularly emotional, smacking the net with her racquet after one point in which the net was unkind to her and drawing a few 'ooohs' from the crowd. :lol:

Kveta was the better player of her side, winning many points with her huge groundstrokes. She was also adept at the net; there was one game where she hit 4 consecutive volley winners! Rennae was probably the weak link on the court; she let her temper get the better of her in the end (despite Kveta's best efforts to prevent it), culminating in a horrendous final game where she served 3 double faults and framed a volley into the net. :o :help:

There was no doubt that Sam had the best serve of the four, but the standout player was Lisa. She is so good at controlling the points when she gets to the net, and utilised the lob very effectively.

There was a funny moment near the end when someone from the crowd shouted 'Give us a smile, Rennae!' :lol: She did not oblige :p

Lisa also showed frustration, smacking a ball into the air (which landed in the crowd), and pretty much all of them 'dramatically' dropped their racquets to the ground after making errors ;)

It was a fun match to watch, and I'm glad I stayed to see it :yeah:

davidmario
Jun 24th, 2007, 04:38 PM
Saturday

Near the end of Justine’s allotted time on the court, Kveta Peschke and Rennae Stubbs came over. I’ll admit, I didn’t recognise who Rennae was at first, but when I saw Kveta I realised who it was :p I got autographs from both, though Kveta was definitely the more welcoming and friendly of the two – and she’s quite attractive in real life ;) She said that she was enjoying her time in Eastbourne and thought that the crowd had been really good all week.

There wasn’t too long to go until the singles final, but I stayed around the practice courts to watch Kveta and Rennae for a while. They seem to get on really well – both were smiling and laughing (especially Kveta). They put on some crowd-pleasing rallies at the net for the spectators and did some other volleying drills.


:worship: :worship:

but how can you put on rallies at the net? was one at the net and the other one kept bashing the ball at her or how did it work?

When you are writing the doubles report it would be cool if you'd comment on Kveta's flat shots because when she was playing with Schiavone she was mostly at the back and kept just firing flat bombs at the netplayers. I hope that now with Rennae she keeps varying a bit more and comes to the net...:confused:

:wavey:

LDF
Jun 24th, 2007, 04:44 PM
:worship: :worship:

but how can you put on rallies at the net? was one at the net and the other one kept bashing the ball at her or how did it work?

When you are writing the doubles report it would be cool if you'd comment on Kveta's flat shots because when she was playing with Schiavone she was mostly at the back and kept just firing flat bombs at the netplayers. I hope that now with Rennae she keeps varying a bit more and comes to the net...:confused:

:wavey:

No, by rallies at the net I meant that they were both at the net and testing each other's reflexes ;)

But they did also do rallies where one was at the net and one was at the baseline :p

davidmario
Jun 24th, 2007, 04:49 PM
thanks:)

I love Kveta's "huge groundstrokes" :)

Petersmiler
Jun 24th, 2007, 05:31 PM
Shameless link to my report!

http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=304861