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AJZ.
Jul 27th, 2008, 11:15 PM
Saturday, July 26

I met up with CharlDa at the metro station and we went off to the Park. :) We got in, and saw Vania King practicing. She's so cute, she jokes around with her coach and seems like a very likable girl. When she got out, I managed to take a picture with her (thanks to Mag :)) and it's actually a nice photo:

http://img187.imageshack.us/img187/8620/meandvaniapk5.jpg

Unfortunately, I forgot my battery at home and could not take any photos :o So I can't really tell you everything since I don't remember all of it.

What I do remember:
Lepchenko is a really good player! I enjoyed her lefty game - she has nice groundstrokes and a grade A serve! She played against Neha Uberoi who is also very good. But it was all Varvara - she hit winners left and right in the first set and was virtually unstoppable. Neha couldn't do much to counter her top power. I only saw the first set though, so I can't comment on the rest.

Paszek has a really nice game. I saw her practice and her serve is booming (or it seemed to me!) She was wearing a shirt that was very tight and it didn't seem to fit, this struck me as odd? But she is such a nice girl, all smiles and giggles on the practice court.

Schiavone walked around before her practice to go see Ivanovic and Kuznetsova practicing, I think it was. She was with her coach, who looks like a nice fellow.

Black and Karantancheva played a tremendous match. I got there when Sesil was up 5-2 and two breaks, and Black was really good at slicing the backhand and hitting through the forehand to trouble Sesil by changing the pace. She'd also move up on many half-decent balls, which was nice to see, because other players would've retreated to the baseline. But she made so many nice volleys - she's a top volleyer, that's for sure, getting a lot down at her feet and making nice tough shots for her opponent to get back. Cara is so athletic! It's amazing. :)

I also watched Asha Rolle play Valerie Tetreault with CharlDa - thanks for the tickets again if you're reading this!! - which was very good. Rolle has a nice backhand but slices it too often. She's so fun to watch play, she has attitude!! Her serve is fantastic. Valerie played very well, I was really impressed with her game, but I think the rain delays may have been a bit much for her. It was on and off too often for her to keep the momentum. I really, really enjoyed watching this match. Asha and Valerie are two players to watch out for, I think! Angela Haynes was watching this match, cheering Asha on. It was nice to see a sisterhood sort of thing going on!

This is all I can really remember... it's unfortunate I did not have my camera to jog my memory!!!

Ellery
Jul 27th, 2008, 11:20 PM
She was wearing a shirt that was very tight and it didn't seem to fit, this struck me as odd?

:lol:

Great report Matt.

Harju.
Jul 27th, 2008, 11:26 PM
Woah. I love Vania's TEE.

AJZ.
Jul 27th, 2008, 11:59 PM
Sunday, July 27

Today I got there a tad late, but we walked in and watched Savchuk play Larcher de Brito. I don't think Michelle's grunt is quite as bad as people say... I found Sharapova's more unnerving. I actually like her grunt! It's cute. Her game is really good too! She has all the shots, except maybe the net (while I was there, she didn't ever go up). Olga had trouble with the serve today, it wasn't quite going in like she would've liked, and I think that hurt her confidence in the long run. But she made a lot of nice shots, a few good approaches to the net, which was nice to see. She mixed it up, but it wasn't good enough to overcome Larcher de Brito. A good prospect for the future, Michelle is, I was super impressed!

I left after a set, to go wander around and see what was going on. A bunch of people camped out to see a player, so I went around to see quickly and saw Dementieva and assumed it was for her. But Ivanovic was there, and it was more for her! But she had to go to a press conference and didn't sign one autograph. Then everyone left. And Dementieva came out to about 15 people (versus the 100 that were there). It was disappointing because she is top 5, but still, I was glad because it upped my chances of getting a picture! Unfortunately she left before I could get someone to take our picture. :sad: She is absolutely stunning, Elena :hearts:

Aiko Nakamura and Jill Craybas were practicing together. Aiko has such beautiful technique! I really enjoy her two-handed strokes. And Jill was super impressive! She hits a lot harder than I had imagined. She's really got game, it's a wonder to me she hasn't done better for herself. Her serve is quite stronger (at least relatively to Aiko's) than I had thought too. They had fun and played a practice match (which is rare among the women) which was fun to watch. I stayed there quite a while. Craybas left to go practice with someone else (I forget who, I didn't follow) There was quite a crowd around, because Vaidisova, Sharapova and Kuznetsova were all practicing beside. But a lot of people were watching their practice match, it was good quality. Aiko can really smack the ball, and Jill too.

Aiko was so cute! I had been waiting to try and get a picture with her. And it turned out quite a nice picture, but I only figured out after I was on the wrong mode all the time I had taken pictures and it looks smudgy :o Disappointing because she looks so cute! :sad:

http://img367.imageshack.us/my.php?image=meandaikoye1.jpg
Oh well I still like it :hearts:
She's very personable, she signed for a little kid after :awww:

http://img167.imageshack.us/my.php?image=tennis2008022qa1.jpg

I ventured over to see Shahar Peer hit with Tamira Paszek but couldn't really watch them. They seemed to be playing points but I can't tell. They were taking a break and Tamira was standing all alone in a corner, and there was no one watching on her side of the court! So I went up to her with Mag behind me, and said hello, can I take a picture with you? She said sure, and put her arm around me :O I put my arm around her neck and I think it was a nice picture, but I can't tell, I haven't seen it yet!! But she's so cute, I am so excited for her match against Fran! It should be great. She hits a nice clean ball!!

We went over to see Black play Puchkova. It was a good match, they were both playing well - like yesterday, Cara was slicing the backhand, changing the pace, coming into the net, making some very nice fine volleys. Olga seemed to be playing well, but then she lost the set and called for the trainer. She apparently had trouble seeing, maybe dizzy? It was a very weird end to the match, to be honest, and it's unfortunate it ended like that! But I am very glad for Cara, she deserved to win that set.

I went to see Vania King hit with an Unknown blonde. I figured it was Kudryavtseva, because they're good friends and play doubles together, but it really did not resemble her at all. I'm not sure who it was to be honest, she was tall and slim. Normally it's indicated on a board in front of the court who's there, but it wasn't updated - actually, today, that was a real problem. It's a shame it wasn't, because they're not really highlighting their players, if you know what I mean. If it was indicated, people wouldn't remember, but at least it's there... no indication just gives no chance to get these players known. Huber was practicing on the far court, she looks like a nice woman :)

I went back to Banque Nationale court to watch Ayumi Morita (who was nice enough to sign for me this morning between stretches!!) play Varvara Lepchenko. I knew this would be a highlight match for the quallies, and boy did it deliver! Ayumi hits the ball so flat, hard, and close to the net - she reminds me of Bartoli, but not only because of the two-handed-on-both-sides business. Varvara was still playing her amazing tennis from yesterday. Until 4-3 in the first set, it was even, and very nice tennis - the crowd was into it - but then Ayumi hit 7 unforced errors and gave Varvara the first set. I'm not even exaggerating, all into the net. Mentally, it wasn't impressive from Ayumi :S

The second set was very closely contested again, and so many nice rallies! Ayumi winning it 7-5 made me think the third set would be super tight, but Ayumi got what she felt was a bad call during the first point of the match (a ball on the baseline she didn't even hit, sure it was out) And she got rattled by that, I think. She let it slip away when she got two breaks down. But she kept fighting, unfortunately it was too late, too tight a margin to keep it going down 5-0. But the crowd was really into this match, cheering very loudly, lot of clapping, and they really seemed to take to Ayumi's hard-hitting flat game. They even went "oooh" several times when she would smack it right into a corner, thinking it would go out, but it would stay in. I really, enjoyed this match - it wins the honor of "match of the day" by far!

What really impressed me from Ayumi wasn't her game, but her maturity. After the match, she signed for a handful of kids before tailing off in the cart:

http://img291.imageshack.us/my.php?image=tennis2008040eu1.jpg

Varvara was fed up with the crowd, I think. They weren't cheering her on as much as Ayumi. But eh, she played well, she should be glad to be in the MD :)

I then went to see Stevenson play Rolle. This woman was talking to me and I couldn't focus much, but Rolle played a super clean first set. Alex let it get away from her, I think. Then she called the trainer at the end of the second and managed to turn it around, but by then I left to go see Sharapova practice. Again, she comes out and a FLOOD of people are there. It's insane, I've never seen so many, not even for Navratilova or Federer. She signed a bit, but didn't get to me. But that's alright, I didn't expect that at all with such a flood of people..!!!

When I walked back around, I saw Sugiyama from the corner of my eye. I was overjoyed! The court next to her had Zvonareva and they seemed to be the only practices going on, so many people were clustered in the small corridor separating the two courts. When Vera was done training, she sat down and ate fruit. An apple. A peach. to the core! And people were getting fed up of waiting, some even left :tape: which I found absolutely hilarious. When she got out, it was madness, but not Sharapova-level. But still madness! Everyone wanted to get an autograph. I managed to get a picture but she got confused what camera to look into :lol: But it's still a not-so-bad picture:

http://img367.imageshack.us/img367/746/meandveraep5.jpg

She's really tall! And quite a nice woman.

Meanwhile, I watched Sugiyama play. She was hitting that ball a lot harder than I remember :eek: and it was really nice to see. People were like "Who's that? She's hitting really well" The other guy was out of breath, I think! I went picture-crazy :lol: and was really enjoying the practice. She did some volleys, and once they were both at the net and she missed a shot and she had a huge smile on her face as she hit the ball twice into the net. It was so funny, though, because you knew she wasn't angry, but it looked like she was having a fit. :lol: She's always so good-humored in her practice, and jokes around a lot, it's really fun to watch her. After she was finished, a lot of people wanted autographs, and I had trouble finding someone to take the picture. She was on her way to leave when I shouted "Ai, Ai, you're like my hero, please take a picture with me?" And she turned around and smiled and said sure. But I was leaning against the fence, and I wasn't really comfortable - not to mention NERVOUS - and the picture turned out so-so. I think I'm going to go back and tell her "Can we try it again?" But it's unfortunate, because she's so cute on it, :awww:

http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/3931/meandaily5.jpg

We high-tailed outta there, because it was going to rain. But intend to return tomorrow, energized!:) It was so much fun!!!

LudwigDvorak
Jul 28th, 2008, 12:09 AM
I don't want to be creepy, but wow you are really really really cute. :lol: Vania has a great t-shirt there. I want it!

Otherwise, fabulous reports! Better than my Charleston ones. :lol: I'm so glad you got to meet Sugi, that HAD to be one of your main objectives. Plus pictures too? :yeah: You are very lucky.

I'm glad to see Elena is there...

AJZ.
Jul 28th, 2008, 12:22 AM
It was my main objective :lol: I would've been very disappointed had she not come. I saw her two years ago, but I was too shy to ask for a picture :sad: It was my birthday wish to get one :lol: But I'm going to try for another one. I am so glad she is here :D I can't wait to watch her play (hopefully not on CC!)
Thanks for the compliment, it's not creepy. :lol:

I am sooo lucky, yes :) I hope to see Elena again!!

CrossCourt~Rally
Jul 28th, 2008, 12:26 AM
Thanks for the pics and match/practice reports! I forgot my cameras data disc last year when i went to the US Open, so i know how u feel :lol:.

Are you going again tomorow ?? :D...:wavey:

tucker1989
Jul 28th, 2008, 12:30 AM
Awesome reports! It seems like you are having a great time! Did you see Jamea at all? I'd be really interested to see how she is doing

CrossCourt~Rally
Jul 28th, 2008, 12:32 AM
Awesome reports! It seems like you are having a great time! Did you see Jamea at all? I'd be really interested to see how she is doing

Yeah, i would LOVE to know what was going on in the Jam Jam vs Lilia match :lol:. It was sooooo up and down for both players :eek:

AJZ.
Jul 28th, 2008, 12:40 AM
I didn't watch, because I didn't have CC access! ( I won't have access all week, except Wednesday :sad: But that's okay!) I am going till Friday :)
I didn't see Jamea at all, unfortunately, because I was watching other stuff at the time :S :sad: I wish I had seen her play Osterloh or Haynes though, they both looked like good matches.

tucker1989
Jul 28th, 2008, 01:26 AM
I didn't watch, because I didn't have CC access! ( I won't have access all week, except Wednesday :sad: But that's okay!) I am going till Friday :)
I didn't see Jamea at all, unfortunately, because I was watching other stuff at the time :S :sad: I wish I had seen her play Osterloh or Haynes though, they both looked like good matches.

Too bad, hopefully you can catch her against Azarenka, though :)

CrossCourt~Rally
Jul 28th, 2008, 01:34 AM
Too bad, hopefully you can catch her against Azarenka, though :)

I'm pretty sure TennisfanMTL watched it. He is a big Lilia fan. So, i would check her thread later tonight or tomorow:D...:wavey:

gardengnome3
Jul 28th, 2008, 01:47 AM
So I went up to her with Mag behind me, and said hello, can I take a picture with you? She said sure, and put her arm around me :O I put my arm around her neck and I think it was a nice picture, but I can't tell, I haven't seen it yet!!


http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k159/gardengnome3/mattjour2.jpg

CrossCourt~Rally
Jul 28th, 2008, 01:55 AM
So cute, you 2 have matching smiles :D:D

AJZ.
Jul 28th, 2008, 02:30 AM
Merci beaucoup Mag! :worship:
It's a super nice photo :hearts:

aceman
Jul 28th, 2008, 03:11 AM
Merci beaucoup Mag! :worship:
It's a super nice photo :hearts:

The player practicing with king was Govortsova ;)

*Jean*
Jul 28th, 2008, 06:36 AM
The reporters are hot, that's a good point :)

RND
Jul 28th, 2008, 07:05 AM
I didn't watch, because I didn't have CC access! ( I won't have access all week, except Wednesday :sad: But that's okay!) I am going till Friday :)
I didn't see Jamea at all, unfortunately, because I was watching other stuff at the time :S :sad: I wish I had seen her play Osterloh or Haynes though, they both looked like good matches.
Bad news then. :sad: Because I would guess YJ's first two matches would be on nowhere but the certre court. :(

Good you saw Ai and left that picture,Ai's so cute. :hearts:

Have a great week!

AJZ.
Jul 28th, 2008, 12:22 PM
Thanks YJFan, I will!! I am going to try my best to sneak into CC though to see YJ and the Woz, but it's unlikely. Doubles, hopefully! :sad:

Oh, it was Govortsova :eek: I have trouble identifying players sometimes!:)

stefi62
Jul 28th, 2008, 12:26 PM
Thanks a lot for these reports! Especially those on Cara's matches! Have fun there!

-sugi-
Jul 28th, 2008, 12:51 PM
Thank you Matt!

Good to hear Ayumi is more fan friendly since I met her last year :)

FORZA SARITA
Jul 28th, 2008, 01:28 PM
very nice reports and pics:eek::yeah: have fun:wavey:

¤CharlDa¤
Jul 28th, 2008, 02:26 PM
Matt :worship:

I have like no time whatsoever to do reports this year. Maybe at the end of the tourney.

AJZ.
Jul 29th, 2008, 01:35 AM
Monday, July 28

Today we got there super early and sat in the car waiting for them to let us into the grounds :lol: Then we got out and made our way to the grounds.

King was practicing with fellow doubles partner Kudryavtseva. They were laughing, making jokes, it was really nice to see :)

In the distance I could hear grunting, and I thought to myself it must be Larcher de Brito getting ready as well :lol: It struck me as funny that Vania could hear the opposition. But alas it was not Michelle but rather Victoria Azarenka! She was hitting a forehand down the line and cross court and let me tell you - the girl can PAINT those lines! She hit 12 super nice shots and then missed one and had a mini-fit - her coach yelled at her "Hey, you missed one, that's ALRIGHT!" It was quite funny. Across from them was Alisa Kleybanova who is quite tall and looked as I expected her to. She was hitting well but I was more watching Azarenka to be honest.

Then players arrived to switch around, and it was mania! Kuznetsova was hitting with Dementieva and Bammer with Keothavong - Sybille has one hot husband if that was him!! The five of them (Victoria included) were chatting across the way but I couldn't quite get what they were saying. I chased down Victoria (ala Matt LOL) and took a picture with her:

http://img294.imageshack.us/img294/4306/meandvikazq0.jpg

I then decided it was time to go see a match! So I went to see Cibulkova play Vesnina. I was quite excited to see Vesnina again! Their games are both so good - they both keep their balls super low close to the net. Elena just made way too many errors. She'd get a few nice shots in the corners and then miss the next one. It was unfortunate, because up to 4-1 in the first set it was rather tight, but then in her next service game she served two doubles and it went downhill from there. But up to then it was a high quality affair. I left after the first set because I wanted to see if I could track down some more players.

I'm not quite sure what happened after, I am lost in memory. But I think I saw Anne leaving the practice court with Tuo. And somewhere here I saw Paszek practicing on a court and she was going to pick a ball and I was just kind of watching and she saw me and made a hand gesture. I waved back and said hello, and wished her luck. She's really cute! Simply adorable this girl.

I went back only to find Cibulkova had wrapped Vesnina up. She was coming off the court and I wanted a photo with her, but the man didn't click the button so the photo wasn't taken :o. Vesnina looked out of sorts leaving, understandably...

I know I'm missing part of my day - I'm so terrible, as this may have been before the Cibulkova picture thing - but the next part I remember is being at the practice court, where Sugiyama and Petrova were hitting together. It was really intense rallying. I enjoyed watching it, it was really nice!

I saw a bit of Rezai and Razzano - like the first set. Rezai seemed to make good shots and then just miss an easier shot in the rally, it was frustrating for her out there today, I think. Dave can attest to this! :lol:

I went back to see Sugiyama again towards the end of her practice and asked her for another photo. She said "Sure, okay" and then I thought I saw a look on her face so I said "I know we took one yesterday, but I looked terrible on it" and she laughed smiled and said alright. It turned out a lot better, this time around :D

http://img157.imageshack.us/img157/1262/meandai2ku7.jpg
(Look at that! We match again :worship:)

Then Vania King was playing Michelle Larcher de Brito. I got there after Vania wiped the floor with Michelle in the first set. Vania played well at the beginning of the second, hitting some nice shots to get up *2-1, but then the wheels fell off - she'd miss putaways, or she'd make some wonderful shots but miss a relatively easy shot thereafter. It was frustrating for her out there. She got a rain delay down 2-4* in the second, and when she came back (equipped with a new shirt) it wasn't all that better. I felt sorry for her because the crowd was pulling for Michelle more (I guess they liked the grunt) so me and Tuo were yelling like mad for her. A man even asked me why I was yelling for her. I said "Well, she added me on facebook, and she's a nice girl!" :lol: It was unfortunate though, she had to hit a really nice shot to get a clap from the crowd, whereas Michelle got a Vania UE and yelled c'mon and the crowd went along with it :o

After the match, I saw her in the cart and yelled out "You played well, Vania!" and she halfsmiled and looked out in the distance. Poor girl, I hope they can do well in doubles against Kuznetsova and Safina.

By the time that was over, Black had already been disposed of by Rodionova. So I didn't see any of that match which was one I wanted to see!

Snippet - I saw Aiko Nakamura walk to the player's lounge during the rain delay and she looked positively crushed. I wish she could get her game together - she has all the strokes for sure!

I saw the start of Sanchez vs. Tanasugarn and I was surprised by Sanchez, she can play some solid baseline tennis. But Tanasugarn keeps the ball so deep and penetrating, it was hard for her to handle in the first games (I left quite early.)

I went to see instead Paszek and Schiavone thanks to Tuo. I was really digging this match except for the rain delays. The crowd was so subdued though, unfortunately. There was a funny moment in the second where there was thunder, but there was no rain and there was sun. Paszek or Schiavone stopped play and talked with Lynn Welsh like "I can't play in the thunder!" It was quite entertaining. When they kept on until the rain came, the crowd was very pleased and got into it! (For five points. :P)

After the 7-6 0-3 rain delay, I got sick of it and decided to return home. Have to rest for tomorrow's huge day!! :)

CrossCourt~Rally
Jul 29th, 2008, 01:48 AM
Thanks Matt! Another awesome write up!:D Have fun tomorow :D...:wavey:

AJZ.
Jul 29th, 2008, 01:52 AM
I will :D Two Ai matches :D And many players ~ including Flavia :D

I'm going to print out pictures of me with players to get them to sign :)

CrossCourt~Rally
Jul 29th, 2008, 01:54 AM
I will :D Two Ai matches :D And many players ~ including Flavia :D

I'm going to print out pictures of me with players to get them to sign :)

Thats a great idea! Just make sure Charlie does not get ahold of them or he may try and sell them on Ebay! :lol::lol::lol: J/K!! :p

Have fun! :bounce:...:wavey:

AJZ.
Jul 29th, 2008, 01:55 AM
Thanks :)

Fililander
Jul 29th, 2008, 02:42 AM
Thanks for the report about Vera Z. :bowdown:

Maybe you can catch her again in the next days for a better photo;). :wavey:

-sugi-
Jul 29th, 2008, 10:03 AM
Thanks Matt! :bounce:

Poor Aiko :hug:.

By the way, have you seen Ai's mum yet? :inlove:

akephon35695
Jul 29th, 2008, 11:43 AM
Great report and hope u have a nice week at the rest of the tournament.Could you take some photo of tammy if you see her around?

AJZ.
Jul 29th, 2008, 12:42 PM
I'll try to take some of Tammy :)
Yes I saw Ai's mom :lol: She's so cute. I took a small video of her showing Ai how to swing her hips during her service motion, it's sooo funny. I hope I took it correctly Adam :lol:

FORZA SARITA
Jul 29th, 2008, 12:49 PM
another excellent report:yeah:
i want one also for Flavia's match:angel:

lover_of_myskina
Jul 29th, 2008, 12:55 PM
Great report Matt !!! :bounce::worship:
I like your pix with Vika :hearts:

Andiyan
Jul 29th, 2008, 04:49 PM
Bepa looks great on your picture! :)

Thanks for the reports! :yeah:

JujulCactus
Jul 29th, 2008, 06:57 PM
Great report
Pleasant to read :yeah:
Aiko!!!!!!!!! :D

sharapovarulz1
Jul 29th, 2008, 09:25 PM
Fantastic reports Matt :D So grateful for them! Jealous you got a picture with Victoria I love her! Hope you are having a fab time :D

HAOCHEN-GOAT
Jul 29th, 2008, 10:29 PM
I had a great time reading the reports! Very nice, and awesome pics too! So happy to see u with Ai :yeah: Enjoy the rest of days :D :bounce:

Ellery
Jul 29th, 2008, 10:41 PM
It turned out a lot better, this time around

That's cause I am an awesome photographer.







No I am not :tape: You got lucky this time.

AJZ.
Jul 30th, 2008, 02:58 AM
Tuesday July 29

I got there and watched Black and Huber practicing. It's fun to watch them! They were playing with two men and another watching, doing doubles drills. It's super impressive to watch them play doubles, it's crazy. Liezel hit the man once and laughed saying "Hope I don't hit you three times like yesterday!!!" Liezel is sweet, encouraging Cara when she hits nice shots ("Nice serve" was said a lot today). But one funny incident was when they played points - Cara and a man vs. Liezel and a man. They play a long point, Liezel receiving Cara's serve, and it ends with the man getting a 'lucky' shot, say. Liezel turned around and muttered loud enough only for me to hear "the serve was out anyways". Like what? But she was all smiles and giggles, it was fun!

At 11, I walked in to center court for the match - Sugiyama/Vaidisova. It was good tennis, I thought - it's a lot more impressive in person, I guess. Sure, Vaidisova gave a lot of gifts to Sugiyama, but Ai had all her game on today except for her serve. She had difficulty with it, that's for sure - but the rest was on. Nicole just had trouble with the extra shot Ai would get back. But I was thoroughly entertained (as one might imagine - I'm always entertained by Ai) and really really enjoyed the whole two hours. When she won, she yelled a 'C'mon' that was really endearing. It was nice to witness her big win :)

I left the stadium to go see Mattek play Domachowska. Marta was on fire! Bethanie wasn't at her best, I don't think - but Marta was teeing off on her shots a lot. It was entertaining in the second set, I found! Poor Beth, though, she looked out of sorts and disappointed. (But hey, she has a hot coach! Sorry. I just had to say it.) Her outfit wasn't outrageous either - it was a Wimbledon style tame outfit for Beth's standards. I hope her doubles matches brings along with it a cowboy hat and pink zebra stripes.

I left to go see a bit of Craybas and Fichman. Sharon wasn't playing bad, and Jill played consistent, but again I was only there for a tiny shred. Then I made the mistake of going back to see Dubois play doubles. But by then the court had filled up to maximum capacity :o and it was hard to find a seat. Dubois served well, and Lisicki played some super tennis, unfortunately Karantancheva and Uberoi were never truly in the match. The crowd was also highly favoring the Canadian. But it was nice to watch until I was suffocating and had to leave! :o :p

I went on the court right beside to see Stevenson/Keothavong vs. O'Brien/Scheepers. This court sucks :o as it has no chairs, no stands, nothing, just a walkway. It's right beside the big stands for Court 9, so you can sit there and look down but you can't clap because you disturb play on Court 9. And people can come and go as they please. Anyways, it sucks. Moving on, Katie and Chanelle were all over it in the first. It was dominant! This girl was cheering them on, I figured it was Mel South but I'm not sure, she was speaking german. It was 5-1 and she was still yelling come on at 15-0 for them.

Then something changed, I don't know. Stevenson served better, Anne played better, the duo was working better together. They came back! Alex even served a serve out wide that totally hit me on the sternum. I think I may bruise up now! LOL. I had a few minutes where I was short of breath haha. After this we went up on the Court 9 stands as Dubois was finished.
I left briefly to go see Dinara Safina practice. As I (more or less) expected, she didn't sign for anyone! But that's alright - it's understandable. Vesnina came out and signed for a few people and took a picture with me :) She's really pretty, and so sweet. :) It turned out nice, I think! (Merci Mag! :kiss:)

We rushed back to watch the match tiebreaker, and it was a thriller, really. I felt terrible for Chanelle & Katie, but you know, Anne and Alex totally deserved it. Dave told me Stevenson's mom went over to Chanelle and Katie and said "Nice try ladies" :haha: I posed Alex and Anne and they looked totally thrilled :)

Then out come Ayumi Morita, Ai Sugiyama, Aiko Nakamura and Alina Jidkova ready to play. I was shocked they put this on the horrible court again but oh well :o what can you do? Ayumi was nervous in the first, missing a few shots, and Ai was solid as always. Aiko and Alina had their chances, a few missed deuce points that screwed them. I felt terrible for Aiko and Alina, you could see they were shaken up after the loss - I heard Alina say her return just went totally off, and that the chances in the first set were in her head. They looked sad - but who can blame them? Two first round exits for Aiko and a qually exit for Alina... During the match, Alina missed a really easy smash and swiped the court violently twice. She turned around to talk to Aiko and said "Sorry, I don't know what got into me" and giggled. It was so cute!!

Ai and Ayumi seemed really pleased with the win. They played very well ;):) If they can keep this up, they could go far! I think if Ayumi is on, this team is on - she's streaky with her groundstrokes I find. Ai signed the picture of me and her :) I had it printed it out largely. I told her "this time, the picture turned out nice!!" She laughed and said "It sure did" :) She's so sweet, that lady!!

We then saw Virginie Razzano play Vera Zvonareva. It was a really, really good match - Virginie, at the start, had winners coming left and right, and so did Vera. But then Virginie hit a stale patch for the second set and the beginning of the third - complaining about the sun and such. But then she got on a hot streak, hit a thousand winners and got it to a tiebreaker magically. The crowd was really into it, cheering loudly and all. We sat behind Virginie's coach and were cheering Vera on when she got down in the tiebreaker after her doubles. The poor girl threw her visor at her chair and began to cry as she walked off the court. Virginie was, of course, radiant. Both extremes. I felt sorry for Vera, though, really sorry.

I saw Yung-Jan Chan running on a practice court sometime here, I was glad to see her:)

I saw the end of Tetreault/Gloria vs. Czink/Savchuk. It was actually really good! Gloria missed a volley at 8-8 that would have given them match point, and it's unfortunate, but they did well getting so close to victory. Props to the Canadian chicas :)

Looking forward to another fun-filled day tomorrow. :)

¤CharlDa¤
Jul 30th, 2008, 03:06 AM
Val and Mel :sad: Too bad they couldn't make it.

MH0861
Jul 30th, 2008, 03:12 AM
Samantha Stevenson :haha: :spit:

Love your reports :D

Bubba08
Jul 30th, 2008, 03:26 AM
Great report indeed. :p
We so were at the same places. :lol:

oaki
Jul 30th, 2008, 11:20 AM
Nice report as usual! Matt, I would have asked Ai for a photo everyday if I was there!!! great to hear that Ai played well. I hope she will go far in this tour, at least, going pass Peer!!

Ellery
Jul 30th, 2008, 11:50 AM
Virginie :hearts:

sharapovarulz1
Jul 30th, 2008, 12:07 PM
Matt I love your reports :D Thanks! x

AJZ.
Jul 30th, 2008, 12:26 PM
:lol: What do you look like Bubba?
I'm the guy who constantly claps alone :lol: Today I'm wearing a black Calvin Klein shirt.

I also hope Ai can go far, oaki! I'm going to cheer my butt off for her against Shahar today. Hope she takes it to her :armed:

:bounce:

AJZ.
Jul 30th, 2008, 12:29 PM
I forgot to mention: On my way home, in my car, I passed an official Roger's Cup vehicule, and it had Elena Vesnina in it. I wanted to take a picture but I didn't want to look like a paparazzo :lol:

RND
Jul 30th, 2008, 12:43 PM
Love the Huber part. :lol:

Great report as always. :yeah: But quite a pity you couldn't go to Chan/Wozniak for me.Some of the posters said in GM she was sick badly,playing in pain.She gave all she could do,unfortunately only one could walk away with it. :sad:

JujulCactus
Jul 30th, 2008, 01:01 PM
Thanks so so so much for your great report !!! :D
Two first round exit ...
Aiko :hug:

jamatthews
Jul 30th, 2008, 07:53 PM
Tuesday July 29

I posed Alex and Anne and they looked totally thrilled :)


We need to see this picture. :angel::drool::p

AJZ.
Jul 31st, 2008, 03:16 AM
Wednesday, July 30

We got there early again this morning. (It's really working on me, I'm faint right now!)

I watched Nadia Petrova practice. I love watching her strokes! People call them unorthodox, but I find her game really nice to watch :hearts: Her practice partner was absolutely adorable, by the way. Across the way, Tamarine Tanasugarn was practicing with a young blonde boy that she apparently didn't know. I think he's from around here, because she asked him if the Roger's Cup site was a university or something - he said no, it's not. She asked for his name at the end of the practice! :lol: Jill Craybas arrived to practice with her coach, and they had to wait on Tammy, because Tammy hadn't planned her time right. Tammy was super nice to the kid she was practicing with, shaking his hand and all. Jill's coach said to Tammy "Hey, you owe us two minutes, I'll cash them in sometime!" :haha: And then Jill and Tammy started to sing happy birthday to the coach, it was his birthday today :lol:

I got a picture with Nadia Petrova, and I put my arm around her which provoked her to bend down a bit. I guess I'm not that tall!! She looks unhappy on the picture though. I think she saw me watching Tammy practice. I also got a picture with Tammy, who was adorable. She's so cute when she talks and in the manner she acts!

I watched the start of Safina/Rodionova. It took only a few games for Anastasia to get into a fit. She looked flabbergasted that one of her serves was called out and went on about it for four points. It was like a constant dialog between her and the umpire. It was quite entertaining, really - it's not like she plays badly, she has a booming game, but mentally it's very very weak. Safina was just on top of this one.

I went to see Paszek practice; and she was sweet. She saw me with a pen and walked over (:lol: I must annoy them) and she signed the photo of us. She said it was a really nice photo :) (Cheesy as this will sound, I had an extra, smaller copy of it, which I gave her, and she probably threw it out, but I would've too, so whatever :lol:) She smiled and walked away.

I watched a bit of Azarenka/Bammer and Victoria was just way too on top. I saw her warm-up long before the match and she signed the photo of us too :) Azarenka didn't miss much, it really wasn't Bammer's fault but more Azarenka being on top of it all.

Then it was time for Sugiyama/Peer. There were a lot of Peer fans in the crowd, but not much to cheer on. Peer made a lot of errors, but really, the rallies were long. The extra ball was too much for her, I think, oddly enough. She doesn't have a grip on her game right now, she yelled out a lot in frustration. That being said, Ai made nearly no errors, was really on top of the situation, apart from the double faults. She shouted out c'mon when she won, you can tell she's pleased with her performance :) She signed this old art project I had done of her, I had to draw a woman and chose to draw her :lol: It's so ugly, but she found it cute, she smiled as she signed my less-than-masterpiece drawing. :lol:

I moved onto De Brito/Pennetta. Pennetta totally took control after the first set (which I did not see) crushing Michelle. but then Michelle fought back, it was odd - and Flavia looked out of sorts suddenly (maybe tired?) yelling out a lot. Not feeling it, you know? She left the court in a giffy, maybe embarrassed, jumping over the fence and all. Michelle was of course super glad, the crowd was really for her. I felt bad for Flavia though.

I rushed off to watch doubles then :D - King/Kudryavtseva vs. Safina/Kuznetsova. This was really great, in my opinion. Vania and Alla were definitely the underdogs - but they fought hard! At one point, the ball was called in but Alla thought it was out (it was definitely in though) and she said "Hey, you, what the hell, it's not even sunny" :haha: But her & Vania are an excellent team, they communicate well and are very positive on court, tapping hands a lot. Safina and Kuznetsova barely talked, and didn't tap at all - or rather, Sveta wanted to tap but Safina didn't! Once, Dinara missed a volley which cost them the game, so she walked to her chair angrily, and Svetlana was there with the hand out and then retreated her hand. It was so comical! Polar opposite teams.
When Vania and Alla won, they dropped their rackets and raised their arms up in the air. You could tell it was a big win for them (even if they were seeded), they were overjoyed and radiant. The others not so much. Vania signed our photo and looked so glad :)

At the same time, I could watch snippets of Vesnina/Zvonareva vs. Adamzak/South. The rallies were really good, that's all I can say. At one point the ball came up on my stand and I had to give it back but I didn't know where to give it to :lol: and Elena said "Hey, over here" It was cute :lol:

I watched the end of Dubois on the big screen, and then went to see the start of Black/Huber vs. Dekmeijere/Haynes. After losing set points, Liga and Angela weren't the same - Liga isn't intense enough, hate to say it. She misses a lot of easy putaway shots (or at least she did post-set points) and I just really felt bad for them.

I left at the start of the second to see Ivanovic and Kvitova with my sister (who only came today, it was the only game she saw). It was good, but I was rather distracted, with my sister, it was so funny :lol: Everyone had left the stadium post-Dubois though. And I also saw the start of Pennetta/Kirilenko vs. Osterloh/Lepchenko but left to go home, I was exhausted, I don't know why. Didn't eat enough. But Flavia really makes that team, she is just amazing at the net. I am surprised she doesn't play more regular doubles.

Oh and somewhere here I got a photo with Black and Huber. :lol: I had to catch Liezel, she was running from the court. I asked Cara and she said "Well, go get her, she's way over there" it was pretty funny!

Anxious for tomorrow. :) Hope Maria doesn't withdraw...

zestyswans
Jul 31st, 2008, 06:55 AM
Matt your recaps are a good read :)

Keep 'em coming!

ViennaCalling
Jul 31st, 2008, 07:05 AM
Thanks for your report :yeah:

Tamira seems to be a really nice, down-to-earth girl :hearts:

AJZ.
Aug 3rd, 2008, 05:36 AM
Thursday, July 31

(I forget when I don't write immediately...)
We saw Anne/Alex play Elena/Vera, and it was really close, a lot of 40-40 points - it was too bad they lost it. Alex's mom took a chair away from a volunteer to go sit closer to the ground :lol: but she did say thank you!

We saw the end of De Brito & Kuznetsova. It was so tight, the crowd was really into it, great atmosphere. :) Also saw Safina/Schnyder, and Patty was just never in this match at all. She couldn't deal with Dinara's hard-hitting game. It was sad it wasn't closer.

Dubois/Jankovic had a great atmosphere, it was really great, but I left midway to see Ai/Ayumi play against Vania/Alla (all players I adore!) At the start, it was really all Vania/Alla, and Ai self-imploding. I think she was tired, because she wasn't as good as she normally is - lots of errors, not making great plays at net at all. She got angry for the first time I've ever seen her! She hit against the 'wall' of the court with her racket. She wasn't pleased with herself at all. Apart from this though, she was still quite positive. Vania and Alla just kept calm, and kept into it.

In the second, something changed. Ayumi raised her level a bit, and Ai kept positive and got through. Eventually her level raised, and when it did it was hard for Vania and Alla to stay with them. Vania is just great at doubles, and Alla is too - but Ai and Ayumi just raised above them in that match. In the match tiebreak, down 3-6, Alla hit a shot that may have been a winner (it was on the other side of where we sat) and it was called out. But it was weird, Ai raised her hand to point to out and then the call came? Alla bitched to the umpire, but Ai said there was a mark (that I think she saw later). Then Alla really lost it, and it was over. She did shake the umpire's hand, though!

Then we saw Steph/Sabine play Eva/Vladimira. The energy was great in the crowd, but I really did feel bad for Eva and Vladka who choked it away. You can tell Vladka has trouble making both ends meet on tour, the wages aren't enough for a doubles specialist like her. It was an excellent doubles match though, Sabine was just wonderful and Steph was very good as well.

I also got the joy to see Paszek dethrone Ana Ivanovic - at least for the final set. I kept screaming Go Paszek! And people around would retort with go Ana!'s and I would come back with a go Paszek. The guys behind me didn't like me :lol: Also got to see Victoria and Virginie, but when they let us go down to the bottom level (which is AWESOME by the way) Virginie retired :o

Friday, August 1

The best doubles match I got to see all week was definitely Ayumi/Ai vs. Kveta/Rennae. It was so tight! Admittedly both teams went through terrible patches, and while I was sad Ai/Ayumi choked so much, it was very entertaining doubles. Ayumi actually played better than Ai in the second, I think Ai was quite tired from the past month. She won very few of her service games :o Ayumi was on fire, she really knows how to play the deuce court well, her forehand just stays so crosscourt it's amazing!
A woman went to sit beside Ai's mom and chatted her up. It was so cute but I was jealous :o I would never have the nerve! But Fusako looked so cute, what a wonderful woman :) The woman who sat beside her was an obvious Ai fan, shouting a lot for Ai :)