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andrewbroad
Aug 11th, 2008, 06:19 AM
==========================
BEIJING 2008 OLYMPIC GAMES (Beijing, China; hard (Decoturf II))
========================== http://www.itftennis.com/olympics/
Contents
--------

1. UK TV-alert
2. Opening ceremony
3. First-round draw
4. Lucie Šafářová preview
5. Women's Doubles: First-round draw
6. Order of play for Monday

--------------
1. UK TV-alert
--------------

On Monday and Tuesday, the tennis will be played in two sessions each day, the start-times as follows:
* 10:30 China-time = 02:30 GMT = 03:30 BST
* 17:00 China-time = 09:00 GMT = 10:00 BST

The following information applies to viewers with access to BBC 1, BBC 2, and Freeview BBCi:

These days will be televised by the BBC as follows (start-times in BST):
* Monday 05:00 (Freeview Red button), 14:00 (BBC 1)
* Tuesday 03:30 (Freeview Red button), 12:00 (Freeview 301)

"Freeview Red button" refers to Freeview-channel 81, but timer-recorders beware: if you just tune into it without pressing the Red button, you'll get a screen saying "BBC Parliament has been suspended... press RED" (I have written to the BBC to complain about this).

From Wednesday to the second Sunday, the tennis will be played in one session each day:
* 16:00 China-time = 08:00 GMT = 09:00 BST)

These days will be televised by the BBC as follows (start-times in BST):
* Wednesday 09:00 (Freeview 302), 17:15 (BBC 2)
* Thursday 13:45 (BBC 1)
* Friday 09:30 (Freeview 301)
* Saturday/Sunday: information not yet available

I do not guarantee that the above information is up to date; it may change dynamically and without notice - especially the BBCi schedule. The following web-page gives details of the BBC's tennis-coverage a day ahead (Freeview, satellite, cable and online):
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/olympics/tennis/default.stm

Freeview-viewers should also keep up to date with the "Interactive TV schedule" (press Red, then Select, then Blue, then select "BBC Sport Listings" from the menu).

-------------------
2. Opening ceremony (The Bird's Nest, Friday 8th August)
-------------------

I watched the whole ceremony on BBC 1.

After a magnificent, atmospheric and selective portrayal of China's history that lasted an hour, the opening ceremony got to the bit I really love: the parade of athletes marching through the stadium, country by country - I always have fun trying to spot all the tennis-players.

The order of the countries was unpredictable to me: presumably Chinese alphabetical order. Greece came out first (presumably because it hosted the last Olympics), followed by the countries beginning with 'T'...

The first tennis-player I spotted was Shahar Pe'er (Israel), and then (in order of presentation):
* Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark was pretty sexy);
* Victoria Azarenka (Belarus);
* Leander Paes (India);
* Rafael Nadal (Spain) - they showed him at three different times in the parade!;
* Argentina was very sexy, and I think I caught a brief glimpse of Gisela Dulko;
* I loved Poland's cool red dresses, but couldn't spot Marta Domachowska;
* Andy and Jamie Murray (I was annoyed that the BBC kept focusing on Britain instead of showing Romania properly);
* Tsvetana Pironkova (Bulgaria);
* Liezel Huber (USA);
* Lucie Šafářová and TomᚠBerdych (Czechia) - spotting Lucie was the highlight of the entire ceremony for me;
* Daniela Hantuchová (Slovakia) - sadly not close up, but I'm nearly sure that the tallest Slovenka was her;
* Fernando González (Chile's flag-bearer!);
* Roger Federer (Switzerland's flag-bearer);
* Ana Ivanović (Serbia) - sadly not close up, but I'm pretty sure I saw her.

The athletes marched with paint on their soles, creating a massive and increasingly visible rainbow of footprints on a canvas in the middle of the arena, which was then transferred to the podium - "a way of including every single athlete in the formal protocol."

-------------------
3. First-round draw
-------------------
3.1 Top half (all four of my Eternal Fanship)
------------

* Tzipora Obziler [A] v Mariya Koryttseva (ajde Ana!)
* Lucie Šafářová [EF] v Maret Ani [A] (POJĎME LUCIE!!)
* Anabel Medina Garrigues v Sybille Bammer
* Jill Craybas v PATTY SCHNYDER [13]

* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] won
* Shahar Pe'er v Sorana Cîrstea (my loyalty is to Shahar)
* Francesca Schiavone won
* Chan,Yung-Jan [WC] v AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [8] (jia you Yung-Jan!)

* SERENA WILLIAMS [4] won
* Samantha Stosur won
* Peng,Shuai [s] won
* ALIZÉ CORNET [15] won

* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [10,EF] won
* Caroline Wozniacki won
* Tamarine Tanasugarn [WC] v Sofia Arvidsson
* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [5] v Kateryna Bondarenko (davai Elena!)


3.2 Bottom half
---------------

* Timea Bacsinszky v VENUS WILLIAMS [7] (hopp Timea!)
* Sania Mirza [DF] v Iveta Benešová (my loyalty is to Sania)
* Gisela Dulko [DF] v Casey Dell'Acqua (¡vamos Gisela!)
* Tatiana Perebiynis v VICTORIA AZARENKA [12] (my Reason says Victoria, but my Passion says Tatiana)

* FLAVIA PENNETTA [14,DF] v Kaia Kanepi (forza Flavia!)
* Eleni Daniilidou v Virginie Razzano
* Marina Eraković v Ayumi Morita [WC,S] (my loyalty is to Marina)
* Li,Na v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [3] (jia you Na!)

* DINARA SAFINA [6] won
* María-José Martínez Sánchez won
* Klára Zakopalová v Nuria Llagostera Vives [WC] (pojďme Klára!)
* Zheng,Jie v ÁGNES SZÁVAY [11] (jia you Jie!)

* DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [16] v Pauline Parmentier (poďme Domi!)
* Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] won
* Alyona Bondarenko v Milagros Sequera (davai Alyona!)
* Cara Black [WC] v JELENA JANKOVIĆ [2] (go Cara!)

-------------------------
4. Lucie Šafářová preview
-------------------------

Lucie continues to have a rough time of it in 2008, with a 10:16 win/loss record for the year so far. Since her first-round Wimbledon-exit, she's:
* beaten Kira Nagy 6-2 6-2 at Budapest ("I cannot say it was too hard," she said), only to lose 6-1 6-4 to the resurgent Anna-Lena Grönefeld in the second round;
* lost 6-3 6-4 to world #320 Melanie Klaffner at Bad Gastein;
* extended her losing-streak to 3 matches: 7-6 6-3 to Vera Dushevina at Stockholm.

And this is what she had to say for herself after the Stockholm-loss: "At the beginning of the year, I was injured a lot, and have not been able to come back right. I would say that first set was very smooth, but that I did a lot of unnecessary errors. That is my biggest problem right now: that I am doing too much wrong."


4.1 First-round preview before Golovin's withdrawal
---------------------------------------------------

I checked the draw on Saturday morning, I went to all the trouble of writing a wonderful preview of the mouthwatering Lucie v Tatiana first-round match, and then Tatiana withdrew from the Olympics with more back-problems! :-(

It would be a shame for my Lucie v Tatiana preview to go to waste, so I'm going to post it anyway:

>>>>>>
But it's interesting that Lucie's drawn Tatiana Golovin in the first round, because Tatiana's been having an even worse year: barely able to play due to a back-injury, she's just 3:5 in 2008, and hasn't played since early May.

Olympic Draw Thoughts
by Nick Bollettieri (Thursday 7th August)
http://nickstennispicks.com/
>>>
This tournament will also mark the return of another NBTA alum: Tatiana Golovin. She hasn't played since May because of injuries, and will face Lucie Šafářová in the first round. Golovin just spent some time practising here a couple of weeks ago, and looked healthy and ready to play. If she wins this match, she will most likely face Ana Ivanović in the second round.
<<<

I look at it as 50/50, because I don't know how strong Tatiana's going to come back. Nick Bollettieri says she's ready, but she hasn't been ready to play any WTA tournaments recently, so I have to wonder whether she's just desperate to play the Olympics rather than really ready.

It's great to see Tatiana in the Olympic draw this time, because in 2004, she appeared to have secured a place in the Athens Olympics by reaching the Birmingham-final, but it still rankles in my mind how Sandrine Testud came out of maternity-leave and used a protected ranking to steal Tatiana's rightful place in Athens.

Lucie may be the one I inducted into my Eternal Fanship, but I seriously considered inducting Tatiana several times between 2004 and 2007. Back in 2004, Tatiana was drop-dead gorgeous (who could forget those microshorts?), and seemed like a solid if unspectacular prospect in tennis-terms.

It seemed then that Tatiana had years of improvement ahead of her, but she has been plagued by numerous injuries: particularly ankle-injuries in 2005-2007. She managed to win her first two WTA singles-titles last year, and was runner-up to Justine Henin at two Tier I tournaments last October before a first-round retirement at Linz heralded her disastrous 2008.

Lucie and Tatiana have played each other once before: Tatiana beat Lucie 6-2 6-1 in Fed Cup 2006, but I don't think that's very relevant, after everything they've both been through since.

Lucie v Tatiana is definitely the most intriguing first-round match of the Olympics as far as I'm concerned. It's a shame that the BBC won't agree with me, but at least the winner should get televised against Ana Ivanović in the second round!
<<<<<<

Lucie won't even get to play Ana in the second round (and get televised by the BBC), because Ana withdrew with a right-thumb injury! :-(


4.2 First-round preview after Golovin's withdrawal
--------------------------------------------------

It took a long time to find a replacement for Tatiana Golovin, apparently: on Sunday morning, I checked the Beijing 2008 website <http://en.beijing2008.cn/> again, and discovered that Lucie's new opponent is the cute Estonian crybaby, Maret Ani.

Lucie is 1:1 head-to-head against Ani, having played her twice on the ITF Women's Circuit in 2005: at ITF Capriolo, Lucie won 6-4 6-2, but at ITF Poitiers, Ani won 6-4 4-6 6-2. Too long ago to be relevant.

Ani is 26 years old and ranked #97, but still lives mainly on the ITF circuit. She reached her career-high ranking of #63 in 2006: the year with her greatest concentration of WTA tournaments. I remember watching her lose 6-3 6-0 to Justine Henin-Hardenne in the first round of the French Open: she was very cute, and very nervous.

Ani made a 0:7 start to 2008, then reached the quarter-finals of ITF Monzon and the semi-finals of WTA Estoril (beat Anne Kremer, Kirsten Flipkens and Olga Savchuk, but lost 6-2 6-1 to Iveta Benešová).

Ani then reached the final of ITF Cagnes-sur-Mer, ending the first tournament of Tatiana Golovin's ill-fated comeback-attempt 5-7 7-6 6-2 in the second round, and losing 6-1 7-5 to Viktoriya Kutuzova in the final.

First-round losses at the French Open and Wimbledon followed (with a couple of ITF tournaments in between), and her last three tournaments have seen second-round losses at ITF Zagreb and WTA Bad Gastein, followed by a quarter-final at ITF Rimini (lost 7-6 6-2 to Roberta Vinci).

Ani's win/loss record for the year so far is 16:18 to Lucie's 10:16, but Lucie hasn't been down to the ITF circuit for some easy wins as Ani has.

It's a close call on current form, but definitely a winnable match for Lucie, and I'd give her the edge because she's just so much more talented than Ani, who might not even be ready to play in Beijing at such short notice.

See http://www.lucie-safarova.com/ for an interview with, and photo of, Lucie and TomᚠBerdych at the Olympics.

------------------------------------
5. Women's Doubles: First-round draw
------------------------------------

* Lucie Šafářová [EF]/Petra Kvitová v Samantha Stosur/Rennae Stubbs

---------------------------
6. Order of play for Monday
---------------------------

Court 6 (start 10:30 China-time = 02:30 GMT = 03:30 BST)
WS 1r: María-José Martínez Sánchez d. Alicia Molik [WC], 6-1 6-1
MS 1r: Paul-Henri Mathieu d. Nicolas Lapentti, 7-6 6-2
(Not before 17:00)
MS 1r: Agustin Calleri v Devin Mullings [A]
WS 1r: Anabel Medina Garrigues v Sybille Bammer
WS 1r: Tatiana Perebiynis v VICTORIA AZARENKA [12]
WS 1r: Lucie Šafářová [EF] v Maret Ani [A]

I hope they have good floodlights at the Olympic Green Tennis Centre, because it could be well after 21:00 before Lucie gets on!

The "not before 17:00" after only two matches is the most ridiculous piece of scheduling I've ever seen when there's already a serious backlog. Evidently the order-of-play committee is not made up of tennis-experts.

I have only included courts involving members of my Eternal Fanship in singles; the full order of play is at:
http://results.beijing2008.cn/WRM/ENG/INF/TE/C58/TE0000Y11.shtml

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/safar/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Lucie_Safarova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/

andrewbroad
Aug 11th, 2008, 01:55 PM
==========================
BEIJING 2008 OLYMPIC GAMES (Beijing, China; hard (Decoturf II))
========================== http://www.itftennis.com/olympics/
Order of play for Monday
------------------------

Court 6 (start 10:30 China-time = 02:30 GMT = 03:30 BST)
WS 1r: María-José Martínez Sánchez d. Alicia Molik [WC], 6-1 6-1
MS 1r: Paul-Henri Mathieu d. Nicolas Lapentti, 7-6 6-2
(Not before 17:00)
MS 1r: Agustin Calleri v Devin Mullings [A]
WS 1r: Anabel Medina Garrigues v Sybille Bammer
WS 1r: Tatiana Perebiynis v VICTORIA AZARENKA [12]
WS 1r: Lucie Šafářová [EF] v Maret Ani [A]

Lucie's match has been moved from Court 6 to Show Court 1 - after the Black v Janković match, which is currently in progress. At the time of writing, Janković leads 6-3 *0-0.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/safar/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Lucie_Safarova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/

andrewbroad
Aug 12th, 2008, 07:33 AM
==========================
BEIJING 2008 OLYMPIC GAMES (Beijing, China; hard (Decoturf II))
========================== http://www.itftennis.com/olympics/
Contents
--------

1. First-round scoreboard-report: Šafářová v Ani
2. Second-round draw
3. Second-round preview: Šafářová v Koryttseva?
4. Order of play for Tuesday

------------------------------------------------
1. First-round scoreboard-report: Šafářová v Ani (Monday 11th August)
------------------------------------------------

+ Lucie Šafářová [EF] d. Maret Ani [A], 6-4 6-2

The match started on Court 1 at 22:54 China-time. I followed live scores at:
http://results.beijing2008.cn/WRM/ENG/Schedule/TE.shtml (Live Result gives live scores, while Match Statistics tells you the sequence of games and who was serving - the wrong way round)


First set
---------
ŠAF * * * * *@ 6
ANI _* * * *__ 4

The game at 4-3* lasted seven minutes, during which I really wanted to see *5-3!

Lucie won the first set 6-4 at 23:36 (40 minutes).


Second set
----------
ŠAF * *@* *@ 6
ANI _*___*__ 2

Lucie won 6-4 6-2 at 24:11 (second set 35m, match 1h15m).

--------------------
2. Second-round draw
--------------------

* Lucie Šafářová [EF] v (1r: Tzipora Obziler [A] v Mariya Koryttseva, *3-5)
* Sybille Bammer v PATTY SCHNYDER [13]
* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] v Shahar Pe'er (my loyalty is to Vera)
* Francesca Schiavone won

* SERENA WILLIAMS [4] won
* ALIZÉ CORNET [15] won
* Caroline Wozniacki won
* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [5] v Sofia Arvidsson (davai Elena!)

* VENUS WILLIAMS [7] won
* VICTORIA AZARENKA [12] v Casey Dell'Acqua (davai Victoria)
* Virginie Razzano v Kaia Kanepi
* (1r: Marina Eraković v Ayumi Morita [WC,S], 7-5 6-7 (7/9) 1-0*) v Li,Na

* DINARA SAFINA [6] won
* Zheng,Jie won
* DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [16] won
* Alyona Bondarenko v JELENA JANKOVIĆ [2] (davai Alyona!)

-----------------------------------------------
3. Second-round preview: Šafářová v Koryttseva?
-----------------------------------------------

Lucie's second-round opponent is not yet decided, as Mariya Koryttseva was up 5-3* against Tzipora Obziler - the alternate who replaced Ana Ivanović - when play was finally suspended on Monday night.

But whoever wins that will have to play her second match of the day against Lucie, so I do need to write my preview tonight, and because it's already late, I'm going to save myself some much-needed time and assume that Koryttseva is going to come through to face Lucie (quite a reasonable assumption, seeing as she thrashed Obziler 6-2 6-1 at Bad Gastein last month).

Lucie has never played Koryttseva before. The 23-year-old Ukrainian is ranked #53 to Lucie's #82, and is having a better 2008 than Lucie, with a win/loss record of 24:18.

Koryttseva reached the semi-finals of Viña del Mar in February, albeit without beating a top-102 player, and then losing 6-2 7-5 to Klára Zakopalová. She did beat some top-100 players in other tournaments, but no real 'oh my gosh' scalps.

Koryttseva lost in the first round of both the French Open and Wimbledon, to Agnieszka Radwańska and Aleksandra Wozniak respectively.

But she reached the final of Palermo, beating world #31 Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-2 6-2 before losing to Sara Errani 6-2 6-3.

Bad Gastein was also pretty scary, as Koryttseva upset the up-and-coming Caroline Wozniacki, ranked #30, 6-4 4-6 7-6(5), then thrashed Tereza Hladíková 6-3 6-1 in the quarter-finals. She then lost 6-3 6-2 to Lucie Hradecká - a Czech Selesian - in the semi-finals.

My parents actually went to Bad Gastein and said they were impressed by Koryttseva when she beat Wozniacki. My father was also sitting next to Klára Zakopalová, who was sitting next to Lucie during Hladíková's win over Karolina Šprem, so it seems likely that Lucie would have watched Koryttseva play too.

Koryttseva's last tournament was Stockholm: she beat Ekaterina Makarova 6-3 6-4, but was thrashed 6-1 6-1 by Agnieszka Radwańska.

In conclusion: Koryttseva is a dangerous opponent for Lucie, and I'd have to give Koryttseva the edge because she's having a better year. But Koryttseva is a journeywoman, so Lucie certainly has a fighting chance if she has to play her in the second round.

----------------------------
4. Order of play for Tuesday
----------------------------

Court 8 (start 10:30 China-time = 02:30 GMT = 03:30 BST)
WS 2r: DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [16] d. Tsvetana Pironkova [DF], 6-2 6-2
(Not before 12:00)
MS 2r: Olivier Rochus d. Janko Tipsarević, 7-6 (7/5) *2-3 retired
(Not before 17:00)
WS 1r: Tzipora Obziler [A] v Mariya Koryttseva, *3-5
WD 1r: (SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA/DINARA SAFINA)[1] v Mara Santangelo/Roberta Vinci
WS 2r: Lucie Šafářová [EF] v (1r: Tzipora Obziler [A] v Mariya Koryttseva)
WD 1r: Casey Dell'Acqua/Alicia Molik v Flavia Pennetta/Francesca Schiavone

Full order of play:
http://results.beijing2008.cn/WRM/ENG/INF/TE/C58/TE0000Y12.shtml

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/safar/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Lucie_Safarova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/

andrewbroad
Aug 13th, 2008, 12:22 AM
==========================
BEIJING 2008 OLYMPIC GAMES (Beijing, China; hard (Decoturf II))
========================== http://www.itftennis.com/olympics/
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Second-round scoreboard-report: Šafářová v Koryttseva
3. Third-round draw
4. Third-round preview: Šafářová v Bammer
5. Order of play for Wednesday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Various players including Lucie:
http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/2/photogallery/ (Early Rounds)

--------------------------------------------------------
2. Second-round scoreboard-report: Šafářová v Koryttseva (Tuesday 12th August)
--------------------------------------------------------

+ Lucie Šafářová [EF] d. Mariya Koryttseva, 2-6 6-1 7-5

"Siamese fighting fish: fascinating creatures. Brave but, on the whole, stupid. Except for the occasional one, such as we have here, who lets the other two fight. While he waits. Waits until the survivor is so exhausted that he cannot defend himself. And then, like SPECTRE, he strikes."
[Ernst Stavro Blofeld, From Russia with Love]

Koryttseva had completed a 5-7 7-5 6-4 first-round marathon against Tzipora Obziler earlier in the day - having resumed at 5-3*. So presumably her tiredness came into play in the second set, although Lucie still made a meal of the third, letting two early breaks slip immediately.

The match started on Court 8 at about 22:40 China-time. I followed live scores at:
http://results.beijing2008.cn/WRM/ENG/Schedule/TE.shtml


First set
---------
ŠAFÁŘOVÁ __* *___ 2
KORYTTSE @* * *@* 6

Koryttseva's service-game from *2-1 to 3-1* took 8 minutes. Koryttseva won an increasingly embarrassing first set 6-2 at 23:17 (37 minutes).


Second set
----------
ŠAFÁŘOVÁ *@* *@* 6
KORYTTSE ___*___ 1

Koryttseva's service-game from *0-3 to 1-3* took 13 minutes. Lucie won the second set 6-1 at 23:55 (38 minutes).


Third set
---------
ŠAFÁŘOVÁ @ @__* * *@* 7
KORYTTSE _@ @* * *___ 5

Koryttseva had to endure another 8-minute service-game from *3-3 to 4-3*. Once again, she came through it, but it must have taken its toll physically.

I actually had to abandon following live scores at 4-4 due to a thunderstorm directly overhead. When it had passed, I went straight to Match Statistics to find out that Lucie had won, and how the last four games went.

Lucie won 2-6 6-1 7-5 at 24:50 (third set 55m, match 2h10m).

-------------------
3. Third-round draw
-------------------

* Lucie Šafářová [EF] v Sybille Bammer (POJĎME LUCIE!!)
* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] v Francesca Schiavone (DAVAI VERA!!)
* ALIZÉ CORNET [15] v SERENA WILLIAMS [4] (allez Alizé!)
* Caroline Wozniacki v ELENA DEMENTIEVA [5] (my loyalty is to Caroline)

* VICTORIA AZARENKA [12] v VENUS WILLIAMS [7] (davai Victoria!)
* Li,Na v Kaia Kanepi (jia you Na!)
* Zheng,Jie v DINARA SAFINA [6] (jia you Jie!)
* DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [16] v JELENA JANKOVIĆ [2] (poďme Domi!)

-----------------------------------------
4. Third-round preview: Šafářová v Bammer
-----------------------------------------

It's not looking good for Lucie! First of all, Sybille Bammer leads their head-to-head 3:0 - ITF Valašské Meziříčí 2003 (6-4 6-1), San Diego 2006 (6-4 6-7 6-1) and Eastbourne 2007 (7-6 5-7 6-3).

Secondly, Bammer is having a better year than Lucie, with a win/loss record of 20:19 going into this match, and is currently ranked #32 to Lucie's #82.

Although 2008 has been less stellar for Bammer than her breakthrough-season last year, ominous highlights include beating world #2 Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3 7-6 (10/8) to reach the quarter-finals of Doha (losing to Vera Zvonarëva), and more recently, reaching the quarter-finals of Los Angeles by beating #8 Anna Chakvetadze 6-4 5-7 6-2 (then losing to Flavia Pennetta).

Bammer has reached the third round of the Olympics with the following results:
1r + Anabel Medina Garrigues, 6-2 4-6 6-4
2r + PATTY SCHNYDER [13], 6-4 6-4

While Lucie has struggled quite a bit against less illustrious opposition:
1r + Maret Ani [A], 6-4 6-2
2r + Mariya Koryttseva, 2-6 6-1 7-5

Beating Bammer to reach an Olympic quarter-final would be the highlight of Lucie's 2008 so far - even more so than drawing praise from Serena Williams with a near miss (6-0 2-6 7-5) at the Hopman Cup.

------------------------------
5. Order of play for Wednesday
------------------------------

Court 5 (start 16:00 China-time = 08:00 GMT = 09:00 BST)
WS 3r: Lucie Šafářová [EF] v Sybille Bammer
MD 2r: (NICOLAS ALMAGRO/DAVID FERRER)[5] v Simon Aspelin/Thomas Johansson
WD 1r: (ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES/VIRGINIA RUANO PASCUAL)[4] v Mariya Koryttseva/Tatiana Perebiynis
WD 2r: (SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA/DINARA SAFINA)[1] v (Sania Mirza [DF]/Sunitha Rao)[WC]

Full order of play:
http://www.itftennis.com/olympics/event/scheduleday4.asp

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/safar/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Lucie_Safarova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/

andrewbroad
Aug 19th, 2008, 10:09 PM
==========================
BEIJING 2008 OLYMPIC GAMES (Beijing, China; hard (Decoturf II))
========================== http://www.itftennis.com/olympics/
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Third-round scoreboard-report: Šafářová v Bammer
3. Women's Doubles: First-round result

---------
1. Photos
---------

Search Getty Images for "safarova"

Various players including Lucie:
http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/gallery?cap=1&pg=1

---------------------------------------------------
2. Third-round scoreboard-report: Šafářová v Bammer (Wednesday 13th August)
---------------------------------------------------

- Lucie Šafářová [EF] lt. Sybille Bammer, 5-7 4-6

Lucie did well to make it two tight sets, given her slump. She's an exceptionally determined player, and she fought well from *2-4 in the first set and *3-5 (15/40) in the second.

But she'll be ruing missing three set-points at 5-4* in the first! They were 3 of the 6 of 7 break-points that she failed to convert.

The Olympics were definitely a step in the right direction for Lucie. She just needs to stay injury-free, and let her form return in time for the 2009 season.

The match started on Court 5 at 16:12 China-time. I followed live scores at:
http://results.beijing2008.cn/WRM/ENG/Schedule/TE.shtml


First set
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ŠAFÁŘO *___* *@*___ 5
BAMMER _*@* *___*@* 7

A forehand winner gave Lucie set-point at 5-4* (40/30*), and she had a total of 3 nonconsecutive set-points in that game. :sad:

Bammer won the first set 7-5 at 17:03 (51 minutes).


Second set
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ŠAFÁŘO __* * * *_ 4
BAMMER @* * * * * 6

Lucie got to break-point at 1-2* (40/30*) with a winner, but Bammer saved it with a service-winner.

Thanks to Corpuscle for the following point-descriptions
<http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=353119&page=18>

Lucie serving 3-5: 15/40 (MP #1). Service-winner. 30/40 (MP #2). Bammer forehand error. 40/40. Lucie smash-winner. Ad Lucie. Backhand error. Deuce #2. Lucie winner down the line. Ad Lucie. Held.

Bammer serving 5-4: 0/15. Lucie netcord-winner. 0/30. Bammer forehand winner down the line. 15/30. Lucie mishit a return into the stands. 30/30. Lucie out. 40/30 (MP #3). Bammer won 7-5 6-4 at 17:51 (second set 48m, match 1h39m).


Lucie and Tomáš Berdych
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Lucie's match finished just before her boyfriend Tomáš Berdych started his match against Roger Federer, whom he beat at the Athens 2004 Olympics! I really hoped that Berdych could repeat that feat here, as it would have been the perfect way to cheer Lucie up, but Federer, of course, had other ideas, and beat Berdych 6-3 7-6 (7/4) despite Berdych leading 3-0* in the second set.

I watched that match on BBCi, hoping that Lucie might turn up later (after her own post-match routine), but I didn't spot her, so the BBC's only televisation of Lucie in 2008 was that brief close-up of her in the Opening Ceremony.

Berdych has quite a feminine game with the power of a man. By that, I mean he tends to stand on the baseline and hit hard and flat (as opposed to standing ten feet behind it, playing with a lot of topspin, or coming to the net). He played some good spreading rallies, and even a couple of great winners at the net, but Federer's defence was too strong - he just kept sticking his racket out and neutering Berdych's initiative, and that's why he was ranked #1 continuously from February 2004 to the end of that week.

Sam Smith told two unbelievable lies about Lucie during that match. First she said that the Czech support-team had been over on Court 5 "watching Lucie Šafářová defeat Sybille Bammer", and then she said Lucie "used to be Berdych's girlfriend - I don't think she is any more."

Lucie and Tomáš are the golden couple of tennis. They've been together for about five years now. I gather that they live together, and plan to get married in the future (not any time soon AFAIK). They were certainly still together coming into Beijing - the interview and photo at http://www.lucie-safarova.com/ are proof enough for me.

Perhaps it's time to replace Berdych's "the man who beat Roger Federer at the Olympics" tag with "Lucie Šafářová's boyfriend". ;-)

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3. Women's Doubles: First-round result (Wednesday 13th August)
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- Lucie Šafářová [EF]/Petra Kvitová lt. Samantha Stosur/Rennae Stubbs, 1-6 0-6

I'm sure the bagelstick wouldn't have happened if Lucie had played with Petra Cetkovská! (with whom she reached the Stockholm-final a week and a half before).

Vera Zvonarëva was the last survivor of my Eternal Fanship in both singles (winning the Bronze Medal) and doubles. My decision to induct Vera in her slump-year (2005) is looking good right now. Hopefully I'll be able to say the same of Lucie in three years' time.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
(see profile or signature for links)