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andrewbroad
Jun 12th, 2009, 09:54 AM
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AEGON CLASSIC (Edgbaston, Birmingham, England; grass; WTA International)
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Welcome to the master-thread of my Birmingham 2009 reports! I have posted all my eyewitness reports and photos in this thread.

From up here, you can navigate quickly to the individual posts within this thread (these links open in new windows - or tabs if you prefer):
Monday 8th June: Second qualifying-round / First round (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=15884592#post15884592) (added 17th June 2009)
Tuesday 9th June: First round (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=15892534#post15892534) (added 18th June 2009)
Wednesday 10th June: First round / Second round (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=15975144&posted=1#post15975144) (added 28th June 2009)
Thursday 11th June: Part 1: Second round (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=16054032&posted=1#post16054032) (added 11th July 2009)
Thursday 11th June: Part 2: Third round (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=16058797#post16058797) (added 12th July 2009)
Friday 12th June: Quarter-finals (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=16086769#post16086769) (added 18th July 2009)
Saturday 13th June: Semi-finals (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=16121914&post16121914) (added 25th July 2009)
Sunday 14th June: Final (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=16127062#post16127062) (added 26th July 2009)--
Dr. Andrew Broad

hugo2004
Jun 16th, 2009, 12:45 PM
Michelle Larcher de Brito photos and reports please.

andrewbroad
Jun 16th, 2009, 12:59 PM
Michelle Larcher de Brito photos and reports please.

Sorry - she lost in qualifying before I arrived at Birmingham.

andrewbroad
Jun 17th, 2009, 01:44 AM
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AEGON CLASSIC (Edgbaston, Birmingham, England; grass; WTA International)
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Contents
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1. Photos
2. Second-qualifying-round results
3. First-round results
4. First-round eyewitness report: Sharapova v Dubois
5. Second-qualifying-round mini-report: Krajíček v Poutchek
6. First-round mini-report: O'Brien v South
7. First-round eyewitness report: Kirilenko v U.Radwańska
8. First-round eyewitness-report: Rybáriková v Amanmuradova

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1. Photos (Monday 8th June 2009)
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Permission to copy my Birmingham photos is granted provided that:
(a) no money is exchanged;
(b) they are labelled as "Copyright 2009 Andrew Broad".
Please let me know if you do use them on another website.


1.1 Monday Part 1
-----------------

Monday Part 1 (Photos 001-197):
http://www.divshare.com/download/7664030-384

Maria Sharapova (75 photos)
Magdaléna Rybáriková (67)
Stéphanie Dubois (26)
Maria Kirilenko (17)
Yanina Wickmayer (6)
Olga Govortsova (5)
Jarmila Groth (5)
Petra Cetkovská (4)
Aravane Rezaď (4)
Eleni Daniilidou (4)
Julie Ditty (3)
Michaëlla Krajíček (2)
Jelena Dokić poster (1)
Elena Baltacha poster (1)
Alla Kudryavtseva (1)
Naomi Cavaday (1)

Magdaléna Rybáriková: I had waited four years to see the gorgeous Magda in the flesh! My photos demonstrate a wide range of Magda's wonderful facial expressions. I was disappointed that Daniela Hantuchová wasn't at Birmingham, but Magda wasn't a bad substitute! ;)

Maria Sharapova: her blue French Open outfit didn't translate well to the green grass of England; it also made her look overdressed and overheated when the sun unexpectedly came out for her match. I love the way Maria's right leg gets horizontal as she follows through on her serve - if ever a statue of Maria is made, that should be the pose!

Maria Kirilenko: she may only be 95% as delectable as she was in her prime (2006-2008), but when she walked close to me outside the practice-courts (Photo 105), she made me go weak at the knees! She was wearing cute little fluffy balls on her Achilles tendons, and, for her match (Photos Part 2), a short purple skirt that hiked up every time she served! ;) Sadly, she was also wearing a protective band on her right knee.


1.2 Monday Part 2
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Monday Part 2 (Photos 198-466):
http://www.divshare.com/download/7664469-452

Magdaléna Rybáriková (65 photos)
Maria Kirilenko (51)
Urszula Radwańska (33)
Naomi Broady (28)
Olga Govortsova (18)
Michaëlla Krajíček (19)
Arantxa Parra Santonja (19)
Séverine Brémond (16)
Yanina Wickmayer (10)
Anastasija Sevastova (10)
Roberta Vinci (8)
Katie O'Brien (8)
Jarmila Groth (3)
Chan,Yung-Jan (3)
Eleni Daniilidou (3)
Abigail Spears (2)
Akgul Amanmuradova (2)
Jelena Dokić poster (1)
Sania Mirza poster (1)
Tatiana Poutchek (1)
Anne Keothavong poster (1)

Naomi Broady: tall and blonde, with legs up to most girls' armpits - she is easily the hottest babe in British tennis! Some call her a "Maria Sharapova lookalike"; to me, she looks more like Nicole Vaidišová. Previously, I had only seen photos, so it was great to see her in the flesh at last! And no - just because she and I have similar-looking surnames, doesn't mean we're related! The pronunciation of "Broad" rhymes with "lord", whereas the pronunciation of "Broady" rhymes with "roadie".

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2. Second-qualifying-round results (Monday 8th June 2009)
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What rocked:
+ ARANTXA PARRA SANTONJA [16,S] d. Eleni Daniilidou, 6-3 7-6 (8/6)
+ Naomi Broady d. ABIGAIL SPEARS [17], 6-7 (4/7) 6-3 6-3

What sucked:
- MICHAËLLA KRAJÍČEK [4,DF] lt. TATIANA POUTCHEK [14], 3-6 6-4 3-6

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3. First-round results (Monday 8th June 2009)
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Nice winner, nice loser:
+ Urszula Radwańska d. MARIA KIRILENKO [10,DF], 6-3 6-3
+ ROBERTA VINCI [14] d. Séverine Brémond, 6-3 6-2

What rocked:
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Stéphanie Dubois, 6-4 6-2
+ MAGDALÉNA RYBÁRIKOVÁ [13,EF] d. Akgul Amanmuradova, 6-4 6-4
+ Olga Govortsova d. Chan,Yung-Jan, 7-6 (9/7) 6-2
+ Yanina Wickmayer d. Anastasija Sevastova, 6-4 6-3
+ Elena Baltacha [WC] d. Georgie Stoop [WC], 6-3 6-4

What sucked:
- Katie O'Brien [WC] lt. Melanie South, 4-6 6-1 6-7 (5/7)

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4. First-round eyewitness report: Sharapova v Dubois (Monday 8th June 2009)
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+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Stéphanie Dubois, 6-4 6-2

Sometimes brilliant, sometimes erratic - that sums up Maria's performance in this match. She hit her groundstrokes with awesome power that dwarfed that of every other woman in the tournament, often blazing winners close to the lines.

But she also made some worrying unforced errors - most notably during a spell in the first set when she let a *4-1 lead become *4-3 with a break-point that would have made it 4-4*; instead, Maria consolidated her one remaining break to win the first set, and although she dropped serve at the start of the second, she broke back immediately, and powered to victory by winning the last five games from *1-2.

My full report - with a point-by-point description - is on my website:
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/birmingham2009.html

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5. Second-qualifying-round mini-report: Krajíček v Poutchek (Monday 8th June 2009)
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- MICHAËLLA KRAJÍČEK [4,DF] lt. TATIANA POUTCHEK [14], 3-6 6-4 3-6

At Birmingham 2008, Michaëlla had snapped a 12-match losing-streak with a fine performance to thrash Poutchek 6-2 6-1 on Centre Court.

Sadly, it was a very different story out on Court 4 this year, as Michaëlla seems to have hit a trough in form in recent weeks.

I didn't get to see much of the match at all, as the view on Court 4 is terrible if you're not early or lucky enough to get to the front row.

Michaëlla lost a long, deucy game at *2-3 in the first set: my abiding memory is of her screaming when she hit a forehand wide. When she was *2-5 down, I left to watch Maria Kirilenko v Urszula Radwańska on Centre Court.

What I didn't realise until Thursday was that Michaëlla got into the main draw as a lucky loser, taking the place of second seed Kaia Kanepi, complete with first-round bye!

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6. First-round mini-report: O'Brien v South (Monday 8th June 2009)
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- Katie O'Brien [WC] lt. Melanie South, 4-6 6-1 6-7 (5/7)

I went to Centre Court to watch Maria Kirilenko v Urszula Radwańska... and first caught the dramatic end of this all-English encounter.

I'm disappointed in the result, as Katie is quite cute, while I don't find South attractive (although she does have nice grunts). Annoyingly, more of the crowd seemed to be cheering for South (possibly because in 2008, she became the first Briton for 16 years to reach the quarter-finals here), although Katie did have a small but vocal group of supporters.


Third set
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South had two nonconsecutive match-points at 5-4*, but missed a sitter of a forehand smash on the first, and sliced a backhand long on the second. O'Brien served for it at *6-5, but was broken to love.

6-6 tiebreak (all scores O'Brien/South):
{0/0*} A nailbiting rally ended with Katie's forehand clipping the netcord and falling back on her side.
{*0/1} South got jammed by running around her backhand to hit her forehand: she hit an off-forehand wide.
{*1/1} Katie backhand long. South screamed "c'mon".
{1/2*} Katie's forehand down the line forced South to earth a backhand.
{2/2*} Katie forehand return long.
{*2/3} South netted a forehand, and groaned.
{*3/3} South hit a deep forehand return down the line, forcing Katie to hit a backhand wide.
{3/4*} South hit a serve out wide, forcing Katie to hit a backhand return wide.
{3/5*} South forehand long.
{*4/5} South hit a forehand long, and shouted "oh no!"
{*5/5} Double fault (second serve into the net).
{5/6*: MP #3} Katie hit a backhand return long. South won 6-4 1-6 7-6 (7/5).

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7. First-round eyewitness report: Kirilenko v U.Radwańska (Monday 8th June 2009)
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Nice winner, nice loser:
+ Urszula Radwańska d. MARIA KIRILENKO [10,DF], 6-3 6-3

Well, I didn't fancy Little Maria's chances in her slump-year, on her worst surface, against Urszula: an attractive all-court player who won the Girls' Singles at Wimbledon 2007.

Little Maria has some good grass-court qualities, as she loves going to the net, and hits some delectable drop-volleys there. She has beautiful footwork, and I love the way she scurries forwards to run down a dropshot.

In this match, though, she undermined these qualities by making far too many errors.

In the first set, she didn't seem to play with much passion - just looked rather sad - although she did stage a brief fightback from 0-4* down.

In the second set, Urszula got upset with herself for making some errors, and Little Maria seemed irritated by the Polish muttering and shouting between points. Little Maria responded with some shouts of her own, and by grunting louder, and they even bumped shoulders at one changeover!

Unfortunately, Little Maria didn't respond by reducing her unforced errors, hence the result of the second set was no better than the first. In fact, it was almost a mirror-image of the first set, with Urszula winning the last four games.


First set
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KIRILENKO ____@* *_ 3
RADWAŃSKA *@*@__* * 6

The match was fourth on Centre Court, and started at 17:02 BST. Urszula won the toss and elected to serve.

Urszula serving 0-0: First serve: forehand return long. 15/0. Urszula hit an off-forehand into the corner, forcing Maria to net a backhand. 30/0. Maria hit a good return, and ran down a dropshot to hit an off-forehand winner. 30/15. Maria went to the net, but hit an off-backhand volley wide. 40/15. Maria ran down a dropshot, but her crosscourt forehand gave Urszula a wide-open court into which to hit a crosscourt backhand winner.

Little Maria serving 0-1: Urszula netted a forehand. 15/0. Maria went to the net, but hit an off-backhand half-volley wide. 15/15. Urszula netted a forehand return. 30/15. Maria sliced a backhand long. 30/30. Urszula's deep crosscourt forehand forced Maria to hit a forehand lob into the side-stand. 30/40 (BP). Maria sprayed a crosscourt backhand very wide.

Urszula serving 2-0: Urszula crosscourt forehand winner. 15/0. Backhand return long and wide. 30/0. Maria netted a backhand on the fourth stroke. 40/0. Maria's off-forehand forced Urszula to earth a backhand. 40/15. Urszula hit a down-the-line backhand winner. Maria looked rather sad.

Little Maria serving 0-3: Maria ran down a dropshot, and hit a crosscourt backhand dropshot-winner. 15/0. Maria netted a backhand on the third stroke. 15/15. Maria hit a defensive backhand lob long. 15/30. Ace down the middle. 30/30. Maria backhand long. 30/40 (BP #1). Serve out wide forced Urszula to net a backhand. Deuce #1. Maria hit another good serve out wide, but put an off-forehand wide. Ad Urszula (BP #2). Maria crosscourt forehand wide.

Urszula serving 4-0: Maria, on the fourth stroke, hit a crosscourt forehand drop-volley winner. 0/15. Urszula netted a cheap backhand on the third stroke. 0/30. Maria twirled around as she hit a sliced backhand; Urszula hit a backhand winner down the line: right on the junction of sideline and baseline! 15/30. Maria's depth forced Urszula to net a backhand. 15/40 (BP #1). Maria dumped a forehand return halfway up the net. 30/40 (BP #2). Maria went to the net, Urszula's lob forced Maria to retreat, but Urszula netted a backhand.

Little Maria serving 1-4: First serve out wide forced Urszula to net a forehand. 15/0. Maria, on the third stroke, hit a crosscourt backhand wide. 15/15. Maria went to the net behind her serve, and hit a half-volley dropshot-winner. 30/15. Serve out wide + crosscourt forehand forced Urszula to net a forehand. 40/15. Maria went to the net behind a down-the-line forehand, and hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner.

Urszula serving 4-2: Urszula's crosscourt forehand clipped the net and fell wide. 0/15. Urszula blasted a crosscourt backhand wide, shouted "Ula!" and looked upset. 0/30. Maria let Urszula off the hook by dumping a backhand return halfway up the net. 15/30. Service-winner out wide. 30/30. Maria crosscourt backhand wide. 40/30. Urszula forced a short ball, and dispatched it with an off-forehand winner.

Little Maria serving 2-5: Urszula sliced an off-backhand return halfway up the net. 15/0. Maria ran down a dropshot (I love the way she scurries forward) and hit a crosscourt forehand winner. 30/0. Double fault (second serve long). 30/15. Maria went to the net behind a crosscourt forehand, and hit an off-forehand drop-volley winner. 40/15. Urszula netted a backhand.

Urszula may still have had a commanding lead at this point, but it was Maria who had the momentum.

Urszula serving 5-3: Maria's depth forced Urszula to hit a crosscourt backhand wide; Urszula berated herself. 0/15. Maria forehand just long. 15/15. Maria went to the net, but netted a crosscourt backhand drop-volley. 30/15. Maria mishit a forehand very long. 40/15. Ace down the middle was called a let. Maria hit a forehand return very long. Urszula won the first set 6-3 at 17:34 BST (32m).

Little Maria called her coach onto court. Her profile at www.sonyericssonwtatour.com (http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com) currently lists her father Yuri Kirilenko as her coach, but this guy looked awfully young to be her father!


Second set
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KIRILENKO *__@*____ 3
RADWAŃSKA _*@__*@*@ 6

Little Maria serving 0-0: Urszula forehand long. 15/0. Maria's depth forced Urszula to net a forehand; Urszula threw her racket high and caught it. 30/0. Urszula's forehand return clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. 30/15. Maria went to the net behind a sliced backhand, forcing Urszula to net a backhand. 40/15. Double fault (second serve into the net). 40/30. Urszula netted a forehand, and jumped in frustration.

Urszula serving 0-1: Maria went to the net, but gave Urszula the gap for a crosscourt backhand pass-winner. 15/0. As Urszula defended with a series of deep lobs, Maria hit two forehand smashes and a backhand drop-volley winner. 15/15. Maria hit a crosscourt forehand drive-volley winner. 15/30. Serve out wide: backhand return long. 30/30. Crosscourt forehand return wide. 40/30. Second serve: Maria netted a forehand return.

Little Maria serving 1-1: Double fault (second serve wide). 0/15. Urszula's deep off-backhand forced Maria to earth a forehand. 0/30. Maria forced a short floater, and dispatched it with a forehand smash-winner. 15/30. Urszula's deep forehand forced Maria to net a forehand. 15/40 (BP). Maria went to the net, but netted a horrendous forehand volley off a mildly awkward backhand from Urszula, giving her the break.

Urszula serving 2-1: Maria went to the net, and hit a crosscourt forehand volley + off-forehand volley-winner. 0/15. Maria's deep forehand return forced Urszula to net a forehand; Urszula shouted in Polish. 0/30. First serve: Maria took Urszula by surprise with a short forehand return-winner! 0/40 (BP #1). Urszula's backhand clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. 15/40 (BP #2). Maria broke back with an off-forehand drive-volley winner, and said "c'mon". Urszula questioned a call.

Little Maria serving 2-2: Maria hit a crosscourt backhand drive-volley winner. Urszula shouted in Polish. 15/0. Virtual ace down the middle. Maria shouted in Russian. 30/0. Ace out wide + "c'mon". 40/0. Urszula ran down a dropshot, hit a forehand winner down the line, and said "c'mon". 40/15. Urszula forehand just long.

Little Maria was grunting louder by now, and trying to outshout Urszula! They bumped shoulders at the changeover.

Urszula serving 2-3: Urszula forehand winner down the line. 15/0. Maria, on the run, hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 30/0. Maria mishit a sliced forehand return into the net. 40/0. Maria went to the net behind a crosscourt backhand, forcing Urszula to hit a crosscourt backhand wide. 40/15. Urszula crosscourt forehand winner. 40/30. Maria netted a backhand return.

Little Maria was playing with more fire now than in the first set, but making too many unforced errors.

Little Maria serving 3-3: Maria went to the net behind a down-the-line forehand, but Urszula's down-the-line backhand forced Maria to net a forehand volley. 0/15. Maria hit a backhand just long, and hit the dead ball in frustration. 0/30. Urszula off-forehand just wide. 15/30. Maria off-backhand dropshot just wide. 15/40 (BP #1). Urszula dumped a forehand halfway up the net. 30/40 (BP #2). With both girls at the net, Urszula broke with a high forehand winner that was both a volley and a passing-shot!

Urszula serving 4-3: Maria painted the sideline with an off-backhand return-winner. Urszula muttered in Polish. 0/15. Maria netted a backhand return. 15/15. Service-winner out wide. 30/15. Maria dumped a forehand return into the bottom of the net. 40/15. Maria netted a down-the-line forehand return.

Little Maria serving 3-5: Urszula netted a forehand return. 15/0. Maria went to the net, but Urszula hit a crosscourt forehand pass-winner. 15/15. Urszula hit a forehand smash-winner just inside the baseline. 15/30. Maria sliced a backhand wide. 15/40 (MP #1). First serve down the middle forced Urszula to net a backhand return. 30/40 (MP #2). Maria went to the net, but Urszula finished the match in style with a deep forehand lob-winner. Urszula won 6-3 6-3 at 18:08 BST (second set 34m, match 1h06m).

Urszula's on-court interview: "I like playing on grass. It was my first match on grass this year. It was the first time that I played her, so I'm happy that I won. I was aggressive, and tried to play my best. Agnieszka [her older sister] and I support each other."

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8. First-round eyewitness-report: Rybáriková v Amanmuradova (Monday 8th June 2009)
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+ MAGDALÉNA RYBÁRIKOVÁ [13,EF] d. Akgul Amanmuradova, 6-4 6-4

This was my third time to see Magda play (following the BBC's televisations of the Wimbledon 2006 Girls' Singles final and French Open 2009 second round), but my first time to see her win a match.

When I came off Centre Court immediately after watching Maria Kirilenko lose to Urszula Radwańska, Magda, on Court 2, had set-point at 5-4* (40/30*) in the first set, which she converted when Amanmuradova hit the ball into the net at 18:13 BST.

In the second set, the tall, manly Amanmuradova served big, and went to the net at every opportunity, where her long right arm gives her an advantage.

But Magda had too much class for her: she served very well herself, was much better from the baseline than Amanmuradova, and picked off the net-rusher with some passing-shots and lobs.

Magda has both a two-handed backhand and a one-handed sliced backhand; she used the latter predominantly in this match, keeping the ball low against her tall opponent on the slick, green grass.

Magda's coach (whose name is Ladislav Simon according to www.sonyericssonwtatour.com (http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com)) was sitting right behind me. He kept shouting to her in Slovak: I kept hearing the words "poďme" ("c'mon") and "agresív". When she won the match, the lucky bustard got to kiss Magda: I'm not just talking about a quick peck, but a full-on lips-to-lips kiss whilst holding hands! (Photo 402). He then fondled her ponytail briefly before they walked off together.

My full report - with a point-by-point description - is on my website:
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/rybar/birmingham2009.html

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

Dav.
Jun 17th, 2009, 06:26 PM
Thanks! Nice read as usual.

andrewbroad
Jun 18th, 2009, 12:52 AM
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AEGON CLASSIC (Edgbaston, Birmingham, England; grass; WTA International)
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Contents
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1. Photos
2. First-round results
3. First-round eyewitness report: Mirza v Poutchek
4. First-round mini-report: Vögele v Gullickson
5. First-round mini-report: Cetkovská v Foretz
6. First-round mini-report: Shvedova v Scheepers
7. First-round eyewitness report: Broady v Kudryavtseva (Part 1)
8. Maria Kirilenko's practice-session

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1. Photos (Tuesday 9th June 2009)
---------

Permission to copy my Birmingham photos is granted provided that:
(a) no money is exchanged;
(b) they are labelled as "Copyright 2009 Andrew Broad".
Please let me know if you do use them on another website.

Tuesday's photos:
http://www.divshare.com/download/7681270-4e8

Maria Kirilenko (60 photos)
Yaroslava Shvedova (52)
Stefanie Vögele (47)
Maria Elena Camerin (43)
Sania Mirza (34)
Petra Cetkovská (32)
Carly Gullickson (16)
Naomi Broady (15)
Tatiana Poutchek (12)
Chanelle Scheepers (7)
Stéphanie Foretz (5)
Lilia Osterloh (3)
Julia Görges (1)

Yaroslava Shvedova: I have precious memories of briefly meeting the tall, gorgeous Yaroslava in our mutual hotel at Birmingham 2008, and of how attractive she also looked on the court back then. She's not quite as delectable now, though I still took plenty of photos for old times' sake!

Stefanie Vögele: young, slim and ultracute, with a beautiful face and sexy legs to boot, she looks better and better with each successive photo in this set. The ones of her standing in front of the wheelie-bins (Photos 085-087) are the best of Tuesday's photos.

Julia Görges: unfortunately I only had time for one photo of the gorgeous Görges (Photo 001), as my priority was to go and watch Sania Mirza, who was starting on Centre Court at the same time. But it's a darn good one!

P.S. "ö" is transliterated as "oe" when writing without diacritical marks ("Vögele" -> "Voegele", "Görges" -> "Goerges").

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2. First-round results (Tuesday 9th June 2009)
----------------------

What rocked:
+ Sania Mirza [DF] d. Tatiana Poutchek [Q], 6-1 6-2
+ Stefanie Vögele d. Carly Gullickson [Q], 3-6 6-4 7-5
+ Julia Görges d. Anastasia Rodionova [Q], 6-4 6-2
+ Petra Cetkovská d. Stéphanie Foretz, 7-6 (7/5) 6-3

What sucked:
- Arantxa Parra Santonja [Q,S] lt. MELINDA CZINK [16], 4-6 3-6

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová d. Ayumi Morita [s], 7-5 3-6 6-3

Suspended overnight due to rain:
* Naomi Broady [Q] v Alla Kudryavtseva, 7-5 6-7 (4/7) *4-5
* Yaroslava Shvedova v Chanelle Scheepers [Q], 7-6 (7/5) 6-7 (7/9) 1-3*
* Maria Elena Camerin v Lilia Osterloh [Q], 7-6 (7/4) 4-4*
* ARAVANE REZAÏ [15] v Mariana Duque Marino [Q], 5-4*

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3. First-round eyewitness report: Mirza v Poutchek (Tuesday 9th June 2009)
--------------------------------------------------

+ Sania Mirza [DF] d. Tatiana Poutchek [Q], 6-1 6-2

Sania played extremely well, hitting the ball like a pistol, and with pinpoint accuracy, regularly driving her flairsome groundstrokes deep into the corners to frustrate the pouting Poutchek: one of the most emotionally-expressive players on the Tour.

It was a stark contrast to Sania's listless performance here last year, when she was just coming back from wrist-surgery.

The first set was shaping up to be the most competitive bagel I've ever seen, as Sania went 5-0* up after numerous deuces, including EIGHT at *2-0. Poutchek did get one game, before Sania took the set 6-1 in all of 43 minutes.

The first five games of the second set went against serve, before Sania pulled away from *3-2 to win 6-1 6-2.


First set
---------
MIRZA *@*@* * 6
POUTC _____* 1

The match was first on Centre Court. Sania won the toss and elected to serve, and the match started at 11:12 BST.

Sania serving 0-0: Poutchek hit a forehand winner that shot through on Sania. 0/15. Sania's deep, low-bouncing off-forehand forced Poutchek to hit a backhand long. 15/15. Poutchek played a good spreading rally, but Sania hit a backhand winner down the line. 30/15. Sania painted the sideline with a crosscourt forehand winner. 40/15. A deep return in Sania's forehand-corner forced her to hit a forehand long and wide. 40/30. Virtual ace out wide.

Poutchek serving 0-1: Backhand return long. 15/0. Sania, driven wide, hit a down-the-line backhand wide. 30/0. Sania's deep forehand return forced Poutchek to hit a backhand lob long. 30/15. A long rally ended with Sania forcing a Poutchek to hit a defensive lob, which Sania dispatched with a crosscourt forehand winner. 30/30. Poutchek played a good spreading rally: Sania netted a forehand. 40/30. Sania ran down a dropshot and hit a forehand winner down the line. Deuce #1. Sania netted an off-backhand return. Ad Poutchek. Double fault (second serve into the net). Deuce #2. Sania netted a backhand return. Ad Poutchek. Sania hit a forehand onto the baseline, forcing Poutchek to net a forehand. Deuce #3. Sania's off-forehand + crosscourt forehand forced Poutchek to hit a forehand long. Ad Sania (BP). Poutchek backhand long.

Sania serving 2-0: Service-winner. 15/0. Double fault (second serve long). 15/15. Serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner back behind Poutchek. 30/15. Sania crosscourt forehand wide. 30/30. Serve out wide + off-forehand winner. 40/30. Sania, on the third stroke, hit a backhand wide. Deuce #1. Sania, on the fifth stroke, painted the sideline with an off-forehand winner. Ad Sania. Sania forehand just wide. Deuce #2. Serve out wide: Poutchek netted a forehand return. Ad Sania. Double fault (second serve long). Deuce #3. Sania, stretched wide, hit a one-handed backhand long. Ad Poutchek (BP #1). Sania, on the third stroke, hit a crosscourt forehand winner. Deuce #4. Poutchek netted a cheap forehand return. Ad Sania. Sania backhand long. Deuce #5. Sania backhand wide. Ad Poutchek (BP #2). Sania went to the net leaving her forehand-sideline unprotected: Poutchek netted a forehand pass down that line. Deuce #6. Sania netted a forehand. Ad Poutchek (BP #3). Sania ran down a short floater, and hit a forehand volley-winner down Poutchek's forehand-sideline. Deuce #7. Poutchek crosscourt backhand wide (Sania's backhand had hit the sideline earlier in the rally). Ad Sania. She netted a forehand. Deuce #8. Sania off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. Ad Sania. A long rally ended with Sania hitting a crosscourt backhand winner.

The rallies are predominantly crosscourt at the moment.

Poutchek serving 0-3: Sania crosscourt forehand winner. 0/15. Sania netted a forehand return. 15/15. Poutchek netted a forehand. 15/30. Service-winner out wide. 30/30. Sania netted a backhand. 40/30. Sania hit a crosscourt backhand return-winner. Poutchek muttered. Deuce #1. Sania forehand winner down the line. Ad Sania (BP). Sania's deep return forced Poutchek to net a backhand.

Sania serving 4-0: Poutchek netted a forehand. 15/0. Double fault. 15/15. Sania crosscourt backhand winner. 30/15. Sania punished a short ball with a big forehand winner down Poutchek's forehand-sideline. 40/15. First serve out wide forced Poutchek to net a forehand return.

Poutchek serving 0-5: Sania's crosscourt forehand return forced Poutchek to hit a forehand lob long. 0/15. Service-winner out wide. 15/15. Sania played a well-constructed point, opening up the court for a down-the-line forehand volley-winner. 15/30. Poutchek's deep off-forehand forced Sania to hit a backhand long. 30/30. Sania netted a backhand. 40/30. Sania ran down a dropshot and hit a forehand winner down the line; Poutchek screamed! Deuce #1. Sania's crosscourt backhand on the sideline forced Poutchek to hit a crosscourt backhand wide. Ad Sania (BP). Poutchek off-backhand winner down the line. Deuce #2. Sania hit a backhand very long, doubled over and said "ah!" Ad Poutchek. Backhand return long.

Sania serving 5-1: Poutchek was attacked by a bee, and netted a forehand return. 15/0. Sania crosscourt backhand winner. 30/0. Poutchek hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 30/15. Poutchek drew Sania to the net and to her backhand-sideline, and hit a backhand winner down the line. 30/30. Sania, driven wide, hit a down-the-line forehand long. 30/40 (BP). Sania's deep crosscourt forehand on the baseline forced Poutchek to earth a forehand. Deuce #1. Poutchek forehand long. Ad Sania (SP #1). Poutchek hit an off-forehand just inside the sideline, forcing Sania to hit a backhand long. Deuce #2. Serve out wide + forehand winner down the line. Ad Sania (SP #2). Poutchek saved it with a crosscourt forehand winner. Deuce #3. Ace down the middle. Ad Sania (SP #3). It was windy. Poutchek, driven wide, netted a forehand. Sania won the first set 6-1 at 11:55 BST (43m).

It had been sunny at the start of the match, but now it was cold and windy.


Second set
----------
MIRZA @ @ @*@* 6
POUTC _@ @____ 2

Poutchek serving 0-0: Poutchek forehand wide on the third stroke. 0/15. Backhand return long. 15/15. Poutchek sliced a backhand long. It started to drizzle. 15/30. Poutchek backhand winner down the line. 15/40 (BP). Poutchek, on the third stroke, hit a backhand long and wide to get broken. She muttered and hit a ball in frustration.

Sania serving 1-0: Service-winner down the middle. 15/0. Crosscourt forehand return wide. 30/0. Sania forehand long. 30/15. Poutchek off-backhand winner just inside the sideline. 30/30. Sania went to the net, but Poutchek hit a backhand pass-winner down the line. 30/40 (BP). Sania gave the break straight back to Poutchek as she hit a big forehand just long.

It was now quite windy.

Poutchek serving 1-1: Sania forehand just long. 15/0. Poutchek hit an off-backhand wide of the tramlines. 15/15. Poutchek hit a crosscourt backhand wide, and muttered. 15/30. Sania netted a forehand return. 30/30. Sania painted the sideline with a crosscourt forehand winner. 30/40 (BP #1). Sania forehand just long. Deuce #1. Sania mishit an off-backhand return for a winner! Ad Sania (BP #2). Poutchek hit a backhand just long to reinstate Sania's break.

Sania serving 2-1: Double fault (second serve into the net). 0/15. Sania crosscourt backhand wide. 0/30. Sania crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 15/30. Poutchek crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 15/40 (BP #1). Forehand return long. 30/40 (BP #2). Sania hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line. Deuce #1. Serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner back behind Poutchek. Ad Sania. Double fault (second serve into the net). Deuce #2. Poutchek crosscourt forehand winner. Ad Poutchek (BP #3). Poutchek's crosscourt backhand forced Sania on the run to net a backhand.

Poutchek serving 2-2: Poutchek backhand winner down the line. 15/0. Double fault (second serve long). Poutchek muttered. 15/15. Poutchek hit a crosscourt backhand wide, and said "shoo". 15/30. Sania off-forehand winner. 15/40 (BP #1). Serve out wide + crosscourt backhand winner. 30/40 (BP #2). Poutchek netted a sliced backhand, shouted, and practised the stroke. Five breaks in a row!

Sania called her coach onto court.

Sania serving 3-2: A long rally ended with Sania netting a backhand. 0/15. Poutchek netted a forehand return. 15/15. Sania's down-the-line backhand died away for a winner. 30/15. Double fault (second serve into the net). 30/30. Double fault (second serve just long). Sania groaned. 30/40 (BP #1). Sania crosscourt forehand + forehand winner down the line. Deuce #1. Forehand return very long. Ad Sania. Sania crosscourt forehand wide. Deuce #2. Poutchek hit an off-backhand return-winner. Ad Poutchek (BP #2). Sania saved it with a down-the-line backhand winner. Deuce #3. Poutchek netted a backhand. Ad Sania. Poutchek backhand winner down the line. Deuce #4. Sania crosscourt forehand dropshot-winner. Ad Sania. Poutchek hit a forehand long, and dropped her racket. First hold of the set to Sania!

Poutchek serving 2-4: Double fault (second serve just long). 0/15. Sania dumped a backhand halfway up the net. 15/15. Poutchek off-forehand just wide. 15/30. Ace out wide: on the sideline. 30/30. Poutchek, on the third stroke, hit an off-backhand winner. 40/30. Poutchek netted an off-forehand, and said "woo!" Deuce #1. Sania netted an off-backhand. Ad Poutchek. She dumped a forehand halfway up the net on the third stroke. Deuce #2. Sania off-backhand return + crosscourt backhand winner. Ad Sania (BP). Sania's return clipped the netcord, inducing Poutchek to slice a forehand long, giving Sania the double break.

Sania serving 5-2: Sania's deep forehand forced Poutchek to hit a forehand long. 15/0. Sania forehand long. 15/15. Service-winner out wide. 30/15. Sania netted a forehand. 30/30. Double fault (second serve into the net). 30/40 (BP). Poutchek crosscourt forehand wide. Deuce #1. Sania crosscourt backhand + crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline. Ad Sania (MP #1). Sania sealed her victory in style with a crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline. Sania won 6-1 6-2 at 12:35 BST (second set 40m, match 1h23m).

Sania's on-court interview: "I'm just happy to be back playing after eight months off last year with a bad wrist. I love playing at Birmingham - I get plenty of support. There are so many of us [Indians] all over the world! I'm so happy to be playing, competing, working hard, and winning matches."

-----------------------------------------------
4. First-round mini-report: Vögele v Gullickson (Tuesday 9th June 2009)
-----------------------------------------------

+ Stefanie Vögele d. Carly Gullickson [Q], 3-6 6-4 7-5

When I came off Centre Court after Mirza beat Poutchek, this match was deep in a third set, with Vögele a break down at 3-4*. She won the next two games to lead 5-4*, and had three match-points (15/40 and Ad).

I thought Vögele had blown it when it became *5-5 after those match-points, but she converted her fifth at 6-5*.

----------------------------------------------
5. First-round mini-report: Cetkovská v Foretz (Tuesday 9th June 2009)
----------------------------------------------

+ Petra Cetkovská d. Stéphanie Foretz, 7-6 (7/5) 6-3

Foretz couldn't deal with Cetkovská's choppy shots, although the ending was rather protracted as Cetkovská had her first match-point at *5-1 and her second at 5-2*; she was third-time lucky at *5-3.

If you're wondering about Cetkovská's fall (Photo 096), it was nothing serious - she just had to towel down after it.

------------------------------------------------
6. First-round mini-report: Shvedova v Scheepers (Tuesday 9th June 2009)
------------------------------------------------

Suspended overnight:
* Yaroslava Shvedova v Chanelle Scheepers [Q], 7-6 (7/5) 6-7 (7/9) 1-3*

I watched the first set of this Court 3 match, but to be honest, it was less than riveting in tennis-terms; I was just concentrating on taking photos of the gorgeous Yaroslava, and of Maria Elena Camerin on Court 4.

After a long, drawn-out first set, I decided to get my lunch as it was already past 15:00 BST, and then I went to Centre Court to watch some of Broady v Kudryavtseva.

When I came back, the second set had gone to a tiebreak, with Yaroslava trailing 2/5. She fought back to 5/5, saved set-point at 5/6, and even had a match-point at 7/6 before losing it 7/9.

I didn't see any of the third set, because Broady v Kudryavtseva was already *3-2 in the third, so I decided to go back to Centre Court, where I stayed until play was rained off for the day.

-------------------------------------------------------
7. First-round eyewitness report: Broady v Kudryavtseva (Part 1: Tuesday 9th June 2009)
-------------------------------------------------------

Suspended overnight:
* Naomi Broady [Q] v Alla Kudryavtseva, 7-5 6-7 (4/7) *4-5

I didn't watch this match from the start, as Yaroslava Shvedova's match was starting at the same time as Broady's, and I wanted to mix and match between the two equal beauties, starting with Shvedova (because it's much easier to monitor the Centre Court score from Court 3 than vice versa).

After the first set of Shvedova v Scheepers, Broady looked to be heading for a third set at 7-5 *1-3, so I decided to get my lunch at that point (it was already past 15:00 BST).

But I regretted that decision when, after my lunch, Broady was threatening to win the match without another changeover at 7-5 4-3*! So I dashed over to Centre Court, and had to watch from the top of the steps as Broady broke, served for the match at *5-3, and had her first match-point.

But the steward jinxed Broady by saying, "I'll let you on in a minute, when this match is over."

Kudryavtseva broke back for *4-5, and Broady had three more match-points (15/40 and Ad). She was also two points from victory at 6-5* (30/15*), but dropped the second set on a tense tiebreak with spots of rain.

I went off to watch the end of Shvedova's second set, and when I came back, Broady was up a break at *3-2 in the third. Apparently, there had been verbals at the changeovers.

Broady held for 4-2*, but sadly that was the last game she would win, as Kudryavtseva broke back, and was 5-4* up when it was rained off - for the day, as it turned out.


Second set
----------

Kudryavtseva serving 4-5: Kudryavtseva forehand just long. 0/15. Kudryavtseva crosscourt backhand pass wide. 0/30. Kudryavtseva off-forehand winner. 15/30. Kudryavtseva, driven wide, netted a forehand and threw her racket. 15/40 (Broady MP #2). Broady hit a forehand return long, and smiled. 30/40 (Broady MP #3). Kudryavtseva, on the third stroke, hit an off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. Deuce #1. Broady's deep crosscourt forehand forced Kudryavtseva to hit a forehand halfway up the net. Ad Broady (MP #4). Kudryavtseva's off-forehand forced Broady to net a backhand. Deuce #2. Forehand return long. Ad Kudryavtseva. Broady netted a sliced forehand, and dropped her racket.

Broady serving 5-5: Kudryavtseva forehand long. 15/0. ? 15/15. Broady netted a backhand, and screamed. 15/30. Kudryavtseva crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 15/40 (BP #1). Broady's depth forced Kudryavtseva to hit a forehand long. 30/40 (BP #2). Forehand return long. Deuce #1. Serve out wide forced Kudryavtseva to net a forehand. Ad Broady. Service-winner down the middle.

It was raining since 15/30 in that game - not sufficiently heavily to suspend play, but enough that I was worried about my notes getting damaged. It's a good job the tournaments I attend are played on grass rather than clay!

Broady called her coach onto court.

Kudryavtseva serving 5-6: Forehand return long. 15/0. Kudryavtseva hit a forehand long, and slapped her thigh three times. 15/15. Kudryavtseva forehand long on the third stroke. 15/30. Kudryavtseva forehand dropshot-winner. 30/30. Serve out wide + crosscourt backhand winner. 40/30. Kudryavtseva netted a forehand on the third stroke. Deuce #1. Broady netted a sliced forehand return. Ad Kudryavtseva. Ace out wide: on the sideline.

6-6 tiebreak (all scores Broady/Kudryavtseva):
{*0/0} Broady ace out wide.
{1/0*} Kudryavtseva serve out wide + crosscourt forehand volley-winner.
{1/1*} Broady backhand wide.
{*1/2} With the light rain still falling, Broady sprayed a down-the-line forehand wide.
{*1/3} Broady ace out wide.
{2/3*} Kudryavtseva hit a down-the-line forehand wide.
{3/3*} Broady netted a forehand return.
{*3/4} Kudryavtseva netted a backhand volley, and screamed.
{*4/4} Broady, driven wide, was forced to hit a forehand that floated wide.
{4/5*} Broady forehand long.
{4/6*: SP #1} Kudryavtseva hit a second serve out wide, inducing Broady to hit a forehand return long. Kudryavtseva won the second set 7-6 (7/4) at 16:02 BST.


Third set
---------

Broady serving 3-2: Kudryavtseva netted a forehand. 15/0. Broady's depth forced Kudryavtseva to net a forehand. 30/0. Service-winner. 40/0. Kudryavtseva forced a short ball, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand winner. 40/15. Kudryavtseva forehand long.

Kudryavtseva serving 2-4: Broady hit a down-the-line forehand return long. 15/0. Backhand return long. 30/0. Broady, on the fourth stroke, hit an off-backhand winner. 30/15. Deep serve down the middle forced Broady to net a forehand return. 40/15. Kudryavtseva backhand winner down the line.

Broady serving 4-3: Broady's depth forced Kudryavtseva to hit a defensive forehand long. 15/0. Broady, driven wide, netted a forehand, and jumped. 15/15. Service-winner down the middle. 30/15. Kudryavtseva's deep crosscourt forehand forced Broady to net a forehand. 30/30. Kudryavtseva crosscourt backhand winner. 30/40 (BP). A deep, hard shot from Kudryavtseva forced Broady to float a defensive backhand long.

Kudryavtseva serving 4-4: Broady forehand long. 15/0. A deep, body-jamming serve forced Broady to net a backhand. 30/0. Service-winner down the middle. 40/0. With the rain coming down heavily now, Broady netted a backhand return. Play was suspended at 16:31 BST.

-------------------------------------
8. Maria Kirilenko's practice-session (Tuesday 9th June 2009)
-------------------------------------

At 17:00 BST, I found Little Maria practising on the far practice-court, despite play having been suspended half an hour earlier due to light but persistent rain.

It didn't seem to bother Little Maria, though - perhaps because it was very brown behind her baseline. She has beautiful footwork, and also has a clever way of picking up balls by trapping them between the outer side of her right foot and her racket, and flicking them up.

I took some photos through the closed gate, then got bolder and went right up to it, so that I could get my camera-lens into the narrow gap between the gate and the fence. I took loads of photos.

Little Maria did a little strip-tease for me: at 17:06, she took off her tracksuit-top, and at 17:40, she took off her tracksuit-bottoms, and sat cross-legged on a towel!

Her practice-session only ended when the groundstaff told her coach that they had to come off, which they did at 18:01.

I got some nice close-ups of Little Maria as she signed autographs for a few men who were waiting for her on the walkway overlooking the practice-courts, and when someone called out to her, she said "here" in a really cute voice.

I'm tempted to say it was the highlight of my day.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
Jun 22nd, 2009, 05:07 PM
I don't have time to continue my Birmingham-reports now that Wimbledon is underway. I hope to post Wednesday's report and photos on the middle Sunday (28th June), but Thursday to Sunday will probably have to wait until after Wimbledon (see the first post for the dates on which I expect to post them).

chirag sharma
Jun 23rd, 2009, 11:34 AM
if u can post that report why u can't post downloading links to download that matches

andrewbroad
Jun 28th, 2009, 08:32 PM
if u can post that report why u can't post downloading links to download that matches

Providing videos is beyond the scope of my activity.

andrewbroad
Jun 28th, 2009, 08:32 PM
=============
AEGON CLASSIC (Edgbaston, Birmingham, England; grass; WTA International)
=============
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. First-round results
3. Second-round results
4. First-round eyewitness report: Broady v Kudryavtseva (Part 2)
5. Second-round eyewitness report: Mirza v Keothavong
6. Second-round eyewitness report: Sharapova v Glatch (Part 1)

---------
1. Photos (Wednesday 10th June 2009)
---------

Permission to copy my Birmingham photos is granted provided that:
(a) no money is exchanged;
(b) they are labelled as "Copyright 2009 Andrew Broad".
Please let me know if you do use them on another website.

Wednesday's photos:
http://www.divshare.com/download/7774181-519

Naomi Broady (41 photos)
Sania Mirza (26)
Maria Sharapova (7)
Anne Keothavong (6)
Alla Kudryavtseva (6)
Alexa Glatch (4)

Sania Mirza: I caught some beautiful facial expressions of hers on Wednesday. Photo 53 is the pick of the day.

Maria Sharapova: Oh dear! When Maria walked onto Centre Court, my camera suddenly developed a fault whereby it wouldn't focus at all, despite my frantic attempts at troubleshooting during the warm-up. That's why I took so few photos of Maria on Wednesday, and those I did take are severely blurred. When play was rained off, I bought a new camera so that I could resume normal service on Thursday.

----------------------
2. First-round results (Wednesday 10th June 2009)
----------------------

What rocked:
+ ARAVANE REZAÏ [15] d. Mariana Duque Marino [Q], 6-4 6-1

What sucked:
- Naomi Broady [Q] lt. Alla Kudryavtseva, 7-5 6-7 (4/7) 4-6
- Yaroslava Shvedova lt. Chanelle Scheepers [Q], 7-6 (7/5) 6-7 (7/9) 3-6
- Maria Elena Camerin lt. Lilia Osterloh [Q], 7-6 (7/4) 5-7 3-6

-----------------------
3. Second-round results (Wednesday 10th June 2009)
-----------------------

What rocked:
+ Sania Mirza [DF] d. ANNE KEOTHAVONG [11], 6-1 7-6 (7/5)
+ Stefanie Vögele d. EKATERINA MAKAROVA [6], 6-3 3-6 6-2

What sucked:
- Olga Govortsova lt. ALEKSANDRA WOZNIAK [3], 4-6 4-6

Suspended overnight due to rain:
* Maria Sharapova [EF] v Alexa Glatch, 6-3 5-4* (Ad Glatch)
* Julia Görges v SARA ERRANI [8], 2-0* (30/15*)
* MELINDA CZINK [16] v Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová, 6-2 2-3*
* Urszula Radwańska v Petra Cetkovská, 6-3 4-4*

-------------------------------------------------------
4. First-round eyewitness report: Broady v Kudryavtseva (Part 2: Wednesday 10th June 2009)
-------------------------------------------------------

- Naomi Broady [Q] lt. Alla Kudryavtseva, 7-5 6-7 (4/7) 4-6

The resumption of this match was first on Centre Court, and started at 11:15 BST, with Broady serving at 4-5 in the third.

It was quite surreal that it finished just four minutes later - sadly with Kudryavtseva beating the "Maria Sharapova lookalike", just as she beat the real Maria at Wimbledon 2008.

Broady hit some great serves, but when she didn't, Kudryavtseva took over the points with her powerful groundstrokes, which were in good nick right from the word "play".

Overall, Broady gave a very good account of herself at Birmingham 2009: in qualifying, and in her first-ever main-draw match on the WTA Tour. She has power, she has beauty, and together with Laura Robson, she just might have what it takes to lead British women's tennis into a new golden era.


Third set
---------

Broady serving 4-5: Kudryavtseva's deep forehand return forced Broady to net a forehand. 0/15. Deep service-winner out wide. 15/15. Ace down the middle + "c'mon". 30/15. Broady almost hit an ace down the middle, but it was just wide. Despite a brave, deep second serve, Kudryavtseva painted the sideline with an off-forehand winner. 30/30. Ace out wide. 40/30. Broady caught her toss... Kudryavtseva hit a crosscourt forehand winner into the corner. Deuce #1. Kudryavtseva dominated the rally with powerful groundstrokes: Broady hit a backhand long. Ad Kudryavtseva (MP #1). Broady had the upper hand for much of a nailbiting rally, but dumped a forehand halfway up the net. Kudryavtseva won 5-7 7-6 (7/4) 6-4 at 11:19 BST.

Kudryavtseva's on-court interview: "It was very tough yesterday. She started off well - she has a huge serve, and had match-points [in the second set]. I just had a little more experience, and I love playing on grass."

-----------------------------------------------------
5. Second-round eyewitness report: Mirza v Keothavong (Wednesday 10th June 2009)
-----------------------------------------------------

+ Sania Mirza [DF] d. ANNE KEOTHAVONG [11], 6-1 7-6 (7/5)

In the first set, Sania continued her excellent form from the first round, while Keothavong played very poorly by top-fifty standards, making numerous errors despite not going for her shots, and running around her backhand to hit forehands, leaving a nice gap to her right for Sania to hit a winner into (the last point of the first set being a prime example).

In the second set, Keothavong was much more aggressive, while Sania faded badly: she appeared to be tired, as she wasn't hitting the ball as hard as in the first set, and her footwork was sloppy. Keothavong led 5-1*.

At that point, I thought Sania would be wise to sacrifice the second set and conserve her energy for the third, but she got a second wind and fought hard, while Keothavong tightened up, and Sania saved two set-points at *3-5 (30/40 and Ad). Keothavong played a good service-game at *5-6 to save the match, but Sania was always one step ahead in the tiebreak.


First set
---------
MIRZA @* *@*@ 6
KEOTH __*____ 1

The match was second on Centre Court, and started at 11:35 BST.

Keothavong serving 0-0: First serve: Sania down-the-line forehand return-winner. 0/15. Double fault (second serve long). 0/30. Keothavong off-forehand just wide. 0/40 (BP #1). A short return gave Keothavong a forehand winner down Sania's forehand-sideline. 15/40 (BP #2). Keothavong, on the third stroke, hit a crosscourt forehand just wide.

Sania serving 1-0: Second serve: forehand return just long. 15/0. Sania hit a forehand very long - off a short ball from Keothavong. 15/15. Sania punished a short return with an error-forcing crosscourt forehand. 30/15. Keothavong hit a crosscourt forehand onto the baseline, forcing Sania to net a forehand. 30/30. Service-winner down the middle. 40/30. Keothavong backhand winner down the line. Deuce #1. Sania's hard, deep forehand forced Keothavong to hit a forehand long. Ad Sania. She hit a forehand just long. Deuce #2. Sania ran down a dropshot, and hit a crosscourt backhand winner onto the sideline. Ad Sania. First serve down the middle - on the service-line - forced Keothavong to net a backhand return.

Keothavong serving 0-2: Sania netted a forehand return. 15/0. Service-winner out wide. 30/0. Double fault (second serve into the net). 30/15. Sania hit a dropshot that drew Keothavong to the net and to her backhand-sideline, opening up the court for a down-the-line backhand pass-winner. 30/30. A good serve forced a short return, which Keothavong dispatched with a crosscourt forehand winner. 40/30. Sania netted a cheap backhand.

Sania serving 2-1: Sania forced a short ball, and dispatched it with an off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. 15/0. Keothavong crosscourt forehand just wide. 30/0. Sania crosscourt backhand wide. 30/15. Keothavong forehand long. 40/15. Keothavong dumped a backhand return halfway up the net.

Keothavong serving 1-3: Sania hit a forehand just inside the baseline, forcing Keothavong to hit a forehand long. 0/15. Double fault (second serve clipped the netcord and fell wide). 0/30. Keothavong netted a forehand on the third stroke. 0/40 (BP). A deep return forced Keothavong to dump a forehand into the bottom of the net. Keothavong threw her racket.

Sania serving 4-1: Keothavong mishit a crosscourt forehand wide. 15/0. Keothavong's depth forced Sania to net a backhand. 15/15. Sania forehand winner down the line. 30/15. Backhand return just long. 40/15. Sania hit a down-the-line backhand wide. 40/30. Sania's off-forehand + crosscourt forehand + down-the-line forehand forced Keothavong to earth a backhand.

Keothavong serving 1-5: Sania hit a deep forehand just inside the baseline, forcing Keothavong to hit a forehand long. 0/15. Double fault (second serve into the net). 0/30. Keothavong was attacked by a bee, but her second serve went unpunished as Sania hit a cheap backhand return long. 15/30. Sania hit an off-forehand return into the corner, forcing Keothavong to hit a backhand long. 15/40 (SP #1). Ace out wide. 30/40 (SP #2). Sania forehand long. Deuce #1. Sania hit a crosscourt backhand winner back behind Keothavong and onto the sideline. Ad Sania (SP #3). Keothavong ran around her backhand to hit a forehand, giving Sania a nice gap to hit a crosscourt forehand winner into the corner. Sania won the first set 6-1 at 12:01 BST (26m).

Sania called her coach onto court.


Second set
----------
MIRZA *_____*@*@* T 7(7)
KEOTH _*@*@*_____*_ 6(5)

Sania serving 0-0: Double fault (second serve into the net). 0/15. Sania netted a forehand on the third stroke. 0/30. Double fault (second serve long). 0/40 (BP #1). Keothavong backhand very long. 15/40 (BP #2). Keothavong forehand long. 30/40 (BP #3). Sania hit an off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. Deuce #1. Keothavong hit a big forehand return down the line + crosscourt forehand winner. Ad Keothavong (BP #4). Sania's big, deep forehand forced Keothavong to hit a forehand wide. Deuce #2. Sania crosscourt forehand winner. Ad Sania. Keothavong netted a backhand dropshot.

Keothavong serving 0-1: After a chopped forehand return crosscourt, Sania played a good spreading rally, her crosscourt forehand just inside the sideline forcing Keothavong to hit a forehand long. 0/15. A body-jamming serve forced Sania to net a forehand, and to slip. 15/15. Keothavong's depth forced Sania to net a backhand. 30/15. Double fault (second serve into the net). 30/30. Forehand return long. 40/30. Double fault (second serve very long). Keothavong got a code-violation for hitting a ball in anger. Deuce #1. Sania netted a forehand return. Ad Keothavong. Her second serve was called wide but overruled as good, so instead of a double fault, she got another first serve (stupid rule): ace down the middle.

Sania serving 1-1: Sania, on the third stroke, painted the sideline with a crosscourt backhand winner. 15/0. Keothavong hit an aggressive return + crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline. 15/15. Keothavong netted an off-backhand return. 30/15. Keothavong hit an off-forehand return-winner onto the sideline (it looked wide to me). 30/30. Deep first serve out wide - on the service-line - forced Keothavong to hit a forehand return long. 40/30. A long rally ended with Keothavong's depth forcing Sania to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. Deuce #1. Sania's ball clipped the netcord and fell back on her side. Ad Keothavong (BP #1). Sania saved it with a good spreading rally, her crosscourt forehand volley forcing Keothavong to net a running forehand. Deuce #2. Keothavong hit a crosscourt forehand winner back behind Sania, just inside the baseline. Ad Keothavong (BP #2). Serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner. Deuce #3. Sania's deep forehand forced Keothavong to earth a forehand. Ad Sania. Double fault (second serve into the net). Deuce #4. Keothavong netted a backhand. Ad Sania. Keothavong hit a crosscourt forehand onto the sideline, forcing Sania to net a forehand. Deuce #5. Crosscourt backhand return-winner. Ad Keothavong (BP #3). Serve out wide + crosscourt forehand forced Keothavong to hit a forehand long. Sania said "c'mon". Deuce #6. Sania netted a forehand. Ad Keothavong. Her depth forced Sania to hit a forehand long, giving Keothavong the break at last.

Keothavong serving 2-1: Keothavong netted a forehand. 0/15. First serve down the middle - on the centre-line - forced Sania to hit a forehand return long. 15/15. Crosscourt forehand return wide. 30/15. Sania off-forehand wide. 40/15. Sania hit a short-angled crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline. 40/30. Backhand return long.

Sania serving 1-3: Sania went to the net, but Keothavong hit a crosscourt forehand pass-winner. 0/15. Sania crosscourt forehand wide. 0/30. Sania crosscourt backhand long and wide. 0/40 (BP). Sania netted a forehand on the third stroke.

Sania called her coach onto court - just five games later than she did before.

Keothavong serving 4-1: Sania netted a forehand. 15/0. Sania hit a crosscourt forehand return just inside the sideline, forcing Keothavong to earth a forehand. 15/15. Sania's wide-angled crosscourt backhand forced Keothavong to hit a backhand long. 15/30. Sania chopped a forehand into the net. 30/30. Sania dumped a backhand halfway up the net - sloppy footwork. 40/30. Second serve: Sania blasted a crosscourt backhand return just wide.

Sania serving 1-5: Ace down the middle: on the service-line. Keothavong said, "I didn't see any chalk - did you?" 15/0. Keothavong sliced a forehand long. 30/0. Sania complained when her first serve was called long. Keothavong hit an off-backhand wide. 40/0. Sania hit a big forehand just inside the baseline, forcing Keothavong to hit a forehand long.

At this point, I thought Sania would have been better off sacrificing this set in the next game, so that she could serve first in the third, but Sania had other ideas!

Keothavong serving 5-2: Sania netted a forehand return. 15/0. Keothavong down-the-line backhand just long. 15/15. Keothavong hit a wild off-backhand wide. 15/30. A long rally culminated with Sania hitting a short-angled crosscourt forehand + down-the-line forehand volley-winner. 15/40 (BP). Sania slipped over, but this distracted Keothavong: she netted a crosscourt forehand with the court wide open!

Sania serving 3-5: Sania crosscourt forehand + down-the-line forehand virtual winner. 15/0. Sania backhand long. 15/15. Sania crosscourt forehand winner. 30/15. Keothavong's depth forced Sania to hit a forehand long. Sania groaned loudly. 30/30. A short ball from Keothavong induced Sania to hit a forehand long. 30/40 (SP #1). Sania saved it with a big crosscourt forehand just inside the baseline, forcing Keothavong to net a forehand. Deuce #1. Keothavong hit a crosscourt forehand return into the corner, forcing Sania to earth a forehand. Ad Keothavong (SP #2). Off-forehand return wide. Deuce #2. Sania forced a short ball, and dispatched it with an off-forehand winner. Ad Sania. Keothavong hit a down-the-line forehand into the tramlines.

Keothavong serving 5-4: Forehand return long. 15/0. Quadruple fault! (two second serves just long). 15/30. A deep serve forced Sania to hit a backhand return wide. 30/30. Keothavong hit a sliced backhand quarterway up the net. 30/40 (BP). Sania's depth forced Keothavong to net a forehand.

It was now hot and sunny.

Sania serving 5-5: Keothavong, driven wide, hit a backhand long. 15/0. Keothavong forehand long. 30/0. Keothavong netted a forehand return. 40/0. Keothavong hit a backhand two thirds up the net.

Keothavong serving 5-6: Sania forehand just long. 15/0. Sania forced a short ball, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand winner. 15/15. Keothavong's deep, wide backhand forced Sania to net a backhand. 30/15. Deep service-winner down the middle. 40/15. Ace down the middle.

6-6 tiebreak (all scores Mirza/Keothavong):
{*0/0} Sania, on the third stroke, went for a crosscourt forehand winner, but it was just wide. "No, no," she said.
{0/1*} Sania's forehand return clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner.
{1/1*} Keothavong serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner.
{*1/2} Ace out wide: on the sideline.
{*2/2} Keothavong, on the third stroke, hit an off-backhand just wide.
{3/2*} Sania hit a down-the-line backhand return-winner low over the net.
{4/2*} Serve out wide forced Sania to hit a forehand return very long.
{*4/3} Sania hit a crosscourt forehand smash-winner into the corner.
{*5/3} Keothavong's deep forehand return down the line forced a short ball, which she dispatched with a forehand smash-winner.
{5/4*} Keothavong netted a forehand.
{6/4*: MP #1} Sania hit a down-the-line forehand return just wide.
{*6/5: MP #2} On the fourth stroke, Keothavong hit a forehand just long. Sania won 6-1 7-6 (7/5) at 13:03 BST (second set 1h02m, match 1h28m).

Sania's on-court interview: "She played much better in the second set, and I lost my concentration. I'm just happy to come through. I've struggled this year with my singles. I'm happy that the grass is fast!"

-----------------------------------------------------
6. Second-round eyewitness report: Sharapova v Glatch (Part 1: Wednesday 10th June 2009)
-----------------------------------------------------

Suspended overnight:
* Maria Sharapova [EF] v Alexa Glatch, 6-3 5-4* (Ad Glatch)

It was my first time to see Alexa Glatch play. She has a big serve, and both a sliced backhand and a two-handed backhand - the former seemed predominant in this match. She tried to serve and volley a few times - without success. She had her left knee strapped, and had red marks on her Achilles tendons like she'd danced the night away in a pair of ill-fitting high heels.

In the first set, Maria wasn't at her brilliant best (or maybe I was too busy fretting about my broken camera to fully appreciate her performance), but did enough to win it comfortably 6-3.

In the second set, Maria played brilliantly until she led 4-1* (40/15*), then had another worrying patch of loose errors as she squandered those break-points, and relinquished her break with a couple of double faults.

Glatch levelled up at 4-4*, then the first raindrops appeared, with grey clouds heading our way, and Maria was determined to wrap up a victory before the imminent rain-delay. She played a good service-game to lead 5-4*, but wasted a 0/30 opening and two match-points (30/40 and Ad) before the rain got heavy, forcing play to be suspended - for the day as it turned out - with Glatch at game-point.

My full report - with a point-by-point description - is on my website:
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/birmingham2009.html


I plan to post my reports and photos for Thursday to Sunday in the four weekends after Wimbledon, starting with Thursday's on 12th July.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

chirag sharma
Jul 4th, 2009, 02:04 AM
ur site http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/ten...ngham2009.html doesnot work.

andrewbroad
Jul 6th, 2009, 07:23 PM
ur site http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/ten...ngham2009.html doesnot work.

You copied & pasted the text of the link (which TennisForum.com shortens, because it is too long) rather than the actual link (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/birmingham2009.html).

dementievafan2
Jul 8th, 2009, 03:20 AM
no, it doesnot work

andrewbroad
Jul 8th, 2009, 07:08 AM
no, it doesnot work

It works for me. What happens when you try? (the good link (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/birmingham2009.html), not the bad link)

chirag sharma
Jul 11th, 2009, 02:50 AM
it doesnot open. can u post in another site. believe me it doesnot open

andrewbroad
Jul 11th, 2009, 09:48 PM
it doesnot open. can u post in another site. believe me it doesnot open

Please post the exact error-message that you see (or if it isn't an error-message: which web-browser you're using, and exactly what happens when you click on the good link (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/birmingham2009.html)), so that I might understand why it doesn't work for you.

As for posting it on another site, I will certainly be forced to do that eventually, because GeoCities will be closing on 26th October 2009. :fiery:

andrewbroad
Jul 11th, 2009, 09:52 PM
=============
AEGON CLASSIC (Edgbaston, Birmingham, England; grass; WTA International)
=============
Contents
--------

This report covers the first half of Thursday's play: up to the completion of the second round at 15:43 BST. I'll post Part 2 tomorrow, covering the third round, which was also completed on the Thursday.

1. Photos
2. Second-round results
3. Second-round eyewitness report: Krajíček v Wickmayer
4. Second-round eyewitness report: Sharapova v Glatch (Part 2)
5. Second-round eyewitness report: Rybáriková v Scheepers

---------
1. Photos (Thursday 11th June 2009 - Part 1)
---------

Permission to copy my Birmingham photos is granted provided that:
(a) no money is exchanged;
(b) they are labelled as "Copyright 2009 Andrew Broad".
Please let me know if you do use them on another website.

Thursday Part 1 (Photos 001-229):
http://www.divshare.com/download/7887295-adf

Magdaléna Rybáriková (56 photos)
Michaëlla Krajíček (54)
Julia Görges (26)
Yanina Wickmayer (25)
Petra Cetkovská (24)
Maria Sharapova (20)
Urszula Radwańska (20)
Roberta Vinci (9)
Chanelle Scheepers (7)
Alexa Glatch (7)
Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová (2)
Lilia Osterloh (2)
Melinda Czink (1)

Magdaléna Rybáriková: as the photo-counts imply, she was the beauty of the day. I'm particularly thrilled by the close-ups I took as she came off court after her second-round match (Photos 218-229: the best being 221).

Maria Sharapova: her relatively low photo-count reflects the very short duration of the resumption of her second-round match.

Julia Görges: I was very snap-happy, as I wanted to make up for only taking one photo of the gorgeous Görges earlier in the week.

Michaëlla Krajíček looks mighty fine too!

-----------------------
2. Second-round results (Thursday 11th June 2009)
-----------------------

What rocked:
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Alexa Glatch, 6-3 6-4
+ MAGDALÉNA RYBÁRIKOVÁ [13,EF] d. Chanelle Scheepers [Q], 6-7 (8/10) 6-1 6-3
+ ARAVANE REZAĎ [15] d. Alla Kudryavtseva, 7-6 (14/12) 3-6 6-2
+ ZHENG,JIE [1] d. Melanie South, 6-3 6-1
+ ROBERTA VINCI [14] d. Lilia Osterloh [Q], 6-4 6-2

Nice winner, nice loser:
- Michaëlla Krajíček [LL,DF] lt. Yanina Wickmayer, 2-6 4-6
+ Urszula Radwańska d. Petra Cetkovská, 6-3 7-5
+ Julia Görges d. SARA ERRANI [8], 6-4 5-7 7-5

What sucked:
- Elena Baltacha [WC] lt. ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [5], 7-6 (7/1) 3-6 6-7 (3/7)

-------------------------------------------------------
3. Second-round eyewitness report: Krajíček v Wickmayer (Thursday 11th June 2009)
-------------------------------------------------------

- Michaëlla Krajíček [LL,DF] lt. Yanina Wickmayer, 2-6 4-6

Michaëlla had lost in qualifying without me being able to get a good look at her, so it was a very pleasant surprise when I saw her on Thursday's order of play, and realised that she had replaced second seed Kaia Kanepi in the draw, complete with a first-round bye!

This was a repeat of the Birmingham 2008 third-round match between Michaëlla and Yanina, but this time it was on Court 2 rather than Court 4, so I got a much better view from the new stands by Court 2.

The match was first on Court 2, and started at 11:09 BST.


First set
---------
KRAJÍČEK __* *___ 2
WICKMAYE @* * *@* 6

Michaëlla serving 0-0: Yanina, on the fourth stroke, hit a backhand pass-winner down the line. 0/15. Yanina's depth forced Michaëlla to hit a forehand long on the fifth stroke. 0/30. Michaëlla netted a backhand on the third stroke. 0/40 (BP). Yanina's deep backhand down the line forced Michaëlla to hit a forehand long, giving Yanina an immediate break.

Yanina serving 1-0: Body-jamming serve forced Michaëlla to net a backhand return. 15/0. Deep first serve forced Michaëlla to hit a forehand return long. 30/0. Yanina's backhand down the line forced Michaëlla to hit a forehand long. 40/0. Michaëlla's backhand down the line forced Yanina to hit a forehand long. 40/15. Michaëlla hit a crosscourt backhand return-winner. 40/30. Forehand return long.

Michaëlla serving 0-2: Yanina, on the fourth stroke, hit a down-the-line backhand winner. 0/15. Michaëlla forced a short ball, and hit a down-the-line backhand that forced Yanina to earth a forehand. 15/15. Yanina netted a backhand return. 30/15. Serve out wide + forehand drop-volley winner. 40/15. Michaëlla forced a short ball, and hit a deep off-forehand that forced Yanina to net a backhand.

Yanina serving 2-1: Michaëlla's backhand clipped the netcord and fell back on her side. 15/0. Yanina's deep off-forehand forced Michaëlla to net a backhand. 30/0. Virtual ace down the middle. 40/0. Yanina crosscourt forehand wide. 40/15. Forehand return long.

Michaëlla serving 1-3: Yanina forehand long. 15/0. Serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner. 30/0. Yanina forehand long on the fourth stroke. 40/0. Michaëlla tried to serve and volley, but Yanina hit a crosscourt backhand return-winner before Michaëlla even reached the service-line. 40/15. Yanina forced a short ball but netted a backhand.

Michaëlla called her coach onto court.

Yanina serving 3-2: Yanina hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand winner back behind Michaëlla. 15/0. Ace down the middle hit the centre-line with a big puff of titanium pigment. 30/0. Ace down the middle again. 40/0. Serve out wide + off-forehand winner back behind Michaëlla.

Michaëlla serving 2-4: Michaëlla netted a backhand dropshot. 0/15. Serve out wide + forehand winner down Yanina's forehand-sideline. 15/15. Yanina forced a short ball from Michaëlla on the third stroke, and dispatched it with a crosscourt backhand winner. 15/30. Michaëlla sliced an off-backhand wide, and shouted "oh no, NO!!" 15/40 (BP). Michaëlla opened up the court with a serve out wide, but hit a down-the-line forehand into the top of the net, giving Yanina the double break.

Yanina serving 5-2 (new balls): Service-winner down the middle. 15/0. Double fault (Yanina was attacked by a bee, and hit her second serve long). 15/15. Michaëlla netted a backhand on the fourth stroke. 30/15. Backhand return long. 40/15 (SP #1). Double fault (second serve well wide of the centre-line). 40/30 (SP #2). Quadruple fault! (second serve long). Deuce. Michaëlla changed her racket, but Yanina's depth forced Michaëlla to hit a forehand long. Ad Yanina (SP #3). Serve out wide + deep forehand forced Michaëlla to net a forehand. Yanina won the first set 6-2 at 11:39 BST (30m).

Yanina called her coach onto court. Perhaps she wasn't happy about the three double faults she served in that game.


Second set
----------
KRAJÍČEK __* *@__*_ 4
WICKMAYE @* *__@* * 6

Michaëlla serving 0-0: Yanina netted a forehand return. 15/0. With both girls at the net, Yanina hit a crosscourt forehand smash-winner. 15/15. Double fault (second serve long). 15/30. Yanina off-forehand winner into the corner. 15/40 (BP). Michaëlla gave Yanina the break by netting a forehand on the third stroke. Michaëlla slapped her head.

Yanina serving 1-0: Michaëlla went to the net, but looked rather leaden-footed as Yanina hit a forehand lob-winner. Yanina said "komaan". 15/0. Serve out wide forced Michaëlla to hit a backhand return long. 30/0. Michaëlla hit a pinpoint forehand return-winner down the line: on the sideline, and just inside the baseline. 30/15. Yanina painted the sideline with a crosscourt forehand winner, and said "komaan" again. 40/15. Backhand return very long.

Michaëlla serving 0-2: Yanina off-forehand just wide on the fourth stroke. 15/0. Michaëlla netted a forehand on the third stroke. 15/15. Double fault (second serve long). 15/30. Ace down the middle (called wide, but overruled as good). 30/30. Ace out wide. 40/30. Serve out wide + crosscourt forehand volley-winner.

Yanina serving 2-1: Michaëlla crosscourt forehand wide. 15/0. Serve out wide + off-forehand winner. 30/0. Michaëlla went for a crosscourt backhand return-winner, but it was just wide. 40/0. Serve out wide forced a short return: Yanina dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand winner.

Michaëlla serving 1-3: Michaëlla drew Yanina to the net with a backhand dropshot, and passed her with a crosscourt forehand volley-winner - lovely combination! 15/0. Yanina hit a crosscourt backhand return-winner (I think). 15/15. Deep body-jamming serve forced Yanina to net a forehand return. 30/15. Michaëlla netted a forehand on the third stroke. 30/30. Service-winner down the middle. 40/30. Serve out wide forced Yanina to net an off-forehand return.

Yanina serving 3-2: Double fault (second serve into the net). 0/15. Yanina crosscourt backhand wide. 0/30. Double fault (second serve well wide of the centre-line). 0/40 (BP #1). Ace out wide. 15/40 (BP #2). Michaëlla went to the net behind a deep forehand down the line, forcing Yanina to net a backhand, giving Michaëlla the break back.

Michaëlla serving 3-3: Michaëlla, driven wide, hit a forehand long. 0/15. Michaëlla forehand long again. 0/30. Michaëlla went to the net, forcing Yanina to hit a crosscourt backhand wide. 15/30. Double fault. 15/40 (BP #1). Serve out wide + off-forehand winner. 30/40 (BP #2). Double fault (second serve into the net) reinstated Yanina's break.

Yanina serving 4-3: Michaëlla forehand just long. 15/0. Michaëlla hit a crosscourt backhand winner, screamed and pumped her fist. 15/15. Michaëlla went for a crosscourt backhand return-winner, but it was just wide. 30/15. Serve out wide + crosscourt forehand virtual winner. 40/15. Yanina off-forehand winner back behind Michaëlla.

Michaëlla serving 3-5: Serve down the middle forced Yanina to net a forehand return. 15/0. Yanina, on the fourth stroke, hit an off-forehand winner. 15/15. Yanina backhand very long. 15/30. Michaëlla tried to serve and volley, but the volley (a crosscourt forehand) was wide. 30/30. Service-winner out wide. 40/30. Serve out wide + short-angled crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline.

It was actually raining now.

Yanina serving 5-4: Service-winner down the middle. 15/0. Serve + off-forehand winner onto the sideline. 30/0. With the rain getting heavier, Yanina forced a short ball, but hit an off-forehand long. 30/15. Michaëlla crosscourt forehand just wide. 40/15 (MP #1). The rain got even heavier, but Yanina wrapped up the match just in time, as Michaëlla hit a backhand return just long. Yanina won 6-2 6-4 at 12:16 BST (second set 37m, match 1h07m).

Yanina was very lucky to avoid a rain-delay there! Play was suspended on all other courts for about 45 minutes.

-----------------------------------------------------
4. Second-round eyewitness report: Sharapova v Glatch (Part 2: Thursday 11th June 2009)
-----------------------------------------------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Alexa Glatch, 6-3 6-4

This was the resumption of a match that had been suspended overnight due to rain on Wednesday, when Maria led 6-3 5-4* (Ad Glatch), having missed two match-points.

It took Maria just two minutes to wrap up her victory on Thursday. She pegged Glatch back to Deuce, then reached her third match-point, which Glatch saved with a service-winner. Maria reached her fourth match-point with a pinpoint forehand pass-winner down the line, and converted it when her short return induced Glatch to hit a forehand dropshot very long.

Maria: "It's never easy with all the rain-delays. We just prepare the best we can. It's not over till it's over. She has a really powerful game, and a great serve. My goal is to improve every match, and do the job as fast as I can."

My full report - with a point-by-point description - is on my website:
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/birmingham2009.html

---------------------------------------------------------
5. Second-round eyewitness report: Rybáriková v Scheepers (Thursday 11th June 2009)
---------------------------------------------------------

+ MAGDALÉNA RYBÁRIKOVÁ [13,EF] d. Chanelle Scheepers [Q], 6-7 (8/10) 6-1 6-3

I watched the first and third sets, but unfortunately had to miss the second, because my vows of Eternal Fanship compelled me to go and watch the resumption of Maria Sharapova's second-round match on Centre Court. Because I had not yet inducted Magda into my Eternal Fanship by then, my decision to watch Maria instead was automatic. Had I already inducted Magda, it would have been a very tricky decision: I might well have chosen to stay with Magda, as she was potentially one set away from going out of the tournament. Little did I realise I was looking at the eventual champion! :hearts:

Magda blew a 5-3* (30/0*) lead in the first set, and a set-point at 8/7* in the tiebreak, but came back strongly against the qualifier in the second and third sets.

In the third set, Scheepers won two amazing points to recover from *2-2 (15/40), then Magda looked in trouble at *2-3 (0/30). But Magda's recovery from that point started with an ace, and she won the last four games of the match.

The third set also showcased Magda's excellent lobs: at *1-2 (40/30), with Scheepers at the net, Magda hit a beautifully-flighted crosscourt backhand lob-winner just inside the baseline. At *2-3 (40/30), Magda neutered Scheepers's early initiative with a deep recovery-lob.

Liezel Huber - who used to represent South Africa until she became a US citizen - was sitting just in front of me to support her former compatriot. It was very annoying to hear her calling out "Chani" at regular intervals.

I'm tempted to make a "Jeepers Creepers" joke, but "Scheepers" is actually pronounced like the English word "shapers".

My full report - with a point-by-point description - is on my website:
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/rybar/birmingham2009.html

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

chirag sharma
Jul 12th, 2009, 04:11 AM
message displayed is page cannot be found or page is not opened. 26 october is too late. plz do something. can u just have the report of sania mirza- anastasia pavlyuchenkova match. plz post that report also. thanx

andrewbroad
Jul 12th, 2009, 09:22 AM
message displayed is page cannot be found or page is not opened. 26 october is too late. plz do something.

Is the following link any use?
http://preview.tinyurl.com/shara-birmingham2009
If not, please tell me which browser you're using, and exactly what you see when you click it.

can u just have the report of sania mirza- anastasia pavlyuchenkova match. plz post that report also. thanx

I saw the third set of that match, and will write it up for my Thursday Part 2 report, due tonight.

chirag sharma
Jul 12th, 2009, 12:17 PM
[QUOTE=andrewbroad;16055528]Is the following link any use?
what about 1st set it was really a high quality set. otherwise thanx for reply

chirag sharma
Jul 12th, 2009, 12:20 PM
well i am usinfg internet explorer 7. the message displayed is

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andrewbroad
Jul 12th, 2009, 01:44 PM
what about 1st set it was really a high quality set.

During the first two sets of Mirza v Pavlyuchenkova, I was on Centre Court, watching Sharapova v Schiavone. When that finished, I went to Court 1: the second set had just finished, so that's when I started taking notes.

well i am usinfg internet explorer 7. the message displayed is
<snip>

After you click the TinyURL link (http://preview.tinyurl.com/shara-birmingham2009) and before you see this error-message, do you see a page with "TinyURL.com" at the top and click on the "Proceed to this site" link?

andrewbroad
Jul 12th, 2009, 10:04 PM
=============
AEGON CLASSIC (Edgbaston, Birmingham, England; grass; WTA International)
=============
Contents
--------

This report covers the second half of Thursday's play: the third round.

1. Photos
2. Third-round results
3. Third-round eyewitness report: Sharapova v Schiavone
4. Third-round eyewitness report: Mirza v Pavlyuchenkova
5. Third-round eyewitness report: Rybáriková v Zheng

---------
1. Photos (Thursday 11th June 2009 - Part 2)
---------

Permission to copy my Birmingham photos is granted provided that:
(a) no money is exchanged;
(b) they are labelled as "Copyright 2009 Andrew Broad".
Please let me know if you do use them on another website.

Thursday Part 2 (Photos 230-420):
http://www.divshare.com/download/7893895-d45

Magdaléna Rybáriková (51 photos)
Maria Sharapova (46)
Julia Görges (24)
Stefanie Vögele (22)
Sania Mirza (20)
Zheng,Jie (18)
Francesca Schiavone (11)
Maria Kirilenko (10)
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (6)
Urszula Radwańska (4)
Aravane Rezaď (2)
Naomi Cavaday (2)
Li,Na (1)

Stefanie Vögele: the best photos of her I've ever seen are those I took on that Thursday (Photos 230-251). She has beautiful blue eyes, I got some wonderful close-ups as she came off Court 1, and she's so sweet, too: she even said "thank you" as she passed me: apparently just because I stood aside to take my photos rather than block her path!

Maria Kirilenko: I saw her practising again (Photos 266-275), but I'll keep my thoughts to myself this time. ;)

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova: not one of my favourites, but she looks cute in Photo 326, where she's leaning against the net-post, waiting for Sania Mirza to return from a bathroom-break.

Julia Görges: you might be wondering what her medical time-out (Photos 347-349) was for. I couldn't work it out myself: first I thought she was ill, then the trainer appeared to be working at leg-level (as you can see, my view was restricted by the umpire's chair).

Magdaléna Rybáriková: I've said enough about her beauty, but I find her forehand take-back intriguing (Photos 383-385).

----------------------
2. Third-round results (Thursday 11th June 2009)
----------------------

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ MAGDALÉNA RYBÁRIKOVÁ [13,EF] d. ZHENG,JIE [1], 7-6 (12/10) 6-4
+ Urszula Radwańska d. Julia Görges, 7-6 (7/3) 6-3
+ Yanina Wickmayer d. ROBERTA VINCI [14], 6-1 6-4

What rocked:
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [7], 6-1 6-3
+ Sania Mirza [DF] d. ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [5], 7-6 (7/3) 3-6 6-2
+ Stefanie Vögele d. Naomi Cavaday [WC], 6-4 6-2

What sucked:
- ARAVANE REZAĎ [15] lt. LI,NA [4], 5-7 4-6

-------------------------------------------------------
3. Third-round eyewitness report: Sharapova v Schiavone (Thursday 11th June 2009)
-------------------------------------------------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [7], 6-1 6-3

Schiavone knows she needs to serve and volley to succeed on grass, but was unable to do that as she was simply overpowered by a brilliant performance by Maria. Had Maria been able to keep up this form, she would certainly have gone on to win Birmingham, and quite possibly Wimbledon too!

We did have to wait until 3-1* (40/30*) for Maria's first clean winner, but it was worth the wait: a delectable off-backhand dropshot to give her *4-1. Two forehand winners quickly followed, and a third at 5-1*, although Maria needed four set-points to seal the first set.

Two great serves gave Maria a 30/0 lead in the second set, but she had to save a break-point before holding her opening service-game with a forehand winner and an ace. Maria saved a game-point before breaking for *2-0, then held to love for 3-0* with two groundstroke-winners off both sides. Schiavone also held to love, then Maria hit a backhand winner onto the baseline en route to 4-1*. Schiavone held, then Maria held for 5-2* with two great crosscourt backhands.

Maria was two points from a 6-1 6-2 victory at 30/0*, but let Schiavone off the hook with four mainly unforced errors. Maria had three match-points at *5-3 (40/0): she missed the first two with forehand-errors, but converted the third with a crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline.

Maria: "I'm just so happy to have played three matches, and to have the opportunity to play a fourth. Today was better than I expected. I'm trying to get used to grass. I just have to take it one match at a time - I know that sounds boring, but that's how it is: just one more match: you've got to give it all you've got."

My full report - with a point-by-point description - is on my website:
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/birmingham2009.html

--------------------------------------------------------
4. Third-round eyewitness report: Mirza v Pavlyuchenkova (Thursday 11th June 2009)
--------------------------------------------------------

+ Sania Mirza [DF] d. ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [5], 7-6 (7/3) 3-6 6-2

Soon after watching Maria Sharapova beat Francesca Schiavone on Centre Court, I arrived at Court 1 just as Pavlyuchenkova won the second set at 17:41 BST. Sania appeared to be taking a bathroom-break, and the third set started at 17:49 BST.

Pavlyuchenkova was playing her sixth set of the day, having beaten Elena Baltacha 6-7 6-3 7-6 in the second round earlier on Thursday. Sania - who beat Anne Keothavong 6-1 7-6 in the second round on Wednesday morning - took advantage of Pavlyuchenkova's tiredness in that final set, but since I had considered Pavlyuchenkova a dangerous opponent for Sania, I was just happy for Sania to get the win any way she could.


Third set
---------
MIRZA * *@* *@ 6
PAVLY _*___*__ 2

Sania serving 0-0: Sania netted a forehand on the third stroke. 0/15. Double fault (second serve into the net). 0/30. Serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner back behind Pavlyuchenkova. 15/30. Sania off-forehand + crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 30/30. Sania netted a forehand on the third stroke. 30/40 (BP). Crosscourt forehand return well wide of the tramlines. Deuce. Service-winner down the middle. Ad Sania. Pavlyuchenkova down-the-line backhand just wide.

Pavlyuchenkova serving 0-1: Pavlyuchenkova crosscourt forehand winner. 15/0. Pavlyuchenkova netted a forehand (I think). 15/15. Sania backhand just long. 30/15. Ace down the middle. 40/15. Sania's deep crosscourt forehand forced Pavlyuchenkova to net a forehand. 40/30. Serve down the middle forced Sania to hit a forehand return long.

Sania serving 1-1: Serve out wide forced Pavlyuchenkova to hit a forehand return long. 15/0. Pavlyuchenkova netted two forehand returns. 40/0. Sania earthed a forehand - I think we can blame it on a bad bounce. 40/15. Pavlyuchenkova's deep forehand forced Sania to hit a backhand long. 40/30. Sania's deep down-the-line forehand forced Pavlyuchenkova to hit a crosscourt backhand wide. Pavlyuchenkova screamed.

Pavlyuchenkova serving 1-2: Sania hit a deep return just inside the baseline, forcing Pavlyuchenkova to hit an off-forehand wide. 0/15. Sania crosscourt forehand + down-the-line forehand winner. 0/30. Ace out wide. 15/30. Sania hit a forehand return-winner down Pavlyuchenkova's forehand-sideline. 15/40 (BP). Sania broke with a down-the-line backhand winner.

Sania serving 3-1: Pavlyuchenkova hit a deep return just inside the baseline, forcing Sania to hit a backhand wide. 0/15. Sania's depth forced Pavlyuchenkova to hit a backhand just long. 15/15. Virtual ace down the middle: on the service-line. 30/15. Pavlyuchenkova dumped a cheap forehand return into the net. 40/15. Forehand return just long.

Pavlyuchenkova serving 1-4: Pavlyuchenkova's crosscourt forehand forced Sania to hit a crosscourt backhand wide. 15/0. Pavlyuchenkova's backhand clipped the netcord, and dropped dead for a winner. 30/0. Sania crosscourt backhand return-winner. 30/15. Pavlyuchenkova hit a deep forehand just inside the baseline, forcing Sania to net a forehand. 40/15. First serve out wide: Sania hit a crosscourt forehand return-winner! 40/30. Serve out wide + low-bouncing crosscourt forehand forced Sania to net a forehand.

Sania serving 4-2: Pavlyuchenkova hit a backhand just long, and argued with the umpire. 15/0. Sania off-forehand wide. 15/15. And again. 15/30. Sania forehand smash-winner. 30/30. Pavlyuchenkova hit a forehand long, and shouted. Pavlyuchenkova's coach shouted "Make that!" 40/30. Sania's crosscourt backhand forced Pavlyuchenkova to net a backhand.

Pavlyuchenkova serving 2-5: Sania's crosscourt backhand return forced Pavlyuchenkova to net a backhand. 0/15. Double fault. 0/30. Pavlyuchenkova netted a backhand on the third stroke. 0/40 (MP #1). Pavlyuchenkova backhand wide. Sania won 7-6 (7/3) 3-6 6-2 at 18:16 BST (third set 35m including Sania's bathroom-break, match approximately 2h05m).

----------------------------------------------------
5. Third-round eyewitness report: Rybáriková v Zheng (Thursday 11th June 2009)
----------------------------------------------------

+ MAGDALÉNA RYBÁRIKOVÁ [13,EF] d. ZHENG,JIE [1], 7-6 (12/10) 6-4

A sensational win for Magda over the top seed, who had reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon 2008. Magda saved four set-points in the first set!

It was a mouthwatering match, and one that deserved to be on Centre Court rather than the humble Court 4, where only half a dozen spectators got to watch it (including Mr. Bean, who kept shouting out an incorrect pronunciation of "Zheng" whenever the umpire said a different incorrect pronunciation of "Zheng" - the correct pronunciation of "Zheng,Jie" is "zhan jeah").

Only a small corner of Court 4 abuts the public watching-area by the outside courts, and there's only room for three people to stand in the front row with an unobstructed view of Court 4. I was lucky enough to be one of those three people, so I got an excellent view of this match, and it was well worth standing up for 1h50m (including the 14m between the players walking onto court and actually starting the match) in increasingly cold conditions.


Magda made a very sharp start, punishing two second serves with forehand return-winners as she broke to love in the very first game; she quickly held for 2-0*, and it was already obvious that she was eager to get to the net!

Magda had a break-point that would have given her *3-0, but two unforced forehand-errors helped put Zheng on the scoreboard, and Zheng broke back with a crosscourt forehand winner and a couple of spreading rallies.

Magda had two nonconsecutive break-points at 2-2*, but missed them both with backhand-errors. She then looked in trouble at *2-3 (0/40), but saved them with good serves and an error-forcing dropshot, then hit an ace en route to 3-3*.

Magda found herself facing set-points at *4-5 (15/40), but two good serves set up two off-forehand winners - one a high volley. She faced a third set-point in that game, but escaped to 5-5* with two aces and a service-winner.

In an epic tiebreak, Magda recovered from 3/5* with the help of some serve and volley. She then had three set-points of her own: 6/5* (Zheng saved it with a netcord-winner), *7/6 (Zheng saved it with an error-forcing return) and 8/7* (Magda netted a cheap return). Zheng had her fourth set-point at 9/8* (Magda saved it with a crosscourt backhand volley-winner), then Magda had her fourth at 10/9* (she hit a forehand just wide). At 10/10*, Magda cleaned the sideline with a running crosscourt forehand pass-winner, and she converted her fifth set-point with an ace down the middle.


The second set was much more straightforward, as Magda served extremely well, and Zheng's performance was marred by some unforced errors - not least when Magda broke to 30 for *3-1.

Magda then held to love with four aces - an extremely rare feat in women's tennis! The first of those aces was an amazing kick-serve down the middle! This gave Magda a commanding 4-1* lead, and by the time she led 5-2*, she had won 9 points in a row on serve!

Serving for the match at *5-3, Magda dropped the first point, but hit two aces in a row, and soon had her first match-point at 40/30. But she hit a forehand long and sank to her knees, then her sliced backhand approach clipped the netcord and fell back on her side to give Zheng break-point, which Zheng converted with a backhand winner down the line.

Zheng looked like extending the match at *4-5 (30/0), but Magda hit an off-forehand volley-winner off an awkward low ball, and an off-backhand return-winner to reach her second match-point. She lofted a forehand just long, but a deep error-forcing forehand return gave her a third match-point, which she converted when Zheng netted a forehand.


My full report - with a point-by-point description - is on my website:
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/rybar/birmingham2009.html

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

chirag sharma
Jul 13th, 2009, 01:13 AM
ya the problem is same. site shows same message. i can't do anything.thanx for the report it was great

andrewbroad
Jul 14th, 2009, 06:25 PM
ya the problem is same. site shows same message. i can't do anything.

But did you see the TinyURL.com page before you saw the error-message?

If so, then I suspect that your ISP may be blocking my site because it is hosted by GeoCities. Can you access any other GeoCities site? For example, what happens when you type "geocities.com" into your browser's address-bar?

chirag sharma
Jul 15th, 2009, 01:03 AM
[ya my browser opens tiniurl.com but it doesnot open geocities.com. how can we get rid of this problem

andrewbroad
Jul 15th, 2009, 08:20 PM
[ya my browser opens tiniurl.com but it doesnot open geocities.com. how can we get rid of this problem

Assuming that your ISP does indeed block GeoCities, there are four possible solutions:
(a) Ask your ISP to unblock GeoCities. Explain that it's not reasonable to block the whole domain just because a few bad sites are hosted there.
(b) Switch to another, more liberal ISP.
(c) I'm not at liberty to divulge this solution, but it's pretty obvious if you think about it.
(d) Wait until October, and hope that your ISP doesn't block whatever new host I might choose for my website.

andrewbroad
Jul 19th, 2009, 12:19 AM
=============
AEGON CLASSIC (Edgbaston, Birmingham, England; grass; WTA International)
=============
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Quarter-final results
3. Quarter-final eyewitness report: Mirza v Czink
4. Quarter-final eyewitness report: Sharapova v Wickmayer
5. Quarter-final eyewitness report: Rybáriková v U.Radwańska

---------
1. Photos (Friday 12th June 2009)
---------

Permission to copy my Birmingham photos is granted provided that:
(a) no money is exchanged;
(b) they are labelled as "Copyright 2009 Andrew Broad".
Please let me know if you do use them on another website.

Friday's photos:
http://www.divshare.com/download/7940146-00a

Magdaléna Rybáriková (72 photos)
Stefanie Vögele (37)
Sania Mirza (31)
Maria Sharapova (26)
Urszula Radwańska (25)
Yanina Wickmayer (20)
Melinda Czink (9)
Li,Na (2)

------------------------
2. Quarter-final results (Friday 12th June 2009)
------------------------

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Yanina Wickmayer, 6-1 2-6 6-3
+ MAGDALÉNA RYBÁRIKOVÁ [13,EF] d. Urszula Radwańska, 6-3 6-3

What rocked:
+ Sania Mirza [DF] d. MELINDA CZINK [16], 6-1 7-6 (7/4)

What sucked:
- Stefanie Vögele lt. LI,NA [4], 3-6 6-7 (3/7)

Vögele v Li was first on Centre Court, so I watched it only casually, to save myself for the three important matches that followed back to back on Centre.

-------------------------------------------------
3. Quarter-final eyewitness report: Mirza v Czink (Friday 12th June 2009)
-------------------------------------------------

+ Sania Mirza [DF] d. MELINDA CZINK [16], 6-1 7-6 (7/4)

The first set was tougher than the scoreline implies. Sania had to come through three deuces to hold her opening service-game after saving a break-point. Czink at *1-2 was broken to love on a quadruple fault. At *1-4, she was broken again in a long game with three deuces and four more double faults - including another quadruple fault to finish.

Sania, for her part, held serve comfortably after her tough opening service-game. She served four aces and hit plenty of groundstroke-winners in the first set - especially on the third strokes of the points when she was serving.

Czink started the second set with her seventh double fault, but quickly snapped Sania's five-game winning-streak, held her first two service-games, and took advantage of Sania's two double faults to break for *3-1.

Sania broke back immediately with the help of two forehand winners down the line from defensive positions, and held for 3-3* with the help of a forehand smash-winner.

Sania held for 4-4* with a backhand winner and a forehand volley-winner, then Czink dropped serve with another double fault and three unforced errors.

Sania had her first match-point at *5-4 (40/30), but Czink's depth forced Sania to hit a forehand lob long, and two points later, Czink broke back. Sania had Czink at *5-5 (0/30), but Czink served well to get out of that hole.

Sania found herself down *5-6 (0/30), but responded magnificently with two aces down the middle, and a third to level up at 6-6. Sania never trailed in the tiebreak, hitting a backhand winner for *4/2, and closing it out with some more good serving.


First set
---------
MIRZA * *@*@* 6
CZINK _*_____ 1

The match was second on Centre Court, and started at 12:51 BST.

Sania serving 0-0: Left-handed Czink hit a crosscourt backhand return-winner. 0/15. Ace out wide. 15/15. Sania hit a crosscourt backhand wide on the third stroke. 15/30. Czink netted a forehand on the fourth stroke. 30/30. Sania hit a crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline. 40/30. Sania's down-the-line forehand clipped the netcord and fell wide. Deuce #1. Serve down the middle forced Czink to net a backhand. Ad Sania. Crosscourt forehand return-winner. Deuce #2. Crosscourt backhand return-winner. Ad Czink (BP). Ace out wide landed on the service-line with a puff of titanium pigment. Deuce #3. Sania went to the net behind a crosscourt forehand, forcing Czink to hit a backhand lob long. Ad Sania. Deep serve out wide forced Czink to hit a forehand return long.

Czink serving 0-1: Czink crosscourt forehand wide. 0/15. Sania painted the sideline with a down-the-line forehand winner. 0/30. Czink off-forehand winner. 15/30. Deep first serve out wide forced Sania to hit a crosscourt backhand return wide. 30/30. Serve out wide forced a short return, which Czink dispatched with a crosscourt forehand winner. 40/30. Second serve: Sania netted a backhand return.

Sania serving 1-1: Serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner. 15/0. Forehand return just long. 30/0. Sania forced a short ball, and dispatched it on the fifth stroke with a crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 40/0. Crosscourt backhand return-winner. 40/15. Ace out wide: on the sideline.

Czink serving 1-2: Sania's deep forehand forced Czink to net a backhand. 0/15. Sania's deep return forced Czink to net a backhand. 0/30. Double fault (second serve into the net). 0/40 (BP). Quadruple fault (second serve long).

Sania serving 3-1: Sania's dropshot induced Czink to net a forehand. 15/0. Czink crosscourt backhand just wide. 30/0. Ace down the middle. 40/0. Sania, on the third stroke, dumped a forehand into the bottom of the net. 40/15. Sania went to the net behind a crosscourt forehand, and hit an off-forehand volley-winner.

Czink serving 1-4: Double fault (second serve into the net). Czink muttered. 0/15. Sania crosscourt backhand just wide. 15/15. Czink crosscourt forehand winner. 30/15. Double fault (second serve clipped the netcord and fell long). 30/30. Ace out wide: on the service-line. 40/30. Sania crosscourt backhand return-winner. Deuce #1. Czink dumped a forehand halfway up the net. Ad Sania (BP #1). Sania netted a backhand on the fourth stroke. Deuce #2. Czink off-forehand wide. Ad Sania (BP #2). Service-winner out wide: on the service-line. Deuce #3. Double fault (second serve into the net). Ad Sania. Quadruple fault (second serve wide).

Just when it looked like Czink was getting her act together, she serves four double faults in one game.

Sania serving 5-1: Serve out wide forced a short return, which Sania dispatched with a forehand winner down the line. 15/0. Deep first serve out wide induced Czink to net a forehand return. 30/0. Double fault (second serve just long). 30/15. Czink forced a short floater, and dispatched it with a forehand smash-winner. 30/30. Serve out wide forced a short return, which Sania dispatched with a crosscourt backhand winner. 40/30 (SP #1). Serve down the middle - on the centre-line - induced Czink to net a backhand return. Sania won the first set 6-1 at 13:18 BST (27m).


Second set
----------
MIRZA _*__@* *@__*T 7(7)
CZINK * *@__*__@*__ 6(4)

Czink serving 0-0 (new balls): Double fault (second serve into the net). 0/15. Czink forehand winner down the line. 15/15. Serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner. 30/15. Service-winner down the middle. 40/15. Sania crosscourt forehand just wide (called by the umpire).

Sania serving 0-1: Serve out wide induced Czink to net a backhand return. 15/0. Serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner: on the sideline. 30/0. Crosscourt backhand return wide? 40/0. Double fault (second serve into the net). 40/15. Serve out wide + crosscourt backhand winner just inside the baseline - Czink was right there, but decided to let it go!

Czink serving 1-1: Czink forced a short floater from Sania, and dispatched it with an off-forehand smash-winner. 15/0. Czink's depth forced Sania to net a forehand. 30/0. Sania netted a backhand return. 40/0. Czink forced a short ball from Sania, and went to the net behind a forehand down the line, but Sania hit a crosscourt forehand pass-winner. 40/15. A good serve forced a short return, which Czink dispatched with a crosscourt forehand winner.

Sania serving 1-2: Czink's backhand return clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. 0/15. Service-winner down the middle. 15/15. Sania hit a forehand long on the third stroke. 15/30. Double fault (second serve into the net). 15/40 (BP #1). Czink netted a backhand return, and said "ah!" 30/40 (BP #2). Double fault (second serve long).

Czink serving 3-1: Czink hit a loose backhand long. 0/15. Sania hit a ball down the middle, jamming into Czink's body to force a forehand long. 0/30. Serve down the middle induced Sania to bunt a crosscourt backhand return wide. 15/30. Czink went to the net, but Sania hit a forehand pass-winner down the line: just inside the baseline. 15/40 (BP #1). Deep second serve forced Sania to hit a forehand return very long. 30/40 (BP #2). Sania, driven wide, squeezed a forehand winner down the line, catching the outside edge of the sideline!

Sania called her coach onto court.

Sania serving 2-3: Service-winner out wide. 15/0. Crosscourt forehand return-winner. 15/15. Czink crosscourt backhand return + crosscourt backhand winner back behind Sania. 15/30. Deep serve out wide induced Czink to net a forehand return. 30/30. Sania forced Czink to hit a short, high lob, and dispatched it with an off-forehand smash-winner. 40/30. On the fourth stroke, Czink hit a forehand very long.

Czink serving 3-3: Czink netted a backhand on the third stroke. 0/15. Body-jamming serve forced Sania to net a forehand return. 15/15. On the third stroke, Czink's off-forehand clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. 30/15. Double fault (second serve just wide). 30/30. Serve out wide + off-forehand winner back behind Sania. 40/30. First serve out wide forced Sania to net a backhand return.

Czink called her coach onto court.

Sania serving 3-4: Serve out wide: Czink hit an off-forehand return-winner! 0/15. Czink netted a forehand return. 15/15. Serve + crosscourt backhand winner. 30/15. Sania went to the net, forcing a short ball from Czink, which Sania dispatched with a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. 40/15. Deep second serve out wide: backhand return long.

Czink serving 4-4: Czink netted an easy forehand volley. 0/15. Forehand return long. 15/15. Double fault (second serve long). 15/30. Czink went for a forehand winner down the line, but it was just wide. 15/40 (BP). Czink sprayed a crosscourt forehand wide.

Sania serving 5-4 (new balls): Service-winner out wide. 15/0. Double fault (second serve just long). 15/15. Czink dumped a crosscourt forehand into the net. 30/15. Czink hit a crosscourt forehand winner back behind Sania. 30/30. Second serve: backhand return just long. 40/30 (MP #1). Second serve clipped the netcord and landed just inside the service-line for a let. Short second serve... Czink hit a deep ball just inside the baseline, forcing Sania to hit a forehand lob long. Deuce. Czink's crosscourt forehand forced a short ball from Sania, which Czink dispatched with a crosscourt backhand winner. Ad Czink (BP). Sania netted a backhand.

Czink serving 5-5: Czink, on the third stroke, hit a forehand just long. 0/15. Sania hit a crosscourt backhand winner back behind Czink. 0/30. Serve out wide induced Sania to net a forehand return. 15/30. Big, deep first serve down the middle forced Sania to hit a forehand return very long. 30/30. Serve + off-forehand winner. 40/30. Czink crosscourt backhand + down-the-line backhand winner.

Sania serving 5-6: Sania dumped a forehand halfway up the net. 0/15. Sania hit a forehand just long, and argued about the call. 0/30. Ace down the middle. 15/30. Ace down the middle caught the outside edge of the centre-line! 30/30. Sania caught Czink in no-man's-land with a crosscourt backhand pass-winner. 40/30. Ace down the middle: on the service-line.

6-6 tiebreak (all scores Mirza/Czink):
{0/0*} Sania hit a deep return just inside the baseline, forcing Czink to dump a forehand halfway up the net.
{*1/0} Czink's deep return forced Sania to net a forehand.
{*1/1} Sania service-winner out wide: crosscourt backhand return wide.
{2/1*} Serve down the middle induced Sania to mishit a forehand return that bounced on her side of the net.
{2/2*} Sania hit a forehand return onto the baseline, forcing Czink to hit a backhand long.
{*3/2} Sania serve out wide + down-the-line backhand winner onto the baseline.
{*4/2} Czink hit a deep crosscourt backhand return just inside the baseline, forcing Sania to hit a forehand long.
{4/3*} Czink hit a backhand long on the third stroke.
{5/3*} Czink service-winner down the middle: on the centre-line.
{*5/4} Sania's deep first serve down the middle induced Czink to hit a forehand return long.
{*6/4: MP #2} Sania hit a serve out wide, inducing Czink to net a backhand return. Sania won 6-1 7-6 (7/4) at 14:07 BST (second set 49m, match 1h16m), and screamed "c'mon!"

Sania's on-court interview: "I had some tough matches here. She's good on grass. I missed a match-point at 5-4. I've been serving really well this week. I love playing on grass; I hit the ball hard. I'm taking it one match at a time - I've not been looking at the draw. I struggled last year a lot. My wrist has healed - that's the biggest positive."

---------------------------------------------------------
4. Quarter-final eyewitness report: Sharapova v Wickmayer (Friday 12th June 2009)
---------------------------------------------------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Yanina Wickmayer, 6-1 2-6 6-3

Maria made a blazing start - a continuation of her third-round form against Francesca Schiavone - to dominate the first set against the 'Belgian Sharapova' - last year's runner-up - who actually played quite well even in the first set, despite having only one game to show for it. But Maria played great!

Maria broke immediately with the help of pinpoint down-the-line backhand and crosscourt forehand winners. She held for 2-0* with crosscourt-backhand and off-forehand winners. Yanina put up more resistance in her second service-game, but Maria broke at the third opportunity to lead *3-0. Maria held for 4-0* with crosscourt forehand and backhand winners.

Yanina avoided a first-set bagel, as her good depth and serving finally put her on the scoreboard. Maria hit an off-forehand winner as she held for 5-1*.

Maria hit a stunning down-the-line forehand return-winner, and her depth induced Yanina to hit two crosscourt shots wide, giving Maria three set-points at 0/40. Yanina saved the first two with one-two punch winners, but Maria sealed the first set when Yanina hit a forehand pass just wide.


Maria's fine form continued at the start of the second set, when she held to love with an ace, then a down-the-line forehand return-winner gave her break-point at 1-0* (40/30*). But Yanina escaped from that game with good serves and error-forcing depth, and then broke to love for *2-1 after Maria quadruple-faulted.

Yanina consolidated her break with a couple of winners as she held to love for 3-1* - eleven points in a row! Maria put up more resistance in her next service-game, but two forehand winners weren't enough, as Yanina converted her third break-point with a down-the-line forehand winner for *4-1.

Yanina held comfortably for 5-1*, and Maria held to love with two forehand winners, forcing Yanina to serve for the second set at *5-2. Yanina may have been nervous as she sprayed a crosscourt forehand drive-volley wide at 15/0, but she sealed the second set with four good serves.


Maria looked in trouble at *0/30 at the start of the third set, but Yanina let her off the hook with three unforced errors. Yanina held to love with three winners, and Maria held comfortably for 2-1*.

Maria started the next game with a short-angled crosscourt backhand pass-winner, and broke to 30 with a blazing crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline for *3-1. An ace helped her hold to 15 for 4-1*, and a roaring crosscourt backhand return-winner helped her break to 15 for *5-1.

Maria was two points from victory at *5-1 (30/15), but Yanina pegged her back with a crosscourt backhand winner, and had three nonconsecutive break-points: Maria saved the first with an ace out wide onto the sideline, the second with an off-backhand winner onto the sideline, but dropped serve with her third double fault of the game.

Yanina killed a bee, and Maria hit a down-the-line backhand return-winner to move back within two points of victory at 5-2* (30/30). But she let Yanina off the hook with four unforced return-errors in that game.

Maria hit a forehand winner down the line and a service-winner to set up match-point at *5-3 (40/0), which she converted with a crosscourt backhand winner.


Maria's on-court interview: "I came out really strong, but after I didn't get that break in the second set, she got the momentum and was very aggressive. I just had a letdown in the second set, but overall [inaudible]. She's always a tough opponent: makes you hit a lot of balls."

[What percentage are you back to your best?] "I don't like numbers or percentages; I just get up each day and keep improving."


My full report - with a point-by-point description - is on my website:
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/birmingham2009.html

------------------------------------------------------------
5. Quarter-final eyewitness report: Rybáriková v U.Radwańska (Friday 12th June 2009)
------------------------------------------------------------

+ MAGDALÉNA RYBÁRIKOVÁ [13,EF] d. Urszula Radwańska, 6-3 6-3

A mouthwatering match between two attractive all-court players, and a delightful performance by Magda, which I think would have been enough to induct her into my Eternal Fanship even if she hadn't gone on to win the tournament! :)

Even in the very first game, Magda showed a wide range of her talent: spreading rallies, groundstroke-winners (crosscourt, down-the-line and off-forehand winners), touch (a backhand dropshot-winner), net-play (a forehand drop-volley winner), athleticism (running down a dropshot to hit a winner), and mixing up the pace (neutering Urszula's initiative with some sliced backhands). The only thing not in good working order was Magda's backhand. Magda had two break-points, but Urszula held serve.

Magda opened the second game with an ace down the middle, but had to save a break-point and come through four deuces before she held for 1-1*, showing us a jumping forehand smash, a forehand smash-winner and a beautiful gliding off-backhand volley-winner in the process.

Urszula held to love, but so did Magda for 2-2* with three winners: a forehand smash-winner, a crosscourt forehand winner, and a backhand dropshot-winner. Magda held for 3-3* with a backhand volley-winner and a forehand smash-winner.

Magda broke for *4-3 on a double fault, but she deserved the break after hitting a pinpoint down-the-line forehand winner and a one-handed (after running down a dropshot) crosscourt backhand winner.

A couple of unsuccessful forays to the net put Magda 0/30 down, but she recovered with a backhand drop-volley winner, and came through two deuces with two serve-and-volley winners (both crosscourt backhand volleys) to hold for 5-3*.

Magda's depth forced a couple of errors from Urszula, and she broke to love to take the first set when Urszula hit a crosscourt backhand well wide.


Magda opened the second set with a comfortable hold to 15 (after winning nine points in a row). She hit a crosscourt backhand volley-winner to give herself break-points at 1-0* (40/15*), but Urszula saved one with a fading serve out wide, and won the next two points with error-forcing net-approaches before securing a vital hold for 1-1*.

Magda held for 2-1* with two off-forehand winners and a serve-and-volley (crosscourt forehand volley) winner. She then broke to 15 for *3-1, courtesy of four errors - two of which can be attributed to Magda's depth.

Magda came through an epic service-game of five deuces at *3-1. She recovered from 15/30 with an off-forehand winner on the sideline, then hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. She faced one break-point, but saved it with an error-forcing serve and volley. She hit a backhand dropshot-winner, a backhand pass-winner, an ace onto the junction of centre-line and service-line, and converted her fifth game-point with an off-forehand winner for 4-1*.

Magda hit a forehand smash-winner, but couldn't stop Urszula holding for 2-4*. Magda held to love for 5-2* with a down-the-line forehand pass-winner, an off-forehand winner, and a crosscourt backhand volley-winner.

Urszula held to 15 for 3-5*, sealed with an ace. But Magda served out the match to love, with an off-forehand winner just inside the sideline, a service-winner down the middle to reach match-point, and a service-winner out wide to convert it.


Magda: "It was a very tough match. I was tired. I started very well, played sometimes very aggressively, sometimes not. Grass is my favourite surface. It's gonna be very tough - I lost to Sania Mirza in two sets at Pattaya. The weather is not great this week, but the people are good. I beat a very good player. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be fine."


My full report - with a point-by-point description - is on my website:
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/rybar/birmingham2009.html

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

P.S. Due to my good progress today, I am bringing my forthcoming reports forward one week:
1. There's a good chance I can finish my Birmingham semi-final reports tomorrow (Sunday), but I can't promise it - if not, I'll certainly post them by 25th July.
2. I'll post my Birmingham-final report by 26th July.
3. All my Wimbledon (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=382860) full TV-reports (for Daniela Hantuchová, Maria Sharapova and Vera Zvonarëva) come forward one week.

andrewbroad
Jul 25th, 2009, 11:04 PM
=============
AEGON CLASSIC (Edgbaston, Birmingham, England; grass; WTA International)
=============
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Semi-final eyewitness report: Sharapova v Li
3. Semi-final eyewitness report: Rybáriková v Mirza

---------
1. Photos (Saturday 13th June 2009)
---------

Permission to copy my Birmingham photos is granted provided that:
(a) no money is exchanged;
(b) they are labelled as "Copyright 2009 Andrew Broad".
Please let me know if you do use them on another website.

Saturday's photos:
http://www.divshare.com/download/7994410-45a

Magdaléna Rybáriková (103 photos)
Maria Sharapova (55)
Sania Mirza (32)
Li,Na (16)

Photo 011 was when Maria was attacked by a bee.

-----------------------------------------------
2. Semi-final eyewitness report: Sharapova v Li (Saturday 13th June 2009)
-----------------------------------------------

- Maria Sharapova [EF] lt. LI,NA [4], 4-6 4-6

It was a listless performance by Maria - no doubt her matches on Thursday and Friday had taken their toll, particularly her three-set quarter-final.

In the first set, Maria played very poorly until she trailed *2-5, then the Sharapova-overdrive kicked in to make it *4-5, but she then dropped her serve and the set.

Li made a poor start to the second set as Maria took a 2-0* lead, but Li broke back and won four games in a row to lead *4-2. The match then degenerated into break and counterbreak, with Maria losing it - like the first set - on her own serve at *4-5.


Li made an impressive start to the match, holding to love with an off-forehand winner, a virtual ace, and a forehand smash-winner. She also hit a second-serve ace at *1-1 (30/15), as games continued to go with serve.

Maria double-faulted to trail *1-2 (0/30), but Li let her off the hook with four unforced errors. Li hit a forehand smash-winner at *2-2, as four netted forehand returns gave her an easy hold to 15.

Li's crosscourt forehand return-winner put Maria *2-3 (15/30) down. Maria responded by hitting her first winner of the match: a crosscourt backhand. But Li hit a pinpoint forehand return-winner down the line, and broke for *4-2 when Maria netted a forehand. Li consolidated the break to love as Maria made four unforced errors to trail *2-5.

The Sharapova-overdrive kicked in as she held to love - with a deep forehand volley-winner, an ace down the middle, and two forced errors - forcing Li to serve for the first set at *5-3.

The Sharapova-overdrive continued as she hit a blazing crosscourt forehand return-winner, but Li painted the sideline with an off-backhand winner en route to her first set-points at *5-3 (40/15). She squandered the first with a wild forehand, then Maria forced two errors, and broke back on a double fault.

Li hit a backhand dropshot-winner and a deep, error-forcing return to reach set-points #3 and #4 at 5-4* (40/15*). Maria saved #3 with a good, deep serve, and Li netted a backhand on #4. But Maria's crosscourt backhand clipped the netcord and fell wide, and Li converted her fifth set-point with an error-forcing crosscourt backhand into the corner.


Maria opened the second set with a down-the-line forehand return-winner, pegged Li back from 40/15 with a pinpoint off-forehand winner, and broke with two error-forcing returns. She served an ace out wide as she consolidated the break to love for 2-0*.

Maria hit an off-forehand winner at 0/30*, but couldn't stop Li holding for 1-2*. Maria then found herself facing break-back point at *2-1 (30/40), which she saved with an off-forehand winner. She had a game-point for 3-1*, but Li forced her into error with a deep return down the middle. Maria then double-faulted, and Li broke back to *2-2 with a crosscourt forehand winner.

Li consolidated her break with an easy hold to 15, hitting a crosscourt backhand winner en route to the 3-2* lead. Maria hit an ace down the middle, but Li reached break-point at 3-2* (40/30*), and Maria netted a mildly awkward forehand volley to trail 2-4*.

Li quadruple-faulted at *4-2 (40/15), and Maria broke back for *3-4 with two deep, error-forcing groundstrokes - to the delight of the pro-Maria crowd.

But Li's deep groundstrokes put Maria back in deep trouble at *3-4 (15/40). Maria saved the first break-point with a delectable backhand dropshot-winner, but once again, Li's deep crosscourt backhand forced Maria's backhand to misbehave.

Li served for the match at *5-3, but Maria gave Li a taste of Li's own medicine with a couple of error-forcing crosscourt backhands, and broke back to love on a double fault.

At *4-5, Maria painted the sideline with an off-forehand winner, and looked sure to extend the set at 40/0, but Li's deep, error-forcing forehand, Maria's netcord that fell back on her side, and an unforced error made it Deuce. Maria blew a fourth game-point by netting a dropshot, then Li reached match-point, and converted it with an error-forcing crosscourt forehand right on the junction of sideline and baseline!


My full report - with a point-by-point description - is on my website:
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/birmingham2009.html

---------------------------------------------------
3. Semi-final eyewitness report: Rybáriková v Mirza (Saturday 13th June 2009)
---------------------------------------------------

+ MAGDALÉNA RYBÁRIKOVÁ [13,EF] d. Sania Mirza [DF], 3-6 6-0 6-3

Magda hit plenty of winners as she took a *2-1 lead, but none for the rest of the first set, as Sania had her way with her crosscourt groundstrokes of flairsome power.

After that, though, Magda frustrated Sania by mixing up the pace, inducing Sania to go for big shots into the corners and miss. Magda also hit three aces, two dropshot-winners, and four other forehand winners in the last two sets. With this win, Magda reached her first-ever WTA Tour final (having lost three previous semi-finals).


Sania opened the match with a hold to 15, sealed with an ace down the middle. Magda held to 30 with an ace down the middle and a forehand smash-winner.

Magda broke to love, hitting a delectable crosscourt backhand dropshot-winner, and a forehand pass-winner down the line for *2-1. But Magda hit two backhands just long to trail 0/30, and Sania broke back to 15 with a crosscourt forehand return-winner.

That started a four-game winning-streak for Sania. She held to 15 with an ace out wide and a crosscourt forehand winner for 3-2*. She broke to 30 for *4-2 - courtesy of a quadruple fault and two backhand-errors from Magda. Sania held to love for 5-2* with two crosscourt backhand winners and two forced errors.

Magda stopped the rot with a solid hold to 30 - despite a crosscourt forehand return-winner off a first serve out wide! - forcing Sania to serve for the first set at *5-3.

Sania played a strong service-game with a high off-forehand drop-volley winner onto the sideline to give herself three set-points at 40/0. And she needed all three, as she double-faulted on the first, and Magda hit a deep, error-forcing backhand return on the second. But Magda then netted a backhand return to drop the first set.


Sania played very poorly in the second set, it has to be said. First, though, she reached break-points at 0-0* (40/15*) with a down-the-line forehand pass-winner - only for Magda to save the first with a deep, error-forcing backhand; Sania then made two unforced errors, and Magda held with a crosscourt forehand half-volley dropshot-winner.

Magda broke to 30 for *2-0 - courtesy of two double faults and two forced errors. She held to 30 for 3-0* - thanks to an ace and two service-winners.

Magda reached more break-points at 3-0* (40/15*) after Sania double-faulted, netted a forehand smash, and was forced into error. Sania recovered to Deuce with a dead netcord-winner, but two unforced errors gave Magda the double break for *4-0.

Sania reached break-point at 0-4* (40/30*) after hitting an off-forehand volley-winner and another dead netcord-winner, but let Magda off the hook with three more unforced errors.

Sania made two more double faults and an unforced error to give Magda set-point at 5-0* (40/15*), and Magda converted it in style with a crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline.


Magda opened the third set with a hold to 30, with a crosscourt forehand winner and an ace out wide. She broke to 30 for *2-0, courtesy of a forehand winner down Sania's forehand-line, a double fault and two cheap errors from Sania. Magda had won eight games in a row!

But Magda played a poor service-game to get broken back to love for 2-1* - after a double fault, and a poor dropshot to give Sania a crosscourt forehand winner. Sania held to 40 for 2-2* with a forehand smash-winner, and another crosscourt forehand winner off a dropshot.

Sania hit a crosscourt backhand pass-winner, but Magda held to 30 for 3-2*, the depth of her serve and of her forehands forcing Sania into three errors.

Magda really should have broken for *4-2. She started the 3-2* game with a dropshot + down-the-line forehand pass-winner, saved one game-point, and had three nonconsecutive break-points: she sprayed an easy forehand wide on the first, Sania saved the second with an ace out wide, and Sania's depth forced Magda into error on the third, and again on game-point as Sania held for 3-3*.

But Sania offered little resistance as Magda won the last three games. Magda held to love for 4-3*, courtesy of a service-winner and three unforced errors. Magda broke to 15 for *5-3, thanks to a backhand dropshot-winner, a double fault, and forcing Sania to hit a backhand lob long.

With Magda serving for the match at *5-3, Sania hit a down-the-line forehand winner and a crosscourt forehand pass-winner to put Magda at 15/30, but Magda hit two service-winners to reach match-point, and sealed victory with an ace out wide!


Magda: "Yeah, I was pretty nervous. In the first set, she played great. In the second set, I played very well. In the third set, I was nervous, but then I broke. The key was my serve. Tomorrow will be very tough. She [Li,Na] beat Maria Sharapova, who is an unbelievable player because she won Wimbledon."


My full report - with a point-by-point description - is on my website:
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/rybar/birmingham2009.html

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
Jul 26th, 2009, 09:56 PM
=============
AEGON CLASSIC (Edgbaston, Birmingham, England; grass; WTA International)
=============
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Final eyewitness report: Rybáriková v Li

---------
1. Photos (Sunday 14th June 2009)
---------

Permission to copy my Birmingham photos is granted provided that:
(a) no money is exchanged;
(b) they are labelled as "Copyright 2009 Andrew Broad".
Please let me know if you do use them on another website.

Sunday's photos:
http://www.divshare.com/download/8001106-117

Magdaléna Rybáriková (122 photos)
Li,Na (28)
Maria Sharapova, Jelena Dokić, Elena Baltacha poster (1)
Maria Kirilenko, Sania Mirza, Anne Keothavong poster (1)

-------------------------------------------
2. Final eyewitness report: Rybáriková v Li (Sunday 14th June 2009)
-------------------------------------------

+ MAGDALÉNA RYBÁRIKOVÁ [13,EF] d. LI,NA [4], 6-0 7-6 (7/2)

Li was very nervous in the first set - especially at the net. Magda's main tactic was to keep the ball in play with a lack of pace that frustrated Li, inducing her to go for big shots and miss. Magda's dropshots also caused problems for Li. Magda hit just four clean winners in the first set: a dropshot, a smash, and two off-forehands.

In the second set, Magda got nervous, but continued to serve very well - she got through the whole match without being broken, although she had to save two set-points at *4-5! She hit two aces and five forehand winners in the second set (including two smashes and a drop-volley), and dominated the tiebreak despite feeling nervous by her own admission. It was her first WTA Tour final as well as title!


Magda started the match with an immediate break: a backhand dropshot-winner from the baseline gave her 40/15*, and although Li saved the first break-point with a forehand winner that caught the outside edge of the sideline, she hit an off-backhand wide on the second.

Magda held to 15 with a forehand smash-winner and an off-forehand winner to make it 2-0*. Li made three unforced errors off short balls for 15/40. Magda missed those break-points by netting returns, but an error-forcing dropshot gave her a third break-point, and an error-forcing crosscourt forehand gave her *3-0.

Magda held to 30 for 4-0* - courtesy of four mainly unforced errors from Li. It looked like Li might get on the scoreboard when a crosscourt forehand winner gave her 30/15, but Magda's awkward lob forced her to net a smash, and two unforced errors gave Magda *5-0.

Serving for the first set, Magda started with an off-forehand winner, and reached 40/0 with an error-forcing netcord. She double-faulted on the second set-point, but converted the second with a jumping backhand that forced Li to hit a backhand long.


Magda started the second set with an off-forehand winner, and Li's unforced errors gave Magda break-points at 40/15*. But Li saved the first with a virtual ace, and Magda squandered the second with a cheap return-error. Li won her first game of the match with a crosscourt forehand pass-winner and another return-error.

Magda hit an error-forcing dropshot and an ace down the middle as she held to love for 1-1*. She pegged Li back from 40/0 with a down-the-line forehand return-winner and excellent retrieval, but Li still held for 2-1* with a backhand winner and an ace.

Magda held to love for 2-2* with a back-pedalling forehand smash-winner that caught the outside edge of the sideline! Li held to 30 for 3-2*, and Magda held to love (three times in a row!) for 3-3* with an ace out wide and a forehand drop-volley winner.

Li held to 15 with a forehand volley-pass winner for 4-3*. Magda held to 30 for 4-4* with a couple of service-winners. Li held to love with a crosscourt forehand winner and a service-winner for 5-4*.

Serving to stay in the second set, Magda led 30/15 but served a double fault. Li reached set-point with a pinpoint forehand return-winner, but Magda saved it despite having to win the point twice. Li's backhand pass-winner gave her a second set-point, but Magda saved it with a forehand smash-winner, then hit two service-winners to level up at 5-5*.

Li held to 30 for 6-5*, forcing Magda to serve to stay in the set again. But this time there were no dramas, as Magda held to love with an ace down the middle and two service-winners to make it 6-6.

The tiebreak started with Li's forehand going long by a whisker, but she broke back immediately with a crosscourt forehand winner for 1/1*. Li made four unforced errors - including a forehand smash that clipped the netcord and fell back on her side to put Magda in the driver's seat at *5/1. A service-winner gave Magda five championship-points at 6/1*, and although she hit a backhand just long on the first one, Li did the same on the second to seal Magda's victory.


Li: "She played good. I tried my best tennis in the second set. I mean: nothing to say. Hopefully I can do well in Wimbledon. I more like grass-courts. It was the first time I beat Maria Sharapova - I was so exciting last night, I forgot I had a match today!"

Magda: "It's a great feeling - the best moment in my career, and I'm absolutely happy. I was very nervous, but not in the first set. In the second set, I was very nervous - actually in the tiebreak, but now it's absolutely great. I think I played great, and if I play like this, I can be a very good player. It was a very tough moment in the second set [the set-points], but I served very good all match. I was very tired [after beating Zheng,Jie in the third round], but now I feel very good, and I played good tennis also today."

It's so wonderful to see the Maud Watson trophy - the oldest in women's tennis, as it was originally awarded to the first-ever Women's Singles champion in 1884 - back in my Eternal Fanship for the first time since Vera Zvonarëva won it in 2006!


My full report - with a point-by-point description, and transcriptions of some commentary (I acquired a DVD-copy of Eurosport's transmission of the final) - is on my website:
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/rybar/birmingham2009.html

--
Dr. Andrew Broad