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Russianfan
Aug 24th, 2003, 04:23 AM
Hello everyone! As in previous years, I will be at the Open this year (first six days probably), so I will be posting my daily reports in this thread! To start it off I wrote a little preview :) All of it will also of course be posted on Tennisrulz.com :devil:

US Open Preview

By Pierre Cantin
Hello to all of you!:) As it is my custom as this time of the year, I will be heading towards New York City to attend the 2003 US Open!:) This time, I have tickets for Monday through Thursday and Saturday (Friday is also a possibility) so I should be seing a good amount of tennis! I will of course be posting here on Tennisrulz as well as on Wtaworld myt daily reports and impressions of the matches I see, players I talk to, etc! I am as excited as ever about this tournament, my favourite one out of those I had the pelasure of seeing! Since I am leaving in a few hours, I will write a little about what I expect from the Open, what I think or hope will happen as well as the matches I intend to see. I will also be taking a few hundred photos although I have not turned digital yet so they will not appear on Tennisrulz for a while (hopefully not too long!).

Ok, so I will first dive the draw in 8 sections:)

First section:

Kim Clijsters, the #1 seed and player in the world will have a fair amount of pressure on her in the next two weeks. Already, it seems that the media and some fans have been questionning her #1 ranking, is it deserved? I personally do think she deserves that spot, she has the most titles this year and has been the most consistent. Would Serena be #1 if she was not injured? Yes, probably but we can do a lot of speculation by saying if! So anyway, Kim should not have any problems getting through her first two matches but third and fourth rounds possibly against Kuznetsova and Zvonareva certainly mean she will need to be near the top of her game early! Also in this section is a matchup between two of the young talents in the game, Ashley Harkleroad and Vera Douchevina. While Douchevina is the unknown and lower ranked of the two, she has been doing wonders on the junior circuit and successfully qualified for the main draw thanks to improved play. Add to that the fact that Ashley Harkleroad has been injured since Wimbledon and played only once since, losing her opening match this week in New Haven. I really do hope both can offer a good show and I'll probably be there to see the match! Vera Zvonareva, one of the most unstable players on the tour is capable of the best and the worse so although she probably is the most likely in this section to challenge Kim, I'm not fully convinced she will be able to play enough solid matches to get there!

Predictions:

Kim Clijsters (1) def Vera Zvonareva (13)

Second section:

This is certainly a very interesting section! The top seed here Amelie Mauresmo has been struggling with injuries for... well in fact it seems like since forever! But she does usually come up better in such big events and I think she might be able to pull up her level even though she clearly lacks the preparation. The other seed, Daniela Hantuchova, is clearly one of the saddest stories so far in 2003. Her confidence level is going down quickly and although she is still in the top 10, her tennis is not anything close right now. And in her first match, she will face Marion Bartoli, a young talented player who has defeated a few good players in New York and who with her agressive service return is dangerous for players who are not in full confidence. Although I do hope Daniela can get things back in order, I don't get the impression she'll be able to on this occasion. Two young Russians will also get much attention on my part. First Maria Kirilenko, the 16 year-old who qualified for her first ever main draw in a grand slam. She does not have the game yet to go very far I think (I'll be happy if she surprises me) but count on me to go cheer for her, and look for one of the up and coming players on the tour. The other one, Lina Krasnoroutskaya, is capable of very big performances as she proved in Toronto last week, I do think she could offer a good challenge to Mauresmo and cause a surprise here!

Predictions:

Lina Krasnoroutskaya (26) def Marion Bartoli

Third section:

With Lindsay Davenport in shaky shape right now, this section would be wide open provided that Lindsay withdrew. I do hope Lindsay can in some way get things better and at least be able to win a few matches to be able to rest in between...Other than that, Nadia Petrova, the #19 seed has not been playing her best tennis lately but she does have an ok draw and could do well here! I will also probably go see Daja Bedanova, one of my favourite players, who like many others has been on the downward confidence track this year and desperatly needs some positive to build on!

Predictions:

Nadia Petrova (19) def Lindsay Davenport (3)

Fourth section:

I have been told quite a few times that Chanda Rubin is the most under-estimated player on the tour and unfortunately never had a chance to see her play enough to actually pass a judgment on that. Her high ranking and a few big wins in the past months would lead me to agree with that opinion but this year's US Open might be a good occasion for her to really get some recognition because she does have a good draw and especially when you consider that Lindsay Davenport is far from her best right now. I do think Chanda might be able to a bit farther than her previous attempts this year if she is able to consistent

Predictions:

Chanda Rubin (8) def Conchita Martinez (12)

Fifth section:

In my opinion, this is the strongest part of the draw. I do think #6 seed Jennifer Capriati is in a very good position to perform very well here, with little attention on her and a confidence builder in winning her tournament in New Haven. But she does have a very interesting road. In her third round, she could meet 16 year-old Russian sensation Maria Sharapova. Masha, surely one of the next stars on the tour is still capable of poor performances like any girl of her age. But at her best, she has showed great signs! Then, if Capriati gets there, she could meet Elena Dementieva who is playing outstanding tennis right now. Elena's serve is a problem but other than that she has been hitting the ball with power and depth and certainly is someone to look out for.

Predictions:

Jennifer Capriati (6) def Elena Dementieva (11)

Sixth section:

Some sections could be weak given some new players announcing they would withdraw but this section, marked by the absence of Venus Williams is without a doubt the most open. Other than Ai Sugiyama, the two top seeds, Silvia Farina-Elia and Francesca Schiavone are now known for their hard-court abilities and I don't really see who could get out of this section. Klara Koukalova has been playing good tennis, Srebotnik posted some good wins, Schiavone is also dangerous...

Predictions:

Ai Sugiyama (15) def Katerina Srebotnik (33)

Seventh section:

Well this section counts on two players that I like very much, Anastasia Myskina and Jelena Dokic. Both, although Jelena even more, have had some tough years and are looking this as a final opportunity to start a good end of year and hopefully end things in a good way. Myskina has quite an easy road ahead of her while Dokic would have to beat perhaps Pierce and Maleeva in rounds #2 and #3, wins she "should" get in normal circumstances but given her low confidence level, it will not be something easy to do. I really do hope that both do well here although I fear one of them will not make it to the fourth round...let's ohpe I'm wrong!

Predictions:

Anastasia Myskina (7) def Magdalena Maleeva (10)

Eigth section:

This section, will probably not be much of a problem for Justine Henin-Hardenne with her high confidence level and perception that she should win every match she enters. But there are many players that should be interesting to look for here, namely, Safina, Gullickson, Benesova

Predictions:

Justine Henin-Hardenne (2) def Anna Pistolesi (21)
Quarterfinal Predictions
Kim Clijsters (1) def Lina Krasnoroutskaya (26)
Chanda Rubin (8) def Nadia Petrova (19)
Jennifer Capriati (6) def Ai Sugiyama (15)
Justine Henin-Hardenne (2) def Anastasia Myskina (7)

Semifinal Predictions

Kim Clijsters (1) def Chanda Rubin (8)
Jennifer Capriati (6) def Justine Henin-Hardenne (2)

Final Prediction

Kim Clijsters (1) def Jennifer Capriati (6)

So I guess I will be wrong on most predictions but what I will not be wrong about is how much fun this will be:) So that's all for now, I'll post my Day 1 report Monday evening:)

Jordan.
Aug 24th, 2003, 04:25 AM
I visit your site everyday.

So please watch Marissa and take lots and lots of pics please.

Thanks.

Russianfan
Aug 24th, 2003, 04:28 AM
I will see some of her match for sure, I like Martina Sucha also, so yep I'll take some photos:)

kim&lleyton4evaz
Aug 24th, 2003, 04:28 AM
Also, please watch Bovina and take lots and lots of pics please... because you obviously haven't seen enough of her if you think Anna the Moonballer will beat her.

Russianfan
Aug 24th, 2003, 04:31 AM
haha:) Ok, I'll try to do that:) Must admit I wasn't sure about that one but Elena isn't consistent enough in my opinion:(

kim&lleyton4evaz
Aug 24th, 2003, 04:34 AM
It's true that Elena isn't consistent.. but with the way she's playing lately, the odds are that she'll show up.

Lena recently faced a player very similar to Pistolesi, in Amanda Coetzer in Toronto.

6-2 6-1. Complete domination. Thanks.

Russianfan
Aug 24th, 2003, 04:34 AM
Hopefully she'll repeat that in New York:)

Russianfan
Aug 24th, 2003, 04:36 AM
I'm surprised no one is grilling me yet for Capriati def Henin-Hardenne prediction!

Jordan.
Aug 24th, 2003, 04:48 AM
Thanks Russianfan.

You're my new best friend.

kim&lleyton4evaz
Aug 24th, 2003, 04:50 AM
Thanks Russianfan.

You're my new best friend.

Don't be afraid to talk to Bovina, and get lots of pics. She's a sweet girl. :)

Russianfan
Aug 24th, 2003, 04:52 AM
Yep Elena is nice, I met her in a supermarket in Warsaw last year, she was really nice in the few minutes I talked to her:)

bis2806
Aug 24th, 2003, 06:01 AM
Hi Russiafan :) pleaseeee watch the match between angie and momo coz it's going to be really exciting... would be great if you could take some pics of angie and post a report on the match...

cheers

Harju.
Aug 24th, 2003, 07:06 AM
Hi Russiafan :) pleaseeee watch the match between angie and momo coz it's going to be really exciting... would be great if you could take some pics of angie and post a report on the match...

cheers
i second that ;)

Jordan.
Aug 24th, 2003, 08:15 AM
6-2 6-0 for Amelie is really exciting?

[S@nti]
Aug 24th, 2003, 08:59 AM
loll Jordan :p ...
please take some photos of Marta Marrero :angel:

gg
Aug 24th, 2003, 11:26 AM
Get there early when Maria Kirilenko plays Lina in the second round :lick:

King Aaron
Aug 24th, 2003, 05:18 PM
Hope you have a great time there. :)
Watch Masha K, Jelena and Ansley Cargill for me. :) Myriam Casanova too.

DEETHELICK
Aug 24th, 2003, 10:01 PM
I'd love to hear your reports on Elena D! Hopefully she'll show us why she was a USO 2000 Semi-Finalist!

Also, if you catch Jen too,, I'd be very interested in your reports! :)

Russianfan
Aug 26th, 2003, 02:52 AM
Hello to all of you!:) Well it is my pleasure to be back after a great day of tennis to write about the matches I saw... There are a few I was not able to or did not get a chance to see but in general I would say that I am very happy with my day!
A sunny and fairly hot day was forecasted and so I headed towards the USTA center and arrived a bit before 10AM. It is my fourth year here so no big surprise for me but it always feels great to enter the atmosphere when I enter the grounds..
Since the security was a bit longer than I had expected I entered the grounds a bit later and headed not much later towards grandstand stadium where Ashley Harkleroad was set to play against Russian Vera Douchevina. I do like Ashley a lot and was eager to see Vera play, hoping it would be a good quality match. But for some reason it was not a very tight match after all. I think Ashley played some solid tennis and was able to dictate pretty much all the points to my surprise. Vera served a few aces but in the end, she just did not seem to want the win enough, perhaps it was just an impression but the desire seemed much greater on Ashley's side.. and so I left after seeing a 6-4 first set, pretty impressed with Ashley's game...
I then headed to see Vera Zvonareva, she was playing Lubomira Kurhajcova, I got there after the first set and it didn't take me long to see this was a complete mismatch. Lubomira was able to hit heard with Vera... but for only 1 or 2 shots.. As soon as rallies got to a tougher level, an error came from Lubomira.. And as any of you who have seen Vera play know, it's all or nothing with her and fortunately today she was playing well, not being impatient and was concentrated! Let's hope she can keep it up!
After seeing Vera, I saw that Nadia Petrova had already ended her match so I headed to see Patty Schnyder who faced Bea Bielek, the one-time sensation. I say that because Bielek made herself a name at the 2002 US Open but has been unable to do much out of the numerous wild cards and improved ranking she received from that performance. And today quite frankly, I watched the first set of a match that seemed a bit ridiculous. Patty was not even trying anything, just getting the ball back with her usual spins. Meanwhile, Bea was trying impossible shots, hittiting some incredible winners but mostly hitting error after error, often missing by pretty long ranges.. I left after that and apparently things did get a bit more tight in the second set but frankly I don't see any way Bea could have hurt Patty...
The fourth match I wanted to see was Flavia Pennetta and Svetlana Kuznetsova. I had never seen Pennetta play and was looking forward to seeing the beautiful Italian player but it was not a very exciting match after all! Flavia simply did not have anything to go to to try to hurt Svetlana. She seemed to be hoping to see her opponent lean back and play some long rallies but Svetlana did not cooperate as instead she would go into a second gear with power and depth, a nice performance by Svetlana, she did look impressive!
Alina Jidkova... ahhh, well she can be great but like a few other Russians, she can break down on bad days and unfortunately that is what happened today. Although emotionally she seemed to contain herself, I was not able to see much positive from her match today, she simply was not able to get anything going:(
I then went to see a few practices, something I often do in smaller tournaments but rather rarely in grand slams because of the number of interesting matches! Anyway, I watched a bit of Capriati, Krasnoroutskaya and Gagliardi practice but then I heard those famous Australian cheering sounds on a nearby courts, so I followed the sounds and arrived in time to see what turned out to be an interesting match as Alicia Molik played Jelena Kostanic. The atmosphere was great with Grosjean playing on the next court (in a match that was already close to 4 hours long) and Alicia who was battling hard! Alicia was playing some good tennis and it was very interesting. I do think she will need to take down her number of backhand indirect errors though if she wants to go a bit further in the tournament... But anyway, I had a great time there, it's always great to see how patriotic Aussies are when encouraging their players, it did help Alicia a great deal in my opinion and she was nice enough to thank them after the match for their support:)
After being a bit disappointed with Vera Douchevina earlier, I was really hoping that Maria Kirilenko would be able to play some good tennis and wow did she impress me. It started off a bit strange as she faced unranked Theresa Logar, an American wild card. The two players were perhaps nervous as the first few games were filled with errors with neither player really able to establish much momentum. But things changed when Maria broke for 5-4. After being unable to hold for a while, she started that game with a serve-and-volley that cought her opponent by surprise and led a momentum to take the first set. And in the second set, it was a whole different ballgame as Maria was very very impressive with her volleying and her variety. She seemed to come up with the shots at the perfect moments and was hitting hard at times, beautiful angles, many nice volleys... The crowd was certainly pretty impressed and I'm glad I saw the entire match. I'm sure Maria has many things to work on and winning some other matches will be quite a challenge but she did show some impressive things and will surely be one to look out for in the coming months and years.
During Maria's match, I was made aware that Lina Krasnoroutskaya had started her first round match. Big deal I thought as she would have no problems defeating Anca Barna with her new confidence following a final in Toronto. But while heading towards court #11, I heard the umpire say the match was now 1 set all. WHAT? I entered and was releived to see it was 1-6, 6-0 for Lina, probably just a bad start, and in a few minutes Lina would be back. Right? Wrong:( In one of the big upsets of tne day, Lina went down in the third set... I only saw that set but in my opinion, Lina did not seem to have any match plan. She did not really know when to go for the big shots, when not to, how to build up points against the German veteran, etc... Sadly, when Maria Kirilenko steps on the court on Wednesdsay, it will not be against Lina but rather against Anca Barna!:(

So that was it, my first day is now over, I come home very happy with my day, impressed mostly with Kirilenko and disapointed most by Krasnoroutskaya! Tomorrow should be an interesting day as I will be seing more entire matches (Dokic, Myskina and Sharapova hopefully). I will also be on centre court to see what promises to be a great 1st round, Andy Roddick vs Tim Henman!! So more about all of that tomorrow, feel free to ask any questions:)

beauty_is_pink
Aug 26th, 2003, 03:06 AM
:wavey:
wow seems like you had a great time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
going tomorrow again i hope?

have fun!!!! pics! reports! :worship:

banana
Aug 26th, 2003, 03:19 AM
I agree wut most of ur predictions 'cept the final! it will b the otha way round and Jen will give miss Waffle a lesson in hard court tennis

Jordan.
Aug 26th, 2003, 03:38 AM
Thanks. :)

Greenout
Aug 26th, 2003, 10:31 AM
Cool Report. Thanks alot. It's nice reading
various versions of match impressions.
Maria sounds interesting. Seen the pics of
her from those Japan tournaments and got
the vibe that they're grooming her in the
Shaparova mode (post Anna pin-up). Good to
know Maria K can actually play. lol.

auntie janie
Aug 26th, 2003, 02:07 PM
Thanks for the great reports! I too am most interested in young Maria K. Sounds like she is aiming to be a real all-court player, which is a real treat when the baseline-bashing gets boring!

I hope you continue to have a great time, and I can't wait to read further reports, especially those about the young, the new, the unknown. :)

fan22
Aug 26th, 2003, 07:05 PM
Thanks for reports....
I guess your section 2 is now wide open ;)
as both Lina K and Marion Bartoli are out in rd1....well perhaps Maria K or Daniela H will surprise everyone and win a few matches??

the cat
Aug 26th, 2003, 07:08 PM
Thanks for the reports, Pierre. Have a great time. :) And I'm glad you were impressed by Maria Kirilenko! :D

Russianfan
Aug 27th, 2003, 05:10 AM
Hello again to all of you! Well it is now past midnight so hopefully what I will write will make sense but if it doesn't don't hold it against me ok?:) So today was scheduled to be a nice day, a lot of my favourites were scheduled to play and luckily most of them were not going to play at the same time! When I arrived, there was once again a pretty long wait to get in because of security but apparently I did not miss much because after touring the practice courts for a few minutes, I was surprised to see that there was nothing that I really wanted to see. So I headed towards grandstand..

On grandtstand, Jelena Dokic was scheduled to meet Emanuelle Gagliardi which could be a good match. I was looking forward to making my own assessment about what is going wrong with Jelena. Well both players come on court, Jelena looked great and after warming up they started and to my surprise, Jelena came in firing from everywhere, hitting with tremendous depth and accuracy and while Gagliardi was getting pretty much everything back, I was convinced that it would not be the case for the entire hour. And while Jelena did not really have letdowns, she saw her opponent give her some more easy points as the match went on thus helping her advance thanks to a convicing win. I was impressed with almost everything from the match, probably the best quality of tennis I had seen so far. But one thing I have to say is that in my opinion Jelena was giving away too many easy points. When she goes for such shots, of course she will make some unforced errors, something I don't mind at all. But double-faults and returns at critical moments that are not even returned in the court are not acceptable. Had Gagliardi been a bit more opportunistic, that first set could have been very different.. So let's hope that Jelena can continue to play inspired tennis and improve on those given points for her second round match!
After that, I went to see a bit of Maria Sanchez-Lorenzo, I only saw the end so it would be difficult for me to make any kind of analysis but I was just happy to see her advance! After that match, I headed to see Anastasia Myskina, I got a seat in the front row just behind her seat but for some reason she never looked in that direction until after the match:) But anyway, Anastasia started the match very strong, hitting solid ground strokes from all over the place, making nagyova run a lot, forcing errors and going through an easy first set. But then, for some reason, things changed. Henrieta Nagyova may be ranked #118 in the world but I don't know why exactly she is ranked so far, she clearly has talent to be ranked higher and even more importantly, she has the intensity and the beleif in herself, and that is what helped make things very different in the second set, as Henrieta was hitting many more shots in the court and Anastasia was making more and more errors and it did not look very good as she went down in the second set... After that, Anastasia was almost broke in the start of the 3rd set and was showing a lot of frustration at that point but in some way she escaped and held which turned the match away as she gained confidence and regained the control to advance to the second round, I'm sure Anastasia is not very happy about her performance but she advanced, that's the important!

Then, I watched some bits of the matches between Dinara Safina and Carly Gullickson and Martina Sucha vs Marissa Irvin. Well, the first one, in which I saw the start, was a very odd match. Carly Gullickson looked very very nervous out there hitting many service faults, foot faults and going down 3-0 very quickly... But then surprise, Dinara started making more errors and things got to 5-3 Gullickson... But Safina came back ton win the set 7-5.. a very odd match, I left after one set, pretty confident that Safina would be playing some better tennis and take it in two... Then, after seeing a bit of the Spadea match, I went to see Martina Sucha, who has been one of my favourite players for some time now but has been struggling so much... Well happy I was to see she was playing so well today, she was hitting very hard and looked very determined. Marissa on the other hand was distracted and frustrated and was making many unforced errors in key moments which led to a loss in straight sets.. I was happy to see that big smile on Martina's face, unfortunately I found out a bit later she would now face Jennifer Capriati!

Then, I headed to Louis Armstrong where Maria Sharapova was set to face Virginia Ruano-Pascual, a match I was really looking forward to seeing and I was pleased with Maria's performance. Of course, she is 16, inexperienced and was sometimes going for shots that she should not have done or losing a 40-0 leads because of errors but overall she showed tremendous poise, power, determintation, a huge desire and she really seemed in her place. I can't wait to see her play on Thursday, hopefully she can keep up the level of intensity because I do think she will do well here!:)

In the evening, I saw two good matches, Jennifer Capriati had no problems against clay court player Christina Torrens-Valero and then a great performance by Andy Roddick to win his tough first round match against Tim Henman! I am sorry for not saying more about the matches today but I really am tired so tomorrow I should be able to write more about my day!:)

Jordan.
Aug 27th, 2003, 05:22 AM
Did you take pics of Marissa? Was she arguing calls? How was her serve? Was she moving slow? Was she being erratic?

Jordan.
Aug 27th, 2003, 05:25 AM
Thanks, BTW. :p

kim4eva
Aug 27th, 2003, 10:22 AM
Thanks a lot, Russianfan.:)It must have took you ages to post all that!!

Sharapova's_Boy
Aug 27th, 2003, 10:36 AM
Thanks for all these fantastic reports :D

Doris Loeffel
Aug 27th, 2003, 11:02 AM
Thanks for your great reports
looking forward to your next one.

Russianfan
Aug 27th, 2003, 12:05 PM
I would say Marissa was not arguing alls as much as I have seen her but yes she was erratic and she did argue because of other elements such as fans moving in the crowd (small court so noone was controlling)

Russianfan
Aug 27th, 2003, 12:05 PM
oh and yes I did take a few pics of (5-6 maybe)

Greenout
Aug 27th, 2003, 02:11 PM
Rest up!! Thanks for day number 2's report.

auntie janie
Aug 27th, 2003, 02:27 PM
Thanks, Russianfan! :)

beauty_is_pink
Aug 27th, 2003, 04:14 PM
thanks Pierre.. :wavey: great reports...! cant wait to see your pics!

what about Daniela Hantuchova? did you see her anywehere?

Ray of Sunshine
Aug 27th, 2003, 04:17 PM
Did you take pics of Marissa? Was she arguing calls? How was her serve? Was she moving slow? Was she being erratic?
1) Yes.

2) Only once in the 1st set.

3) Decent... but wasn't hurting Sucha much.

4) Yes... unfortunately, she looks in worse shape from when I saw her last year.

5) Yes... to say the least. :sad:

vasco
Aug 27th, 2003, 04:25 PM
hello . great report.

did you get any Cristina Torrens valero pics??? please please please say you did!!!

thank you

Russianfan
Aug 28th, 2003, 01:27 AM
Good news, it's not past midnight this time so I'll be able to post more details about what I saw today! The weather was very hot and humid this morning. Combined with a short night of sleep, I was wondering how I would fare on day 3, but after all the weather was a bit cooler than I had feared so I just enjoyed a great day of tennis!

So when I arrived, I made a quick tour of the practice courts and finally settled to see Jelena Dokic practice with Italy's Flavia Pennetta. Jelena was very serious hitting with the supervision of her coach and of her mother Lilijana, it was nice to see her practice!

Not too long after, I left that practice to move towards court #8 where I wanted to get a great spot for the match of the day for me, Maria Kirilenko vs Anca Barna. Both players arrived shortly after and started hitting, it was strange to see Maria, who looks young for her 16 years against Anca Barna who in some regards could be seen as a veteran on the tour. But anyway, the match started and Maria was hitting very well from the start, hitting some winners, forcing some errors and jumping up to a 2-0 lead in a few minutes only... But then, when she got a chance to take a 3-0 lead, she missed it and the match completly turned around. Suddenly, Anca Barna started really trying anything and instead just started returning balls, and i mean returning everything, just putting some spin and putting them in the middle of the court, over and over, while Maria, was showing her inexperience as she was trying to outhit Anca not really being able to do so and thus creating her own problems. It was a long first set as their were so many rallies, but the thing is, Maria was close but was not able to put the points on the board because she was giving away a bit too many points. They were not really bad errors or anything but just a 16 year-old who was trying to construct points and not too experience in knowing how to deal with a player like Barna. By the way, I will stop here for a few seconds because i wanted to say that Anca Barna's coach drove me absolutly crazy during this match. In my mind, there is no, and I mean NO reason for a coach like him to applaud on Maria's errors... I'm not talking about long rallies or forced errors, I'm talking about missing a smash or putting a second serve return out, things that gave no reason at all for him to cheer. I was really annoyed with him doing that and though Maria never showed any signs of that bothering him, I'm sure it did at some point.. I'm sure it was part of the reason why 99% of the crowded court #4 was cheering for Maria.... Ok, now back to tennis, Maria lost that opening set in about 45 minutes I guess, and it is impossible for me to really describe how annoyed or discouraged she seemed, it was as if she did not know where to start to make things better. A smart move though as she took a restroom break after the opening set and came back with a very relaxed attitude. That second set, that last for about one hour was one of the most competitive sets I had seen in some time, and I mean that both players had such a strong desire to win the set, it was just incredible the intensity on every single point, Maria was fighting and fighting while Barna was running ball after ball.. I was wondering how Maria would react under pressure and wow she did impress me. She was able to play the exact style of play no matter what the score was and in a very emotional tie-break, she was able to take control of the match to force a third set.. Both players then took a restroom break and when things resumed, it was clear that Maria was in complete control, sure the set started with a 2-2 tie but we all felt that Maria was just playing much better, imposing her rythm, going to net a few times, etc... So when she took that 5-2 lead, we all were releived I guess... well maybe Maria also made that mistake as she let her opponent get back into the match, Barna being able to get back every shot and Maria was just losing it, she got a code violation warning (not sure why) and seemed just very upset. But then, at 5-5, for some reason, she was able to regain her calm and get things back under control, coming back to those winners that made Barna screem looking at her coach for any ideas of what she could do... And within a few minutes, the many cameramans that had joined in the ending minutes got what they wanted, an overjoyed Maria Kirilenko got to celebrate the biggest win of her career! I was truly impressed by Maria's character in this match, it was a pleasure to see! Well done Masha!:)

When this match ended, it was about 2PM, and the day seemed to be soon to end, already? So soon? I was a bit upset to hear that Hantuchova was finishing her match, I would have liked to see her play but most courts were ending their second matches just when Maria finished her win so I headed to see the end of Myskina's doubles match, one that she loss, not a big deal in my opinion, Anastasia can certainly improve by playing some doubles but she is a singles player... After that match, I saw Ashley Harkleroad practice a little, she seemed pretty relaxed and I was looking forward to seeing that match against Vera (how upset I was to find out that match had been moved to Arthur Ashe court as I had a ground pass with no way to get in)...
Then, I headed to see what was going on in the practice courts and i was lucky enough to see Andy Roddick was on court #4 with Brad Gilbert and wow were they giving a show. Two entertainers, they were probably there more to please the fdans and have some fun than actually practice tennis. They were talking a lot, joking, betting, playing with the fans, it was just a blast and I have no trouble understanding why that court was so full, Andy really is a star and it's just so fun to see him on a court...

After the Andy practice, I saw Jelena back on a practice court, this time only with her coach. And it was a blast, I don't think I have ever seen Jelena have so much fun on a court, she was laughing with her coach all the time, hitting seriously but then as soon as a break would come, she would be smiling, happy... It was great to see!:) After, I saw the end of the Moya match, one I would have liked to see go a fifth set but it didn't so I went to check out the start of the Ashley vs Vera match on a tv...

Then, another match I had been waiting for, Karina Habsudova in doubles. Tennis wise, there was not much suspense. Put Karina, a good doubles player but one who has not played in many many months, with an unknown American against Rennae Stubbs and Elena Bovina, I mean there was no way this could even be close. But I was there, just so happy to see Karina Habsudova back on the court. She was enjoying herself despite the loss, smiling a lot, it was just great. I have been a fan of Karina for a long time and I'm happy she decided to do this... She did have something to protect an ankle but she was moving well, hitting also, maybe a few problems with her serve but overall it was great. I went to see her after the match to tell her it was great to see her back, she seemed really happy about her return and told me she had been nervous during the match but that she felt great... so that is certainly a great story!

After that match, I just went to see Flavia Pennetta a bit in doubles, take a few shots and then headed back to the hotel to see the night matches from the tv in my room:) It was a great day and the next one should be as great if not more!

Russianfan
Aug 28th, 2003, 01:33 AM
thanks Pierre.. :wavey: great reports...! cant wait to see your pics!

what about Daniela Hantuchova? did you see her anywehere?

No unfortunely, I missed her again today as you can see in my report:(

And about Christina, no sorry not this time but I have some photos from last year I could send you later on...

the cat
Aug 28th, 2003, 02:58 AM
Great report Pierre! :D I especially liked reading about Maria Kirilenko's dramatic win over Anca Barna. Your report on the Kirilenko-Barna match was better than the U.S. Open website's article on the match. :)

TheBoiledEgg
Aug 28th, 2003, 03:21 AM
thanx Pierre for all the reports :)
great stuff :):)

beauty_is_pink
Aug 28th, 2003, 03:30 AM
dont worry about it Pierre! :wavey: seemed like you had a great time! too bad you missed Daniela's match :eek: what a thriller...

anyways.. its great to hear that Jelena is smiling again, she seemed happy at Rogers Cup as well.. great to see her back on track :yeah:

Jordan.
Aug 28th, 2003, 03:30 AM
:)

azza
Aug 28th, 2003, 03:32 AM
Have u seen Alicia Molik?

Russianfan
Aug 28th, 2003, 12:06 PM
watched a bit of Alicia yesterday against Conchita and her a second set in the first round, she is playing quite well....

Russianfan
Aug 28th, 2003, 12:11 PM
And thanks so much for the nice comments :)

Experimentee
Aug 28th, 2003, 02:30 PM
Thanks for the reports. I didnt know Karina had made a comeback! I like her and I'm glad to see her back, though she lost her match. :)

GoDominique
Aug 28th, 2003, 02:30 PM
I knew Kirilenko took a bathroom break after the first set. :rolleyes:

Anca must have a new coach then. Horst Engel (or something like that) was usually very calm. :confused:

Thanks. :)

King Aaron
Aug 28th, 2003, 02:58 PM
Thanks for the reports Pierre. :D

maratfan
Aug 28th, 2003, 03:30 PM
Russianfan

Have you seen Marat Safin there? Some fans reported he is in NY and supporting Dinara at her matches? If you saw him can you make a report of that? and if not, can you keep your eyes open for him? thanks!

auntie janie
Aug 28th, 2003, 05:38 PM
Wow, fantastic report, especially on the Kirilenko win, Russianfan! I agree with the cat; your report is better than any other I've seen, really gives a feel for the match's ups and downs. Thank you so much! :):):):):)

Russianfan
Aug 29th, 2003, 03:58 AM
Hello again! Well today was not a regular day for me at tennis. You see, usually, I spend a typical day at a tennis tournament going from court to court and trying to take many photos and see as much possible, thus spending little time on bigger courts where the players I am interested in typically are not playing and where the crowds make it rather difficult to be in the front rows. That situation is even more true in a grand slam event such as the US Open, where there is so much to see. Well, in what was a first for me, I spent pretty much the entire day on grandstand court today..

But before heading to that court, I saw a bit of Dinara Safina's match against Cervanova, I did not see much of the match because quite frankly it was a not a very good match, Dinara was simply overpowering her opponent and when I left at 5-0 (I think), I could not remember Cervanova hitting one single winner. I was quite stunned to see that Safina had lost 4 points in that set but i guess she made a few errors which could explain it...

The rest of my morning was spent watching the Dokic-Pierce match on a tv and I also saw one set of Lleyton Hewitt's match, a pretty nice match to see on Louis Armstrong, Lleyton did have a tougher start but it was good to see him fight back, I would be happy to see him come back closer to the top of the men's game.

Then, I headed towards gradstand where it was time for Juan-Carlos Ferrero to play. I rarely go see ATP matches in their entirety but I do like Ferrero and it wasd worth the time on that court. The match was a very emotional one especially at the start. Ferrero was really trying his best to get in the match but he was just incapable of breaking Jurgen Melzer because the guy was just coming up with huge serves on every important points. Melzer just seemed to be getting every shot back, driving Ferrero absolutly nuts and while Ferrero was not playing badly in any sense, he still was not so far from going down 2 sets to love. But then we all got to see how mental of a sport tennis is. After being able to take the second set tiebreak, the match completly changed for Ferrero. His opponent has lot so much energy and Ferrero just seemed to be getting better and better as the match advanced leaving Melzer clueless about what he should be trying to get into the match... Finally Ferrero was able to close out the win in 4 sets to advance to the third round, a very nice match.

Then, it was time for #7 seed Anastasia Myskina to take the court against Italian Antonella Serra-Zanetti. Like in her first match, Anastasia started the match on fire, hitting winners from all over the court, being very enthousiast and just giving her opponent no chances... But then, at 5-1 for some reason Anastasia made a few errors, normal you would say, and so did I. But for some reason, as in her previous match, Anastasia started to get very negative about her shots, about the match. I don't really understand how she could get down on herself so quickly. Being so perfectionist is good I'm sure but aftrer seeing those 2 matches, I would say that it is a problem in the sense that she would get impatient and change her style of play. Thus, the match quickly turned around and as that was happeing, Anastasia would get more on herself and it was a cycle. Throughout that second set, I was always hoping to see the moment where she would realise what was happening, calm down and regroup but that did not happen and instead we were headed for a third set. As the set started, Anastasia was not playing better going down a break to 4-2. Then, Anastasia who was desperate at that point abandonned her usual style of play and instead adopted what Antonella was doing, simply putting the ball over the net, limiting errors. To a certain extent it worked and Anastasia got back to 4-4 when she asked for a trainer for the next break. Well, after Antonella broke her to go up 5-4, the trainer was not arrived so they had quite a long break, something Serra-Zanetti was probably not happy about but I hope she knew that the trainer was called at 4-4, not at 5-4. So anyway, Anastasia was able to rally back towards the end of the match, she gave no doubt about how much she wanted to win this match and luckily she was able to win it. But I do think she will need to change her attitude and be much more positive in her next matches because she can't afford to let a few errors affect her so much...

After that match, I remained in my seat to see Martina Navratilova and Svetlana Kuznetsova against Jill Craybas and Conchita Martinez-Granados. At their arrival on the court, you could feel it would be something special as Martina received a standing ovation from the court that was already full, it was really a nice thing to see. I would have to say the match was not the best thgey could have played but there were still many interesting exchanged and Martina/Svetlana pulled off the win which pleased the crowd. To show you at what point it was a special occasion, after the match Conchita asked Svetlana to take a photo of herself with Martina.. how often do you see that? So I was glad to have seen that but it was really the following match that I could not wait to see.

That last match of the day was a showdown between France's Emilie Loit and Russia's Maria Sharapova, a match where unfortunately we saw Maria's lack of experience. From the start of the match, it seemed that Maria did not really know how to deal with Emilie Loit's style of play. While she was struggling with her serve (6 double faults in the first set), it was really how the points were played thgat was making the difference. Maria was going for big shots and the difference was that even when she was making them, Loit was still usually able to get them back in some way and with Maria unwilling to go to the net, the rallies would pretty much go on until Maria would either hit a better shot or hit an unforced error. Unfortunately, most of the time it was the second option that happened. Maria is 16 years old and I guess it was easy to see today. She has without any doubt the shot that pretty much any player could only dream of, lethal power, accuracy, on all her shots, but the problem was the shot selection and when to go for the big shots. Because If she gets 60% of those huge shots but Loit returns half of those, Maria is in trouble as you can imagine. Loit did call a medical time-out at the end of the first set as she was bothered by an injured thigh but that did not make much difference. I just think Maria needs to learn more about when to put the ball in play (like when Loit was not moving too well because of her injury) and when to go for the big shots. In a way, she was playing like the Williams sisters of a few years ago, trying these amazing shots all the time, passing a few but missing too many. I'm sure she will take a lot out of this match and it was still a nice match to see, she was fighting until the very last shot and until that last ball was hit, I was confident she would be able to turn things around, she wasn't so far, a few more big serves and less errors and this could have been a complete different match. So that was pretty much my day, a very interesting one, very different from the typical day of tennis for me. Tomorrow, I don't have any tickets so I'll try to get there early and hopefully get in with a ground pass, so I'll have a report for you tomorrow also:)

Habsudovafan
Aug 29th, 2003, 09:48 AM
Russian fan thanks for this information about Karina. I really envy you for watching Karina's comeback. I will post your report in Karina Yahoo's fanclub. You actually talked to Karina!!!

King Aaron
Aug 29th, 2003, 05:13 PM
Thanks. :D

Russianfan
Aug 30th, 2003, 01:35 AM
Good evening all!:) Today, I did not have any tickets for the day session but since the US Open releases a limited number of tickets on the day of the event (nothing compared to Wimbledon but still enough to be able to get some and unlike Wimby, you don't have to camp out..lol). So I got there at 8AM and was able to get a ground pass ticket for today's session.

Nothing much to see in practice in the morning so I headed to grandstand where I was able to see Mark Philpoussis who was preparing for his match. Then, at 11PM, Nadia Petrova and Amanda Coetzer arrived on court. I was not sure what to expect from this match but one thing I can assure you is that although I did see Petrova play a few times, I never would have expected her to play such unbeleivable tennis. To be fair, I must also say that Coetzer was not playing her best I guess, hitting a few more unforced errors than she normally does. Those of you who read my last report where I talked about Maria Sharapova's need to learn for a few things will know what i mean when I say this match would have been the perfect lesson for her. Petrova, who clearly has more power than Coetzer played the perfect match, she was very very patient in pretty much every point, hitting moonball after moonball, making Coetzer work very hard. Is that the solution for any match? Of course not, but in this case, it was. Petrova had all the shots and could exchange 10 or 15 shots with Coetzer and then as soon as she would get one short ball, she would attack and end the point. It is exactly such a match plan that Sharapova needs to learn how to execute. Through patience, big serves and consistency, Nadia was really leaving Coetzer with absolutly no weapons. All throughout the match, I was waiting for Petrova to let go of her plan, to try to end the match more quickly, but she hung on to it, displaying unbeleivable tennis and certainly showing herself as a danger for Lindsay Davenport, her next opponent. The only game that Coetzer won, lasted about 10 minutes, so many shots that Amanda had to hit, balls to run down, it was a good signbal that if she was to even think about taking this to three sets, she would have to work very very hard and even that proved not be enough!

In the second match, I remained on grandstand where Mark Philippoussis played against Anthony Dupuis, a French guy. It was a surprisngly good show as Dupuis seemed deeply convinced he would be able to pull it off. I know all players probably beleive in their chances in such matches but in this case, it was just very clear. They had great exchanges but in the end, whenever Mark was in trouble, he would come up with a huge serve that would help him keep his serve. And while the two first sets were just amazing tennis sets, in the third, Dupuis had pretty much given up or he had no energy left so it was not that exciting but anyway.. a good match!

The third match on granstrand was the one I had been waiting for, a Kirilenko vs Mauresmo showdown. I don't know about all of you but I had the impression that this match would be very very difficult for Maria for a few reasons. First, Mauresmo herself is a solid top 10 who would probably be in the top 5 if she played enough tournaments. But the tricky part is that Mauresmo, although very powerful, is also very steady, puts lots of spins and that is probably why you rarely, very rarely see her be upset by some unknown player. Now add to that, the fact that Maria, although clearly very talented is still playing a bit of a junior's game and does not really have any weapons that could hurt Amelie. In that regards, I was very interested in seeing how she would react. I give this prelude because in my opinion, Maria played very well today, she really impressed me. The final score of 6-4, 6-2 would lead some to say I'm crazy so let me explain myself:) At the start of the match, Maria did appear nervous but luckily Mauresmo was also making some mistakes and so she was able to hold on until 3-3, but then, the experienced Mauresmo was able to set a better pace, Maria was on the defensive for most of that first set. Then, after going down an early break in the second, Maria was serving at 0-2 and she decided to try some other tactics I guess because she took the attack. In that game that last about 10 minutes, Maria came on numerous occasions to the net, serve and volleyed, was able to dictate many baseline points, to get Mauresmo quite upset at herself and to hit a few spectacular shots. The remainder of the match was somewhat similar as Maria was attacking a bit more but playing Mauresmo was no easy task and in the end she was not able to really overcome the few easy points Mauresmo got from her serve and went down 6-4, 6-2. But still, I think Maria showed many very positive points in the match:

-she was able to show once again her great tactical sense, changing her shots, seeing what worked and what didn't...
the fact that she was able to lead her attacks to net against a player like Mauresmo leads me to beleive she can use this great tennis sense against almost anyone
-she was able to dictate many points from the baseline, feeding off from the power of her opponent but also through great precision
-she once again displayed a great attitude and played every single point with great composure

But I think and hope she will be able to take away many good lessons on things she should improve:

=unlike Mauresmo, Maria seemed unable to recover from a defensive position in a point, I think she needs to work on hitting deeper shots when she is on the run because once she was one the defensive, Mauresmo would keep advancing in the court
the serve..
-Maria should be able to improve her first serve to earn just a few more free points off it but also be more consistent on her second. Obviously she perhaps made a few doubles because of the pressure displayed by Mauresmo but that is something she will have to work on

So overall a very nice performance for Maria, she seems very smart on the court and I'm sure she will take a lot out of this great experience, a tournament in which she won 5 single matches to advance to her first ever grand slam 3rd round.

After that match, I went to see a bit of the Harkleroad mixed doubles match and then headed to court #11 where Maria Sharapova was playing with Lisa Raymond against Saori Obata and Alina Jidkova. I had not noticed until today that Raymond was playing with Maria, apparently following Davenport's last minute decision not to play. Still, I was very happy to see this pair together. Lisa Raymond is one of the best doubles players in the world and her tremendous ability at the net could do tremendous good to Maria, who has so much to learn. In her singles match, if she had been more comfortable in making approach shots and volleying, she could have been involved in a whole other match. I watched it and while Maria was not very comfortable at the net, she did seem to be learning a little and I'm sure this could do a lot of good, I'm just hoping she will take this opportunity to look at how Raymond reacts at the net, I think Maria could learn a lot from playing doubles and teaming up with Raymond is a golden opportunity. On to the match now, after a slow start, Maria and Lisa started to limit errors while volleying better and they were able to take that first set and while things were improving Maria and Lisa seemed to be getting along well, laughing a lot, it was really a nice show and no surprise in the fact that the court was full! That match ended another great day of tennis, last one will be tomorrow for me, after that I head back home!:(

Russianfan
Aug 30th, 2003, 01:38 AM
Russian fan thanks for this information about Karina. I really envy you for watching Karina's comeback. I will post your report in Karina Yahoo's fanclub. You actually talked to Karina!!!

Sounds great:)

gg
Aug 30th, 2003, 08:55 AM
Thanks again for these reports. :)

smarties
Aug 30th, 2003, 12:33 PM
Thanx for the report, I agree that Kirilenko played a verry good match against Momo; the girl is only 16 and she took 6 games from a top 5 player in the world!!! Just getting through the qualis is a feat by itself. It's refreshing to see a player that plays a different kind of game.

Tennisfan-Mtl
Aug 30th, 2003, 02:21 PM
Merci beaucoup Pierre :)

King Aaron
Aug 30th, 2003, 03:40 PM
Thanks. :)

fan22
Aug 30th, 2003, 04:54 PM
Great Reports.....can't wait for the final installment.

Russianfan
Aug 31st, 2003, 02:57 AM
Good evening all! Well my final day in New York was not up to what I was expected but it was still a very nice ending to another great trip in New York! I arrived early but with less matches on schedule, I headed almost directly to grandstand to try to get a good seat for the match between Paradorn Srichaparn and Fernando Verdasco.

Wow, I must first say that as I was hoping for, the atmosphere for this match was simply amazing, as Paradorn had numerous Thai supporters who were sitting on a giant Thai flag, wearing red shirts and applauding on every single point he won, it was truly a great thing to see. It's not difficult for me to see why he is so popular and I almost myself went to buy one of those shirts and join the supporters! But anyway, on the tennis side, it was a great display of talent by Paradorn, he is a very very solid play, masters pretty much every shot, hits with accuracy, power and also was able to get a few big serves on the important occasions to advance in three sets. He was playing a Spaniard who had been a lucky loser, the guy certainly had talent but he did not have the patience or persistance in my opinion to really give much resistance!
After that match, it was a bit of a weird feeling as Anastasia Myskina and Maria Sanchez-Lorenzo headed to the court. Most of the people on the court left and it felt as though very few really wanted to see the match, but to me it was the match I wanted to see today, hoping that Anastasia would be able to elevate the level of her game. But to my disapointment, she started out very flat losing the first 4 games. And while in her 2nd round I had complained about her getting too emotional too fast, in this one she almost did not seem to care about not being able to do anything, it was a very strange feeling as if she wanted to get out of there as soon as possible, not the Anastasia I have seen. But in the second set, she was able to regain some energy and desire and was hitting with more authority... Throughout the match, Anastasia's serve was under 70 miles per hour. Although she does not have the best 2nd serve, it was still not usual and I'm guessing her foot injuries (blisters i think) might have had something to do with it, she did take a medical timeout after the second set... Anyway, after regaining much of her confidence to jump up to a quick lead in the second, she saw Sanchez-Lorenzo start to regain some of her confidence and go more for her shots, attacking a little more and while Anastasia did win the set, it was certainly looking good for a third set and the crowd was growing, the atmosphere would improve. But in the third set, after Anastasia held her serve, Maria served a point or two and then fell on the ground and had problems getting up, drawing everyone in the stadium including Myskina to be very worried. I guess only her and the trainer know what happened but pretty much everyone expected it to be cramps, strange since yes it was hot the third set was just starting... But then I remembered that while Anastasia had her medical timeout a few minutes earlier, Maria never got out of her chair like most players do, and that is perhaps what accelerated the cramping... anyway, things were not 100% for Maria I guess and since Anastasia was playing some better tennis, she was able to advance to the fourth round...strange since playing Mary Pierce she will probably be the favourite and thus could advance to the fourth round by playing average tennis by her standards... I'm just hoping she can elevate her game when she will need it:)

After that match, I was ready to go see some mixed doubles but rain started and since I was with some others, they preferred to head back which we did after waiting for about 2 hours, too bad my 2003 US Open ended this way but it was still another amazing experience, I saw great tennis, took great photos (or so I hope!) and will have many more memories from this fourth year at the Open for me! I hope you enjoyed reading my reports, thank you to all of you who read them and made comments about them, I am really happy that they were enjoyed by all of you! I hope I can be back next year with more reporting from New York:)

mexicotrip
Aug 31st, 2003, 03:32 AM
Thank you very much! I enjoy all your sites and your usopen reports


merci! tres bien!

Bella
Aug 31st, 2003, 12:49 PM
Thanks, Russianfan. I enjoyed every word.

King Aaron
Aug 31st, 2003, 06:04 PM
Thank you for all your reports. :D