View Full Version : Seoul Survivor: Andrew's Korea Open report / Tokyo preview

Oct 3rd, 2004, 09:05 PM
Like a Grade A student sitting a Grade G exam-paper, Maria breezed to the Tier IV hard-court title at Seoul for the loss of just 15 games (and no sets). She now has a remarkable 5-0 win/loss record in the WTA Tour and Grand Slam singles finals that she's played in her career.

I don't know if Maria wanted some easy matches to boost her confidence after some less-than-spectacular performances post-Wimbledon, or if she's trying to maximise her chances of qualifying for the season-ending championships (she's currently 9th in Race to the Chase, and only the top 8 qualify), but there was no one in Seoul remotely good enough to challenge her except maybe second seed Shinobu Asagoe, who lost in the second round.

Maria began her campaign on Tuesday with a 6-1 6-3 victory in 71 minutes over feisty journeywoman Emmanuelle Gagliardi in the first round. Maria broke Gagliardi's serve five times in the match, and was therefore broken once herself.

"I thought I played quite well, although the court surface was a little bit different to China. It's a little slower than I expected, and I had to adjust in the first few games."

Maria won her second-round match by a symmetrical scoreline of 6-3 6-1 over Miho Saeki, a lucky loser from the qualifying. She "took a little time to find her rhythm, but soon gained control to complete a comfortable win" [CEEFAX].

"I wasn't playing my game in the first three games, but I finally stepped in to attack her serve a little more. She was a bit of a different player from those I usually play, and it took me a while to adjust, but a win's a win and I'll take it. I have to make sure I am consistent and play my game."

Maria played eighth seed Samantha Stosur in the quarter-finals. Stosur is a serve-and-volley player with a very good serve and a not-so-good volley.

I was there when Maria beat Stosur 6-4 6-3 at Birmingham, and we all know what Maria went on to do on grass after that! This time it was 6-2 6-1, as Maria was in control from the start, following a four-hour rain-delay.

"The wind was definitely a factor with the serves sometimes. I tried not to go for the lines so much, and just tried to be consistent. I knew it would be cold so I had to move around quickly to keep warm.

"I don't think I've ever been in a place where I could have been tanning on one day and wearing a winter jacket the next!"

Maria's semi-final opponent was the unseeded Anne Kremer, who used to be a dangerous, hard-hitting opponent until a serious wrist-injury forced her to miss almost all of 2003. When I saw her play Tatiana Golovin at Birmingham this year, it was clear that Kremer was playing in a diminished capacity. Tatiana would have won much easier than 6-4 7-5 if she hadn't played so sporadically herself.

It appears that Maria played a brilliant match to steamroller Kremer 6-0 6-2 in 47 minutes, as she "was in fine touch throughout the match" [CEEFAX], "dominating with her serve and returning Kremer's with venom" [Teletext].

"I think Anne couldn't really handle the pace today. When you're dictating the whole match, you get more confident as the match goes on. I could tell the crowd wanted a little bit more of the match, but sometimes the games go quickly."

This set up a final with the cute 18-year-old Polish girl, Marta Domachowska.

"I've heard a lot of good things about her, so I'm sure it's going to be a very interesting final. But I just go out every match and play my game. I don't want to worry about my opponent."

Maria won the final 6-1 6-1 in 56 minutes. "The Wimbledon champion was at her imperious best as she blasted her Polish rival off the court with a plethora of blistering groundstrokes" [CEEFAX].

Domachowska held serve once, and broke Maria once. So it seems Domachowska didn't contribute much to the tennis in her first WTA Tour final, although she did contribute to the sex-appeal with her Golovinesque beauty! ;)


"This is the first time playing three tournaments in a row [Beijing, Seoul, and Tokyo next week], but I feel really good. I think I played well this week. Hopefully I'll take that on to next week, play better, and win there.

"As I get older, I'll have to learn to make the adjustments to different tournaments, different conditions. To compete with the top 10 players, there are a lot of things I have to improve on.

"I'm very happy to win the inaugural title. I hope this event will serve as an opportunity to foster a boom in tennis in Korea."

It had been the second all-teenage final on the WTA Tour this year, after Maria beat 16-year-old Tatiana Golovin at Birmingham, with me in the stands! :D I would love to relive that day, on which Maria also won the doubles title with Maria Kirilenko!

Next week could see another Sharapova v Golovin final, as Maria is the top seed at the Japan Open in Tokyo, and Tatiana is the second seed. I get goosebumps just thinking about this mouthwatering possibility! :hearts:

Maria, who is defending the first WTA singles title of her career, doesn't seem to have much resistance in her half of the Tokyo draw. She could be facing the talented Meghann Shaughnessy in the quarter-finals, but Shaughnessy is on a losing streak of six matches dating back to Wimbledon.

Maria's projected semi-final opponent is Shinobu Asagoe, who reached the quarter-finals of the US Open but lost very early at Beijing and Seoul. Asagoe beat Maria in the semi-finals of Birmingham 2003, prior to her tearjerking upset of Daniela Hantuchová at Wimbledon 2003.

Tatiana has a very dangerous potential second-round opponent in Nicole Vaidisová, who beat Maria 5-3 at World Team Tennis in July (one set, first to five games). Vaidisová has already won a WTA singles title (which Tatiana has yet to do), and she doesn't even turn 16 until 23rd April 2005!

If Tatiana survives that skirmish, she should have a clear path to the final with only Klara KoUKaLová, Kristina Brandi and Nicole Pratt as the other seeds in her half of the draw.

Dr. Andrew Broad


Oct 3rd, 2004, 10:48 PM
Thanks Doctor Broad!

Oct 3rd, 2004, 11:44 PM
Next week could see another Sharapova v Golovin final, as Maria is the top seed at the Japan Open in Tokyo, and Tatiana is the second seed. I get goosebumps just thinking about this mouthwatering possibility! :hearts:
:hearts: :drool: :D

Oct 4th, 2004, 01:51 AM
I want Nicole in the final with Maria!

Oct 4th, 2004, 06:56 AM
I'll bet you do.

Oct 4th, 2004, 03:29 PM
Yes, it would be Duiz's ultimate perverted fantasy.

Richie H
Oct 4th, 2004, 04:06 PM
Nicole isn't good looking. Golovin has not got a nice nose, so i wouldn't mind whoever Maria plays in the final.

Oct 4th, 2004, 05:09 PM
Someday, I'm sure we'll see rankings according to how players look. Fuck the matches.

Anyway, here's your condensed Korea Open report/Tokyo preview.

Maria is going to beat up on some little girls. She's so big and mighty. End.

Josh B.
Oct 4th, 2004, 06:15 PM
Someday, I'm sure we'll see rankings according to how players look. Fuck the matches

I cant remember where but i do remember seeing a vote on a website on the best looking Tennis player.

Maria was Number 1

By a big percentage :yeah:

Oct 4th, 2004, 08:12 PM
Golovin has not got a nice nose
Yes she has.

Andy Mac
Oct 4th, 2004, 09:38 PM
eddy why did u make another account?

Oct 4th, 2004, 10:18 PM
Thats not me. :rolleyes:

Richie H
Oct 4th, 2004, 10:20 PM
Yes she has.


Oct 4th, 2004, 10:28 PM
eddy why did u make another account? He made a new account in january 2003? :haha: