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Albireo
Aug 17th, 2005, 02:18 PM
I’m still going to write up the final, I swear it. But since I don’t have any pics from Sunday, I thought I could post these now.

I’m not a photographer—certainly not on the level of Urklerlay or Shooter or Tratree or any of the other super-talents here. And I was using my sister-in-law’s camera, one of those auto-everything jobs with a million settings but nothing manual. Having grown up with a Canon A1, I felt clueless with the newfangled technology, and many times I wished for something that weighed ten times as much but had manual focus and non-automatic settings on it. Night shots were the worst—even with ample lighting, the camera still insisted on using its flash, which meant no in-match shots; I wasn’t going to distract the players during play. Most of the night shots turned out blurry, too, even though I had the camera set for the occasion.

To make matters worse, I had an entire roll (36 exposures) that was defective. I’d intended to take shots of every match I watched, but several matches (Bammer/Uberoi, Peschke/Panova, and Cho/Jidkova among them) have no surviving "footage," and as a result, some of the players are underrepresented. :(

So these aren’t great. You’ll notice that I have no real "action shots," and that’s for an aesthetic reason, as well as a practical one— a), I’m just not good enough with a camera to take interesting action shots; and b), I prefer getting pictures that say something about who the players are. Personality is the hardest thing to capture in a shot of a player smashing the ball, and I’d rather take shots that have a little bit of the players’ personalities in them. Given the choice between a shot of Patty Schnyder in mid-swing with the ball frozen smooshed against her racquet strings (a shot I lacked the technique to capture, in any case) and a shot of her signing an autograph or goofing with the crowd, I would opt for the latter any time. (Besides—my action photography would have paled against, say, Urklerlay’s or Shooter’s stuff from BotW a week later. :worship: )

I’ve included sections of my previously-written reports with these, in bold, to put the pictures in context, with a few wise-ass post-tournament digressions thrown in, in plain text. These are also 1/2 size; I have higher quality versions if anyone really wants them, as well as some redundant shots of some of the players.

Enjoy! I’ll try to do better next year.


MONDAY

On the court next to Shaughnessy and Drake were two blonde girls I didn’t recognize—hardly a surprise, as I haven’t had television for a few years, and have seen perhaps five tennis matches since making the temporary move from Alaska to Illinois eighteen months ago. Adding to the problem is the fact that few of the players here are household names outside their own households. I’m sure I’ll misidentify more than a few in these write-ups, so bear with me. As I uncapped my camera, one of the blondes struck a couple of poses, so I obliged her modeling instincts. :)

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If anyone knows who this is, I’d love to know. :)



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Meilen Tu, who somehow got left out of my report.



On the court just behind the two blondes, Hantuchova had joined Sugiyama for practice.

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Now and then, a fan would interrupt for an autograph and Hantuchova would come over and sign; at one point, a kid no taller than her waist asked for an autograph, and she signed, bending over with her hands on her knees to talk to him face-to-face, laughing at something he said.

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This was the kid she bent down to talk to—I thought I had a picture of that, but I evidently missed it.



As Schnyder waited for Drake and Shaughnessy to finish up with their gear, a mentally-challenged man in his twenties approached her with one of those oversized "autograph balls" and a pen. "Patty, can I have your autograph, please?" She smiled at him. "Yeah, sure." And she signed the ball and posed for a picture with him.

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The handicapped guy is off to the left. He seemed like he knew every one of the players.



As she and Hoffman took the court, the challenged guy approached Drake: "Maureen—can I get a picture with you?" Drake laughed. "Nobody ever wants a picture with me," she said, and stood for several pictures, maybe grateful that she’d been recognized amid the crowd of better-known players.

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Again, I didn’t know this was Drake; the handicapped guy tipped me off by asking for the picture.



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This was Drake’s practice partner—obviously, it isn’t Meghan Shaughnessy. (I was smoking some good stuff that day.) Anyone know who this is?



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The guy Schnyder was practicing with wasn’t Hoffman—I hadn’t seen RH before, but made the incorrect assumption that it was him. I don’t know who her practice partner was, but she worked with him for the whole tournament.



Bethanie Mattek vs. Liga Dekmeijere

Mattek led 6-2. 4-2 on Center, and finished the final games quickly, to a smattering of applause from the fifty or so fans watching. Her real reward was to be stopped and interviewed by Luke "Slap-Head" Jensen courtside, and put on the spot when she confessed she hadn’t been to Cincinnati yet, only the tennis center.

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Some days, I’m just brain-dead—that’s not Luke, it’s Murphy. D’oh!



Over on the practice courts, another small crowd had gathered—Sania Mirza and her Forehand of Doom were practicing against yet another tall, slender, pretty blonde girl I didn’t know. Both of Mirza’s ankles were in braces, but she didn’t seem encumbered or hesitant in her movement. Unlike the other girls, who looked taller and stronger in pictures, Mirza seemed smaller, more delicate; in fact, she looked like she’d lost a great deal of weight, although whether she actually was heavier before or that extra weight was illusory I don’t know. Having heard a lot about her, I sat in the stands and watched her practice, the other girl’s coach giving both advice. An older Indian lady managed their equipment, doling out racquets and tennis balls.

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Mirza really is smaller than she looks in photos, and I was surprised at how lightweight she looked (having heard comments that she was overweight). About twenty people watched her practice here, and you could hear the whole group gasp when she teed off on that forehand of hers.



I took a number of pictures of both, although at one point Mirza looked at me as if to say, "Oh, God—not another stalker." She’s quite beautiful, so I imagine she’s getting leery of being snapped everywhere she goes, and obviously very good-natured, as she hammed it up a bit for those watching. I quit taking pictures, so as not to disrupt her practice or her mood.

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"You lookin’ at me?" :lol:


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Caroline Wozniacki. At the time, I didn’t know that’s who this was.



I left to check out the food court; when I came by ten minutes later, Mirza and her partner were still sitting courtside, chatting away.

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I love this picture for some reason. You can just hear the teen angst:

SM: Well, there’s this guy I really like, but he doesn’t know I exist beyond a bunch of tabloid clippings. What should I say to him?

CW: ‘Stop breaking into my house or I’ll set the dogs loose.’


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"Oh, look—the old hippy with the camera didn’t get the hint."



Chanda finished her practice. As she left the court, a number of autograph hounds were waiting; if she missed a held-out program or poster, her coach would point it out. As she passed where I was standing, she looked up. "Good luck," I said.

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:sigh: Can’t believe I forgot Benny Sims’ name.

Albireo
Aug 17th, 2005, 02:19 PM
TUESDAY


(4) Daniela Hantuchova vs. Lilia Osterloh

She broke the 112-MPH jinx with a service winner, and, relieved, jogged to the net, hand extended. Murphy Jensen was waiting there courtside—none of the winners gets by the Murph without an on-court interview—and after exchanging some of the usual post-match banter and some high-fives with Jensen, Hantuchova disappeared down the tunnel after Osterloh.

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(3) Jelena Jankovic vs. Maria-Emilia Salerni

On the Grandstand, Maria-Emilia Salerni and Jelena Jankovic were locked in a third-set marathon—although it was Jankovic who had a stranglehold on the match, leading 3-0. This was the first time I’d seen Jankovic play, and she’s definitely got game: fast and powerful, with broad shoulders and sprinter’s legs (and the temperament of a badger). She’d lost the first set but had quickly established her superiority for the rest of the match; Salerni seemed incapable of winning even a point in the last three games, although much of that was due to her catastrophic UE count (she’d had 68 in a three-setter on Monday).

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Sania Mirza vs. (7) Anna-Lena Groenefeld

The Grandstand was pretty full for an early-round match; about five hundred people were there, almost all of them sitting in the shade.

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Groenefeld won the coin-toss and elected to serve…. Mirza wore a red and white outfit, and she seemed so small next to the white- and blue-clad Groenefeld that an image lodged in my brain, one that made no real sense but was amusing at the time: Little Red Riding Hood and the Big, Bad Wolf. Except that, for the fairy-tale to be true to this image, the fairy-tale Red Riding Hood would be hiding an elephant gun under her cloak; the moment Mirza ripped That Forehand in warm-ups, the crowd roared its approval….

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When Mirza broke for 1-0, an Indian flag appeared in the stands, waved furiously and accompanied by any number of hand-held placards; feet stomped and hands clapped in unison to some pre-arranged song only those of Indian descent could hear.

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Mirza’s serve is quite heavy; she likes to blast it up the ‘T’ and slice it out wide. But she has consistency problems with it, and double-faulted two service games away.

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The chair umpire had made several overrules by this time (in favor of both players), and as Mirza clung to a 2-1 lead, up a break, I felt that a good effort by Groenefeld in the second would be enough to level the match. Groenefeld must have sensed it, too, because she went for the jugular on her returns and suddenly had Mirza at 0-40, three points to level the set.

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She was clearly quite exhausted once the match was over, although whether it was more physical or mental exhaustion I couldn’t tell. Granted, the heat and humidity were just this side of hellish, but I got the feeling that the whole experience had been as tough mentally on Mirza as on Groenefeld, even with—or perhaps because of--the (essentially) entire crowd on her side.

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The Indian fans had leapt to their feet the moment Mirza’s final winner was signaled ‘good,’ apparently all the better to block their girl from leaving. On the Grandstand court, the players have to climb a set of stairs to go back to the safety of the locker room, and after letting Groenefeld through, the fans closed ranks around the stairs and wouldn’t let Mirza through until she’d signed every paper, ball, clothing item, and body part that was presented for inking. I felt sorry for her again.

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(6) Ai Sugiyama vs. Lindsay Lee-Waters

Lee-Waters is a player similar to Brandi and Granville: strong from the baseline, not too scared of the net, but no real BIG shot. She was hurt in this match from too much inconsistency on the big points. She has surprising touch, but seemed hesitant to use it, and she had a surprising number of foot faults.

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The second set went fairly quickly, and Sugiyama found herself at match point. Lee-Waters belted a big forehand; Sugiyama just managed to get off a reply, and Lee-Waters dumped an easy sitter volley into the net to end the match, 7-5, 6-2.

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If Sania Mirza is adorable, then Ai Sugiyama fell directly off of God’s charm bracelet. When Murphy Jensen interviewed her after the match, she thanked just about everyone she could think of, smiled a lot, bowed, and in general won over any undecided fans there at the tournament. She especially thanked the Japanese fans, and hoped that she could win the tournament for them. If there’s a friendlier person in the game, I haven’t seen her.

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Love Ai’s expression here…. :lol:



(2) Vera Zvonareva vs. Meghan Shaughnessy

Shaughnessy opened on serve. She has a strange service motion; her upper body does things pretty conventionally, but her feet leap off the ground as she serves, in a manner quite different from that of most players. Whatever the case, her serve was certainly effective, as she jacked it up to 115 MPH in taking the first game of the match.

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Zvonareva—"The Crying Game" to Tennis-X readers—is an enigma to me. She’s obviously talented (no-one gets to the Top Ten without a lot of talent), but nothing about her game made me sit up and take notice, and nothing really stood out from her array of shots. (The one time I saw her play on TV I felt the same way.) She seemed in a particularly dour mood, too, and I hoped I wouldn’t see one of her crying jags before the set was over. Nonetheless, she managed to finagle a break in the third game to lead 2-1, keeping the pressure on Shaughnessy to find an exploitable weakness.

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A bank of clouds behind the stadium, and a premonition of things to come. That pole is Kings Island’s "DropZone" ride, supposedly the world’s tallest free-fall ride; the rollercoaster is the park’s famous "The Beast," still the most fearsome wooden coaster in operation. I hoped that the park gave the players free passes, as it does with the ATP players when they’re in town.

Albireo
Aug 17th, 2005, 02:20 PM
WEDNESDAY


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Kings Island’s Eiffel Tower, a 1/3-scale replica. On windy days, the elevator can go out, and people can either wait or be airlifted off.


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The DropZone again. The little fringy-looking bits hanging off the bottom edge of the platform in the second picture are actually the riders’ legs. You can see the humidity hanging in the air in these pics; it was over 90% all week, to go along with the 90+ degree temperatures.



In the middle practice court, Jelena Jankovic entertained about twenty spectators, though she hardly seemed to be enjoying herself.

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As Ai Sugiyama did after her own loss, Caroline Wozniacki stayed in Cincinnati for a while, continuing to practice in the miserable conditions.



On Center now was Ai Sugiyama, tirelessly hitting with her coach.

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Sania Mirza/Yuliana Fedak vs. Sybille Bammer/Jewel Peterson

Bammer and Peterson were very much serious about winning this match, while Mirza and Fedak seemed to be playing for the fun of it.

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Jewel Peterson is a pretty tremendous physical specimen, but Sybille Bammer is a friggin’ goddess in that regard. She’s in far better condition than the pictures here show; in an excessively over-the-top moment, I thought that she must have God’s signature on her somewhere.

By contrast. Mirza and Fedak looked like a couple of Campfire Girls. This match seemed (during the first set) to be like the student/headmasters rugby match in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, and so I was surprised the two little elves eked this one out.



One court over, Iveta Benesova was doing a pre-practice stretch routine, and her coach was chatting amiably with some spectators….

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Pull the shorts up, Iveta—this is "Censor-nati" you’re playing in! :lol:



Shahar Peer vs. (6) Ai Sugiyama

Peer is feisty, pumping her fist and yelling, "Come on!" a lot. It’s actually rather annoying. She also looks at her coach after every winner she hits, as if for approval.

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Out on Center, a phalanx of ballkids was pushing what I can only describe as giant roller-squeegees across the court, each overlapping the others by a few inches so that only one pass by the group was needed to dry a fifteen-foot swath of court. Other ballkids knelt on the ground with towels to dry the painted lines and the area under the net (the net was dried, too). Only after those tasks were well underway did the grounds crew bring out hot-air dryers to finish the job. It took twenty minutes to clear away forty minutes’ worth of rain, and as the last of the dryers was wheeled off court, the crowd gave the crew a generous standing ovation.

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The players would again trade breaks for 3-all, but Sugiyama was now double-faulting in every game, and Peer—realizing that this was her chance-- was starting to let rip freely with her big groundies.

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And after Peer finished sharing some of her thoughts for the fans via Murphy Jensen, she, too, left to a hearty round of cheers.

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Peer reminds me a bit of a cross between Monica Seles and Mary Pierce, at least physically.



(4)Daniela Hantuchova vs. Chanda Rubin

Chanda finally held for 3-1, and the crowd made sure she knew it, bellowing when she took the game at love with a big forehand winner.

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Her voice was almost pleading, and even from about 1/3 of the way up from the court, I could see her hands trembling as she took a drink from her bottle.

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Albireo
Aug 17th, 2005, 02:22 PM
THURSDAY

Hantuchova didn't quite look unhappy—whatever it was she felt, she'd internalized it to the point of looking tabula rasa, a blank slate. She was alone on-court: no coach, no mother, no practice partner. All she had was her racquet and a cardboard box of balls, and all she did, for at least a half-hour (and from the number of balls strewn around the court, since long before I'd arrived) was hit serves, one after the other, along the lines of the service boxes.

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The term "all business" just doesn't seem to apply to Sugiyama—there's a sincere joy in almost everything she does, and even in the grueling heat, she made hitting endless groundstrokes look like the most pleasant way imaginable to spend a summer day. The contrast between Sugiyama and the almost-hypnotized Hantuchova couldn't have been starker.

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Sania Mirza vs. Kristina Brandi

"Is this what Sania-Mania is all about?!" Murphy Jensen bellowed into the mike. The crowd, enraptured, raised the volume even higher. Mirza reached for the mike, then backed away a moment to stop giggling and find her voice.

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That’s Mirza’s mom standing in the front row with the Gatorade bottle on the railing. She has an uncle in nearby Springfield, OH, and I think that’s him in the front row with the Wittenberg University t-shirt.



Bethanie Mattek vs. Camille Pin

The players played hard: there were lots of extended rallies and well-constructed points, and even as Mattek led 3-0, it seemed the players were pretty evenly matched. Mattek's huge serve was the primary difference-maker.

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Pin broke back to even the set. She seemed rather dazed, though, and I wondered if the heat was affecting her to a much greater degree than the Minnesota-raised Mattek.

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Albireo
Aug 17th, 2005, 02:23 PM
FRIDAY

One court was occupied by a pro, and she towered above the milling local kids like a skyscraper, a striking sight in her half-dressed glory. This was Iveta Benesova, coach standing behind her as always. Like Hantuchova the day before, Benesova seemed intent on fixing some problem with her serve, and she'd set up a number of half-empty water bottles and ball-cans as targets at strategic points on the opposite side of the court.

How long she'd been out there I couldn't tell, but Benesova had evidently fired a lot of serves judging from the number of balls lying motionless beyond the opposite baseline and along the fence. If she was indeed intending to hit her targets, she hadn't yet been successful. Benesova and her coach exchanged a few Czech words, and she turned back to her task.

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Six set points come and gone. Hantuchova sat in her chair, ice-towel wrapped around her neck, head down as if praying.

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"Trade ya."



Cho stayed with her, highlighting the third game with a 91 MPH ace. Her serve was surprisingly difficult to play; in addition to several moderately-paced aces, she had numerous service winners and many Hantuchova returns ended up as errors long, wide, or in the net.

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Hantuchova beamed with relief, giggling her way through a courtside interview with Murphy Jensen. When asked the secret of her physical conditioning, she replied, "Drink a lot."

Murphy couldn't resist the suggestion. "And do you, Daniela, drink a lot?"

She laughed. "Not like that."

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The crowd applauded as she left the court; Cho had already departed. Hantuchova returned their hand with some applause of her own and disappeared up the tunnel, almost ignored by autograph-seekers.

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Akiko Morigami vs. Sania Mirza

They were ready when Sania Mirza and Akiko Morigami came out on court: the foot-stomping, the rhythmic applause, the name chanting, the Indian flag waving proudly. But there was something less-hearty about it today, a trepidation perhaps, a lack of confidence in the girl who had formerly inspired such enthusiasm and revelry in the crowds that only she seemed able to draw to this tournament. The flag-wavers now sat in the nosebleed seats, in the shade.

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As seemed to be her custom, Mirza went through warmups with her jacket on, and the only reason I could think for doing so was religious modesty. She certainly wasn't so fit that it might be a statement of superior conditioning. *

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*This little excerpt was actually from Thursday’s report, but the picture came from Friday, so I combined them. Sorry for the lack of continuity here.



From the start, it was apparent that Morigami wasn't cut from the same cloth as the "other" Japanese players. For one, she's a Seles-style player, two-handed off both sides. But she's also got a game full of spins and junkballs, and she mixes them up with impressive power. All of the Japanese players are quick, particularly Sugiyama, but Morigami was relentless, getting one or two extra balls back with enough pace to keep them from being sitters.

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Clearly exhausted and thoroughly beaten, Mirza gathered up her gear for one last trip through the gauntlet—win or lose, she had to pay the toll to get to the cool escape of the locker room, and the toll was another fifty or so autographs…. The Indian girl was still signing, even after Morigami—the victor—had disappeared.

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What was left of the crowd about five minutes or so after Mirza started signing. I was disappointed that they didn’t just let her go, as they did with the other vanquished players. The guy approaching from frame left has a newspaper with the simple headline "SANIA MANIA." That’s Mirza’s coach, John Farrington, standing in the white shirt, shorts, and hat at frame right.



It wasn't Sania Mirza who came out this time, either, but Daniela Hantuchova. The crowd's disappointment was palpable, but as Hantuchova walked into the group on her way to the fence and the players' parking lot, a few of the youngsters nonetheless pressed in on her, faces eager and pens outstretched.

"Daniela, could you…"

"Of course," Hantuchova said, smiling. She looked around the small group of kids she was signing for—and the kids holding back—and laughed. "But something tells me I'm not the one you were waiting for."

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This was a really cute moment, and it was nice to see Hantuchova back in the easygoing mood she’d had on Monday and Tuesday.



Iveta Benesova and Meilen Tu had come from the lot, evidently returning from a shopping trip; Benesova had a large shopping bag slung over her shoulder. The pair—they were playing doubles together here—strolled from the parking lot to the stadium, past the police and the crowd gathered to catch a glimpse of Sania Mirza. And every head turned as Benesova passed….

…Tu wasn't dressed in anything out of the ordinary. Benesova, however, was dressed to kill; she needed only a pair of fluffy wings to look as if she was headed for a sweaty night at the clubs. Benesova wore a tight black sleeveless top with sequined lettering on the front. The shirt left about four inches of her midriff bare. Finishing the outfit was a pair of microscopic black hot pants that would have been too risqué even for Tatiana Golovin, over which Benesova wore a gauzy neon-pink miniskirt that seemed to be little more than a few shreds of fabric wrapped around her waist. Her hair was down, and she was made-up and ready to go.

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This picture in no way conveys the slobber-inducing majesty of Benesova’s appearance here. The skirt was about as substantial as a gnat fart; I could see clear through it (it looks more opaque here than it actually was), and the little black shorts she wore under it didn’t cover much more area than a postage stamp. Benesova may have lost in the first round of singles, but I guarantee everyone who saw her here remembers her. :eek:



The crowd waiting for Mirza had dwindled to perhaps two dozen. On Center Court, Patty Schnyder had taken the first-set tiebreak. I turned back just in time to nearly blunder into the path of a photographer taking a shot of his wife with Sania Mirza.

http://images5.theimagehosting.com/FriSM27.jpg



John Farrington, her weatherbeaten Caribbean coach, stood nearby, smiling as if still disbelieving his pupil's astonishing popularity. Sania worked her way through the small crowd, signing, posing for pictures, greeting even the tiniest of children like they were newly-discovered relatives.

http://images5.theimagehosting.com/FriSM26.jpg

Sorry these are blurry; I had a couple more that were absolutely useless. I hate autofocus cameras….



Mirza and Farrington walked leisurely away from the players' area, laughing and talking like old friends; if she'd had racquets with her, I'd have guessed them to be headed for the practice courts. I watched them go, Mirza trotting alongside to keep up with Farrington's loping stride.

http://images5.theimagehosting.com/FriSM:JF.jpg



Back in the stadium, Patty Schnyder was in command: as I stole another seat, she won eight straight points. On the last, she walloped a first serve, then stared, incredulous, as the radar-gun (brought to you by the good folks at Geico. "GEICO, the first name in—") continued to read 82 MPH from her previous second serve. Schnyder tapped her foot. The radar-gun changed over: 117.

http://images5.theimagehosting.com/FriPS16.jpg

Patty really milked the delay here—she was the best showman in the draw. :)


http://images5.theimagehosting.com/FriPS15.jpg

A later serve.



Peer shook her head; not only was she being schooled, her opponent was playing the crowd, too. Her disgust continued through her service game, as she double-faulted on break point to hand Schnyder a 4-1 lead.

http://images5.theimagehosting.com/FriSP1.jpg

Albireo
Aug 17th, 2005, 02:24 PM
SATURDAY

Kveta Peschke/Maria-Emilia Salerni vs. Yuliana Fedak/Sania Mirza

It seemed almost a half-hour before there were more than ten of us in Center, not counting the slowly-moving ushers. But the fans started to make their way in for Fedak/Mirza vs. the top seeds, Peschke/Salerni. As usual, most of the early arrivals were Indian. Some of them, today, were armed with air horns. I wondered where the support had been yesterday, when Mirza had needed more than the fans had offered.

The support didn't seem to make much difference today, either. Peschke and Salerni broke Mirza at love, Peschke held at love, and then Fedak was broken at love for 3-0, a run of twelve straight points. Fedak had two double faults in her service game, but she was still the better on her team; Mirza looked lifeless, and moved as if her ankle braces were magnetic and the court steel.

http://images5.theimagehosting.com/SatSM:YF-KP:MES.jpg

http://images5.theimagehosting.com/SatKP:MES.jpg

http://images5.theimagehosting.com/SatYF:SMPaint.jpg

Fedak giving her racquet strings a paint-job.



Fedak and Mirza seemed to enjoy playing with each other, touching hands after every point they played….

http://images5.theimagehosting.com/SatYF:SM15.jpg



(1) Patty Schnyder vs. Bethanie Mattek

Mattek got the radar gun to 121, but the serve was a fault. She held at love anyway.

http://images5.theimagehosting.com/SatMattek16.jpg

http://images5.theimagehosting.com/SatMattek15.jpg

I couldn’t help but notice, in this match, that Bethanie Mattek wears the old-style tennis bloomers. (No, I don’t have any pictures to prove it. :rolleyes: )



Schnyder closed the door quickly, holding at love and then winning twelve of the following sixteen points.

http://images5.theimagehosting.com/SatPS15.jpg

Kind of an interesting pose in an unremarkable picture.



Akiko Morigami vs. (4) Daniela Hantuchova

The players continued chatting and joking during warmups—hands went up in apology when a practice shot was too hot to handle or hit in an unreachable part of the court, and the two players had even had some light-hearted exchanges over the coin-toss. In fact, they appeared to be more like doubles partners than opponents playing for a spot in a tournament final.

http://images5.theimagehosting.com/SatDH61.jpg

http://images5.theimagehosting.com/SatDH57.jpg

http://images5.theimagehosting.com/SatAM27.jpg



She hadn't even bothered putting her racquets in her bag, carrying the three she'd used in the match in one hand, wasting no time in getting away from the court…. Hantuchova was gone well before the PA announcer could spin his spiel about her leaving the court.

http://images5.theimagehosting.com/SatDH55.jpg



Morigami, though, was all smiles, and she bowed to the crowd as they acknowledged her efforts.

http://images5.theimagehosting.com/SatAM26.jpg

Nice shirt, Murph.


http://images5.theimagehosting.com/SatAM25.jpg


And that was that, as far as pictures went. As I left Cincinnati right after going to the tournament on Sunday, I couldn’t take the camera; I’d have no way to return it, and I didn’t want to make a special stop to drop it off. So I got no pictures of the final, but I suppose that’ll have to wait for next year, when I’ll hopefully have a camera I’m used to.

:)

tucker1989
Aug 17th, 2005, 02:29 PM
This is amazing, thanks so much!!!

Louis Cyphre
Aug 17th, 2005, 02:46 PM
WOW that was great report :yeah:

Bероника
Aug 17th, 2005, 03:00 PM
wow fantastic photos! Thanks!

Wiggly
Aug 17th, 2005, 04:02 PM
Oh My Gosh! By far pbest reports/pics I ever see/read in my life :worship:

Thanks you so much for Danka pics and Iveta pics :)

beauty_is_pink
Aug 17th, 2005, 04:41 PM
Awesome pics and reports Al :yeah:

Meteor Shower
Aug 17th, 2005, 05:30 PM
as long as it helps Shahar to win those matches and its not after opponment error, for me she can pump herself up whenever (well but not too much :p)

thanks, very nice pictures.

King Aaron
Aug 17th, 2005, 05:48 PM
:worship: Amazing really. :yeah:

ampers&
Aug 17th, 2005, 05:54 PM
You are a fantastic photographer. :worship:

lee station
Aug 17th, 2005, 06:39 PM
Ten out of ten, Albireo :hatoff:

Peterson's tshirt is fab! :D

urklerlay
Aug 17th, 2005, 07:00 PM
Albireo--

you really outdid yourself this time. all other reports cannot even compare...to have reports w/ visuals really completes the picture. just like being there!

couple of notes:

I agree w/ you about AI. what a sweetheart who seems to really enjoy what she is doing. I sometimes think that some of the players forget that they play a game for a living...and they make pretty good money at it.

The first photo of the player flashing the peace sign is M Drake. Not sure who the other players are.

Love all the pics not tennis action related, like the signing of the autographs, ballkids drying off the courts, and even King's Island.

Great stuff!!!

controlfreak
Aug 17th, 2005, 07:37 PM
Wow, I feel like I was there!

One small note for next time: if you could post the final score along with each match report, it would help complete the picture for those of us that haven't been keeping up with the results as closely as someone who was there.

Albireo
Aug 17th, 2005, 09:38 PM
Wow, I feel like I was there!

One small note for next time: if you could post the final score along with each match report, it would help complete the picture for those of us that haven't been keeping up with the results as closely as someone who was there.

You're right; I should have posted the final scores with each match when I did the original reports. I'll do that next time.

Later tonight, when I'm free, I'll dig up the scores from the matches in this thread and add them to the appropriate headers. :)

Albireo
Aug 17th, 2005, 09:57 PM
Albireo--

you really outdid yourself this time. all other reports cannot even compare...to have reports w/ visuals really completes the picture. just like being there!

couple of notes:

I agree w/ you about AI. what a sweetheart who seems to really enjoy what she is doing. I sometimes think that some of the players forget that they play a game for a living...and they make pretty good money at it.

There were a couple of players I was really taken with (as if you couldn't tell :) ), and Ai was one of them. She really was an absolute gem, and it would have been nice if she'd been in the doubles or something so she could have stayed around a little longer (although she did hang out for a couple of days after her loss anyway).

It was nice, too, that I never once saw a player act rudely or discourteously to anyone there. Some of the players seemed to be really having fun, and some were very serious about their business, but they were all obliging when someone asked for a signature or a moment of time. :bigclap: to all of them.

The first photo of the player flashing the peace sign is M Drake. Not sure who the other players are.

It's funny, because when I went back and started trying to match names with faces, I thought the peace-sign girl was Drake. But the handicapped guy called the other girl-- the one I identified in my post as Drake-- "Maureen," and as there was no other player named Maureen in the tournament, I figured that's who it had to be. And when the guy said "Maureen," that "other" girl responded to it and talked to him, so I assumed he knew who she was.

Love all the pics not tennis action related, like the signing of the autographs, ballkids drying off the courts, and even King's Island.

Those are the little things that usually don't end up on TV when the networks are doing their coverage, and I've always liked the "behind the scenes" stuff. And I think you can tell more about the players when they're interacting with fans, each other, or their surroundings than you can when they're on-court. Like I said, I'm not anything resembling a photographer, so I prefer to leave the action stuff to those who can do it well, and I just concentrate on the "quieter" stuff.

Great stuff!!!

Thanks!

Albireo
Aug 17th, 2005, 10:01 PM
WOW that was great report :yeah:

This was pretty much a cut-and-paste from the original reports-- the stuff in boldface is from stuff I posted back while the tournament was running. Rather than just posting the pictures now, I tried to give some of the original context from whence they came. (It was easier than editing the original reports and slotting the pictures in appropriately.)

Thanks for the compliments!

Yonexforever
Aug 17th, 2005, 10:24 PM
YOU ARE A PICTURE TAKING BEAST.. AND WE LOVE YOU FOR IT!!!!!!!!
What clothing line is Jamea Jackon wearing... it reminds me of that Italian label Kim that Navratilova used to wear!

mousee
Aug 17th, 2005, 10:40 PM
didnt kno u have new #1 albi :p

auntie janie
Aug 17th, 2005, 11:51 PM
Wow, more great stuff from Albireo! I really feel like I have a great sense of what the Cincinnati tournament was like thanks to your detailed reporting and now these great photos. Thanks for the entertainment!!! :hatoff:

ezekiel
Aug 18th, 2005, 01:15 AM
I know it's been said but you've set a new standard for forum reporting :yeah:

416_Man
Aug 18th, 2005, 01:20 AM
You are my idol. This is AMAZING. If I could give you one good rep a day for the rest of your life, I would.

alibaby
Aug 18th, 2005, 02:10 PM
what is especially nice about you,is your incredible modesty!!!there are enough people,who would behave like a king or something,but theres always a little "dont take yourself not to serious"note!and that makes you very sympathetic!!so,i hope i will hear a lot from you in the future.keep up the good work! :)

Dexter
Aug 18th, 2005, 02:14 PM
Great photos :yeah:
Thx :D

BUBI
Aug 23rd, 2005, 06:21 AM
I can't see the pics :sad:

thedlr
Aug 23rd, 2005, 06:51 AM
I can't see the pics :sad:

Me neither... looks like the server where the images are isn't responding. I'll try again later. Thanks for the awesome report Albireo.

EDIT: woohoo pix r showing up now

BUBI
Aug 23rd, 2005, 10:27 AM
They are working now :D
Thanks!

gsm
Aug 23rd, 2005, 02:12 PM
thanks Albireo!

Daniel
Aug 23rd, 2005, 11:15 PM
thnaks :)