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Vaidisova
May 26th, 2006, 12:36 AM
Nicole is still playing in Strasbourg, but the RG draw will be out very soon! :D

This year Nicole will be the #17 seed and hopefully will have a nice draw, so that she can improve on her result from last year.

Good luck Nicole! :bounce:

Sharapova's_Boy
May 26th, 2006, 12:45 AM
Good luck Nikki, only gotta defend a 2R. ;)

Veeko
May 26th, 2006, 04:21 AM
This year Nicole will be the #17 seed and hopefully will have a nice draw, so that she can improve on her result from last year.

Good luck Nicole! :bounce:

Yeah,Good luck!

FedExpress
May 26th, 2006, 11:16 AM
Nici's quarter:

(1) Amelie Mauresmo FRA vs Meghann Shaughnessy USA
Anastasia Rodionova RUS vs Vera Dushevina RUS
Laura Pous-Tio ESP vs Jelena Jankovic SCG
(25) Marion Bartoli FRA vs wc Aurelie Vedy FRA
(22) Ai Sugiyama JAP vs Eleni Daniilidou GRE
q vs q
Tiantian Sun CHN vs Ekatarina Bytchkova RUS
(16) Nicole Vaidisova CZE vs Marta Domachowska POL


It's not the easiest draw but also not the worst. I hope she can make the 3rd round and then we'll see how good she is against Momo

Veeko
May 26th, 2006, 11:34 AM
It's not the easiest draw but also not the worst. I hope she can make the 3rd round and then we'll see how good she is against Momo

i think so:( ,en,if she wants to beat Momo,it will be very difficult
I hope she can go ahead:)

Sharapova's_Boy
May 26th, 2006, 11:49 AM
Ugh, not the greatest draw. :(

Vaidisova
May 26th, 2006, 12:10 PM
I don't like the draw either but hopefully Nicole can get to the 3rd round at least.

Vaidisova
May 28th, 2006, 02:58 PM
Monday OOP

Court 3 11:00 Start
Men's Singles - 1st Rnd. Xavier Malisse (BEL) vs. Nicolas Massu (CHI)[32]
Women's Singles - 1st Rnd. Alicia Molik (AUS) vs. Antonella Serra Zanetti (ITA)
Men's Singles - 1st Rnd. Tomas Berdych (CZE)[20] vs. Feliciano Lopez (ESP)
Women's Singles - 1st Rnd. Marta Domachowska (POL) vs. Nicole Vaidisova (CZE)[16]

Good luck Nicole!!

Derek.
May 29th, 2006, 05:14 AM
She wouldn't play Mauresmo until the 4th round. ;)

Good luck Nicole! :yeah:

Veeko
May 29th, 2006, 05:22 AM
She wouldn't play Mauresmo until the 4th round. ;)

Good luck Nicole! :yeah:

Anything may happen on tennis,so she may beat Mauresom,maybe!

Good luck

Sharapova's_Boy
May 29th, 2006, 07:08 AM
Good luck tonight Nikki. :wavey:

Veeko
May 29th, 2006, 11:48 AM
55555,i have to study tonight,i can't watch Nicole's match,i feel so sad,:( :( I just can say"Good luck,nicole!"i hope she can pass 1rd:)

Come on now nicole,you can win the match:) :cool:

Veeko
May 29th, 2006, 01:34 PM
Nicole is training on FO
http://nastya1.free.fr/rg2006/vaidisova02.jpg

Veeko
May 29th, 2006, 01:35 PM
http://nastya1.free.fr/rg2006/vaidisova01.jpg

gsm
May 29th, 2006, 04:46 PM
thanks for the pics veeko!!!

cmon nicole, we want a momo rematch!

Vaidisova
May 29th, 2006, 05:13 PM
Nicole won 1st set 6-1, coulda been a bagel but oh well.. Just finish in 2 now ;)

Derek.
May 29th, 2006, 05:39 PM
6-1 6-3 :D

Great job Nicole! :yeah:

Vaidisova
May 29th, 2006, 05:40 PM
Good win today! Next up is Tiantian Sun...

Harju.
May 29th, 2006, 05:42 PM
Solid scoreline Nikkie against a solid claycourter. :yeah:

Sun Tian Tian next. Good luck.

Vaidisova
May 29th, 2006, 05:42 PM
Nicole is playing doubles and will face Sun there too...

Tuesday OOP

Court 14 11:00 Start
Zi Yan (CHN) vs. Jamea Jackson (USA)
Maria Sanchez Lorenzo (ESP) vs. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL)
Mathieu Montcourt (FRA) vs. Marcos Daniel (BRA)
Ting Sr Li (CHN)[14]/ Tiantian Sun (CHN)[14] vs. Maureen Drake (CAN)/ Nicole Vaidisova (CZE)

Pszczelny
May 29th, 2006, 05:47 PM
congrats to Nicole :yeah:

Derek.
May 29th, 2006, 06:31 PM
Good luck Nicole! :yeah:

Solitaire
May 30th, 2006, 03:53 AM
Nice win for Nikkie in the 1st rnd. It's lovely how she'll be able to take Sun out of the singles and dubs. :devil:

Veeko
May 30th, 2006, 04:37 AM
Well done,nicole:)
I'm so happy that she has won,good,:bounce: :angel:

Sharapova's_Boy
May 30th, 2006, 07:11 AM
Nice win Nikki. :D

Playing doubles with Maureen? :bolt:

Vaidisova
May 30th, 2006, 03:57 PM
Wednesday OOP

Court 7 11:00 Start
Tomas Berdych (CZE)[20] vs. Filippo Volandri (ITA)
Tiantian Sun (CHN) vs. Nicole Vaidisova (CZE)[16]

Vaidisova
May 30th, 2006, 05:18 PM
M. Drake/N. Vaidisova lost in 3 sets.. 0-6 in the final set:help: Don't know what happened in the final set... They had SPs in the first set too. But oh well, at least now she can focus on singles.

Good luck tomorrow Nicole!!

Vaidisova
May 31st, 2006, 12:51 PM
Nicole has won the first set 6-1 and is up 1-0 in the 2nd. :D

Rain delay now :rain:

Harju.
May 31st, 2006, 12:55 PM
Her stats is good too.

14 winners 8 UEs and 1 ace :D

Allez!

Veeko
May 31st, 2006, 01:18 PM
i think nicole can beat Tian tian sun easily,because tian tian sun isn't a good player,i am sure
Good luck ,nicole

Veeko
May 31st, 2006, 02:22 PM
http://www.tennis.com.cn/bbs/uploadFiles/2006-05/31_2997382_1.jpg

Veeko
May 31st, 2006, 02:22 PM
http://www.tennis.com.cn/bbs/uploadFiles/2006-05/31_2997710_1.jpg

Vaidisova
May 31st, 2006, 02:48 PM
Nicole won 6-1 6-3. Good job Nicole!
Into the third round! :banana:

Vaidisova
May 31st, 2006, 02:59 PM
Stats:
http://i2.tinypic.com/11971qx.jpg

Next up is Aravane Rezai.....

Solitaire
May 31st, 2006, 03:11 PM
Nicely done Nikkie!! The stats are pretty good but I don't like the breakpoint conversion rate. I just hope the French crowd isnt mean to her next round.

nouf
May 31st, 2006, 03:54 PM
go nicole versus caravane

Derek.
May 31st, 2006, 04:12 PM
Great job Nicole! :D You played very solid today! :bigclap:

Good luck in the next round! :yeah:



Veeko you can't post pictures from Getty.

Sharapova's_Boy
Jun 1st, 2006, 06:04 AM
Good stuff Nikki. :D

Hope her match against Rezai will be televised. :worship:

Veeko
Jun 1st, 2006, 09:20 AM
Great job Nicole! :D You played very solid today! :bigclap:

Good luck in the next round! :yeah:



Veeko you can't post pictures from Getty.

i see,i often forget it,i am sorry.i will remember next time

Good luck nicole

Vaidisova
Jun 1st, 2006, 04:39 PM
Friday OOP

LENGLEN 11:00 Start

C. Martinez Granados (ESP) vs. Kim Clijsters (BEL)[2]
Kevin Kim (USA) vs. Rafael Nadal (ESP)[2]
Carlos Moya (ESP)[30] vs. Nikolay Davydenko (RUS)[6]
Aravane Rezai (FRA) vs. Nicole Vaidisova (CZE)[16]

Vaidisova
Jun 1st, 2006, 09:38 PM
If Nicole wins, it'll be her third straight 4th round appearance at a slam. :D

So I hope she can reach the 4th round, but it may be tough. I don't know much about Rezai though except that she's ranked #142.:shrug:

Sharapova's_Boy
Jun 2nd, 2006, 01:10 AM
And that her father is a headcase. :unsure:

I saw her play Masha last year in the second round, and she reminds me of Mirza - big hitter off both wings but with no variety.

Veeko
Jun 2nd, 2006, 09:32 AM
so good luck tonight,i believe you can beat Rezai:bounce:

FedExpress
Jun 2nd, 2006, 03:00 PM
so good luck tonight,i believe you can beat Rezai:bounce:

She have to win because I bet my vcash on her :p

Veeko
Jun 2nd, 2006, 03:19 PM
She have to win because I bet my vcash on her :p

:lol: :lol: nicole's match has begun,now come on

Vaidisova
Jun 2nd, 2006, 05:00 PM
Well I didn't expect the match to turn out like that. Was really scary when Nicole blew MP in the second set and ended up losing the set. Then the boos and crowd going against her apparently had me really worried. But Nicole cleaned it up in the third set, a bagel! :D Phew glad that is over. :o

Into another 4th round of a slam! :D Really good stuff. Too bad gotta play Amelie again. :o

Solitaire
Jun 2nd, 2006, 05:20 PM
Nikkie really made things way too hard for herself today and U can't do that against a French player at RG. I'm glad she ended it well. A bagel is the best way to shut up a rude crowd. :devil:

Veeko
Jun 2nd, 2006, 05:23 PM
well done,nicole:bounce:
but next round,momo,she will meet her again,i think it will be a difficult game,but i don't hope to see that the match like AO,she played trouble when she faced her:( ,i don't want to see that again,i hope she can try her best and not be nervous
with my best wishes,you can beat momo,you can:) :bounce:

Derek.
Jun 2nd, 2006, 06:03 PM
Great job Nicole! :D You lost your focus, but you finished very strong! :bigclap:

Good luck in the next round! :yeah:

Vaidisova
Jun 3rd, 2006, 03:20 AM
New York Times:


Aravane Rezai of France, a qualifier who has been one of the revelations of the opening week, pushed the 17-year-old Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic to three sets with her blend of power and combative instincts but ran out of energy and answers to Vaidisova's huge, if still erratic, forehand and serve. The 6-foot Vaidisova, long considered the next big thing in tennis, earned a code violation for racket abuse during Rezai's second-set comeback. But the final score was nothing to fuss about: 6-1, 6-7 (6), 6-0.

Vaidisova will face top-seeded Amélie Mauresmo in the fourth round. Mauresmo, who traditionally struggles in her home Grand Slam tournament, has yet to drop a set. She defeated Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, 6-3, 6-3, on Friday.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/03/sports/tennis/03tennis.html

Amelie comment on upcoming match:


In the next round, Mauresmo will meet Czech 16th seed Nicole Vaidisova whom she thrashed 6-1 6-1 in the fourth round at the Australian Open.

"I know her pretty well. I'll have to knock her out of her stride," she said.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060602/sp_nm/tennis_open_mauresmo_dc_1

Sharapova's_Boy
Jun 3rd, 2006, 06:42 AM
Nice win Nikki, that's a good way to shove it up the French crowd. :tape:

Now good luck against Amelie. :worship:

ATPWTA2005
Jun 3rd, 2006, 05:30 PM
Tought match next round, but if Mauresmo chokes, she has a chance!

Vaidisova
Jun 4th, 2006, 02:47 AM
Nicole's match is third on Chatrier. Gonna be tough for sure, I just hope Nicole can win more than 2 games this time around. :o

Veeko
Jun 4th, 2006, 02:48 AM
Good luck tonight
You must remember:I can beat Momo

Sharapova's_Boy
Jun 4th, 2006, 03:42 AM
I hope I get to see the match on TV. :worship:

so.krist!na
Jun 4th, 2006, 03:49 AM
Good luck against Amelie!

Derek.
Jun 4th, 2006, 04:01 AM
I want to see this on TV so bad! :D

Good luck! :yeah:

Veeko
Jun 4th, 2006, 06:43 AM
so sad,i can't watch the great match,i will have to go to school tomorrow,and the match will start till night,i am:(

good luck,i hope you can win the match!:)

:angel: The Angel will also good luck to you

All of your fans will give you our best wishes!:)

Veeko
Jun 4th, 2006, 02:40 PM
i hope when i check the news tomorrow,you are the winner:)

Good luck,nicole

Vaidisova
Jun 4th, 2006, 05:32 PM
OH MY GOD is all I have to say. Nicole :worship:

Derek.
Jun 4th, 2006, 05:44 PM
AWESOME JOB NICOLE! :worship: I knew you could do it! :banana: :banana:

Into your first GS QF! :D :bigclap:

FedExpress
Jun 4th, 2006, 05:51 PM
Very good job from her. I saw the match on TV and I have to say it was the best match in her career. Too bad that the opponent was Momo. I hoped that she could win this time. Maybe next year ;) I think when Nici plays the way like she did today she is able to beat Williams but it won't be easy.
Congrats and well done! :yeah:

Solitaire
Jun 4th, 2006, 06:10 PM
WoWie WoW WoW :bounce: !!Congrats Nikki!! :bounce: In the last two sets she played like a champ. What a turn around from their Aus encounter. She's improving so fast on clay. :)

Dan the Assassin
Jun 4th, 2006, 06:10 PM
Great win for Nicole.
She will beat Venus, I think. ;)

Harju.
Jun 4th, 2006, 06:12 PM
Congrats Nik :yeah:. Shove that win to the haters' ass. Paul is going to jump upside down now when he sees the result tomorrow ;).

She was fearless today despite the whole crowd was against her and hopefully she can win again on Tuesday ;)

daniela86
Jun 4th, 2006, 06:22 PM
:worship: :worship: :worship: X 455646575 is all I can say :D
Awesome job Nikki :D I saw her match and I was extremely impressed :yeah:
She handled the pressure very well and played soo great :D I already liked her before but today she conquered my heart :D I really hope she will keep on playing like that and upset Venus in the next round :) I think she is able to do that :yeah: :cool: Jedem Nikki :bounce: Keep on rocking! :rocker: :rocker: :rocker2:

the cat
Jun 4th, 2006, 06:40 PM
Congrats to Nicole on beating Amelie Mauresmo in the French Open and earning the biggest win of her still young career! :D :bounce: But it's too bad Nicole has to put up with such horrible French tennis fans as those fools who have booed her in her last 2 matches. :( Thankfully not all French tennis fans are like that. But too many of them are and think they can help their favorites win by booing their faves opponents.

Vaidisova
Jun 4th, 2006, 10:13 PM
Open-Vaidisova arrives on the world stage
Sun Jun 4, 2006 9:18 PM BST

By Pritha Sarkar

PARIS, June 4 (Reuters) - Blonde, beautiful and talented, Nicole Vaidisova became the latest model to emerge from the Nick Bollettieri production line on Sunday.

The Czech announced her arrival on the world stage when she caused the biggest upset at this year's French Open by claiming the scalp of world number one Amelie Mauresmo.

"I'm excited. I'm definitely excited," the 17-year-old said with an American twang following her 6-7 6-1 6-2 fourth-round win.

"Never played a quarter-finals in a grand slam. Never beat Amelie; never beat a number one player in the world. I'm definitely happy and very, very excited, you know.

"I was in my little zone. It definitely felt great."

Mauresmo had thrashed Vaidisova at the same stage of the Australian Open in January but under the pressure cooker atmosphere in her home grand slam, the Frenchwoman failed to produce the goods when it counted.

DIFFERENT GAME

"I think it was a totally different match, different atmosphere, you know playing in France," said Vaidisova, who was born in Germany.

"I definitely am very happy the way I played. I knew I had to be more aggressive than I was (in Melbourne)... definitely worked for me today."

With her glamorous looks and Eastern European roots, Vaidisova can expect the inevitable comparisons to Bollettieri's other well know prodigies, Russians Maria Sharapova and Anna Kournikova.

"It doesn't really bother me if people are comparing me to somebody. Maria was compared to Anna, so everybody gets compared to somebody," she said.

With six trophies already in her possesion Vaidisova has already proved that she is not made in the same mould as Kournikova, who famously failed to win any WTA singles titles despite earning millions from lucrative sponsorship deals.

But if she lifts the French Open title next Saturday, the teenager will not mind joining 2004 Wimbledon champion Sharapova in the grand slam winners' circle.

http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=tennisNews&storyID=2006-06-04T201758Z_01_L04752585_RTRIDST_0_SPORT-TENNIS-OPEN-VAIDISOVA.XML&pageNumber=0&imageid=&cap=&sz=13&WTModLoc=NewsArt-C1-ArticlePage2

Danči Dementia
Jun 4th, 2006, 11:16 PM
Nicole :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: congratulations incredible victory keep going GO :bounce: :bounce: .

And now after beating the number 1 player in the world in her own home.....I think that Venus wouldn't be such a big problem for Nicole(yeah sure she is Venus Williams is great but Nicole will have the confidence bigger that Venus and Sharapova together :) )

:wavey: :wavey: :wavey:

Sharapova's_Boy
Jun 5th, 2006, 02:53 AM
Congrats Nik :yeah:. Shove that win to the haters' ass. Paul is going to jump upside down now when he sees the result tomorrow ;).

She was fearless today despite the whole crowd was against her and hopefully she can win again on Tuesday ;)

*jumps upside down* :angel:

I tell you what though, I'm so glad I stayed up till nearly 4am to watch this.

I'm so proud of Nikki, she played amazing tennis. Pretty surprised at how well she actually moved out there - I always thought clay wasn't her strong point, but she looked more than at home out there.

Everytime she's been booed by the crowd, she's lost a close tie-break but hammered home the other two sets. :unsure: Here's hoping for the same against Venus. :devil:

Veeko
Jun 5th, 2006, 04:59 AM
Good job nicole

good luck to you with venus,you are the best!:angel:

stevos
Jun 5th, 2006, 06:12 AM
Im in a big dilemna! I love Venus and Vaidisova about the same, I dont know who to cheer for. I must say if vaidisova plays the way she did vs Momo on tuesday say goodnight venus! I love you Nicole!

Dexter
Jun 5th, 2006, 10:11 AM
Awesome performance Nicole. It was the first time I saw Nicole winning and hopefully not the last time in RG this year. Lmao @ French crowd... I just loved how Nicole dealed with them and shut them up :devil:

Jedem Nikki! :drive:

Veeko
Jun 5th, 2006, 10:59 AM
Have a good rest,nicole:bounce:

Good luck to you:) :D :lol:

Vaidisova
Jun 5th, 2006, 02:39 PM
Tuesday's OOP

LENGLEN 12:00 Start
Nicole Vaidisova (CZE)[16] vs. Venus Williams (USA)[11]

I'll be up early to watch the match! :) Good luck Nicole! :hug:

Vaidisova
Jun 5th, 2006, 02:41 PM
Vaidisova, Venus to meet at French Open

By STEVEN WINE, AP Sports WriterMon Jun 5, 4:30 AM ET

Fresh off a victory over the world's No. 1 player, Nicole Vaidisova wants to savor her first berth in the French Open quarterfinals and resist any temptation to think about winning the tournament.

"That's a lot of steps ahead," said the 17-year-old German-born, Florida-based Czech. "Every match is going to be crazy tough from now on. I would love to win, but there are a lot of very, very good players out there."

That includes Venus Williams, Vaidisova's opponent Tuesday. Both rallied to win in the fourth round Sunday.

Vaidisova played the instigator in Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo's latest home-court meltdown, beating the reigning Australian Open champion 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-2. Williams, the lone remaining American, swept the final four games to beat No. 7-seeded Patty Schnyder 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Had Williams lost, there would have been no Americans in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros for the first time in the 38-year Open era.

"Lone flag waving gently in the wind," she said.

Williams has three titles at Wimbledon and none at Roland Garros, but she's optimistic about her chances on the slower surface in Paris.

"Obviously, I like to play aggressively. It's very effective on the clay," she said. "I can still run a lot of balls down, take some pace off if I have to."

She could face a formidable challenge from Vaidisova, whose blonde hair, persistent grunts and big strokes are more than a little reminiscent of Maria Sharapova. Both are products of the Bollettieri Academy in Florida.

"It doesn't really bother me if people are comparing me to somebody," Vaidisova said. "Maria was compared to Anna (Kournikova), so everybody gets compared to somebody."

The comparison wouldn't have been so much of a compliment Sunday, when Sharapova squandered a 5-1 lead in the final set, lost 18 of the final 21 points and lost to Dinara Safina, 7-5, 2-6, 7-5.

Sharapova said rustiness following a recent injury layoff contributed to her unraveling.

"You go into a different world, and you make dumb decisions," she said.

Vaidisova and Safina are first-time Grand Slam quarterfinalists, as is Anna-Lena Groenefeld, who beat Gisela Dulko 6-3, 6-4.

Safina's opponent Tuesday will be former U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova. Groenefeld will play two-time French Open champion Justine Henin-Hardenne, who beat 2004 champion Anastasia Myskina 6-1, 6-4.

Two-time runner-up Kim Clijsters awaits the winner of the suspended match between Martina Hingis and Shahar Peer.

Reaching the quarterfinals on the men's side were top-ranked Roger Federer, David Nalbandian, Mario Ancic and Nikolay Davydenko. The last American in the men's draw, James Blake, lost a third-round match to Frenchman Gael Monfils 6-2, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (1), 5-7, 6-4.

That left Williams to represent U.S. hopes. She likes the progress she has made in recent weeks after missing 3 1/2 months with injuries.

"It's really about stepping it up at the right time," Williams said. "No matter what level I may be playing at, to know that I can take it to the next level, it's really a secure feeling."

She has faced Vaidisova only once, beating her at Istanbul last year on clay.

"I'm sure she's improved her game since," Williams said. "We have a very similar game. You know, when you match us up together, I probably can inch her out on doing things a little better. I have to rely on doing that."

Vaidisova will be difficult to defeat if she maintains the kind of composure she showed on center court against Mauresmo. Her calm demeanor cracked only after she smacked the last of her 38 winners on match point, sinking to the clay on her knees in jubilation.

"Everybody gets nervous, you know, from big matches," Vaidisova said. "But I think it's good that you get a little nervous. You just can't get to the point where you can't move or you can't hit the ball."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060605/ap_on_sp_te_ga_su/ten_french_open_107&printer=1;_ylt=AtAZ5iAFQVsJV4adaTwKbdHC9bQF;_ylu=X 3oDMTA3MXN1bHE0BHNlYwN0bWE-

Danči Dementia
Jun 5th, 2006, 05:39 PM
Tuesday's OOP

LENGLEN 12:00 Start
Nicole Vaidisova (CZE)[16] vs. Venus Williams (USA)[11]

I'll be up early to watch the match! :) Good luck Nicole! :hug:

I'll be up early too I just hope that ESPN latinamerica will broadcast the match because and I think they will according to them they broadcast the matches that are more interesting for the audience (wich is bad for me 'cos there is a lot of latin men and practicly sine RG started I haven't see a full match of ladies ) Safina and Kuznetzova are to play in Philiphe Chatrier at 12 and Nikki is in the Lenglen at the same time so I'm 90% sure that I will se Nicole's match tomorrow. I will have to wake up at 5:00am :eek: :eek: wich is bad 'cos rigth now I'm going to school just from 4 to 7 pm so I have free all morning...................but I really want to see Nicole and I will. :bounce:

GO NICOLE YOU CAN BEAT VEE :worship:

:wavey: :wavey:

Mailin
Jun 5th, 2006, 05:47 PM
Good luck tomorrow Nicole! :) We know that you can do it! :)

Derek.
Jun 5th, 2006, 06:09 PM
Be fearless Nicole and make her win points. :worship:

Good luck! :yeah:

andrewbroad
Jun 6th, 2006, 01:57 AM
=============
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Grand Slam)
============= http://www.rolandgarros.com/ (http://www.rolandgarros.com/)
Photos
------

http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=vaidisova (http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=vaidisova)
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/wtaqg92.html (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/wtaqg92.html)
Search Getty Images for "vaidisova"

Off-court:
http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/photogallery/ (http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/photogallery/)

------------
Fourth round (Sunday 4th June)
------------

+ NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [16] d. AMÉLIE MAURESMO [1], 6-7 (5/7) 6-1 6-2

I saw the whole match live on BBCi, and the result had me in ecstasy, not only because that simian, muscular moonballer was humiliated by a 17-year-old in front of her badly-behaved home-crowd, but because it was an amazing win for Nicole who is my favourite player outside my eight-strong Eternal Fanship - and perhaps not outside it for much longer!

Nicole is a very powerful, exciting player; very tall, with a big serve and a huge forehand. Her movement leaves much to be desired, particularly when she has to deal with short balls (and especially if they're angled towards the sidelines), but she's very powerful and accurate when she's in her comfort-zone, and hit 38 spectacular winners against Mauresmo.

I actually felt that Nicole moved much better to the short balls after a first set in which it had looked like Mauresmo's spins and angles would prove to be Nicole's undoing.

Nicole is reminiscent of Maria Sharapova, with an even bigger forehand, although she doesn't have Maria's flairsome power, Maria's precision, Maria's improved mobility or Maria's mental strength - although she certainly coped better with a 5-1 lead in the third against Mauresmo than Maria did against Dinara Safina!

I was very impressed by the way Nicole held her nerve on Sunday - and that she didn't let the partisan crowd get to her as she did against Aravane Rezai of France in the previous round, when Nicole left the court in tears after dropping the second set, after they jeered her for smashing her racket.

Nicole has more WTA singles-titles (six) than Maria had at the same age (three), and seems to be following a similar path to that which led Maria to the Wimbledon 2004 title: from Eastern Europe, by way of the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, with a Tokyo Japan Open title last year, and now a first Grand Slam quarter-final at the French Open.

But while Maria excels on grass, Nicole struggles to get down to the low bounces there, prefers hard-courts, and has already won a title on clay, which Maria hasn't. Nicole even beat Maria 5-3 in a World Team Tennis rubber just after Maria won Wimbledon, when Nicole was only 15!

Nicole may be one of the strongest female players physically, but she's also one of the most attractive! She may be bulkier in the upper body than Maria, but I see her as more voluptuous than muscular. Her mobility may be poor, but she has the sexiest legs in tennis. Touch-shots may not be her forte, but she has beautiful hands. She may not have the prettiest face, but it has an attractive warmth about it. Off-court she is charming and relaxed, and no one looks more beautiful when holding a trophy, as I'd love to see on Saturday!

Nicole certainly seems destined for the top ten, if not to win a Grand Slam - unless of course I jinx her by inducting her into my Eternal Fanship! ;)


www.wtatour.com (http://www.wtatour.com/): "Having won their only two previous encounters in straight sets, it looked as though Mauresmo was headed for another easy win in the early stages of the match, surging to a 5-2 lead. But the No.16-seeded Vaidišová began finding the range on her big serve and flat, penetrating groundstrokes, and although she ended up dropping that first set in a tie-break, she continued to pounce on increasingly shorter balls from Mauresmo during the second and third sets. In the end, the fearless Czech phenom was just too powerful, reeling off 12 of the last 15 games, closing it out with one last backhand winner after a long rally on match point."


Here are my comments as I wrote them at the time:


First Set:
VAIDIŠOV _* *___*@* * 6(5)
MAURESMO * * *@*___*_ 7(7)

The match started at 17:24 CEST. Mauresmo held for 1-0 as she exploited Nicole's poor mobility and Nicole missed a wild forehand smash.

Nicole certainly has the power, with a crosscourt backhand winner as she held for 1-1, but she may be too erratic to win today.

Nicole has a lot of raw power, but she lacks flair and variety, and Mauresmo moved her around the court with spins and angles as she held for 2-1.

Nicole came through a long game of deuces to hold for 2-2 with some big serving and a brilliant forehand drive-volley winner on the penultimate point. The commentators said she had the best one-two punch of any of the women that have played in this year's French Open.

John Lloyd said Nicole needed to improve her shot-selection, and finishing off points in the forecourt. He also praised her big-match temperament.

Mauresmo exploited Nicole's inability to deal with short balls as she [Mauresmo] broke for 4-2.

Nicole hit a booming forehand return-winner down the line, and a miraculous forehand half-volley lob-winner onto the sideline to get 15/30 on Mauresmo's serve, but Mauresmo just moonballed her way to holding for 5-2.

Nicole ran down a backhand dropshot and hit a crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline, then hit another crosscourt forehand winner just inside it. She hit a forehand winner down the line - again just inside the sideline, but when Mauresmo pulled her a bit short and wide, she overhit. Nicole was rather lucky to get away with hitting a forehand drive-volley straight back to Mauresmo as Mauresmo's lob was just long to make it 3-5* for Nicole.

Nicole got 0/30 on Mauresmo's serve at 5-3, but riled the crowd by asking the umpire to check a mark, and then drew loud boos when she hit a ball into the ground in anger after losing the next point. Nicole saved one set-point at 40/30, and then played a beautiful point at the net, ending with a forehand volley-winner to get a break-point. Nicole converted it with an acute-angled crosscourt forehand that forced Mauresmo to hit a forehand long.

Nicole held to 15 for 5-5, betraying Sam Smith as a Mauresmo-supporter in the process as Mauresmo's famous French Open nerves kicked in.

Nicole pegged Mauresmo back to deuce at 5-5 with an error-forcing forehand down the line, but Mauresmo's relentless retrieving and a topspin backhand pass made it 6-5.

Serving to stay in the set again, Nicole netted a backhand off a short ball, and a forehand volley-winner from Mauresmo made it 0/30. Nicole hit a good serve to set up an off-forehand winner, and a forehand pass-winner down the line to recover to 30/30. She forced Mauresmo to net a forehand. 40/30. Nicole held serve with a backhand volley-winner.

Tiebreak (scores from Nicole's perspective):
{0/0*} Nicole forehand long.
{*0/1} Mauresmo forehand long.
{*1/1} Nicole service-winner.
{2/1*} Mauresmo netted a forehand to give Nicole the first mini-break.
{3/1*} Nicole forehand return just long.
{*3/2} Mauresmo forehand long by a whisker - not dealing with Nicole's power. :)
{*4/2} Mauresmo hit an error-forcing forehand onto the baseline.
{4/3*} Nicole netted a forehand and emitted a loud, high-pitched shriek.
{4/4*} Mauresmo one-two punch: crosscourt backhand winner.
{*4/5} Nicole service-winner.
{*5/5} Nicole out.
{5/6*: SP} Mauresmo hit a service-winner to win the first set 7-6 (7/5) at 18:27 (1h03m).


Second Set:
VAIDIŠOV *@*@* * 6
MAURESMO _____*_ 1

The crowd held Nicole up with a Mexican wave as she went to serve (crowds that do that ought to be tear-gassed). But she held to love with two off-forehand winners.

Nicole hit a big error-forcing forehand as she jumped out to 0/30 on Mauresmo's serve at 0-1. Nicole netted two shots to make it 30/30, but a forehand drive-volley winner and a Mauresmo error gave Nicole the break for 2-0.

Nicole held to 30 for 3-0, with a high forehand volley-winner on the penultimate point.

Nicole hit an off-forehand winner as she broke to love for 4-0.

Nicole faced three break-points at 0/40, but she saved the first with a forehand drive-volley winner, then Mauresmo hit two forehands long. Nicole held for 5-0 with a forehand winner down the line, followed by an error-forcing forehand.

Mauresmo led 40/15 on serve, but Nicole pegged her back to deuce with a backhand pass-winner down the line. At deuce, Nicole argued a line-call against her, but took Mauresmo back to deuce with an error-forcing crosscourt forehand onto the sideline. But Mauresmo hit a backhand volley-winner, and Nicole a forehand long.

Nicole serving for the second set at 5-1:
{0/0} Mauresmo mishit a backhand out.
{15/0} Nicole hit a good serve to set up a crosscourt forehand winner.
{30/0} Nicole hit a crosscourt backhand pass-winner.
{40/0} Nicole hit an ace out wide to win the second set 6-1 at 18:55 (28m).


Third Set:
VAIDIŠOV @*@* * * 6
MAURESMO ____*_*_ 2

Mauresmo opened her shoulders with a topspin crosscourt backhand winner, but Nicole pegged her back to deuce with a huge forehand return-winner off a second serve. And again to get a break-point! Mauresmo netted a backhand to give Nicole the first break of the third set!

Sam Smith: "Vaidišová has so far played the most incredible match."

Nicole held to 15 as Mauresmo faded with one good point and a bunch of errors. 2-0.

I sensed nerves on both sides of the net as Mauresmo was taken to deuce on serve, but Nicole broke with a crosscourt forehand winner right into the corner: 3-0 with a double break!

Mauresmo got to 0/30 on Nicole's serve with a backhand drop-volley winner. But Nicole recovered, hit a "breathtaking" crosscourt winner to get to 40/30, and held for 4-0 when Mauresmo ballooned a forehand wide! But I've already seen Maria Sharapova lead 4-0 and 5-1 in the third set and lose today, so I can't take anything for granted.

Mauresmo strung some good points together to hold to 15.

Serving at 4-1 (15/15), Nicole netted a backhand off a ball that skidded off the baseline, then double-faulted to give Mauresmo two break-points at 15/40. Nicole saved the first with an ace down the middle, and the second with a service-winner. 40/40. Mauresmo backhand long. Ad Nicole. Mauresmo backhand wide.

Mauresmo serving to stay in the match at 1-5:
{0/0} Mauresmo forehand just long.
{0/15} Mauresmo hit a backhand half-volley winner.
{15/15} Nicole hit a backhand pass-winner plumb on the sideline!
{15/30} Mauresmo came to the net, forcing Nicole to hit a forehand pass wide.
{30/30} Mauresmo backhand long.
{30/40: MP #1} Nicole hit a backhand just long - agonising for my nerves after Maria blew a 5-1* lead in the third today!
{40/40} Nicole forehand long.
{Ad M} Nicole went for a big forehand down the line, but it was just wide.

Nicole serving for the match at 5-2:
{0/0} Service-winner down the middle.
{15/0} A big serve set up a forehand winner for Nicole.
{30/0} Mauresmo came to the net, and Nicole hit a crosscourt forehand pass-winner!
{40/0: MP #2} Nicole went for a backhand down the line, but it was long.
{40/15: MP #3} Nicole hit a crosscourt backhand winner to win 6-7 6-1 6-2 at 19:32! (2h08m)

Nicole fell to her knees in celebration!

NICOLE: I pledge myself to your teachings.
ANDREW: Good! The Force is strong with you. A powerful Sith you will become. Henceforth, you shall be known as Darth... Vaidišová!

Well, it certainly does strengthen Nicole's case for a place in my Eternal Fanship! But my thoughts have been very unclear and fluctuating when it comes to inducting that elusive ninth player, so I'll wait and see what my reason tells me when my passion has subsided. Right now (10 minutes after the match) I'm just ecstatic, and Nicole has certainly made my day! :D


Statistics
----------

Nicole had a winner-to-unforced error ratio of 38:32, Mauresmo 25:31 (14 of Mauresmo's winners coming in the first set).

Mauresmo won 17 of 26 points at the net (65%), but Nicole showed that she too can play all-court tennis, winning 14 of 19 points at the net (74%). Mauresmo came in much less in the second and third sets, while Nicole won all 10 points at the net that she played in the second and third sets!

Nicole got 72% of first serves in, winning 70% of the points when she did so (a percentage which improved from set to set), and 58% on second serve.

The corresponding statistics for Mauresmo were 70%, 62% and 37% - much less successful, especially on second serve.

Nicole served 4 aces and one double fault, Mauresmo one of each.

They had 6 break-points each, but here's the big difference: Nicole converted five of hers, while Mauresmo broke Nicole's serve only once - in the sixth game of the first set!

In points, Nicole won 108-86 (first set 47-50, second set 30-14, third set 31-22).


Nicole quotes
-------------

"I think it was a totally different match, different atmosphere, you know, playing in France. I am definitely happy the way I played.

"I was in my little zone. It definitely felt great. I knew I had to be more aggressive than I was [at the Australian Open], because she moves very well. In long rallies she definitely gets tough. I just wanted to play a little faster, get the points a little shorter. It definitely worked for me today. And I served very well.

"I'm excited. I'm definitely excited. Never played a quarter-finals in a Grand Slam. Never beat Amélie, never beat a No.1 player in the world. I'm definitely happy and very, very excited, you know.

[Re. going all the way]
"I am just very excited and happy about today. That's a lot of steps ahead. Now I'm in the quarter-finals, and every match is gonna be crazy-tough from now on. I'm just gonna take my next match and try to do a hundred percent, and try to go as far as possible. I would love to win, but there's a lot of very, very good players out there.

"Everybody gets nervous, you know, from big matches. But I think it's good that you get a little nervous. You just can't get to the point where you can't move or you can't hit the ball.

"It doesn't really bother me if people are comparing me to somebody. Maria was compared to Anna, so everybody gets compared to somebody."


Mauresmo quotes
---------------

"It's a little bit difficult to really explain and know what exactly happened to me right now. It's a difficult moment, but that's the way it is, and it happens.

"The first thing that comes to me is that I went down a little bit physically at the beginning of the second set, and then my shots were not so disturbing for her, and so she could step in the way she likes to play, and really play better and better. My shots were not long enough, nor powerful. I was not able to step back into the court like in the first set. I couldn't dictate the point.

"I didn't feel that I was getting nervous, though, and especially looking at the way I played in that first set. But it's true that my shots were not so powerful or long enough. I think I just played with less intensity, so that she was able to come in and play really better.

"I was also expecting her to make a little bit more errors. When I played her in Australia, she made a couple errors here and there, which are pretty important. But she didn't today. She has really improved over the past few months.

"I had a little feeling of exhaustion in the second and third sets, and she was serving much better than me, while I was not able to hold serve. She was winning easy points on her serve.

"I think it was a much better experience than the previous French Opens. This is what I've been saying throughout on every single match, and I'm still saying it today. Was tension a factor today? I'm not so certain.

"Do I have a possibility of going far on this surface? Probably. For the moment I'm just not doing it. It's disappointing, but I think I still have to improve on clay. People should not expect too much from me on clay.

"It's easier to impose my rhythm on a faster court. I'm thinking in particular of Wimbledon, starting from the serve. My serve is a lot more dangerous, and I can use it a lot more as a starting point. I'm more efficient on faster courts. So technically, it's just easier for me.

"I'm disappointed, but I also put things again into perspective. And it's, of course, disappointing always to lose here at home in Roland Garros. But that's just the way it is, and still things to get better in, and things to improve."

------------------
Quarter-final draw
------------------

* NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [16] v VENUS WILLIAMS [11] (podme Nicole!)
* DINARA SAFINA [14] v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [8]
* JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE [5] v ANNA-LENA GRÖNEFELD [13]
* MARTINA HINGIS [12] v KIM CLIJSTERS [2]


Nicole's path to the quarter-finals:
1r + Marta Domachowska, 6-1 6-3
2r + Sun,Tiantian, 6-1 6-3
3r + Aravane Rezai [Q], 6-1 6-7 (6/8) 6-0 (Nicole led 6-1 5-3, so quite a wobble there!)
4r + AMÉLIE MAURESMO [1], 6-7 (5/7) 6-1 6-2

Williams's path to the quarter-finals:
1r + Sybille Bammer, 6-4 6-3
2r + Emma Laine, 7-6 (7/2) 6-2
3r + Karolina Šprem, 7-5 6-3
4r + PATTY SCHNYDER [7], 4-6 6-3 6-2

They've played each other only once before, and that was on clay: in the final of Constantinople 2005, which Williams won 6-3 6-2.

But Nicole has come so far since then, including an 18-match winning-streak which brought her three Tier III/IV titles at Seoul, Tokyo (Japan Open) and Bangkok in October 2005 (it was Mauresmo who ended that winning-streak).

Nicole had a quiet start to 2006, dropping out of the top 20 in the Race (which counts ranking-points since the start of January). But things finally started to go her way again at Strasbourg, where she won the title, and her form has just soared from there!

You never know what to expect these days from Venus Williams, the five-time Grand Slam champion who once dominated the tour to the extent that only her sister Serena could beat her in a Grand Slam (she was runner-up to Serena at the French Open 2002 - and at the next three Grand Slams).

Williams suffered a major slump in form in 2004/2005, the nadir of which was her loss to 15-year-old Sesil Karatantcheva at the French Open 2005 - clay being the surface on which she is most vulnerable to upsets, as it neutralises her power.

Williams miraculously recovered to win Wimbledon 2005, which shows that she can never be written off. But her form has been pretty indifferent since then, and after finishing 2005 in September with a knee-injury, this is only her fourth tournament of 2006: at the Australian Open she lost first round to Tsvetana Pironkova, then didn't play until May; her most notable victims this year have been Patty Schnyder (twice) and Martina Hingis.

Williams's game is similar to Nicole's in the way she has a big serve and huge groundstrokes. Nicole should be able to match her for power, but Williams is a better athlete than Nicole, is vastly more experienced, and is versatile enough to play different styles of tennis.

But Williams on a bad day - and these have become much more common in recent years - gives her opponent a lot of help by making unforced errors, particularly off her forehand.

I give Nicole a 50% chance to win this match. It depends primarily on Williams's form, but another important factor is how Nicole reacts to having just beaten Mauresmo, because many young players have a let-down immediately after their first big win.

-------------------------
Order of Play for Tuesday
-------------------------

Court Lenglen (start 12:00 CEST = 10:00 GMT = 11:00 BST)
1. WS qf: NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [16] v VENUS WILLIAMS [11]
2. WS qf: JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE [5] v ANNA-LENA GRÖNEFELD [13]
3. MS qf: DAVID NALBANDIAN [3] v NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO [6]

Full order of play:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/schedule/schedule15.html (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/schedule/schedule15.html)

Nicole's Roland Garros profile:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/bios/ws/wtaqg92.html (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/bios/ws/wtaqg92.html)

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

Vaidisova
Jun 6th, 2006, 12:26 PM
Oh My Fucking God. Nicole Way To Go!!!!!!1 Omg Im So Excited Lol!

Veeko
Jun 6th, 2006, 12:29 PM
me too,i am so excited,even though i can't watch the match,i still feel excited,you know, the first set,first she won,but then venus broke her,she lost the first game,but next two games,she was really good,and player hard,i like her:) :) :) :)


i am proud of her:bounce: :lol:

Derek.
Jun 6th, 2006, 12:30 PM
Nicole :worship: :worship: :worship:

Into your first GS SF! :bigclap: :bigclap:

OMG!!!!!!!!!!! :bounce: :bounce: :banana: :banana:

~Dementievaitis~
Jun 6th, 2006, 12:31 PM
2 extraordinary matches ;)
She does play so well that I feel she can actually win it all

Veeko
Jun 6th, 2006, 12:32 PM
Oh My Fucking God. Nicole Way To Go!!!!!!1 Omg Im So Excited Lol!

Vaidisova,you must wathc the whole game of nicole right?what do you feel,tell very fans,i really like listen to:) :lol:

Harju.
Jun 6th, 2006, 12:33 PM
Great great win Nik. :worship: *forsees Paul jumping around like a mad cow again :tape: *
She needs to cut down her errors against Sveta. And her serve must be on fire. She has a huge chance to reach final, really. She's fearless on the court against Momo and Vee. Allez Nik :banana:

Veeko
Jun 6th, 2006, 12:34 PM
she is so great for these two matches,i will never forget it,i will remember forever

i really hope to see her lift the capture:) :D

come on,nicole,you can beat everyone,you can:angel: :bounce:

Veeko
Jun 6th, 2006, 12:36 PM
Great great win Nik. :worship: *forsees Paul jumping around like a mad cow again :tape: *
She needs to cut down her errors against Sveta. And her serve must be on fire. She has a huge chance to reach final, really. She's fearless on the court against Momo and Vee. Allez Nik :banana:

i think so,she now is on fire,she can beat everyone,i think,she dosn't be afarid of anything,she is a best flighter:bounce:

come on,nicole

Mailin
Jun 6th, 2006, 12:41 PM
yeahi NICKIIIIIIIIIIIIIII :D

Though her serve in first set, etc. was kinda shocking... was almost a miracle when her first serve came ;)

But go, Nicky fight against Kuznetsova, you can do it ! :D

Derek.
Jun 6th, 2006, 12:41 PM
She's been fearless against the top players. She's playing controlled, agressive tennis and she's doing it very well. :D

Vaidisova
Jun 6th, 2006, 01:14 PM
Vaidisova upsets Venus to reach semis

5 minutes ago

Czech teenager Nicole Vaidisova beat Venus Williams 6-7 6-1 6-3 at the French Open on Tuesday to reach her first grand slam semi-final.

"I'm so excited I could just scream now," said Vaidisova who beat world number one Amelie Mauresmo in the previous round. She now plays 2004 U.S. Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia.

Nick Bollettieri's 17-year-old protege opened a 4-1 lead in the first set before Wimbledon champion Williams rallied by winning the next four games, and forced a tiebreak.

Williams, a finalist here in 2002, won the tiebreak 7-5 after clawing back a 5-2 deficit.

Vaidisova was undaunted, however, and went back on the offensive to wrap up the second set in 39 minutes.

The 16th seed sealed the match in two hours eight minutes when Williams sent a forehand long.

"I'm so excited, I've never been beyond the fourth round of a grand slam and now I'm in the semi-finals," said Vaidisova, who could become the second youngest player to triumph at Roland Garros if she wins the women's final on Saturday.

"I'm trying to get wiser and more mature and I guess today it just worked for me."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060606/sp_nm/tennis_open_venus_dc_3&printer=1;_ylt=AqcWX8.6D4EfsP9Bl_cv9CA5.3QA;_ylu=X 3oDMTA3MXN1bHE0BHNlYwN0bWE-

Vaidisova
Jun 6th, 2006, 02:43 PM
Q. Are you glad to play the next round against Kuznetsova and what you think about this game?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: I'm excited. I played Svetlana once before in Wimbledon, it was a tough match. I think I have good chances. I'm playing very well lately. Definitely it's my first ever semifinal in a Grand Slam. So very excited.

Q. The last two wins against the No. 1 player and now Venus Williams, both matches in which you lost the first set and stay composed enough to win. When was the last time you were truly nervous on a court?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: A couple hours ago, at match point. You know, you kind of ‑‑ of course, I was nervous, you know. You have the whole stadium there, you have match points, you're so close. You definitely get a little nervous.

Q. First set tiebreaker, you had a clear lead. She storms back to get it. Did you feel that was Venus lifting her level, a drop in your level?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: I think the first set in general was not a great set. I served very bad. Didn't get many serves in. She took advantage of that. I fell asleep a little bit there, didn't use my chances in the tiebreak and everything. It was definitely not a very good set.

But luckily I stayed very calm, tried to be very positive. It worked out.

Q. Fair to say this is a breakthrough tournament for you? We've known about your name for a while, but a Grand Slam semi. Is there a sense that you've arrived?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: Yeah, definitely, you know, I've been practicing. I felt, you know, that my game is getting better, getting there, I can get to next level. You know, I'm definitely very happy with the stage where I am now.

Q. Players often tell you they think they can win a title at a Grand Slam. They never want to say they don't. Do you truly believe at this stage with possibly two matches to go that you can win the French Open?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: I'm not taking it as there are two matches left. You know, there's the next match, which is incredibly hard. I'm not thinking at the title right now. I'm not thinking about it. I'm thinking about my semifinal on Thursday. This is as far as it goes right now.

Q. What were you most pleased about in your game today? What do you think you did well?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: I think in general I just kept fighting, you know, getting as many balls back as I could, try to move her around. I think in general, you know, I kept, you know, hanging in there even though the lost the first set. Definitely picked up my serve a little bit.

Q. You've beaten the world No. 1 in the last round, former world No. 1 in this round. What does that do for your self‑belief?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: I mean, it's great. Twice in a row, you know, some great play. You know, struggle a little bit with some parts today and still pull it off. You know, it's great.

You know, it definitely boosts your confidence a lot.

Q. Given where Venus is in her career, coming and going on and off the tour, what do you think when you're going out to play Venus in a Grand Slam quarter?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: Always very dangerous. Former world No. 1, a Grand Slam winner. Still incredibly good athlete. I knew it's going to be a very tough match from the beginning, whatever happens. I knew I'll have to be very focused, play one of my best tennis.

Q. What is the difference in your game and also in yourself between now and when you last played Venus when you lost to her in Istanbul a year ago?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: I think I've improved a little since then, you know. I've just been working hard with my dad on everything. My movement a little bit, my power, my speed, everything ‑‑ just putting my game together. You know, apparently paid off, so happy about that.

Q. May we know something more about your early life in Germany. When you were six years old, you left Germany to go back to Prague?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: Yes.

Q. But you were already playing in Germany, correct?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: For a couple months, yeah.

Q. Then you went to Prague and you were playing well in which club? Who were inspiring you for tennis? Czech players, German players, your stepfather?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: I've been in Germany since some while, definitely Steffi Graf was my inspiration. I don't think there's going to be anybody beating her records, anything she does. I definitely admire her on court and off court, how she carried herself, so much class. She's definitely a great example.

Q. Then you went back to Czech?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: Yes, I went back home to Czech to practice in Sparta Club. I don't know.

Q. Two days ago against Amélie, now today against Venus, what spurred you into the game after losing the first set?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: You're in the quarterfinals, Round of 16 of a Grand Slam, you're not just going to give it up, say, "Maybe I'll try next time." You just give it your all, know you've done a hundred percent. If you lose even then, then bad luck. But you have to give it your all. I definitely tried to do that, just tried to be positive because, you know, I've played matches when I was negative after I lost the first set, you know, just lost the second as well.

Q. When did you first become aware of Venus Williams?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: When I was young, 11, 12. I used to play with the same racquet as she did. It was yellow. You know, but definitely great player. I definitely admired the way of the style of game. Her backhand was unbelievable. And served, you know, one of the fastest serves. So definitely was watching her, too.

Q. On television principally?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: Yeah, sometimes.

Q. When did you first see her live?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: Probably two years ago at the US Open, my first ever Grand Slam I qualified for. So I saw them in the locker room, all of them. I was very excited. I saw all of those big names around. So probably then.

Q. Now you've become one.

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: No, not yet. But I'm working on it (smiling).

Q. Any special reason why you feel you're playing as well as you are here, penetrating as deeply as you are? Anything we don't know what's happened with your game or confidence recently? How do you explain it?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: I don't know myself. You know, clay was definitely not my number one pick. You know I love hard courts. Surprised myself a little bit. I knew before I came here that I see the changes in my game a little bit from, you know, with my dad who has been working with me on it. Definitely, you know, played a little more matches, you know, tried to get a little more experience, you know, on the big stages. You know, in Australia I played on center court and US. By picking up those matches, it's definitely great. You know, you can take a lot of it to your next matches. Definitely helped a lot, too.

Q. For the last six years, you've been living and working around one of the great characters in tennis, Nick Bollettieri. Give us one funny story about Nick Bollettieri.

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: He's a funny guy in general. He's very funny always. He's there since 5 a.m. Your eyes are barely open at 8 a.m., and he's already three hours after his first class. Always see him in the gym at 4 a.m. He's just, you know, a great person. In general, he's very funny, always helps me when I need anything. I think definitely he's a good person to be around.

Q. What has he done for your game?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: Any time I need anything from him, he'll help me look at something maybe my dad won't see because he sees me so much, tries to give me advice, motivate me in anything.

Q. I saw Daniel Vacek is the brother of your mother, is that correct?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: Yes.

Q. Did you ever play with him or practice or somehow helping you?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: No, not at all. Not really.

Q. Svetlana is a pretty hard‑hitter like you. What in your mind is going to be the key to that match?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: Right now I'm not even thinking about the match yet. I'm still in my little La‑La Land. I'll figure out something tomorrow. I'll have to more concentrate on my game. Try to be as focused as best as possible and fight. I think at this point there's not about one tactical thing that's going to get you, you know, further. It's, you know, who wants to win more and who's going to, you know, grind there longer for it.

Q. How much has controlling your emotions been for getting this far in a major?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: I think in the last couple rounds, definitely been good at that. You definitely have to have some emotions, get yourself pumped up, but try not to let the negative emotions overcome you.

Q. Before coming to the French, your results on clay were not so good. Was it because you had some problems with your shoulder?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: I had problems with my shoulder for about two weeks or a month, not even that, for the first time. I wasn't really injured. I just felt that if I would go on, it would get injured. I took a break.

But, no, it doesn't affect me at all. Since then I haven't had one problem with it.

Q. How can you explain that you are playing so well in Paris, and tournaments before on clay you were losing first or second round?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: Especially in Strasbourg I was. You know, in Rome, I played Martina. I think I've done these last couple weeks pretty good. I don't know. I think it was okay.

Mailin
Jun 6th, 2006, 02:59 PM
Thanks for her interview :D

"La-La-Land" lol :p

Solitaire
Jun 6th, 2006, 03:00 PM
I'm really happy for Nikkie. She's having an awesome RG. The way she played the final two sets were slam champ worthy. :) A little too many UE's but she was going for broke. Congrats to Nikkie!!!!!!!!! :bounce:


Nikkie gave a little interview to ESPN after the match and she had a beaming smile. :D She's such a cutie! :hearts:

Dexter
Jun 6th, 2006, 03:07 PM
Hell yeah!!! :devil: :bounce:

Harju.
Jun 6th, 2006, 03:48 PM
Great read as usual.

GM still have a few haters but big yay for our Nicole for reaching SF for the first time. :banana:

Vaidisova
Jun 6th, 2006, 08:07 PM
Some articles:

Tuesday, June 6, 2006
Teenager Vaidisova is growing up fast

By Mary Joe Fernandez
Special to ESPN.com

PARIS -- Reaching the quarterfinals of the French Open should help Venus Williams going forward to defending her title at Wimbledon. However, this was a huge opportunity for her, there's no question about it. Her chances were really good to get to the final because she had winnable matches ahead of her.

But Venus ran up against a tough customer in Nicole Vaidisova. They play similar games and Vaidisova didn't back away, she kept going for her shots, kept hitting bigger and bigger even after she would miss. Also, she did a good job of regrouping after not winning the first set.

I did not have high expectations for Vaidisova heading into the French Open to be honest. I didn't feel this was her best surface, although she did win the warmup tournament in Strasbourg. But she's really impressed me -- especially against French qualifier Aravane Rezai in the third round. Vaidisova was up a set and had a convincing lead in the second set only to lose in a tiebreak. The crowd got on her case because she smacked her racket a couple of times and I thought, "Oh boy, here comes the immaturity." But she left the court, came back and won the third set 6-0. That was the first sign that she's maturing as a player.

Against Amelie Mauresmo she blew her off the court after losing the first set and did the same thing against Venus. That shows me where her confidence level is and how tough mentally she's becoming at just 17 years old. She believes that if even if she doesn't win [the first set] she can hang in with the top players and beat them. She doesn't look intimidated at all.

In the past, Vaidisova has had a tendency to get emotional and a little cranky and let it affect her -- like she did at the U.S. Open last year against Nadia Petrova. She's not doing that anymore. She's learning and growing up and has a great support system around her.

Her semifinal match against No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova is very winnable. I always thought Kuznetsova was going to be dangerous in this tournament -- the one to look out for -- because she's been playing well. Kuznetsova has more experience, although Venus had that today against Vaidisova and that didn't help her. We'll see how this 17-year-old handles the occasion and atmosphere of playing in her first Grand Slam semifinal. But she can definitely beat Kuznetsova, there's no question about it.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=2472629&type=story

-----

Vaidisova arrives

Czech teen finally gets it together in a Grand Slam
Posted: Tuesday June 6, 2006 12:41PM; Updated: Tuesday June 6, 2006 3:08PM

Nicole Vaidisova reached her first Grand Slam semifinal with a gritty three-set victory over Venus Williams on Tuesday.

MAILBAG
Jon Wertheim will answer questions from SI.com users in his mailbag every Wednesday.

Hey, Jon. I remember you were quite critical of Nicole Vaidisova when she went down in the Australian Open in January. Now she upsets Amelie Mauresmo in the French and is in her first Slam quarterfinal. Are you ready to change your mind about her?
-- Keith, Minneapolis

It wasn't criticism of her game. It was more a question of her hype outstripping her results. You'll note the past tense in the previous sentence. Vaidisova has officially arrived. The defeat of Mauresmo, coupled with a solid win over Venus Williams on Tuesday, puts her in the semis.

Every great player has a breakthrough win, and Vaidisova's triumph had all the hallmarks: a Grand Slam quarterfinal against a former No. 1, with cameras clicking, fans cheering allez and the stands packed. Vaidisova dropped a first set she should have won, squandering a 4-1 lead. She kept her head, let Venus make her unforced errors -- a stunning 70 by official count -- and played unflustered tennis in the final two sets to advance.

Vaidisova will have to play even better than that to beat Svetlana Kuznetsova, who ran off 11 straight games in defeating Dinara Safina. But she's 17 and, on her worst surface, beat the top seed and a five-Slam winner to reach the semis? Bring on the hype.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/jon_wertheim/06/06/french.bag/
-----

Vaidisova turning heads at Roland Garros
Matthew Cronin /
Posted: 33 minutes ago

The veteran Grand Slam winners were all in attendance at the French Open on Tuesday: Martina Hingis, Venus Williams, Kim Clijsters, Justine Henin-Hardenne and Svetlana Kuznetsova.

But it was the preening 17-year-old teen Nicole Vaidisova who stole the show.


After upending an emotionally spent No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo of France in three sets on center court in the previous round, she muted an emotionally charged up Venus Williams 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-3 to gain her first Grand Slam semifinal.

"I'm so happy and excited and happy I could scream," she said. "It's great. Twice in a row, some great play. It definitely boosts your confidence a lot."

Another tall blonde from Eastern Europe has hit the airways and like 2004 Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova of Russia, the Czech has little fear on the big occasions.

In Paris, when the 16th seed been forced to step up in pressure situations, Vaidisova found the corners with direction and grit.

She went on court against Venus, a five-time Grad Slam champion who is quite adept at putting up an athletic, defense wall, and blew up her foundation.

She didn't allow Venus to dig in, and tempted Williams to dig herself into deeper into holes by attacking every soft ball.

She respected Venus, but wasn't intimidated by her.

"Always very dangerous," Vaidisova said of her thoughts before the match. "Former world No. 1, a Grand Slam winner. Still an incredibly good athlete. I knew it was going to be a very tough match from the beginning. I knew I'll have to be very focused, play one of my best matches."

That she did, bringing forth one of the hardest, most accurate serves in women's tennis, laying waste to Venus' poor serves and taking every ball within her wheelhouse and sending it back with barbed wire on it.

Venus, who had beaten her last year on clay, didn't play a great match, but as she admitted, she was outhit and outclassed. Many talented teens fall into erratic play against a headier elite player, but Vaidisova has learned this year that extending rallies can be beneficial to her, because she's not the only one capable of making unforced errors.

"I just kept fighting, you know, getting as many balls back as I could, try to move her around," she said. "I kept hanging in there even though I lost the first set."


Hingis, who was torched by a more athletic and self-assured Clijsters on Tuesday, was duly impressed, and it's not easy to gets heaps of praise from the oft-critical Swiss.

"She's a very talented player," Hingis said. "She's very young. At 17 years, you recover very fast, even she lost the first set in both matches against Amelie and against Venus, and she still had more to give. Where, us, we're a little older, 26, you don't recover as fast any more. There the freshness, being young, really comes into play.

"It's definitely an advantage. On the other hand, she's also got nothing to lose, so she just really goes for it. Somehow, it makes you feel young again when you see someone like that who is playing so well. She's definitely got potential. Not really a weakness."

Hingis likes that Vaidisova always looking to attack. Moreover, the Czech moves very well for a 6-footer, better than Sharapova and someday, maybe as well as Venus.

Vaidisova has been all tennis since she left kindergarten. A Czech born in Germany, she moved back to Prague at the age of 6 and then left for a Florida tennis academy. Her stepfather, Alex Kodat, coaches her, and the super-motivating coach Nick Bollettieri aids him.

She's put in the necessary time at the junior level, then at the Futures level and then in lesser events on the pro tour, where she has already won six titles.

She learned the value of winning matches at all levels and consequently, in just her sixth Grand Slam, she has reached the semifinals against former U.S. Open champion Kuznetsova, who thrashed Dinara Safina.

Vaidisova won't be favored in that match, and even if she gets through there, certainly won't be favored to knock off either Henin-Hardenne or Clijsters in the finals.

But she wasn't expected to hold up in her prior matches either. Every great player in the making has her breakout tournament and in the case of Vaidisova, it's possible that it will come in Paris on the final Saturday.

"My game is getting better, I can get to next level," she said. "I'm definitely very happy with the stage where I am at now. I'm still in my little La La Land. I'll have to more concentrate on my game and fight. I think at this point there's not about one tactical thing that's going to get you further. It's who wants to win more and who's going to grind longer for it."

http://msn.foxsports.com/tennis/story/5671576?print=true

Derek.
Jun 6th, 2006, 09:42 PM
Nicole :hug:

Danči Dementia
Jun 6th, 2006, 10:00 PM
Oh My Fucking God. Nicole Way To Go!!!!!!1 Omg Im So Excited Lol!
:lol: :lol: :lol: Hay no mames (if you want to learn some bad words in spanish ;) ):eek: :eek: :eek: :lol: Nicole :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: AMAZING now girl get to the finals you can do it.

The funny thing I have been a fan of Elena D. since 2001 and I have been a fan of Nicole since I saw her in the final of Istambul last year and this girl in less than a year has give me more hapiness tha Elena in 5 years.

GO NICOLE GO :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

:wavey: :wavey: :wavey: :wavey: :wavey:

Danči Dementia
Jun 6th, 2006, 10:21 PM
Hey does the blond women next to Kodat today in Nicole's match is Nicole's mother????
'cos I dunno her mama.

Vaidisova
Jun 6th, 2006, 11:40 PM
Hey does the blond women next to Kodat today in Nicole's match is Nicole's mother????
'cos I dunno her mama.

The ESPN commentators said it was her mom. I had never seen her before.

Derek.
Jun 7th, 2006, 04:16 AM
Yeah ESPN commentators did say it's her mom.

There is a resemblance between her and Nicole as well. ;)

Sharapova's_Boy
Jun 7th, 2006, 05:33 AM
Great great win Nik. :worship: *forsees Paul jumping around like a mad cow again :tape: *
She needs to cut down her errors against Sveta. And her serve must be on fire. She has a huge chance to reach final, really. She's fearless on the court against Momo and Vee. Allez Nik :banana:

:angel: I would've jumped around, but I bunged my ankle. :sad:

Nikki :worship: I left at 4-1 in the first set, and came back at 6-7 6-1 5-2. :worship:

Just finished watching the replay then, and she played great again. Just need to cut out those errors if she's gonna beat Sveta. :hearts:

Dan the Assassin
Jun 7th, 2006, 06:39 AM
Way to go Nicole. :)
I havent' seen the match yet!! How id she play? I guess she was played amazing to beat Venus. :yeah:

Neptune
Jun 7th, 2006, 09:49 AM
And who the guy in the audience next kodat with black glasses and a cap?who is very pale too

Veeko
Jun 7th, 2006, 11:11 AM
Have a good rest,nicole:)

good luck to you with playing against K ,reduce errors,play the way you did against momo and venus,you can do it:bounce: ,i am sure

good luck,good luck:bounce:

It's not easy for a player who like you as this age ,so i hope you can keep it,cherish it:lol:

:angel: :bounce: :lol: :)

Vaidisova
Jun 7th, 2006, 04:38 PM
Thursday OOP

CHATRIER 14:00 Start
Nicole Vaidisova (CZE)[16] vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)[8]

Good luck Nicole! It'll be very tough. I just hope all the pressure from the press and everyone else doesn't get to her, so that she can play her best.:hug:

Derek.
Jun 7th, 2006, 08:43 PM
Be fearless Nicole! Show 'em that your time has arrived! :worship:

Good luck! :yeah:

Danči Dementia
Jun 7th, 2006, 10:18 PM
Yeah ESPN commentators did say it's her mom.

There is a resemblance between her and Nicole as well. ;)
Oh thanks guys, normally also the comentators in spanish said the name and the persons that are in the players box when the cameroa focuses them but this time they didn't so I didn't knew who she was. She looks very young :eek: :eek: .


anyway good luck to Nicole tomorrow :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
I just hope that she doesn't get scared when she sees Svetlana's face :lol: :lol: :lol: (sorry for Sveta fans :rolleyes: )

andrewbroad
Jun 8th, 2006, 12:16 AM
I am delighted to announce that I have inducted Nicole Vaidišová into my Eternal Fanship.

Vow of Fanship: From now on, and until the end of her career (or my life), I will follow Nicole with the same level of dedication as the eight players of whom I'm already an Eternal Fan, to the maximum extent that my personal circumstances and available resources will allow. This vow is permanent and irrevocable, and I seal it with my Word of Honour.

This means that I will be adding Nicole Vaidišová pages to my website in the near future, and posting regular tournament-reports to the Nicole Vaidišová fan-community (even for the majority of tournaments, which I don't get to see on TV).

My Eternal Fanship now stands as follows:

1. Monica Seles
2. Maria Sharapova
3. Daniela Hantuchová
4. Jelena Dokic
5. Iva Majoli (retired)
6. Karina Habšudová (retired)
7. Iroda Tulyaganova
8. Vera Zvonarëva
9. Nicole Vaidišová


=============
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Grand Slam)
============= http://www.rolandgarros.com/ (http://www.rolandgarros.com/)
Photos
------

Off-court - very nice!
http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/photogallery/ (http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/photogallery/)

On-court (and some off-court):
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=vaidisova (http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=vaidisova)
http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=204976&page=8 (http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=204976&page=8) (and pp. 9, 10)
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/wtaqg92.html (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/wtaqg92.html)
Search Getty Images for "vaidisova"

-------------
Quarter-final (Tuesday 6th June - 6/6/06: the number of the Beast?)
-------------

+ NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [16] d. VENUS WILLIAMS [11], 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 6-3

I saw the whole match on BBCi. While it's true that Williams gave Nicole a lot of free gifts (70 unforced errors), Nicole put up a spectacular, fanship-inducting performance that totally won me over, especially the amazing forehands that she hit in her opening service-game (which she held after 5 deuces).

Any doubts I had about inducting Nicole into my Eternal Fanship, even after the Mauresmo match, were erased on Tuesday. Just the sheer power and sharpness of some of Nicole's shots made me gasp with awe, and the joy I got when she sealed her victory was way beyond that which I get when players of whom I'm only a demi-fan win.

Nicole also impressed me with the variety in her game, with delightful touch at times (e.g. the dropshot at 3-1 (15/30) in the second set) as well as the obvious power. And she moved so much better than when I watched her at Wimbledon 2005, and better than in the first set against Mauresmo - she looked much less awkward in dealing with balls outside her comfort-zone.

Nicole surged to a *4-1 lead in the first set, but then all of a sudden she could hardly get a ball in the court, and it became *4-5. Nicole dropped the first set on a tiebreak, just as she had against Amélie Mauresmo, but regrouped magnificently to produce an almost identical scoreline against Williams.


www.rolandgarros.com (http://www.rolandgarros.com/):
>>>
Serving huge, attacking Williams' second serve and showing no fear off the ground, the 17-year-old showed an incredible amount of composure against a much more experienced opponent. After Williams overcame a 1-4 and two break deficit in the first set and out-gutted the Czech in the tiebreaker, it seemed like Williams might mentally break down the teen.

But like she did in upending No1 Amélie Mauresmo in the fourth round, Vaidišová kept going for her shots. While the tall and agile teen wasn't always accurate, she found the corners with much more consistency than Williams.

Venus attempted to win the contest by playing solid defense, but was unable to contend with her opponent's accuracy or get her forehand under control. She rushed the net when she could, but was consistently pinned in the backcourt. Williams tried to dig in during the match's final game, but after saving one match point with a crosscourt backhand volley winner, she was way long with a forehand approach shot.

Vaidišová squealed, put her hands in her face and waved to the crowd.
<<<

Here are my comments as I wrote them at the time:


First Set:
VAIDIŠOV _*@*@____* * 6(5)
WILLIAMS *____@*@* *_ 7(7)

During the warm-up, Sam Smith said Nicole has a better serve than Williams, but that she doesn't move anywhere near as well. The match started at 12:16 CEST.

Williams serving 0-0: Williams hit two service-winners and a crosscourt backhand winner. 40/0. Nicole hit a sweet crosscourt forehand winner. 40/15. Williams netted a backhand. 40/30. Williams held with an off-forehand winner.

Nicole serving 0-1: Double fault. 0/15. Three shots long from Williams. 40/15. Nicole, stretched wide, netted a forehand. 40/30. Nicole netted a forehand. 40/40. Williams netted a sliced backhand. Ad Nicole. Double fault. Deuce #2. Williams hit a huge crosscourt backhand winner off a short lob from Nicole. Ad Williams (BP). Nicole saved it with a stunning crosscourt forehand winner! Deuce #3. Williams backhand winner down the line. Ad Williams (BP #2). Nicole hit a stunning forehand winner down the line! Deuce #4. Double fault. Ad Williams (BP #3). Nicole blasted another brilliant forehand winner. Sam Smith praised Nicole's preparation and weight-transfer. Deuce #5. And another! Ad Nicole. Williams left a forehand from Nicole that landed about a foot inside the baseline - Williams was right there!

A nervous start from Nicole with three double faults, but brilliant winners too! :worship:

Williams serving 1-1: Williams forehand winner on the baseline. 15/0. Nicole out. 30/0. Williams netted a forehand. 30/15. Williams forehand wide off a short, awkward ball from Nicole. 30/30. Nicole netted a backhand volley. 40/30. Williams hit a backhand winner onto the baseline... but the umpire checked the mark and called it out. 40/40. Williams netted a forehand. Ad Nicole (BP). Incredibly, Williams netted a forehand smash!

Well, well - all those break-points against Nicole in the previous game, but she only needed one herself! :worship:

Nicole serving 2-1: Nicole picked off a forehand volley-winner off an awkward high, wide ball from Williams. 15/0. Williams off-forehand return-winner. 15/15. Williams forehand long. 30/15. Williams forehand long off a sliced backhand from Nicole. 40/15. Williams forehand wide.

That game certainly proved that Nicole is NOT one-dimensional! Sam Smith praised Nicole's understanding of angles.

Williams serving 3-1: Williams netted a backhand. 0/15. Williams forehand wide. 0/30. Williams wild forehand way out. 0/40 (3 BPs). Williams mishit a forehand long - 7 points in a row for Nicole, and four games!

Sam Smith: "I think she's been slightly startled at the power - shocked at the power from Vaidišová, her first strike, surprised at how well Vaidišová is moving."

Nicole serving 4-1: Nicole forehand wide - more patience from Williams. 0/15. Double fault. 0/30. Williams hit a backhand pass-winner after several inadequate volleys from Nicole. 0/40 (3 BPs). Nicole netted a backhand off a deep, penetrating return.

Oh dear! I hope the bubble hasn't burst for Nicole after such an amazing start.

Williams serving 2-4: Nicole mishit forehand just long. 15/0. Double fault. 15/15. Nicole netted a return. 30/15. Service-winner. 40/15. Nicole wild forehand return out.

Nicole needs to pull herself together and remember that she's still a break up. Sam Smith said there was no doubting Williams's competitive spirit at this stage in her career.

Nicole serving 4-3: Williams netted a backhand. 15/0. Nicole netted a forehand off a deep ball from Williams. Nicole looking anxious, looking up at her coach. 15/15. Nicole netted a forehand. 15/30. Nicole netted a backhand. 15/40 (2 BPs). Nicole whacked a crosscourt forehand winner crosscourt. 30/40. Double fault.

Williams serving 4-4: Nicole backhand long. 15/0. Nicole forehand return long. 30/0. Nicole backhand long. 40/0. Williams wrong-footed Nicole with a backhand winner down the line behind her.

Nicole has gone from all brilliance to hardly being able to get a ball in the court! :( She shook her head sadly as she sat down at the changeover.

Nicole serving to stay in the first set at 4-5: Williams backhand wide. 15/0. Nicole went for a backhand winner down the line, but it was just long. 15/15. Nicole wild backhand wide. 15/30. Williams backhand wide. 30/30. Nicole hit a high forehand volley-winner after Williams retrieved her first volley. 40/30. Double fault (her sixth). 40/40. Nicole painted the sideline with an off-forehand winner. Ad Nicole. Ace.

A very important hold for Nicole, not only to save the first set but to stop the run of games against her.

Williams serving 5-5: Nicole missed a backhand. 15/0. Williams netted a backhand. 15/15. Nicole forehand return just long. 30/15. Nicole wild forehand return long - no footwork. 40/15. Williams forehand winner.

Nicole serving to stay in the first set at 5-6: Nicole forehand winner down the line. 15/0. Service-winner into the body. 30/0. Nicole played another one-two punch with an off-forehand winner. 40/0. Nicole dropped the ball short, giving Williams an easy forehand winner. 40/15. Nicole's backhand caught the sideline, forcing Williams to net a forehand. All first serves in in that game, Nicole looking much more controlled.

Tiebreak:
{0/0*} Williams forehand just long.
{*1/0} Williams wild backhand long.
{*2/0} Nicole hit a backhand long, and muttered to herself.
{2/1*} Double fault.
{3/1*} Williams backhand long, off a pinpoint backhand down the line from Nicole.
{*4/1} Williams forehand return-winner off a short second serve.
{*4/2} Williams netted a return.
{5/2*} Nicole forehand long.
{5/3*} Nicole return wide.
{*5/4} Williams forehand winner down the line.
{*5/5} Nicole netted a backhand.
{5/6*: SP} Nicole hit a forehand return wide to lose the first set 6-7 (5/7) at 13:10 (54 minutes), then took a bathroom-break.

The male commentator said that Nicole was overanalysing her mistakes, though I'm not sure precisely what he meant. (Later in the match, he said that she was no longer doing this.)


Second Set:
VAIDIŠOV * *@*@* 6
WILLIAMS _*_____ 1

Nicole serving 0-0: Nicole backhand winner down the line. 15/0. Nicole netted a forehand. 15/15. Williams forehand long. 30/15. Nicole forehand long. 30/30. Nicole crosscourt forehand winner behind Williams. 40/30. Williams hit a magnificent forehand smash-winner. 40/40. Williams forehand long. Ad Nicole. She held with a crosscourt forehand winner.

Williams serving 0-1: Nicole forehand return long. 15/0. Nicole hit a sliced backhand wide off a short, wide dropshot from Williams. 30/0. Williams forehand smash wide. 30/15. Williams forehand clipped the netcord and fell wide. 30/30. Nicole forehand long. 40/30. Nicole hit an amazing early crosscourt backhand winner. 40/40. Williams netted a backhand. Ad Nicole (BP). Williams saved it with a crosscourt backhand winner. Deuce #2. Nicole forehand wide. Ad Williams. Nicole forehand wide off a deep ball on her baseline.

Nicole serving 1-1: Nicole forehand just long. 0/15. Nicole hit a wide serve to set up a crosscourt forehand winner. 15/15. Service-winner out wide. 30/15. Double fault. 30/30. Nicole backhand wide. 30/40 (BP). Williams backhand return long - quite a let-off for Nicole! 40/40. Nicole hit a pinpoint backhand winner down the line. Nicole hit a spectacular forehand winner down Williams's forehand line - good footwork to get her body out of the way.

Sam Smith said Nicole's hands had softened up in terms of her touch and feel.

The Age-Eligibility Rule allows Nicole to play 15 tournaments in a year, plus one more because she's in the top 15. She also has to do a professional development course (how to handle the media, and stuff like that).

Williams serving 1-2: Williams netted a forehand. 0/15. Double fault. 0/30. Nicole forehand long. 15/30. 30/30. Nicole backhand return very long. 40/30. Williams forehand long. 40/40. Williams netted a forehand. 40/40. Nicole hit a sliced backhand crosscourt pass-winner. Ad Nicole (BP). Nicole put a simple backhand halfway up the net. Deuce #2. Williams netted a forehand. Ad Nicole (BP #2). Service-winner. Deuce #3. Nicole crosscourt forehand would-be winner just wide. Ad Williams. She netted a forehand. Deuce #4. Williams backhand wide. Ad Nicole (BP #3). Williams backhand wide.

Nicole serving 3-1: Nicole forehand wide. 0/15. Williams forehand long. 15/15. Williams forehand volley-winner. 15/30. Nicole showed delightful touch with a sliced backhand dropshot-winner from the baseline. 30/30. Williams netted a forehand return. 40/30. Williams crosscourt backhand winner. 40/40. Williams forehand long. Ad Nicole. She drew Williams to the net with a short-angled sliced backhand (which she probably intended as a direct winner), and hit a crosscourt forehand pass-winner.

Williams serving 1-4: Williams forehand long. 0/15. Williams crosscourt forehand winner. 15/15. Williams netted a backhand. 15/30. Nicole went for a big crosscourt forehand return, but it was just wide. 30/30. Williams backhand very long. 30/40 (BP). Williams backhand volley wide off a testing pass from Nicole.

Nicole serving for the second set at 5-1: Double fault. 0/15. Williams forehand just long. 15/15. Nicole forehand winner down the line, onto the baseline. 30/15. Williams forehand long off a pinpoint backhand down the line from Nicole. 40/15 (2 SPs). Williams netted a backhand return to win the second set at 13:50 (40 minutes).

Nicole has won 32 of 37 third sets in her career! :worship:


Third Set:
VAIDIŠOV _* *@* *@ 6
WILLIAMS * *___*__ 3

Williams serving 0-0: Williams forehand long. 0/15. Nicole netted a backhand return. 15/15. Williams crosscourt backhand winner. 30/15. Williams netted a forehand. 30/30. Nicole netted a forehand off a wide ball - difficulty moving to the forehand. 40/30. Nicole netted a sliced backhand.

Nicole serving 0-1: Service-winner. 15/0. Service-winner out wide. 30/0. Service-winner. 40/0. Nicole netted a forehand. 40/15. Nicole netted a forehand. 40/30. Williams hit a backhand just long, much to Nicole's relief.

Williams serving 1-1: Ace down the middle. 15/0. Nicole forehand lob long, off a well-measured forehand from Williams. 30/0. Held to love with two service-winners.

Nicole serving 1-2: Nicole hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line. 15/0. Nicole forehand winner. 30/0. Williams mishit backhand very wide. 40/0. Service-winner.

Williams serving 2-2: Williams netted a forehand volley off a low ball over the net from Nicole. 0/15. Williams backhand just long. 0/30. Service-winner. 15/30. Williams netted a forehand. 15/40 (2 BPs). Williams served and hit a high forehand drive-volley winner. 30/40. Double fault.

Sam Smith: "What she lacks in experience, she makes up for in maturity at 17."

Nicole serving 3-2: Nicole forehand long. 0/15. Williams netted an awful backhand. 15/15. Nicole forehand long. 15/30. Williams forehand long. 30/30. Williams forehand winner down the line. Sam Smith said Nicole was serving too much out wide to Williams's forehand in the deuce-court. 30/40 (BP). Williams backhand long. 40/40. Williams's backhand hit the netcord and bounced back on her side. Ad Nicole. Williams backhand long.

Williams serving 2-4: Nicole backhand return wide. 15/0. Williams netted a forehand. 15/15. Nicole hit a forehand pass-winner down the line, perilously close to the baseline. 15/30. Williams netted a forehand volley, and all of a sudden I was trembling with excitement! 15/40 (2 BPs). Williams saved the first with a backhand winner down the line. Nicole squandered the second with a wild forehand return long. 40/40. Service-winner. Ad Williams. She netted a forehand. Deuce #2. Nicole wild forehand very long. Ad Williams. And again, albeit forced this time by Williams at the net.

Definite signs of choking by Nicole there, but the fact remains that she hasn't been broken since the 8th game of the first set. :-)

Nicole serving 4-3: Nicole forced a short ball from Williams to give herself an easy forehand winner down the line. 15/0. The volume of Nicole's grunting really went up, with an anxious squeal as she hit a forehand long. 15/15. Service-winner. 30/15. Ace out wide - overruled! Williams backhand volley-winner. 30/30. Nicole hit a forehand down the line, forcing Williams into error. 40/30. With two-tone grunting reminiscent of Monica Seles and just as loud, Nicole hit a forehand long. 40/40. Nicole nailed a forehand winner down the line off an awkward deep ball from Williams. Ad Nicole. Williams netted a forehand return.

Williams serving to stay in the match at 3-5: Service-winner. 15/0. Williams netted a forehand volley off a low-over-the-net forehand from Nicole. 15/15. Williams forehand long. 15/30. Williams forehand long. 15/40 (2 MPs). Williams saved the first with a backhand volley-winner. 30/40 (MP #2). Williams sprayed a wild forehand wide! Nicole won 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 6-3 at 14:24 (2h08m).

And as the joy swept through me once again, that was the moment I knew for sure that I am a fully-fledged Nicole-fan. I just couldn't go on not being one after that! :hearts:


Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics
--------------------------------

Nicole had a winner-to-unforced-error ratio of 30:57, which is an insult to her spectacular performance IMO. She made 29 UEs in the first set, and only 6 winners in the third. But Williams had a woeful W:UE of 25:70, with 12 of her winners coming in the first set. The match was far more entertaining than these statistics imply.

Williams came to the net more often, winning 9 of 18 points there, but Nicole had a higher success-rate, winning 6 of 9 points at the net.

Nicole got 57% of her first serves in, winning 58% of the points when she did so, and 49% on second serve. All these percentages improved from set to set (apart from points won on second serve in the third set). In the third set, Nicole was getting 69% of first serves in and winning 78% of the points when she did so.

The corresponding statistics for Williams were 71%, 63% and 33% - so the difference was Nicole's greater ability to attack the second serve.

Nicole served one ace and 8 double faults, which is a bit high - 6 DFs occurred in the first set alone! Williams served 2 aces and 4 DFs.

Nicole broke 6 times from 13 break-points (twice in each set), Williams twice from 8 BPs - and Nicole wasn't broken at all since the 8th game of the first set, when she was choking that *4-1 lead away.

In points, Nicole won 110-97 (first set 42-46, second set 36-25, third set 32-26).


Nicole quotes
-------------

"I'm playing very well lately. I'm so excited, I've never been beyond the fourth round of a Grand Slam, and now I'm in the semi-finals. I'm so happy and excited I could scream!

"I think in general I just kept fighting, you know, getting as many balls back as I could, try to move her around. I think in general, you know, I kept, you know, hanging in there even though I lost the first set. Definitely picked up my serve a little bit.

"I think the first set in general was not a great set. I served very bad. Didn't get many serves in. She took advantage of that. I fell asleep a little bit there, didn't use my chances in the tiebreak and everything. It was definitely not a very good set. But luckily I stayed very calm, tried to be very positive. It worked out.

"After I lost the first set, I didn't think I could pull it off. I'm trying to get wiser and more mature, and get my game face on. I kept fighting hard and it worked.

"It's great, twice in a row. I struggled a little bit with some parts today, and still pulled it off. It definitely boosts your confidence a lot.

"You're in the quarter-finals, round of 16 of a Grand Slam, you're not just going to give it up, say, 'Maybe I'll try next time.' You just give it your all, know you've done a hundred percent. If you lose even then, then bad luck. But you have to give it your all. I definitely tried to do that, just tried to be positive because, you know, I've played matches when I was negative after I lost the first set and, you know, just lost the second as well.

"Clay was definitely not my number-one pick. You know I love hard courts. Surprised myself a little bit. I knew before I came here that I see the changes in my game a little bit from, you know, with my dad who has been working with me on it. Definitely, you know, played a little more matches, you know, tried to get a little more experience, you know, on the big stages. You know, in Australia I played on center court and US. By picking up those matches, it's definitely great. You know, you can take a lot of it to your next matches. Definitely helped a lot, too.

"I had problems with my shoulder for about two weeks or a month, not even that, for the first time. I wasn't really injured. I just felt that if I would go on, it would get injured. I took a break. But, no, it doesn't affect me at all. Since then I haven't had one problem with it.

[Re. her previous match against Williams, at Constantinople 2005]
"I think I've improved a little since then, you know. I've just been working hard with my dad on everything. My movement a little bit, my power, my speed, everything - just putting my game together. You know, apparently paid off, so happy about that.

[Re. controlling her emotions]
"I think in the last couple rounds, definitely been good at that. You definitely have to have some emotions, get yourself pumped up, but try not to let the negative emotions overcome you.

[Re. going all the way]
"I'm not taking it as there are two matches left. I am excited to be through, but I don't think things like 'I am two matches away from the title.' You know, there's the next match, which is incredibly hard. I'm not thinking at the title right now. I'm not thinking about it. I'm thinking about my semi-final on Thursday. This is as far as it goes right now.

"Right now, I'm not even thinking about the match yet. I'm still in my little La-La Land. I'll figure out something tomorrow. I'll have to more concentrate on my game. Try to be as focused as best as possible and fight. I think at this point, there's not about one tactical thing that's going to get you, you know, further. It's, you know, who wants to win more, and who's going to, you know, grind there longer for it.

[Re. becoming a big name]
"No, not yet! But I'm working on it. <smiling>

"I don't mind being compared with Sharapova. I don't know her personally, and to be honest, I really don't see what we have in common, but I suppose that people like to make comparisons.

"I want to be considered a tennis-player, and nothing else. I've done a few adverts and photo-shoots because it was fun, but tennis will always be my first priority."


Williams quotes
---------------

"I would say I definitely faced the same game as last year [when she beat Nicole in the Constantinople final]; she's just a lot more consistent. I had a decent first set. She just played really good tennis. Seems to be on a roll. She was making some great shots. She just was the better player today."


---------------
Semi-final draw
---------------

* NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [16] v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [8]
* JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE [5] v KIM CLIJSTERS [2]

Kuznetsova is the player I said [in my tournament-preview] would probably beat Maria Sharapova, so I can't be too confident about Nicole's chances against the muscular power of Kuznetsova, who recently won a "Who will win the French Open?" poll on www.wtatour.com (http://www.wtatour.com/).

So what did I write about Nicole in my tournament-preview?
<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/message/3566 (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/message/3566)>
Nicole Vaidišová would be my ideal semi-finalist from that quarter of the draw, and she just might do it. Nicole's 2006 form has been somewhat indifferent after a spectacular finish to 2005 (she won 18 matches in a row as she captured the Seoul, Tokyo Japan Open and Bangkok titles), and she missed Miami with a right-shoulder injury. But having just won the Strasbourg title, things finally seem to be going Nicole's way again.

Nicole might well be the next player I will induct into my Eternal Fanship, especially after I recently watched Tatiana Golovin and Maria Kirilenko with the idea that I might induct them, but decided against doing so because their tennis-qualities weren't up to Eternal Fanship standards (I still love the sight of them, though!).

Nicole has played Kuznetsova only once before: in the third round of Wimbledon 2005, which Kuznetsova won 7-5 6-7 (5/7) 6-2.

I saw that whole match on BBC television, and if Nicole had just played 10% better, she could have won in straight sets. She served for the first set at 5-4, but lost the next three games. Nicole was powerful enough to have beaten Kuznetsova on that day, but was undone by her poor mobility, an inability to deal with short or low balls, and a bad start to the third set. At least low-bouncing balls won't be much of an issue on clay.

Here are my comments on that Wimbledon 2005 match as I wrote them at the time (obviously this was before I inducted her into my Eternal Fanship, but I knew it was a distinct possibility!):
- NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [27] lt. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [5], 7-5 6-7 (5/7) 6-2

This was my first chance to sit down and watch Nicole properly, having watched her briefly in the flesh - and what flesh! - at Birmingham.

It was an uplifting experience to watch this tall and sexy girl overpowering the muscular fifth seed with big serves and huge groundstrokes - especially her forehand. If she were a more experienced match-player she would have beaten Kuznetsova in two easy sets, for the Russian looked off-form and miserable throughout the match.

But Nicole at 16 is still a rough diamond: she struggled to cope with balls outside her comfort-zone, particularly short balls, and low balls that she struggles to get down for when she's 6-foot tall and still growing.

Nicole broke in the middle of the first set, served for it at 5-4, had a set-point... then lost four games in a row. She showed a lot of emotion throughout the match, looking really fired up and determined to win, and I think my own emotions mirrored hers, for I had a huge desire to see her beat the potato-faced Kuznetsova and to see her in the second week.

There were no breaks in the second set, and Nicole snuck it on a tiebreak. But she had a dip in concentration at the start of the third, and quickly found herself two breaks down against the US Open champion. The only way Nicole could have won from that position was to go for broke and make a series of spectacular winners. She gave it her best shot, but it was too little too late.

Nicole looks like a Grand Slam champion in the making, possibly even a future world number one, but she needs to improve her movement, her dropshot, and learn to take appropriate risks at appropriate times.

Nicole's similarities to Maria Sharapova are uncanny: both tall, blonde and sexy; both with huge serves and groundstrokes; both with loud, squeaky grunts (Nicole has a two-tone grunt reminiscent of Monica Seles); both charming in interviews; both from Eastern Europe but trained at the Nick Bollettieri academy in Florida, and both made their Wimbledon débuts at age 16, losing to Svetlana Kuznetsova in three sets.

In the last two French Opens, Kuznetsova lost in the fourth round to the eventual champion after holding match-points!

Kuznetsova is having a very good year in 2006, with a 34-9 win/loss record going into this semi-final. She hasn't lost to anyone outside the top 19 except Martina Hingis. She won the Super Tier I title at Miami, beating Amélie Mauresmo 6-1 6-4 in the semis and Maria Sharapova 6-4 6-3 in the final. But her best performance on clay has been to finish runner-up to Kim Clijsters at Warszawa, where she defeated Venus Williams 6-4 6-2 in the quarters.

So Kuznetsova will be very tough to stop, but Nicole deserves to reach the final after beating Mauresmo and Williams - it wouldn't be right for Kuznetsova to reap the benefits of those upsets and reach the final without having beaten a top-eight seed. Nor would it be right to have a boring final between Kuznetsova and one of the Belgians, when Nicole is so much more exciting than the other three semi-finalists (and much sexier, I might add! ;)).

Let's see how Kuznetsova has reached the semi-finals:
1r + Laura Granville, 6-4 6-0
2r + Mara Santangelo, 7-5 6-2
3r + Li,Na, 6-3 7-6 (7/4)
4r + FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [9], 1-6 6-4 6-4
qf + DINARA SAFINA [14], 7-6 (7/5) 6-0

So it's important for Nicole to win the first set if possible, because Kuznetsova has tended to play much better in the second set than the first. Perhaps Nicole should go for a little jog before the match, just to get herself moving well from the start.

Nicole: "I played Svetlana once before in Wimbledon, it was a tough match. I think I have good chances. I've been playing very well lately."

Kuznetsova: "I can play very well on clay, but I never did very well on clay so it surprised me a little bit. Why should I have pressure? I'm in the semi-finals. I have done very well during this tournament. Yes, she's also doing great. But I think there is even chances. I think I'm more of a claycourt player. I'm going to do my best. If she can beat me, she should play well. No pressure out there. I have my pressure all behind already."

BBCi's expert analysis:
-Sam Smith: I think Kuznetsova will be the favourite for that one.
-Chris Bailey: I agree.

Make them eat their words, Nicole!

--------------------------
Order of Play for Thursday
--------------------------

Court Chatrier (start 14:00 CEST = 12:00 GMT = 13:00 BST)
1. WS sf: NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [16] v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [8]
2. WS sf: JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE [5] v KIM CLIJSTERS [2]
3. XD sf: ELENA LIKHOVTSEVA/DANIEL NESTOR [7] v MARTINA NAVRÁTILOVÁ/BOB BRYAN [6]

Once again, for digital viewers in the UK, Nicole will be televised on BBCi! :D

Full order of play:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/schedule/schedule17.html (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/schedule/schedule17.html)

Nicole's Roland Garros profile:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/bios/ws/wtaqg92.html (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/bios/ws/wtaqg92.html)

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/vaidi/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/vaidi/)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Nicole_Vaidisova/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Nicole_Vaidisova/)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nicole-vaidisova/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nicole-vaidisova/)

Sharapova's_Boy
Jun 8th, 2006, 03:26 AM
Good luck Nikki. :worship:

Once again you've got nothing to lose, so just go out there and hit big. :D

I saw a little interview of hers after the win over Venus, and she was sooo cute. :hearts:

Mailin
Jun 8th, 2006, 08:59 AM
Good luck vs Svetlana ! You can do it! :D:)

nouf
Jun 8th, 2006, 09:22 AM
yes she can! nouf is there! french supporter number 1! :-)

and she wins i go into final too! lol i have a ticket only she wins today! go nicole

i go to be to her practice before match

KClijsters
Jun 8th, 2006, 01:11 PM
First set to Nicole.. ! great job !! :D

back from 3-5 to win 7-5 in the first !! :D :bounce:

Come on Nicole ! :bounce:

Mailin
Jun 8th, 2006, 01:22 PM
Yes, Nickiiiiiiiiii! 7-5 2-0 ... keep fighting Nicole! :D

KClijsters
Jun 8th, 2006, 01:30 PM
2-1..

Just keeping own serve and you will make it :)

Vaidisova
Jun 8th, 2006, 02:30 PM
She was so close:sobbing: Seems to have lost it after being broken serving for the match. :sad:

Veeko
Jun 8th, 2006, 02:33 PM
i feel sorry for nicole,she may lost,i can't believe

Vaidisova
Jun 8th, 2006, 02:43 PM
So Nicole lost. :sad: Really disappointing that she couldn't serve it out but understandable that nerves got to her... :sobbing:

But this has been a fantastic tournament for Nicole. I don't think anyone expected her to make the semis. Hopefully Nicole can learn from the experience to help her in other big matches to come this year. :)

Veeko
Jun 8th, 2006, 02:46 PM
i really can't believe,1st set,she won 7-5,and final,shi ~~~:( :(

i am really sad for her,:mad:

i really want to cry

bad luck,nicole

But you are still the best in my heart,you are still young,you still have chance,come on ,girl,don't be sad,everyone loves you forever:)

KClijsters
Jun 8th, 2006, 02:56 PM
nooo :sad: :sad: She was that close...

Keep thinking on the half court forehand error at 5-5 in the tie-brake... :sad:

Sharapova's_Boy
Jun 8th, 2006, 02:58 PM
I just can't believe it. :sad: :sad: :sad:

Sigh.

Spiritof42
Jun 8th, 2006, 03:16 PM
So Nicole lost. :sad: Really disappointing that she couldn't serve it out but understandable that nerves got to her... :sobbing:

But this has been a fantastic tournament for Nicole. I don't think anyone expected her to make the semis. Hopefully Nicole can learn from the experience to help her in other big matches to come this year. :)

I feel very depressed right now :sad:

I think one of the turning points was when Nicole was leading 2-0 in the second set and had break points on Kuznetsova's serve. At that point, she had made an amazing comeback from 3-5 down in the first set and had won 6 straight games. Had she taken a 3-0 double break lead, I'm confident she would have been able to serve it out, if not the first time, then surely the second.

Still, her overall performance has been nothing short of amazing. You're right, NOBODY expected her to reach the semis at the FO. I'm sure she's made a lot of new fans and hopefully gained the respect she deserves.

I've been a fan of Nicole since 2004, and I've been quite impressed with what she has achieved since last fall. Now she has truly become one of my favourite players. :worship:

This could be a breakthrough year for her at Wimbledon as well. She's certainly got the required arsenal :)

Vaidisova
Jun 8th, 2006, 04:28 PM
Kuznetsova reaches French final as Vaidisova crumbles by Barnaby Chesterman
14 minutes ago



Former US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova produced a gritty comeback to reach the final of the French Open at the expense of teenager Nicole Vaidisova.

The eighth-seeded Russian won 5-7, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 to set up a final against the winner of the all-Belgian semi-final between former world number ones Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin-Hardenne.

Vaidisova had served for the match at 5-4 in the second set but just as the 17-year-old sensation looked set to cap a fine tournament by making her first ever Grand Slam final, she choked.

Kuznetsova needed no second invitation and turned the screw on a faltering opponent to claim the second set on a tie-break and then romp away with the decider.

Afterwards, Vaidisova prefered to focus on what she had achieved at this tournament rather than dwell on her semi-final collapse.

In the previous two rounds she beat two of the four Grand Slam title holders, world number one and Australian Open champion Amelie Mauresmo of France and USA's Wimbledon champion Venus Williams.

"I had my chances but it happens, I'm just very excited to have been playing in the French Open semis," said the 16th seed.

"Of course I'm disappointed, I dont like to lose, but I can be proud of what I did and take this experience on to the next tournament.

"It's not like I had match point. Even if you're 5-4 up and serving, you're still so far from winning."

The Czech had started the match with a string of wild forehands as she took a fearless approach to the task ahead, hitting deep groundstrokes that often peppered, but all too frequently cleared, the baseline.

That inconsistency cost her the first break of the match but from 5-3 down in the first she stepped up a gear and reeled off six games in a row to seemingly set up victory.

She had been comfortably serving out the match until 5-4 when suddenly the nerves returned and her forehand went to pot. Vaidisova kept thrashing fierce groundstrokes over the net but her trajectory seemed broken and the error count mounted.

She finished with 47 unforced errors to just 19 from the Russian, although Vaidisova's positive approach had also garnered 54 winners compared to 26 for Kuznetsova.

Still, the steadier approach of the Russian prevailed and she hardly put a foot wrong in the one-sided third set.

Vaidisova had a brief sniff of a chance at 1-4 when she took a 0-30 lead on the Kuznetsova serve but her haphazard forehand scotched any hopes she had of turning things around.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060608/sp_wl_afp/tennisfraopenwomen_060608161331&printer=1;_ylt=AjQ6CYMq3Fy3vj3hfwTej.7GOrgF;_ylu=X 3oDMTA3MXN1bHE0BHNlYwN0bWE-

Solitaire
Jun 8th, 2006, 04:59 PM
:bigcry: Utter Sadness :bigcry: After she served for it things went down hill.....



On the bright side it was a fantastic tourney. Some great wins and some good matches. :) The best part is Nikki will be #13. So top ten her she comes. :bounce:

Derek.
Jun 8th, 2006, 05:04 PM
Nicole :sad: I thought you would win this. :sobbing:

Still and an awesome tournament and you should be proud! :worship: :hug:

Vaidisova
Jun 8th, 2006, 05:19 PM
Q. You lost. What happened finally, especially in second set?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: You know, I think she started, you know, getting her rhythm back on and I had a bad serving game, you know. I kind of thought I had a little bit. And, you know, in the third she just played better. I have to give her credit. She, you know, was fighting for every point, but I knew she's a great fighter always. And, the third set, I don't think I had much chances.

Q. What do you think about future game between Kuznetsova and Belgian, I don't know which exactly, but what do you think about all this girls?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: You know, I'm done with the tournament so I kind of don't really worry about it anymore. You know, I'm just gonna go home and do my thing. I don't think I'm gonna watch the final at all anyway, so...

Q. 5‑5 in the tiebreak, are you going to be haunted by that point?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: I actually ‑‑ when I finished my match, that was definitely not the first point that came to my mind. Then she was serving. She could have hit an ace or anything. So it's, you know...

But, yeah, I had my chances. Of course, I did. But, you know, I think it happens and I'm just, you know, very excited to be playing here in the semifinals. I played second round last year. You know, I've lost to Amélie 6‑1, 6‑1 in the Australian Open, and to Venus 2‑2 in Istanbul. I have done so much better. Of course I'm disappointed. I love to win and hate to lose.

But, you know, there's not much about it right now. I just can be proud of myself, how I did, take some, you know, experience from that to my next tournament.

Q. Knowing how you know yourself and your personality, do you take away from this reaching the semis and beating the top seed, or is that set and 5‑4 going to stick in your craw for a while?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: No, I don't think so. It's not like I had matchpoints or anything. You know, even if you are 5‑4 up serving, you're still so far from winning it. You know, I think I had, you know ‑‑ it was my sixth match here. Further than Strasbourg. I think I can have so much experience from that. It's definitely gonna help me in the future.

Q. During that game, were you conscious of being nervous at all? Could you feel anything happening within you that you felt a bit shaky or nervous at that point?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: Not extremely, you know. But of course, you know, in semifinal, you're in a huge stadium, everything. It was more of, you know, me just not serving very well and she just hanging in there. Would I want to go back and redo it? Yes, but I can't. I just have to take my experience from this and, you know, figure it out next time. So, you know, next time I can serve better or just, you know, close the game out.

Q. Is it surprise for you to play in semifinal, and what do you think about Svetlana Kuznetsova?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: Semifinal, great, you know. Of course great. I've never been as far in a Grand Slam, even close as far. I'm very happy, of course, with my performance. A little bit disappointed of course right now. I would definitely love to win and play the finals. But, you know, happens. Just have to keep working even a little harder and, you know, hopefully next time I'll do even better.

Svetlana, definitely on the court she's great fighter, very good player. She definitely has very good chances in the final. Of course, she's a very nice person, very nice girl, very funny. And, you know, I have not a bad word to say about her.

Q. When you lost your serve on 5‑4, after you looked very upset with someone in the stands, string of your racquet or whatever. Was a problem of strings? Was a problem of what?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: I think I changed my racquet after that. No, I just thought it kind of ‑‑ I hit it kind of wrong, so... But it was not a fault of my racquet or strings or whatsoever.

Q. Do you think that your lack of experience in Grand Slam semifinal/final stage, that maybe unconsciously there was a fear of winning as we know in tennis?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: No. I didn't have that in the quarterfinals. I didn't have that in the Round of 16 playing the No. 1 player in the world. So I don't think it was a factor today, you know.

I already said, you know, what happened. It's just, I think, you know, stuff like that happens a lot, you know. I said 5‑4 serving doesn't mean you're so ‑‑ you're terribly close. You're still, you know, a long game away from winning, so...

Q. Did you feel good about the fact that the French crowd was kind of cheering for you as if you were their French player?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: Yeah. I think the crowd was great, you know. It's always good, you know, playing in this atmosphere. So much fun. I definitely enjoy it. Yeah, I think, you know, they got over the fact that I beat two French players and, you know, that's very nice of them.

Q. You just stepped off the court, but many, many years from now, when you look back at Roland Garros 2006, what do you think the one thing that will stand out that you will remember?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: I mean, it's my first‑ever semifinal in a Grand Slam ever, second week in a Grand Slam. I'll always have great memories.

You know, I'm very excited right now, even though I lost, you know, and kind of disappointed but excited at the same time. I'll be looking forward to next year, coming back.

Q. Do you think this will be a real steppingstone for you?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: It definitely gonna help me, you know, my confidence a little bit up, my game. I definitely felt, you know, I'm able to compete, you know, and be close to almost ‑‑ you know, being very close to going to the finals. That's, you know, a very good sign.

Q. That bloody 5‑4 game, you said you hadn't thought ahead. Do you think you rushed or you were just on that pinnacle and you're four points away?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: Of course, at that point, you kind of figure, "If I win this game, I'm in the finals." But I don't think I have gone crazy nervous or I just started shaking or anything. I really didn't.

But if I would, you know, have to take it back, I would definitely love to serve a little bit better and, you know, some more first serves. But she also played that game pretty tough and, you know, I can't do much about it now.

Q. Do you have a feeling that you lost this match in the first two sets and second set, or she won this match? First question. Second question, why you didn't do any dropshot, never?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: You're mean (smiling).

I think she's a very good mover and, you know, especially, you know, on clay it's kind of hard to hit dropshots, or here it's pretty fast courts.

And I think I hit like three, four. So, you know, I'm sorry. I'll try next time a little more maybe.

Q. Do you think you lost this match?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: Well, I lost this match and Svetlana won this match, so, yeah. Kind of black on white, you know.

Q. What will be a good Wimbledon for you?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: I don't know. I'm right now not thinking really about Wimbledon. I'm still in the French Open.

But, you know, just I'm not gonna set my goals and say, "I want to do as well as I did in the French, or I'll try to do even better than the French." It's a different Grand Slam, different tournament. Just as I went to this Grand Slam, I'll take it round by round, focus on each round hundred percent, give it all my all. That worked out for me. I didn't set a goal here, so I'm not gonna do it, you know, next Grand Slam.

Q. You said you're going home. You're playing Eastbourne, aren't you?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: Yes.

Q. Are you going back to the States?

NICOLE VAIDISOVA: I'm going to home, Prague.

Danči Dementia
Jun 8th, 2006, 06:25 PM
:bigcry: :bigcry: :bigcry: :bigcry: :bigcry: :bigcry:

Oh Nicole I'm sad for you I wanted to cry too :sad: :sad: .

Well guys we shouldn't be dissapointed.....well just a little .
For me I felt really sad ate the end but then I tought:OK she is 17 years old and she is a semifinalist at RG(that for me is the hardest tournament 'cos it plays in clay and you have to be a very complete player to survive) and so Nicole got into the semis beating the number ona player and a former number one and reining wimbledon champion in the way. She did great this tournament it was better for her than anyone would tougth ;) .
She was on the verge of reaching her firts Grand Slam final and she just wasn't ready.
The level of tennis that she showed to all is amazing it surprised me the way that her shoots are more accurated now she goes looking for the lines and when she reach them is like wow and also her dropshoots are good her movement in clay is awesome for a gilr that is as tall as she is.

With all this that I said we can surely expect to see Nicole in top ten really really soon(hopully after Wimbly) and winning a grand slam.

She is 17 and look where she is now how many titles she has and how much future she has in front of her.

:wavey: :wavey:

Vaidisova
Jun 9th, 2006, 01:36 AM
Did Nicole really leave the court in tears? A couple of articles are reporting that she did. :sad:

Vaidisova in tears after final hopes crumble to dust (http://sport.independent.co.uk/tennis/article752615.ece)

Henin clouts Clijsters, Vaidisova in tears (http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory?id=2054325)

Derek.
Jun 9th, 2006, 02:51 AM
Did Nicole really leave the court in tears? A couple of articles are reporting that she did. :sad:

Vaidisova in tears after final hopes crumble to dust (http://sport.independent.co.uk/tennis/article752615.ece)

Henin clouts Clijsters, Vaidisova in tears (http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory?id=2054325)

I don't think she did. :hug:

Sharapova's_Boy
Jun 9th, 2006, 03:27 AM
Yeah, it looked like she did. :sad: :sad: :sad:

Who could blame her?

Sigh.

Harju.
Jun 9th, 2006, 07:02 AM
She was crying a little when leaving the court. Can't blame her though. She had that match on the bag but she just got tight in the end. But :yeah: for her interview. She sounds very positive and not so much of a bitter loser. Good luck for grass season, Nikkie :banana:

Danči Dementia
Jun 9th, 2006, 10:20 PM
She was crying a little when leaving the court. Can't blame her though. She had that match on the bag but she just got tight in the end. But :yeah: for her interview. She sounds very positive and not so much of a bitter loser. Good luck for grass season, Nikkie :banana:

she was alredy almost crying when Svetlana had match poitna and according me Yes she was crying. :sad: :sad: .

Yes Good luck for the grass season Nicole :) :) :) .
:wavey:

andrewbroad
Jun 10th, 2006, 12:40 AM
=============
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Grand Slam)
============= http://www.rolandgarros.com/ (http://www.rolandgarros.com/)
Photos
------

http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=vaidisova (http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=vaidisova)
http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=204976&page=9 (http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=204976&page=9)
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/wtaqg92.html (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/wtaqg92.html)
http://www.tennis.info/Paris6.html (http://www.tennis.info/Paris6.html) ("Semifinals")
Search Getty Images for "vaidisova"

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Semi-final (Thursday 8th June)
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- NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [16] lt. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [8], 5-7 7-6 (7/5) 6-2

I saw the whole match on BBCi. Nicole's level wasn't as high as it had been against Mauresmo and Williams - it was a mixture of maturity and recklessness.

Nicole took advantage of an incredible collapse from Kuznetsova to recover from 3-5 down in the first set.

With Kuznetsova shackled by nerves, Nicole seemed to be well on her way to the final as she broke in the first game of the second set, and held until she led 5-3*.

But the match turned when Nicole, serving for the match at 5-4 (0/15), hit a forehand winner which umpire Sandra de Jenken overruled as "out" after checking the mark. That made it 0/30 instead of 15/15, and Nicole was broken when she served a double fault at 15/40.

Nicole was two points away from her first Grand Slam final at 5/5 in the tiebreak, but made two errors to drop the second set.

So the second set was a choke, but not quite of Jana Novotná proportions! It's always difficult to serve for an important match, especially when your only break was in the first game of the set, and especially when you're playing a top player who is vastly more experienced at this level - you give them a little finger and they take a whole hand. Nicole has nothing to be ashamed of.

In the third set, Nicole was tired and error-strewn, while Kuznetsova was no longer passive and error-strewn, but going for her shots with few errors.

Nicole seemed to be fighting back tears as she faced match-point on Kuznetsova's serve at 5-2 (40/15), and as she strode off the court.

Nicole needs to take the positives from her excellent run at the French Open, which is a giant step towards the superstardom her talent deserves. It may have left less of a scar on Nicole's psyche if she had lost this semi-final as comprehensively as Kim Clijsters lost the other one, rather than blown a golden opportunity to reach the final, but she needs to forget about that and just remember the magic moments against Mauresmo and Williams.

Nicole should take a leaf out of Justine Henin-Hardenne's book. Henin also choked from a set and a break up in her first Grand Slam semi-final - at the French Open 2001. She vowed never to lose a match like that again, and now she is arguably the strongest player mentally!

It won't be long before Nicole is reaching Grand Slam semi-finals as a matter of routine, and then two exceptional wins like the ones in her fourth round and quarter-final here will be enough for her to win a Grand Slam title.


Here are my comments as I wrote them at the time:


First Set:
VAIDIŠOVÁ _* * *__@*@* 7
KUZNETSOV * * * *@____ 5

They looked very relaxed coming onto court, laughing together - in contrast to the tense, nervous match that lay ahead! The match started at 14:12 CEST.

Kuznetsova serving 0-0: Nicole netted a forehand. 15/0. Ace down the middle. 30/0. Nicole forehand just long. 40/0. Nicole hit a forehand winner down Kuznetsova's forehand-line. 40/15. Kuznetsova hit a forehand winner off a short ball from Nicole.

John Lloyd said Nicole took hold of rallies with deep, penetrating groundstrokes.

Nicole serving 0-1: Nicole netted a backhand off a wicked-spin dropshot from Kuznetsova that exposed her poor mobility. 0/15. Kuznetsova's forehand clipped the netcord and fell back on her side. 15/15. Nicole came to the net, forcing Kuznetsova to hit a backhand pass wide. 30/15. Kuznetsova out. 40/15. Nicole forehand long (unforced). 40/30. Nicole went for a big forehand down the line, but it was just wide. 40/40. Another error from Nicole. Ad Kuznetsova (BP). Service-winner. Deuce #2. Kuznetsova hit a fierce, deep forehand return, forcing Nicole into error. Ad Kuznetsova (BP #2). Kuznetsova forehand wide (unforced). Deuce #3. Nicole netted a backhand - almost playing too deliberately. Ad Kuznetsova (BP #3). Nicole hit a big serve to get a short return and hit an easy crosscourt forehand winner. Deuce #4. Service-winner. Ad Nicole. She hit an off-forehand winner.

Nicole seems more nervous than she looked coming onto court - a very important hold there after being pegged back from 40/15 and having to save three break-points.

Kuznetsova serving 1-1: Nicole forced Kuznetsova into error. 0/15. Kuznetsova backhand just long. 0/30. Kuznetsova hit an industrial-strength forehand winner. 15/30. Nicole netted a forehand. 30/30. Ace down the middle. 40/30. Nicole backhand return-winner down the line off a weak second serve. 40/40. Kuznetsova backhand long. Ad Nicole (BP). Nicole sprayed a wild backhand wide after putting Kuznetsova on the defensive. Deuce #2. Nicole hit a huge deep forehand return off a short serve, forcing Kuznetsova into error. Ad Nicole (BP #2). Service-winner. Deuce #3. Nicole backhand wide. Ad Kuznetsova. Nicole hit a wild backhand return wide.

An important hold for Kuznetsova after saving two break-points - both players nervous, not much rally-construction.

Nicole serving 2-1: Kuznetsova backhand long. 15/0. Nicole hit a beautiful crosscourt forehand and forehand volley-winner combination. 30/0. Kuznetsova forehand return wide. 40/0. Nicole backhand wide. 40/15. Kuznetsova netted a nervous-looking backhand.

Kuznetsova very passive, just waiting for Nicole to make errors.

Kuznetsova serving 2-2: Nicole hit a forehand volley-winner from No Man's Land. 0/15. Service-winner. 15/15. Nicole hit a blazing forehand return-winner down the line. 15/30. Kuznetsova forehand volley-winner. 30/30. Nicole ran down a dropshot and hit a crosscourt backhand winner to force Kuznetsova into error - just inside the sideline, and it had to be. 30/40 (BP). Nicole sprayed a wild backhand wide. 40/40. Nicole forehand return just long. Ad Kuznetsova (BP #2). Kuznetsova hit a forehand pass-winner on the run.

Nicole is certainly showing she's a multidimensional all-court player. John Lloyd said she has more variety than Maria Sharapova (I agree), and even moves better than Maria (I disagree). He predicted Nicole would have a better career than Maria. Sadly, if Maria's injury-problems continue, he might well be right.

Nicole serving 2-3: Double fault. 0/15. Nicole forehand long. 0/30. Nicole forehand dropshot-winner. 30/15. Ace out wide. 40/15. Heavy service-winner out wide. 40/30. Kuznetsova forehand lob long. A very mature game from Nicole to recover from 0/30.

Kuznetsova serving 3-3: Nicole drew Kuznetsova to the net with a crosscourt backhand dropshot, and hit a forehand pass-winner. 0/15. Service-winner. 15/15. Nicole wild forehand return wide of the tramlines. 30/15. Kuznetsova hit a huge crosscourt forehand winner into the corner. 40/15. Nicole netted a sliced backhand.

Nicole serving 3-4: Nicole forehand long. 0/15. Nicole rushed a forehand, hitting it not even halfway up the net. 0/30. Nicole put the bad points behind her with an off-forehand winner after opening the court and forcing a short ball. 15/30. Kuznetsova's forehand hit the netcord, jumped up high, and fell back on Kuznetsova's side of the net. 30/30. Nicole netted a forehand and said "ai!". 30/40 (BP). Nicole forehand smash-winner after forcing a moonball from Kuznetsova. 40/40. Nicole netted a forehand. Ad Kuznetsova (BP #2). Nicole sliced backhand winner crosscourt off a dropshot from Kuznetsova. Deuce #2. Nicole went for an off-forehand winner, but it was just wide. Ad Kuznetsova (BP #3). Nicole hit a backhand long to give Kuznetsova the first break of the match.

A mixture of maturity and recklessness so far from Nicole.

Kuznetsova serving for the first set at 5-3: Nicole forehand long. 15/0. Double fault. 15/15. Nicole wild backhand return wide, and she muttered to herself in Czech (I think). 30/15. Kuznetsova backhand wide. 30/30. Nicole backhand winner behind Kuznetsova after a long, patient rally. 30/40 (BP). Kuznetsova netted a forehand after some good retrieving from Nicole.

Kuznetsova really went into her shell, seems very tight.

Nicole serving to stay in the first set at 4-5: Kuznetsova netted a forehand. 15/0. Nicole forehand winner down Kuznetsova's forehand-line. 30/0. Kuznetsova netted a one-handed backhand (forced). 40/0. Two double faults! 40/30. Nicole off-forehand winner.

Kuznetsova serving 5-5: Kuznetsova netted a forehand volley. 0/15. Nicole mishit backhand return out. 15/15. Nicole forehand return-winner down the line off a weak second serve. 15/30. Nicole hit an error-forcing forehand return off another weak serve. 15/40 (2 BPs). Kuznetsova netted a forehand.

Nicole serving for the first set at 6-5: Kuznetsova backhand return wide. 15/0. Kuznetsova forehand long. 30/0. Kuznetsova forehand just wide - the umpire checked the mark. 40/0 (3 SPs). Kuznetsova hit another forehand wide to hand Nicole the first set 7-5 at 15:09 (57m).

John Lloyd said it was an extraordinary collapse from Kuznetsova, not making Nicole really earn it.


Second Set:
VAIDIŠOVÁ @* * * *___* 6(5)
KUZNETSOV __* * * *@*_ 7(7)

Kuznetsova serving 0-0: Kuznetsova backhand long. 0/15. Ace down the middle. 15/15. Nicole backhand pass-winner down the line off a pushed volley from Kuznetsova. 15/30. Kuznetsova netted a forehand. 15/40 (2 BPs). Kuznetsova came to the net, forcing Nicole to hit a backhand pass wide. 30/40. Kuznetsova hit a forehand winner onto the sideline off a short ball from Nicole. 40/40. Nicole forehand volley long. Ad Kuznetsova. She netted a forehand. Deuce #2. Kuznetsova backhand long. Ad Nicole (BP #3). Ace. Deuce #3. Nicole went behind Kuznetsova with an off-forehand winner. Ad Nicole (BP #4). Kuznetsova hit a forehand wide off a deep return from Nicole

That could prove to be a crucial game for both players. Kuznetsova shackled by nerves, and that's really helping Nicole to overcome hers, I think. A set and a break up! :)

Nicole is winning two thirds of the points that have 4 or more strokes.

Nicole serving 1-0: Nicole netted a backhand. 0/15. Nicole's forehand hit the netcord and fell back on her side. 0/30. Nicole crosscourt forehand winner - very good one-two punch. 15/30. Service-winner. 30/30. Kuznetsova crosscourt backhand winner. 30/40 (BP). Nicole saved it with an ace! 40/40. Nicole forehand winner down the line (one-two punch). Ad Nicole. Nicole exploited a weak approach from Kuznetsova with a forehand pass-winner. Six games in a row!

Kuznetsova serving 0-2: Kuznetsova crosscourt backhand winner. 15/0. Nicole backhand just long. 30/0. Nicole opened up the court for an off-forehand winner. 30/15. Nicole ran down a dropshot and hit an off-forehand winner. 30/30. Nicole forehand just wide. 40/30. Kuznetsova backhand long. 40/40. Double fault. Ad Nicole (BP). She netted a forehand. Deuce #2. Kuznetsova painted the sideline with a crosscourt forehand winner, but I'm not sure Nicole couldn't have got it. Ad Kuznetsova. Double fault. Deuce #3. Kuznetsova off-forehand winner onto the sideline. Ad Kuznetsova. Nicole netted a forehand.

If Nicole had converted that break-point, it would have been fatal for Kuznetsova's chances at two breaks down. But she can't afford to rest on her laurels now, and if Kuznetsova irons out her game, which is both passive and error-strewn at the moment, Nicole could be under tremendous pressure.

Nicole serving 2-1: Kuznetsova backhand netcord wide. 15/0. Nicole forehand winner into Kuznetsova's forehand-corner - hard to read. 30/0. Nicole off-forehand winner. 40/0. Nicole netted a forehand. 40/15. Nicole hit a huge service-winner which made the crowd gasp!

Kuznetsova serving 1-3: Kuznetsova hit an off-forehand winner behind Nicole. 15/0. Nicole backhand winner down the line. 30/0. Service-winner. 30/15. Kuznetsova forehand smash-winner, but Nicole made her play a couple of extra balls first. 40/15. Nicole backhand return wide.

Sam Smith praised Nicole's maturity. John Lloyd said she was born with a will to win, and had played so many matches in her life to make her match-tough. He said she had everything in her game, and predicted she would become a multiple Grand Slam winner!

Nicole serving 3-2: Kuznetsova backhand wide. 15/0. Kuznetsova backhand volley-winner. 15/15. Nicole ran down a dropshot and hit a crosscourt forehand winner dangerously onto the sideline! 30/15. Double fault. 30/30. Service-winner. 40/30. Kuznetsova forehand lob long (forced).

Nicole is playing the big points so much better than Kuznetsova, who is getting a bit panicky - "very much in her own private torture-chamber" [Sam Smith].

Kuznetsova serving 2-4: Nicole forehand return long. 15/0. Nicole hit a fantastic forehand winner down the line after forcing a short ball. 15/15. Service-winner. 30/15. Nicole sprayed a forehand wide. 40/15. Nicole blasted a wild backhand return long.

Nicole seems to be getting ahead of herself, but she still has to be careful because it's only one break, at the start of this set, and Kuznetsova has been untroubled on serve since.

Nicole serving 4-3: Service-winner. 15/0. Nicole forehand winner off a short lob from Kuznetsova. 30/0. Nicole hit a rather wild backhand wide. 30/15. Kuznetsova hit a backhand long at the end of an amazing rally with a great get from Nicole. 40/15. Service-winner.

Kuznetsova serving to stay in the match at 3-5: Nicole backhand wide. 15/0. Service-winner. 30/0. Nicole off-backhand winner - "she has no fear, unlike her opponent" [Sam Smith]. 40/15. Nicole forehand just long. Nicole forehand winner down the line off another weak second serve. 40/30. Nicole netted a forehand.

Sam Smith: "Inexperience and youth can be an advantage sometimes."

Nicole serving for the match at 5-4: Nicole forehand just wide. 0/15. Nicole forehand winner down the line, on the baseline - but umpire Sandra de Jenken checked the mark and called it out! 0/30. Nicole crosscourt forehand winner. 15/30. Nicole forehand just long. 15/40 (2 BPs). Double fault (second serve long).

Nicole smiled, but this match has a totally different complexion now. :(

Kuznetsova serving 5-5: Nicole missed a forehand and threw her racket. 15/0. Nicole backhand return long. 30/0. Kuznetsova ace down the middle. 40/0. Kuznetsova netted a backhand. 40/15. Service-winner - but the umpire checked the mark and overruled it as out. 40/30. Nicole hit an off-forehand wide off a short ball - too long to think about it.

Nicole serving to stay in the second set at 5-6: Nicole whacked a huge crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline. 15/0. Kuznetsova backhand wide. 30/0. Nicole gave Kuznetsova a huge gap at the net by hitting a backhand right back to her, and Kuznetsova hit a forehand pass-winner crosscourt. 30/15. Nicole crosscourt forehand winner. 40/15. Nicole hit a forehand into the bottom of the net. 40/30. Service-winner.

Tiebreak:
{0/0*} Nicole forehand return long.
{*0/1} Nicole netted a forehand.
{*0/2} Ace out wide.
{1/2*} Nicole backhand lob long.
{1/3*} Nicole forehand wide.
{*1/4} Nicole off-forehand winner. Kuznetsova complained to the umpire that Nicole was fast-serving her.
{*2/4} Nicole wrong-footed Kuznetsova with an off-forehand winner - terrific maturity after the choke.
{3/4*} Nicole backhand wide - too much time to think.
{3/5*} Nicole hit a huge, error-forcing forehand after a long rally.
{*4/5} Service-winner.
{*5/5} Nicole hit a forehand wide off a dropshot from Kuznetsova.
{5/6*: SP #1} Nicole hit a backhand long to lose the second set 6-7 (5/7) at 16:08 (59m).

Nicole is now 0-4 in tiebreaks this tournament, Kuznetsova 3-0.


Third Set:
VAIDIŠOVÁ ____* *_ 2
KUZNETSOV @*@* * * 6

The commentators said that this third set should favour the more experienced Kuznetsova, while Nicole might be tired. John Lloyd said Kuznetsova didn't have the form to win the final, whereas Nicole reached the final, she at least would go for her shots and have a chance.

The set-break lasted seven minutes as they both took bathroom-breaks, with Kuznetsova very late back.

Nicole serving 0-0 (new balls): Service-winner. 15/0. Nicole netted a forehand. 15/15. Kuznetsova crosscourt backhand winner. 15/30. Ace down the middle. 30/30. Nicole netted a forehand. 30/40 (BP). Nicole mishit a backhand out off a deep shot from Kuznetsova.

This is a nasty situation for Nicole, as she hasn't broken Kuznetsova since the first game of the second set. She's also very error-strewn at the moment. But can she hang in here, and do to Kuznetsova what Kuznetsova did to her in the second? They've both choked the sets they've lost.

Kuznetsova serving 1-0: Nicole forehand wide. 15/0. Nicole forehand long. 30/0. Nicole backhand wide. 40/0. Ace down the middle.

Nicole serving 0-2: Nicole netted a forehand. 0/15. Nicole netted a forehand. 0/30. Nicole's forehand hit the netcord and fell back on her side of the court. 0/40 (3 BPs). Nicole saved the first with a forehand winner. 15/40. Nicole hit a huge error-forcing forehand just inside the sideline. 30/40. Nicole hit a forehand wide to give Kuznetsova the double break.

Nicole was now trying to finish the points too early - probably physically tired, definitely mentally tired. John Lloyd said there was no way Kuznetsova could lose this match now. I can't say how much this sucks after Nicole was two points from victory after dominating most of the second set! :sad:

Kuznetsova serving 3-0: Nicole forehand winner down the line. 0/15. Kuznetsova crosscourt forehand winner. 15/15. Nicole netted a backhand. 30/15. Kuznetsova forehand wide. 30/30. Kuznetsova crosscourt forehand winner. 40/30. Nicole crosscourt backhand return-winner. 40/40. Kuznetsova forehand winner down the line. Ad Kuznetsova. Nicole netted a backhand return.

Kuznetsova is going for her shots much more now, with fewer errors than before.

Nicole serving 0-4: Nicole out. 0/15. Kuznetsova ran down a dropshot but hit a backhand wide. 15/15. Nicole off-forehand winner (her 25th forehand winner). 30/15. Nicole hit a crosscourt backhand winner (overruled as good by the umpire without checking the mark - no replay because it was an obvious winner). 40/15. Ace.

Kuznetsova serving 4-1: Nicole forehand winner down the line. 0/15. Nicole crosscourt backhand dropshot-winner. 0/30. Ace. 15/30. Nicole backhand return long. 30/30. Nicole forehand return long off a good second serve. 40/30. Nicole netted a forehand return.

Can Nicole do a Safina, and win six games in a row from *1-5?

Nicole serving to stay in the match at 1-5: Double fault. 0/15. Nicole ran down a dropshot and hit a crosscourt backhand winner. 15/15. Kuznetsova return just wide. 30/15. Nicole hit a spectacular backhand winner down the line. 40/15. Nicole hit a backhand dropshot-winner from the baseline onto the sideline!

Great game from Nicole, but is it too little too late, as in their Wimbledon 2005 third set? John Lloyd said she's taking too many shortcuts, and may not have the legs.

Kuznetsova serving for the match at 5-2: Nicole netted a return. 15/0. Nicole was forced to hit a one-handed backhand lob wide. 30/0. Kuznetsova netted an easy backhand. 30/15. Nicole backhand return long. 40/15 (2 MPs). Ace down the middle. Kuznetsova won 5-7 7-6 (7/5) 6-2 at 16:43 (2h31m).

Nicole seemed to be fighting back tears as she strode off the court, and I'm not all that far from them myself.


Statistics
----------

Nicole got 63% of her first serves in (dipping from 73% in the second set to 45% in the third), winning 68% of the points when she did so, and 50% on second serve.

The corresponding statistics for Kuznetsova were 52%, 70% and 55% - all three percentages improved significantly from set to set.

Nicole served 5 aces and 6 double faults, Kuznetsova 8 aces and 4 DFs.

It was a match of wasted opportunities, with Nicole breaking only 3 times from 10 break-points (all of which occurred in the first two sets), Kuznetsova 4 times from 12 BPs.

Nicole had a positive winner-to-unforced-error ratio of 54:47, Kuznetsova 26:19, which is ironic because it seemed like a lower-quality match than the quarter-final against Venus Williams where the W:UE ratios were negative. Ironically, Nicole's W:UE was negative in the set that she won, and positive in the sets that she lost! But Kuznetsova's W:UE ratios were even more negative and even more positive, respectively.

Nicole was certainly the better volleyer, winning 14 of 20 points at the net, Kuznetsova 7 of 14. But in the third set, Nicole only came in twice (winning the point both times), so perhaps she should have come in more often.


Nicole quotes
-------------

"I don't think I went crazy-nervous or started shaking. It wasn't a factor. It just happened.

"It was my first ever semi-final in a Grand Slam. I'll always have great memories. I'm very happy with my performance. A little bit disappointed right now. I would definitely love to win and play the finals. But it happens. Would I want to go back and redo it? Yes, but I can't. I would definitely love to serve a little bit better and, you know, some more first serves.

"I just have to take my experience from this and figure it out next time. It's definitely gonna help me in the future.

"I had my chances. Even when you're 5-4 up and serving, you know you're so far from winning it. It's not like I had match-points or anything. It was just me serving not well, and her hanging in there. She just started getting her rhythm back. In the third, I didn't have any chances. She played too good.

"I have to give her credit, she was fighting for every point, but I knew she's a great fighter always. Of course I'm disappointed. I love to win and hate to lose. But there's not much I can do about it right now. I can just be proud of myself, how I did, and take that experience to my next tournament [Eastbourne].

"I've never been as far in a Grand Slam, even nearly as far. I just have to keep working a little harder, and hopefully next time I'll do even better."


Kuznetsova quotes
-----------------

"I think I benefited from my experience. I've played more often on centre court than she has, and I knew it was possible to turn the match around.

"At the start, I was solid but suddenly I wanted to win points too fast. I let her go a little bit. In the second set, she played unbelievable. She was hitting the lines. I was just putting the ball back and taking no risks.

"I was in the second set, when she was hitting all the lines, I was like, 'What I got to do here? I don't know.' I mean, I give all credit to her. I said, 'Look, she plays well.' Then I said, 'Look, I just keep it up.' I was 5-3, 5-4, and I was thinking, 'What I have to do now?' I was thinking that she has less experience than I do. I've been there. I know the way she felt.

"I said, 'Okay, I just don't do any mistake now.' I just put the ball as deeper as I can. I don't take any risk. And she made mistake because she was rushing too much, I guess so. But also I didn't give anything up to her.

"At 5-4 [in the second], I knew either I win this game or I'm gonna be in Barcelona tomorrow. I said to myself, 'I've got to put the balls in.' Finally, she made few mistakes. She started rushing her shots. I think she got a little nervous. I know how it feels because I've been there so many times and I've done it. And I had a little bit more experience than her.

"It's amazing, no? Sometimes it comes back to you, not only going other way, because I been here two years, fourth round every time, losing match-points, Justine, Anastasia, every time. Now it's means a lot to me to be in the final here, because I didn't put my hands down. I just been working. I been through low year last year, and I been still working hard.

"I was just fighting there. I was just playing every point, and suddenly she started to make more mistakes. I was better physically at the end.

"The stronger sometimes you hit, the stronger she will answer it. Sometimes you change a little bit something and it's bounce more difficult, then she does mistake. For her to move is little bit tough. She has very long arms and legs and she covers lots of the court. So once you move her, it's very tough. It takes her time to adjust.

"I not gonna go against Maria and play flat. I mean, I gonna lose like 0,0 or something, because she plays flat and it's her game. Against each opponent, you have to find new game. And depends on player you play, I can adjust myself, you know. I think this is works with me pretty well. This is my advantage against other players because other ones, they can do either they hit or either they don't. I think I can do both little bit.


Nicole's Roland Garros profile:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/bios/ws/wtaqg92.html (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/bios/ws/wtaqg92.html)


=====
Grass
=====

Nicole's amazing power, especially her serve, and her proficiency at the net, should certainly make her a big threat at Eastbourne and Wimbledon, but she could really struggle to get down for low-bouncing balls, particularly in the first week of Wimbledon when the grass is slick, and if she comes up against an opponent with a wicked sliced backhand (Roberta Vinci? Jelena Kostanic?).

The hotter and drier the weather, the faster the ball will fly through the air, and the more the grass-courts will play like hard courts, favouring Nicole.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/vaidi/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/vaidi/)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Nicole_Vaidisova/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Nicole_Vaidisova/)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nicole-vaidisova/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nicole-vaidisova/)

Derek.
Jun 10th, 2006, 04:43 AM
Thanks Andrew. :)