View Full Version : DFS Classic, Birmingham 2006

Jun 10th, 2006, 03:29 PM
Birmingham, England
June 12 - 18, 2006
Tier III
Prize money: $200,000 Surface: Grass

Main draw:

(1)SHARAPOVA, Maria vs BYE
FORETZ, Stephanie vs ROLLE, Ahsha (Q)
WASHINGTON, Mashona vs (13)LI, Na

(12)SANTANGELO, Mara vs LAINE, Emma
VESNINA, Elena vs RAZZANO, Virginie
GAJDOSOVA, Jarmila vs YUAN, Meng

POUTCHKOVA, Olga (Q) vs KUTUZOVA, Viktoriya (Q)
RODIONOVA, Anastassia (Q) vs (15)STOSUR, Samantha

(10)KOUKALOVA, Klara vs JACKSON, Jamea
SOUTH, Melanie (WC) vs BORWELL, Sarah (WC)
PENG, Shuai vs PRATT, Nicole (Q)
BYE vs (8)JANKOVIC, Jelena

(6)BARTOLI, Marion vs BYE
MATTEK, Bethanie (LL) vs SCHRUFF, Julia
MORITA, Ayumi vs O'BRIEN, Katie (WC)
CZINK, Melinda (Q) vs (9)ARVIDSSON, Sofia

(14)MIRZA, Sania vs BONDARENKO, Alona
PERRY, Shenay vs CRAYBAS, Jill
TU, Meilen (Q) vs BRANDI, Kristina
BYE vs (3)HANTUCHOVA, Daniela

GAGLIARDI, Emmanuelle (Q) vs NAKAMURA, Aiko
MOLIK, Alicia vs ZVONAREVA, Vera
SUCHA, Martina vs (11)CASTANO, Catalina

(16)GRANVILLE, Laura vs YAN, Zi
SFAR, Selima vs PIRONKOVA, Tsvetana
BYE vs (2)SCHIAVONE, Francesca

Jun 10th, 2006, 06:56 PM
Anna can go a long way in this tournament, come on Anna!! :hug:

Jun 11th, 2006, 08:02 PM
Doubles draw is out and Chaky isn't in it! Vesnina is playing with Zi Yan! :eek: Hmmm, do you think Anna has decided to concentrate solely on singles at this event?

Jun 11th, 2006, 08:05 PM
Doubles draw is out and Chaky isn't in it! Vesnina is playing with Zi Yan! :eek: Hmmm, do you think Anna has decided to concentrate solely on singles at this event?

Maybe she thinks she has a great chance to go to Semis or further, maybe its time for her try and concentrate on making it big in singles.

Jun 12th, 2006, 10:02 AM
Doubles draw is out and Chaky isn't in it! Vesnina is playing with Zi Yan! :eek: Hmmm, do you think Anna has decided to concentrate solely on singles at this event?

Yes, I think that Anna will concentrate in singles for this Tournament, the draw is good for me, and the past Years Anna play very well on grass!

Jun 12th, 2006, 02:14 PM
Molik could be a tough third round opponent for Anna. Seeing as how she did well at the French and the grass suits her game much better. I hope Anna is ready to do some damage here.

Jun 12th, 2006, 09:15 PM
Hopefully Anna's at full health here. :hug:

Jun 18th, 2006, 09:55 PM
So I guess this wasn't a great tournament for Anna overall. She was a quarter-finalist last year and was looking to better that result to gain vital points before Wimbledon. Unfortunately she lost to eventual champ Vera Zvonareva and has to face her again at Eastbourne.

I made a fairly last minute decision to go to Birmingham on the Wednesday. Daniela and Anna were gonna be there and it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. Of course then Daniela withdrew :sad: along with a few other players I'd hoped to see.

Got the ticket a couple of days before and then had to tell a small lie to get the day off work. :angel:

Both my parents are good photographers and they have a couple of really nice SLR cameras with zoom lenses. The week of the tournament they were in Turkey and so were the cameras. :rolleyes: So I resorted to borrowing my sister's digital compact which proved woefully inadequate - oh, for a manual focus! She gave me a five minute crash course but most of the pictures I took really sucked, badly.

I'd never been to a major tennis tournament before so I was really looking forward to this. I got there shortly after 10.00. The practice courts were just inside the entrance and I spotted a few familiar faces. Then Sharapova walked past me, fiddling with her ipod, with Yuri and her hitting partner in tow. I was thinking this was suddenly slightly surreal, seeing people in the flesh who you've watched on TV for years. She went to a more secluded court to practice so I thought I'd watch for a bit. It was then I spotted Elena and Anna doing a little warmup jogging around the back of the court.


Jun 18th, 2006, 10:01 PM
I went to watch Anna and Elena practice. They had a little argument with some of the Chinese players about what time they were supposed to be on the courts (this is turning into a bad habit girls! :lol: ).


I had a great shot of Anna walking towards the fence and smiling right at me. The photo didn't come out of course (stupid camera).

Sania Mirza turned up and shared the court with Anya and Lena.


You can see Anna is still wearing some sort of heat pad or strapping on her right thigh. I guess it's precautionary, I don't know if these things become a persistent problem.

Jun 18th, 2006, 10:22 PM
Play started at 11.00 so I went to Centre Court and watched the resumption of Bepa's match against Anne Kremer (who she annihilated). Then I decided to check out the other courts. There are four of them all in a row next to the clubhouse. They are surrounded by tiered grass banks with fold-out deck chairs on them. You just grab a chair and pick your spot. Very informal! In fact, if you sit in just the right place you can watch all four matches at once! :lol:

One thing you don't get on TV is that you can hear what all the coaches are talking about. I'm not sure if the lady watching Jelena Jankovic is her coach or just a friend but she was particularly vocal, shouting "Come on JJ" (and was wrapped in a big towel for some reason).

So I watched the beginning of Anna's match against Emmanuelle Gagliardi before the rain came. I was sat next to Anna's dad, Djambuli, and he was chain-smoking. He seems kinda scary. :tape:

Vesnina was actually on court right next to Anna and was losing to Mara Santangelo.


Anna didn't look particularly happy with the way she was playing (don't know why, she was doing okay). After a bad shot she was verbally berating herself and looking at her dad occasionally. At 2-2 the rain came for 45 minutes. I hadn't mentioned that despite being mid-June it was very overcast and actually quite cold! English weather. :rolleyes:

Maria's match was on at the same time on Centre so I watched that when play resumed as I assumed she'd race through and I could watch the end of Anna vs Emmanuelle. But Maria wasn't playing that good and when it finished I raced back to see Anna was serving for the match. When she came off court I went over and got her to sign my tournament programme. :D My pen nearly didn't work! :eek:

I watched a whole bunch of other matches after that and took many more useless photos. It was pretty cool seeing some of the players sitting around with the general public watching the matches. Jelena Jankovic and Ai Sugiyama in particular both seemed to be enjoying themselves (and the crepes!) and seem to be really nice girls.

At about 7.00 they were still trying to get doubles matches on and it was really dark. I was stood next to the Tournament Referee and someone was asking her about the light. "They're big girls, they can handle it!" she said. :lol: I also heard one of the umpire complaining that their Sony Ericsson pda wasn't working properly. So next time you are following a live scoreboard and it freezes up, you know who to blame! ;)

I had a really great day despite the weather and I urge anyone who can get to Birmingham next year to go. The informal atmosphere and interaction with the players really makes it worth it.

Jun 19th, 2006, 01:06 AM
Thanks for the report, Wintermute. :hug:

Jun 19th, 2006, 04:50 PM
Nice report Wintermute,thankyou:)

Jun 19th, 2006, 05:30 PM
Thank you!

Jul 17th, 2006, 12:35 AM
I realise that this is four weeks late, but I didn't have time to finish it before Wimbledon - and certainly not during!

This is an extract from my Vera Zvonarėva Birmingham-report, which you can read in full by clicking here (http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=249760).

DFS CLASSIC (Edgbaston, Birmingham, England; grass; WTA Tier III)
=========== http://birmingham.lta.org.uk/ (http://birmingham.lta.org.uk/)

I made emergency arrangements to travel to Birmingham on Thursday when Bepa set up a mouthwatering third-round match against Anna Chakvetadze! :D

Third round (Thursday 15th June)

+ Vera Zvonarėva d. ANNA CHAKVETADZE [7], 6-4 6-3

This mouthwatering match was first on Court 3, and I only arrived at the Edgbaston Priory Club in the nick of time after going the wrong way down Sir Harry's Road. I arrived at Court 3 while they were warming up.

It's a shame that this match was watched by only a dozen spectators, as it was a delectable showcase of flairsome groundstrokes by two ultracute Russian girls. If only there were more of this at the very top of women's tennis, instead of those muscular mingers who currently dominate! ;)

Although I had to stand, I find Court 3 to have the best view of all the courts at Birmingham. It was so vivid compared to watching tennis on TV - I got a much better impression of the bounce (which was very low, allowing the players to force errors with sharp crosscourt angles).

Bepa looked much better in the flesh than she had looked in recent photos. She looked beautifully toned, not overweight, and I love her eyes and that distinctive quirky mouth.

It was my first time to see Bepa in person, and I had always imagined that when this day came, she would throw one of her temper-tantrums in front of me! ;) But she was relatively restrained, just shrugging her shoulders after errors, muttering and at times screaming!

Bepa looked positively cheerful compared to Anna, who was chewing on wasps throughout the match, and looked close to tears on several occasions. In spite of this, Anna made a full contribution to the quality of the tennis, particularly with her one-two punches. It was amazing how someone who looked so miserable could play so well!

Bepa is a member of my Eternal Fanship while Anna is just outside it, but I have tender feelings for Anna even when she's playing Maria Sharapova. My loyalty was with Bepa, but the gap in my favour between the two felt much smaller than the gap between my Eternal Fanship and my demi-fanship (to which Anna currently belongs).

First Set
ZVONARĖVA __@* * *@* 6
CHAKVETAD *@__* *___ 4

Anna made a good start as Bepa made a bad one to go down 0-2*, with Anna hitting several down-the-line forehand winners.

Bepa took advantage of Anna's errors to fight back to 2-2. With both girls struggling with the low bounce (but hitting lovely flairsome strokes nevertheless), games went with serve until 4-4.

Anna seemed to have found her range as she hit two backhand winners down the line and a deceptive off-forehand winner to go up 40/30 at 4-4, but Anna wasted three game-points - Bepa saved the first by opening up the court for a crosscourt backhand winner, and the third with a wrong-footing forehand winner down the line. Two shots wide from Anna gave Bepa the break for 5-4.

It took five deuces for Bepa to serve out the first set, and she saved three break-points (30/40 and two ads). It was in this game that Bepa hit the shot of the match: a fantastic crosscourt backhand dropshot to save the second break-point. Bepa also went behind Anna with a crosscourt forehand winner on the third deuce. Both girls were making lovely noises, and I think Anna was actually in tears after she hit a forehand long to give Bepa her third set-point.

Anna left the court looking close to tears, wrapped in a towel even though it was quite warm.

Second Set:
ZVONARĖVA _* *@* *@ 6
CHAKVETAD * *___*__ 3

Anna looked particularly unhappy, and was moving very gingerly between points. At first I thought it had to do with the patch on her right thigh...

Despite very negative body-language, Anna played a good game to hold to love for 1-0, and had a good go at Bepa's serve in the second game - but Bepa held to 30 after changing her racket. With lovely winners flowing from both girls, games went with serve until 2-2.

Bepa screamed and muttered as she netted two shots to give Anna (serving at 2-2) a 30/0 lead, but Bepa got the better of a series of errors to break for 3-2.

Anna hit two forehand winners to get 0/30 on Bepa's serve at 3-2, as Bepa - the most beautiful volleyer in the game IMO - declined an open invitation to go to the net. But Bepa forced some more errors from Anna to hold for 4-2.

Anna held to love with two aces and a crosscourt forehand winner. The last ace was on the sideline, but Bepa threw her racket, complained to the umpire, and I think she was in tears - for perhaps the only time in the week!

It was at this juncture that Anna called for the trainer, who massaged her neck, and also seemed to be doing something with her right elbow. It seemed to do Anna more harm than good, as she didn't win another game after that.

Bepa held to love with three great serves, including a cunning ace that jumped over Anna's body!

Serving to stay in the match at 3-5, Anna went 40/15 up with two crosscourt forehand winners... then made four errors to seal Bepa's victory.

I don't have statistics to hand, but it did feel like Anna made more winners and errors than Bepa.

Later in the day, I saw Anna walk right past me. She had her hair down (rather than that lovely distinctive ponytail she has on court), and was wearing tracksuit-bottoms, trainers, and a cyan open-shouldered top. I watched her walk into some office. I didn't feel awed by her presence; I just thought how nice it was to see her.

Then a hot blonde girl walked past me from behind. At first I only knew that she was sexy. In her white T-shirt, shorts and flip-flops, she could have been any old spectator... until I saw that she was heading for a players-only area. I went weak at the knees when she turned round and my neural network for face-recognition told me that she was Bepa!!!

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/zvona/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/zvona/)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/verazvonareva/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/verazvonareva/)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/)