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View Full Version : Moscow 2006: Andrew's TV-report / UK TV-alert (the repeat)


andrewbroad
Oct 20th, 2006, 07:23 PM
===========
KREMLIN CUP (Moscow, Russia; carpet (Supreme); WTA Tier I)
=========== http://www.kremlincup.ru/ (http://www.kremlincup.ru/)

I don't have access to Eurosport myself, but a video of Anna's first-round match - and only her first round - has come into my possession, so I have incorporated it into this report.

Anna's golden autumn became even more golden as she added the Moscow title to her maiden Guangzhou title with three wins over top-10 players! (not including the walkover over Maria Sharapova). Prior to this tournament, the only two times in her career she had beaten top-10 players were her wins over Nadia Petrova at San Diego and Montréal 2006, when Petrova was going through a dramatic slump.

Anna started with a brilliant 6-1 6-2 thrashing of Dinara Safina, and finished with back-to-back upsets of Elena Dementieva and Petrova to take her second WTA Tour singles-title, and move up from #24 to a career-high #16 in the WTA Tour singles-rankings.

Anna's week at Moscow has greatly strengthened her application for a place in my Eternal Fanship, though I'm not ready to induct her just yet. She has lovely, flairsome groundstrokes; unfortunately all that I saw of her Moscow-campaign was the last five games against Safina, but what sticks in my mind is the point at 2-2 (15/0) in the second set where Safina hit a ball down the middle, and Anna spanked an acute-angled off-forehand winner just inside the sideline.

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Photos
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http://www.kremlincup.ru/www/gallery/gall_10.10.06.shtml (http://www.kremlincup.ru/www/gallery/gall_10.10.06.shtml)
http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=267818&page=3 (http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=267818&page=3) (Seri)
http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/2/photogallery/?Event=moscow (http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/2/photogallery/?Event=moscow)
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=chakvetadze (http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=chakvetadze)
http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=236270&page=9&pp=15 (http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=236270&page=9&pp=15) (HQs)
Search Getty Images for "chakvetadze"
http://tennisfan1.proboards33.com/index.cgi?board=WTAt&action=display&thread=1160986788 (http://tennisfan1.proboards33.com/index.cgi?board=WTAt&action=display&thread=1160986788)
http://tennisfan1.proboards33.com/index.cgi?board=WTAt&action=display&thread=1128771858&page=2 (http://tennisfan1.proboards33.com/index.cgi?board=WTAt&action=display&thread=1128771858&page=2)

I love the one with the Super Maria Sisters!


Video of presentation-ceremony (in Russian):
http://youtube.com/watch?v=V5_LhIBowsg (http://youtube.com/watch?v=V5_LhIBowsg)

Anna looked and sounded very nervous giving her champion's speech!

-----------
First round (Tuesday 10th October)
-----------

+ Anna Chakvetadze d. DINARA MUBIN QIZI SAFINA [7], 6-1 6-2

When I saw this result on CEEFAX, I pumped my fist and said, "yes, yes, YES!"

Unfortunately the person who recorded this for me had trouble getting a video-recorder to access British Eurosport, and missed all of the first set and the first three games of the second. :(

Apparently, Anna was brilliant in the first set, but she only hit three or four brilliant winners - I'm talking about the added value that puts my Eternal Fanship head-and-shoulders above everybody else - in the coverage I saw (I did see more of this added value from Anna at Birmingham and Eastbourne this year, but that evidence is inadmissible since I don't have those matches on video).


Second Set
----------

Safina serving 2-1: 40/15. Safina forehand just wide. 40/30. Anna hit a deep error-forcing forehand return, and said "C'mon". 40/40. Safina forced Anna to net a passing-shot. Ad Safina. Anna hit a short-angled error-forcing crosscourt backhand return. Deuce #2. Safina netted a backhand volley off a defensive lob. Ad Anna (break-point). Safina challenged a call against her, and something resembling a smile crept into Anna's face when Hawkeye showed that the ball was not only out, but nowhere near a line! Safina hit a forehand winner down the line. Deuce #3. Anna hit a down-the-line backhand just wide, and used up one of her challenges. Ad Safina. A hard crosscourt forehand from Anna forced Safina to net a forehand. Sam Smith said Anna had the second-best crosscourt forehand in the game (after Elena Dementieva). Deuce #4. And again! Ad Anna (BP #2). Good retrieval by Anna, but Safina saved the break-point with a forehand drive-volley winner. Deuce #5. Anna netted a forehand. Ad Safina. Anna backhand winner down the line, just inside the sideline. Chris Bradnam: "Just effortless timing, isn't it?" Sam Smith: "Takes the ball so early when she wants to. You look at these two Russians, and they have commitment and focus that is almost beyond belief." Deuce #6. Anna hit a deep error-forcing forehand return, and Safina used up her one remaining challenge as Hawkeye showed it plumb on the baseline - ha ha! Ad Anna (BP #3). Safina netted a forehand to give Anna the break back.

Sam Smith: "I can't believe this is the same player I saw when she was 14. I remember her playing a dead rubber - Russia against England - some team-competition, and she did literally burst into tears every time she lost a point! And now she seems to have all the emotional control; the passion's still there."

Anna serving 2-2: Service-winner out wide. 15/0. Anna spanked a lovely off-forehand winner just inside the sideline - a prime example of the flairsome power that makes me consider her a likely candidate for my Eternal Fanship! 30/0. Service-winner on the service-line. 40/0. Safina forehand volley-winner. 40/15. Safina sprayed a backhand long & wide.

Sam Smith: "Chakvetadze had great momentum - she lost it, and now she's got it back again."

The commentators said that one of Anna's motivations for beating Safina was that Safina had received much more funding as a junior than Anna, suggesting that the Russian Tennis Federation thought Anna wouldn't be able to control her emotions. Perhaps they funded Safina because of the success of her brother Marat. It certainly wasn't because Safina was better-looking than Anna! ;)

Safina serving 2-3: Service-winner down the middle. 15/0. Safina forehand smash-winner. 30/0. Safina hit a backhand volley long, and screamed! 30/15. Double fault. 30/30. Safina backhand just long. 30/40 (break-point). A deep forehand return forced Safina to net a forehand, putting Anna up a break.

Anna serving 4-2: A deep serve forced a short forehand return down the middle, and Anna hit a lovely flairsome crosscourt forehand winner. Chris Bradnam: "Anything central on the forehand has been hammered!" 15/0. Ace out wide. 30/0. Safina backhand winner down the line. 30/15. Safina sprayed a forehand wide. 40/15. Ace down the middle.

Safina serving to stay in the match at 2-5: Anna netted a sliced backhand. 15/0. Double fault. 15/15. Anna backhand just long. 30/15. Safina netted a backhand dropshot. 30/30. Safina forehand wide. 30/40 (match-point). Anna punished a short first serve with a crosscourt backhand return-winner just inside the sideline - Anna apologised for it clipping the netcord, but that didn't make much difference. Anna didn't even allow herself a smile until she was signing autographs!


Statistics
----------

Anna had a W:UE ratio of 18:11, Safina a woeful 6:23. Anna served all 5 aces for the both of them. Anna broke 6 times from 9 break-points, Safina once from one. Anna returned so well that Safina only won 37% of the points when she got her first serve in (Anna 81%). The point-score was a crushing 57-31.


Epilogue
--------

Chris Bradnam praised an "outstanding" performance by Anna, and tipped her to win the title! I just wish I could have seen the whole match, as I only saw three or four of Anna's brilliant winners, and didn't see enough to evaluate her by the standards of my Eternal Fanship.

But I do feel that Anna is heading towards my Eternal Fanship, and continuing to improve as a tennis-player. At the rate she's going, induction in 2007 is a distinct possibility!

Anna didn't look as superficially attractive as she often does (e.g. French Open 2005, Birmingham & Eastbourne 2006, where I couldn't take my eyes off her) - there were fewer of her cute little habits on display, and she has an unfortunate outbreak of spots at the moment - I'm allowed to point that out because my own face was as zitty as a pizza when I was a teenager, and it's still pretty bad now! ;)

Safina has since pulled out of Zürich with medical fatigue syndrome.

------------
Second round (Thursday 12th October)
------------

+ Anna Chakvetadze d. Francesca Schiavone, 7-6 (7/3) 6-4

Anna led 5-1 in the first set, but almost let it slip away (it became 5-6).

-------------
Quarter-final (Friday 13th October)
-------------

+ Anna Chakvetadze d. MARIA YURYEVNA SHARAPOVA [2], walkover

I was really looking forward to Maria playing the ultracute Anna again, so it's a real shame that the Friday 13th jinx struck again!

The WTA Tour gives "right foot strain" as the reason for Maria's withdrawal. But some sources say she had pain in her right hip. The Slovak word "noha" means both "foot" and "leg". If Russian also has one word for both, perhaps that would explain the confusion? Slovak doesn't use "noha" to mean "hip", though...

It would have been a very interesting match in terms of competitiveness, too. Anna had thrashed world #10 Dinara Safina 6-1 6-2 in the first round, and she went on to win the title with wins over Elena Dementieva and Nadia Petrova. Anna has flairsome power on her groundstrokes now, and may very well be the next player I will induct into my Eternal Fanship.


Maria quotes
------------

"Unfortunately, I will not be able to play today. I felt pain in my right {hip/foot} back in the hotel after my first match here. I couldn't practise and even walk yesterday. I have to pull out. I'm really disappointed, but I have no choice.

"I hurt my foot during my match on Wednesday, and since then I did everything possible to be ready for my match today. But when I woke up this [Friday] morning it was obvious I wasn't going to be able to play. I'm really disappointed because I felt I was playing really well lately.

"I could not train today. I will not be able to step out on the court today. If I'm not able to give a hundred percent, I'd rather not play at all.

"I feel strongly the season needs to be made much shorter, with more breaks for players to rest, in order to be in peak condition when we do play. I know the Tour is taking this issue seriously, and I am looking forward to the changes that will lead to a healthier schedule for players."

From www.mariasharapova.com (http://www.mariasharapova.com/):
>>>
Hi everyone,

I'm so sorry to say that I have to pull out of the tourney in Moscow. Right after my first round I started to feel slight pain at the top of my right foot and by the time I went to bed I had trouble walking normally. Yesterday it wasn't any better, so I stayed in the hotel and got treatment on it throughout the day. I was hoping for it to get slightly better by today but when I got up and walked on it, it was pretty much the same. Thirty minutes ago I put my tennis shoes on and tried to run around the room, but felt pretty useless. It's weird how these things just come on out of nowhere, but I guess that's part of it. I'm trying not to feel sorry for myself, as there are a lot of other things happening in the world, a lot worse than this. So with that I am going to go to the site right now and do the whole sing and dance of pulling out....seeing the doctor, signing the forms, and buttering up the press. To all my Russian fans that were expecting to see me today, I am so so sorry and I hope to see everyone really soon! I am hoping to recover by next week's tournament....which means lots of treatment and ice in the next couple of days. Ciao! P.S expect to see a doodle really soon!
<<<

Said doodle is now online, and includes the following paragraph:
>>>
I will start this with my foot update. It is slowly getting better day by day and I am hoping to start hitting again Monday. These little nagging injuries are not very convenient in the their timing but what can you do! But honestly after playing for nine months, you should start booking rooms at all the local tournament hospitals in advance. J/K!! I have been getting so much treatment that I'm not quite sure which one is helping. Is it the magic cream, the hot and cold therapy, my trainer's potions, or the needles that poke out of my foot daily for twenty minutes?
<<<

Anna quotes
-----------

"I'm disappointed not to play, especially with Maria here in Russia. I'll try to use my time off to relax and get ready for my semi-final match.

"I have played Dementieva before, and she has beaten me every time, but I'm a stronger player now, and I think I have a chance to win."

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Semi-final (Saturday 14th October)
----------

+ Anna Chakvetadze d. ELENA VYACHESLAVOVNA DEMENTIEVA [4], 7-5 3-6 6-0

I'm very glad that Anna proved herself a worthy semi-finalist after a walkover to get there. It's also a nice revenge for two previous losses to Dementieva: a 6-2 6-1 thrashing in 2r Australian Open 2005, and a 6-1 4-6 7-6(5) heartbreaker in 3r US Open 2005 - after Anna had led 3-0*, 4-3* (40/15) and 6-6 (4/2*) in the third set.

www.wtatour.com (http://www.wtatour.com/): "The unseeded teen struggled with her left shoulder early on, even getting medical treatment after three games, but she still managed to win the first set. The No.4-seeded Dementieva won the second, but appeared to have used up all her energy and Chakvetadze pounced, losing a total of six points in polishing off her fifth career Top 10 victory and reaching her first Tier I final."


I got the following information from the WTAworld.com scoring-thread:
http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=268909&page=32 (http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=268909&page=32)


First Set
---------

CHAKVETADZ __@ @ @* *@* 7
DEMENTIEVA *@ @ @__*___ 5

Anna made an error-strewn start, and was broken to 30 for 2-0. But she broke back to 15 with the help of an off-forehand winner, then called for the trainer, who massaged Anna's shoulder - I wish I had that job! ;)

Despite a backhand winner down the line, Anna found herself facing 15/40 at *1-2; she saved the first break-point with an ace, but Dementieva converted the second for 3-1.

Anna broke back for *2-3, but lost her serve from 40/0 up to trail 2-4*. But far from being psychologically destroyed, she pegged Dementieva back from 30/0 in the next game, and with the help of a backhand winner down the line and a smash, she broke after a couple of deuces, to make it *3-4.

This ugly pattern of break-and-counterbreak is typical of a Dementieva match, but Anna held for 4-4. She then pegged Dementieva back from 40/0 to 40/40, had a break-point, but Dementieva held for 5-4.

Anna saved set-point at *4-5 (30/40), held for 5-5, and then broke for 6-5 as Dementieva double-faulted on break-point.

Anna serving for the first set at 6-5: 15/0, 15/30, 30/30, 40/30 (SP), Anna won the first set 7-5 at 16:58 (1h08m).


Second Set
----------

CHAKVETADZ _* * *___ 3
DEMENTIEVA * * * *@* 6

In contrast to the first set, there was only one break-point in the second: Dementieva converted it to lead 5-3, then served out the second set to 15. Dementieva won the second set 6-3 at 17:34 (36m).


Third Set
---------

CHAKVETADZ *@*@*@ 6
DEMENTIEVA ______ 0

Anna broke to 15 for 2-0, held to 15 with an ace for 3-0, and with another ace for 5-0.

Dementieva serving to stay in the match at 0-5: 15/0, 15/40 (2 MPs). Anna hit a winner to win 7-5 3-6 6-0 at 17:58 (third set 24m, match 2h08m).


Dementieva quotes {before the match}
-----------------

"She has a day off, so she should be fresh. She's improved a lot since the last time we played; I expect a tough match."


Dementieva quotes {after the match}
-----------------

"I was too tired in the end, and couldn't bring my best tennis to the court today. I had two very tough matches this week, and was trying very hard to be fully fit after I had some trouble with my leg last week, but in the third set she was simply fresher than me.

"I've made too many unforced mistakes, while she played the key points confidently."


Anna quotes
-----------

"I still can't believe I'm in the final of the Kremlin Cup. For Russian players this is a very important tournament, and I'm so happy to be just one match from possibly winning the title.

"I've been playing very well all week, so hopefully I can keep it going for just one more day."

-----
Final (Sunday 15th October)
-----

+ Anna Chakvetadze d. NADEZHDA VIKTOROVNA PETROVA [5], 6-4 6-4

This was Petrova's first loss in six finals this year!

Anna went into this match having beaten Petrova in both their previous meetings: 6-3 6-7 6-2 at San Diego 2006, and 6-1 6-4 at Montréal 2006. But Petrova was in a dramatic slump then, and her return to form since the US Open has been equally dramatic.

From www.wtatour.com (http://www.wtatour.com/):
>>>
In Petrova, she was facing a player who had been struggling mightily with injuries in the days leading up to the final, but coming off her fifth title of the season in Stuttgart and battling through to this week's final, the No.5 seed left it all on the court anyway.

The two players served strongly and traded solid groundstrokes throughout the one-hour, 31-minute final, and aside from a slight comeback in the second set, where Petrova cut a 4-1 hole down to 4-3, Chakvetadze was in comfortable control throughout, finally improving to 3-0 against her compatriot.
<<<

BBC Sport: "Petrova was playing with groin and chest injuries, and could not cope with her in-form opponent."

Gennady Fyodorov for Reuters:
>>>
Chakvetadze who earned her maiden WTA title in Guangzhou, China two weeks ago, outplayed the more experienced Petrova thanks to an excellent all-round game and greater court coverage.

Petrova, who was chasing her sixth title of the year, was playing with both thighs heavily strapped and was also nursing a chest injury.
<<<

The match started at 13:37 local time (GMT+4). I followed the live scoreboard, and used the scoring-thread at:
http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=269071 (http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=269071)

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


First Set
---------

PETROVA * * *__@__ 4
CHAKVET _* * *@ @* 6

Petrova serving 0-0: 15/15, 30/15, 40/30, held.

Two aces in that game!

Anna serving 0-1: 0/15, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad A, held.

Well fought by Anna. My fear is that the powerful Petrova will roll right over her, so it was important for Anna to get on the scoreboard straight away.

Petrova serving 1-1: 15/0, 15/15, 15/40 (2 BPs) -> 40/40, ad P, held.

Wasted opportunities there by Anna. Petrova has struggled with injury this week, and could be very tired in this final.

Anna serving 1-2: 0/15, 40/15, 40/30, held.

Good job. It's not easy to serve after wasting break-points, and at 0/15 I feared the worst.

Petrova serving 2-2: 0/15... ad P, held.
Anna serving 2-3: 0/40 (3 BPs) -> 40/40, ad A, Deuce #2, ad A, held.

Well recovered from 0/40!

Petrova serving 3-3: 0/40 (3 BPs) -> 40/40, ad A (BP #4), Deuce #2, ad A (BP #5), broken!

YES!! I think Anna's own recovery from 0/40 at 2-3 was the key to that break, as the mental side of the game is Petrova's major weakness.

Anna serving 4-3: 15/0, 15/40 (2 BPs), 30/40, broken.

It's funny how a match at this level can be either serve-dominated or break-and-counterbreak, seemingly at the will of the player who is behind - whatever it takes to make it competitive!

Petrova serving 4-4: 0/15, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad P, Deuce #2, ad P, Deuce #3, ad A (BP #2), broken.

YES!! C'mon Anna - no mistake this time, please! Anna is very reliable at holding serve, but serving for the set is much tougher than any other service-game, and from what I've seen, Anna is no exception.

Anna serving for the first set at 5-4: 0/15, 30/15, 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad A (SP), Anna won the first set 6-4 at 14:28.

Excellent! If Petrova is as tired and injured as she should be after the week she's had, it will be very difficult for her to come back and win in three.


Second Set
----------

PETROVA __*__@* *_ 4
CHAKVET @* *@__* * 6

Petrova serving 0-0: 15/0, 15/40 (2 BPs), 30/40, broken.

Has the bubble burst for Petrova now?

Anna serving 1-0: 40/0, 40/15, held.

It certainly feels like it! :) I just hope she's not thinking of retiring, because that would make Anna's victory illegitimate, especially after Maria gave her a walkover in the quarter-finals.

Petrova serving 0-2: 0/30, 40/30, held.
Anna serving 2-1: 40/0, 40/15, held.

Anna could well be up 4-0 by now, if she hadn't wasted that 0/30 opening at 0-2, but they might as well start engraving her name on the trophy now, because this match has turned into a procession.

Petrova serving 1-3: broken to love.
Anna serving 4-1: 0/30 -> 30/30, 30/40 (BP), broken.

Was that nerves or loss of concentration? Anna served a double fault at 30/30.

Petrova serving 2-4: 0/15, 40/15, held.

Well, this certainly puts a bit of scoreboard-pressure on Anna, but I'm still pretty convinced that Petrova can't turn this match around in her current physical condition. If it wasn't for that, I would be very anxious at this stage, knowing how fragile the momentum of a tennis-match can be.

Anna serving 4-3: held to love.
Petrova serving to stay in the match at 3-5: 30/0, 30/15, 40/15 -> 40/40, ad P, held.

I'm actually glad that Petrova held there, because I've been looking forward to seeing how Anna will handle having to serve for her first Tier I title at 5-4. It would have been all too easy if Anna had broken for 6-3, but now we'll learn a lot about what she's really made of... my nerves are just jangling with excitement right now!

lenavee: "Chakvetadze is getting angry with herself and shouting at her box, not the smartest thing when your about to serve out for the biggest win in your career"

Anna serving 5-4: 0/30 -> 30/30, 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad A (CP #1). Petrova netted a forehand. Anna won 6-4 6-4 at 15:08!!!

And it feels that much sweeter after a bit of a scare! :D


The statistics are pretty boring without W:UE ratios, but what's interesting is how difficult it was to convert break-points: Anna broke 4 times from 12 BPs, Petrova twice from 9 BPs.


Anna quotes
-----------

"I'd come to watch the Kremlin Cup with my parents from the age of six, and I never thought I'd play in this tournament. To win the title here is just unbelievable – a dream come true.

"Having won my first title recently I had an even better week here, beating three Top 10 players, so I'm definitely going to buy myself something as a reward for this victory. I'm also going to celebrate this victory with my family and friends.

"I was a little bit lucky today as Nadia was obviously not 100% fit. Nevertheless, I'm happy to win at home.

"I knew that Nadejda couldn't show her best tennis, but I enjoyed my win all the same. Frankly, I didn't expect to win the tournament; I don't want to stop, and want to keep climbing up the rankings."


Petrova quotes
--------------

"I'm not going to make a tragedy out of this. I did what I could today. I had three parts of my body taped before the match, and it obviously affected my play and limited my movement. I had my chest and hips bandaged, and it was difficult to serve and move - I did all I could.

"I think it would have been a different story today if I was fully fit. My movement was limited, and I couldn't serve at my maximum power. My serve is one of my weapons, so that was a shame.

"However, it's all about how well you play, and today Anna played better than me, so she deserved the victory. This is her biggest title, and I'm very happy for her."

Sunday's blog-entry for www.wtatour.com (http://www.wtatour.com/):
>>>
Unfortunately I lost to Anna Chakvetadze today in the final. I was actually a bit concerned after yesterday's match about whether I'd be able to play today, but when I woke up I couldn't feel the injuries as much. My physio worked on me for more than two hours yesterday, and did a great job. But, the tiredness really kicked in today. It has been a long two weeks. My coordination, reaction time and focus weren't so sharp. I wasn't really able to dictate today and take the match into my hands. I was also pretty sore moving around; both legs were wrapped and my pec was killing me, so serving was painful. I just wasn't 100%, and she took advantage. She even mentioned after the match that she was lucky I wasn't playing up to my level. But she is playing so well, and I am so happy for her!"
<<<

Andrew's feelings about Anna
----------------------------

I'm writing this section fifteen minutes after the final ended. I'm still savouring Anna's victory, and even thinking about what I need to see from Anna before I could possibly induct her into my Eternal Fanship.

I could wait for the next time that the BBC deign to televise her (earliest possible opportunity: Australian Open 2007), or I could even take a more proactive approach... I'm not promising Anna anything at this stage, but I do feel that she has made strong progress towards my Eternal Fanship this week.

My Eternal Fanship:
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

My casual demi-fanship:
10. Anna Chakvetadze
11. Tatiana Golovin
12. Maria Kirilenko
13. Sania Mirza
14. Ana Ivanovic
15. Karolina Šprem
16. Gisela Dulko
17. Magdaléna Rybáriková

Tatiana Golovin is like the gatekeeper of my Eternal Fanship. I've liked Tatiana a lot for way over two years now, my passion says I should induct her, but every time I actually watch her to evaluate her by the standards of my Eternal Fanship, she comes up a bit short, so I never have inducted her.

So for Anna to go past Tatiana into my Eternal Fanship, she'll need to convince me that her tennis-qualities are superior to Tatiana's... which in Anna's case, would mean that she can hit winners of flairsome power with enough regularity when I see her on TV.

I feel almost convinced now... I am tempted to induct Anna based only on the evidence I've seen so far. But since inducting anyone into my Eternal Fanship is a serious commitment and an irrevocable vow for me - and has to leave the bar in exactly the right place between the lowest member of my Eternal Fanship and the highest member of my demi-fanship - I won't be taking that shortcut.

I feel strongly inclined to evaluate Anna by the standards of my Eternal Fanship prior to the start of the 2007 season - and not without another serious look at Tatiana, considering that it was she who reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final at Anna's expense at the US Open, and gave eventual champion Maria Sharapova her toughest match of the tournament.

-------
Doubles
-------

Anna Chakvetadze/Elena Vesnina:
1r - Vera Dushevina/Maria Kirilenko, 6-1 4-6 1-6

Chakvesnina make a lovely couple, but it's a shame we don't see the Super Maria Sisters or even Dulkirilenko play doubles together anymore.


===========
ZÜRICH OPEN (Zürich, Switzerland; indoor hard; WTA Tier I)
=========== http://www.zurichopen.net/ (http://www.zurichopen.net/)

Anna has withdrawn from this week's tournament, citing the left-shoulder strain for which she took a medical time-out in her Moscow semi-final.


===========
UK TV-alert
===========

Watch out for highlights of the Kremlin Cup in the next episode of Transworld Sport, which starts at 7:00am BST on Sunday 22nd October, on Channel 4.

(Transworld Sport may be televised in other countries.)

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

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

Wintermute
Oct 20th, 2006, 08:11 PM
Prior to this tournament, the only two times in her career she had beaten top-10 players were her wins over Nadia Petrova at San Diego and Montréal 2006, when Petrova was going through a dramatic slump.


How could you forget her victory over Myskina in US Open 2004 2nd round? Myskina was ranked no. 3 in the world at the time. That makes Anna equal 2nd fastest (with Serena Williams) to defeat a Top 10 player after her tour debut (it was Anna's 3rd WTA Tour main draw match).


The WTA Tour gives "right foot strain" as the reason for Maria's withdrawal. But some sources say she had pain in her right hip. The Slovak word "noha" means both "foot" and "leg". If Russian also has one word for both, perhaps that would explain the confusion? Slovak doesn't use "noha" to mean "hip", though...


Russian word is нога and it can mean both foot and leg. I think the way Maria said it at her press conference didn't actually make sense.

andrewbroad
Oct 22nd, 2006, 10:24 PM
How could you forget her victory over Myskina in US Open 2004 2nd round? Myskina was ranked no. 3 in the world at the time. That makes Anna equal 2nd fastest (with Serena Williams) to defeat a Top 10 player after her tour debut (it was Anna's 3rd WTA Tour main draw match).

I think I got the number of times Anna had beaten top-ten players from a www.wtatour.com (http://www.wtatour.com) news-article, and just looked back through her player-activity until I found her wins over Petrova this summer. I knew about the Myskina shock, of course, but Anna didn't enter my consciousness in a big way until 2005.

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

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

andrewbroad
Oct 22nd, 2006, 10:26 PM
(Transworld Sport may be televised in other countries, but the details in this message are specific to the UK.)


There are three points from the Moscow final between Anna Chakvetadze and Nadia Petrova in this week's Transworld Sport, which is repeated with sign-language at 04:20 BST on {Wednesday night/Thursday morning} on Channel 4.

The tennis was 34 minutes into Sunday's broadcast of Transworld Sport, and Moscow was first up, so I recommend 04:49 as a safe start-time for timer-record (allowing for the fact that the repeat is listed as being five minutes shorter than the original).


The points they showed:

* Petrova serving 4-6 1-3 (0/40): Petrova came in and hit a forehand volley down the line, onto the sideline; Anna hoisted a high defensive backhand lob; Petrova, running backwards, hit a rather weak forehand smash; Anna hit an easy crosscourt forehand winner with a two-tone grunt that sounded just like one of Monica Seles's! :hearts:

Sue Carpenter: "Petrova, the world number five, comes into the match with chest- and groin-injuries, and is unable to compete with her 19-year-old opponent's consistency, showing only glimpses of her powerful groundstrokes."

* Petrova serving 4-6 3-5 (deuce): Petrova played a dominating point with much more power than Anna; Petrova hit a series of big crosscourt forehands until Anna, leaning the wrong way, hoisted a defensive forehand lob; Petrova hit a crosscourt backhand drive-volley winner just inside the sideline.

* Anna serving 6-4 5-4 (ad in): Anna hit a good deep serve, and Petrova netted a backhand return. Anna put her left hand on her forehead, allowed herself a big smile, and the two players exchanged a friendly-looking handshake.

As Anna kissed the trophy, the reflection of her face in the silver cup was quite possibly the most artistic image I've seen in tennis this year (you can see the effect in several photos, too).

And the girl who taught me the meaning of the phrase "chewing on wasps" looked easily the happiest I've ever seen her. :D

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

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