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andrewbroad
Dec 27th, 2008, 12:20 AM
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THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, England; grass; Grand Slam)
================= http://championships.wimbledon.org/
Contents
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1. Photos
2. Women's Singles: First-round result
3. Women's Singles: Second-round result
4. Women's Doubles QF TV-report: Mirza/Mattek v Williams x 2

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1. Photos
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Sania Mirza:
http://championships.wimbledon.org/en_GB/players/wta310112.html

Pre-Wimbledon Party including Sania:
http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/2/photogallery/?Event=wimbledon_party

Search Getty Images for "mirza"

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2. Women's Singles: First-round result (Tuesday 24th June)
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+ SANIA MIRZA [32,DF] d. Catalina Castaño, 7-6 (7/3) 3-6 6-4

I saw Sania's match-point on BBC 2: with Sania serving at 5-4 (40/30), Castaño hit a backhand return long. It's great to see her get a win after her listless performance at Birmingham on her comeback from wrist-surgery - even if she only beat the girl who lost 6-0 6-1 to a 47-year-old Martina Navrátilová at Wimbledon 2004.

I also saw Sania hit a well-held crosscourt forehand winner off a short ball when she was serving for the match at 5-4, on a BBCi court-circular.

Sania: "It's always good to get through matches like that, even when you're not playing your best; you're coming back from an injury. Today I actually felt nervous again to go out. I didn't really sleep well last night, to be honest. But I think that happens when you're coming back from injury."

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3. Women's Singles: Second-round result (Thursday 26th June)
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- SANIA MIRZA [32,DF] lt. María José Martínez Sánchez [Q], 0-6 6-4 7-9

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4. Women's Doubles QF TV-report: Mirza/Mattek v Williams x 2 (Wednesday 2nd July)
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- (SANIA MIRZA [DF]/BETHANIE MATTEK)[13] lt. (VENUS WILLIAMS/SERENA WILLIAMS)[11], 4-6 3-6

This match was first on Court 2 at 12:00 BST, and as a demi-fan of Sania, I watched it on BBCi.

Tracy Austin's attitude during the warm-up was annoying: "No disrespect to their opponents, but the Williams-sisters will be looking to wrap this up as quickly as possible," and "It would be fun to see the Williams-sisters win every time they play together."

Mattek's outfit today isn't flattering. It makes her look fat, and I'm no fan of pigtails. Sania is easily the most attractive of the four players.


First set
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MIRZA/MATTE *___* * *_ 4
WILLI/WILLI _*@* * * * 6

Mattek serving 0-0: Held to 30 despite an impressive poach by Venus on the first point. She held with a forehand smash-winner.

Venus serving 0-1: Sania bisected the Williamses with a forehand pass-winner down the middle for 15/30, and Mattek hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand pass for 15/40. A Mattek v Serena net-exchange ended in favour of the latter. 40/40. A strong forehand from Sania set up a forehand volley-winner for Mattek. But Serena saved BP #3 with a backhand volley-winner, and Venus held.

Mirza serving 1-1: 15/0. Sania showed off her groundstrokes of flairsome power, playing a nice spreading rally and hitting an amazing short-angled crosscourt backhand pass-winner! 30/0. Double fault. 30/15. Serena forehand volley-winner. 30/30... ad Sania. Venus high forehand volley-winner. 40/40. Venus crosscourt backhand drive-volley winner. Ad Williams. Serena netted a backhand volley. Deuce #2. Play was suspended for rain at 12:29, and resumed at 14:01. Sania restarted with an ace out wide, but was broken three errors later.

Sania is flexing her right arm at the changeover, with a pretty anxious look on her face.

Serena serving 2-1: Sania backhand return-winner. 0/15. Sania bisected the Williamses with a crosscourt forehand virtual winner onto the baseline. 0/30. 15/30. Serena squeezed a backhand pass-winner down the line: in the tramlines and on the baseline. 30/30. Mattek forehand volley-winner. 30/40 (BP). Mattek forced a short ball, but hit a forehand long. 40/40. Venus forehand smash-winner. Ad Williams. Serve + forehand smash-winner.

A 0/30 opening and a break-point wasted. :-(

Mattek serving 1-3: Serve out wide + off-backhand volley + drilled Venus with a forehand winner down the line. 15/0. Service-winner. 30/0. 40/15. Serena blasted a crosscourt forehand return-winner. 40/30. Serena bisected the 'M's with a backhand pass-winner down the middle. 40/40. A net-rally ended with Mattek hitting a forehand volley-winner down the middle. Ad Mattek. Venus forehand volley very long.

Venus serving 3-2: Uneventful hold to 15.

Mirza serving 2-4: Mattek hit a sharp off-forehand volley-winner on the third stroke. 15/0. Backhand return wide. 30/0. A good rally ended with Mattek hitting a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. 40/0. Serena hit an off-backhand right into Mattek's body at the net. 40/15. Virtual ace down the middle.

Sania and Mattek are smiling at the changeover. Tracy Austin said how difficult life is for Sania: all her actions are analysed, and she needs two bodyguards: one for the day and one for the night.

Serena serving 3-4: Held to love, sealed with a sharp forehand volley-winner.

Mattek serving 3-5: Service-winner out wide. 15/0. Serve out wide + delectable off-backhand volley-winner. A few more spots of rain coming down now. 30/0. Serena blasted a crosscourt forehand return-winner. 30/15. Mattek crosscourt backhand volley-winner. 40/15. Serena blasted a backhand return-winner down Sania's backhand-sideline. 40/30. Venus bisected the 'M's with a crosscourt backhand pass-winner down the line. Mattek stumbled as it whistled past her - the commentators think she hurt herself - and play was suspended at 40/40, at 14:27.

After an even longer rain-delay, play resumed at 16:42. Mattek hit a forehand half-volley winner off a dipping return. Ad Mattek. She hit a backhand long off another dipping return. Deuce #2. Serena netted a backhand. Ad Mattek. Service-winner out wide.

Venus serving 5-4: Serena forehand volley-winner. 15/0. Mattek netted a forehand return. 30/0. Quadruple fault! 30/30. Service-winner out wide. 40/30 (SP #1). Service-winner out wide. The Williamses won the first set 6-4 at 16:48.


Second set
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MIRZA/MATTE *@*______ 3
WILLI/WILLI ___*@*@*@ 6

Mattek serving 0-0: 30/15. Serve + forehand smash-winner down Serena's forehand-sideline, running backwards. 40/15. Mattek on the third stroke hit a backhand volley wide. 40/30. Venus netted a backhand return.

Venus serving 0-1: Double fault. 0/15. Venus forehand smash-winner. 15/15. Mattek backhand volley-winner. 15/30. Venus netted a backhand on the third stroke. 15/40. Serve out wide + Serena forehand volley. 30/40. An inch-perfect lob by Sania forced Venus, running backwards, to net a forehand.

Sania serving 2-0: Two service-winners. 30/0. Mattek forehand volley-winner. 40/0. Serena blasted a crosscourt forehand winner onto the baseline. 40/15. Double fault (second serve just wide). 40/30. Sania hit a sloppy crosscourt backhand wide. 40/40. Serena netted a forehand return. Ad Sania. Service-winner out wide.

Serena serving 0-3: Sania crosscourt forehand return just long. 15/0. Service-winner out wide. 30/0. Short-angled ace out wide: on the sideline. 40/0. Sania hit a two-handed backhand drive-volley winner at Serena's feet. 40/15. Ace down the middle.

Mattek serving 3-1: Serena crosscourt backhand volley-winner. 0/15. Sania's sharp crosscourt forehand volley at Serena's feet forced her into error. 15/15. Sania hit a "clumsy" forehand volley very long. 15/30. Venus was forced to hit a backhand lob long. 30/30. Double fault (second serve just long). 30/40 (BP). 75mph second serve: Venus slapped a backhand return into the net. 40/40. Serena forehand wide. Ad Mattek. Serena got her own back with a forehand volley at Sania's feet. Deuce #2. Serena off-backhand return + forehand volley-winner down the line. Ad Serena. Service-winner. Deuce #3. Sania neatly bisected the Williamses with a crosscourt backhand volley-winner. Ad Mattek. Serena hit an error-forcing forehand volley. Deuce #4. Mattek's backhand lob floated just long. Ad Williams (BP #2). Mattek won a net-rally with an error-forcing forehand volley. Deuce #5. Venus off-forehand volley-winner. Ad Williams. Serena broke back with a backhand volley-winner down the middle.

Venus serving 2-3: Serve + Serena forehand volley-winner. 15/0. Mattek hit a great error-forcing crosscourt backhand return. 15/15. Ace out wide: on the sideline. 30/15. Huge serve + Serena "skyhook" forehand smash-winner. 40/15. Service-winner out wide.

Andrew Cotter: "And now they look forward with relish to the Mirza-serve."

Sania serving 3-3: Serena's deep crosscourt forehand return forced Sania to net a forehand. 0/15. Venus blasted a forehand return into the bottom of the net. 15/15. Sania netted a forehand on the third stroke. 15/30. Venus hit an error-forcing crosscourt backhand deep in the corner. 15/40. Serve forced a very short return; Mattek forehand smash-winner. 30/40. Serena forehand volley-winner - deadly again on the fourth stroke after a good return by Venus.

Serena serving 4-3: Two service-winners out wide. 30/0. Sania blasted a crosscourt forehand return long/wide. 40/0. Serena netted a backhand half-volley off a dipping crosscourt backhand return from Mattek. 40/15. Sania sprayed a backhand return very long.

The commentators are talking about the next game like the match is already over! :-||

Mattek serving 3-5: Serena backhand return-winner down Sania's backhand-sideline. 0/15. A good rally with the 'M's at the net and the Williamses at the baseline ended with Venus hitting a forced backhand wide. 15/15. Venus backhand volley-winner on the fourth stroke. 15/30. Double fault (foot-fault + second serve long). 15/40 (MP #1). Mattek netted a forehand volley on the third stroke... but her first serve was a fault. Serena blasted a backhand return wide. 30/40 (MP #2). Venus netted a backhand off a dipping ball at her feet. 40/40. Mattek tried to serve & volley, but netted a forehand volley. Ad Williams (MP #3). Second serve... Serena on the fourth stroke hit a forehand winner down the line, and said "ah, yes". The Williamses won 6-4 6-3 at 17:28.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad