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View Full Version : DefyingGravity Cincinnati Report: 1 Day Only, But WOW!


DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 02:54 AM
So today, I made the 3 hour drive to Cincinnati from my college town in Ohio to go to the Western and Southern Open. Today, my mom and I wanted to only see the women, even though we had a Grandstand ticket and all the players on Grandstand were men, so we essentially bought seats that weren't used :o.

I did, however see the following WTA matches/practices:

-Vera Zvonareva 10:30 a.m.
-Flavia Pennetta vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 11:00 a.m.
-Li Na, Alexandra Dulgheru, Alberta Brianti, BoJJ 12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
-Kateryna/Alona Bondarenko (Richard Williams and Lakeisha walked past and talked with my mom and I. He handed me a bottle of water, while ignoring the white woman who looked more thirsty than I was by far)- 1:00 p.m.
-Petkovic/Schiavone vs. Kuznetsova/Goerges - 2:00 p.m. (super tie-break only)
-Wandering around
-Hantuchova/Lisicki doubles practice; Jie Zheng and the Chinese delegation; Petra Kvitova - 4:00 p.m.
-Kuznetsova practice - 5:00 p.m.
-Bartoli vs. A. Bondarenko - 5:30 p.m.
-Hantuchova/Lisicki vs. Daniilidou/Hercog - 6:30 p.m. (Mariana Alves sat behind me)
-Kvitova vs. Scheepers 7:00 p.m. - ish (partial)

Pictures of:

Zvonareva
Flavia vs. Pavlyuchenkova
Dulgheru
Brianti
BoJJ
Li
Kateryna and Alona
Richard and Lakeisha
Hantuchova
Lisicki
Hlavackova (or how you spell it)
Kvitova
Kuznetsova
Hantuchova/Lisicki vs. Daniilidou/Hercog
Kvitova vs. Scheepers

SHILIN-GOAT
Aug 17th, 2011, 02:56 AM
Na was practicing with Alex, BoJo and Alberta :spit:

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 03:01 AM
Vera's practice: I only got to see her serve as to not be late for the Pavlyuchenkova/Pennetta match. She's still cute as ever to me.

Pavlyuchenkova vs. Pennetta: First thing, Anastasia is not really earning the "Baby fat" nickname in real life. Some of the girls are just amazingly skinny compared to her. This was my first time going to the outer courts of Cincinnati not just for practice, and they've done an amazing job renovating and replanning the place so that the combined event would be smooth. Court 9 is wonderful, about 1500 seater that's sunken into the ground. Flavia's game is really so emotionally charged, even though at it's core, it's based on percentage tennis. The first set was proof of that. She played well, she was winning a lot of points and there wasn't much between her and Pavs. The only difference is that Pavs was being the more positive player in the first set. Flavia and her emotions made her miss things by very narrow margins, and a couple of close calls got her on edge. The second set was much better, and she executed a game plan of moving Anastasia around the court and making her play the ball more than she would like. Anastasia really could crack the ball, but she ran into patches of really excellent play and then error after error. Flavia's steady game proved to be much more effective in the long run, as evidenced by her win. The crowd in Cincinnati really liked Flavia (or perhaps, they just know her as opposed to Pavs) and got behind her. Anastasia couldn't get any love from the crowd, and it was kind of sad.

Inger67
Aug 17th, 2011, 03:01 AM
How did Jie look in practice? And what about Kvitova in her match?

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 03:02 AM
Na was practicing with Alex, BoJo and Alberta :spit:

Not exactly. She and her husband showed up on the court that Alex, BoJJ, and Alberta were practicing on. Dulgheru and Briatni hit to each other (for their doubles) while BoJJ just hit with her coach. Then once BoJJ got off the court, Li and her husband got on the court with her coach and then Alex and Alberta trickled off.

Inger67
Aug 17th, 2011, 03:03 AM
Vera's practice: I only got to see her serve as to not be late for the Pavlyuchenkova/Pennetta match. She's still cute as ever to me.

Pavlyuchenkova vs. Pennetta: First thing, Anastasia is not really earning the "Baby fat" nickname in real life. Some of the girls are just amazingly skinny compared to her. This was my first time going to the outer courts of Cincinnati not just for practice, and they've done an amazing job renovating and replanning the place so that the combined event would be smooth. Court 9 is wonderful, about 1500 seater that's sunken into the ground. Flavia's game is really so emotionally charged, even though at it's core, it's based on percentage tennis. The first set was proof of that. She played well, she was winning a lot of points and there wasn't much between her and Pavs. The only difference is that Pavs was being the more positive player in the first set. Flavia and her emotions made her miss things by very narrow margins, and a couple of close calls got her on edge. The second set was much better, and she executed a game plan of moving Anastasia around the court and making her play the ball more than she would like. Anastasia really could crack the ball, but she ran into patches of really excellent play and then error after error. Flavia's steady game proved to be much more effective in the long run, as evidenced by her win. The crowd in Cincinnati really liked Flavia (or perhaps, they just know her as opposed to Pavs) and got behind her. Anastasia couldn't get any love from the crowd, and it was kind of sad.

Nastya :sad: If I were there I would have rooted for her.

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 03:05 AM
How did Jie look in practice? And what about Kvitova in her match?

Jie looked pretty solid out there, and she came and supported a special Chinese delegation sponsored by Western and Southern to fly over. They watched Na's match against Safarova and then went and hit on the court. It was kind of cool, and Jie talked to a Chinese reporter and TV crew.

People assumed that was Li Na out there :o. It was really irritating.

I'll get to Kvitova's match, but her practice was really cool. She really cracks the hell out of the ball, in practice and in match. She's also a sweetheart that NO ONE recognized. It was embarrassing, and I couldn't believe it because the reigning Wimbledon champion...walked around...with no entourage. Got a picture with her though.

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 03:09 AM
The practice that includes Li, Dulgheru, Brianti, and BoJJ

Bojana looks nothing like she does on TV. Absolutely nothing like it. Her body is pretty damn good. I'd definitely tap that, :lol:. She was hitting with her coach/hitting partner and she was killing him. He could not handle her pace at all, and she hits nearly as hard as Kvitova and Li whenever she wants to. Dulgheru and Brianti hit with such wonderful rhythm and timing. It was really beautiful to watch the different levels of spin (topspin, flat, slice) without dropping a beat. Brianti's backhand was just absolutely wonderful in person. It's got a bit of a stiff arm to it, and since I don't hit with a one hander, I can't tell if that's a technical kind of setback or not. Dulgheru's outfit was cute too. I'll post pictures up on Thursday night, when I get my cable, and you'll see. It's a blue K-Swiss top that Mom really liked.

Li shows up right after BoJJ leaves, but as Dulgheru and Brianti still practice. She and Thomas and her husband have an amazing chemistry, and she seemed much more relaxed than at Wimbledon. She was hitting with her husband after the Safarova match, and what really impressed me was that she was, at times, out hitting her husband (well, shouldn't be a surprise, but still). They have wonderful chemistry when they hit with each other too. It's almost like the perfect tennis couple that you would see out on a public court. She smiled, and he smiled back at her and Michael seemed very cool and chill. His accent was sweet too, but I couldn't pick up on where he was from.

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 03:16 AM
Kateryna and Alona Bondarenko's practice (with Richard and Lakeisha interrupting slightly)

Kateryna and Alona are SO SKINNY. Alona looked a tad unhealthy to my mom and I, but that's just for our taste. We've had this debate on this forum before. Alona had worked herself out enough and basically the time I was there, she sat down, re did her grip, and drank some of the cool little Gatorade-style drinks and Evian waters. Kateryna was busting her ass out there, and I have so much more respect for her. She was doing drill after drill, hitting it as hard as she could with depth and changing direction and incorporated volleys. She was so good in practice. My favorite practice session by far to watch.

Then Richard and Lakeisha just kind of showed up before Serena took court at Stadium. Richard looks a little frail, and Lakeisha (to those who would never have guessed she wasn't Serena's mom) was wearing a tight purple/fuschia top and grey/light black Nike tight capris and she showed off a Serena-like ass in them too. Lakeisha seemed like a cool girl, though she was quiet. Richard talked to my mom and I, asking how we were doing, and we asked how Serena was, and he said she was doing pretty good. He then interrupted the conversation the Bondarenkos were having with their coaches/hitting partners and walked on court to get 3 Evians and made Lakeisha get a red drink. He then walks past me, and just hands me an Evian, saying "It's hot out here; keep drinking some water". That made the white woman that I have now since became friends very jealous, because I got the water and she didn't. I'm keeping the water bottle forever, and it's been renamed the "Richard" bottle (yes, I know...that's stupid, :haha:). And then he and Lakeisha made their way to the player's area to go give Serena the drinks.

Daniela-Is-Mine
Aug 17th, 2011, 03:19 AM
How bad were Dani and Sabine!?

Inger67
Aug 17th, 2011, 03:23 AM
Kateryna and Alona Bondarenko's practice (with Richard and Lakeisha interrupting slightly)

Kateryna and Alona are SO SKINNY. Alona looked a tad unhealthy to my mom and I, but that's just for our taste. We've had this debate on this forum before. Alona had worked herself out enough and basically the time I was there, she sat down, re did her grip, and drank some of the cool little Gatorade-style drinks and Evian waters. Kateryna was busting her ass out there, and I have so much more respect for her. She was doing drill after drill, hitting it as hard as she could with depth and changing direction and incorporated volleys. She was so good in practice. My favorite practice session by far to watch.

Then Richard and Lakeisha just kind of showed up before Serena took court at Stadium. Richard looks a little frail, and Lakeisha (to those who would never have guessed she wasn't Serena's mom) was wearing a tight purple/fuschia top and grey/light black Nike tight capris and she showed off a Serena-like ass in them too. Lakeisha seemed like a cool girl, though she was quiet. Richard talked to my mom and I, asking how we were doing, and we asked how Serena was, and he said she was doing pretty good. He then interrupted the conversation the Bondarenkos were having with their coaches/hitting partners and walked on court to get 3 Evians and made Lakeisha get a red drink. He then walks past me, and just hands me an Evian, saying "It's hot out here; keep drinking some water". That made the white woman that I have now since became friends very jealous, because I got the water and she didn't. I'm keeping the water bottle forever, and it's been renamed the "Richard" bottle (yes, I know...that's stupid, :haha:). And then he and Lakeisha made their way to the player's area to go give Serena the drinks.

You should have asked how Venus was doing? :sad: :lol:

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 03:23 AM
Petkovic/Schiavone vs. Kuznetsova/Goerges

Wow, wow, wow, I've not seen a women's match on an outside court be that packed except when Lindsay Davenport played doubles with Hantuchova at Miami in 2008. It was seriously attracting more attention than the Simon match on Court 3 (the third biggest court, about a 2500-4000 seater) and the Gulbis-Dodig match behind me when I was still watching Kateryna. And it was so intense. The crowd really loved Schiavone and Petkovic, because their outgoing, fun personalities really got the crowd involved. They even did a chest bump or two.

Petkovic...is ripped. Seriously, she could take out any dude. I felt scared for my life looking at her shoulders. But for being so ripped, her serve motion isn't using any of that strength effectively, and if you get to see her live, you'll notice that even more. She couldn't get a return in court either. It was embarrassing. She lost Schiavone about 4 points.

Francesca looks exactly how I pictured her, short, but still surprisingly strong. Her next to Petkovic was actually quite cute for the little height difference, and I can imagine how the Ivanorazzi would have been a better fit for Petkovic having seen her chemistry with Schiavone. They were having fun, but they didn't click as a team, you know? Kuznetsova and Goerges, on the other hand...they were two singles players who played doubles. It was sort of like they just didn't want to come to the net unless they had to. Goerges is an absolute stunner in person, though. She reminded my mom of Mary Joe Fernandez, and I can so see the slight resemblance now. Julia's forehand was pretty key. Actually, the combination of her and Sveta with the forehands were just so crucial to their win. Also, Sveta's serve was pretty awesome. She knew when to just put it in the court.

The way that they had to leave their court after the really intense match and amazing crowd was that they had to walk out in front of the west-side stands of Court 4, and walk down a pathway behind the court towards the main walk. Everyone crowded to get Schiavo, but she, Kuznetsova, Goerges, and Petkovic ALL had to hurry away from the match, got on two golf carts, and cutely drove away in the opposite direction and around to the player entrance area at the Stadium court.

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 03:24 AM
How bad were Dani and Sabine!?

You know, they really weren't THAT bad.

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 03:27 AM
Jankovic vs. Benesova

Wow oh wow, it was cool to see Jelena play after just meeting her in Miami. She is so flexible, and when you see her action shots, her arms just are so flexible, and I think her power comes from her elasticity. Her new service motion that she had been working on was really clicking today, and she made me jokingly say: "Did she borrow her serve from Serena today?" It was awesome to see her serving well, and she was moving so stellarly. Pretty much the most inform player that I saw today. Everything worked. Her slice, her volley, her forehand, her backhand was getting some pace on it and Benesova just looked upset out there. Poor Iveta just did not have any crowd love either, and the Jelena-partisan crowd ate up Jankovic. She is so well liked here, which is great to see that we don't all just care about Sharapova and Serena, but that Pennetta, Jankovic, and Schiavone are all crowd favorites too. Iveta didn't play bad at all. She was not allowed to do anything. Jelena's speed around the court pretty much negated everything that Iveta could possibly do. Her getting on the scoreboard in the second set had nothing to do with a drop in Jankovic's play. Iveta had to step up.

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 03:35 AM
Hantuchova/Lisicki practice; Jie practice and Chinese delegation interview

Daniela is so skinny. I thought that she could do with a burger or something, because she's just SO skinny. Her timing is just beautiful though, and her pace in practice doesn't match her pace in the doubles match today. It was two different Danielas. There was the Daniela that was Anotoxfa, hitting hard, hitting beautiful touch volleys, angles, and lobs and made Lisicki jokingly say: "Save that for the match". And then there was the normal, Hantuchova that sort of placed the ball well but didn't hit with much pace. Upsetting that Daniela didn't keep her practice momentum in the match.

Sabine looks great in person. Television, especially at Wimbledon, made her look like she had love handles going on. False. Her outfit was not cut for her body type and the TV adds 10-15 pounds on her. Her legs are so strong. She was smiling in practice and she looked very carefree. She really enjoys her tennis, and she really enjoys Daniela. The two girls sitting down and talking to each other after their somewhat short practice was nothing short of adorable friendship. Daniela laughed and joked with her, flipping her ponytail over her visor and giggling while Sabine smiled. This could really be a GREAT friendship and doubles team.

Jie was practicing for a little bit near the Chinese delegation special guests. Jie looked solid as usual, but it wasn't an intense practice, especially since she had her doubles match a couple of hours earlier. She basically practiced so that Chinese television could see her and then she gave a cute little Chinese interview and stood with the kids (who were all taller than her just about :p). Adorable, and she's got a little ass on her too. The three women on the practice courts were absolutely stellar and guys could not take their eyes off any of them. Seriously. And Lisicki and Hantuchova's grunts were essentially making their session sound like softcore porn.

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 03:36 AM
Kvitova and Hlavackova practices, A bit of Stosur's match, and tennis player watching with a new friend coming up in about 15 minutes!

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 03:57 AM
Hlavackova's Practice/Random Coaching Staredown with Kudryavsteva and Kvitova's Practice

Hlavackova was practicing at the same time as Hantuchova and Lisicki, but stayed on the court for much longer. She's got a great body, and I'm sure miffedmax will appreciate me capturing pictures of some of the LOB, especially Andrea (someone who doesn't really get much attention). She is good. She has a pretty good tolerance for pace too, as her hitting partner was hitting some pretty big bombs at her and she was returning them like they were nothing. It was nice to see her practice, because I was alone and she was hitting a great ball. Good to see her!

However, what was not okay was that Kudryavtseva came to practice a bit before Kvitova showed up. Now, I have NO idea if there is some kind of beef between Hlavackova's staff and Kudryavtseva or if there's something between the two girls, but Alla was giving the stare down HARD at Hlavackova's coach and/or hitting partner. Like, it wasn't even funny. My mom noticed, and I had told her before Alla got on the court that Kudryavtseva was kind of a hot head, and I told her the story about how she said she wanted to beat Sharapova because she didn't like Maria's outfit (or something similar).

During the last couple of these reports, Maria Kirilenko and Shuai Zhang were playing nearby, and I could hear Lil' Masha pretty intensely. She was getting it, though, haha. And her court was full of men.

Petra's practice was really cool because the REIGNING WIMBLEDON CHAMPION had absolutely zero entourage, and no one followed her. I started out by myself but then people slowly remembered who she was and then came over. But still only about 20-30 people. Kvitova cracked the ball. It was scary. Though, she does seem more tight than what she started the year. The Wimbledon champion pressures might be weighing on her a bit. She just wasn't looking like the Kvitova who had no fear. She looked like a Kvitova who just realized what she inherited and felt that she needed to play well all the time.

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 04:11 AM
A glance at Stosur vs. Daniilidou; tennis celebrity hopping and my beefs/praises with the tournament

Stosur's final appearance at Toronto seems to have gotten her engine going again. She looked a much more confident player. Eleni had no chance. None whatsoever. Felt sorry for her, actually. Stosur's game was on point, and Eleni didn't really put up much of a fight. Partly, her game wasn't there. Partly, she didn't necessarily get an opportunity to play her game. Sam is more popular than I thought. She had a good crowd to watch her win.

Then, I stood at the player entrance area to do some player gazing with a new friend. She was the same woman who was at the Bondarenko practice, hoping Azarenka would come out (unfortunately, she had already been) and practice. She was also there when I saw Sveta (Sveta gets her own little section later). We became pretty amicable immediately and I learned that she had become a really intense tennis fan all because of Kim Clijsters. She had seen Kim play on championship weekend last year here, and she really fell in love with Kim because she was nice enough to autograph two items for her, take a picture, and have an extended conversation. She then, subsequently, fell in love with tennis. It was cool, and I told her about the forum here which she got pretty jazzed because she could then find out Kim stuff much faster than before.

I met up with her again at the player entrance, and the first player I saw was a retired player: Conchita Martinez. I was one of 2 people who recognized her, which made me feel like such a tennis nerd. Is she a coach for a player? I don't remember/know. We then had the following players walk past us:

Pennetta
Stephens
Grandin
Scheepers
Djokovic (quickly)
Nadal (on his way to doubles)
Troicki
Tipsarevic
Isner
Harrison
K-Bond
Schiavo
Alona
Glatch
Petrova
Huber (she was surprisingly non-bitchy)

It was quite nice to just sit under the shade and talk to a new friend.

Now, this tournament has improved so much. The site is very open and tricks you into thinking there's more than there is. It's not a tremendously big site, but the addition of that new Court 3 and Court 4 area made it so much more able to host. There is a better food court at this tournament than at most malls in the United States. Literally every food you could want to eat, you could eat. There were many pretzel and lemonade stands, which was nifty as well. However, I did not like that some players that could use some security guards (Kvitova and Li in particular) were literally left to walk with their coach and other person. 2 out of 3 of the reigning major title holders should not be walking around with no guards. When I got Kvitova's picture, I just kind of saw her from a distance and called her name. I could have been a crazy person and just ran and attacked her. And no one would have noticed. Because no one recognized her and she had no security. There could also be more stands with some shelter/cover. Stadium portions and Grandstand portions have covering, but all the outer courts are fully exposed. For the time of year and temperatures that can be reached during the tournament, the fans in Ohio (mostly all pasty white people or fake tanned pieces of leather) could really get burned easily. Even if just the top tier of seats on some of the larger outer courts could just get some cover, that would do a world of good.

Excelscior
Aug 17th, 2011, 04:12 AM
Hlavackova's Practice/Random Coaching Staredown with Kudryavsteva and Kvitova's Practice

Hlavackova was practicing at the same time as Hantuchova and Lisicki, but stayed on the court for much longer. She's got a great body, and I'm sure miffedmax will appreciate me capturing pictures of some of the LOB, especially Andrea (someone who doesn't really get much attention). She is good. She has a pretty good tolerance for pace too, as her hitting partner was hitting some pretty big bombs at her and she was returning them like they were nothing. It was nice to see her practice, because I was alone and she was hitting a great ball. Good to see her!

However, what was not okay was that Kudryavtseva came to practice a bit before Kvitova showed up. Now, I have NO idea if there is some kind of beef between Hlavackova's staff and Kudryavtseva or if there's something between the two girls, but Alla was giving the stare down HARD at Hlavackova's coach and/or hitting partner. Like, it wasn't even funny. My mom noticed, and I had told her before Alla got on the court that Kudryavtseva was kind of a hot head, and I told her the story about how she said she wanted to beat Sharapova because she didn't like Maria's outfit (or something similar).

During the last couple of these reports, Maria Kirilenko and Shuai Zhang were playing nearby, and I could hear Lil' Masha pretty intensely. She was getting it, though, haha. And her court was full of men.

Petra's practice was really cool because the REIGNING WIMBLEDON CHAMPION had absolutely zero entourage, and no one followed her. I started out by myself but then people slowly remembered who she was and then came over. But still only about 20-30 people. Kvitova cracked the ball. It was scary. Though, she does seem more tight than what she started the year. The Wimbledon champion pressures might be weighing on her a bit. She just wasn't looking like the Kvitova who had no fear. She looked like a Kvitova who just realized what she inherited and felt that she needed to play well all the time.

Kvitova just needs more matches to loosen up (and get her precision game working). Lol.

You also made it sound like you were going to give us more on her practice, and match (which I know is coming up)?

Thanks for your reports, and keep em coming!

faboozadoo15
Aug 17th, 2011, 04:16 AM
Nice report. where do you go to school?

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 04:17 AM
Svetlana's practice

Sveta's practice was certainly different from the other practices I saw. There wasn't a very high intensity like some of the others, but they weren't relaxed like the Lisicki/Hantuchova practice. It had a weird in between energy that made it difficult to watch. It just was an awkward experience, though the results of her strokes were absolutely wonderful in how much spin and weight they have.

Bartoli vs. A. Bondarenko

Bartoli just killed it out there. She was really hitting hard, and Alona just couldn't handle her. It was cool to see Bartoli because she was the first tennis player that I ever talked to when she played the final of the challenger that used to be here in Columbus, Ohio (Vaidisova won the last one in 2004). Bartoli that year lost to Maureen Drake in the final, who was also nice. But I never in my wildest dreams thought that, back in 2002, Bartoli would go on to have THIS kind of career. She was super skinny back then and her shots didn't have much pace. She was more of a tricky French, slice and angle player then. Now, to see her crack the ball and be full of confidence and successful just made my pro tennis tournament experience come full circle. Marion was also nice in signing autographs at the player area as she went inside. After she went in, Del Po came by and signed nearly everything with my friend's pen...and stole it. Then Djokovic felt it was cool to use Del Po's crowd work as a sneak escape and jogged past everyone while they were still on a Del Po high, lol.

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 04:19 AM
Nice report. where do you go to school?

Ohio University.

And if anyone wants some more info and specifics on practices, please go ahead and ask me.

Excelscior
Aug 17th, 2011, 04:24 AM
How did Petra look in her match?

Does she need more matches, a few more practices, or more tournaments, in your opinion?

From just looking at Live Score today. She still needs work on her serve (9DF), and ROS big time (23% BP conversion rate)?

Were her strokes clean, was she hitting with pace, top spin, angles, precision, etc?

Would you be surprised, or not surprised if she played well against Petko (if she wins Weds)?

Most fans, just wanna know is she getting better from Toronto?

Mary Cherry.
Aug 17th, 2011, 04:24 AM
Seems like everyone's in Cincinnati this week :lol: Great reports :)

Maybe the lack of security guards for some is down to the player's choice. At Eastbourne it was just Petra and her coach practicing and like you said, no big entourage, no fuss. Seemed to really enjoy herself as well. The day after she was walking through part of the grounds on her own (although it was raining so there was hardly anyone around) Maybe she prefers to keep it low key.

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 04:30 AM
Hantuchova/Lisicki vs. Hercog/Daniilidou

I knew this was going to be a strange match when I found out I sat in front of Mariana Alves. I do like her umpiring, and looked past that Serena quarterfinal, but it was still strange to have her sitting right behind me. I asked her questions about umpiring, and the biggest shock that I found out is that to be a chair ump, the only language you MUST know is English. The umpires then know/learn how to say scores and crowd control phrases in other languages as they come up. They tend to pick them up as as they travel.

This doubles match is a tale of two sides basically. There was the Anotoxfa/GOAT-sicki side where they were playing some awesome tennis and awesome doubles, with Sabine really firing down aces and Daniela hitting her spots with the backhand and volleys. Daniela was much more cautious with her pace in the match than she was in practice, which made me realize it was all in her head. Polona and Eleni were cute...almost too cute. They really do seem to be either really close friends or borderline an item, because of just how they interacted. Unlike Daniela and Sabine, who were just very friendly, they seemed to just have a different energy. Polona can really hit the ball well, too. And she did consistently. What made the difference was that Eleni picked up her game and started to make Lisicki hit many more shots, and Sabine started to make some errors. Daniela, also, began to hit less precise and allowed her shots to land in broad areas. Polona really was the engine to her side, and she and Eleni worked their way back into the match after allowing Daniela and Sabine to sort of run rampant on them. Then, Sabine and Daniela just couldn't get control back on their side. It was really Daniela and Sabine letting up after playing a set of really quality doubles.

Kvitova vs. Scheepers

Again, I was disappointed by how few people were watching Kvitova. But then I was relieved they weren't watching her. Kvitova began the match very slowly. There would be some stunning winners with some amazing pace off the forehand, and then she'd hit the ball about 6 inches out in every direction off of forehand, backhand, and serve. Petra was very tense. She allowed Channelle to REALLY get her confidence going early and then the set just got more complicated as it went on. Chanelle didn't seem to be bothered that much by Kvitova's pace at first, but as the match continued, the fact that Kvitova's pace stayed the same and actually raised a couple of notches at times just proved to be way too much for Scheepers to handle. Her serve is awful. I look at my pictures on my camera and her mechanics are just off, and that's why her serve is just so....wonderful....Petra just didn't look comfortable at all playing out there. She just looked uncomfortable and her mentality at first was actually quite negative. She was talking to herself, requested her coach pretty early, and didn't let anything go. Again, I can only think that she's realized that she is the Wimbledon champion and that the pressure that she felt was mostly internally driven at the moment. Not anywhere near as bad as post Roland Garros Ivanovic or anything, but it reminded me of post Wimbledon 2004 Sharapova. Maria and Petra both had this look like they knew who they were, they knew what they had to do, but they were overcomplicating it.

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 04:34 AM
How did Petra look in her match?

Does she need more matches, a few more practices, or more tournaments, in your opinion?

From just looking at Live Score today. She still needs work on her serve (9DF), and ROS big time (23% BP conversion rate)?

Were her strokes clean, was she hitting with pace, top spin, angles, precision, etc?

Would you be surprised, or not surprised if she played well against Petko (if she wins Weds)?

Most fans, just wanna know is she getting better from Toronto?

Petra's strokes had moments of pure Davenport cleanliness. But then, there were times that she could just be off. Her movement was okay, but she had some kinesio-tape on her left hamstring, so I think that's getting either stiff or irritated. Her serve wasn't working. She needs to work on that some more, but I think because she was just going for too much on second serves. She went for a second serve that was meant for the line, not for a sort of safety zone near the line like a second serve usually is. Her return of serve was on and off too. She, on break points, just tried too hard. On some of Scheepers' serves just didn't get punished because her timing was off and she would hit it into the net. But that number of BP conversions really comes from the second Scheepers serve game where there were like 5 deuces and Kvitova really should have ended it after the first one. She was pressing too much in the rallies on these break point opportunities rather than using her angles.

I would be mildly surprised as a fan if she played well against Petkovic. She looks a bit scratchy and upset with herself, though the court speed will help her.

She was playing a bit better than Toronto though.

Excelscior
Aug 17th, 2011, 04:36 AM
I'm sorry DF. You were saying Petra's mechanics on her server were off, compared to your camera (or were you saying Scheepers had a horrible serve)?

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 04:36 AM
Seems like everyone's in Cincinnati this week :lol: Great reports :)

Maybe the lack of security guards for some is down to the player's choice. At Eastbourne it was just Petra and her coach practicing and like you said, no big entourage, no fuss. Seemed to really enjoy herself as well. The day after she was walking through part of the grounds on her own (although it was raining so there was hardly anyone around) Maybe she prefers to keep it low key.

It's just so bizarre to me though. You're probably right though, and that it is player choice. What's more mind-boggling is that people just didn't recognize her, flat out. They had no idea that was Petra Kvitova, the girl who beat Sharapova at her own game in the final of Wimbledon. And they didn't recognize Li Na today, the winner of Roland Garros. Li got a big crowd yesterday, though, according to my friend.

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 04:37 AM
I'm sorry DF. You were saying Petra's mechanics on her server were off, compared to your camera (or were you saying Scheepers had a horrible serve)?

Well, Channelle had a terrible serve. But Petra's mechanics were off. She wasn't quite on balance on a lot of her returns that she wanted to crush. She just got ahead of herself, you know?

Excelscior
Aug 17th, 2011, 04:39 AM
Ok.

Thanks for that report on her.

Let's hope she gets a better practice, and plays her way into form with Petko (if she makes it). But We'll see?

Thx

Excelscior
Aug 17th, 2011, 04:42 AM
It's just so bizarre to me though. You're probably right though, and that it is player choice. What's more mind-boggling is that people just didn't recognize her, flat out. They had no idea that was Petra Kvitova, the girl who beat Sharapova at her own game in the final of Wimbledon. And they didn't recognize Li Na today, the winner of Roland Garros. Li got a big crowd yesterday, though, according to my friend.

Believe it or not. Most fans, just know the names, and not really the players or faces off the court (though they may on the court).

Only the true fans, or fanatics know the faces, anywhere.

Many fans that go to tournaments (especially many who can afford it), are just casual fans that go, cause it's AN EVENT in their town, or they got corporate or free tickets. Not surprising.

If Kim Clijsters walked on those grounds, most fans wouldn't notice her.

Only Serena (and maybe Masha or Venus) would be instantly recognizable by most people in that audience.

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 04:44 AM
Ok.

Thanks for that report on her.

Let's hope she gets a better practice, and plays her way into form with Petko (if she makes it). But We'll see?

Thx

If she can play her way into form, that will really bode well for her U.S. Open. Right now, she's looking to kind of mirror Sharapova's 2004 USO Series outing with a couple of okay tournament warm-ups and then struggle at the USO. I really recommend seeing her play live to any and all tennis fans. The sound her racket makes is just so :drool:

Excelscior
Aug 17th, 2011, 04:48 AM
If she can play her way into form, that will really bode well for her U.S. Open. Right now, she's looking to kind of mirror Sharapova's 2004 USO Series outing with a couple of okay tournament warm-ups and then struggle at the USO. I really recommend seeing her play live to any and all tennis fans. The sound her racket makes is just so :drool:

Well, most players who win their first major, usually don't win their next. I think only two people have done it, in the last 35 years (and Evert was one of them, and Nadal, Fed, Serena, Steffi, etc., were not).

Hopefully, she can break that trend, get hot here, and peak for the US Open. We'll see?

As far as that sound on her racquet ; I know what you mean. It's blissful.

It's a two syllable sound (like Hi-Ya) that almost sounds like a two syllable wail or yell, and it's not. It's the sound of her the ball striking the strings.

She also has a deep thud sounds, as the ball strikes the frame on her serves, or return of serves.

She has a middle sound as well, as we heard in the Wimbledon final. It all depends on the stadium and the acoustics, as far as what/how we hear it.

cowsonice
Aug 17th, 2011, 05:30 AM
Any more details on Zvonareva's practice session?

pav
Aug 17th, 2011, 05:44 AM
Believe it or not. Most fans, just know the names, and not really the players or faces off the court (though they may on the court).

Only the true fans, or fanatics know the faces, anywhere.

Many fans that go to tournaments (especially many who can afford it), are just casual fans that go, cause it's AN EVENT in their town, or they got corporate or free tickets. Not surprising.

If Kim Clijsters walked on those grounds, most fans wouldn't notice her.

Only Serena (and maybe Masha or Venus) would be instantly recognizable by most people in that audience.
And this is explained to some extent by those players always on centre courts and being the main ones displayed in advertising and on U.S. tournament websites so it self perpetuates.

SHILIN-GOAT
Aug 17th, 2011, 05:50 AM
thanks but Thomas Hogstedt left Na at the end of last year for Sharpoava :facepalm:

her coach now is Michael Mortenson on Denmark :P

Purple_Rain
Aug 17th, 2011, 06:20 AM
This is GREAT stuff. Thanks so much for the reports!

Steven.
Aug 17th, 2011, 06:21 AM
Jie looked pretty solid out there, and she came and supported a special Chinese delegation sponsored by Western and Southern to fly over. They watched Na's match against Safarova and then went and hit on the court. It was kind of cool, and Jie talked to a Chinese reporter and TV crew.

People assumed that was Li Na out there :o. It was really irritating.

I'll get to Kvitova's match, but her practice was really cool. She really cracks the hell out of the ball, in practice and in match. She's also a sweetheart that NO ONE recognized. It was embarrassing, and I couldn't believe it because the reigning Wimbledon champion...walked around...with no entourage. Got a picture with her though.

That's kind of sad, but it's really to be expected. Only real tennis fanatics like the people on this forum for exmaple would recognise all faces. Wimbledon gets decent coverage everywhere, but there is a huge conflict in time zone for the Americans, Asians, and Australians so I guess it can't be helped. If she does begin to dominate the tour by next year, she will be recognised though as she'd be featured on the papers even more. As she just 'broke though' to the rest of the world, it'll be hard to immediately remember her name and face, no?

tennnisfannn
Aug 17th, 2011, 06:30 AM
.

Only Serena (and maybe Masha or Venus) would be instantly recognizable by most people in that audience.
Actaully many can't tell Venus and serena apart. I have non tennis fan friends who make comments like 'The sisters just won Toronto'. Don't even bother to acknowledge it was singles event

ArcticMoose
Aug 17th, 2011, 09:30 AM
I'll get to Kvitova's match, but her practice was really cool. She really cracks the hell out of the ball, in practice and in match. She's also a sweetheart that NO ONE recognized. It was embarrassing, and I couldn't believe it because the reigning Wimbledon champion...walked around...with no entourage. Got a picture with her though.

:) Thanks for the great reports. :cool: If you could share some of your Kvitova pictures with her other worldwide fans that would be super. You could post them at her 'Hello Kvitty' sub-forum picture thread :angel:

Misty
Aug 17th, 2011, 09:41 AM
Any more details on Zvonareva's practice session?

This. Please!:worship:
And any Vera's pictures from her practice session/ todays's match availiable are very much welcome in VeraZvonarevaPictureThread (ZoomZoomZvonareva subforum)
And I enjoy your reports soo much!:hearts:

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 12:36 PM
Any more details on Zvonareva's practice session?

Well, Vera wasn't somewhere I spent a lot of time, but she didn't seem to be too bothered. She was working on her serve with her coach, and it was looking very good in practice. She has a pretty deceptively hard and heavy serve. On TV, it looks like she's not serving very hard, but the sound some of the serves made hitting the back drop were pretty impressive. She looked to be a very focused practice player, and didn't really get bothered by all the noise at the venue with the music, all the people coming in, the trucks, and everything on that side. She also is very slight in person; I think the cut of her clothes changed a bit, and maybe she did look less skinny this year. But out there in a just her practice clothes, she looked so amazing.

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 12:37 PM
thanks but Thomas Hogstedt left Na at the end of last year for Sharpoava :facepalm:

her coach now is Michael Mortenson on Denmark :P

Oh, thanks for that. :facepalm: I knew that Thomas was with Maria, silly me :rolleyes::rolleyes:. It's all that sun I got yesterday, lol.

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 12:38 PM
I'll be getting pictures up in the next couple of days. I was a dummy and left my camera's USB cord at home :o.

joćo.
Aug 17th, 2011, 12:51 PM
Great reports

Libertango
Aug 17th, 2011, 12:54 PM
Really great reports; thanks!

The Witch-king
Aug 17th, 2011, 01:01 PM
-Kateryna/Alona Bondarenko (Richard Williams and Lakeisha walked past and talked with my mom and I. He handed me a bottle of water, while ignoring the white woman who looked more thirsty than I was by far)- 1:00 p.m.


That made the white woman that I have now since became friends very jealous, because I got the water and she didn't. I'm keeping the water bottle forever, and it's been renamed the "Richard" bottle (yes, I know...that's stupid, :haha:). And then he and Lakeisha made their way to the player's area to go give Serena the drinks.

What is the significance of the woman you were with being white?

Cinek
Aug 17th, 2011, 01:06 PM
Do you see Aga Radwańska training?

eck
Aug 17th, 2011, 01:16 PM
Not exactly. She and her husband showed up on the court that Alex, BoJJ, and Alberta were practicing on. Dulgheru and Briatni hit to each other (for their doubles) while BoJJ just hit with her coach. Then once BoJJ got off the court, Li and her husband got on the court with Thomas Hogstedt and then Alex and Alberta trickled off.

She's back with Hogstedt?

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 01:20 PM
What is the significance of the woman you were with being white?

The significance was that she was WAY more thirsty than we were, but he handed us (the black folks, :haha:) the water. The three of us shared it though, so it was okay. It just seemed odd how he just kinda walked past her like yesterday's news and then stopped to talk to us both on the way into the court and going back to Serena.

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 01:21 PM
Do you see Aga Radwańska training?

Didn't see Agi hit a ball, actually. She walked away with her sister and someone though when I was at the player entrance area, and she seemed very happy. That was really cool to see her being so happy and relaxed without her father, it looked like. They were accompanied by another man, but I didn't know who he was.

And no, eck, she's not back with Hogstedt. I just fail at recognizing people :facepalm:

tennnisfannn
Aug 17th, 2011, 03:06 PM
What is the significance of the woman you were with being white?
For the saem reason the Double Fault lineswoman in that infamous semi final will always be Asian, Japanese regardless of being American first!

Cinek
Aug 17th, 2011, 03:26 PM
Didn't see Agi hit a ball, actually. She walked away with her sister and someone though when I was at the player entrance area, and she seemed very happy. That was really cool to see her being so happy and relaxed without her father, it looked like. They were accompanied by another man, but I didn't know who he was.

And no, eck, she's not back with Hogstedt. I just fail at recognizing people :facepalm:


Thanks You.
'another man' is probably her new-temporary coach: Tomasz Wiktorowski :)

His photo:

http://m.onet.pl/_m/652338c5471fcf8331ae5ea6e3fce29a,10,1.jpg

DefyingGravity
Aug 17th, 2011, 04:07 PM
He does look familiar; I think it was him.

serenaforever
Aug 17th, 2011, 04:27 PM
You lucky bitch. :sobbing: This is the closest tournament to me. Obviously.

Deneb
Aug 17th, 2011, 08:13 PM
Thanks for your reports, especially the one on Polona & Eleni's doubles match. Looking forward to your pictures!:)

Yellow Moon
Aug 17th, 2011, 09:08 PM
Jankovic vs. Benesova
Looking forward to when u rejoin ur usb cable. Got pics?
:hatoff:

Excelscior
Aug 17th, 2011, 11:37 PM
Actaully many can't tell Venus and serena apart. I have non tennis fan friends who make comments like 'The sisters just won Toronto'. Don't even bother to acknowledge it was singles event

Hilarious!! But I believe you.

You're right. Most fans, don't know the players. It's only very few that do. The real fans, of course. The small minority.

DefyingGravity
Aug 18th, 2011, 08:32 PM
Pictures coming tonight.

DefyingGravity
Aug 19th, 2011, 02:37 AM
Here come the pictures!

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6073/6058066942_b19d768b57_b.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6193/6058066958_1691f16d34_b.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6084/6058066866_b4e07c4c95_b.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6061/6058066914_bb5a602456_b.jpg

DefyingGravity
Aug 19th, 2011, 02:41 AM
My Flickr account went let me post all of them, since they're all ginormous file sizes, so I will be going to the individual player areas and post them as well. These will be the ones I think are the best.

DefyingGravity
Aug 19th, 2011, 02:50 AM
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6086/6058096790_7035777a3a_b.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6074/6058096778_b2fc8a2ebb_b.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6187/6058096768_b0caf4a055_b.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6084/6058096760_d72d1bf767_b.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6209/6058096754_c261b43544_b.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6200/6058096748_4b77fde09f_b.jpg

DefyingGravity
Aug 19th, 2011, 03:04 AM
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6194/6058127474_e5a33b943a_b.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6071/6058127436_1bed1cd55f_b.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6074/6058127426_738eac2b0e_b.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6076/6058127406_d9815c0b79_b.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6061/6058127388_f48ba2dbd5_b.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6069/6058127370_19cd058c08_b.jpg

DefyingGravity
Aug 19th, 2011, 04:51 AM
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6199/6057605503_1632b7d92a_b.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6074/6057605499_df0d98ca55_b.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6202/6057605491_55f02fbba3_b.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6204/6057605481_e7d1a058a3_b.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6076/6057605477_e8907ff28e_b.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6199/6057605475_c652a54082_b.jpg

saul1333
Aug 19th, 2011, 04:11 PM
Thanks!!

Nice reports and pics.

Deneb
Aug 19th, 2011, 05:24 PM
Thanks for the pics!

Misty
Aug 20th, 2011, 02:44 PM
Thank you sooo much!:hearts:

scandic78
Aug 20th, 2011, 03:11 PM
One of the most enjoyable and informative tourney reports I think I have ever read. Thank you so much for sharing with us here on TF :angel: