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Old Mar 18th, 2013, 10:48 PM   #2
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Andrew's eyewitness reports & photos for Tuesday

AEGON CLASSIC (Edgbaston, Birmingham, England; grass; WTA International)
Contents

1. Photos
2. First-round eyewitness report: Krajíček v Hlaváčková
3. First-round eyewitness report: Robson v Min


1. Photos (Tuesday 12th June 2012)

Permission to copy my Birmingham photos is granted provided that:
(a) no money is exchanged;
(b) they are labelled as “Copyright Andrew Broad 2012”.
Please let me know if you do use them on another website.

Since I don’t have time to upload hundreds of photos a day individually, I have uploaded each batch of photos as a large zip-file (approximately as many megabytes as photos).

Tuesday’s photos are in five volumes.


Tuesday Part 1 (Photos 001 to 094)

Download Part 1

Iveta Benešová (54 photos)
Garbińe Muguruza Blanco (12)
Casey Dellacqua (11)
Michelle Larcher de Brito (10)
Tara Moore (10)
Bojana Jovanovski (6)

Part 1 covers the first matches on the outside courts: Benešová v Moore, Dellacqua v Muguruza Blanco, and Jovanovski v Larcher de Brito.

The builders had been very busy between Birmingham 2011 and 2012: the outside courts had new concrete stands, with a walkway overlooking them, replacing the old grassy area. Sadly, the terrace to the side of Court 1 is now out of bounds, although I suppose that’s much better for the players in terms of security and eliminating the distraction of spectators in that area.


Tuesday Part 2 (Photos 095 to 217)

Download Part 2

Michaëlla Krajíček (86 photos)
Andrea Hlaváčková (39)
Olivia Rogowska (6)
Elena Vesnina (4)

Part 2 covers Krajíček v Hlaváčková on Court 2 (my match-report is in Section 2), along with a few photos of the early stages of Vesnina v Rogowska on the adjacent Court 3.


Tuesday Part 3 (Photos 218 to 378)

Download Part 3

Sabine Lisicki (70 photos)
Daniela Hantuchová (29)
Urszula Radwańska (17)
Heather Watson (15)
Chang,Kai-Chen (12)
Christina McHale (11)
Stéphanie Dubois (10)
Mona Barthel (9)
Zhčng,Jié (8)
Roberta Vinci (7)
Noppawan Lertcheewakarn (6)
Ekaterina Makarova (5)
Samantha Murray (5)
Alison Riske (4)
Misaki Doi (4)
Vera Dushevina (2)
Irina Falconi (2)

Part 3 features Lisicki, Hantuchová and several other players practising, and also some matches on the outside courts including Murray v Radwańska and Lertcheewakarn v Doi.

A new permanent Centre Court was partially constructed [Photo 218] and due to open in 2013.


Tuesday Part 4 (Photos 379 to 524)

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Laura Robson (54 photos)
Sabine Lisicki (45)
Grace Min (33)
Tamira Paszek (9)
Marina Eraković (8)
Michelle Larcher de Brito (7)
Melinda Czink (7)
Anna Tatishvili (2)
Francesca Schiavone (2)
Jeremy Bates (1)
Judy Murray (coach) (1)
Vicki Stone (MC) (1)

Part 4 covers Robson v Min on Centre Court, Lisicki and several other players practising, and a few photos from Czink v Tatishvili on Court 4.


Tuesday Part 5 (Photos 525 to 619)

Download Part 5

Paula Ormaechea (39 photos)
Heather Watson (25)
Stéphanie Dubois (9)
Alison Riske (9)
Alexandra Cadanţu (8)
Irina Falconi (7)
Tímea Babos (4)
Vicki Stone (MC) (2)

Part 5 features Ormaechea v Watson on Centre Court, Dubois practising, and a few photos from Babos v Riske and Falconi v Cadanţu on the outside courts.


2. First-round eyewitness report: Krajíček v Hlaváčková (Tuesday 12th June 2012)

- Michaëlla Krajíček [DF] lt. Andrea Hlaváčková, 2-6 7-6 (8/6) 0-4 retired (viral illness)

Krajíček was my third-favourite player in the tournament when it started. She’s a very pleasant player to watch, with a big serve, flairsome groundstrokes, and a willingness to go to the net. I’ve been a demi-fan of Krajíček since her quarter-final at Wimbledon 2007.

Hlaváčková played well, with some big serves and pinpoint groundstrokes of her own, but she just doesn’t inspire me as Krajíček does.

I didn’t expect much of Krajíček after she had surgery on her right knee in May. Apparently that went miraculously well, hence her early return to action.

Krajíček didn’t look in great shape physically, carrying a few extra pounds, and with strapping on her right knee. She certainly didn’t look happy on the court, taking two medical time-outs and moving gingerly by the end. I wasn’t surprised that she retired – although I /was/ when I later learned that her reason for retirement wasn’t her knee.

The first set was one-sided until Hlaváčková served for it at 5-2, but a four-deuce struggle set the scene for a much more competitive second set, which went with serve until the tiebreak.

Hlaváčková had match-point at 1:0 6-6 6/5*, but Krajíček saved it sensationally: drawn to the net by a dropshot, she picked off Hlaváčková’s attempted pass with an off-backhand volley-winner.

Having already taken a medical time-out at 0:1 5-4*, Krajíček had a lengthy conversation with the trainer and a doctor after winning the second set. After that, I was on high alert for Krajíček’s retirement, which came when she went 0-4* down, by which time she was moving slowly and clearly suffering.


First set
KRAJÍČEK __*___*_ 2
HLAVÁČKO @*_*@*_* 6


The match was second on Court 2, and started at 12:20 BST. It was cold, slightly windy, and increasingly uncomfortable for me as they have replaced the old stand with a concrete monstrosity that has one big step for spectators to sit on, although it does have the advantage that passers-by have a much better view of the outside courts than in previous years.

Krajíček serving 0-0: First serve forced Hlaváčková to hit a forehand return long. 15/0. Double fault #1. 15/15. Second serve: Hlaváčková netted a backhand return. 30/15. Hlaváčková, on the fourth stroke, hit a crosscourt forehand pass-winner. 30/30. Double fault #2 (second serve into the net). 30/40 (BP #1). Hlaváčková hit an off-forehand winner deep into the corner. Broken.

Hlaváčková serving 1-0: Ace #1: first serve out wide. 15/0. Hlaváčková’s deep forehand just inside the baseline forced a floater, which she dispatched with a forehand smash-winner. 30/0. Ace #2: first serve out wide. 40/0 (GP #1). Hlaváčková hit a good first serve out wide, but netted a backhand off an awkward crosscourt backhand return. 40/15 (GP #2). Hlaváčková opened up the court with an off-forehand, but netted a crosscourt forehand. 40/30 (GP #3). First serve out wide + pinpoint off-forehand winner deep into the corner. Held.

Krajíček serving 0-2: Hlaváčková’s deep forehand return forced Krajíček to earth a forehand. 0/15. Deep first serve out wide forced Hlaváčková to net a backhand return. 15/15. Ace #1: first serve down the middle. 30/15. Deep first serve out wide forced Hlaváčková to net a backhand return. 40/15 (GP #1). First serve out wide + forehand dropshot + crosscourt forehand volley-winner. Held.

Hlaváčková serving 2-1: First serve out wide forced a short return, which Hlaváčková dispatched with an off-forehand winner. 15/0. Hlaváčková went to the net, forcing Krajíček to hit a crosscourt forehand pass wide. 30/0. Double fault #1 (second serve wide left). 30/15. Double fault #2 (second serve just long). 30/30. Hlaváčková’s deep crosscourt backhand bounced low, forcing Krajíček to net a sliced backhand. 40/30 (GP #1). Hlaváčková went to the net, forcing Krajíček to net a forehand. Held.

Krajíček serving 1-3: Hlaváčková hit a pinpoint off-forehand winner deep into the corner. 0/15. First serve forced Hlaváčková to net a forehand return. 15/15. Deep second serve: Hlaváčková hit a deep crosscourt backhand return-winner onto the baseline. 15/30. Hlaváčková hit a pinpoint crosscourt backhand return-winner onto the sideline. 15/40 (BP #1). Double fault #3 (second serve into the net). Broken.

Hlaváčková serving 4-1: Hlaváčková served and volleyed, but Krajíček hit a pinpoint backhand winner down the line. 0/15. Krajíček, driven wide, netted a forehand. 15/15. Krajíček netted a backhand on the fourth stroke. 30/15. Hlaváčková hit an off-forehand winner back behind Krajíček. 40/15 (GP #1). Krajíček hit a low-bouncing backhand winner down the line. 40/30 (GP #2). Hlaváčková went to the net, forcing Krajíček to hit a forehand lob long. Held.

Krajíček serving 1-5: Hlaváčková forced a short ball, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand winner. 0/15. Hlaváčková hit a forehand just long. 15/15. Krajíček served and volleyed, and hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner on the fifth stroke. 30/15. Ace #2: first serve down the middle, on the centre-line (it was initially called wide, but overruled as good – titanium pigment flew up). 40/15 (GP #1). Deep first serve induced Hlaváčková to net a forehand return. Held.

Hlaváčková serving 5-2 (new balls): Hlaváčková hit an off-forehand just wide. 0/15. Hlaváčková hit a backhand winner down the line. 15/15. First serve down the middle forced Krajíček to stretch wide and net a forehand return. 30/15. Krajíček’s deep off-forehand return forced Hlaváčková to net a backhand. 30/30. A short ball from Krajíček hit the centre-line and shot through on Hlaváčková, forcing her to hit a forehand long. 30/40 (BP #1). Hlaváčková’s deep crosscourt backhand forced Krajíček to net a backhand. Deuce #1. Hlaváčková’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Krajíček to net a forehand. Ad Hlaváčková (SP #1). Krajíček forced a floater, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand smash-winner. Deuce #2. Krajíček drew Hlaváčková to the net with a dropshot, then hit an off-forehand volley-winner. Ad Krajíček (BP #2). Deep first serve out wide forced Krajíček to net a backhand return. Deuce #3. And again. Ad Hlaváčková (SP #2). First serve out wide forced a short return, but Hlaváčková sprayed a forehand just long. Deuce #4. Ace #3: first serve down the middle. Ad Hlaváčková (SP #3). Hlaváčková’s deep crosscourt backhand forced Krajíček to slice a backhand wide. Hlaváčková won the first set 6-2 at 12:53 BST (33m).


Second set
KRAJÍČEK *_*_*_*_*_*_T 7(8)
HLAVÁČKO _*_*_*_*_*_*_ 6(6)


Krajíček serving 0-0: Ace #3: first serve out wide. 15/0. Hlaváčková hit a backhand long. 30/0. First serve out wide forced Hlaváčková to hit a crosscourt forehand return wide. 40/0 (GP #1). Double fault #4 (second serve long). 40/15 (GP #2). Deep first serve out wide forced Hlaváčková to earth a forehand return. Held.

Hlaváčková serving 0-1: First serve out wide + deep crosscourt forehand winner. 15/0. First serve out wide + deep crosscourt forehand forced Krajíček to hit a forehand long (with Hlaváčková at the net). 30/0. First serve out wide: Krajíček hit a forehand return-winner down the line: on the baseline. 30/15. First serve out wide forced a short return, which Hlaváčková dispatched with a forehand winner down the line, back behind Krajíček. 40/15 (GP #1). Second serve out wide: Krajíček hit a forehand return-winner down the line. 40/30 (GP #2). My notes say that Krajíček’s deep crosscourt backhand return forced Hlaváčková to hit a backhand long, but that can’t be right, because Hlaváčková won the point. Held.

Krajíček serving 1-1: Ace #4: second serve out wide. 15/0. Deep second serve out wide induced Hlaváčková to hit a backhand return long. 30/0. Krajíček went to the net, and hit an off-forehand drop-volley winner. One of the previous two point-descriptions must be wrong, because the score was 30/15. First serve out wide forced Hlaváčková to net a forehand return. 40/15 (GP #1). Second serve: Hlaváčková dumped a backhand return near the bottom of the net. Held.

Hlaváčková serving 1-2: First serve out wide forced a short return, which Hlaváčková dispatched with an off-forehand winner. 15/0. Body-jamming first serve forced Krajíček to net a forehand return. 30/0. Krajíček hit an off-forehand return + crosscourt forehand winner. 30/15. First serve out wide induced Krajíček to net a backhand return. 40/15 (GP #1). Ace #4: first serve down the middle clipped the centre-line with a puff of titanium pigment. Held.

Krajíček serving 2-2: Second serve forced a short return, which Krajíček dispatched with an off-forehand winner. 15/0. Second serve out wide: Hlaváčková hit an off-forehand return-winner. 15/15. Krajíček’s deep crosscourt backhand forced Hlaváčková to hit a backhand long. 30/15. Hlaváčková netted a backhand return. 40/15 (GP #1). Krajíček served and volleyed behind her first serve, but her weak off-forehand volley sat up nicely for Hlaváčková to hit a pinpoint backhand pass-winner down the line. 40/30 (GP #2). Deep first serve out wide forced Hlaváčková to net a backhand return. Held.

Hlaváčková serving 2-3: Double fault #3 (second serve just long). 0/15. Hlaváčková opened up the court with a deep crosscourt forehand, and hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line. 15/15. First serve out wide + off-forehand winner. 30/15. Hlaváčková hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 30/30. Deep first serve forced Krajíček to net a backhand return. 40/30 (GP #1). Ace #5: first serve out wide. Held.

Krajíček serving 3-3: Krajíček netted a forehand on the third stroke. 0/15. Hlaváčková hit a forehand just long. 15/15. Service-winner: deep first serve down the middle. 30/15. First serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner. 40/15 (GP #1). Double fault #5 (second serve long and just wide). 40/30 (GP #2). Ace #5: first serve down the middle clipped the centre-line with a puff of titanium pigment. Held.

Hlaváčková serving 3-4: Hlaváčková hit a crosscourt backhand, but was pinned to her backhand-sideline as Krajíček hit a sliced backhand winner down the line: just inside the sideline. 0/15. Hlaváčková hit a crosscourt backhand just wide. 0/30. Ace #6: deep first serve down the middle. 15/30. Ace #7: first serve down the middle, on the centre-line with a puff of titanium pigment. 30/30. Ace #8: first serve down the middle. 40/30 (GP #1). Ace #9: first serve out wide, just inside the service-line. Held.

Krajíček serving 4-4 (new balls): First serve out wide: forehand return just wide. 15/0. Deep first serve out wide: backhand return long. 30/0. Double fault #6 (second serve into the net). 30/15. Hlaváčková’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Krajíček to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 30/30. Deep first serve out wide: forehand return long. 40/30 (GP #1). Krajíček asked for the trainer. Krajíček’s off-forehand forced Hlaváčková to net a backhand. Held.

At 13:26 BST, Krajíček took a medical time-out. At the time, I thought it was something to do with her right knee (the one on which she had surgery), but now I believe that it concerned the viral illness with which she would retire. The match resumed at 13:31 BST (5m).

Hlaváčková serving 4-5: Hlaváčková hit a crosscourt forehand winner. 15/0. First serve out wide: Krajíček netted a backhand return. 30/0. Ace #10: first serve down the middle, just inside the centre-line. 40/0 (GP #1). Krajíček sprayed a backhand long off a short ball. Held.

Krajíček serving 5-5: Deep first serve down the middle forced Hlaváčková to hit a backhand lob-return long. 15/0. Krajíček’s deep crosscourt backhand forced Hlaváčková to hit a backhand long. 30/0. Deep first serve down the middle: Hlaváčková netted a forehand return. 40/0 (GP #1). First serve out wide + pinpoint backhand winner down the line. Held.

Krajíček looked unhappy, and was moving gingerly. She spoke to the umpire again.

Hlaváčková serving 5-6: First serve out wide: Krajíček netted a forehand return. 15/0. Hlaváčková hit a pinpoint backhand winner down the line: just inside both the baseline and the sideline. 30/0. Double fault #4 (second serve long). 30/15. Ace #11: first serve out wide, on the sideline. 40/15 (GP #1). First serve out wide: Krajíček blasted a forehand return very long. Held.

6-6 tiebreak (all scores Krajíček/Hlaváčková): *0/0. Krajíček went to the net, and hit a one-handed backhand pass-volley winner down the middle: it clipped the baseline with a puff of titanium pigment. 1/0*. Hlaváčková netted a nervous-looking backhand on the third stroke. 2/0*. Krajíček forced a short lob, and dispatched it with a forehand smash-winner. *3/0. Double fault #7 (second serve into the net). *3/1. A long rally ended with Krajíček netting a backhand. 3/2*. Deep first serve out wide forced Krajíček to earth a backhand return. 3/3*. Ace #12: first serve down the middle clipped the centre-line with a puff of titanium pigment. *3/4. Hlaváčková netted a backhand. *4/4. Deep first serve out wide forced Hlaváčková to hit a forehand return long. 5/4*. Ace #13: first serve down the middle, on the centre-line. 5/5*. Ace #14: first serve down the middle. *5/6 (MP #1 for Hlaváčková). In a nail-biting rally, Krajíček ran down a dropshot, and saved the match-point with a backhand volley-winner off Hlaváčková’s attempted pass. *6/6. Deep first serve out wide forced Hlaváčková to hit a forehand return long. 7/6* (SP #1 for Krajíček). Hlaváčková sprayed a wild backhand very long. Krajíček won the second set 7-6 (8/6) at 13:49 BST (second set 56m, match so far 1h29m).


Third set
KRAJÍČEK ____ 0 retired
HLAVÁČKO *@*@ 4


Between sets, Krajíček consulted the trainer again, while Hlaváčková went to the bathroom. The match resumed at 13:54 BST (5m).

Hlaváčková serving 0-0: Hlaváčková’s dropshot induced Krajíček to net a backhand. 15/0. Hlaváčková hit a deep forehand onto the baseline, went to the net and hit a forehand drop-volley, but Krajíček hit a backhand lob-winner over her head. 15/15. Krajíček forced a short ball, and dispatched it with an off-forehand winner. 15/30. Second serve out wide: Krajíček netted a backhand return. 30/30. Hlaváčková hit a forehand winner down the line, but Krajíček didn’t even move for it. 40/30 (GP #1). First serve out wide: Krajíček netted a backhand return. Held.

Krajíček serving 0-1: Second serve out wide: crosscourt forehand return wide. 15/0. Ace #6: first serve out wide, just inside the sideline. 30/0. First serve out wide: off-backhand return wide. 40/0 (GP #1). Hlaváčková hit a deep backhand return down the line, forcing Krajíček to hit a forehand long. 40/15 (GP #2). Hlaváčková hit a forehand return-winner down the line. 40/30 (GP #3). Hlaváčková hit an off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. Deuce #1. With Krajíček stuck in no-man’s-land, Hlaváčková hit a pinpoint down-the-line backhand winner that clippde the sideline with a puff of titanium pigment. Ad Hlaváčková (BP #1). Double fault #8 (second serve long). Broken.

Hlaváčková serving 2-0: Forehand return just long. 15/0. Krajíček’s crosscourt forehand return jammed into Hlaváčková’s body, forcing her to dump a forehand halfway up the net. 15/15. First serve out wide: crosscourt forehand return wide. 30/15. First serve forced a short return, which Hlaváčková dispatched with a pinpoint off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. 40/15 (GP #1). Hlaváčková slipped, which may have distracted Krajíček as she netted a forehand. Held.

Krajíček emerged from the changeover late and slowly.

Krajíček serving 0-3: Double fault #9 (second serve long). 0/15. Double fault #10 (second serve long). Krajíček gave a wry smile. 0/30. Deep first serve out wide forced Hlaváčková to hit a backhand return long. 15/30. First serve forced a short return, which Krajíček dispatched with a crosscourt forehand winner. 30/30. Ace #7: first serve down the middle. 40/30 (GP #1). Hlaváčková hit a crosscourt forehand winner. Deuce #1. Double fault #11 (second serve into the net). Ad Hlaváčková (BP #1). Krajíček hit a forehand long off a short ball. Broken.

Hlaváčková serving 4-0 (new balls): Hlaváčková won 6-2 6-7 (6/8) 4-0 (Krajíček retired with a viral illness) at 14:09 BST (third set 20m, match 1h49m).


3. First-round eyewitness report: Robson v Min (Tuesday 12th June 2012)

+ Laura Robson [DF] d. Grace Min [Q], 6-4 6-1

For the first set at least, this was high-quality tennis between two 18-year-olds who are trying to make their mark on the WTA Tour after successful junior careers. The match was played at a breakneck pace, in terms of both power and the time that they took between points.

Robson won the Girls’ Singles title as a 14-year-old at Wimbledon 2008, and, on grass at least, is still the most impressive player I know who was born in 1994 or later. She served amazingly well in this match, and has plenty of power on her groundstrokes too.

Min hit some impressive groundstroke-winners of her own, but these were few and far between, as Robson was just too good for Min, who fell apart in the second set.


First set
ROB _*_*@*_*_* 6
MIN *_*___*_*_ 4


The match started at 16:47 BST.

Min serving 0-0: Double fault #1 (second serve long). 0/15. Robson hit a crosscourt forehand return-winner. 0/30. Second serve: backhand return long. 15/30. Robson’s deep crosscourt backhand return forced Min to hit a backhand long. 15/40 (BP #1). Deep first serve forced Robson to net a forehand return. 30/40 (BP #2). First serve: backhand return long. Deuce #1. Robson hit a running forehand long. Ad Min (GP #1). Robson’s deep forehand return forced Min to hit a forehand long. Deuce #2. Deep first serve forced Robson to net a forehand return. Ad Min (GP #2). Second serve out wide: Robson hit a forehand return-winner down the line. Deuce #3. Robson, stretched wide, netted a forehand. Ad Min (GP #3). Robson netted a forehand. Held.

My first impression of Robson in this match was that she was powerful but hit and miss.

Robson serving 0-1: First serve + deep backhand down the line forced Min to net a backhand. 15/0. Deep first serve out wide forced Min to earth a backhand return. 30/0. Deep first serve out wide forced Min to hit a forehand return long. 40/0 (GP #1). First serve out wide forced a short return, which Robson dispatched with a crosscourt backhand winner. Held.

Min serving 1-1: Min netted a backhand on the third stroke. 0/15. Ace #1: first serve down the middle, on the centre-line. 15/15. Min hit a backhand dropshot-winner from behind the baseline. 30/15. Second serve: backhand return long. 40/15 (GP #1). First serve out wide + deep forehand winner down the line. Held.

Robson serving 1-2: First serve out wide forced Min to stretch and hit a forehand return wide right. 15/0. Ace #1: first serve out wide. 30/0. Robson forced a short return, but netted a forehand. 30/15. Robson hit a first serve out wide, but netted a cheap forehand on the third stroke. 30/30. Min went to the net, but hit a forehand volley wide. 40/30 (GP #1). Ace #2: first serve out wide, on the sideline. Held.

Min serving 2-2: First serve + crosscourt forehand winner back behind Robson. 15/0. A long rally ended with Min netting a backhand. 15/15. Double fault #2 (second serve into the net). 15/30. Min netted a forehand on the third stroke. 15/40 (BP #1). Robson hit an off-forehand return-winner. Broken.

Robson serving 3-2: Deep first serve forced Min to hit a forehand lob-return long. 15/0. Robson netted a forehand on the third stroke. 15/15. First serve forced a short return, which Robson dispatched with a crosscourt forehand winner. 30/15. Ace #3: first serve out wide. 40/15 (GP #1). Min’s deep return forced Robson to hit a forehand long. 40/30 (GP #2). Double fault #1 (second serve into the net). Deuce #1. Ace #4: first serve out wide. Ad Robson (GP #3). Robson forced a floater, and dispatched it with an off-forehand smash-winner back behind Min. Held.

Min serving 2-4: Robson hit an off-forehand winner back behind Min. 0/15. First serve forced a short return; Min’s off-forehand forced Robson to hit a forehand long. 15/15. Deep first serve out wide forced Robson to hit a down-the-line forehand return wide. 30/15. Min’s deep forehand forced Robson to hit a forehand long. 40/15 (GP #1). Robson hit another forehand long. Held.

Robson serving 4-3 (new balls): Robson’s deep off-forehand forced Min to hit a forehand long. 15/0. Virtual ace out wide. 30/0. Deep first serve out wide forced Min to hit a forehand return long. 40/0 (GP #1). Min hit another forehand return long. Held.

Min serving 3-5: First serve out wide + off-forehand winner. 15/0. Min’s depth forced Robson to hit a backhand long. 30/0. First serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner back behind Robson. 40/0 (GP #1). A deep shot from Robson jammed into Min’s body, forcing her to hit an off-forehand wide. 40/15 (GP #2). Deep first serve forced Robson to earth a backhand return. Held.

Robson serving 5-4: Robson went to the net behind a deep forehand, forcing Min to hit a forehand long. 15/0. Ace #5: first serve out wide. 30/0. Robson forced a short ball, and hit a forehand dropshot with wicked spin: it clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. 40/0 (SP #1 for Robson). Ace #6: first serve out wide. Robson won the first set 6-4 at 17:16 BST (29m).


Second set
ROB @*@_@*@ 6
MIN ___@___ 1


Both girls requested to see their coaches during the set-break.

Min serving 0-0: Robson’s deep backhand forced Min to hit a backhand long. 0/15. Robson’s deep forehand forced Min to hit another backhand long. 0/30. Min forced a short ball, and hit an off-forehand that forced Robson to hit a forehand long. 15/30. Service-winner. 30/30. First serve out wide forced Robson to net a backhand. 40/30 (GP #1). Double fault #3 (second serve into the net). Deuce #1. Robson’s deep backhand forced Min to net a backhand. Ad Robson (BP #1). Min hit an off-forehand wide. Broken.

Robson serving 1-0: Ace #7: first serve out wide. 15/0. Robson’s depth forced Min to hit a backhand long. 30/0. First serve + off-forehand winner deep into the corner. 40/0 (GP #1). Min hit a down-the-line forehand winner. 40/15 (GP #2). Second serve: short return: Robson hit a crosscourt backhand winner. Held.

Min serving 0-2: Robson’s deep backhand return forced Min to hit a forehand long. 0/15. Robson dominated the rally and went to the net, forcing Min to hit a forehand long. 0/30. Robson hit a crosscourt forehand winner that clipped the baseline and shot through. 0/40 (BP #1). Deep first serve out wide forced Robson to hit a forehand return long. 15/40 (BP #2). Robson hit another forehand long. 30/40 (BP #3). Robson’s deep backhand forced Min to hit a forehand long. Broken.

Robson serving 3-0: Min’s depth forced Robson to hit a forehand very long. 0/15. Deep first serve out wide forced Min to earth a backhand return. 15/15. Robson netted a backhand on the third stroke. 15/30. Robson ran down a lob, but hit a forehand long. 15/40 (BP #1). Min’s deep forehand return forced Robson to hit a forehand long. Broken.

Min serving 1-3: First serve out wide forced Robson to net a backhand return. 15/0. First serve: Robson hit a crosscourt forehand return-winner. 15/15. Robson’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Min to hit a forehand long. 15/30. Robson hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 15/40 (BP #1). Min hit a forehand long. Broken.

Robson serving 4-1: Robson’s depth induced Min to spray a forehand very long. 15/0. Body-jamming first serve forced Min to hit a forehand return long. 30/0. Double fault #2 (second serve long). 30/15. Min hit a deep return down the middle, forcing Robson to hit an off-forehand wide. 30/30. Min netted a forehand return. 40/30 (GP #1). Min hit a backhand long. Held.

Min serving 1-5 (new balls): Robson’s deep forehand forced Min to hit a forehand long. 0/15. Double fault #4 (second serve wide of the centre-line). 0/30. Min sprayed an off-forehand wide. 0/40 (MP #1 for Robson). Robson hit a crosscourt backhand winner. Robson won 6-4 6-1 at 17:38 BST (second set 22m, match 51m).

Robson said in her on-court interview: “I thought in the second set I made more returns, waited for the right shots to go for.”

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Dr. Andrew Broad
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My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki
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