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Old Aug 28th, 2004, 07:10 PM   #1
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a few Qualifying match reports

managed to go to the qualies again this year for a couple of days, saw a ton of matches...

1st round, Groenfeld d. Barna, 2 sets: This match, played on one of the big show courts, had the feel of a grudge match between two players from the same country who didn't care too much for each other. ALG is a very big, strong blonde girl, about six feet tall and not thin. Adriana Barna looks a lot like a right-handed version of her sister Anca. The critical game was the third game of the match when there were 7 or 8 deuces on Barna's serve, tough ad points going back and forth. Groenfeld eventually broke and then ran away with the first set 6-0. I didn't watch the second set but ALG won it.

1st round, Tamaela d. Tu, 2 sets: The match was every bit the beating that the 61 62 scoreline suggested. I was quite impressed seeing the Dutch Elise Tamaela for the first time. She is left-handed with a 2 hand backhand, and dark-skinned, looks either half-African or with heritage from the Caribbean. When Tu tried to be aggressive with hard flat shots, she missed; when she wasn't aggressive, Tamaela was able to methodically hit Meilen out of the points with her groundstrokes. Tamaela's serve was also a big factor.

1st round, Rodionova d. Peng, 3 sets: I caught the end of this match which was being watched by a big spirited crowd on the little court all the way in the back of the complex, #18. If you think Anna Kournikova is the hottest Russian blonde bombshell ever to play tennis, all i can say is, you've never seen Anastasia Rodionova. With her beautiful, flawless face like a princess, body to match, and blonde hair tied up into twin bunny ears, she's very dramatic and expressive on court, and would make a great diva if she were ranked higher. Anastasia was leading 5-2 in the third but was tiring badly and clutching at her back between points. There were quite a few Chinese watching, so both players had their vocal supporters. Serving for the match at 5-3, Rodionova easily went up 40-0, but then Peng hit two great winners and Anastasia drilled a forehand over the baseline to give up all three match points. AR got another ad and Peng saved another match point with a clean backhand winner, and Rodionova gave this exasperated look toward the crowd like she was at the end of her rope. Then she stepped up and surprised everybody by hitting a 100+ mph ace down the middle, then won the match on the next point when Peng missed wide with a pretty routine forehand. Was a very deserved victory.

1st round, Dominikovic d. Poutchek, 2 sets: Was a hard-fought match between two veterans who have spent long careers ranked from 100-200. Poutchek missed a golden opportunity to get back in the first set from 5-3 down when she hit an easy forehand into the net that would have tied it at 5-5. In the second set Poutchek got some really bad calls, including an ace she hit on an important deuce point that was overruled by the ump, and after the third or fourth one, she looked up and yelled "JEEEEEZUS!!!" as loud as she could, was pretty funny. Poutchek also seemed to be having pain in her foot that constrained her movement. Dominikovic played very well from the baseline throughout the match and won comfortably 63 in the second set. Biggest problem with Evie's game was her 35 mph second serve.

1st round, Skavronskaia d. Ivanovic, 7-5 in the 3rd: A match between two really hard hitters of the ball. This match looked more like a round of 16 main draw match than a 1st round qualifying. Very high quality stuff, was a shame these players had to meet so early. The tall, baby-faced Serbian brunette Ivanovic was a machine for the first set and a half, painting the lines like Monica Seles back in the day and showing no emotion whatsoever - just scary tennis. But the 6 foot 2 inch Skavronskaia started to generate her own offense with her big forehands and some spectacular one-handed backhand winners down the line. Lioudmila won the second and then really took over at the start of the third, controlling the points and leading *4-2, but then had a bit of a collapse and lost her serve twice in a row. Luckily for Skavronskaia, Ivanovic showed her inexperience by playing a terrible game when she served for the match at 5-4, and then another serving at 5-6, to give the tall Russian the victory.

maybe a few more later...
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Old Aug 28th, 2004, 07:13 PM   #2
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thanks Vogue
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Old Aug 28th, 2004, 07:30 PM   #3
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Old Aug 29th, 2004, 06:04 AM   #4
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Part 2...

2nd round, Uberoi d. Kremer 64 76: I had to mention this one because it was just a great quality match with a lot of long furious rallies. I believe the Uberoi sisters are Americans with Indian parents but not totally sure. Shikha has a big aggressive game and uses emotion to fire herself up. Kremer had to play great tennis to stay with her through the whole second set. Anne was really handling the pace well and hit some great passing shots and overhead winners despite her relatively short height (i think she's only 5 feet 4). Kremer earned a chance to serve out the set at *5-4 when she made an amazing running crosscourt stab of an Uberoi drop volley to get the break, but she failed, and it was at that point that the Uberoi contingent in the stands started getting REALLY boisterous, almost like a soccer match. The set went into a dramatic tiebreaker, with Uberoi earning three match points at 6-3, but was unable to convert any of them, hitting a double fault at 6-5. Kremer then got her own set point at 7-6, but she hit a high backhand which unluckily for her, got caught in the wind and was blown wide. Then she made a forehand UE, and the last point was the best rally of the day, Uberoi was hitting the cover off the ball and finally after about 25 or 30 balls she drilled a crosscourt forehand that Kremer could only get her frame on and ricocheted into the stands to end the match.

Fujiwara d. Avants, 3rd set retired: I came right at the end of the match, with Fujiwara up 6-5 and Avants looking like she was about to send it into a tiebreaker. I didn't see Cory Ann fall because like most everybody i was watching her shot as it went to the other side of the court, i just heard an "ooohh" and turned and saw her crumpled on the cement. The shame of it was there about 2,000 people totally into this match on the big #11 court (it was by far the best attended match of the day), and it was probly the biggest moment of Cory Ann's career that this happened to her. Fortunately it was a shoulder, not a knee or ankle, so she should be ok to play again in a couple of weeks.

2nd round, Domachowska d. Popadic, 2 sets: I didn't actually stay to watch this match after the first couple games, but the funny thing about it was, the two girls looked exactly alike, both wearing the same outfit, a pink tanktop with a white skirt, same height, both right-handed blondes with 2-hand backhands. I absolutely could not tell them apart. Apparently their tennis was not as evenly matched as their looks - Domachowska won 63 60.

2nd round, Groenfeld d. Mamic, 3 sets: If you have been to the USO qualifying a few times, you know that there are a couple of matches each year there that are just total classics in terms of the atmosphere they create, and this was one of them. It was one of the last matches of the day, played on the show court #13 with a few hundred people watching, with the sun setting behind Ashe stadium and it had to finish under the lights. The skinny, left-handed tomboyish-looking Sandra Mamic (i'd never heard of her before, i guess she's either Croatian or Serbian) was giving a lesson to the physically intimidating, #1 seeded ALG, seemingly anticipating where she was hitting all of her shots and blowing through the first set 6-1. Mamic got up an early break in the second set and Groenfeld was getting really frustrated, yelling "My God!!" and some other things, but she kept holding her own serve to stay within reach, and she was challenging Mamic in every return game, but she couldn't break her. It seemed like every time ALG got a break point, Mamic hit an ace! She did it at least four times. Finally after one of these aces, ALG abruptly backed out when Mamic was about to serve the deuce point, and the girls stared each other down, with Mamic mockingly crossing her legs as she faced Groenfeld as if to say, "Are you sure you're ready now?" Mamic held in that game to go up 5-3, then ALG held easily and Mamic quickly got up 40-15 for two match points. But it just wasn't her day as Groenfeld hit a fearless down the line forehand and then punished Mamic's desperate reply with a cool-as-ice forehand volley winner into the open court. Another forcing ALG groundstroke caused Mamic to miss a backhand wide, and two points later ALG had her first service break of the match. She never looked back, taking the set 7-5 - i had to leave to meet a friend, so i didn't see the third set but i imagine Groenfeld won it pretty easily.

Last edited by vogus : Aug 29th, 2004 at 06:10 AM.
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Old Aug 29th, 2004, 06:31 AM   #5
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Woah... that's some pretty hardcore overrating of Rodionova's looks there.
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Old Aug 29th, 2004, 07:22 AM   #6
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thanks
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Old Aug 29th, 2004, 12:57 PM   #7
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thanks - i didn´t know ALG had Matchpoints against her
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Old Aug 29th, 2004, 02:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCBY Treats
Woah... that's some pretty hardcore overrating of Rodionova's looks there.
I was just thinking that too
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Old Aug 29th, 2004, 03:06 PM   #9
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Old Aug 29th, 2004, 05:37 PM   #10
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Old Aug 29th, 2004, 06:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vogus
1st round, Tamaela d. Tu, 2 sets: The match was every bit the beating that the 61 62 scoreline suggested. I was quite impressed seeing the Dutch Elise Tamaela for the first time. She is left-handed with a 2 hand backhand, and dark-skinned, looks either half-African or with heritage from the Caribbean.
Tamaela sounds like an Ambonese last name... Ambon is an ethnic group in Indonesia -- most have dark features and curly hair. Indonesia was a Dutch colony and there's a significant population of Indo-descents in Holland.
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Old Aug 29th, 2004, 06:49 PM   #12
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Thnaks a lot
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Old Aug 29th, 2004, 07:57 PM   #13
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Did anyone catch any of Maureen Drake's matches? If so, how is she playing at the moment?

And I agree about Rodionova...she's cute, but cute doesn't compare to Kournikova.
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Old Aug 29th, 2004, 08:59 PM   #14
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Cory Ann is fine and may be able to play doubles at the US Open. I talked to her yesterday. The shoulder was dislocated and they put it back in place. She hasn't done anything with it for a few days per doctors orders. She is in good spirits and is looking forward to getting back to playing
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Old Aug 29th, 2004, 10:17 PM   #15
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I personally always thought Kournikova's face was "cute," but nothing more than that. Rodionova has a much prettier face IMO... not that i think it's worth arguing about it, bcuz it's pointless...

I did actually watch some of Drake vs Pichet (1st round), but i don't remember much about it, sorry about that. Maureen obviously was doing something right because Blagotova who she beat in the second round is quite a good player.

Last edited by vogus : Aug 29th, 2004 at 10:23 PM.
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