First of all Wrexham is not the most spectator friendly place to have a tennis tournament.They have the reception area when you come in the door and you have to look across the courts from there. Amy was playing on the 2nd court in. So as you can imagine it wasn't the best view in the world as you have one match in front of you and then you are looking across to the second court. I could see if the balls went long but was very difficult for the wide balls. The umpires don't call the scores either and the players have to collect their own balls. I'm a club player myself and haven't seen much live tennis so I have to qualify anything I say by saying that I thought all the players I saw were playing great. Live tennis is so much different than tv, much faster.
Amy is a very tall player (btw she wasn't the only one though as Naomi Broady and Jocelyn Rae were there too), she was playing a spanish girl who was ranked about 600 in the world. Amy broke in the first game, to be honest she didn't need to do much as the opponent opened with 2 double faults and basically handed her the game. Amy consolidated the break to 3-1 but then she played a loose service game and the other girl went 4-3 up. Amy has a very big first serve and a big forehand. The spanish girl was short and stocky with a one handed backhand. Anyway after Amy handed back the break it went to a tie break. She immediately got off to a very bad start spraying the forehand to go 3-0 down then 5-1 before losing the breaker 7-5. This set took about 1 hour and a quarter. I felt that Amy pretty much handed her that breaker as it was her loose errors that won it for the spaniard. Amy broke once in the middle of the second and won it 6-3, she then broke early in the second to go 2-1 up.
Breaks were very hard to come by in this match. Amy won countless points with her first serve, she seems to get a lot of power on it and it's coming down from such a great height. But then again the spaniard seemed to have a fairly good serve and Amy had problems getting into the rally when she got the first serve into play. Amy seemed to win a good share of points receiving the second serve but couldn't convert these into games won.
At 2-1 in the third the spaniard had an injury timeout. I wondered whether this would disrupt Amy's momentum. When play resumed they played a few points and next thing I see Amy screaming at umpire. I couldn't hear what this was about but straight after this outburst Amy made to unforced errors to face a break point but the serve came to the rescue and she held for 3-1. It then went with serve til 5-4. Serving for the match she missed her first serve but went 15-0 up when the opponent hit a shot wide. She then hit 3 unreturnable serves to win the match. The match took 3 hours.
What I could see from the match is that Amy has weapons, those being her serve and forehand. I'm not sure how consistent she is yet. (my comp has just crashed but lucklily I didn't lose this so just going to post this now and I'll continue in another post)
As I was saying I really like her serve and forehand, backhand is a solid shot. Would question her movement at the moment but maybe that's to do with her height, any time she was down in the rally she didn't seem to defend that great and almost always lost the point. She was a lot more impressive than I thought she'd be though after following her results for some time now. Mentally she did very well at the end and as I said before it's difficult to gauge how good she is or can be as I. I don't have enough experience of looking at pro players to say whether better players would be able to deal with that serve more effectively. I think the movement and consistency would be the weaknesses at the moment but the serve and forehand are already excellent.
Watched a couple of games of her next opponent Fitzpatrick, she looks very solid off both sides and I think she might be a level too high for Amy at the moment. But I'm looking forward to seeing how she progresses in the future
Thanks for that news, Kevin. Pity about John, he could've done okay on the ITF. Still, it's his life and he might do a Niland and go for the pro career after college. Liggan, unfortunately is retired and there's no signs of her coming back.