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Old Jul 21st, 2007, 09:31 PM   #46
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Re: AKGUL! The Gentle Giant's Wildly Enthusiastic Fan Zone

she must have pulled out of stanford because i don't see her name anywhere.

she's currently down 5-2 in the third to morigami. keep fighting, akgul!
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Old Jul 21st, 2007, 11:56 PM   #47
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Unhappy Re: AKGUL! The Gentle Giant's Wildly Enthusiastic Fan Zone

Morigami outlasts fatigued Amanmuradova in Cincinnati Open semis

Associated Press
Updated: July 21, 2007, 7:37 PM ET

MASON, Ohio -- Akiko Morigami outlasted qualifier Akgul Amanmuradova from Uzbekistan to earn a 6-7 (8), 6-4, 6-3 win and her second finals berth in three years at the Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open.

Morigami, the seventh seed from Japan, lost to Patty Schnyder of Switzerland in the 2005 championship match.

"I just really enjoyed the match," Morigami said. "She's been playing well. I had to battle all the way. I had to be mentally tough."

Morigami had 17 chances to break Amanmuradova's serve and converted just four. The most crucial came in the sixth game of the third set when Morigami returned a second serve deep to Amanmuradova's backhand. Amanmuradova hit her return volley into the net.

"It was a little bit tough," Morigami said. "I kept telling myself not to think about the breaks and just to focus on the next point."

She will face the winner of the semifinal match between top-seeded Anna Chakvetadze of Russia and third-seeded Sania Mirza of India.

Morigami, who needed 2 hours, 48 minutes to beat Camille Pin of France in the first round, closed out the 2 hour, 28 minute match against Amanmuradova with a forehand volley.

"I can't put my shoulder up anymore. I had a lot of matches this week -- a lot of stress," said Amanmuradova, who dealt with a bee sting and a toothache while winning three qualifying matches to earn a tournament berth. "Mentally, I'm OK. I played well all week. Today, she played better at the important moments."

Neither player could break the other in the first set, leading to a tiebreaker that was just as even until, with a 9-8 lead, Amanmuradova lofted a drop shot that the more-experienced player returned long.

"The only chance I had was to keep serving the same, but when you get tired, you can't make as many first serves, and she takes chances on second serves," Amanmuradova said.

The players combined in the second set for five service breaks, including the last three games, with Morigami's three giving her the edge.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2007, 01:18 AM   #48
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Re: AKGUL! The Gentle Giant's Wildly Enthusiastic Fan Zone

still a good week
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Old Jul 22nd, 2007, 05:24 AM   #49
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Re: AKGUL! The Gentle Giant's Wildly Enthusiastic Fan Zone

Hi! Here are my match reports for Cincinnati Quarterfinal and Semifinal.

================

Agkul-Lilia (Quarterfinal). This was the match I had come to see. The match started at about 5:15. I had to leave at 6:30 to be somewhere else, so was hoping I could see the entire match (and it ended at exactly 6:30).

I had seen Agkul play Cincinnati last year, taking notice of her earlier in the year. I was really rooting for her because I know she had a very disadvantaged career compared to most players. Last year, she lost her 1R match (I can’t recall if it was qualies or MD, probably qualies) with very poor play; the main thing I remember is SO, SO, SO many balls hit wild and long. I was actually shocked to see a pro who was so untrained in her shots and movement and even her dress was …. she didn’t even have tennis shoes to wear. This is something rarely if ever seen in pro tennis, at least for me, it was like a girl off the street was out there bashing balls!! People in the stands: maybe 20! She has become something of a pet player for me now, watching her results and really hoping for her success against all odds.

This year work took over my week and I couldn’t get away until Friday. I was so glad she made it thru qualies and MD to quarterfinals, so I could see her again!

The match started off with some pretty poor play by both players – service errors and UEs. Lilia’s serve is not very strong.

As the game developed, I was pleased and surprised to see that Agkul has learned to play! She has developed a slice backhand – every backhand - and a good strong controlled topspin forehand. Her serve is flat and consistently clocks between 106-110. (Second serve sits up.) And she will throw in a dropshot every once in a while. It is still rough by pro standards but not ugly rough like last year.

I don’t know what she did over the past year but it has been VERY, VERY good and her hard work is paying off.

Agkul wears a red polo-type shirt and big white shorts, real tennis shoes , left ankle brace. Lilia in a petite Nike outfit.

Agkul up 4-1 easily, then another break to 5-1, and takes the set with aces. Lilia’s serve speed/strength seems a big factor in this, and some thing she will have to improve if she wants to take the offensive and hold against the other players.

Second set, Agkul breaks Lilia’s second service game, but Lilia breaks back to 2-2 with a lob. Lilia is comfortable and capable at the net, and has a strong forehand down the line in her toolkit, which she uses whenever she gets the chance.. (I deem this “her shot” and the crows goes wild when she hits it.) Lilia loses her next service game with a double fault, then Agkul wins hers with three aces in a row! Agkul up 4-2. Agkul making UEs into the net now, and service errors now, gets broken again, then gets another break, and finally Agkul serves for the match. The match score was (Q) A Amanmuradova (UZB) d. L Osterloh (USA) 61 64

She was really excited! Her interview was very good. Her English is excellent and with almost no accent. The announcer first asked if this was her best week of tennis ever, and she said there was one other week better, but this was her second best week. The announcer said that Agkul had had a tooth infection and swollen jaw and she had played in a lot of pain earlier in the week, and that she had a very good dentist. I think she was a little embarrassed at that but it was OK. Then she thanked the fans for supporting her, as a foreigner against an American player, and that was gracious and well-received. I think the interview was very well done. Then she hit her balls into the crowd and signed autographs. I’m just smiling compared to last year when nobody would have known who she was, to this year singing autographs!!


================


I also went to see Agkul- Akiko (Quarterfinal) today.

I only saw the first two sets (HAD to be somewhere AGAIN ) so I had to leave at 1 set each. In short: Akiko has a very skillful and pretty game; she does just about everything well. They had a really EXCITING first set, both baseline and net play. The first thing I noticed was that Akiko played much better than Lilia, and Agkul really raised her game to match Akiko’s.

Agkul whenever she was down on a service game, could always be counted on to come back. Good return of serve.

But in the second Agkul completely lost her first serve. I have seen enough first serve errors today in that second set, I’ll not need to ever see one again. No shock that Akiko won it, playing just about every point that set against Agkul’s second serves.

And the third, which I missed, Akiko won 6-3. The match score was (7) A Morigami (JPN) d. (Q) A Amanmuradova (UZB) 67(8) 64 63.

Akiko had a lot more people supporting her, but Agkul had a few, and the fans were polite and cheered good play from both sides.

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Old Jul 23rd, 2007, 02:14 AM   #50
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Re: AKGUL! The Gentle Giant's Wildly Enthusiastic Fan Zone

thanks, drake.

she definitely belongs in the top 100. it's only a matter of time before she gets there.
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Old Jul 25th, 2007, 09:43 PM   #51
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Thumbs up Re: AKGUL! The Gentle Giant's Wildly Enthusiastic Fan Zone

Thanks, drake. You're the hero of the Akgul fan crowd, because you actually noticed her last year.

Akgul is out in Stanford after all, playing doubles with Angelika Bachmann. I guess she couldn't get there in time to enter singles qualies, or was just too weary. Anyway they won their first-round match, over Castaño and Craybas, 64 75. They have a day off today.
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Old Aug 19th, 2007, 11:35 AM   #52
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Re: AKGUL! The Gentle Giant's Wildly Enthusiastic Fan Zone

Have been out of town, so I haven't been able to follow Akgul for a couple of weeks, but I see she has climbed to #102 now.
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Old Aug 20th, 2007, 12:31 PM   #53
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Re: AKGUL! The Gentle Giant's Wildly Enthusiastic Fan Zone

Akgul has entered the TOP 100. Who would have expected this at the beginning of the year? You are truly amazing, Gentle Giant.
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Old Aug 30th, 2007, 11:06 PM   #54
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Re: AKGUL! The Gentle Giant's Wildly Enthusiastic Fan Zone

Akgul's on the entry lists for the Tier 3s in Bali and Kolkata, India, Sept. 10th & 17th. Last year she also played in Kolkata, losing in r1; she did the same in Tashkent -- then she played a few 50Ks and even a 25K to end the year. She's come such a long way in one year, it's incredible. No more 25Ks for Akgul! (I hope!)
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Old Sep 9th, 2007, 04:19 PM   #55
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Re: AKGUL! The Gentle Giant's Wildly Enthusiastic Fan Zone

She's ba-aack! Here is Akgul's quarter of the Bali main draw:

(4) Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP vs (WC) Sandy Gumulya INA
Akgul Amanmuradova UZB vs Sara Errani ITA
Yulia Fedossova FRA vs Hsieh Su-Wei TPE
(7) Aiko Nakamura JPN vs Tamarine Tanasugarn THA

She's in the tough half, the half with both Jankovic and Davenport! But let's see if she can at least work her way through this quarter, which is a lot less intimidating than the top quarter. Good luck against Sara, Akgul!
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Old Oct 1st, 2007, 12:39 AM   #56
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Re: AKGUL! The Gentle Giant's Wildly Enthusiastic Fan Zone

Good luck to Akgul in Tashkent -- I hope she can get back on track now.
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Old Oct 1st, 2007, 08:03 PM   #57
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Re: AKGUL! The Gentle Giant's Wildly Enthusiastic Fan Zone

she won her first round match over sromova 6-3, 7-6(2).
she has poutchkova or tulyaganova in the second round. both very winnable matches.

come on akgul!
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Old Oct 3rd, 2007, 10:24 PM   #58
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Re: AKGUL! The Gentle Giant's Wildly Enthusiastic Fan Zone

she beat the 7th seeded poutchkova 6-3, 6-4 and enters the quarterfinals!
she has reached a career high ranking of 92 with this win, and has an opportunity to move around #84 if she can get to the semifinals. to do that, she could have to beat either pauline parmentier or vesna manasieva.

let's go akgul!
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Old Oct 9th, 2007, 12:30 AM   #59
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Re: AKGUL! The Gentle Giant's Wildly Enthusiastic Fan Zone

she has won three matches (all in straight sets) to qualify for the tier III in bangkok!

she will play anastasia rodionova in the first round. definitely should be a good match that could go either way.
come on akgul!
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Old Oct 9th, 2007, 01:13 AM   #60
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Re: AKGUL! The Gentle Giant's Wildly Enthusiastic Fan Zone

Akgul is a great person in general..i saw her play bethanie in cincy...great match..could have gone either way..i had to tell the lady helping with seating about her....mirza and govortsova was there....got akguls autograph and pics of her from there....hope she does well in the future!
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