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Old May 23rd, 2009, 11:48 PM   #61
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Re: Grand Slam debutantes

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Originally Posted by Viktymise View Post
Only notable thing I can say, as I've never seen her [Dentoni] play, is that I was surprised at Sesil K's. meltdown against her. Sesil K's. game has suffered damage(perhaps irreversibly so) in the years she's been out from the game. Her FH is now completely useless and her serve is Pin-esque. Still, her overall defensive game and her smooth, clean BH should be enough on clay to beat someone like Dentoni rather handily almost every time.
Dentoni is tough to label as, even though she is nowhere near to having overwhelming firepower, she's nevertheless very aggressive from the baseline, and has a good serve. Her shots are all depth and placement rather than raw power - it's a very odd game she plays. I'd say the closest we have to her on the Tour is probably Urszula Radwanska, even though U-Rad's strongest side is the BH whereas Dentoni is a FH player. My guess is that Dentoni went on a shit hot serving streak through qualies.

As for Thunder, I saw her play in late 2005 and even at the time you could see the problems she was having with her serve. Similar to Micaela Carolina, next in line from Nick's factory and who probably shares some weaknesses with Thunder, in that regard.

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She [Sevastova] seems like an all-surface player, from what I've seen. Her defense is decent, she's not a pusher etc. Not a surprise.
Sevastova has solid groundstrokes that qualify as weapons and above average movement - an extremely rare combination these days. I suppose that, if she was indeed all that, she'd have broken through earlier, but see below.

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Woo, prediction come true! Hercog will be destined to hack it out on the lower clay court tiers indefinitely. Her FH simply falls apart on faster surfaces, and probably still will do on clay against competent ballbashers. She undoubtedly has more time on clay to junk players around from the baseline who can't hit through her. I imagine her defense is much better on clay too. Her draw wasn't too bad. Out-of-sorts X-treme ballbasher, another equally hopeless youngster, and the dire puffballer Duque Marino.
We can dissect a player's game, find strengths and weaknesses, try to determine which surfaces will suit in, and which types of opponents will be good or bad matchups for her, but we can't predict actual success or lack thereof, as way too many other factors influence that. This week's tournament winners are good illustrations of that. Rezai suffered from very bad draws over the last 2-3 seasons; Dulgheru broke through immediately because the stars aligned for her.

One of the reasons for this is that the sets of skills necessary to succeed at the lower level and required to win big are completely different - increasingly so.

Another problem is that the truism, that goes way back, that "players with an all-court, more versatile game take longer to breakthrough, whereas ballbashers will find immediate success" is no longer entirely accurate. I'd say that the days in which a big hitting supernova could blast her way through unfit, erratic and past-their-prime veterans/choke-y scrubs with the utmost ease are over; Nikki V. was the last one of that breed. Scrubs these days are fitter, more pugnatious and more consistent than they have ever been. If you look closely at the last few batches of young players, it's the more consistent ones who have been having early successes (before running into a wall), while the pure shotmakers are taking longer to mature and to clean up/develop their games (Lisicki is older than most of the Euro pushers IIRC). Things have changed, and our expectations haven't adjusted to these different circumstances yet.

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No comments to add [Diatchenko].
Even though Diatchenko is cute in a way that is somewhat unusual in tennis players (you'll see when I post my Estoril Open photos, which I hope to find time to do within the next couple of years ) and she's a power player, she plays a kind of game I can't quite bring myself to like: hitting really hard down the middle and wait for the best (i.e. the Divine Ivanovic's "strategy" in early rounds).

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Originally Posted by Viktymise View Post
Quite surprised by this one. Martic's form has been crap since last summer and this comes out of nowhere. After seeing her against Meusburger (lawl) last year on some livestream, I can only remember thinking what a smooth, consistenly big serve she had. Can't remember much about her ground game, possibly a slightly inconsistent version of U. Radwanska?
Regardless of how Martic plays, I'll never be able to hate on her because of her freckles. I can't possibly hate on anyone with freckles.

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Originally Posted by Viktymise View Post
Once Petkovic lost, I expected ShellydeB to qualify. Before today's match against Ivanova I thought 2, toughish sets for ShellydeB. Ivanova plays a fairly smooth counter-punching game with no weapons from the baseline, but has some nice savvy touch shots from what I remember from about a month or so ago. It was much to my amazement of course when I looked at the score of 0-6 0-3. Ivanova doesn't have to game to blitz ShellydeB however, so with not much of a serve either, a comeback wasn't totally off the cards.

Best chances in the main draw would be for ShellydeB (match against Zheng would be endlessly fun), Sevastova and Martic.
STOP GIVING PORTUGUESE NATIONAL HEROINE MICAELA CAROLINA DRAG QUEEN NICKNAMES.

She still has no serve, and only wins until she meets an aggressive returner that also requires some effort to break.

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Best chances in the main draw would be for ShellydeB (match against Zheng would be endlessly fun), Sevastova and Martic.
Debutantes rated in terms of chances of success:

Hradecka (if she isn't too tired)
Micaela Carolina Larcher de Brito
Rus
Sevastova
Martic
Diatchenko
Dentoni
Hercog
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Old May 24th, 2009, 11:08 AM   #62
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Re: Grand Slam debutantes

If your judging from Polona's match in Wimbledon against Tabakova, I don't think that would be a fair assessment on her game. She was way, way off.

Vitalia isn't really hitting down the middle so much in this match. She's hit some great angles and came up with some great returns. Her movement has improved but it's still iffy. Her serve is just awful. Dreadful. Thank god for her that Mathilde has a crazy erratic serve. Gorgeous backhand though. Inside out forehand is very good also.

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Old May 24th, 2009, 11:37 AM   #63
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Re: Grand Slam debutantes

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Originally Posted by Natash. View Post
Vitalia isn't really hitting down the middle so much in this match. She's hit some great angles and came up with some great returns. Her movement has improved but it's still iffy. Her serve is just awful. Dreadful. Thank god for her that Mathilde has a crazy erratic serve. Gorgeous backhand though. Inside out forehand is very good also.
At the Estoril Open outside courts, which was where I saw Diatchenko, you get only an approximate idea of shot placement. She'd do that (hitting down the middle) very often though; her rhythm can be so hectic that she simply had no time to adjust her footwork so as to be able to open angles and hit to wherever she happened to be facing (Ivanovic once again).

I wish those multicourt livestream thingies you use had on demand video. As in, as soon as the OOP was out the previous day, I'd select the matches I wanted to watch, and find them waiting for me, in a spoiler-free package, once I got back home in the evening.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 12:53 PM   #64
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Re: Grand Slam debutantes

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Originally Posted by Corswandt View Post
At the Estoril Open outside courts, which was where I saw Diatchenko, you get only an approximate idea of shot placement. She'd do that (hitting down the middle) very often though; her rhythm can be so hectic that she simply had no time to adjust her footwork so as to be able to open angles and hit to wherever she happened to be facing (Ivanovic once again).

I wish those multicourt livestream thingies you use had on demand video. As in, as soon as the OOP was out the previous day, I'd select the matches I wanted to watch, and find them waiting for me, in a spoiler-free package, once I got back home in the evening.
She does have something Ivanovic-esque in her shots. She panics a bit too.

You would love Goerges vs Benesova. Some great on the run forehands from Julia.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 01:10 PM   #65
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Re: Grand Slam debutantes

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Originally Posted by Natash. View Post
If your judging from Polona's match in Wimbledon against Tabakova, I don't think that would be a fair assessment on her game. She was way, way off.
Way off or not, she was getting blitzed by the suck that is Tabakova. The flaws in her game were quite evident.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 01:18 PM   #66
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Re: Grand Slam debutantes

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Way off or not, she was getting blitzed by the suck that is Tabakova. The flaws in her game were quite evident.
Oh dear Tabakova We will see then how she's doing. She played much better in her doubles match but that's a complete different game anyways. Hopefully she's on a showcourt. Arantxa is anyways.

Hoping for Corinna to be on as well. HUGE character. If you want get a feel of her game, there's a link to three matches she played in Japan somewhere in her thread.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 09:59 PM   #67
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Re: Grand Slam debutantes

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Hoping for Corinna to be on as well. HUGE character. If you want get a feel of her game, there's a link to three matches she played in Japan somewhere in her thread.
She is. The Estoril tournament goers simply adored her last year.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 04:38 PM   #68
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Re: Grand Slam debutantes

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She is. The Estoril tournament goers simply adored her last year.


Throwing her racket all the way to the net as she tries to close out a scrappy Japanese player. She was up 5-1 in the tiebreaker I forgot if there were tears involved.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 11:01 PM   #69
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Re: Grand Slam debutantes

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the dire puffballer Duque Marino
Dire, yes, but still enough to shoot down Chak.

I didn't expect Chak to remain in the top 10 for long, but to vanish completely like this?

BTW if anyone is considering complaining about how this thread has become a bit too chatty, remember that all the stats can be found in the first post.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 01:52 AM   #70
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Re: Grand Slam debutantes

5-1 for the debutantes so far. Impressive.
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Old Jun 16th, 2009, 10:19 PM   #71
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Re: Grand Slam debutantes

Possible debutantes still alive in Q 2R:

Lapushchenkova
Yonemura
Kulikova
K. Kucova
Soler Espinosa
Silva
Begu
Manasieva
Palkina

I don't know when I'll have the time to do an update of the OP.
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Old Jun 17th, 2009, 10:23 PM   #72
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Re: Grand Slam debutantes

Possible debutantes on the qualifying round:

Kulikova
K. Kucova
Silva
Manasieva

I wouldn't be surprised if none of them makes it. Silva vs Schruff will be a rematch of one of the chokiest matches in Tour history - which was for years the lone WTA Tour MD win by a Portuguese player.

Lapushchenkova again loses in Slam qualies. I don't think there are that many players who, like her, actually cracked the top 100 yet have never played in a GS MD.

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Old Jun 18th, 2009, 04:30 PM   #73
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Re: Grand Slam debutantes

Wimbledon 2009 Grand Slam debutantes are:

Regina Kulikova
Neuza Silva
Vesna "The Hair" Manasieva
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Old Jun 18th, 2009, 11:39 PM   #74
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Re: Grand Slam debutantes

During RG qualies, the resident experts on 10K qualies and certified no hopers bright young prospects were all over this thread, but now it seems they just don't care about these new debutantes. Mean people.

I hope they're merely scared of Manasieva's hair.
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Old Jun 18th, 2009, 11:58 PM   #75
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Re: Grand Slam debutantes

Neuza On grass.
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