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Old Aug 8th, 2008, 07:59 PM   #1
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Birmingham 2008: Andrew's eyewitness reports & photos (Mon + Tue + 2r + 3r + qf)

Andrew's eyewitness report & photos for Monday

===========
DFS CLASSIC (Edgbaston, Birmingham, England; grass; WTA Tier III)
=========== http://birmingham.lta.org.uk/
Contents
--------

1. My photos
2. Practice: Vaidišová v Krajíček

Master-reports for Birmingham 2008:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=352747

------------
1. My photos
------------

Permission to copy my Birmingham photos is granted provided that:
(a) no money is exchanged;
(b) they are labelled as "Copyright 2008 Andrew Broad".
Please let me know if you do use them on another website.

I have uploaded all my photos for Monday 9th June 2008, in one big zip-file, to:
http://www.divshare.com/download/5131504-de1

Monday's players:

Nicole Vaidišová (13)
Ioana Raluca Olaru (28)
Alyona Bondarenko (18)
Kateryna Bondarenko (18)
Yaroslava Shvedova (14)
Séverine Brémond (13)
Virginia Ruano Pascual (13)
Aravane Rezaď (12)
Katie O'Brien (10)
Monica Niculescu (7)
Yanina Wickmayer (6)
Sunitha Rao (6)
Michaëlla Krajíček (4)
Tatiana Poutchek (3)
Amanda Elliott (3)
MC Vicki Stone (3)
Sabine Lisicki (2)
Alla Kudryavtseva (2)
Akgul Amanmuradova (2)
umpire Eva Asderaki (2)
Petra Kvitová (1)
Tamarine Tanasugarn (1)
Angelique Kerber? (1)

---------------------------------
2. Practice: Vaidišová v Krajíček (Monday 9th June)
---------------------------------

After watching a match on an outside-court, I went to the practice-courts thinking how nice it would be to see Nicole Vaidišová there: my favourite player at Birmingham 2008.

So when Nicole was the first player I spotted as I approached the practice-courts, I couldn't believe it was her at first! I thought perhaps I was just seeing what I wanted to see, and she looked so small... but that was just because she was so far away until I got there.

Nicole was hitting with another blonde girl on the nearest practice-court, so I immediately sat down by Nicole's end of the court, whipped out my camera and started taking photos.

Nicole was with her new coach David Felgate, and while she looked pretty much the same as in 2007, her grunt was now a low bellow like Daniela Hantuchová's.

This went on for about five minutes, then Nicole went to the net and shook hands with the other girl: it was only then that I realised she was Michaëlla Krajíček, and that they must have been playing a practice-set (previous clues being Michaëlla throwing her racket, and the fact that Nicole was grunting).

Nicole had lost 6 matches in a row going into Birmingham, and Michaëlla was in an even worse slump, having lost 12 matches in a row dating back to October 2007. Later in the week, I would have the very great pleasures of watching them both snap their losing-streaks - I guess this practice-match must have done them both good!

I took some more photos of Nicole and Michaëlla as they packed up; Nicole signed some autographs as she left the practice-court and strode off towards the players' enclosure.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/vaidi/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Nicole_Vaidisova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nicole-vaidisova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sharap...va_hantuchova/
__________________
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

Last edited by andrewbroad : Aug 30th, 2008 at 11:16 PM. Reason: edit Title
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Old Aug 22nd, 2008, 11:55 PM   #2
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Andrew's eyewitness report & photos for Tuesday

===========
DFS CLASSIC (Edgbaston, Birmingham, England; grass; WTA Tier III)
=========== http://birmingham.lta.org.uk/
Contents
--------

1. My photos
2. Practice: Vaidišová v Wickmayer

Master-reports for Birmingham 2008:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=352747

------------
1. My photos
------------

Permission to copy my Birmingham photos is granted provided that:
(a) no money is exchanged;
(b) they are labelled as "Copyright 2008 Andrew Broad".
Please let me know if you do use them on another website.

I have uploaded all my photos for Tuesday 10th June 2008, in one big zip-file, to:
http://www.divshare.com/download/5229165-ae6

Tuesday's players:

Nicole Vaidišová (67)
Sabine Lisicki (44)
Marta Domachowska (28)
Michaëlla Krajíček (22)
Séverine Brémond (34)
Marina Eraković (25)
Stéphanie Dubois (10)
Yanina Wickmayer (8)
coach David Felgate (8)
Ekaterina Makarova (6)
Angelique Kerber (6)
Nathalie Dechy (3)
Tatiana Poutchek (3)
Margit Rüütel (2)
Julie Ditty (1)
Marion Bartoli (1)
Samantha Stosur (1)
MC Vicki Stone (1)

----------------------------------
2. Practice: Vaidišová v Wickmayer (Tuesday 10th June)
----------------------------------

At about 12:50 BST, I saw Nicole Vaidišová walking towards Court 1, where Nathalie Dechy and Séverine Brémond were playing for the honour of becoming Nicole's second-round opponent.

Nicole looked stunning in tight pink shorts and a white, sleeveless top, and I thought she was going to stop and watch the match on Court 1, but by the time I got my camera out, she had disappeared.

However, Nicole reappeared a few minutes later (at 12:57, to be precise). I followed her to the practice-courts, and watched her entire half-hour practice-session with Yanina Wickmayer (who would go on to reach the final).

Nicole and Yanina hit a long series of groundstrokes, and then practised with one of them at the baseline and the other at the net hitting volleys and overheads. Then they practised serving and returning each other's serves, and finally Nicole played a service-game against Wickmayer, in which Nicole hit a backhand pass-winner down the line.

Nicole looked happy in her practice-session, but as Iveta Benešová remarked after beating Nicole at the French Open, "She's happy because she's in love."

Is it love or is it what?
Who's this guy I'm gonna blow away?
What kind of love is he giving you?
I'm a-dizzy's what I'm trying to say
[David Bowie, "Too Dizzy"]

After this practice-session, I followed Nicole back to Court 1, and she sat at the top of the hill to watch Dechy v Brémond. She was with this shorter, older blonde lady whom I presume to be her mother Riana - obviously Nicole didn't inherit her height from her! ;-) But they left before the end of the match.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
(see profile or signature for links)
__________________
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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Old Aug 23rd, 2008, 11:26 PM   #3
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Andrew's second-round eyewitness report & photos

===========
DFS CLASSIC (Edgbaston, Birmingham, England; grass; WTA Tier III)
=========== http://birmingham.lta.org.uk/
Contents
--------

1. My photos
2. Second round: Vaidišová v Dechy

Master-reports for Birmingham 2008:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=352747

------------
1. My photos
------------

Permission to copy my Birmingham photos is granted provided that:
(a) no money is exchanged;
(b) they are labelled as "Copyright 2008 Andrew Broad".
Please let me know if you do use them on another website.

I have uploaded all my photos for Wednesday 11th June 2008, in one big zip-file, to:
http://www.divshare.com/download/5232315-595

Wednesday's players:

Nicole Vaidišová (61)
Sania Mirza (30)
Yaroslava Shvedova (30)
Petra Cetkovská (28)
Marion Bartoli (21)
Katie O'Brien (16)
Sorana Cîrstea (14)
Marta Domachowska (13)
Marina Eraković (13)
Aiko Nakamura (10)
Michaëlla Krajíček (7)
Nathalie Dechy (6)
Ioana Raluca Olaru (4)
MC Vicki Stone (4)
Maria Sharapova poster (1)
Monica Niculescu (1)
Tatiana Poutchek (1)

----------------------------------
2. Second round: Vaidišová v Dechy (Wednesday 11th June)
----------------------------------

+ NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [3,EF] d. Nathalie Dechy, 6-1 6-3

It seems that Michaëlla Krajíček and Nicole both benefitted from practising against each other on Monday! Michaëlla snapped a 12-match losing-streak on Tuesday, and Nicole snapped her 6-match losing-streak on Wednesday.

Dechy looked like a weak shadow of her former self, but Nicole looked very impressive as she overpowered the French veteran with her huge serves and forehands to win in just 51 minutes.

My full match-report, with a blow-by-blow description of every point, is at:
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/ten...ngham2008.html

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
(see profile or signature for links)
__________________
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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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 11:39 AM   #4
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Andrew's third-round eyewitness report & photos

===========
DFS CLASSIC (Edgbaston, Birmingham, England; grass; WTA Tier III)
=========== http://birmingham.lta.org.uk/
Contents
--------

1. My photos
2. Third round: Vaidišová v Makarova

Master-reports for Birmingham 2008:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=352747

------------
1. My photos
------------

Permission to copy my Birmingham photos is granted provided that:
(a) no money is exchanged;
(b) they are labelled as "Copyright 2008 Andrew Broad".
Please let me know if you do use them on another website.

I have uploaded all my photos for Thursday 12th June 2008, in one big zip-file, to:
http://www.divshare.com/download/5241248-20f

Thursday's players:

Nicole Vaidišová (45)
Michaëlla Krajíček (33)
groundstaff (24)
Ekaterina Makarova (23)
Alyona Bondarenko (19)
Marina Eraković (16)
Yanina Wickmayer (15)
Yaroslava Shvedova (8)
MC Vicki Stone (4)
Melanie South (1)

------------------------------------
2. Third round: Vaidišová v Makarova (Thursday 12th June)
------------------------------------

+ NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [3,EF] d. EKATERINA MAKAROVA [15], 6-7 (5/7) 6-2 6-4

A tough match for Nicole, played on a cold, windy evening against a left-handed opponent who served very well - although Nicole did make a lot of cheap return-errors, which would return to haunt her in the quarter-finals.

Apparently, 20-year-old Ekaterina is no relation to the beautiful Elena Makarova of the 1990s. Ekaterina is kind of cute, with a classic Russian ponytail, but she's as thin as a whippet, and her crooked nose mars an otherwise pretty face. Could she grow on me?

The first set resembled one of those serve-dominated men's matches on grass in the mid-1990s, albeit with an exchange of breaks as Makarova broke for *5-4 but failed to serve it out. Nicole looked very upset when she lost the set on a tiebreak in which she had led 4/1*.

Nicole broke at the start of the second set, and although she got complacent, she still managed to get a double break and win the set 6-2.

Nicole led *5-2 in the third set, but threw away her first chance to serve out the match with two double faults in a row. But she managed it at *5-4, despite missing an easy volley at 30/15 and putting her hand over her mouth.

My full match-report, with a blow-by-blow description of every point, is at:
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/ten...ngham2008.html

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
(see profile or signature for links)
__________________
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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Old Aug 30th, 2008, 11:13 PM   #5
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Andrew's quarter-final eyewitness report & photos

===========
DFS CLASSIC (Edgbaston, Birmingham, England; grass; WTA Tier III)
=========== http://birmingham.lta.org.uk/
Contents
--------

1. My photos
2. Quarter-final: Vaidišová v Mattek

Master-reports for Birmingham 2008:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=352747

------------
1. My photos
------------

Permission to copy my Birmingham photos is granted provided that:
(a) no money is exchanged;
(b) they are labelled as "Copyright 2008 Andrew Broad".
Please let me know if you do use them on another website.

I have uploaded all my photos for Friday 13th June 2008, in one big zip-file, to:
http://www.divshare.com/download/5276164-5fe

Friday's players:

Nicole Vaidišová (31 photos)
Alyona Bondarenko (41)
Kateryna Bondarenko (37)
Bethanie Mattek (25)
Petra Cetkovská (24)
Marina Eraković (23)
unidentified player (23)
MC Vicki Stone (11)
Yanina Wickmayer (6)
Michaëlla Krajíček (5)
Melanie South (3)
Monica Niculescu (2)
Tamira Paszek (1)

------------------------------------
2. Quarter-final: Vaidišová v Mattek (Friday 13th June)
------------------------------------

- NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [3,EF] lt. Bethanie Mattek, 3-6 0-6

Nicole may have broken her losing-streak two rounds previously, but instead of improving, her form actually deteriorated from match to match, and from set to set.

In cold, windy conditions on Friday the 13th, Nicole self-destructed in a hail of unforced errors: particularly her returns of serve, and particularly her forehand. Nicole didn't move her feet properly, and struggled with short balls from Mattek that she would punish when playing well. All Mattek did was to keep the ball in play, to a good depth, and not make any errors herself.

The first set went with serve until *2-3, and Nicole seemed to be playing better than Mattek until she threw in a bad service-game to get broken for 2-4*.

When Mattek served for the first set at 5-3, Nicole hit three forehand winners to get to 15/40, but then squandered three break-points before Mattek converted her first set-point.

It was hard to believe that the second set was going to be a bagel, even with Nicole's previous tanking efforts in the last three months. I expected Nicole to at least hold serve, but the errors flowed thicker and faster from her racket, and there was a touch of panic in the dropshot she attempted from the baseline at *0-4 (0/15).

It's so sad to see a young lady with so much talent simply frittering it away. Nicole looked upset when she lost, and I'm glad she was upset, because at least it shows that she still cares about her tennis after Iveta Benešová's, "She's happy because she's in love," comment after beating Nicole at the French Open.

So what's the way out of this slump? Getting rid of her boyfriend would be a start, but if they're adamant they want to stay together, they should at least spend all their time together with him serving so that she can work on her returns! ;-)

I'm writing this after Nicole's second-round loss at the US Open - she has now lost five of her last six matches. It seems to me that she is now at the crossroads of her career: she can either get her act together and have a brilliant career - perhaps even winning some Grand Slam titles - or she can continue this slump until she's ranked in the 600s in a couple of years' time, like it was with Jelena Dokić (who is now back up to #187, but still stuck in the rut of the ITF Women's Circuit). What's it going to be, Nicole?

My full match-report, with a blow-by-blow description of every point, is at:
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/ten...ngham2008.html

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
(see profile or signature for links)
__________________
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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