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Old Nov 25th, 2001, 09:21 AM   #16
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Thanks <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> <br />nice to see Tammy is so nice <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
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Old Nov 25th, 2001, 04:31 PM   #17
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I totally agree with The Pea that it is double game. When play double you must have good strategy and good game plan with your partner. Most of good double players like Yayuk have great volley and know how to win the point. I think Yayuk know ( I did not see Yayuk/Tammy VS Ka-Po/Su-Wei match. I saw Ka-Po played Patricia Wartusch . She missed easy volley a lot. ) Ka-Po could not play volley well so she try to hit the ball to Ka-Po to force her to play volley. That is the way she should do to win the point. The ball may hit her because she feel too scared.

Yayuk also hit the ball to Asa in Tammy/Yayuk VS Asa/Iroda match. After that Yayuk apologized for that. I think in double game if your opponent at net play great volley every time when you return service with cross court. You should give variety return shot ( down the line, lob, cross court and hit directly to their body ) to your opponent at net to force to guess to play the point. I am sure Ka-Po and Asa did not angry for that shot because that is double game.

For Steveg : I was not sitting at audience's stand box during Tammy/Yayuk VS Asa/Iroda match. I was standing at the fence. I also have taken Tammy/Yayuk's pics from the fence when they gave interview to Local TV after the match. After that I went to inside the court to take Tammy/Yayuk's pics and talk to them. <img src="graemlins/wavey.gif" border="0" alt="[Wavey]" /> <img src="graemlins/wavey.gif" border="0" alt="[Wavey]" />
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Old Nov 25th, 2001, 04:48 PM   #18
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I just come back from Hanoi where there was an ITF $10,000 tourney. Excellent quality for doubles matches. But players did not aim at their opponent at the net (I mean when all players were at the net). They were rather looking for angles <img src="wink.gif" border="0"> . When you have a volley to play very close to the net, you do not necessarily aim at your opponent...

I am not so sure that Ka Po and Hsu Wei were not a little bit upset. <img src="wink.gif" border="0">
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Old Nov 26th, 2001, 12:38 AM   #19
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Steve,

I was going to ask you whether you were going to the tourney in Hanoi or not. <img src="wink.gif" border="0">

Anybody there that impressed you?<br />Were you able to see Yen-Hsun Lu?

BTW, how big is the crowd usually at these ITF events in Vietnam? And is the facility in Hanoi as nice as the resort in Ho Chi Minh?
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Old Nov 26th, 2001, 03:05 PM   #20
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danker, it just happened that I had to go on a business trip in Hanoi as I had one guest coming from Europe <img src="wink.gif" border="0"> .

And it so happened that there was this ITF tourney. I could see only the 1/2 singles semi finals and final (there was not really a doubles final because Yen-Hsun Lu had injured himself (back injury).

The player among all of them who impressed me most was obviously Yen-Hsun Lu. He has been playing great tennis from the back of the court against James Auckland in semis. Excellent backhand passing shots. Solid forehand, though sometimes a bit short. Great angles most of all. His opponent was really moving everywhere.

Some weaknesses on his first serve, and in particular many foot faults. This is most probably the area of his game he can improve most in the weeks / months to come.

In final, his forehand has been just fantastic : huge accelerations and winners against Qureshi. His backhand was a bit weak during the final (several mistakes from the back of the court), though his passings were deadly. I guess however it was partly due to his back injury that might have prevented him from good hop rotation.

It is really a pitty he was injured (I think it happened in the first set actually) as it could have been much tighter than this. I just hope it is not much and he will be better soon.

Another point that struck me was his calm on the court. No real sign of excitement. Great mental. Just a little bit of fist pumping, but understandable given the points he played.

<br />This is the third time I see Qureshi play. He is quite good but I do not see much progress in his game. Huge serve of course (he was measured at over 190km/h during Hochiminh Challenger). Good volley. Solid game. But not enough of all this I think.

I see a much better future in Yen-Hsun Lu. As I said, huuuge impression.

Toshihide Matsui made also a rather good impression in his semi final against Qureshi. I did not enjoy the match much however as it was at 09:00 and I had had a very late night before <img src="graemlins/angel.gif" border="0" alt="[Angel]" /> . But I remember it was tight in the first set and Toshihide had a solid game.

The doubles final was fun actually. Since Yen-Hsun Lu could not play, we had a doubles exhibition instead, Qureshi replacing him as partner of Frank Moser.

This time, there was not much of a crowd as the facilities in Hanoi are quite small. I checked how many persons were there <img src="wink.gif" border="0"> and my guess was around around 200 to 300 persons only. the reason for such a small number is because there was not enough seats (some persons climbed in the trees to watch the matches <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> ).

There were a total of 4 tennis courts located in 2 different areas. No fitness centre on site.

Nothing compared to Hochiminh complex (7 tennis courts, one spa / fitness centre). I do hope next events (men and hopefully women challengers) will be in Hochiminh City. The crowd in Hochiminh City is much larger. I reckon the central court can accept around 600-700 persons minimum. It is around 75% full as from the quarter finals. It is full for the finals. Court one can accept around 250 persons.

BTW, I guess there are not many events where they charge ticket prices for ITF tourneys (not to mention Challengers). Well, Vietnam is one of them (tickets were free in Pattaya...).
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Old Nov 27th, 2001, 04:04 PM   #21
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Thanks for the report Steve.

I agree that the final would have been closer if Yen-Hsun wasn't injured. I think they've had a 5 setter in Davis Cup and they met in the 1st rd in Thailand the week before. He wasn't ranked 3 in juniors for nothing!

Yen-Hsun had to withdraw from the tourney in Manila this week. He was supposed to play the 1st seed. Seems to get a lot of tough draws!

Toshihide Matsui graduated from a University in Hawaii this year I think. He's only begun making progress on the tour.

I'm glad to hear that the tourney in Ho Chi Minh will continue next year. It should be interesting when the dates will be. The 2000 tourney was held the same week as RG qualies, so some Asians like Wynne chose to play there instead of clay. <img src="wink.gif" border="0">

[ November 27, 2001: Message edited by: danker ]</p>
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Old Nov 28th, 2001, 01:12 AM   #22
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I have seen some reports showing a result of 6/3 6/4 for the final (or vice-versa). Actually Yen-Hsun had to abandon due to injury (I think it was 4-3 if I remember correctly). In the second set, he could already not serve anymore.

He was treated on the court by a local doctor. I think he felt more pain after the treatment than before. For the previous tourneys, there was a physio from Singapore. There are besides some very good physios in Vietnam. I do not know how they chose this one <img src="graemlins/firey.gif" border="0" alt="[Fiery]" /> .

As for the Hochiminh Women tourney, I really hope it will take place this year, though Wynne will not be here <img src="graemlins/sad.gif" border="0" alt="[Sad]" /> . She told me she would not play any $25,000 event this year. Maybe some $75,000 but it is not even sure.

I have had quite some luck obviously : the first year, she prefered to come than to play on clay as you said. The second year, her doubles partner went to the States but she stayed in Asia after the Fed Cup matches in Taiwan to play some ITF tourneys in Asia. It was an excellent opportunity to meet her, though she was not really "in".

I am looking forward to having more news about next year event and will let you know as soon as I know more.

I hope the Chinese squad will be back. It is not easy to discuss with Li Na as she seems to be very introverted. I really would like to know what is happening to her and how she sees her coming year.

I'd like also to know what are Liu Nan Nan and Liu Jing Jing expectations for this year. But I think their English is not that great (at least for Liu Nan Nan last year). So it might prove to be difficult to discuss. We'll see <img src="cool.gif" border="0"> .
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Old Nov 28th, 2001, 01:19 PM   #23
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I've noticed that this year, the Chinese players have travelled very little abroad this year compared to previous years.

Before, I used to see quite a few travel to Europe, the States, etc. But this year, most have played very little concentrating on National tourneys, and "developing" their game.

I read an article during the Shanghai tourney and the journalist was saying how much their players need 'international' exposure to their games. If so, then why aren't they playing more international events? <img src="frown.gif" border="0">

They're already thinking about the Asian Games which will be in Pusan, South Korea in September next year and apparently the squad has already begun training for it. Interestingly, the Games will be held the same week as the Japan Open, and Kiwi Open Shanghai. I wonder how it's all going to turn out? <img src="confused.gif" border="0">

IMO, if Liu Nan-Nan, Sun Tian-Tian, etc played more tourneys they would have already made the Top 200 by now and play the Aus Open qualies, but it didn't happen. Li Na should be ranked much higher than 300.

I would very much like to know what's going on with the Chinese squad as they seem to be the hardest to find any proper information. If only they spoke more English! <img src="redface.gif" border="0">

BTW, what are your thoughts on Li Ting?
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Old Nov 28th, 2001, 02:00 PM   #24
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The poor international exposure is also something that struck me this year. however, Vietnam being a close friend of China, I expect to see them again next year <img src="wink.gif" border="0"> .

Obviously, the game development strategy did not do much in Shanghai with Li Na losing at the first round. What surprised me too was that she did not go to Bali while she had a wild card. Liu Nan Nan went instead as finalist of the ITF tourney.

Chinese seem to be much into country competitions : Olympic Games, Universiade and Asian Games to come. It looks like they have a different concept of tennis. Being more of a game to represent national interests more than anything else. If so, I would guess this is having some sort of impact on the players.

I had mentioned in the former website that there had been a large team of officials during the Hochiminh ITF tourney. Including one as an "observer" (do not know what that means). There were besides 2 coaches : one national and one from East Europe. There seemed to be some conflicts between the national coach and some players. But not much filtered anyway.

Li Na played some Grand Slam qualies last year. She had even better results than Wynne. But she failed to capitalise on her potential. I guess something went terribly wrong mentally while Wynne held on to it, went trough some terrible doubts and made it through. When you think that 2 years ago, Na had beaten Wynne something like 6/1 6/2!!! This year, she had easily beaten Roberta Vinci (not to mention Widjaja). These are important victories.

It is not possible the Chinese Federation does not realise the potential she has. But I also do not know how she gets along with the Federation... Even if she did not get along that well, there are other potential Chinese players whose career is just wasted! I can not believe that the Chinese Tennis Federation has no funds to sponsor their players to go overseas :<br />- China is always heavily investing on sport<br />- even if they sponsor their players, players in return have to give back most of the prize money they get. So it is some kind of investment.

Li Na speaks English quite well. I spoke a few words with her last time and she understood and replied perfectly well. That is why I hope for next time... <img src="cool.gif" border="0">

As for Li Ting, she was playing OK two years ago, though below Li Na of course. As for last year, she seemed to have no motivation at all. She was just having fun on the court during the doubles match but not playing seriously. I think she had plans however to leave the next day for another tourney.

I think she is good but not excellent. I am not sure she is that motivated and if I remember correctly, she makes a lot of direct errors. I would think she is not in par with Li Na or Liu Nan Nan. Even if she has beaten Liu Nan Nan in the past. There are 3 years of difference between the two. Maybe Li Ting has found some new motivation since then and is fighting more on the court now... I hpoe I'll see next year.

I tried by the way to talk to the national coach, but he does not understand much English. He seems a nice guy though. Next time, if Ka Po is here too, I might ask her to translate for me <img src="wink.gif" border="0"> .

I am at least as curious as you are to know what's going on there and why so much talent is wasted.
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