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Old Jan 9th, 2003, 08:58 PM   #1
country flag V.Melb
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Exclamation Mi-Ra's qualies match

Mi-Ra vs. Santangelo

Well, what can i say? This, as expected, was a hard hitting affair, both girls hit hard.....Mi-Ra dictated a little bit more, The Italian girl however was very consistent, she would hardly swing at all on her backhand, she blocked it back and still got plenty of pace off it. Some positives about Mi-Ra was her serve. I liked her 1st and 2nd serves, especially the spin serves.... she seemed close to getting a couople of aces in the 2nd set but they all touched the net asthey went over. Mi-Ra's backhand looked much more accurate then her forehand..... Everytime Mi-Ra hit a forehand i would squirm because it would land so deep or too close to a line, it never looked like she intended it to happen. She simply was not consistent enough....her opponent got more balls back then her ----- simple as that. Having said that, Mi-Ra is a pretty girl.... and i liked her outfit and the viser! But she has work to do on consistency and 'killer instinct' ..... the other girl was hissing and talking to herself..... she REALLY wanted to win.... Mi-Ra was hitting the ball hard....but she appears to lack the frame of mind to win some points..... Mi-Ra plays similar to Meilen Tu IMO - just not as aggressive. Cho and a few other Koreans were watching this match. Cho appears very supportive of Mi-Ra, she sat for the whole match withought talking too much..... I really hate to say it again..... but Yoon-Jeong has qualities that Mi-Ra does not..... She is tenacious, consistent and fast..... Mi-Ra is a taller girl.... more powerful and pretty.... but she won't break the 50-75 IMO unless she significantly improves her consistency....so many times a long rally would end with her error.....her errors are very close though ---- when she missed its by a line or a net cord....2-3 centermetres! Towards the end of the match Mi-Ra got confused about some line calls.... the line lady who called the ball out did not say it loud at all and the point kept going..... Mi-Ra looked a little irritaed......then the man called the tie break score 6-2 to the italian girlwhen it was 5-2 ....Mi-Ra corrected him and he says "Yes 5-2" as if he had already said that!
It ended in a bit of Anti-Climax when Mi-Ra floated a backhand long after a short rally, Mi-ra did not appear emotional or angry..... she smiled and shook hands with her opponent. Overall i am seeing some improvement in Mi-Ra's game....she has had a slow start to the year but she will surely pick it up when she gets more match play.... i think we can expect to see a ranking rise if she plays deep into some tourneys this year.
I like her game.....lets still hope she can have a great year in 03'
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On the other hand, i was not impressed with Zheng at all. She is not a big girl. she has a very average forehand. Bad bad serve 1st and 2nd. Her serves missed by plenty. She has a great backhand..... what is great? its powerful...nothing else. She was not placing her backhand at all. She went for some low percentage drop shots quite frequently also. She committed plentyof errors Her whole familiy was there watching...she was smiling and did not seem very focused on the match..... she obviously was not playing her best tennis at all..... she has some nice shots... i can see how she is a dangerous player when her shots come together (like Mi-Ra)
Her backhand has power.... she is quite petite but she still hits hard all round..... at a lower level i can see how she dominates..... but Zheng also needs to develop a better serve and work on hitting the ball deeper to compete against higher ranked opponents. Although powerful....her shots were simply not penetrating Krivencheva. She was a bit dissapointing, what AUSBOY said about this matchwas correct, it was a bit pathetic....Jie could have played in a 10k and still have lost. I think with some work she can become a dangerous player....but she has a long way to develop her game - especially consistency and shot selection.

Last edited by V.Melb : Jan 9th, 2003 at 09:15 PM.
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Old Jan 9th, 2003, 11:27 PM   #2
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Thanks for your comments V.Melb.

As far as Jie is concerned, I am 200% she was extremely stressed as she is not used to playing such important events . Chinese players play too many ITF events and not enough WTA.

Interesting to learn that she was there with her family but without any coach from the Chinese Tennis Federation. Do you know which members of her family were there?

As for Mi-Ra, it is not because she does not show her emotions that she does not feel upset by her loss .

Her forehand is sometime surprising but it is usually a very effective weapon. If she committed many UE that day, then something must be wrong with her. I assume she was also extremly tense, since she is very emotional.

Both players (Yoon-Jeong and Mi-Ra) are always extremely supportive one to another . Was their coach there as well?

If you see them again, can you please send them my best regards (from Vietnam and Pattaya). And wish luck to Yoon-Jeong on my behalf . And say hello to Mi-Ra of course .

Thanks .
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Old Jan 10th, 2003, 01:25 AM   #3
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Thank you sooooo much, V.Melb. I really appreciate your priceless report.

To be honest, I was kind of pissed off by your quali report in Aussie Open forum. As soon as I found your message on it,... I expected to see something about Mi-ra,.. but NONE.
But you made this special report dedicated for Mi-ra~~

As for Mi-ra performance,.... I think something's bothering Mi-ra's play. Maybe the wrist injury or big pressure,.. something like that. Mi-ra's forehand has been her biggest weapon since her juniors day,.. and still is. And it's the accuracy and placement of the forehand,.. not power. Whenever I saw her games,... her forehand shot are very deep (near the line but never flies more) and for corners.
If her forehand shots were missing by few centimeters,... maybe she could have added extra power on it due to wrist injury or pressure I guess. Her backhand is the weak point of her.

Her serve is quite good as you mentioned,... I hope she can do serve & volley several times to break her opponent's rhrythm with the serve.

As for YJ Cho,... yes... She is very tenacious,... maybe top spot in that area among WTA players. I guess she can be a player like Anna Samshnova caliber.

And Yes,.. Mi-ra and YJ Cho are supportive of each other. Both are nice girls and They've been sharing their apartment for years. But they are top 2 Korean player and also only teammate in their team. (very unique case,... cause other teams have more players than 2) So many people and media alway compare them,... so it has not been always win-win situaltion. Until last year, Mi-ra had more popularity over Cho,... so sometimes Cho looked somewhat jealous of Mi-ra's popularity. But from the start this year,.. YJ Cho is in the limelight,... so she should be happy for that and she deserves it. But I still think Mi-ra has much more potential than any girls from Korea,.... if she had that tenacity which YJ has,.. she would just break into top 50 in no time. She has the tools but she just can't use in matches.

Mi-ra is very emotional player,.... very feminine for an athelete. You said Mi-ra did not appear emotional or angry..... but I've seen that many times,... but I believe she's very angry and humilated and emotional as well. But she is a girl with big pride and ego,...so that wouldn't allow her to show any emotions when she lost to unknown player. These kind of stuff make me feel a deep sympathy for her situation.

Thank you, again.
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