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Old Nov 9th, 2003, 08:25 PM   #1
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My Days At The Tournament...

I went Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday and had a few interesting observations I figured I would share.

Elena Dementieva's serve was not the worst or bad at all. Her first serves were consistantly breaking 100mph and her second serves were in the low to mid 80's.

Anastasia Myskina frequently used change ups. She would serve a 70mph first serve one point, and then a 100+mph serve the next. As far as I noticed, it worked every single time. Not just Friday against Sugi and Saturday versus Capriati, but Thursday with Justine as well who according to the people next to me was getting quite frustrated with it.

Amelie is incredible at the net. She wins almost every single point that she serves and volleys or follows into the net with.
Myskina and Ruben had spotty success at the net. Sometimes on fire, other times really making themselves and the spectators cringe in disbelief. Ruben didn't do well at the net Wednesday but did good Saturday. Myskina really blew some Saturday during crucial games late in the third. At one point i think she missed three in a row on very short very high returns.

Amelie has this huge scar or vein below her right knee.

Ai is deffinately very sweet and took the time for adoring fans.

Kim after her wins stayed to sign every single persons autograph that stayed for it. When I told her thank you, she told me thank you right back! Also when the ball boys fumble a ball or are lagging a little bit, she is very nice and giggles or smiles to make them feel a lot more at ease, where as a few of the other players get rather pissy.

Vera and Nadia were there the first night. I didn't see Nadia Friday or Saturday, but Vera was there to watch the matches. On saturday, Svetlana made a quick appearance. Granted, they werent announced as being there, but if you were sitting closely enough to the player/family/guest/coaches/important person seats you could see them. Of course, Hingis and Matthew Perry (during capriati matches) were there too.

Elena's parents are very beautiful people. I think it was her father I saw...he is very tan with gray hair and handsome and her mother, if i did remember who she was when i saw her, was also tan with gray hair and very beautiful.

At the staples center they have the huge scoreboard in the center of the stadium. it was centrally located on the court, though i never saw lobs that hit it, many came close. the scoreboard made it excellent for replays and seeing the match from different angles. If the porsche sign on the net or linesmen were blocking your view of the scoreboard in the corners of the court, asi had, you could also see the score up there.

the court is surrounded by a three foot wall or so, then behind that is a two or three foot walkway and then immediately the seats started. So...the front row seats were amazing but a little scary when winners/aces would fly over the wall and into our faces.

all the players look SO good in person. every single one of them. It is interesting that Jen is the only larger girl, but she looks fantastic. Zvonereva looked fantastic too, but often didnt have anyone sitting by her during the matches and looked a little bored/lonely.

at the end of the first set against ai last night, henin took a stumble. it was set point and sugiyama had hit it behind henin who tried to change directions and looked like she rolled her ankle. we all gasped, and after a few seconds she got up and we cheered her for being ok and sugiyama for taking the set with such marvelous play. hopefully it was just a stumble and nothing damaging, she was shaking her hand a little bit after and held her ankle when she first fell. but no trainer was called or anything so....that was a good sign.

i highly suggest if you too will be attending a tournament, splurge and get front row. its the only way to go and the people around you are really cool too.

does anyone have specific questions about a player or match? ill post more when im back from eating and some of the pictures i took! let me know who you want me to post pictures of.
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Old Nov 9th, 2003, 08:43 PM   #2
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I'm glad you had a good time, any more news on Elena and Jen?
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Old Nov 9th, 2003, 08:48 PM   #3
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Thanks a lot. Any news or interesting things about Martina Hingis?
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Old Nov 9th, 2003, 09:01 PM   #4
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How was REALLY the attendance in the stadium???
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Old Nov 9th, 2003, 09:35 PM   #5
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Watching both Henin and Mauresmo,matches who in your opinion has the better backhand?
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Old Nov 9th, 2003, 10:34 PM   #6
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oh i totally forgot to mention attendance in my first one and i meant to:

attendance was greater on friday than the final of last year they announced friday after one of the matches. so the tournament is doing better. most people arrive late into the first to catch teh second match of the day which usually features an american, and leave by the third. but during the second match it really looks full. the first day was kind of sparce, but as far as i could tell it built up everyday since. i also think a lot of people will be interested in seeing martina play. theyve really been advertising it between matches and everything that on sunday singles and doubles will play including "a young woman you may have heard of...martina!!!".


jen was really great about autographs too, shed stay and sign everyones after her wins. on friday she and kim were warming up together before the matches started. jens father and mother were around quite a bit, her mother was holding mary jo's baby at one point and brought her out to the court side after mary jo had interviewed jennifer on friday. jennifer did refuse to sign some belgians autographs, they were decked out with belgian hats and jackets, etc...they then called jens dad the next time they saw him and was like "hey your daughter refused us!" stefano kind of laughed and didnt help their cause. but kim stopped and tlaked to them after her match (this was all wednesday). in the first match against sugiyama jennifer took an extended injury time out and came out with her upper thighs wrapped. it also looked like her bloomers were coming up out of her skirt and into her midriff zone, but it was really just bandages. im not sure if her back was taped or what. but on her matches later in the week i did see jennifer toying with her back a little bit. on friday of course she came out very heavily bandaged, like in a cast or something! but she called a time out later, went into the locker room for an extended time, and emerged without the bandages. some of the sticky tape residue was still stuck to her and she picked at it sometimes. i really think she can get more fit though.

kim is absolutely amazing. her splits sliding forehand hack stroke has just about a 100% success rate. its always when it looks like the other has hit a winner adn then shes right back in the point. she also moves the ball to WHEREVER she wants it on almost every single stroke.

her match against dementieva was actually really quite good. elena was not doing well, very inconsistant, but they had some amazing points. they are both young and very fast and athletic with such hard and incredible ground strokes. they shared some amazing points.

elena didnt really play that well all week untill the second and third sets against rubin, when unfortunately by the late third rubin wasnt able to keep up her spectacular play. but i think elenas great playing had a lot to do with her not being able to hit the balls she wanted and everything. elena looked very strong, very fit, and very tall. she moved great, and characteristically played as good as any when she was on. she was signing autographs after she won, and then was making her way back to the tunnel/locker room but i begged her in russian and she came back.
note to fans: speaking russian to russian players really helps you out. i got to sit next to nadia petrova thanks to it.

myskina threw her racquet a lot onto the court. jen did too when she was really mad a few times there when she played myskina. once, very very very hard. the chairs never called anyone on it though, which under all the circumstances i think was the right decision.

during the henin/sugiyama match there was a man in a green shirt in one of the upper layers that was screaming at the linesmen "YOU GET PAYED TO MAKE THOSE CALLS!!!!!!!!!!" and all these very rude out of line things. there were no real close calls that gave him justification for this so none of us in the entire crowd knew what he was talking about. once or twice he screamed vulgarities at other audience members who tried to shut him up.

between henin and mauresmo's backhand its really a tough call. both caused many gasps from the crowd as the shots they hit were so worthy of praise. henin has a lot of explosive power, like woah where did that come from! on both her forehand and backhand. and mauresmo is just so strong. mauresmo comes in a lot more off of her backhand though and shows that much more variety from all over the court. i just dont know who has the better one. its quite fair to say they are equally magnificent.

clijsters said on the television interview that her match against mauresmo was one of the best shes ever played. i agree. the quality in eveyr single set, every single game (except one wher emauresmo blew it hard early in the third), made me lucky to be there to see.

one of the most memorable point of my week was probably when myskina and capriati were in the middle of an already good point and myskina hit a really good overhead, a winner against just about anyone, but capriati ran it down and hit a cross court forehand, no not hit BLASTED, that even though myskina was there for she couldnt even touch it.

hingis was there all week and each night i was there the announcer who i think was the bryan brothers father (they said the first night) would say "joining us tonight and all week is former number one martina hingis!" and theyd show her on the big screen over the center of the court. shed smile and the crowd would give her a standing ovation. when i sat next to nadia, martina was just a few seats away. she looked really great and happy everynight, especially friday she looked really gorgeous.

myskina against sugiyama was hitting the most perfect backhand topspin lobs, but didnt do them against capriati.
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Old Nov 9th, 2003, 10:50 PM   #7
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Thanks for sharing sunblockisgreat...really entertaining and informative review of the champs.
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Old Nov 10th, 2003, 02:02 AM   #8
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Great report!!! thankyou very much.
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Old Nov 10th, 2003, 11:47 AM   #9
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thanks for the report
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Old Nov 10th, 2003, 11:55 AM   #10
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Great report! Thanks sunblockisgrea!
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Old Nov 10th, 2003, 12:16 PM   #11
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Thanks
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Old Nov 10th, 2003, 12:21 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the reports!

Great to read!
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Old Nov 10th, 2003, 12:25 PM   #13
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Great report!!! Spasibo!!
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Old Nov 10th, 2003, 03:58 PM   #14
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Thanks.
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Old Nov 10th, 2003, 06:10 PM   #15
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Thank you so much!!
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