My Saturday report
Heres a bit (or a lot) about my day if anyones interested
Today I arrived there early so I decided to scout the practice courts. Players I saw practicing at about 10am were Maggie Maleeva, and Lisa Raymond and Lindsay Davenport hitting together. I then headed across to the eastern courts and saw Tamarine Tanasugarn practicing her serve. I wish she would change her action because she would get more power if it wasnt all arm. On the very next court there was a large crowd watching, and practicing together on it were Venus and Serena. Oracene and their little cousin was there was them too, and another guy who seemed like their coach, but i dont know who he was. He was helping them practice. The little cousin was so cute, she was pretending to be a ball girl and doing the thing where they hold the balls up then throw it to the players. Venus looks very fit, even more so in person. She is very tall and athletic, and she wore a tight outfit that showed that off. Serena was just wearing a baggy orange tshirt and shorts. They looked very serious and business like when practicing, and i didnt see them joke around or anything, like some players do. I was going to ask Tammy to sign something and speak to her, because she was practicing alone while the Williams sisters were getting all the attention on the next court, but she didnt finish for ages and we wanted to go see Roger Federer on Vodafone.
The Swedes were there as usual to cheer on Vinciguerra, but their support wasnt enough as Roger turned it on, broke Vinciguerra and held on to take the set. He was playing very well and i left after the first set, but he obviously continued on like that and won in straight sets.
Next I was off to see Maleeva vs Bovina. Bovina was up an early break in the 1st, but then did a lot of unforced errors to give Maggie a 5-3 lead. Elena then turned it on again when Maggie was serving for the set, and won about 5 games in a row to win the set and go up an early break in the 2nd. Then she lost about 4 games in row and the match continued in a similar fashion, with Bovina being streaky and Maleeva playing consistently. Elena was down 5-3 again in the 2nd and tried to make a comeback like she did in the first set, but it didnt work this time and she was broken while serving at 4-5. Elena seemed to have no trouble breaking, but a lot of trouble holding serve all match. In the 3rd set she went up 5-2 and served for the match twice but made UE's and was broken, and was down 15-40 while serving for the match a third time, and while everyone was wondering when she would finally hold serve, she managed to string a few points together on her serve to win the match 7-5 in the 3rd.
During this match Daja Bedanova and her coach walked in and sat down next to us to watch the match, but then they moved a couple of rows down a few seconds later. During the change of ends i went to get an autograph and i spoke to her a little. I asked her if she was still here for any doubles and she said no but she said she was going to Torquay later (a surf beach near here). She was very nice and friendly and smiled the whole time.
I was looking forward to seeing a bit of Malisse, but as soon as i walked in and took a seat the umpire announced that he'd retired. He also retired from his doubles match so i was very disappointed there. I was also looking forward to seeing Safin but he retired too.
I managed to catch the end of Dechy vs Daniilidou. Eleni seemed to have a lot of crowd support from the Greeks, and I think they were chanting her name at the end when she won. She has a lot of fans here and seems to be playing well.
Rubin vs Schwartz was next. Unlike her previous matches, Chanda showed no signs of a slow start and played well right away, going up and early break and then breaking again for the set. Schwartz seemed a bit nervous at first, but then settled down, but even then Chanda was clearly the better player on the day. I think shes looking good to beat Myskina next. I was impressed with how Chanda used her brains a lot to outwit Schwartz, as well as hitting some screamers. I left at 6-3 3-1, when it was clear Chanda was going to win.
Henin/Bovina vs Voracova/Tatarkova looked to be heading for a complete blowout in the early stages, with Henin and Bovina playing very well and hardly losing a point to go up 4-0 with break points for 5-0. The for some reason they started missing a lot of shots and playing pretty bad, which let thier opponents back into the match, and lost the set 7-6. I left after the first set, but judging by the score they must have regained control and played like early in the first set, and their opponents did not get another game.
I didnt want to miss much of Coetzer vs Pistolesi, but it happened so quickly that when i got there Amanda had already won the first 6-0. Amanda was playing well like she usually does at this tournament and had most of the crowd support. I guess Pistolesi was the underdog but you'd never know because even when she was 6-0 5-1 down everyone was still cheering for Amanda to finish it off. I havent seen much of Pistolesi but she didnt play that well, making lots of DF's and UE's. She only played one good game, and that was to break Coetzer when she was serving for the match, but then Amanda broke next to take the match 6-0 6-2. Pistolesi probably didnt play her best but I find it hard to imagine she won so many titles last year with a game like this.
Sharapova/Bartoli vs Ruano Pascual/Suarez - I only saw the last set, which Vivi and Paola won easily, and it just seems like Maria and Marion were outplayed. They were being passed from all directions and they didnt look like they had much doubles experience. I dont know how they won a set just by seeing that last set.
Decided to head out of the packed court before Anna mania started, and made my way to the quieter court 7, where Mirnyi/Husarova were taking on Adams/Prakusya. David and Wynne looked the better team all along, and Husarova looked to be the worst player on the court. She was having a bad day, missing lots of volleys and doing a few DF's. Her team was lucky to win a set and take it to the match tie break, but they ended up losing that. We said well played and bad luck to Max and got an autograph. I also saw Patty after practice and she signed an autograph too.
After that we watched the Black/Ullyett doubles match which wasnt very entertaining so we headed home.