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I arrived a bit late and went straight to the Center Court to see Marion Bartoli against Melanie South, the Frenchie led 3-0. At first I was really impressed when I saw South, she was playing as well as Bartoli, hitting deep and clean during the whole rallies and this is the way she won the next to game to make it 3-2 and to get back on serve. But then the reasons why the girl is out of the top 100 showed up, South had no more regularity and wasn't able to stay in the rallies with Bartoli she then lost the first set quickly and I left at the end of it as I thought the match would end in straight sets. I came back to this match when I saw there was a TB going on, South played it well and showed glimpses of what she had showed when I first arrived and Bartoli helped her a bit winning the TB with some UEs, I then expected a competitive 3rd set but South was totally demolished by both Marion and herself. Melanie was impatient and missing a lot plus she seemed to get down on herself a bit and Marion just played the big points better than what she did before.

I caught the end of the first set between Dominika Cibulkova and Elena Vesnina and it definitely was a dissapointment to me, I thought it would be some some high tennis quality plus the two girls are really beautiful to me... but Elena sucked really hard in this match, she totally auto-destructed herself of what I saw at least Vesnina couldn't keep any ball in and Dominika just had to wait for the mistake to come.

I then went up to the little court 9 to see Monica Niculescu vs Varvara Lepchenko where we are jsut so near of the players. I saw the end of this match and Niculescu really was at another level then Lepchenko, Monica (who also is very handsome :hearts:) was hitting big and coming to the net efficiently and she had not difficulty at all to attack Lepchenko's moonball. I was also really surprised to see how many sliced forehand Monica was hitting and how much they could bother Lepchenko, I was impressed with Niculescu and at the same time I thought Lepchenko would be a better player than what she showed.

We then went to the Banque Nationale Court to see Aravane Rezai vs Virginie Razzano and it looked more like some mindless ballbashing than anything else :lol: Both girls just hit as hard as they could on every shot and Aravane was the first one to miss in most of the rallies! Boring match, short rallies and many unforced errors.

Then my big surprise of the day! Michelle Larcher De Brito who was playing Vania King, before the match I didn't appreciate the young Portuguese that much, but after watching her play, I was jsut amazed! She was hitting big, clean and deep shots and was really rarely missing for what I saw in the final two sets. I felt a bit sorry for Vania King, she was in the match hitting really well too, but Michelle just had that little something more that made her able to end the rallies with a big shot. The only thing I dislike a bit in Michelle is her grunt, she hits high notes and holds them a bit too long :lol: But I'm definitely a fan of hers now!

I then went to Cara Black vs Nastya Rodionova, I wasn't impressed by any of them, Cara Black doesn't have much of a good baseline game, she for sure is great at the net but didn't hurt the Russian that much there. It wasn't a marvelous match, the thing I remember the most is that Rodionova was wearing sunglasses even if it was really cloudy... (it even started raining) she maybe just was really really cumfortable with it :lol:

Finally I saw Tamira Paszek vs Francesca Schiavone until 5-3, 40-40 in the first set (It then rained and I left). Franscesca was playing some really ugly tennis to me on much too many points, but I give credit too Tamira too has Franny sometimes seemed to raise her a game a bit in some points but Paszek found a way to win them and keep her momentum. From 5-1 to 5-3, Tamira kinda dropped in intensity a bit then I don't know what happened.

I also saw Elena Dementieva training with Svetlana Kuznetsova and Nadia Petrova with Ai Sugiyama, I was so surprised by how tall and beautiful Elena is in person! Her legs seem soooo long :drool:

First up we went to Court 9 to see Victoria Azarenka vs Jamea Jackson, I was also surprised by Vika's height, she's reaaaalllly tall! THe match was plain and simple, Victoria was hitting the ball deeper and sooner than Jamea. Jamea got negative a bit quickly, when she was down 1-3, she already seemed to be thinking a lot too much, and screaming a little bit too, she started going for big shots really soon in all the rallies and she was missing almost all her shots.... at least she seemed to be a really sweet girl :hug:

Then we went to Maria Kirilenko vs Anne Keothavong and well was sad I couldn't see Maria playing much of her game as Anen was just totally off today. Her forehand was quite bad and her bakchand a bit better but not good enough. Maria has really good hands at the net too! Anne could and should have won the second set, she cameback from 3-5 to 5-5 with a 40-0 lead, the momentum totally swang on her side, but I don't know if she got nervous or what but could not close out this game and lost it. In the final game it was totally over, Anne questionned a line call that was obviously out and was too negative to through it.

I then saw a tiny bit of Ai Sugiyama vs Nicole Vaidisova, I saw the beginning of the second set and at first I was impressed with Ai's regularity to hit some really agressive shot even when she's on defensive and Nikki wasn't playing well so everything was going well for Sugiyama. But Sugiyama had a mini brainfart and started making some unforced errors too, so it was boring to see as both of the girls were missing shots after shots so I left and didn't comeback.

Next match I saw is Sharon Fichman vs Jill Craybas, I was awaiting for Sharon to be destroyed but it wasn't the case. I heard Fichman was a compelling moonballer, but it wasn't the case at all, she was hitting her first serve really hard and was sooo agressive, I can't understand why this girl doesn't play more than this, she has some great potential. If she could work on her forehand a bit and her serve as she did some many double faults I think she could be top 100 material one day.

Next stop on Central Court was Marie-Eve Pelletier vs Nadia Petrova, well Marie-Eve played crap tennis and Nadia was totally on and won the most interesting points with great winners and she served really well, I still like Marie-Eve and hope she won't be affected by this loss too much :hug:

Final stop on the Central Court was Alla Kudryavtseva vs Svetlana Kuznetsova, I arrived a bit too late... when I sat on my chair Alla was receiving treatments to what I thought was her right shoulder and had my confirmation when I saw her serving, her second ball was very weak and Svetlana was just eating it, it wasn't worth the risk to keep on trying for Alla as she would obviously have been ass whooped.

The last match I saw was Flavia Pennetta vs Olga Savchuk, there were good long rallies in the first set, but Flavia often ended up making a bad mistake. As the central Court matches were over, the Banque National one was totally full, we couldn't see the court really well as tehre were some big heads in front of us plus it was sunny and soooo hot that it was jsut not fun anymore so we left and my trip ended there... :)

All I want for Christmas is EU
34,176 Posts
Absolutely super report. :bowdown:

I love so many of your observations. Regarding the Larcher de Brito grunt, yeah, it is quite high pitched but as you pointed out. But most significantly, it may not be the loudest in the game but I'm pretty sure it is the longest lasting. When I saw her I recall thinking that sometimes it was still going at the point when her opponent was hitting the ball. :eek:

You also seem really good at recognising when a playing is losing it mentally after getting distracted by a line call or a bad shot or well anything. It happens so often to a lot of players and for some it severely hinders their progress up the rankings. So much emphasis is put on physical fitness these days and that is of course extremely important but mental fitness and focus are just as important and a lot of players need to work harder to strength this part of their game.

I also agree with your assessment of the Sugiyama-Vaidisova match. There is nothing more tedious in tennis than watching a player trying to blast a winner after the first couple of shots over and over again and missing most of them. Boring tennis for sure. At least Ai played well most of the match but yeah there was a period when she was making as many errors as Vaidisova and at that point the tennis got really ugly. :lol:

I especially thank you for your report on the Niculescu-Lepchenko match. It sounds like Monica was doing what Monica does best. She is a really attacking player and loves getting to the net. And that sliced really is like no other shot in tennis. She puts so much spin on those shots that opponents so often struggles just hitting it back over the net. It is also the perfect shot for approaching the net. Monica is great, she hits such imaginative, unorthodox shots. I hope you are able to go to Monica's next match against Patty. That will be fun. Monica's matches are always fun.
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