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THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, London, England; grass; Major)
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First-round TV-report: Dokić v Schiavone (Monday 20th June 2011)
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- Jelena Dokić [EF] lt. FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [6], 4-6 6-1 3-6

I’m disappointed by Jelena’s loss, as I believed that she could rediscover her special affinity with Wimbledon from of old, and take down the clay-court specialist, against whom she had a 3:0 head-to-head going into this match.

Jelena has come a long way back from the nadir of her slump, winning a WTA title at Kuala Lumpur in February, and reaching the final of ’s-Hertogenbosch last week, but the sad fact remains that she has not won a main-draw match at Wimbledon since 2003.

These two are a great foil for each other on grass, as Jelena’s hard, flat shots cause Schiavone problems with her long swings, while Schiavone can make Jelena run a lot from side to side.

Jelena still looks great at 28, but looks a little overweight at the moment. She has suffered from exhaustion and a viral illness in the last couple of months, and had her left thigh heavily strapped for this match. Her movement was very bad, especially for a wonderful athlete who is usually so lively and fleet of foot.

Jelena’s still a great shotmaker, though, and while she is known for her fabulous groundstrokes of flairsome power, she also hit some great volleys in this match, including a backhand volley-winner behind her back when she was running back from the net (0:1 *2-0 0/15).

There was a 51-minute rain-delay at 1:1 1-1* Deuce #1 before they could continue under the Centre Court roof. Schiavone broke for *3-1, but Jelena broke back to love, and held to 15 for 3-3*. Schiavone looked tired, while Jelena looked pumped up.

But the match really turned against Jelena at 1:1 *3-4, when she blew a 30/0 lead with a forehand error and a double fault, and another double fault at break-point.

Jelena had four nonconsecutive break-points at 1:1 3-5*: two saved by good play from Schiavone, and two wasted with unforced errors. She saved one match-point with a brave foray to the net (Schiavone’s backhand pass was just long), but lost the match with two forehand errors from Deuce #5.

BBC commentator Liz Smylie: “In the end, this match was just a point here and there. The inability of Jelena Dokić just to be able to get some curve, some arc on that first serve. Really, when it comes to the pressure-situation, that is what let Dokić down. After winning that second set, serving brilliantly, when it get tights, Dokić is always going to be asked the question on the serve.”


First set
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SCHIA _*_*_*_*@* 6
DOKIĆ *_*_*_*___ 4

The match was second on Centre Court, and started at 15:30 BST.

BBC commentator Chris Bradnam: “She’s a big-court player, Dokić. She loves the stage. She’s proved that from a very early age.”

Jelena warmed up in tracksuit-pants. Liz Smylie said it was a precaution against a thigh-problem.

Dokić serving 0-0: Jelena’s depth forced Schiavone to hit a backhand long. 15/0. Schiavone backhand just long. 30/0. Deep first serve down the middle forced Schiavone to bunt a backhand long. 40/0 (GP #1). First serve out wide forced Schiavone to hit a backhand long. Held.

Schiavone serving 0-1: Jelena crosscourt forehand wide. 15/0. Jelena’s depth forced Schiavone to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 15/15. After a long baseline-rally, Schiavone hit a crosscourt forehand just wide, and wasted a Hawk-Eye challenge. 15/30. Schiavone on the third stroke hit a backhand just long. 15/40 (BP #1). Schiavone’s short-angled crosscourt backhand forced Jelena to bunt a one-handed backhand wide. 30/40 (BP #2). First serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner. Deuce #1. Schiavone’s depth induced Jelena to net a forehand. Ad Schiavone (GP #1). Schiavone forehand just long. Deuce #2. Deep first serve induced Jelena to dump an off-backhand return into the net. Ad Schiavone (GP #2). Jelena went to the net, but netted a forehand volley off an awkward spinning backhand low over the net from Schiavone. Held.

Dokić serving 1-1: First serve out wide forced Schiavone to net a forehand return. 15/0. Schiavone mishit a forehand long. 30/0. Jelena forced a short ball, and hit a deep forehand just inside the baseline, forcing Schiavone to net a forehand. 40/0 (GP #1). Jelena hit a delectable backhand dropshot-winner. Chris Bradnam: “We know about the power of Dokić, but some super touch too.” Held.

Schiavone serving 1-2: Double fault (second serve just long). 0/15. Schiavone hit a sliced off-backhand dropshot-winner onto the sideline. 15/15. Jelena hit a deep return just inside the baseline, forcing Schiavone to hit a half-volley off-forehand wide. 15/30. Jelena sprayed a forehand very long. 30/30. Jelena’s deep forehand return down the line forced a very short return, but she dumped a forehand into the net. 40/30 (GP #1). First serve: Jelena netted a makeable forehand return. Held.

Dokić serving 2-2: Jelena forced a short ball, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand winner. 15/0. Jelena ran down a dropshot, but couldn’t control it and hit a forehand long. 15/15. Schiavone forehand just long. 30/15. Schiavone backhand long. 40/15 (GP #1). Deep second serve out wide forced Schiavone to earth a forehand return. Held.

Schiavone serving 2-3: Jelena earthed a backhand volley off a crosscourt backhand from Schiavone that was going wide. 15/0. Second-serve ace out wide: on the sideline. 30/0. Schiavone hit a deep sliced backhand down the line, forcing Jelena to hit an off-forehand wide. 40/0 (GP #1). Schiavone went to the net, but Jelena hit an off-backhand pass-winner down the line. 40/15 (GP #2). Deep second serve: Jelena netted a makeable backhand return. Held.

Dokić serving 3-3: Schiavone went to the net, but caught Jelena’s ball below the height of the net and netted a forehand volley. 15/0. First serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner. 30/0. First serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner back behind Schiavone. 40/0 (GP #1). Jelena tried to serve and volley behind a first serve out wide, but put a crosscourt forehand volley wide. 40/15 (GP #2). Schiavone hit an off-forehand long and wide. Held.

Schiavone serving 3-4 (new balls): Schiavone’s depth forced Jelena to hit a backhand long. 15/0. Deep first serve on the service-line forced Jelena to hit a backhand return long. 30/0. Jelena’s deep forehand forced Schiavone to hit a forehand long. 30/15. Double fault (Schiavone made an unsuccessful challenge on her first serve, then hit a second serve wide of the sideline). 30/30. First serve out wide: Jelena’s dipping forehand return forced Schiavone to bunt an off-forehand half-volley wide. 30/40 (BP #1). Jelena ran down a dropshot, but Schiavone’s lob forced her to retreat and earth a backhand. Deuce #1. Ace #2: first serve out wide, on the sideline. Ad Schiavone (GP #1). First serve down the middle forced Jelena to hit a forehand return long. Held.

Dokić serving 4-4: Schiavone prepared to receive with a Bartoli-esque jump. Jelena dumped a forehand halfway up the net. 0/15. Jelena’s short-angled crosscourt backhand forced Schiavone to net a backhand. 15/15. Jelena forced a floater, and dispatched it with a forehand smash-winner, accompanied by a cute little “c’mon”. 30/15. Double fault (second serve long). 30/30. Schiavone forced a floater, and dispatched it with a forehand volley-winner deep into the corner. 30/40 (BP #1). First serve down the middle forced Schiavone to lunge wide and earth a forehand return. Deuce #1. Jelena went to the net, but left a Schiavone crosscourt forehand pass that landed just inside the baseline for a winner. Ad Schiavone (BP #2). First serve out wide forced Schiavone to hit a backhand return just wide. Deuce #2. Jelena went to the net behind a forehand onto the baseline, but retreated and hit a forehand just long. Ad Schiavone (BP #3). First serve out wide: Jelena just stood there like a lemon while a crosscourt backhand dropshot return-winner went past her. Perhaps that left thigh was bothering her. Broken.

Schiavone serving 5-4: Schiavone netted a forehand. 0/15. Deep first serve out wide forced Jelena to earth a backhand return. 15/15. Schiavone hit a deep topspin forehand just inside the baseline, forcing Jelena to net a backhand. 30/15. Jelena hit a down-the-line backhand just wide. 40/15 (SP #1 for Schiavone). Jelena netted a forehand. Schiavone won the first set 6-4 at 16:10 BST (40m).


Second set
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SCHIA ___*___ 1
DOKIĆ *@*_*@* 6

Dokić serving 0-0: Schiavone hit a deep forehand down the line, forcing Jelena to hit a backhand long. 0/15. Jelena netted a forehand off a short ball. 0/30. Jelena hit a sweet off-backhand winner onto the sideline. 15/30. First serve out wide + off-forehand winner back behind Schiavone. 30/30. Schiavone hit a deep forehand smash just inside the baseline, but Jelena hit a fabulous running backhand pass down the line, forcing Schiavone to earth a forehand half-volley! 40/30 (GP #1). Jelena went to the net, but Schiavone’s dipping backhand down the line forced Jelena to net a forehand half-volley. Deuce #1. Jelena played a nice spreading rally, finishing with an off-forehand winner. Ad Dokić (GP #2). Jelena hit a down-the-line forehand deep into the corner, forcing Schiavone to net a backhand. Held.

Schiavone serving 0-1: First serve down the middle induced Jelena to net a backhand. 15/0. Jelena hit a crosscourt forehand return virtual winner. 15/15. Jelena opened up the court with a pinpoint crosscourt backhand to the sideline, and hit a deep crosscourt forehand winner. 15/30. Jelena hit a deep but acute-angled crosscourt forehand into the corner, forcing Schiavone to hit an off-forehand wide. 15/40 (BP #1). First serve out wide: Jelena netted a forehand return. 30/40 (BP #2). Jelena failed to move up to the ball properly, and mishit a crosscourt forehand wide. Deuce #1. Schiavone forehand just long. Ad Dokić (BP #3). Kick second serve out wide forced Jelena to hit a backhand long. Deuce #2. Double fault (second serve just long). Ad Dokić (BP #4). Schiavone went to the net, but Jelena hit a brilliant crosscourt backhand pass-winner, and celebrated with a loud cry of “c’mon”. Broken.

Dokić serving 2-0: Double fault #2 (second serve into the net). 0/15. Jelena went to the net and hit an off-backhand drop-volley; Schiavone ran it down and hit a forehand down the line, but Jelena, running backwards, hit a sensational crosscourt backhand volley-winner into the open court behind her! 15/15. Jelena went to the net and hit a fabulous off-backhand punch-volley winner onto the baseline. 30/15. Jelena tried to serve and volley, but Schiavone hit a dipping crosscourt backhand return to her feet, forcing her to net a forehand half-volley. 30/30. First serve: Schiavone netted a backhand return. 40/30 (GP #1). Ace down the middle: on the centre-line. Held.

Schiavone serving 0-3: Ace #3: short-angled first serve out wide. 15/0. Ace #4: first serve out wide. 30/0. Schiavone forced a floater, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand smash-winner. 40/0 (GP #1). Schiavone netted a backhand. 40/15 (GP #2). Jelena netted a backhand dropshot. Held.

Dokić serving 3-1: A meaty baseline-rally ended with Jelena firing a forehand winner down the line. 15/0. Jelena on the third stroke dumped a forehand into the net. 15/15. Schiavone hit a down-the-line forehand winner that clipped the outside the edge of the sideline. 15/30. First serve + crosscourt forehand winner deep into the corner. 30/30. Deep first serve forced a short return, which Jelena dispatched with a delicate backhand dropshot-winner. 40/30 (GP #1). Jelena on the third stroke sprayed an off-forehand wide. Deuce #1. Schiavone forehand long. Ad Dokić (GP #2). Schiavone went to the net, but Jelena hit a sliced backhand crosscourt pass-volley winner, and celebrated with a nice little smile. Held.

Schiavone serving 1-4: Jelena’s fierce crosscourt forehand return forced Schiavone to bunt an off-forehand wide. 0/15. First serve out wide: Jelena blasted a backhand return into the net. 15/15. Jelena snatched at a backhand, dumping it into the net. 30/15. Schiavone went to the net, but Jelena’s down-the-line backhand pass caught her in no-man’s-land, forcing her to earth a forehand volley. 30/30. First serve out wide + forehand winner down the line. 40/30 (GP #1). Raindrops started to fall. Jelena hit a deep crosscourt forehand onto the baseline, followed by another one back behind Schiavone for a winner. Deuce #1. Jelena went to the net behind a deep crosscourt forehand just inside the sideline, forcing Schiavone to chop a crosscourt forehand wide. As Jelena turned away at the end of that point, she went over awkwardly on her right ankle, and complained to the umpire that the court was getting slippery. Ad Dokić (BP #1). Jelena hit an off-backhand dropshot, forcing Schiavone to hit a down-the-line forehand just wide. Broken.

Dokić serving 5-1 (new balls): Jelena on the third stroke dumped a forehand into the net. 0/15. Schiavone’s deep return forced Jelena to bunt a forehand long. 0/30. First serve out wide: Schiavone hit a down-the-line forehand return just wide. 15/30. Jelena’s deep down-the-line forehand forced a short floater, which she dispatched with a backhand winner down the line. 30/30. First serve down the middle forced Schiavone to bunt a backhand return long. 40/30 (SP #1 for Dokić). Jelena’s deep crosscourt backhand forced a floater, which she dispatched with an off-forehand drive-volley winner. Dokić won the second set 6-1 at 16:43 BST (second set 32m, match so far 1h12m).


Third set
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SCHIA *_*@__*@* 6
DOKIĆ _*[email protected]*___ 3

Schiavone left the court to change her shirt, while Jelena got a trainer to look at her right foot after tweaking it at 0:1 4-1* Deuce #1. The third set didn’t therefore start until 16:50 BST (7m delay).

Schiavone serving 0-0: Double fault #4 (second serve long). 0/15. Ace down the middle – but Jelena successfully challenged it. Second serve: backhand return long. 15/15. Ace #5: a first serve down the middle that caught the outside edge of the centre-line. 30/15. Schiavone’s depth forced Jelena to hit a forehand long. 40/15 (GP #1). Jelena forced a floater, and dispatched it with a forehand smash-winner. Held.

Dokić serving 0-1: Ace down the middle. 15/0. Jelena hit a crosscourt backhand just wide, but her Hawk-Eye challenge showed that it clipped the outside edge of the sideline for a winner, so the umpire awarded the point to Jelena without ordering them to replay it. 30/0. First serve + lasso forehand winner down the line: on the baseline. 40/0 (GP #1). Schiavone netted a makeable backhand return. Held.

Schiavone serving 1-1: Jelena’s acute-angled crosscourt forehand induced Schiavone to net a forehand. 0/15. A meaty baseline-rally ended with Schiavone hitting a down-the-line forehand just wide. 0/30. Schiavone went to the net behind a vicious sliced backhand, forcing Jelena to hit one wide. 15/30. Jelena again failed to step forward for the ball, and dumped a forehand into the net. 30/30. Jelena went to the net, but netted a backhand volley off an awkward dipping sliced backhand from Schiavone. 40/30 (GP #1). Jelena hit a pinpoint crosscourt forehand onto the baseline, forcing Schiavone to bunt a forehand long. Deuce #1. Jelena netted a forehand. Ad Schiavone (GP #2). With raindrops falling, Jelena hit a crosscourt forehand winner. Deuce #2. The match was suspended due to rain at 17:01 BST. After they put the roof on Centre Court, and waited for the air-management system to create the correct conditions, the match resumed at 17:52 BST (51m rain-delay). Schiavone went to the net behind an off-forehand, and hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. Ad Schiavone (GP #3). Schiavone went to the net again, and hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. Held.

I watched the match live from the resumption. Jelena had a lovely smile when she returned to the court.

Dokić serving 1-2: Jelena forced a short ball, but netted a silly backhand dropshot. 0/15. Jelena hit a deep crosscourt backhand, forcing Schiavone to hit an off-backhand wide. 15/15. Second serve down the middle: Schiavone netted a sliced backhand. 30/15. Jelena successfully challenged her first serve, which clipped the service-line. Schiavone hit a deep crosscourt forehand onto the baseline, forcing Jelena to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 30/30. Jelena, running backwards for a Schiavone lob, hit a backhand drive-volley wide. 30/40 (BP #1). First serve out wide forced Schiavone to net a backhand. The umpire called “Deuce”, but then allowed Schiavone a late challenge (the ball was way inside the service-line). Deuce #1. Schiavone went to the net and hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. Ad Schiavone (BP #2). Jelena on the third stroke sprayed a crosscourt backhand wide. Broken.

Schiavone serving 3-1: Double fault #5 (second serve just long). 0/15. Schiavone forehand just long. 0/30. Double fault (sloppy second serve long). 0/40 (BP #1). First serve down the middle: Jelena hit a fantastic crosscourt forehand return-winner. Broken.

Schiavone looks tired, while Jelena looks pumped up.

Dokić serving 2-3: Jelena’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Schiavone to hit a down-the-line forehand wide. 15/0. First serve out wide + off-forehand winner back behind Schiavone. 30/0. Schiavone’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Jelena to spray a forehand very long. 30/15. Schiavone went to the net behind a deep sliced backhand, but Jelena hit a terrific crosscourt backhand pass-winner. 40/15 (GP #1). Jelena hit a deep off-backhand + off-backhand dropshot, forcing Schiavone back and forth to hit a forehand long. Held.

Schiavone serving 3-3: Schiavone forced a floater, and dispatched it with an off-forehand smash-winner. 15/0. Schiavone ran around her backhand and sprayed a forehand wide down Jelena’s forehand sideline. 15/15. First serve out wide + down-the-line forehand forced Jelena to hit a running backhand wide. 15/15. First serve out wide + short forehand down the line forced Jelena to hit a running one-handed backhand wide. 30/15. First serve on the service-line: Jelena netted a makeable backhand return, and wasted a challenge. 40/15 (GP #1). Jelena’s deep forehand lob forced Schiavone to retreat from the net, then Jelena spread Schiavone with a crosscourt backhand + crosscourt forehand, forcing Schiavone to net a forehand. 40/30 (GP #2). Jelena hit a pinpoint crosscourt forehand winner on the sideline, but it was called wide. Jelena’s Hawk-Eye challenge showed that it was wide by a couple of millimetres or so. Held.

Dokić serving 3-4: Schiavone went to the net, but Jelena hit a pinpoint forehand lob-winner just inside the baseline. 15/0. Schiavone dumped a sliced backhand halfway up the net. 30/0. Jelena hit a forehand long off a deep, high-bouncing ball, and gave a wry smile. 30/15. Double fault (second serve just long after a very late call on the first serve – they actually played a three-stroke rally). 30/30. Schiavone hit a pinpoint forehand down the line, just inside the baseline, forcing Jelena to hit a crosscourt backhand wide. 30/40 (BP #1). Double fault (second serve clipped the netcord and fell wide). Broken.

Liz Smylie: “You could feel that double fault coming. It’s so flat, so when things get tight...”

Schiavone serving 5-3: Schiavone went to the net behind an off-forehand, but Jelena hit a wonderful crosscourt backhand, forcing Schiavone to hit an off-backhand volley wide. 0/15. Schiavone hit a loose backhand long off a deep crosscourt backhand from Jelena. 0/30. First serve out wide: forehand return just long. 15/30. First serve out wide: backhand return long. 30/30. Jelena hit a short-angled off-backhand return onto the sideline, forcing Schiavone to hit a forehand long. 30/40 (BP #1). Schiavone went to the net behind a deep backhand, forcing Jelena to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. Deuce #1. Jelena hit a fantastic crosscourt backhand winner onto the sideline. Ad Dokić (BP #2). Jelena netted a cheap backhand return off a 73mph second serve. Deuce #2. Jelena went to the net behind a deep crosscourt forehand to the sideline, forcing Schiavone to net a forehand. Ad Dokić (BP #3). Schiavone went to the net behind a deep forehand down the line, and hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. Deuce #3. Jelena hit an off-backhand return-winner onto the sideline. Ad Dokić (BP #4). Second serve... Jelena forehand just long. Deuce #4. 103mph first serve down the middle forced Jelena to earth a backhand return. Ad Schiavone (MP #1). First serve clipped the netcord and fell wide. Jelena went to the net behind a deep off-forehand, and Schiavone hit a down-the-line backhand pass just long. Deuce #5. First serve out wide: Jelena netted a forehand return. Ad Schiavone (MP #2). Jelena on the fourth stroke hit a forehand long. Schiavone won 6-4 1-6 6-3 at 18:26 BST (third set 1h42m gross, 51m net; match 2h56m gross, 2h05m net).


Schiavone’s BBC interview
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Garry Richardson: “Many congratulations. It was an excellent win for you, some match.”

Schiavone: “Yeah, it was really tough. Jelena played really well on the grass. In the second set, I couldn’t play so aggressive, so I had to use my serve in the third set, and be ready. It was good for me to stop.”

Richardson: “You’ll be extra pleased, because you’ve beaten her at last, and what a finish.”

Schiavone: “To win one point looks like easy, but it’s always tough. I’m really, really happy to play first time with the roof, and particularly first time for me at Wimbledon in the Centre Court.”

Richardson: “How much of a change did it make? You start without a roof, and suddenly they put the roof on? What difference did it make?”

Schiavone: “I think you feel a little bit more compact, and you just feel... smaller, everything. So, could be really interesting to see how we go.”

Richardson: “I mean: does the ball-bounce change at all, the speed of the ball? Or, basically, is it exactly the same really when you analyse it?”

Schiavone: “Maybe a little bit faster, but you should ask Rafa or Roger; maybe it’s better! <laughing>”

Richardson: “You did really well, and many congratulations on what you did today.”

Schiavone: “Thank you. I’m very happy.”

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
 
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