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Re: WTA 125K Houston (USA) | 2018 Nov 10-18

Not attending today because of rain, but will definitely be there tomorrow.
I didn't know Sabs was going to be playing doubles, but glad to see her out there, practicing with Heather Watson.
Whitney looked good in qualifying so I'm watching out for her, along with Gibbsy, Bebe, Davis, Pegula.
Chirico lost her final round of qualies, but got in LL with the gal who lost to Whitney. Hoping she gets out of her funk.

https://oraclechallengerseries.com/houston/houston-score-center/draws/


https://vimeo.com/300386960

https://vimeo.com/300387065
 

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Re: WTA 125K Houston (USA) | 2018 Nov 10-18

Not attending today because of rain, but will definitely be there tomorrow.
I didn't know Sabs was going to be playing doubles, but glad to see her out there, practicing with Heather Watson.
Whitney looked good in qualifying so I'm watching out for her, along with Gibbsy, Bebe, Davis, Pegula.
Chirico lost her final round of qualies, but got in LL with the gal who lost to Whitney. Hoping she gets out of her funk.
Looking forward to reading your reports!
 

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Re: WTA 125K Houston (USA) | 2018 Nov 10-18

Another doubles match lined up for tomorrow:

The resemblance is amazing. I'm sure they can pass as sisters.



 

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Re: WTA 125K Houston (USA) | 2018 Nov 10-18

Wow, that鈥檚 frigid! Hopefully most players packed a warmup suit 馃槈 If not, hopefully there鈥檚 a Dicks close by 馃構
 

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Re: WTA 125K Houston (USA) | 2018 Nov 10-18

I wonder why doubles specialist Cako is playing singles only here
 

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Re: WTA 125K Houston (USA) | 2018 Nov 10-18

That鈥檚 odd. Maybe her doubles partner pulled out at the last minute or something.
Yes, maybe. But then again she could have paired someone else the following day as some other team advanced to the 2nd round with a W/O :confused:
 

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Re: WTA 125K Houston (USA) | 2018 Nov 10-18

Hmmm, good point. 馃 You would think there would be at least one person on site that she could have teamed up with.
 

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Re: WTA 125K Houston (USA) | 2018 Nov 10-18

Heather Watson defeats Jamie Loeb 5-7, 6-1, 6-1
This match was a tale of two Heathers. Heather 1.0 and Heather 2.0. In the first set, Heather 1.0 seemed to let Jamie take control with her powerful forehands and strong serves. Heather seemed content just trying to keep the ball in play and use as much of the court with lobs and slices. Jamie had the upperhand as Heather couldn鈥檛 chase down all of Jamie鈥檚 shots. In the second set, Heather 2.0 seemed to add another 10 mph to her shots and serves. Heather forced Jamie to take the defensive, which she isn鈥檛 good at. There was such contrast in Heather鈥檚 shots that it kept Jamie off balance and unable to sustain a rally. It was all Heather 2.0 in the 3rd set as well.

Whitney Osuigwe defeats Naomi Broady 6-4, 6-3.
This was not a well played match. Broady was spraying shots everywhere, giving Osuigwe the upper hand, but she was making errors on her own behalf, keeping the match closer than it should have. Osuigwe still played decent enough to win but sort of played down to the competition. Osuigwe was more defensive than aggressive than I seen her play during a final qualifier. She seemed content to let Broady hand the match to her. I鈥檓 still impressed with Osuigwe with her powerful forehand, which wasn鈥檛 on full display today. There鈥檚 a hint of confidence in her, like she is heavily favored to win and that she can only lose to herself. I don鈥檛 see her receive any coaching with the exception of her talking to herself, correcting what she did wrong, like 鈥渕ove them legs鈥.

Belinda Bencic defeats Allie Kiick 2-6, 7-6, 6-0
Kiick was pretty close to pulling off an upset. Bencic seemed to be bothered by the cold weather, along with some bad calls that didn鈥檛 go her way. Bencic was unable to get any rhythm as she sprayed and mishit shots badly. In the 1st set, I was impressed with Kiick鈥檚 clean strokes, especially her two handed backhand. Kiick was pulling Bencic off the court with her forehand that she didn鈥檛 have to come close to hitting the opposite corner to get the winner as Bencic seemed out of place both were her shots and movement. Kiick was up 6-2, 4-0, with the chance to go up 5-0, but Bencic broke her, then held serve to trail 4-2. At this point, the moment shifted as Bencic seized the moment and her confidence grew and her errors reduced. Bencic just pounded every shot, forcing Kiick to chase down each ball and take a defensive stance. Kiick just ran out of gas as she didn鈥檛 have the same consistency and power in her strokes as she did in the 1st set.

Reka-Luca Jani defeats Louisa Chirico 6-2, 6-3.
This is a match of two LL鈥檚. I caught this match in the middle of the 2nd set. I鈥檝e been wondering why Chirico has nose dived these past 2 years. For one thing, Chirico鈥檚 forehand is erratic. She needs to get a full swing to get enough top spin to keep the ball in. Unfortunately, she has a big swing and doesn鈥檛 always get her feet in position. It doesn鈥檛 take much to disrupt her rhythm. Hence, more errors and a lack of confidence. I think her coach left when she was down 4-1. Chirico鈥檚 head snapped back, noticing him leaving. I don鈥檛 know if he said something, but Chirico took notice. She seemed more relax after that and broke Jani鈥檚 serve then held to make it 4-3. Jani held leading 5-3, then Chirico had a lapse in concentration and was broken for the set and match.


Lauren Davis defeats Kristina Kucova 6-4, 6-3
I passed by Lauren at least twice before her match and I couldn鈥檛 believe how small she is. I was a bit concerned about her drop in the rankings, perhaps wondered if she is overtraining, as she looks like skin and bones. This match was close to even in each set, before Davis would pull ahead late in the set. Kucova keep drop shotting Lauren, who seemed slow (small steps) in getting to the ball. Davis is definitely not the same player I saw in 2017 Indian Wells. She鈥檚 not as accurate with her shots, which disrupts her ability to formulate a point. She seems to be scrambling for her points, much like Taylor Townsend does. I only saw the first past of the 1st set and watched what I could from a distance, while watching Gibbs play Muhammad.

Nicole Gibbs defeats Asia Muhammad 7-6, 4-6, 6-1
This was a bit of a sloppy match to watch, highlighted with more errors than winners. I think these SoCal players know each other鈥檚 game. You can tell Muhammad鈥檚 game is built more for doubles, with a strong serve, good forehand, but not much else with regards to variety or finesse. Gibbs is just the opposite, pressing for forced errors, but always caught short running to sidelines. I didn鈥檛 know until know that Gibbs grunted, but without that high pitch tone that is annoying. Her shot making reminds me of Heather Watson 1.0, but she doesn鈥檛 cover the court like Heather. I left after Gibbs won an ugly 1st set tie-breaker, where she fought hard, but barely came out on top. There was a moment I thought she was going to lose it, especially as she lost a 5-3 lead and trailed 5-6. She was so mad she hit a ball outside towards the parking lot and I think she got a warning for it.

Manasse/Pegula defeats Guarachi/Routliffe 6-4, 6-2
I just watched bits and pieces, as I passed through the outer courts which was too cold to stay too long. Remind you it was 39 degrees out. G/R is the 4th seed and I belief have played together before, but M/P played their first doubles match together and seemed to be a great combination. Manasse is very precise and can hit tight windows, while Pegula can just blow it by for a winner.

Shuai Peng defeats Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-7, 7-5, 6-1
I saw this match in bits and pieces, as it was also an outer court. I thought Beatriz was the aggressor while Shuai was the counter puncher. This match can switching momentum constantly in the 1st set, as I didn鈥檛 catch any of the last two sets.


Judging from what I've seen today, I'd say Bencic is favored to win, as there's a big gap with her A-game compared to others.
I would say Watson is a threat to make it to the Finals as she is favored in her side of the draw. Osuigwe will have a difficult draw, but her performance seems to stand out.

Other comments:
It was every bit of cold, which is not the norm for Houston.
Bencic appeared to be affected the most. She had two towels over her during the sideline and always kept her hands beneath her underarms, while waiting on a serve. Kiick actually looked hot and seemed to drink the most fluids. Even Gibbs tried to wrap her collar over her face in between points. The men seem least affected as quite a few were just wearing shorts.

I knew it was going to be 39 degrees, so I had 3 layers of clothing and an fur hat to keep me from freezing. Got in around 10:20 am and left around 6:20 pm. Plenty trips to my car and restroom, where I had access to a heater to thaw out. I had intended to watch a few matches and leave before 4:00 pm, but I wanted to watch Gibbs, who started later that I had anticipated. I reached my breaking point after the 1st set as I was too cold and exhausted to watch the eventual outcome.
 

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Re: WTA 125K Houston (USA) | 2018 Nov 10-18

Thanks for the report!! Tennis that cold is no fun for anyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #59
Re: WTA 125K Houston (USA) | 2018 Nov 10-18

Round 32

(1/WC) Bencic, Belinda d. Kiick, Allie 2-6 7-6(6) 6-0
(WC) Peng, Shuai d. Haddad Maia, Beatriz 6-7(5) 7-5 6-1
(Q) Osuigwe, Whitney d. Broady, Naomi 6-4 6-3
(6) Lepchenko, Varvara d. (WC) Haet, Michaela 6-4 7-6(3)

(4) Pegula, Jessica d. Paolini, Jasmine 7-6(8) 6-2
Khazaniuk, Deniz d. (WC) Turati, Bianca 7-6(5) 6-2
(LL) Cako, Jacqueline d. (Q) Halbauer, Elizabeth 6-2 6-4
(5) Stollar, Fanny d. (Q) Li, Ann 7-5 6-3

(7) Zhuk, Sofya d. Min, Grace 6-3 6-4
(Q) Galfi, Dalma d. Chiesa, Deborah 7-5 6-1
(LL) Jani, Reka-Luca d. (LL) Chirico, Louisa 6-2 6-3
(3) Watson, Heather d. Loeb, Jamie 5-7 6-1 6-1

(LL) Sebov, Katherine d. (8) Bouzkova, Marie 6-4 7-6(5)
Nara, Kurumi d. Flink, Varvara 6-2 6-3
(Q) Davis, Lauren d. (Q) Kucova, Kristina 6-4 6-3
(9) Gibbs, Nicole d. Muhammad, Asia 7-6(3) 4-6 6-1


 
Round 32

(1/WC) Bencic d. Kiick 2-6 7-6(6) 6-0
(WC) Peng d. Haddad Maia 6-7(5) 7-5 6-1
(Q) Osuigwe d. Broady 6-4 6-3
(6) Lepchenko d. (WC) Haet 6-4 7-6(3)

(4) Pegula d. Paolini 7-6(8) 6-2
Khazaniuk d. (WC) Turati 7-6(5) 6-2
(LL) Cako d. (Q) Halbauer 6-2 6-4
(5) Stollar d. (Q) Li 7-5 6-3

(7) Zhuk d. Min 6-3 6-4
(Q) Galfi d. Chiesa 7-5 6-1
(LL) Jani d. (LL) Chirico 6-2 6-3
(3) Watson d. Loeb 5-7 6-1 6-1

(LL) Sebov d. (8) Bouzkova 6-4 7-6(5)
Nara d. Flink 6-2 6-3
(Q) Davis d. (Q) Kucova 6-4 6-3
(9) Gibbs d. Muhammad 7-6(3) 4-6 6-1
 
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