Well, I turned up today for the qualifying rounds having had just 4 hours sleep and a hangover from my end of academic year celebrations at the university which meant I got to bed at 6am. I actually managed to get to the qualifying matches 30 minutes early....I thought they started at 10:00am when they in fact started at 12:00....thus depriving me of a further 2 hours sleep!
The day was very enjoyable though. I spent most of it wearing sunglasses despite there being solid cloud all day
Although it is nice to see grass courts, they are a menace. They are bad for hayfever, and they attract those crappy little flies that can still get in your eyes by flying behind the lens
Also, the surface is not so good for the players. The first match I watched was of Tursunov
. A-D served first and decided to serve volley...he slipped badly on the first point and from there, the match was pretty much lost for him - he lost confidence in his abilities to move safely on the surface and Tursunov capitialised despite not playing that well.
I saw snippets of other matches...because there was a lot of cloud cover, there was no sun to warm the place so it was impossible to sit for more than half an hour at a time. Andy Ram
thrashed James Auckland
to advance to R2...he looked very impressive. Jan Vacek
was also playing well, but his serve got him through more than anything else. I also got to see Travis Rettenmaier
- I have heard good things about him and he impressed me with his game winning quickly against Childs
Round 1 was also good for the Brits...Bloomfield
advanced to play Mankad
played very well to beat Salamanca
won an ill-tempered match with Burn
which was full of errors, and Martin Lee
played a fine match to despatch Amritraj
in straight sets. Lee is looking lean and very mean right now...if he stays injury-free we have not seen the last of him by a long stretch
won a farcical battle with David Sherwood
. The players, myself and the crowd that watched it were shocked by some of the decisions of the umpire and the idiot baseline judge. The line-judge kept on missing calls where balls landed 6 inches long...and the umpire would often overrule them, sometimes in favour of the player who shouldn't have won the point. The result was that both players became bad-tempered and rude which was amusing, but it kind of spoiled the standard of the match. Sherwood, as predicted, was the worst affected...trying to smash a racquet on the grass, on his feet, kicking a ball 2 courts down, swearing profusely and berrating the line-judge at EVERY change of ends from the beginning of the match. The umpire also had a very annoying, whiny voice which I think irked Sherwood from the first minute and the subsequent course of events only served to further darken his mood. It got to the point where Lewis actually threatened her with losing her job...quite how he would do that I don't know..apart from launch a complaint?
Nevertheless, I side with both players...she was a joke and was worse than the umpire at the Seb Grosjean / Nadal match at the French...
Who is Ryan Jones?
I have seen him appear on drawsheets this year, and I saw him play against Baccanello
today. He is a strange chap but seems very nice. He looks more at home with a careeer surfing to be honest...dresses very casually, has a blonde ponytail etc. He doesn't look very young either, maybe 24/25. Anbody know anything about him? He played well but I could see that if Baccanello upped his game, he could wipe the floor of him. Jones led by a doublebreak in the 1st set but ended up edging it 6/4 but he had to work for every point. I suspect that Baccanello pulled through...
Strange service actions.
There have been some strange ones over the years...Schalken, Ivanisevic, Bogdanovic etc...enter a new list of names: -
- the serve is rubbish. He incorporates a full step sideways before he makes the launch. It undoubtedly negatives his rhythm and also looks like it puts stress on his lower back...Lee ate his serve alive today.
- good serve. Starts the action off with a Becker swing and then copies Mahesh Bhupathi. Very long and drawn out but the serve is powerful and effective...especially on the first serve.
- very disjointed. I never remember seeing him serve like that before...has he changed the action to help prevent injury or something?
- never seen the Brit play before today...he seems too tense when he serves and a lot of the time his first serve misses. He is very powerful though.